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Create My Own Recovery Partition?

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#1
awyeah

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I did some searching and wasn't able to find a good answer to this (although maybe I could have done it better).

I'm interested in creating my own recovery partition. There's a WinRE environment on a partition in my Dell, and it's got an ImageX (*.WIM). Anyway, I'd like to create my own recovery partition, but there are a couple of things that don't work right.

First, when I extract the image for WinRE using ImageX, the guides are saying that I need to extract image #2 from the boot.wim on my Vista DVD - but there's only one image in there.

I tried it using image #1, and when it boots into it, I get a PE configuration error stating something about a configuration problem - looks like it's trying to boot from x:\Windows instead of X:\$Windows.~BT (or something to that effect).

The other question I have is that Dell's recovery partition had a standard file system on it, and all of the WinRE guides I've read have you create a WIM image of the recovery partition. How can I make it more like this so it's easier to update the image in there?

Any help is appreciated!

Thanks!


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#2
MAVERICKS CHOICE

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Very worthy project. I'm very interested in same as MS says there new imaging is something else & suposedly easily done?

#3
robbo101

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IF you follow the instructions that are set out in the WINDOWS OEM Prinstallation KIT (Windows OPK) User's Guide.
They are listed under Walkthrough: Build a Windows Recovery Solution. I have followed this set of instructions and my copy of WinRE works fine. I have also added a Icon to the default menu that launches a copy of ImageX and restores the image to a backup I have contained within the WINRE partition.

I know I am referancing to the OPK docs but I would assume that the same docs are included within the WAIK as there is little difference between them.

#4
jaclaz

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Check this thread too:
http://www.911cd.net...showtopic=18995

jaclaz

#5
Sir-K9

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hi guys, i am a noob at this LOL.... but am really interested in making my own vista recovery partition as this would stop me burning countless DVDs with a few more updates and then a month l8a a few more updates come along; so then i got to write more dvds off.... but what if i cud create a recovery part an just update when needed that wud be great....

so what can some people help a begginer starting from scratch with absolutely no clue here.... i have the vista OS but i'd like to use CD version which i have ultra vista cd version os..

#6
in4mer

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i want in too

i'm stuck at booting with winPE...i have no idea what do to next and i've gone through the reading material over and over again

maybe i've skipped something important?


same goal as the people above,
HP harddrive came with 2 partitions:
1 OS
1 recovery console

trying to duplicate it because HP refuses to do it for me when for some reason the recovery partition got corrupted

#7
redjoy

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I am also trying to have my own recovery partion. Howver, I would like to use the DELL provided one.

I just got a new DELL and the first thing I want to do is create a new WIM with all the applications installed and replace the original WIM on the recovery partition.

I found the Factory.wim file on the recovery partition and want to upgrade/replace the WIM file with a new (32 bit OS /w applications) image.
I have extracted the image ("imageX.exe /extract d:dell\image\Factory.wim 1 e:\Factory.wim") and I am currently trying to mount the image using "imageX.exe /mount e:\Factory.wim 1 e:\image" but to no avail.

All I get is:
----------------
ImageX Tool for Windows
Copyright Microsoft Corp. 1981-2005. All rights reserved.
Mounting: [E:\image\newfile.wim, 1] ->
[E:\tmp]
Error mounting image:
The system cannot find the file specified.
----------------

I am running the cmd as Administrator.


SOLVED mounting problem.:

I forgot to install the "wimfltr.inf" found in the same folder as the imageX.exe file.

Now I can see the image.

Edited by redjoy, 25 December 2007 - 07:33 PM.


#8
trinitegq

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hey guys,

No one followed up on this project?
I too need/want to create a recovery partition b/c the one that came with my dell got corrupted. Also, I am using a different hard drive and want to recreate the structure I had with the original dell drive.

Goal:
1st partition - dell diagnostics tools (55Mb) - 0DE
2nd partition - OS (Vista) - 07h
3rd partition - Data storage. - 07h
4th partition - RECOVERY (winRE + wim image and custom recovery options) 07h

Problems:
- cannot figure out how to get to invoke/boot the diagnostics partition (I don't want to use the cd)
- cannot figure out how to add my own option to the recovery menu... (although I'll look into the OPK as I have been using the AIK with no luck). - thanks for that info robbo101.
- since I lost the original dell recovery partition I wonder if any one has this partition intact in order to share the info in it. In particular the "Tools" Folder. It has some dell programs that I would like to be able to run when recovering.

So far:
- when pressing F12 I get two menus:
1. boot options:
HDD, CD/DVD Drive, USB, etc

2. Options:
Set up (BIOS)
Diagnostic Utility Partition <- not working... error: no boot disk. (partition was also lost in the OEM)
Hard Drive diagnostics <- don't know what it does or how but it keeps on saying that my HD failed. But it is working fine.

