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Windows Vista's System Recovery menu

Windows Recovery Environment (WinRE) is a set of tools included in the Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, Windows 7, and Windows Server 2008 R2 operating systems to help diagnose and recover from serious errors which may be preventing Windows from booting successfully. WinRE may be installed and/or booted from many media including hard disks, optical media (such as an operating system installation disc) and PXE (e.g. Windows Deployment Services). WinRE is based on WinPE 2.0.[1]



The following options are available when booting from the operating system DVD:

  • Startup Repair - Automatically finds and fixes boot errors in the Windows Vista Startup Process (including corrupted Boot Configuration Data files).
  • System Restore - Utilizes the Volume Shadow Copy service to restore the computer to a previous state or restore point. It uses the System Restore feature that was first introduced in Windows ME.
  • Complete PC Restore - Restores the Complete PC Backup disk image.
  • Windows Memory Diagnostic Tool - Analyses the computer memory (RAM) for hardware memory problems.
  • Command Prompt - Gives full command-line access to the file system, volumes and files, unlike the Recovery Console, which was limited in operation.
  • When installed on the same partition as another Windows operating system, such as Windows Vista, Windows Recovery Environment can be accessed by pressing F8 while the computer is booting.

In addition, volumes encrypted with Bitlocker can be mounted if a recovery key is available.

The number of tools available has increased significantly compared to what is available with previous versions of Windows. Windows XP and Windows 2000 are limited to the Recovery Console.

The Windows Recovery Environment can also be installed to a hard drive partition by OEMs,[2] and customized with additional tools such as a separate system recovery tool for restoring the computer back to its original state.[3] As of Windows Vista SP1, users can create their own bootable CD containing the recovery environment.

See also


External links



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