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Understanding Windows Recovery

Published: October 22, 2009

Updated: October 22, 2009

Applies To: Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2

noteNote
This content applies to Windows 7. For Windows 8 content, see Windows Deployment with the Windows ADK.

A recovery solution is a vital part of every computer system. In Windows Vista®, the Windows Recovery Environment (Windows RE) was introduced to troubleshoot boot issues. Windows RE is an extensible recovery platform based on Windows Preinstallation Environment (Windows PE). When a computer fails to start, Windows automatically fails over into this environment, and the Startup Repair tool in Windows RE automates the diagnosis and repair of an unbootable Windows installation. Furthermore, Windows RE is a starting point for various tools for manual system recovery.

In Windows® 7, Windows RE is preloaded onto every Windows installation by default, enabling all end-user systems to heal themselves in the event of a boot failure regardless of where the computer is manufactured. Windows RE also includes a basic image recovery mechanism leveraging Windows Setup, helping OEMs and corporations provide system recovery with minimal effort. OEMs and corporations can also customize the default Windows RE to include additional diagnostic, repair, and recovery applications.

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