This is part of a weekly series featuring content from the Lenovo Companion App (this post originally appeared on Lenovo Support)

We hope you never run into any issues with your new PC, but with that being said, we want to help you troubleshoot and fix any problems that may arise. A USB recovery drive can help you, even if your PC won't start.

Your PC might have come with a recovery image that’s used to refresh or reset your PC. The recovery image is stored on a dedicated recovery partition on your PC, and is typically 3-6 GB in size. Windows 8.1 includes a built-in tool to create a USB recovery drive. Windows will let you know how big the recovery partition is, and you'll need a USB flash drive at least that big.

Please note that creating a recovery drive will erase anything already stored on your USB flash drive. Use an empty USB flash drive or make sure to transfer any important data from your USB flash drive to another storage device before using it to create a USB recovery drive.

To create a USB recovery drive:

1.  Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, and then tap Search. If you're using a mouse, point to the upper-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer down, and then click Search.

2.  Enter “recovery drive” in the search box, and then tap or click “Create a recovery drive”. You might be asked for an admin password or to confirm your choice.

3.  After the recovery drive tool opens, make sure the “Copy the recovery partition from the PC to the recovery drive” check box is selected, and then tap or click Next.

Note: If your PC doesn’t have a recovery partition, then the checkbox will be grayed out. The recovery drive will only include the recovery tools and a bootable image. It will not include a recovery image to use for refreshing or resetting your PC.

4.  Insert a USB flash drive into your PC that is at least as large as the size indicated on the screen.

5.  Tap or click the USB drive you would like to use for your recovery drive, then tap or click Next.

6.  Tap or click Create. The recovery image and necessary recovery tools will be copied to your USB flash drive, which will take a while, depending on your PC and the size of the recovery image.

7.  When the process is done, do one of the following:

  • If you want to keep the recovery partition on your PC, tap or click Finish.
  • If you want to remove the recovery partition from your PC and free up disk space, tap or click “Delete the recovery partition”. Then tap or click Delete. This will free up the disk space used to store your recovery image. When the removal is done, tap or click Finish.

8.  Remove the USB flash drive.

You now have your Windows 8.1 recovery drive. You'll need it if you ever have to refresh or reset your PC. Keep it in a safe place and don't use it to store other files or data.


Lenovo Companion | Your Go-To App 

Read more content like this in the Lenovo Companion app, which is preloaded on all Windows 8 and 8.1 Lenovo and Think systems.You can find it on your system in the Lenovo Apps section on the Windows Start Screen.

Lenovo Companion is filled with exclusive content to help you learn about your new Lenovo or Think system. You'll find quick-reference “how to” articles on everything from getting to know the preloaded apps on your system to how to use your new trackpad. And, in select countries, you'll be able to stay up-to-date on technology news with articles and blogs from trusted sources, partners and Lenovo Insider bloggers. 

Be sure to note...the new version of Lenovo Companion is only available on Windows 8.1. So, if you’re running Windows 8 or an older version of Windows, now is the time to upgrade.

Continue reading more about Lenovo Companion in this blog post