Creating an emergency repair disk

When Windows 2000 Server is installed, the installation program prompts you to create an Emergency Repair Disk (ERD). This disk contains system information that can help get the system running in the event of a disaster. It is important to keep the ERD updated whenever system changes are made. The ERD is only useful if it is kept current.

For Windows XP or Windows Server 2003, Emergency Repair Disk has been replaced with Automated System Recovery (ASR).

Whenever a major change is made to the system, make a fresh copy of the ERD before and after the change is made. Major changes include adding, removing, or otherwise modifying hard drives or partitions, file systems, configurations, and so forth. As a general rule, update the ERD before and after the hard drive configuration is changed. The addition of a new component to the server, such as Microsoft Exchange Server or Microsoft SQL Server, and changes from Control Panel, are also situations in which the ERD should be refreshed both before and after the change.

Also remember to make a backup of the ERD; always keep an ERD from at least one generation back. When creating a fresh ERD, use a floppy disk that can be reformatted, because RDISK.EXE, the program that creates the ERD, always formats the floppy disk.


The Emergency Repair Disk is a useful and necessary tool; it is NOT a bootable disk. There is not enough space on the disk for the boot files and the repair information files.


You must not change or delete the systemroot\repair folder because the repair process relies on information saved in this folder.

To create the ERD for Windows 2000

  1. Click Start > Programs > Accessories > System Tools > Backup.

  2. Click Tools > Create an Emergency Repair Disk.

  3. Insert a disk into the A: drive and follow the instructions.

    The Also back up the registry to the repair directory option saves your current registry files in a folder within the systemroot/repair folder. This option is beneficial in the event your hard disk fails and you need to recover your system.

More Information

Returning to the last known good configuration

Creating a hardware profile copy

Creating an emergency repair disk