Unable to create a recovery flash drive


Active Member
I have been attempting to create a recovery flash drive but each time I try it fails with the message unable to complete – I have tried three 8 GB drives and one 16 GB, I have tried both the front and rear usb sockets on the desktop. Maybe it is significant – I have had more BSODs since I upgraded to Windows 10 a few weeks ago than I got in all the years with Windows 7. Is it possible to create a recovery DVD as running a recovery disk my cure the problem and allow me to create one on a flash drive

Hi @mike21 Here's a thought! What brand of flash are you using. Some members have been having problems with SandDisk flash when creating the W10 MCT and the recovery flash drive.
I suggest you try a different brand. I use PNY and they work well.

Hi! Here's post I found on MS link! You will find that a lot of W10 users are having problems with the sandisk flash creating the recovery flash drive!
I was having the exact same issue reported here. I read in another forum about Windows not recognizing Sandisk drives for the creation of recovery drives, with the recommendation to try another brand. I just succeeded in creating my Win10 installation USB drive simply by using the only non-Sandisk thumb drive I had, which happened to be a Toshiba. It worked on one of the front USB 3.0 ports on my system, too!

So, it appears that, for some mysterious reason, Windows 8.1 (maybe other versions as well) will happily recognize Sandisk USB drives, write to them, and read from them, but won't create recovery drives or installation drives on them

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Hi! It is pretty well know on the internet that the SandDisk flash drives are causing problems when creating the W10 media creation tool and the W10 recovery flash drive. This required a lot of research to find this issue. This needs to made a sticky or some how made know to all PC users!
I have spent a lot of time researching this and could attach several links about this problem if needed!
PS Myself and @BIGBEARJEDI know about this this and have made posts about it on this forum!;):)
Thank you!

Hi I probably should add to this thread, that there may also be other flash drives brands that won't create these W10 tools!
Personally I like PNY. The bottom line is to try a different brand if you can't get W10 tools to down load on a flash. I recommend at least a 8 GB flash when creating these tools. I have 5 or 6 PNY flash drives in my drawer and they all are bootable and work great!;):up:
PS The next time you are having problems creating media on DVDs, try a different brand. You just might be surprised how often you will find a different brand will work on these kind of things also!!
PS Forgot this ! No you can not create a DVD recovery drive, but you can create a media creation tool with DVDs;)

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Active Member
Thanks - the three 8 GB flash drives were new Sandisk ones, but I also tried a 16 GB Kingston drive and that failed as well, but it is quite old and well used - I will try to borrow some other drives and hopefully find one that works.

We have a member here on the forum that got the Sandisk flashes to work. Was hoping @BIGBEARJEDI would post here and have more information. I'll search and see if I can find the thread and post back if I can find it!;):)
I'm betting that a 16 GB PNY Will-Get-er-Done!
Good luck and post back here with good results.:clover::clover:


Fantastic Member
Premium Supporter
Hi mike21,
Just heard that holdum was looking for some help on this thread. And yes, I've created multiple W10 bootable flash drives using SanDisk flash drives. However, they will NOT work using the Microsoft Media Creation Tool (MCT) that you download from the Microsoft website. Most folks try rufus or one of the other flash drive burning tools (there are lots!); I've tried them all. The only one that works is called WiNToBootIC; which you can google and download for free. I've created 2 of these on 2 different W10 machines I have, and they work perfectly. They will install Win10 Home 64bit or Win10 Pro 64bit. I've tried both. I kept one of these drives for me and gave the other to a close Tech friend of mine from my local computer club.

The issue as holdum mentions is that there is a bug with the SanDisk drives and you cannot make them bootable on W10 using that brand of drive. To test this theory, I had a brand new sealed-in-package Verbatim 16GB flash drive, which I was able to make bootable using only the Microsoft MCT tool and downloaded ISO file. I installed both Win10 Home 64bit and Win10 Pro 64bit on 2 different machines as well with this flash drive and it worked! I was so surprised!:shocked: Holdum was correct on what he read and posted about this bug.
<kudos holdum!>.:up:

The other thing I experienced that may be causing you problems, is that the other W10 Insider Testers I work with here on this forum and on other forums including Microsoft Insider Forum and the Microsoft Community Forum have found that you must use at least a 16GB flash drive on which to use the MCT tool, or rufus, or WiNToBootIC, or any tool we've tried. Several of us including myself have tried on 4GB and 8GB drives, and they simply don't have to capacity to create the temp file that is needed to create a proper bootable image. From experience we found that you have to have a minimum of 9.13GB on a flash drive to do this. Of course, you don't have 9.13GB on either a blank 4GB or 8GB drive so you have to go larger. Some of my colleagues have done it on larger flash drives such as 32GB or 64GB drives as well, you just can't go smaller than 16GB!:noway: If you spend a few hundred hours playing around with it as we have, you'll find this to be true. I believe that holdum says he got 8GB bootable W10 drives using the MCT and his PNY flash drives. I'm guessing it does work on an 8GB drive; but none of us can duplicate his result, so we simply can't recommend it. It's only like $5-$10 more for a 16GB drive than an 8GB drive, so it's just not worth messing around with.

Hope that provides you with some additional insight. If you have any more specific questions let me know, I'll be happy to try and assist you.:D

Best of luck,
<<<BIGBEARJEDI>>> :lightbulb:

:up::worship: Thank you my new friend! I knew you wouldn't let me down. I'm also thinking that the 16GB flash is the way to go.
You are my new hero BBJ. I will follow you any where you go. I'm going to stay with my PNY flash drives. They have always been good to me.
Thanks my friend! You just made my whole week my friend:beer_mug:
Waiting for a reply from the OP to see what they come up with!

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