Convert a Recovery CD to working Windows Install CD

Martin Brinkmann
Oct 30, 2005
Updated • Apr 28, 2013

The guys at Neowin posted an article on how to find out if a recovery CD is in fact a normal windows XP edition labeled recovery version. The process involves a total of eleven steps, starting with the creation of the CD structure and the moving  of the files needed to later burn it all to a new CD. If you have a recovery CD and are curious make sure you check the guide out.

Update: Technology has advanced significantly over the years, and the creation of recovery CDs or DVDs for various versions of Windows is now easier than ever.

One of the programs that you can use to create your boot CD is Ultimate Boot CD for Windows. Just visit the developer website and download the latest version of the program to your computer system. Please note that the download has a size of nearly 270 Megabytes.

Once downloaded, unpacked and started, visit the Hot to build the Ultimate Boot CD for Windows guide that explains how to create the recovery CD that you can use in case you cannot boot into the operating system anymore. Please note that the guide is only for Windows XP and not for other versions of Windows.

Boot Disk is another resource where you find software downloads and instructions on creating recovery and boot CDs.

The site has a great link section to how to guides that explain how to create recovery CDs and DVDs for Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7 and even really old versions of Windows such as Windows 9x.

Windows 7 users may also want to check the built-in recovery options of the operation system. The operating system comes with options to create a system repair disc which can be used for all kinds of troubleshooting and repair related tasks.

All you need to do is to Click on Start > Control Panel > System and Maintenance > Backup and Restore. Click the Create a system repair disc link in the left pane afterwards and follow the steps outlined in the wizard.


Tutorials & Tips

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  1. Rarst said on July 20, 2008 at 6:17 pm

    If you are booting from XP install disk and can’t finish installation because of blue screens it is liekly to be hardware problem or compatibility issue.

    Try posting exact details to some hardware/software/troubleshooting related forum.

    Also Windows based recovery disk are usually DIY. You have to own copy of Windows to make such disk so they are not distributed, not for free at least.

  2. r said on July 20, 2008 at 5:13 pm

    hi, i need to know if there is anywhere that i can get a free copy of a recovery cd or format cd. i am using win 98 and trying to put on win xp. i have 3 copies of xp. none of them have a format section and it takes hrs to load with the blue set up screen only showing. i think there is something wrong.

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