Windows Disaster Preparedness

Windows Disaster Recovery Windows Disaster Preparedness


  • Download Speccy -
  • Install
  • Run
  • Operating System
  • Copy version and Serial Number
  • Paste into an email to yourself. Save the email (easy if your email is in the cloud)
  • Print the email and physically save. (Compare to the COA, if any, and tape to the bottom of your computer/


  • Insert USB stick
  • Menu > Settings > Update & security
  • Backup
  • Turn on "Automatically back up my files"
  • More options
  • Back up now
  • Wait until "Cancel" changes to "Back up now"
  • At end of day turn "Automatically back up my files" off
  • Eject USB stick
  • Save the stick off premise


  • Obtain a Windows 10 Pro Serial number. ($30)
  • If you are not running Windows 10 Pro (or Enterprise). Check your Speccy results.
    • Insert a separate USB stick (min 4GB).
    • Download the MediaCreationTool -
    • Run the tool and select Create installation media
  • Recovery toolkit
    • Windows 10 Pro serial number
    • back up USB stick
    • installation USB stick
  • If you are running Windows 10 Home
    • Start > Settings > Update and security > Activation > Change product key
    • Enter your Windows 10 Pro serial number
    • Next
  • If you are running an earlier version of Windows
    • You are going to need one more USB stick during the installation (16GB or larger)
    • insert the installation USB stick
    • restart the computer, you may need to modify your BIOS boot settings to boot from USB
    • follow the onscreen instructions
    • after the installation is complete
      • check your files, you may need to use your back up USB stick
      • locate the "Type here to search" box
      • enter file history
      • click the "gear" icon in the upper right
      • choose "Restore"
      • If "Replace or skip files" indicates a large number of duplicate names, the installation process already recovered your data
Windows 8, and 8.1 has the same "File history" mechanism. Windows 7 has a different but compatible method. Google is your friend even though he rats on you every chance he gets