awyeah

Create My Own Recovery Partition?

60 posts in this topic

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

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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!

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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

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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.

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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.

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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...

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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?

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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

recovery.zip

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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?

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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
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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.

cool. thanks for the info!

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For the record, it seems like the MBR Utility (Freeware from Terabyte):

http://www.terabyteunlimited.com/downloads-free-software.htm

http://www.terabyteunlimited.com/downloads/mbr.zip

Has, between others, an option to install a MBR using F12 (or other Fn key) to access a recovery partition and one to install a MBR using Fn key to access a recovery partition and change it's type:

....

/INSTALL Install MBR code using the follow addtional parameters:

[sTD] [sEL to fkey "msg"] [sELM to fkey "msg" fsid fsidhid]

STD Install standard MBR code.

SEL Install MBR code that will display 'msg' and boot a hidden

FAT/FAT32 partition if 'fkey' is pressed within 'to' seconds.

The ondisk MBR is not modified.

SELM Install MBR code that will display 'msg' and boot a partition

with a file system id of 'fsidhid' if 'fkey' is pressed within

'to' seconds. The MBR is modifed so that the partition is marked

active and the file system is changed to 'fsid'. To reset the

MBR back to the prior settings, use the /RESET switch before

modifying the MBR again.

....

mbr 0 /install std

MBR.EXE will install a standard MBR to hard drive 0.

mbr 0 /install sel 5 12 "Press F12 to boot the recovery partition"

MBR.EXE will install a MBR to hard drive 0. The MBR will display the

message "Press F12 to boot the recovery partition" for 5 seconds, and

the F12 key will cause a hidden FAT/FAT32 to be selected for booting.

mbr 0 /install selm 10 9 "Press F9 for recovery" 0xC 0xDB

MBR.EXE will install a MBR to hard drive 0. The MBR will display the

message "Press F9 to boot the recovery partition" for 10 seconds.

If the F9 key is pressed within 10 seconds, it will cause a partition

with the file system ID 0xDB to be booted from. The MBR will then be

modified to mark the new boot partition active, and the file system ID

of it will be changed to 0xC.

Once booted in the partition whose file system ID was originally 0xDB,

the command line "mbr 0 /reset" should be run, in order to set the MBR

back to the state it was in before the file system ID and active

partition values were changed.

:)

jaclaz

Edited by jaclaz
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For the record, it seems like the MBR Utility (Freeware from Terabyte):

http://www.terabyteunlimited.com/downloads-free-software.htm

http://www.terabyteunlimited.com/downloads/mbr.zip

Has, between others, an option to install a MBR using F12 (or other Fn key) to access a recovery partition and one to install a MBR using Fn key to access a recovery partition and change it's type:

....

/INSTALL Install MBR code using the follow addtional parameters:

...

Once booted in the partition whose file system ID was originally 0xDB,

the command line "mbr 0 /reset" should be run, in order to set the MBR

back to the state it was in before the file system ID and active

partition values were changed.

:)

jaclaz

jaclaz, this is excellent news. Thanks for the info I'm sure it will come handy to many people. I know I will definitely need it!

Great catch!

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This program did indeed give the ability to get a keystroke from the user while displaying information on the screen. However it would not boot the recovery partition I use. It is a hidden, no drive letter 0x12 partition that IS bootable. Except when I press F10 (instead of F12) it tried to boot off the network. I disabled network boot in the BIOS and it will then say "No Bootable Device"...

So it seems that the MBR.EXE is looking for a different type of hidden partition than the one I am using.

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A non-hidden 12 partition becomes a visible 02 one.

How is it really formatted?

You might want to try the "selm" parameter. :unsure:

jaclaz

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