A recovery disc is a CD that contains all major drivers that were installed into the machine when it was new. A new CD can be made from scratch. The recovery disc given by most retailers and providers are made to restore your Windows computer or laptop to factory settings. This process usually requires the person to wipe all data off of all drives and partitions, and then reinstall the Windows operating system. It does not matter if you have the original recovery CD or a homemade recovery CD. They essentially do the same job.

Step 1
Grab your Windows XP installation CD. Most computer retail companies will have the original disc bundled with the computer or laptop. Contact the company or Microsoft to receive a new installation CD if you do not have it.

Step 2
Write down the product key. The product key is on the original Windows XP CD sleeve or on the body of the computer. It will be on a holographic sticker. If you do not have access to the product key, contact Microsoft. They will provide you with they key as long as you can prove that you are the original license holder of the computer.

Step 3
On the C:/xp folder, create a new folder. The C:/xp folder can be found by clicking on "My Computer" on the Windows interface. Then clicking on the folder that's named "xp". Create a new folder named "Drivers" in this folder. Inside of this new folder, create sub-folders to insert all drivers. For example, create a "Video" sub-folder to put in the display adapter drive. Its important to create a sub-folder for the modem adapter drive. This is a major component that connects the computer to the Internet. When the process is over, you can download any remaining adapters that you might have missed.

Step 4
Download a program that creates bootable CDs. Extract the boot loader from the original Windows XP. Using this program, highlight the bootable CD folder in Windows XP on the left. Drag the BootImage.img from the program, into the hard drive.

Step 5
Burn the CD. You will need a CD burning software. PC Magazine recommends Roxio Easy Media Creator. But any CD burning software will suffice. Drag the entire C:/xp folder-which contains all the sub-folders that contain the drives to your CD project in the particular CD burning software that you're using. The program will ask for a boot image data before it is ready to burn. Use the BootImage.img as the boot image data. When ready, burn the CD to make a Windows XP System Recovery CD.