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Windows 7 recovery installation

Last response: in Windows 7
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November 2, 2009 7:18:41 PM

Hi All,

I am creating a recovery image install.wim from a custom installation of windows7, to recover my system in case of failure and I want to deploy this image in a recovery partition at the beginning of the disk

I followed the steps in the guide for deployment tool and in partitucular:

1) prepared the hd with the following script

select disk 0
clean
create partition primary size=10000 id=27
format quick fs=ntfs label="Recovery"
assign letter="R"
create partition primary size=300
format quick fs=ntfs label="System"
assign letter="S"
active
create partition primary
format quick fs=ntfs label="Windows"
assign letter="W"


2) I installed w7 with dvd and it used the two partitions System and Windows above
note that after the installation, my drive letter when I start the system with winPE are the following:

d -> recovery
c -> system
e -> windows

3) after customized the system, I captured the windows partition with the following comand

imagex /capture e:\ e:\my-windows-partition.wim "My Windows partition"

and copied the above wim image in a share location which for simplicity I will call \\myshare (can be a usb mass storage...)

3) now my goal is to move the windows image in the recovery partition and have the possibility to restore the system in a factory state with winRE, according with what expressed in

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd744280%28W...

'setup-based recovery solution' or possibly whit 'custom recovery solution'. starting with the same procedure there are some problems in using reagentc.exe
In particular, during the installation w7 creates a winre.wim file located in e:\Recovery\<guid>\winre.wim, but when I try to move this file into the system partition as described in the procedure, I get an error saying that this file doesn't exist, while I can see it with dir command.

So I created my own winre.wim file using the procedure described here

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd744525%28W...

and used this version sas winre.wim file. I moved this file to the system partition with the following

mkdir C:\Recovery\WindowsRE

move \\myshare\winre.wim C:\Recovery\WindowsRE

remember that for me C is the 'system' partition and not the 'windows' partition, when I boot my system with winPE.
now in order to instruct the system to use this winre.wim image i issued the command

E:\Windows\System32\Reagentc.exe /setreimage /path C:\Recovery\WindowsRE /target E:\Windows

but I received and error saying that I cannot use Reagentc because of x86 x64 compatibility issues. thus I worked around this using the version under SysWOW64, which takes care of those issues, but the error was 'cannot create an existing file'. Basically the system has already his own winre.wim file and it doesn't allow to move it on my 'system' directory (error before) not even instruct windows to use another one...

At this point I completed the procedure using my windows installation image and moving it in the recovery partition

copy \\myshare\images\my-windows-partition.wim d:\

rename d:\my-windows-partition.wim d:\install.wim

e:\Windows\SysWOW64\Reagentc.exe /setosimage /path d:\ /target e:\Windows

which was accepted... the system now is using this recovery image in case we follow the procedure described below:

Step 2: Test your recovery solution

In this step, you start the destination computer to verify that the recovery tool can be started.

1. Remove the CD-ROM and any USB drives.
2. Start the destination computer and complete Windows Welcome.
3. Click Start , click Control Panel , click System and Security , click Backup and Restore , and then click Recover system settings or your computer .
4. Click Advanced recovery methods and then click Reinstall Windows
5. Follow the on-screen instructions. The computer restarts.
6. Verify that the computer starts in Windows RE. The system reinstalls Windows by using the image that you placed in the recovery partition. When the installation is complete, you have the option to restore other files you have backed up.


but the problem is that in case of a failure of the whole system, when I cannot even boot in windows, the only way I know to recover my system is to boot the pc with WinPE, format 'windows' partition and apply the image with imagex. For example in the above configuration I would say:

imagex /apply d:\install.wim 1 e:\


Do anyone know how to work around this and any suggestion? especially why cannot I move the winre.wim image that w7 creates during the installation process from 'windows' to 'system' partition and instruct the system to use it? In practical worlds, why Reagentc fails when I am trying to redirect it to 'system' partition?
What I would like to perform is a similar task to F8 repair your computer option we had in vista... It should be possible I guess.

Any help or suggestion is strongly appreciated.

Thanks
Anonymous
a b $ Windows 7
November 4, 2009 3:58:50 AM

To me , from the technet papers, I thought you would move your windows wim to e:\ and your recovery to d and not c (according to your PE) as you say.

Have you tried this? :o 
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November 4, 2009 12:21:10 PM

According to the technet paper you are supposed to move the winre image into your system partition (300mb) which is C when I boot in winPE, while is hided when I boot regularly windows.

I tried, as specified in the post

In particular, during the installation w7 creates a winre.wim file located in e:\Recovery\<guid>\winre.wim, but when I try to move this file into the system partition as described in the procedure, I get an error saying that this file doesn't exist, while I can see it with dir command

technet says to do the same

3.Move the default Windows Recovery image (Winre.wim) from the Operating System partition to the System partition (S:) .

Copy Code mkdir S:\Recovery\WindowsRE
move C:\Windows\System32\Recovery\winre.wim S:\Recovery\WindowsRE

which for a W7 installation based is under \recovery\<guid>\winre...
but it doesn't allow to do that.
also the main problem is that reagentc does not accept to use a winre file into the system partition (remember I created also my winre file and move it manually), but it continue to use the one present in my windows partition e.

instead I moved my install.wim into recovery partition d and this part work, but as I said the main problem is that if windows fails, it's not good having the winre file into the same e partition, it should be into system c (still remember I am talking D-recovery C-system E-windows, winPE based letter configuration)
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Related resources
a b $ Windows 7
November 4, 2009 3:14:37 PM

Why dont you Create System Image using Windows 7 new Backup tool, ? Few mouse click and your done.

Click Start (windows icon)

Type Backup and Restore in the search box

Select and open the program

Click 'Create a system image'

Choose the location (i.e disk/partition) you want you use for the image.

......................................................................
Full guide here

http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/4241/how-to-create-a-sys...
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November 4, 2009 4:29:22 PM

ibnsina said:
Why dont you Create System Image using Windows 7 new Backup tool, ? Few mouse click and your done.

Click Start (windows icon)

Type Backup and Restore in the search box

Select and open the program

Click 'Create a system image'

Choose the location (i.e disk/partition) you want you use for the image.

......................................................................
Full guide here

http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/4241/how-to-create-a-sys...



Thanks,

I didn't know about that and I will take in consideration. Basically this does exactly what I was doing by myself in WinPE and imagex /capture or /apply.
But the problem I am facing is that the tech net notes are WRONG. if you go true all what I did, Reagentc will give you an error saying that the system does not allow to move the WinRE image into the boot partition. This is really wrong because, unless you don't have a dvd media to start the computer, in case of windows failore (not booting) you cannot access to the console winRE. You need then a WinPE disk (the recovering media) to access to the Recovery partition and issue the command imagex /apply in order to restore your system.
I am mostly disappointed about the tech notes in here

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd744280%28W...

why Microsoft is so imprecise when it comes to its own tools? this is not just my problem but was pointed out also in this forum, where another user had the same problem with Reagentc.

http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/w7itpr...
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a b $ Windows 7
November 4, 2009 4:42:14 PM

What can I say about TechNet notes; I will try to have few words with Bill Gates later!

Any way I like ‘Create system image’ in Backup tool, very simple and effective. No need to use third party tools any more.
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