So back to Windows Recovery Environment.  Where is it mysteriously hiding?

Nothing mysterious about it.  On the root of your hard drive in Windows 7 and Server 2008R2 is a folder called “Recovery”.  If you’re curious you’ll have to Run with Administrative credentials to get in there. I don’t recommend playing with the NTFS permissions.

But if you look inside (and view HIDDEN FILES and HIDDEN FOLDERS) you’ll see two little innocent files.  Boot.SDI and Winre.WIM

That it’s it.  Again it doesn’t sit on that 100 meg partition, that’s where the operating system boots from (which follow proper best practices in separating the Boot from the Operating system)


Accessing it is incredibly EASY!  You can manually run it by hitting “F8” on startup and hopefully not being beaten by your super fast computer.   Or you can boot from the Windows 7 DVD and go to “Repair My Computer”.

Or in Windows 7 you can execute a “REAGENTC.EXE /BOOTTORE” in a Command prompt with Administrative Credentials.  That will force WinRE to start up on next boot.

Or you can do something foolish, like BREAK something!  That trip off WinRE and have it try to fix things.  Usually quite effectively!

But next time we’ll take a quick look at how you can have your own personal Windows Recovery Environment on CDrom or USB key

The Energized Tech
”I’m a Bigamist, I love Powershell and WinRE”