RECDISC.EXE tool (how to make it work and create a repair/recovery cd)


  • As most of you have noticed by now, The beta version of Vista SP1 included a handy tool called recdisc.exe which allowed you to create a repair/recovery cd.  Before that  we could achieve this by a command line.

    Sad to say for what ever reason, in the final release, Microsoft disabled this feature, leaving us with nothing more than a pretty icon. While any users who have a Vista install cd can access these features by inserting their install cd into their computer, OEM users are left with a ‘go jump’  policy ( in the opinion of this writer).

     Due to the amount of e-mails I have received since replying with a working fix I have decided to compile a detailed how to guide. I can confidently say that I have had a 100% success rate on all systems that I done this on. In case somebody is having trouble following the steps outlined below, or have a OEM version of windows (they don’t have a copy of the install cd) , I have compiled a SP1 repair/recovery disc, which I am happy to supply the community with.

    It’s important to note this is not the same repair cd that comes with some new systems, You cannot install or re-install windows . It simply allows you access tools to repair the installation, roll back to a back or system restore point and some other features.

    1. Copy the recdisc.exe file out of sp1 vista beta or alternatively I can e-mail this file to you ( this post complete with a pictorial guide and the file is available here)

    2. Open up the system32 folder (C:\Windows\System32)

    3. Select recdisc.exe and open up its properties (right clicking on the file will bring up the property selection)

    4. Select the “security” tab

    5. Click on “Advanced”
    Select the “owners” tab and click “edit”

    6. Select “Administrators” to change the owners ( alternatively you can select your user account)

    7.       Click OK, then Ok on the next screen

    8.       You should be looking at the “file security settings” window

    Select “administrators” (or your user account)

    9.       Tick the “allow boxes” and “full control”, then OK and Ok

    10.    It’s a good idea to make a copy of this file, in case you need to add it back latter

    11.   Copy and replace  the recdisc.exe file with the one you downloaded

    12.   Create a shortcut and place it on your desktop to enable easy access

    13.   That’s it


    Running the Program:

    1.       Double Click the shortcut you created earlier (alternatively type in c:\windows\system32\recdisc.exe)

    2.        Follow the prompts, It will ask you to insert your vista install disc,

    3.       Then will ask you to insert a blank cd

    4.       That’s it

    How to use it

    1.       Boot up the computer and hit the del or F2 key (depending on the computer) to enter BIOs

    2.       Navigate to the boot settings menu

    3.       Ensure the CDRom is the first boot preference

    4.       When prompted, press any key to boot off the cd

    5.       Wait for the cd to load

    6.       It will then load the install screen ( remember this cd will not install or re-install windows)

    7.       Select repair

    8.       Run the repair/recovery tool you need


    Hope this Helps as mentioned before please contact me should you run into any problems




    Monday, May 19, 2008 1:16 AM

All replies

  • C4

    I have emailed you about sending me the recdisc.exe iso file. I'm one of the OEM owners without a Vista install disc.

    Thanks for your help
    Tuesday, May 20, 2008 5:07 AM
  • C4 Consulting ... I hope you catch this post.

    [There's an update to this post which appears in blue, below.]

    I'm trying to find out the latest info regarding Vista SP1 and the ability to create installation media.  I just ordered a laptop from Best Buy that has Vista Home Premium SP1 pre-installed, but there's no OS or recovery media included.  As I called to inquire about that, Best Buy confirmed there won't be any OS or recovery media, but they said I'd be able to make a recovery disc.  But based on forum posts I've been reading (including yours), unless something has changed, I guess that you really cannot make a recovery disc, i.e., the Best Buy advice was incorrect.

    • If anyone happens to know, why did Microsoft remove the RecDisc tool?
    • Do they have two licensing options for OEMs: one without media and another one with media?
    • And the most important question ... What does Microsoft expect their customers to do if the customer didn't get OS/recovery media, but they have to replace their hard drive and rebuild their system?

    I do not mean that last question to sound sarcastic ... not at all.  I'm simply wondering what Microsoft's recommended recovery procedure is for customers who purchased pre-installed software without media.

    Thanks in advance!


    Since getting this laptop, although it's true that OS and recovery media are not provided by HP, there are printed instructions that detail exactly how to make a set of recovery discs.  This HP "add-on" tool allows you to make one and only one set of recovery discs.
    Wednesday, August 13, 2008 11:28 PM
  • Like to get instructions on how to get a repair/recovery cd from my xp machine?  Thanks.


    Tuesday, August 19, 2008 11:38 AM
  • The instructions are not working for me, Was able to make recovery disks with Vista Home Prem from Hp, changed to Vista Ultimate 32 which has recdisc.exe in system32, shows I have full permission but will not open.


    Saturday, September 06, 2008 2:13 AM
  • Greetings:


    First and foremost, we want to thank you for time,consideration,wisdom regarding our request for help. Second, pursuant to your advice about creating a recovery cd since our computer was shipped from the OEM without the Vista software. Accordingly, is there another anternative to the steps you outlined other than requesting a Microsoft Viusta cd?  Thank you!


    Warm regards,


    Mike Davin

    Thursday, September 18, 2008 8:57 PM
  • Hi Guy's,
    Sorry havent checked this post for a while. The recovery .iso disk is available at the link below. (Just download and burn with nero) or for those that want to try it themselves there is a full pictorial guide. Hope this help's you all

    kind regards

    Jo-el Huber
    C4 consulting
    Monday, October 20, 2008 11:54 AM
  • Sorry guys I think I posted the wrong link before here is the correct link SOLUCTIONS.htm
    Monday, November 03, 2008 10:59 AM
  • Could you please send me the file?
    Saturday, January 02, 2010 11:23 PM