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Adding Windows Recovery Console

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Hi all, got a good question about Windows Recovery Console.

I am trying to add Windows Recovery Console to my DVD as a separate entry. I already know I can press F10 at the F6 prompt of any setup, (no 'R' option here, since my setups are unattended).

So far, I have managed to make a standalone recovery console folder on the DVD (it's basically just another boot folder of XP Pro's Setup program, minus the WINNT.SIF). The problem is, when I boot this folder's setup from the DVD boot menu, it stops and waits for me to press 'R' after setup loads...I just want it to go directly to the Console, with no interaction between me choosing it on the DVD menu and the console being loaded. Has anyone managed to do this?

I've tried various options for OSLoadOptions (things like /cmdcons, etc.) in TXTSETUP.INF under [setupdata]. Some yielded interesting results (got the windows splash screen to show instead of "Setup is starting Windows" at one point), but none let me skip directly to the Recovery Console.

If you're curious as to why I'm asking about this, the only reason I want to avoid F10 is because it really isn't mentioned anywhere. You just 'got to know'...I likely won't be the only one using this disc (7 others might use it), and not everyone knows this. 'R' in the standalone console's "Setup" is just a hassle, and what's worse if you press ENTER by mistake you get an error about the EULA missing and it reboots.

Anyone got a clue here?

By the way, sorry for the long post!

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sorry for the long post!

Sorry for the answer, requires a lot of reading and work.

I don't know a solution to load direct Recovery Console with single files at CD.

Contrary you may create a proper hard disk ímage.
Load the hard disk image with your multi boot loader.
That way the Recovery Console start by default, no need to press F10.

/cmdcons parameter http://www.boot-land...?...ost&p=18878

it is really a NTLDR parameter that makes it "patch on the fly" the bootsector

There is a bootsector at a partition, but not at CD/DVD.
Setupldr.bin dosn't support /cmdcons.

Several different approaches are dicussed at http://www.boot-land...?showtopic=5316

There are different soltions to load the disk image nowadays
2003 SP1 setupldr.bin
isolinux memdisk: winvblock http://www.boot-land...?...ost&p=77450
grub4dos map: firadisk http://www.boot-land...?showtopic=8804


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Thanks for the links. Someone in one of those links mentioned success with a hard disk image booted with memdisk.

I'm going to try that once my disc is finished testing in Virtual PC (takes a good 4 hours on my older PC). A physical system installs the disc in under 2 hrs.

I'll post my results.


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OK, after four days, and this post yesterday, I've done it!. I have successfully made a hard disk image that starts recovery console, and runs off a DVD with memdisk. Also, thanks for those links, which proved very helpful!

Here's what I did, or at least a brief overview of it anyway:

I started with a VirtualPC VHD. That first link proved helpful when it came to the bootsector for it. (I patched the bootsector on that VHD using that information, MKBT from Bart, and a hex editor. Now i don't need NTLDR and boot.ini). It boots fine in VirtualPC.

After making the working VHD, i added WinVBlock so memdisk wouldn't cause STOP 0x0000007b. I had to do some tweaking to TXTSETUP.SIF to get WinVBlock to work. Then, I used SelfImage to make an uncompressed, RAW IMG of the hard disk.

Added it to ISOLINUX using memdisk, and, after a little more tweaking to the image, I now have a "SETUP->R key"-less Recovery Console!

Image is around 6MB compressed. 150MB uncompressed (The large size: I couldn't make it boot using a FAT16 disk). If I gzip it, it doesn't waste space. Memdisk can decompress the GZIP on the fly when booting it.

You wouldn't by chance know if I could upload the final .IMG do you? I'm not sure if distributing the RC itself would be permitted, seeing that it's MS software. Then again, I do frequently see patched files around here (prepatched UXTheme.dll on the Unattended guide for one), repacked installers, etc...

Edited by wolstech, 26 October 2009 - 08:07 PM.

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