How to Fix the “We Can’t Create the Recovery Drive on This PC” Error on Windows 10/11

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Is your Windows 10/11 device not booting up and can’t fix itself? Well, by now, you’re probably feeling unlucky. However, if you have a recovery drive for your files, then it’s another story.

A recovery drive is a safe haven for storing a copy of your Windows 10/11 system. It could be in the form of a USB or DVD drive.

While this drive seems like a God-sent for many Windows 10/11 users, its downside is that some desktop apps and personal files won’t be saved here. At the very least, it can be used to restore Windows 10/11 to a bootable and working state.

How to Create a Recovery Drive on Windows 10/11

Here is how to create a Windows 10/11 USB recovery drive:

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  1. Prepare a USB flash drive with enough free space. Connect it to your PC.
  2. Into the Windows search box, input create a recovery drive. Click the first item in the list.
  3. In the window that opens, tick the Back up system files to the recovery drive option.
  4. Hit Next.
  5. Wait for the wizard to finish copying your files to the flash drive.
  6. Select your USB flash drive and hit Next.
  7. Read the warning message. If you agree, click Create.
  8. Once the message “The recovery drive is ready” shows, hit Finish.

Unfortunately, not everyone is successful at creating recovery drives. Some Windows 10/11 users encounter problems like the Windows 10/11 error “We can’t create the recovery drive on this PC.” What is it and what triggers it to appear? Find out more below.

What is the “We Can’t Create the Recovery Drive on This PC” Error on Windows 10/11?

Though it seems easy to create a recovery drive on Windows 10/11, there are instances when the recovery drive creation process fails. When this happens, you may encounter the error message that says, “We can’t create the recovery drive. A problem occurred while creating the recovery drive.”

Based on the error message, it is obvious that Windows 10/11 was not able to create a recovery drive for some reason.

What Causes “We Can’t Create the Recovery Drive on This PC” Error on Windows 10/11?

It is likely that you’ll encounter this error because of these causes:

  • The recovery partition information is gone. This may happen if you have previously tried to create a clone of your system on another drive.
  • The winre.wim file is not found. This file plays a vital role in Windows 10/11 as it holds your recovery files. Without it, it isn’t possible to create a recovery drive.
  • Your current operating system does not have a recovery environment. This may occur if you have recently upgraded to Windows 10/11 from an outdated Windows version.

7 Ways to Fix the “We can’t create the recovery drive on this PC” Error on Windows 10/11

If you are currently struggling to fix this issue, you can now rest easy because this article is created just for you. Below is a collection of solutions for the “We can’t create the recovery drive on this PC” error on Windows 10/11.

To ensure you don’t encounter problems along the way, we suggest that you follow the solutions below in order.

Solution #1: Scan for any possible issues.

If the creation of the recovery drive fails, there is a chance that your PC has a corrupted system file. To verify this, follow the steps below:

  1. Into the search field, input cmd.
  2. Right-click on Command Prompt from the search results.
  3. Choose Run as administrator.
  4. Into the command prompt, input the sfc/scannow command and hit Enter. The System File Checker utility should now begin checking your Windows files. Be patient as this scan may take minutes.
  5. After scanning, close the Command Prompt and try to recreate the Windows 10/11 recovery drive.

Solution #2: Use another flash drive

It is possible that the flash drive you are using is at fault here. So, if you cannot create a recovery drive on Windows 10/11 using a certain USB flash drive, try another USB drive.

Solution #3: Consider creating a Windows 10/11 installation media

If you are still unsuccessful at this point, you may try creating a Windows 10/11 installation media instead. It’s still similar to an ordinary recovery drive. It’s just that the installation media will reinstall Windows.

To create a Windows 10/11 installation media, follow the instructions below:

  1. Download the Media Creation Tool from the official Microsoft website.
  2. Next, plug in your USB flash drive and launch the MediaCreationTool.exe file you have downloaded.
  3. Choose the installation media for another PC and follow the on-screen prompts.
  4. At one point, you will be asked which medium to use. You can choose your USB flash dive and hit Next.
  5. When you see the message “Your USB flash drive is ready,” then you are all set.

