How to Create Free Windows Vista SP2 Recovery Disk

Updated April 17, 2017

A Windows Vista recovery disk allows you to boot the system into the System Recovery Options menu, which you can use to perform system repairs, Microsoft system restores, or a complete computer restore when unable to boot Vista normally. Unfortunately in SP2, Windows did not include the file needed to create the recovery disk. In order to create one, you must download the specific file that Microsoft left out of SP2, and copy it to your system, making it possible to create a free Vista SP2 recovery disk.

Download the recdisc.exe file for your version of Windows Vista, and save the file to your desktop:

32 bit:

64 bit:

Double-click the file folder to open it, and locate the "recdisc.exe" file within it. Right-click the file, and select "Copy."

Click on "Start," then select "Computer." Navigate to the "C:\Windows\System32" file folder. Locate the "recdisc.exe" file currently in the "System32" folder, right-click the file and select "Properties."

Click on the "Security" tab, then click the "Advanced" button. Click the "Owners" tab, then click the "Edit" button.

Select your user account from the list of users in the "Change owner to" field. Click "OK" to take ownership of the file, then click "OK" on the pop-up window.

Right-click the file again, and select "Properties." Click the "Security" tab, then click the "Edit" button. Click on your user name, and place check-marks next to "Full Control" and "Allow." Click "OK" to save the changes.

Right-click an empty spot within the "System32" folder, and select "Paste." Click "Copy and Replace" when asked if you want to overwrite the current "recdisc.exe" file.

Double-click the new "recdisc.exe" file in the "System32" folder. A Create a recovery disc window will appear. Insert your Windows Vista installation DVD into your DVD drive, and click "Continue." Allow the computer to gather information from the DVD then a prompt asking you to insert a blank DVD will appear.

Insert a blank DVD into your DVD drive, and click "OK." Click "Close" once the process finishes.

Things You'll Need

  • Vista Installation Disc
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About the Author

Dustin Thornton has been writing since 2003. He has served as a newspaper columnist for the "Troy Tropolitan" and a contributor to various websites. Thornton received a partial scholarship for an outstanding essay in 2003. He has a Bachelor of Science in business administration from Troy University.