Using Vista's Recovery Enviorment (WinRE)

Discussion in 'Recovery & Backup' started by Jason, Feb 7, 2007.

  1. Jason


    Sep 26, 2005
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    The new Windows Recovery Environment (WinRE) detects and fixes startup related problems. It can be accessed by pressing F8 during startup. The system then boots into the WinRE interface and offers various tests as well as recovery and failure detection tools. WinRE automatically detects blue screen errors and registry damage and tries to repair the system and get it up and running quickly.

    The Windows System Recovery tools have been significantly expanded to take advantage of the new graphical setup environment. A "toolbox" is presented to the user, offering access to repair functions, System Restore, a new memory diagnostic tool, access to CompletePC backup images, and access to a command prompt. Multiple command prompts can be spawned at once, and more command-line tools are available. Command prompts can be spawned at any time during setup by pressing Ctrl+F10.

    The recovery environment can be loaded in one of two ways: either automatically, if the computer manufacturer or IT administrator created a separate partition with Windows Recovery Environment installed on it, or manually using either the Windows Vista DVD or the on-disk recovery environment. When Windows RE is installed on the hard disk, it can be accessed by pressing the F8 key when the system is booting.

    Here is how it works in the automatic scenario (with the Windows RE partition). At startup, the Windows loader sets a flag to show that the boot process has started. If the boot is successful, we clear the flag right before the Windows logon screen is displayed. However, if the boot fails, the flag is never cleared so that the next time the computer tries to boot, the Windows loader see that the flag was not cleared and assumes that the boot failed, so the loader launches the Windows Recovery Environment instead of Windows Vista. If you don't have the automatic mode, you can use the Windows Vista DVD to load the Startup Repair tool.

    Once loaded, the Startup Repair starts checking for potential problems to see why the system failed to boot by grinding through the following questions: Is the problem a missing or damaged boot configuration file? Is the problem due to missing or damaged system files? Is it due to a missing or damaged driver? An incompatible driver? An incompatible OS update? In all of these cases, if a problem is found, the system will attempt to correct the problem either by restoring a file using a cache of files (for example, a corrupted driver file), using a system restore point, or recreating a database using other data (such as rebuilding a registry hive or the file system). The system will also detect and report a bad hard disk or bad memory, but given that these are hardware issues, we can’t do much to fix them.

    One very cool thing about the Windows Recovery Environment is that the computer manufacturer or IT administrator will be able to store a "base" configuration on the recovery partition. That way the user will have the ability to restore their Windows Vista PC to the "factory new" state without having to reinstall the operating system. Also, if you enable Windows Backup, you can restore the backed-up system state using Windows RE
    Jason, Feb 7, 2007
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  2. Jason


    Jul 20, 2006
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    helmond, The netherlands
    now I finally know where 10GB of my hard drive went:D

    I was told it was there because it was needed to validate the oem version of vista
    blackhat, Sep 8, 2007
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