Solution #4: Recreate the Windows 10/11 recovery environment using the Command Prompt

Some Windows 10/11 users have resolved the error by using the Command Prompt to recreate the Windows 10/11 recovery environment. Below is a quick guide on how to properly do it:

  1. Press the Windows + R keys to launch the Run dialog box.
  2. Into the text field, input cmd.
  3. Press the CTRL + Shift + Enter keys altogether to launch an elevated Command Prompt. If prompted by the User Account Control, select Yes.
  4. Into the command line, input the following commands. Press Enter after each command:
    reagentc /disable
    reagentc /setreimage /path\\\GLOBALROOT\device\harddisk0\partition1\Recovery\WindowsRE
    reagentc /enable
  5. Restart your PC.

Solution #5: Recover the winre.wim file

It is rare for the winre.wim file to get lost. But still, it may happen, especially if the user runs a deep cleanup scan using third-party tools. If you think that the winre.wim file is missing and causing the error message to occur, then recover it.

There are two ways to do it. These are:

Option 1: Fetch a healthy copy of the file from a different Windows environment

For this option to work, you must have access to another Windows system that has a winre.wim file. After that, follow these steps:

  1. On the other Windows computer, press the Windows + R keys to launch the Run dialog box.
  2. Next, input cmd into the text field.
  3. Press the CTRL + Shift + Enter keys to launch an elevated Command Prompt.
  4. Into the command line, input the reagentc /disable command to make the winre.wim file available.
  5. Minimize the Command Prompt and go to C:\ windows \ system32 \ recovery. Copy the winre.wim file to a USB storage device.
  6. Maximize the Command Prompt and re-enable the Windows Recovery environment by typing this command: reagentc /enable.
  7. Plug in the USB storage device to the affected Windows machine. Copy the winre.wim file and paste it in C:\ system 32\ Recovery folder.
  8. Try to create a new recovery drive again.

Option 2: Copy the winre.wim file from the installation media.

Alternatively, you can insert the installation media of your current OS and attempt to mount the install.wim file. You can copy the winre.wim file from here and paste it into the C:\ windows\ system32 \ recovery folder.

Here’s a step by step guide on what to do:

  1. Mount or insert the Windows 10/11 installation media.
  2. Go to the drive where your OS is installed and create an empty directory. You can name it mount.
  3. Launch the Run dialog box by pressing the Windows + R keys.
  4. Into the text field, input cmd.
  5. Press the CTRL + Shift + Enter keys to launch an elevated Command Prompt.
  6. When prompted by the User Account Control, hit Yes.
  7. Into the command line, input this command: dism /Mount-wim /wimfile:D:\sources\install.wim /index:1 /mountdir:C:\mount /readonly. This will mount the install.wim file and make it visible inside your newly-created directory.
  8. Next, navigate to the C:\ mount \ windows \ system32 \ recovery folder and copy-paste the winre.wim file.
  9. Relaunch the elevated Command Prompt and run the following command to unmount install.wim: dism /Unmount-Wim /Mountdir:C:\mount /discard.
  10. Remove the installation media.
  11. Finally, run this command: reagentc /enable.
  12. Reboot your machine.

Solution #6: Clone your PC and save it to a USB HDD

Know that you can actually use a third-party software program to create a similar recovery drive. However, if you opt for this solution, make sure to have a backup of your important files and documents. This will make it easier for you to bounce back in the event that you encounter problems.

You can search the web for third-party recovery software applications that are designed to create a recovery drive. Just make sure you download from legit and official sources to avoid problems caused by malware.

Solution #7: Perform a clean install

If you’ve reached this far without success, it is possible that your system isn’t designed to create a recovery drive. This happens if you have just upgraded from an older Windows version to Windows 10/11.

By performing a clean install, all Windows components, including the Windows 10/11 recovery environment, will be re-initiated.


After reading this article, you probably have a better understanding on the “We can’t create the recovery drive on this PC” error on Windows 10/11 and how to fix it. If you still cannot get rid of the error after trying all the solutions above, then your last resort is to have your PC checked and fixed by certified Windows 10/11 technicians. They should be armed with sufficient knowledge on how to handle the error message the safe and efficient way.

If you have anything to add or you have questions about this error message, let us know in the comment area.

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