Making a Windows Repair Disc "Just in Case"
Making a Windows repair or rescue disc is a good idea for any computer user - whether you're using Windows 10 or using an older Windows version, from XP and Vista through Windows 7 and 8.1.
A repair disk can help you repair Windows if serious errors occur in the operating system - even errors that interfere with normal Windows start-up.
A repair disk is not a substitute for a backup, and it's always good to have some kind of backup for your hard drive, especially your user files.
What the repair disk can do is enable you to access and use recovery options that are built into Windows in case those options become inaccessible during a normal boot-up.
Typically you can make a repair disk by going to the Backup and Restore options in your Settings or Control Panel area. Nowadays it's most common to make repair disks using a blank DVD. If using an old version of Windows such as XP, you may want to make a 3.5" boot disk if the machine has a floppy drive. Most old XP machines do.
In helping people our with this task, I always keep a few blank DVD discs handy for Windows 7, 8.1 and 10 users. And yes I even keep a small stash of old 3.5 floppies on hand for XP and Vista users.
If you need help with this, you can generally expect the process to take well less than an hour. When making a repair disk, usually that's a good time also to check the system for errors and malware, and to create or update any user file backup.
If you are confident handling this yourself: Note that you may be prompted for an administrator password or confirmation in this process. You might need to change your computer's BIOS settings if they are not configured to start from a CD or DVD.
Sometimes a touchpad or various models of mouse and keyboard devices may not work in this process. In those cases, it's good to have an compatible standard mouse and keyboard on hand to swap in.
Making a Windows repair disk takes very little time compared to not having one when Windows runs into startup problems.
It may not help in the event of physical hard drive damage. But it can save you big time in the event of operating system problems, which are much more frequent than hardware problems for most computer users.
Hope these tips and suggestions are helpful.
Arthur K. Burditt III