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How To Make A Disaster Recovery File

How to make a disaster recovery file

This is probably the most important thing you need if you ever have to recover from a computer wipe-out.  If you wait or put it off until you need it, it’ll be too late…. Most PCs will have gone through loads of upgrades, updates, and all sorts of additions and changes since they were first set up.  If the unthinkable was to happen and one day nothing happens when you try to fire it up, you may be looking at replacing some or all of the component parts – this is when you will need not only backups of your data but also information on what you had and how it was configured.

First off this is not a computer file but a physical file that you keep safe and keep up-to-date.
Start by noting down the make and model and basic spec of your PC.  Then record the main Windows Identity:
W10 About
In Windows 10, Go to your settings page and select about.  In earlier versions, the system version is accessed via the control panel Use the screen snipping tool to capture the main details:

W10 DrivesNext, go to your file explorer and capture the first page of This PC

W10 hardware manifestRight-click on the C drive, and select hardware then capture this

Now think about anything you have installed on your computer, i.e. software etc. there may be serial numbers on the box or most programs have a help|about option on their menu – capture each of these.

Remember that these may need to be updated if you update them online
The best way to make sure you have captured everything you need is to imagine a completely new PC.  What’s missing?
Your recovery file is sometimes the only way you can get back to where you were, however, you will also need backups of your data – Documents, photos, music etc. for a complete recovery – please see my how and where to make backups post

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