Introducing Windows Recovery Environment (Windows RE)

The Windows Recovery Environment (aka Windows RE) team would use this blog to share information, tricks and tips about Windows RE with support professionals and end-users of Windows. We would also like to use this blog to get feedback from the community.

So what is Windows RE?

Windows Recovery Environment (Windows RE) is a recovery platform based on Windows Preinstallation Environment (Windows PE). Windows RE provides two main functionalities:

1. Automatic diagnosis and repair of boot problems using a tool called Startup Repair.

2. A centralized platform for advanced recovery tools.

We will explain more about these two functions in upcoming posts.

Windows RE is new for Windows Vista and completely replaces the recovery console in Windows XP. You should be able to perform most tasks of recovery console from Windows RE.

How can end-users get access to Windows RE and Startup Repair?

For Vista RC1 release, Windows RE is available on the Windows installation DVD. To access Windows RE, boot using the installation DVD, choose your language settings and hit "Next" and then click on "Repair Your Computer" link at the bottom of the screen. This will launch Windows RE. After choosing an OS to repair, you should see all the recovery tools available in Windows RE.

After Windows Vista releases, Windows RE will be available via other convenient means as well. For example, OEMs may pre-install Windows RE on the hard disk and corporations (SA) can make Windows RE available for network boot via a WDS server.


So that's Windows RE in a nutshell. Watch this space for information on how to use Windows RE and Startup Repair to fix unbootable computers.


Comments (20)
  1. Windows Recovery Environment (WinRE)

  2. Sarkie says:

    Hi, sounds like an interesting prospect. One thing, does this check for hard drives on load, as with WindowsXP setup, it would crash on loading if a hard drive had a corrupt hard drive, and there is no where to access recovery console until it was remedied. Ironically by using a Recovery Console.

  3. Ytterbium says:

    It’s a shame you can run the memory diagnostics from the DVD without vista installed. Surley it’s stripped down enough not to effect the diagnostics.

  4. AlexBu says:

    I think you should by Bart’s PE Builder. We need a _live_ system to recover the registry of the died system. This is a most often case in this world – boot from CD, remove the registry key (change it) and boot the installation… Or start the antivirus from the CD.

    chkdsk isn’t the only thing which could recover the system.

  5. diegov says:

    Making it available for network boot sounds great. Now, is it only good for repairing a Vista computer or can we use it to fix XP/2000 too?

  6. WinRE says:

    WinRE can only be used to repair Vista computers.

  7. paxamime says:

    Sorry to "dissapoint" you but this works on XP machines as well.  Been There Done That.

  8. As mentioned in the first post on WinRE , the recovery console has been deprecated in Windows Vista.

  9. mxsevilla says:

    Is there a way to install WinRE to the local drive?

  10. wosully says:

    I would like to know how to install winRE on the local drive, and I think many others will find this beneficial, too.  Many times I am out, and it would be convenient not to have to boot off DVD every time, if we can just install winre with Vista on our image.

    How can we install it on the local drive?

  11. cquirke says:

    I’ve been using Bart for a while now, and the one big thing missing is an equivalent to RunScanner (a Bart plugin that redirects registry access to inactive hives on HD).

    I’m glad WinRE’s getting into the mOS game, but it’s got a lot of catching up to do.  The philosophy and objectives are different to WinPE, i.e. a maintenance OS isn’t just a pre-install environment with knobs on.  See…


    BTW: ChkDsk isn’t a recovery tool, it’s a file system fixer.  What you’re trying to recover just gets in the way, and gets irreversably lost when the file system is "fixed".

  12. steve austin says:

    Windows RE something I dont know thanks for sharing this article.

  13. Kids Dunk Low says:

    A summary of the physical and chemical nature of life must begin, not on the Earth, but in the Sun; in fact, at the Sun's very center. It is here that is to be found the source of the energy that the Sun constantly pours out into space as light and heat. This energy is librated at the center of the Sun as billions upon billions of nuclei of hydrogen atoms collide with each other and fuse together to form nuclei of helium, and in doing so, release some of the energy that is stored in the nuclei of atoms. The output of light and heat of the Sun requires that some 600 million tons of hydrogen be converted into helium in the Sun every second. This the Sun has been doing for several thousands of millions of year.<a href="">Kids Dunk High</a>

       the nuclear energy is released at the Sun's center as high-energy gamma radiation, a form of electromagnetic radiation like light and radio waves, only of very much shorter wavelength. This gamma radiation is absorbed by atoms inside the Sun to be reemitted at slightly longer wavelengths. This radiation , in its turn is absorbed and reemitted. As the energy filters through the layers of the solar interior, it passes through the X-ray part of the spectrum eventually becoming light. At this stage, it has reached what we call the solar surface, and can escape into space without being absorbed further by solar atoms. A very small fraction of the Sun's light and heat is emitted in such directions that after passing unhindered through interplanetary space, it hits the Earth.<a href="">Kids Dunk Low</a>

  14. Geo says:

    Kids Dunk Low…….Whats that got to do with it ?????????????

  15. JOE LOL says:

    What Kids Dunk Low is saying it that at its lowest level, Windows RE doesn't need to boot on the HD or DVD as it originates at the suns centre. Very poingnant.

  16. Yosef Blass says:

    I wrote a package that contains a pre-configured WIM which includes WinRE, DaRT and Macrium Reflect Free. I have provided all the files and source code for my project free on my blog which can be found here

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