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Deploy Windows RE

Updated: October 20, 2013

Applies To: Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2012 R2

Use these steps to deploy Windows® Recovery Environment (Windows RE) to a new computer, to help end users repair a PC when a system failure occurs.

In this topic:

To complete this walkthrough, you need the following:

  1. Create a new directory in the Windows RE Tools partition, and then copy your custom Windows RE tools image (Winre.wim) to this directory. The following are examples based on your firmware type:


    mkdir T:\Recovery\WindowsRE
    xcopy /h W:\Windows\System32\Recovery\Winre.wim T:\Recovery\WindowsRE

    where T: is the drive letter of your Windows RE Tools partition. For example:


    mkdir S:\Recovery\WindowsRE
    xcopy /h W:\Windows\System32\Recovery\Winre.wim S:\Recovery\WindowsRE

    where S: is the system partition.

  2. Register your custom Windows RE tools image:


    C:\Windows\System32\Reagentc /setreimage /path T:\Recovery\WindowsRE /target W:\Windows

    where T: is the Windows RE Tools partition.


    C:\Windows\System32\Reagentc /setreimage /path S:\Recovery\WindowsRE /target W:\Windows

    where S: is the System partition.

  3. Optional: If you have added a custom tool to your Windows RE boot image, register it so that it will appear on the Boot Options menu:

    Reagentc /setbootshelllink /configfile E:\Recovery\BootMenu\AddDiagnosticsToolToBootMenu.xml

    For more information about adding a custom tool, see Add a Custom Tool to the Windows RE Boot Options Menu.

  4. Optional: Configure a hardware recovery button (or button combination) to run a secondary boot path that contains Windows RE. For more information, see Add a Hardware Recovery Button to Start Windows RE.

If you want to configure push-button reset features for Windows® 8 editions, skip this section, and go to the topic: Deploy Push-Button Reset Features.

Configure your partitions as recovery partitions, and then conceal the drive letters so the partitions don't appear in common Windows menus, such as File Explorer.

  1. In Notepad, create a text file that includes commands to identify and hide the recovery partitions. The following examples are based on your firmware type:


    Use the ID: PARTITION_MSFT_RECOVERY_GUID (de94bba4-06d1-4d40-a16a-bfd50179d6ac) to define the partitions as recovery partitions.

    Use the GPT attributes: 0x8000000000000001 to hide the drive letters and to mark them as required, by using a combination of two attributes: GPT_BASIC_DATA_ATTRIBUTE_NO_DRIVE_LETTER and GPT_ATTRIBUTE_PLATFORM_REQUIRED.

    For more information about UEFI hard drive partition attributes, see PARTITION_INFORMATION_GPT structure.

    rem == HideRecoveryPartitions-UEFI.txt
    select disk 0
    select partition 1
    set id=de94bba4-06d1-4d40-a16a-bfd50179d6ac
    gpt attributes=0x8000000000000001
    rem == If Push-button reset features are included, add the following commands:
    rem    select partition 5
    rem    remove
    rem    set id=de94bba4-06d1-4d40-a16a-bfd50179d6ac
    rem    gpt attributes=0x8000000000000001
    list volume


    Use the attribute: id=27 to define the system partition, and use the remove command to remove the drive letter.

    rem == HideRecoveryPartitions-BIOS.txt
    select disk 0
    select partition 3
    set id=27
    list volume
  2. Save your completed file as either E:\Recovery\HideRecoveryPartitions-UEFI.txt or E:\Recovery\HideRecoveryPartitions-BIOS.txt, based on your firmware type.

  1. Run the diskpart script to identify and hide the recovery partitions:

    Diskpart /s E:\Recovery\HideRecoveryPartitions-<firmware>.txt

    Where <firmware> is either UEFI or BIOS.

  1. Open an administrative command prompt.

    Verify the Windows RE information:

    reagentc /info

    Verify the following:

    • Windows RE status is enabled.

    • Windows RE location is on the correct partition.

    • The BCD GUID entry for WinRE is the same as the WinRE GUID entry in the file: reagent.xml. On BIOS-based PCs, this file is on the system partition, at \Recovery\(GUID)\. On UEFI-based PCs, this file is on the Windows RE Tools partition, at \Recovery\WindowsRE\.

    • WinRE is located in the \Recovery\WindowsRE directory