to install The Windows Recovery Environment on your
Note: The following is meant for advanced users or
IT professionals. You will be modifying the system
partition on your hard drive, and if done incorrectly,
it could render your PC unbootable.
Windows Vista DVD
WAIK for Windows Vista (Windows Automated Installation
A PC with Windows Vista Installed
<enter> means press the Enter key
You know how to open an elevated
command prompt in
You have a basic understanding of ImageX and the WAIK
You have a basic understanding of DOS
Create a winre.wim image file that is the Windows Recovery
Add a file to the winre.wim image file
Copy the modified winre.wim file to the root of C:\
Modify the F8 Advanced Boot Menu to run WinRE
The WinRE Windows Blog
the Windows Automated Installation Kit on
the Vista PC. A little
bit of a pain if you don't have this installed. You
have to download an image of the WAIK from MS,
create a DVD from the image (the same as creating a
DVD from an ISO file), then install it from the DVD. You
can download the WAIK
for Windows Vista here.
the Windows Vista DVD into the DVD drive
of the Vista PC (cancel out of the install window
if it opens).
Start > Programs > Microsoft Windows
AIK. Right click the Windows PE Tools command prompt
entry and choose Run as administrator (you will need
admin access for some of this).
2 directories. Winreimage will be used to
store the newly created winre.wim image file. Winremount
will be used to open the winre.wim image file and make
changes to it.
5. Next, type the following to create
the WinRE image file that is needed to run the Windows Recovery Environment.
imagex.exe /export /boot e:\sources\boot.wim 2 c:\winreimage\winre.wim “WinRE”
(where e: is the DVD drive. Use whatever drive letter
is assigned to your DVD drive)
Once this completes, you will have a file in c:\winreimage
called winre.wim. This is the image file that is the
Windows Recovery Environment.
the image file you just created from the Vista
DVD at the Windows PE Tools command prompt (this
is where you will need admin access). This step is
needed because you will need to add a file to the winre.wim
image file (next step).
imagex /mountrw c:\winreimage\winre.wim
1 c:\winremount <enter>
(FYI…If you now look in c:\winremount, you
will see a directory structure like Windows.)
now need to create an .ini file called winpeshl.ini
that will launch the WinRE shell at startup. Open Notepad
and create a file called winpeshl.ini that contains
the following text:
Save this file as winpeshl.ini and copy it to the
\Windows\System32 directory in your mounted WinRE directory.
At the Windows PE Tools command prompt do this by typing
copy winpeshl.ini c:\winremount\Windows\System32 <enter>
the changes to the WinRE image you have created and modified. You
do this by unmounting the image using ImageX. At the
Windows PE Tools command prompt, type the following:
imagex.exe /unmount /commit c:\winremount <enter>
(FYI…If you now look in c:\winremount, you
will see the directory structure that was there, is
9. The winre.wim image file in c:\winreimage is now
updated and ready to use. It should be about 118MB
10. Copy the
winre.wim file to the root of c:\
copy another needed file to the root of c:\ This file is called boot.sdi, and you can find it in
the WAIK, under C:\WAIK\Tools\PETools\x86\boot. (use
the path to your installation of the WAIK)
last thing. Now that you have created the
necessary files for the Windows Recovery Environment,
you need to be able to access the Windows Recovery
Environment. You do this through the F8 Advanced Boot
Menu during boot up. To add WinRE
to the F8 boot menu,
you need to run the SetAutoFailover.cmd script provided
in the WAIK. This script is located under C:\WAIK\Recovery
(use the path to your installation of the WAIK).
Open an elevated command prompt window, change directory
to C:\WAIK\Recovery, and type the following:
setautofailover.cmd /target c: /wim /nohide <enter>
After you run this, you will see a number of lines
saying “operation completed successfully”.
13. Now reboot your
Vista PC. Press
F8 to go into the Advanced Boot Menu - after
you hear the 1st beep during boot. The first item
on this menu should be "Repair
your computer." Choosing this option will take
you into the Windows Recovery Environment.
14. After you have
tested your Windows Recovery Environment, you can
delete the 2 directories you created - c:\winreimage