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Flintstone

Reinstall Windows image from boot.ini

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I have noticed that on development PCs at work I have an option on my boot menu to restore Windows. This option in boot.ini looks like this:

c:\windows\bootpart\boot.bin="System Recovery"

When you select this option it boots into a partition containing an unattended install of the OS.

This is a great way to recover your PC to its original base but I have not seen anything about this on the forums.

Does anybody know how this is done? ... a howto would be perfect ;)

Also, I would be especially interested on getting this to work on a RAID setup.

Edited by Flintstone

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We have a similar system where I work as well. We have a hidden partiition that boots WinPE and reimages the hard drive.

In your case, you're going to have a partition that has the installation files and configured for an unattended setup. That part is easy. The problem is booting. You could boot DOS/Win9x and then initiate the install from there. You're going to need a boot loader that can recognize the drive/partition that you're going to install to. So, DOS isn't going to play nice trying to install to a large NTFS partition.

You could probably set it up to use the WinXP/2000/2003 boot files, but you'll then have to script something to initiate the install.

On the surface it isn't hard to do. You just have to have a way to boot a core OS that can recognize large NTFS partitions. WinPE would work great if you have access to it. Maybe BartPE would work for you.

I'm just thinking out loud here, so keep that in mind.

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Generally, the developement of these unattended recovery partitions would be done using the OEM preinstallation kit, but it should be possible to make a hard drive based recovery partition. Once created it's a matter of editing the boot.ini file to modify the boot options.

Lots of work though....

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You think it would be a lot of work? As far as I can see, all I would need to do is copy my DVD to a partition, use diskpart to format the old OS drive and then boot from the partition containing the DVD drive.

The only problem is that I am finding it hard to get information on how to do this. I noticed there is a PE forum here, maybe one of the mods can move this post to there?

Simply Simon ... your pic scares me :)

Edited by Flintstone

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