Recent Windows updates create thorny situation for Windows 7 recovery discs

Windows 11 Update Windowsupdate Estimate New Light
Windows 11 Update Windowsupdate Estimate New Light (Image credit: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • Due to a bug, recovery discs created with the Backup and Restore (Windows 7) app will not work with systems running Windows updates from after January 11, 2022.
  • Microsoft is working on a fix for the issue but has not shared a timeline for its upcoming update.
  • Third-party backup and recovery apps are not affected by the issue.

If you prefer to restore your PC through a physical disc, such as a CD or DVD, you may run into an issue. According to a Microsoft support document (opens in new tab), any PC running a Windows update from after January 11, 2022 will not be able to use a recovery disc created with the Back and Restore (Windows 7) app in Control Panel (via Bleeping Computer).

"After installing the Windows updates released January 11, 2022 or later Windows versions on an affected version of Windows, recovery discs (CD or DVD) created by using the Backup and Restore (Windows 7) app in Control Panel might be unable to start," said Microsoft.

"Recovery discs that were created by using the Backup and Restore (Windows 7) app on devices which have installed Windows updates released before January 11, 2022 are not affected by this issue and should start as expected."

Despite the Backup and Restore app having Windows 7 in its name, it also works with Windows 11. The app is part of the restoration process outlined by Microsoft support (opens in new tab).

Microsoft's support document does not explain why the latest Windows updates prevent recovery discs from working. It just notes that the company is working on a fix and that an update will come out in a future release.

No third-party backup or recovery apps are affected by the issue, according to Microsoft.

If you'd like to move away from using CDs and DVDs to backup and restore your system, you can check out our guide on how to create a full backup of your Windows 11 PC. We also have a guide on how to backup your PC automatically on Windows 10.

Sean Endicott
News Writer and apps editor

Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at sean.endicott@futurenet.com (opens in new tab).

2 Comments
  • What about floppy disks? LOL. i have never used the back up system from Windows since I had Windows 10, I did use it a couple of times in Windows 7, but to be honest there are better back up solutions, Macrium reflect being one of them
  • The fact it's still officially called "Back and Restore (Windows 7)" tells you you probably shouldn't still be using it. It was depcrecated as far back as Windows 8 in 2022. Most people should be using OneDrive or another cloud solution. If you want loca backups, like you say there are a lot better options.