Some Windows users have reported that they cannot create a recovery disk on a USB flash drive or a local disk. If you get the error message “We cannot create a recovery disk. There was a problem creating the recovery disk,” which means that creating a Windows 10/8/7 recovery disk failed.
Don’t worry. At Techquack, we’ve found some practical solutions to help you. Learn why and how to fix the “We can’t create a recovery disk” error.
What causes a “Recovery Disk Creation Problem” error message?
The problem can be caused by one or more (but not only) of the following known causes.
- The “Backup system files to recovery disk” option requires a USB flash drive of at least 16 GB.
- The USB flash drive is corrupted so that Windows cannot format everything on it to create a recovery disk.
- The Windows file system is corrupted.
- Some Microsoft Office services are interfering with the recovery process.
- Disk recovery wizard does not work
How to resolve the “A problem occurred while creating the recovery drive” error message?
Perform an SFC scan
Some users reported that the problem was completely resolved after running an SFC scan on their computer. For them, the recovery disk worked fine after a reboot.
The System File Checker (SFC) scan looks for corrupted system files and replaces the identified corrupted locations with healthy copies stored locally. This process can take quite a while (depending on the size of your hard drive), so make sure you have time for it.
- Press Windows + R to open a command prompt.
- Then type “cmd” and press Ctrl + Shift + Enter to open the extended command prompt.
- If prompted, click “Yes” to grant administrator privileges.
- At the extended prompt, type “run /scannow” and press Enter to start the System File Checker (SFC) scan.
- Once the scan has started, wait for the process to complete.
- Do not shut down your computer (or close the CMD window) during this time.
- After the scan is complete, close Advanced CMD and restart the computer.
- The next time you start up, check if the problem has been resolved by trying to create a recovery disk again.
Formatting a USB drive
Some users who encountered the error message “A problem occurred while creating the recovery drive” were able to resolve the problem by performing full formatting of the USB drive before running RecoveryDrive.exe.
It turned out that only full formatting could solve the problem, as many users reported that a quick format did not change anything. Here’s a quick guide on how to fully format a flash drive:
- Plug in the flash drive and open File Explorer.
- Right-click on the flash drive you want to use as a recovery drive and choose Format.
- Keep the same file system and allocation unit size, but make sure to uncheck the quick format checkbox.
- Click Start and wait for the process to complete successfully.
- Click Yes to confirm the formatting of the flash drive.
Once the formatting is complete, open RecoveryDrive.exe again and see if you can create a recovery drive without the “A problem occurred while creating the recovery drive” message.
Disable the 3 services related to the Microsoft Office
Other users have been able to solve the problem by disabling a number of services related to Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel. While there is no official explanation as to why this fix works, users have suggested that it probably has something to do with interference between the application virtualization process and the volume shadow copies.
Here are the processes that may be involved in the suspected interference:
- Client Virtualization Manager (cvhsvc).
- Application Virtualization Service Agent (sftvsa)
- Application Virtualization Service Client (sftlist)
Some users who have encountered a similar problem have been able to solve it by using the system configuration screen to prevent these three processes from running the next time the system boots up. Here’s a quick guide on how to do this:
- Press the Windows + R keys to open the Run dialog box.
- Then type “MSConfig” and press Enter to open the System Configuration window.
- In the System Configuration window, click the Services tab.
- Then uncheck the boxes for the Application Virtualization Client, Application Virtualization Service Agent, and Client Virtualization Manager services.
- After disabling the services, click Apply to save your changes.
- Reboot your computer and wait for the next boot process to complete.
- When this happens, open RecoveryDrive.exe and try to create the recovery drive again.
- You should no longer see the error message “A problem occurred while creating the recovery drive”.
- If this method was successful, return to the system configuration window (using step 1) and reactivate the previously disabled processes.
Frequently Asked Questions
An antivirus program is blocking the creation of a recovery disk. The USB drive is corrupted or the Windows file system is corrupted. Windows cannot format everything on the drive to create a recovery disk.
In the search box next to the "Start" button, search for "Create recovery disk" and then select it. You may be prompted for an administrator password or to confirm your selection. When the tool opens, make sure that the Backup system files to a recovery disk option are selected, and then select Next.
If you can't create a recovery disk on your Windows 10 computer, users are advised to format the USB flash drive as a FAT32 device. After completing the formatting process, try creating the recovery disk again.
It will take about 15-20 minutes, depending on the speed of your computer and the amount of data you need to back up. Go to Control Panel and Recovery. Select Create Recovery Drive and insert a USB flash drive or DVD.