- When pressing F8 the "Repair your computer" options is no longer there.
although I have been able to restore the option by following the WAIK WinRE guide, it doesn't boot

- I have lost the Recovery partition from the oem dell installation. I don't have the factory image or any other dell utilities installed in it. (not sure if I terribly need it but I sure would like to have it back. Dell won't help me.)

Achievements:
- been able to create a winPE bootable CD. But I want a bootable Partition running winRE
- was able to recreate the dell diagnostic partition but it won't boot (when partition active, or via the F12 menu)
- was able to install winRE using mixed guides (winRE and winPE) but it won't boot. ( I may be able to fix this today thanks to robbo101 by following only the OPK guide. I'll post back)
- was able to install winPE bootable partition, but this is different than winRE. I rather have a winRE boot
- was able to boot winPE using easyBCD/VistaProBCD and setting it as a second boot. I rather have the option via the recovery menu (F12) "Recover your computer".


Notes:
- While goodells.net site is of great interest and assistance. It doesn't apply to this case as it he doesn't deal with dell machines with vista installed. (I was able to recreate the dell diag partition though, thanks Del!)
Things like Ctrl+F11, DSRfix do not apply here.
- I have the Vista DVD install and the Dell diagnostics CD and a bootable winPE CD. However I want to have these options via the hard drive so that I can store the discs. I also would like to customize it!
- Sorry for the long post. You guys are my last resort. :(

Suggestions, ideas, guides, links. Anything people! Anything would help.

Thanks so much in advanced.

tGQ
Dell Dimension 9200c
Vista Ultimate
750GB-HDD
Original HDD was 149GB:
1st Partition: 55M (hidden, type: 0DE "dellUtilities")
2nd Partition: 138GB (Drive c: Type 07h "OS" - Vista)
3rd Partition: 10GB (Drive d: Type 07h "Recovery")


**** how can I get a hold of the windows OPK since I am not a registered organization. I'm just.. me. (personal use)?... I'm registered now!

Edited by trinitegq, 17 May 2008 - 01:00 PM.


#9
urie

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you would be far easier getting acronis trueimage and backing up partition to dvd or second hard drive and recovering all the space the the dell partiitions use.

#10
trinitegq

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you would be far easier getting acronis trueimage and backing up partition to dvd or second hard drive and recovering all the space the the dell partiitions use.


Thanks for your reply. You are right. It is easier to use acronis for OS imaging. I have used this in the past and I quite like it. However, I don't want to depend on disks. I much rather have the ability to run diagnostic utilties and other options under winRE aside from redeploying an image running from HDD.
I also don't want to take the easy way. I want to be able to recreate the dell set up on a new hard drive. The space it takes makes little difference. I was also running Norton Ghost 14 but again, I would like to have a utility partion and a recovery partion booting from hard drive. I think it's pretty cool and easier than having to run cd/dvd's. This is why most vendors are selling their pcs/laptops with hard drive recovery partitions.
I'm also looking into vistaPE and bartPE. For now I just want to recreate the dell factory set up on a new hard drive.
Thanks for any further suggestions!

#11
jaclaz

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Besides the thread previously referenced, about WinRE, check this one:
http://www.msfn.org/...ion-t84411.html

I guess that you can use the grub4dos PARTNEW and/or map --in-situ features to re-map the "DE" partition if needed.

Some reference:
http://www.boot-land...opic=3287&st=50

jaclaz

Edited by jaclaz, 18 May 2008 - 06:27 AM.


#12
trinitegq

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Besides the thread previously referenced, about WinRE, check this one:
http://www.msfn.org/...ion-t84411.html

I guess that you can use the grub4dos PARTNEW and/or map --in-situ features to re-map the "DE" partition if needed.

Some reference:
http://www.boot-land...opic=3287&st=50

jaclaz

jaclaz, excellent info. Thanks. I think PARTNEW might just be the help I need to recreate the DE partition and be able to boot from it. I'll look into it.

Does anyone know how the f12 key on a dell pc w/vista works. It doesn't seem to be dependant on MBR or for that matter anything on the drive. I changed the OEM drive and I still can bring that function up. It doesn' work thought, but the menu is there. I wonder how to modify it.

#13
jaclaz

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Does anyone know how the f12 key on a dell pc w/vista works. It doesn't seem to be dependant on MBR or for that matter anything on the drive. I changed the OEM drive and I still can bring that function up. It doesn' work thought, but the menu is there. I wonder how to modify it.


It's in BIOS, nothing much you can do about it, unless you want to start fiddling with BIOS, NOT, and I mean NOT recommended, you could end up with an unbootable system and need even a replacement BIOS !

jaclaz

#14
trinitegq

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Does anyone know how the f12 key on a dell pc w/vista works. It doesn't seem to be dependant on MBR or for that matter anything on the drive. I changed the OEM drive and I still can bring that function up. It doesn' work thought, but the menu is there. I wonder how to modify it.


