Fix: “Insert your Windows installation or recovery media” error

Aleksandar Ognjanovic By: Aleksandar Ognjanovic
4 minute read
insert your windows installation or recovery media windows 10

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Recovery options are there so you don’t have to turn to a clean reinstallation any time the system shows critical signs. That’s one of the best things about Windows 10. However, what happens when even the recovery option is giving you a hard time? Some users who, for particular reasons, tried resetting Windows 10, have had difficulties. The re-appearing error is “Insert your Windows installation or recovery media“.

If you’re in this group and the error is reoccurring after multiple tries to reset Windows 10, make sure to try out the solutions we provided below. After that, you should, hopefully, resolve the issue at hand.

Solved: “Insert your Windows installation or recovery media”  Windows 10 recovery error

  1. Run SFC and DISM
  2. Run “Reset this PC” from a recovery menu
  3. Use bootable media as a source
  4. Install Windows 10 clean

1: Run SFC and DISM

First things first. When even the recovery options won’t work as intended, we can say with certainty that the grave problem is at hand. Resetting PC to factory settings shouldn’t require any external installation media or something similar. It’s a built-in part of the system which utilizes system resources to refresh everything.

However, due to system corruption, it’s not unusual for errors like this to occur. Either viruses or something else deleted some of the essentials files, the recovery option will lack resources needed to restore your PC to factory values. Because of that, we recommend running System File Checker and DISM, respectively. These two utilities are built into the system and run through the elevated command line.

Here’s how to run SFC:

  1. In the Windows Search bar, type cmd.
  2. Right-click on Command Prompt and run it as an administrator.
  3. In the command-line, type sfc/scannow and press Enter.insert your windows installation or recovery media windows 10

And this is how to run Deployment Image Servicing and Management tool:

  1. Open Command Prompt as an administrator.
  2. In the command line, type the following commands and press Enter after each:
    • DISM /online /Cleanup-Image /ScanHealth
    • DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealthinsert your windows installation or recovery media windows 10

    • For various PC problems, we recommend this tool.

      This software will repair common computer errors, protect you from file loss, malware, hardware failure and optimize your PC for maximum performance. Fix PC issues now in 3 easy steps:

      1. Download this PC Repair Tool rated "Excellent" on TrustPilot.com.
      2. Click “Start Scan” to find Windows issues that could be causing PC problems.
      3. Click “Repair All” to fix all issues with Patented Technologies (requires upgrade).

  3. The procedure should take some time.

— RELATED: Fix: ‘A media driver is missing’ error during Windows 10 clean install

2: Run “Reset this PC” from a recovery menu

This might be a long shot, but there’s a chance that “Reset this PC” run through the Windows 10 interface won’t work. Instead, you can access the Advanced Recovery menu and try restoring your PC from there. In addition, since it’s hard to simulate this error, we can only assume that certain users were, afterward, unable to boot in Windows 10.

For that reason, we recommend trying this solution. Here’s how to access the Advanced Recovery menu:

  1. Reboot your PC 3 times in sequence until the Advanced Recovery menu appears.
  2. Choose Troubleshoot.
  3. Click on Reset this PC.
  4. Choose to keep your files and continue with the procedure.

3: Use bootable media as a source

If you’re still unable to perform a reset with the aforementioned approach, there’s another alternative. If the, as we already mentioned, the procedure is unable to take resources from the system itself, maybe it will from the external media. Even though it’s time-consuming, creating a bootable drive with Media Creation Tool is rather simple.

After you’ve done that, follow these instructions to reset Windows 10:

  1. Insert the installation drive.
  2. Open File Explorer and then the media drive.
  3. Double-click on Setup.exe to run it.
  4. Follow the instructions and make sure to keep all your files and settings.

— RELATED: How to use the Windows Refresh Tool to clean install Windows 10

4: Install Windows 10 clean

Finally, if none of the solutions was useful, the only thing you can do is reinstall Windows 10 from a scratch. Of course, if there’s a way to back up your data, you should do it before formatting the system partition. That’s why backing up your data on regular basis is of utmost importance. Otherwise, you’ll get yourself in a scenario where a large chunk of your data is threatened.

If you’re not sure how to reinstall Windows 10 from a scratch, follow the instructions we provided in this article. Finally, if even there you get stopped but this or similar error, we recommend checking the HDD health. Also, make sure that the drive isn’t locked.

That should do it. In case you have any questions or suggestions concerning the “Insert your windows installation or recovery media” error, we encourage you to share them. You can do so in the comments section below.

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For various PC problems, we recommend this tool.

This software will repair common computer errors, protect you from file loss, malware, hardware failure and optimize your PC for maximum performance. Fix PC issues now in 3 easy steps:

  1. Download this PC Repair Tool rated "Excellent" on TrustPilot.com.
  2. Click “Start Scan” to find Windows issues that could be causing PC problems.
  3. Click “Repair All” to fix all issues with Patented Technologies (requires upgrade).

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