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I have followed these instructions to create a USB recovery drive for my new Windows 10 machine.

I would like to just have something where I can restore the original (now current) state of my computer from a cleanly wiped hard drive in case it gets messed up by a virus in the future.

Do I still need to create a system image, see steps here, or does my USB recovery drive already contain the necessary system image information?

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Your Recovery USB will be handy if you wish to troubleshoot issues with your PC before resorting to restoring from a backup.

And yes you will need to create a system image to enable you to restore from current state (at time of running system image).

It would also be worth mentioning to repeat or schedule the system image on a regular basis(using the set up backup link within backup and restore and then ticking create system image) to allow you if needed to restore from a closer point in time to reduce amount of time required to return the system to a updated state.
Keep in mind that several 10s of GBs for the size of a system image is quite normal, and you may want to maintain a few of these on your external backup HD.

  • Thanks. My follow up question is: Is it sufficient in my case where I just want to restore the original (now current) state of my machine to just have the system image without the recovery drive? – Melissa Dec 21 '15 at 15:48
  • @Melissa You will still need the recovery drive in case you need to repair the system if the OS is broken so that it can't boot and restore from the System Image ... – DavidPostill Dec 21 '15 at 18:24

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