It's in BIOS, nothing much you can do about it, unless you want to start fiddling with BIOS, NOT, and I mean NOT recommended, you could end up with an unbootable system and need even a replacement BIOS !

jaclaz

got it!
I wouldn't want to risk that. How about figuring out where the F12 menu options point to and thus arrange it accordingly in the drive?

#15
jaclaz

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Back to square #1:
http://www.msfn.org/...ion-t84411.html
http://www.msfn.org/...-....html&st=41

http://www.goodells....ility/index.htm

jaclaz

#16
robbo101

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trinitegq
Here is a copy of my winreconfig.xml file that I use to add the recovery option to the recovery menu.

WINREConfig.xml
<Recovery><RecoveryTools><RelativeFilePath>OEG\recovery.exe</RelativeFilePath></RecoveryTools></Recovery>

The file is found under \sources\recovery\tools

The reletive file path is where this file is stored so my exe in this case is in \sources\recovery\tools\oeg\recovery.exe

as it states in the microsoft documets WINRE

The logo and description must be in the exe file as thats where it is extracted from

I used a basic compiler to create my exe, think I used QuickBFCbut it was some time ago so cannot remember.

hope this helps somewhat.

Robbo

#17
trinitegq

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Back to square #1:
http://www.msfn.org/...ion-t84411.html
http://www.msfn.org/...-....html&st=41

http://www.goodells....ility/index.htm

jaclaz

I guess so jaclaz. Thanks for the links. There's one in particular that seems very interesting. I've gone back and forth on the goodells.net side but unfortunately it's not for the recovery partition on dell systems that have OEM Vista OS. I was able to recreate the DE partition looking at that information though ... I can't still boot it from the F12 menu or as an active partition for that matter.
If you come across anything regarding the "Recovery" dell partition throw it my way. I would really appreciate that.
I am also looking after all for the actual files in that partition (except the Dell folder) for a Dell Dimension 9200c w/Vista Ultimate though it should be the same for any Dell PC w/Vista in it.
Thanks again!

#18
trinitegq

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trinitegq
Here is a copy of my winreconfig.xml file that I use to add the recovery option to the recovery menu.

WINREConfig.xml

<Recovery><RecoveryTools><RelativeFilePath>OEG\recovery.exe</RelativeFilePath></RecoveryTools></Recovery>

The file is found under \sources\recovery\tools

The reletive file path is where this file is stored so my exe in this case is in \sources\recovery\tools\oeg\recovery.exe

as it states in the microsoft documets WINRE

The logo and description must be in the exe file as thats where it is extracted from

I used a basic compiler to create my exe, think I used QuickBFCbut it was some time ago so cannot remember.

hope this helps somewhat.

Robbo

Oh man! This helps a lot! Thanks mate! I thought of using "imagex /apply x:\[path]\image.wim 1 c:" in order to apply that recovery option... this sure helps robbo. I'll try this. Thanks again! :D

#19
Tripredacus

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I know I am referancing to the OPK docs but I would assume that the same docs are included within the WAIK as there is little difference between them.


RE is disabled in the WAIK.

#20
trinitegq

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I know I am referancing to the OPK docs but I would assume that the same docs are included within the WAIK as there is little difference between them.


RE is disabled in the WAIK.

True, I had to register in order to be able to download the OPK.

#21
Tripredacus

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Does anyone know how the f12 key on a dell pc w/vista works. It doesn't seem to be dependant on MBR or for that matter anything on the drive. I changed the OEM drive and I still can bring that function up. It doesn' work thought, but the menu is there. I wonder how to modify it.


It's in BIOS, nothing much you can do about it, unless you want to start fiddling with BIOS, NOT, and I mean NOT recommended, you could end up with an unbootable system and need even a replacement BIOS !

jaclaz


No this information is stored in the Master Boot Record, not the BIOS. I am in process of duplicating this issue as well, but I can't really tell you much about it because of IP reasons. However volume imaging solutions (such as Ghost and Acronis) save the MBR in the image, but Imagex being file based does not. Anyways, this is also part of the reason why the OPK documentation (as well as WAIK) say that "recovery" aka EFI partitions must be the first partition on the drive. Dell, however, doesn't use WinRE for it's recovery partition, which is why it isn't Part 1 on the drive...

#22
trinitegq

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Does anyone know how the f12 key on a dell pc w/vista works. It doesn't seem to be dependant on MBR or for that matter anything on the drive. I changed the OEM drive and I still can bring that function up. It doesn' work thought, but the menu is there. I wonder how to modify it.


