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[Project] Windows PE as a recovery partition


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SR for this issue requested to Microsoft. Until a resolution can be reached, this project is on hold. I held a meeting and it was determined we will use SoftThinks for the moment until this issue is resolved.

Update: XP support in the OEM channel is done so I couldn't get a real answer. However, I did get this info. Imagex isn't designed with XP in mind, only Vista, 2008 and 7. The problems I experienced were only with XP recoveries and not the others. There is a point, x% of the time, the recovery fails. With no official support option for XP anymore, this project is halted. I forgot to update this thread, we have indeed started using the netbooks with SoftThinks because it works 100% of the time. I did sure learn alot about HTA, VBScript and the MBR, so thanks all you chipped in!

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  • 2 months later...

I read /skimed through most of this one thing strikes my tho. It is mention'd as part of your project you rehide the winpe/re partition. call me a novice but would it not be easyer and more effective in both quality & effectiveness to simply set everything up (boot wise drive wise ect) then use bcdedit to export the current bcdstore (vista's version of boot.ini) then have your script/project simply use bcdedit /import to reimport the bcdstore after format/reimage. it will not damage the lettering of your drives & if you use the administrative console in control panel in vista to remove a drive letter it will not be accsessible from vista or winRE booted off of a vista disk. HOWEVER it will still be bootable into the winRE that is on it if the values are already in the BCDSTORE drive letter or not. you can boot to it reformat main reapply image reimport bcdstore never reapplying a drive letter(ie: unhiding it) all while booted from it. (I know I Have done it)

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Yes, if I were using a Vista system, I would use BCD. But this partition was designed to restore XP. And also, this is not WinRE at all, just a PE with an HTA in it. WinRE with XP is not supported and I did not consider it as an option.

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  • 2 weeks later...

sorry for missing the xp bit.

on this note tho....

WinRE with XP is not supported and I did not consider it as an option.

this is actually right & wrong. PE or RE can be installed & booted to from a xp machine easily tho it requires some files off a vista dvd (bootmgr anyone!)

winpe/re will boot file & can do anything you want to the file's or file structure. However you are right on the note of the WinRE variation of pe. winre will

boot fine & youll get the standard dashboard & their respective programs will launch however their respective programs will not work for xp (start up repair & rollback).

however cmd & all related stuff work fine. On the note of imagex, it was made for vista yes but microsoft made sure it would play nice for xp & msdn has plenty how-to's for

xp imagex bassed deployments.

I know this because i had to fix a friends E-machine & the technician who made the restore disks for it made some disk that would bsod right after the windows boot logo scrolly bar animation.

I wound up doing a fresh install from scratch. it was a xp machine but vista & winPE/RE was already out so I created a winpe partition set up a bat file to auto repair(format/reload) after a few

warnings. (I was a noob back then the bat file used the format command I have sense graduated to diskpart.).

see this website for a detailed how-to for dual boot win xp & winPE 2.0. It has you add boot manager & utilize it. In the case of my friends computer I created a bat file that ran bcdedit /import

that would change the default boot order straight into pe & the pe recovery script put xp back as defualt agine using bcdedit /import (I created 2 diffrent bcd stores with diffrent boot orders & used

bcdedit /export).


This is all assuming you care if however you found a solution that already works then you dont need to bother.

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When I speak of "supported" I am referring to official support. What I am able to do is limited by our licenses and support from Microsoft. I understand it is physically possible to do many things with XP and Imagex. For XP, our solution shall continue to be SoftThinks.

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