And the answer is "Yes and No". Yes
, depending on the actual OS you are using it is possible using no third party tool (but the key is F8) to access a WinRE (one of the least talked about setups/environmants, actually a PE), but No
, in most cases a third party tool is used as it is simply much easier to setup (and you can choose another key, though loking for F11 is normally an issue as it is a non-standard key, choosing F10 is advised) AND much more robust (as the "switch" happens in the MBR, which has less probabilities of being corrupted if something happens, or, if correupted won't let the PC boot anyway).
If you prefer, using the \boot\BCD mechanism is possible but overly complex, far from "failproof" and all in all not "smart".
Anyway, for Vista
If you decide to go for third party tools, there are several ones "self contained" in the MBR or - personally prefferred - grub4dos that can do that easily, just ask.
Edited by jaclaz, 20 April 2013 - 04:27 AM.