When our machine cannot boot normally, we will need Windows Recovery Environment (RE) to fix the problem. What is Windows RE?
A common problem that I often see people encounter is unable starting the computer, and using tools provided by Microsoft proves no help. This is often because you are using an edited version of Windows 10 or using a ghost version. In that case, this article will teach you how to create a Recovery Environment (WinRE) which requires around 500MB of disk space to help fix the Windows Restarting error and fix the error where your Windows cannot reset to factory settings.
- What is Windows RE?
- When does Windows RE is activated?
- Establish the Recovery Environment
- Step 1: Download the original Windows 10 Installer (Install the same installer version with your current Windows version)
- Step 2: Create 2 new folders in the drive that you install your Windows operating system on named windows10 and mount
- Step 3: Proceed to mount your Windows 10 Installer to a virtual drive, then copy all the files in the virtual drive to the windows10 folder you created in Step 2.
- Step 4: Next, run cmd as an administrator using the run function in your search bar. Then, enter the following commands then press Enter:
- Step 5: Now go to the following address on your computer:
- Step 6: Run the following command to continue mounting files from the mount folder back to the windows10 folder
- Step 7: Turn off the cmd window
- Step 8: Now, we have created a new environment with a size of 450 MB. There are many ways of dividing a drive into a few smaller drives. Here is a way using Partition Wizard to separate a drive without using any external software.
What is Windows RE?
Windows RE is the abbreviation of Windows Recovery Environment, which means an environment specifically for recovery and error fixing purposes. By default, WinRE is already integrated into Windows 10, supporting Windows 10 Home, Pro, Enterprise, Edu, and Windows Server 2016.
When does Windows RE is activated?
WinRE will pop up in cases of a sudden power outage. Your computer is turned off incorrectly (by holding the power button, for example) or after a couple of failed attempts of restarting.
Note: This environment will be created automatically when installing Windows on a UEFI/GPT ran computer. If your computer’s Windows is installed through the old LEGACY/MBR, the environment will not be available.
Establish the Recovery Environment
First, we will need to work on finding out if your computer has the Recovery Environment or not. If you already have it, you will not need to recreate it. But if you do not, you are required to create a new one.
To do this, you will need to go to the following address:
If in the following address, you already have the winre.wim file means you already have the recovery environment to recover and reset Windows 10 when needed. But if you don’t, here is how you are going to create it.
dism /mount-wim /wimfile:c:\windows10\sources\install.wim /index:1 /mountdir:c:\mount
Wait until the command finishes running. If the process is completed, the last line of the cmd window will say: The operation completed successfully. But do not turn off the cmd window at this stage just yet.
Step 5: Now go to the following address on your computer:
Then, copy the winre.wim folder back to the Recovery folder through the address:
dism /unmount-wim /mountdir:c:\mount /commit
If the process is completed, the cmd will say: The operation completed successfully.
Step 7: Turn off the cmd window
- First, open Disk Management by right-clicking This PC, choose Manager, choose Disk Management. Another way of opening Disk Management is through the Run function. You open the Run function by pressing the hotkeys Windows key + R, then use the command diskmgmt.msc, press Enter.
- After the first step, you will see the UI of Disk Management. Here, right-click your boot drive, enter the drive size as 450, then press Shrink.
- Next, name the new environment as Recovery and choose Next. For the assigned letter of the newly created drive, choose any letter you want or stick with its default option.
- After you have done that, you have finished creating a Recovery Environment, in a drive named whatever you chose to name it as in the last step. Whichever letter you chose to mark the drive, try to remember it as your computer will need it for accessing recovery mode.
- Now, run cmd window as an administrator.
- Now we will create a Windows RE folder in the Recovery environment. Then, copy the winre.wim file to the Windows RE folder, register and check the status of Windows RE
To do so:
Enter the following commands to the cmd window, then press Enter
xcopy /h C:\Windows\System32\Recovery\Winre.wim F:\Recovery\WindowsRE\ C:\Windows\System32\Recovery\winre.wim
C:\Windows\System32\Reagentc /Setreimage /Path F:\Recovery\WindowsRE /Target C:\Windows
C:\Windows\System32\Reagentc /Info /Target C:\Windows
If successful, after running the commands, the cmd window will show: REAGENTIC.EXE: Operation Successful.
7. The last step is to hide this environment. There are a couple of ways to do this. But here, I will show you a way to use the cmd window.
- Open the cmd window as I have shown above
- Type in the command diskpart, press Enter
- Now, type list volume to show the list of existing drives on your computer. Here choose your recovery drive using the command select drive * (* is the volume number of your recovery drive). For example, if your recovery drive is volume 4, type in select drive 4. Then press Enter
- Now, to hide the drive, we use the command remove letter * (* is the letter of your recovery drive). For example, if your recovery drive is drive G, type remove letter G.
If you no longer want to hide the drive, open the cmd window, then type in assign letter * (* is the letter you want to assign the drive to).
Whenever the Windows Operating System has a problem and cannot start, it can run Windows Recovery Environment. Depending on the problem, you can you some functions and tools that WinRE provides to fix the errors. We hope you find them useful tool when your computer is a malfunction. Thank you.