Deploy Windows RE

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:

  • Step 1: Deploying Windows RE

  • Step 2: Identifying the Recovery Partitions and Hide the Drive Letters


To complete this walkthrough, you need the following:

Step 1: Deploying Windows RE

  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.

Step 2: Identifying the Recovery Partitions and Hide the Drive Letters


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.

Preparing a DiskPart script to identify the recovery partitions and to hide drive letters

  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.

Identify and hide the drive letters

  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.

Verify that the Windows RE configuration is set correctly

  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

See Also


Customize Windows RE
Add a Custom Tool to the Windows RE Boot Options Menu


DISM Image Management Command-Line Options


Windows Recovery Environment (Windows RE) Overview