It's in BIOS, nothing much you can do about it, unless you want to start fiddling with BIOS, NOT, and I mean NOT recommended, you could end up with an unbootable system and need even a replacement BIOS !

jaclaz


No this information is stored in the Master Boot Record, not the BIOS. I am in process of duplicating this issue as well, but I can't really tell you much about it because of IP reasons. However volume imaging solutions (such as Ghost and Acronis) save the MBR in the image, but Imagex being file based does not. Anyways, this is also part of the reason why the OPK documentation (as well as WAIK) say that "recovery" aka EFI partitions must be the first partition on the drive. Dell, however, doesn't use WinRE for it's recovery partition, which is why it isn't Part 1 on the drive...

Dell doesn't use winRE?! what is it then? winPE? It must be winRE as when the recovery option from F8 is called in the winRE environment boots and you have the option to restore the factory image. Also all the files installed in the REcovery partition (d:\) has pretty much the same files, as far as I've seen as the winRE base wim image.
Take a look at this site (though you probably already did). I think Dell set up winRE according to what this guy is saying. (testing mode). I have to say that I am however struggling trying to install it in my D:\ drive.
I know you're working on it and I'm looking forward to your findings!
One thing though. on my Dell dimension 9200c pc I've changed the OEM hard drive and the F12 options are still there. Unless that option is build when the windows installation is done, these options must be in a special dell bios code. Note that there's a difference between the F12 menu and the F8 menu. What you think?

#23
robbo101

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This is a copy of the file that I use as my recovery.
if you use this and the WINREConfig.xml file this will add the bottom option to the recovery screen.
My recovery exe. doesn't actually do anything all it does is call a batch file called recovery.bat so you can from that launch anything you want but it made it easier for me to change what I had done at any time as I cannot write executables. I did use autoit though and launched a conferm yes/no box and then called imagex to software the drive.

Hope this is of some help to someone.

Robbo

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#24
trinitegq

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This is a copy of the file that I use as my recovery.
if you use this and the WINREConfig.xml file this will add the bottom option to the recovery screen.
My recovery exe. doesn't actually do anything all it does is call a batch file called recovery.bat so you can from that launch anything you want but it made it easier for me to change what I had done at any time as I cannot write executables. I did use autoit though and launched a conferm yes/no box and then called imagex to software the drive.

Hope this is of some help to someone.

Robbo

thanks robo101. I think this is of great help. How did you go about creating a winRE partition.

I've followd the instruction here and here and I can't figure out why it doesn't seem to work.
At the ms site they talk about building up a whole system which not what I want to do. At the msdn blog they talk about the option to install the winre to a any partition (for testing) but since I don't want to have my recovery partition hidden. I want it as my D: drive I'm sticking with having winre.wim and boot.sdi at D: root and running the "SetAutoFailover.cmd /target D: /wim /nohide" script. (only my drive is not the first one, it's the third one and it's e:. So I changed D: wiht E: in the script).

What happens then is that I do have the option to run the "repair your computer" form the F8 menu. WinRE seems to boot but then that's it. It takes me to the normal windows login screen.

Any ideas? Thanks.

BTW. do you know what the difference is between an extended winRE installation vs a wim installation?

#25
Tripredacus

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Does anyone know how the f12 key on a dell pc w/vista works. It doesn't seem to be dependant on MBR or for that matter anything on the drive. I changed the OEM drive and I still can bring that function up. It doesn' work thought, but the menu is there. I wonder how to modify it.


It's in BIOS, nothing much you can do about it, unless you want to start fiddling with BIOS, NOT, and I mean NOT recommended, you could end up with an unbootable system and need even a replacement BIOS !

jaclaz


No this information is stored in the Master Boot Record, not the BIOS. I am in process of duplicating this issue as well, but I can't really tell you much about it because of IP reasons. However volume imaging solutions (such as Ghost and Acronis) save the MBR in the image, but Imagex being file based does not. Anyways, this is also part of the reason why the OPK documentation (as well as WAIK) say that "recovery" aka EFI partitions must be the first partition on the drive. Dell, however, doesn't use WinRE for it's recovery partition, which is why it isn't Part 1 on the drive...

Dell doesn't use winRE?! what is it then? winPE?


Dell uses another company's product to create their recovery partition. This company creates custom recovery options to make it look natural to the OEM that sells/distributes the computer. Because my company and the recovery provider are clients, I cannot divulge additional information, sorry.

BTW. do you know what the difference is between an extended winRE installation vs a wim installation?


A WIM installation, at its simplest, is a partition you can boot to that may have a simple interface, that basically applies the WIM to your C drive. Which is basically what the Dell Recovery partition does but it asks you stuff to make sure you want to do it, etc.

Edited by Tripredacus, 27 May 2008 - 07:54 PM.





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