So let’s start off with something simple with WinRE.


I had to prepare for a Demo at Techdays-CA and really got DEEP DEEP DEEP into WinRE.   I truly learned and appreciated the finer differences between the Windows 7 and Windows Vista Versions for deployment.

Let’s touch on some basic questions I got asked first.

“Do you have to have a different version of Window Recovery Environment for X64 vs X32 ?”

Yes.  The Recovery Environment (As far as I can see) tuned for it’s own O/S .  So for example you CANNOT fix a Vista 32 with a Windows 7 WinRE.  That’s on the “automatic Repair” side of things.  Now I DO NOT think (and I will play with this) you are unable to control System Restore.  But I would think since there seems to be an issue out of the box with the different Winre’s wanting to TRY to fix a different O/S I personally wouldn’t recommend trying that option.

“Can you use the Windows Recovery Environment to Fix a Windows XP Machine”

Well let’s look at this.  YES and NO.  (Yes we ALL hate that answer)

From an “Automatic Fix” … Nope.  But I would suggest this.  (And this is where customization comes into play) .  Since it’s based on Windows PE, if you were to remove WINPESHL.INI or better yet, give it a DIFFERENT thing to launch on auto startup, you would be able to launch into a PE system and at least have a SOLID ability to manipulate issues with the files system. 

You’d have Regedit to fix issues with Malware in Winlogon.   And if you NEEDED to fix your source O/S (whether it was Window 7 or Windows Vista, you could STILL manually run RECENV.EXE and use the features).  This would also I BELIEVE not be a “supported solution” if you called Microsoft support, but if you’re a Tech, it’s a tool you could have handy.   And sometimes, especially when you’re in the trenches, you need every tool you can get.

“Can I legally make a custom Winre environment and pass it out to my friends?”

Ahem.  I hate licensing questions.  So do you.  *NARF!* “’’Allo Brain! If I used Jello to start my Car would the tree sing in the key of F#?”

“Shut up Pinky.”

I’ll stay away from legality but I would surmise it SHOULD be reasonable to say you could provide instructions to modify the environment to meet their needs.  That is reasonable.  You might even be able to help them.  But “Rogue” copies of Windows RE floating free will probably have a team of vicious angry (but probably very nice at home, and excellent Xbox360 players) Lawyers chasing you down.

“Will WinRE solve world peace?”

No but it will solve your inner peace.  And I think the more people that have inner peace resolved on some level, well that could lend to World Peace.  Or perhaps slightly higher quality hamburgers at McDonalds.   Maybe even vending machines with Good Kosher (sp?) Hot Dogs at Major Conventions that don’t Vanish Magically When Really Cool Nerds Try To Taste Test Them.

Things like that

All fun aside, We’ll look into a little more of the Windows Recovery Environment (WinRE) next time.

The Energized Tech

“Powershell and Winre, my Wife doesn’t know.  I’m torn between Geekiness and a Frying Pan”