I have been getting a lot of questions about installing Windows RE on the hard disk. This is good news for us as that means many of you are actually trying out Windows RE. So here's the simple four step process.
Step 1: Choosing a partition to install Windows RE
The hardest part about installing Windows RE seems to be deciding where to install it. The following considerations should go into deciding which partition to choose (listed in the priority order):
In the Windows OPK and the Windows AIK, we have a couple of partition layout recommendations. These recommendations were made by following the above considerations. These recommendations are:
Note:- If you just want to experiment with Windows RE without creating a separate partition for Windows RE, you can choose any visible drive in Vista.
Step 2: Copying Windows RE Files
For the purposes of this post, I am going to assume a WIM-based installation. If you want to install an expanded Windows RE, please look at the Windows OPK or the Windows AIK for appropriate documentation.
You need to copy the following two files to the root of the partition you chose in step 1 above.
Step 3: Configuring Windows RE
To configure Windows RE, you can use the SetAutoFailover.cmd script provided in the Windows AIK (under: C:\Program Files\Windows AIK\Recovery). If you copied Windows RE files on the D: in step 2 above, and assuming that D: is the first partition on the disk, you would use it as:
SetAutoFailover.cmd /target D: /wim /nohide
Note:- You need to run SetAutoFailover.cmd from an elevated command prompt. To open an elevated command prompt, search for cmd.exe in the search box off Start button, then right click on the cmd icon in search results and choose Run as administrator.
Step 4: Testing Windows RE Installation
To test that Windows RE is installed correctly on the hard disk - Restart your computer and press F8 very early during boot. If you press it early enough, you should see an Advanced boot menu. The first item on this menu should be "Repair your computer." Choosing this option will take you to Windows RE.