Windows 7 Disaster Recovery Boot Flash Drive

&nbsp&nbsp Standard features of the Windows 7 operating system make it easy to create a bootable CD. Emergency Repair Disk ERD, which can be used to resuscitate the OS in case of serious damage that does not allow to boot, or to perform other actions outside of the installed Windows environment.

To create a rescue disk using standard Windows 7 tools:

– Go to Control Panel
– Choose "Backup and Restore"
– "Create System Recovery Disk".

Then insert a blank CD into the DVD drive and press the button "Create disk"

The created system recovery disk is a stripped-down version of Windows designed to boot from removable media into the computer’s RAM without installing it on the hard drive. Windows PE (Preinstall Environment) Starting with WinPE 2.0, a standard boot manager is used to load the preinstallation environment BOOTMGR with appropriate configuration Bcd (Boot Configuration Data). Windows PE is often used by OEM laptop manufacturers to restore the system to factory settings using native tools, such as One key recovery Lenovo. Moreover, not only external media, but also a hidden partition of the hard drive can be used to download recovery tools.

The boot process of Windows PE can be divided into the following stages:

Execution by the BIOS routine reading from the boot device of the first sector. master boot record MBR (Master Boot Record) and transferring control to its program code.

Search in the MBR table of the section for which the check box is selected " Acive " (active), search and read its boot record PBR (Partition Boot Record) and transferring control to its program code

PBR boot record program code reads file bootmgr boot manager and transfers control to it

Dispatcher bootmgr performs further system boot in accordance with the storage boot configuration settings Bcd

All of the above download steps using the dispatcher bootmgr always present, regardless of whether the installation of Windows 7, or the Windows PE environment, or the Windows RE disaster recovery environment (system recovery disk) is loading. Chain of loading stages MBR PBR BOOTMGR. this is the minimum necessary condition for the loading of the operating system to begin. Its further course is determined by the download manager BOOTMGR , which reads the Boot Configuration Data from the \ BOOT \ BCD file of the active partition and loads according to its contents. More information on how it works bootmgr and the data structure of the boot configuration repository can be found in this article.

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Download manager bootmgr allows you to boot from a regular system disk, and from boot images, virtual disks, boot using bootloaders of other operating systems. The specific option is determined by the configuration specified in the BCD repository, which is a file of the structure of the registry bush located in the folder BOOT boot partition.

System Emergency Repair Disk created by Windows 7 and contains a boot manager bootmgr, configuring the system boot configuration from a Windows Imaging image (file extension .wim ), and using a virtual disk created in the computer’s RAM from an image in the format System deployment image (file extension .sdi )

Disaster Recovery Disc Content:

– Root partition file bootmgr. This is the download manager file.

– Folder BOOT. contains file bcd. download configuration data file boot.sdi, necessary to create a virtual electronic disk in RAM, a link to which is available in the BCD configuration, and the font file used by the boot manager bootfix.bin

– Folder SOURCES , containing a bootable system image file boot.wim. Since the BCD boot configuration for the created Windows 7 recovery disc is already configured to be executed by the bootloader bootmgr boot from image boot.wim, then to create a bootable flash drive, simply copy all the listed files and folders, record the boot sectors MBR and PBR, and also set a sign of partition activity. All this can be done using standard Windows 7. tools using command line utilities. bootsect.exe and diskpart.exe

Utility bootsect usually available on the installation disk, can be downloaded from the Microsoft website, or by the link at the end of the article.

Thus, to create a bootable flash drive system recovery, you need:

one. &nbsp &nbsp Create bootable MBR and PBR entries.

Using the command line, execute:

bootsect / nt60 E: / mbr / force. for the flash drive to which the letter is assigned E:

2. &nbsp &nbsp Make the partition active.

Since the team bootsect only writes the dispatcher necessary for loading bootmgr program code of boot sectors, but does not change the sign (flag) of the active partition, you need to install it using the standard utility for working with disks and partitions DISKPART.

– at the prompt line, enter the command to display the list of disks:

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– select the flash drive as the current drive:

select disk 3. if the flash drive was displayed in the list of drives as "Disc 3". If there are several disks in the system, it is usually enough to know the size of the flash drive used.

– select a section on a flash drive for further operations on it:

select partition 1. select section 1

– make the current flash drive partition active (check the partition activity flag):

Finish work with DISKPART team exit

3. &nbsp &nbsp Copy the contents of the system recovery CD to a USB flash drive.

Now it remains to complete the boot, indicating in the BIOS as the boot device, the created system recovery flash drive.

However, you can create a bootable flash drive for system disaster recovery without using a CD. Moreover, sometimes it is even preferable. For example, netbooks do not have a CD / DVD drive, and you won’t be able to create a system recovery disk using standard tools, but you can create a recovery flash drive using the necessary files that are in the directories of the installed operating system:

Copy of boot manager file bootmgr located in the catalog

It needs to be copied to the root directory of the flash drive. Then you need to create a directory in it \ BOOT and put in it

Windows 7 Disaster Recovery Boot Flash Drive

files bcd and boot.sdi from the catalog

In the catalog \ BOOT flash drives should also be a font file used by the bootloader bootfix.bin, a copy of which can be taken from the folder \ Windows \ Boot \ DVD \ PCAT \ ru-RU \.

It remains to create a folder on a flash drive SOURCES and put the system image file in it boot.wim. A copy of this file under the name winre.wim located in a hidden folder:

\ Recovery \ XXXXXXXX-XXXX-XXXX-XXXX-XXXXXXXXXXXX. for windows 7

Where XXXXXXXX-XXXX-XXXX-XXXX-XXXXXXXXXXXX. This is a global unique identifier for the GUID, consisting of hexadecimal digits.

\ Recovery \ WindowsRE. for Windows 8, 8.1, 10

Image folders winre.wim Depending on the version of Windows and the installation option, they may be located in different sections of the file system. The easiest way is to determine the exact location of the Windows Recovery Environment files using the command line utility. reagent.exe, what will be discussed below.

To solve our problem, just copy the file winre.wim to the SOURCES folder on the flash drive and rename it to boot.wim You can do without renaming the file, but then you will have to slightly tweak the download configuration available in the file Bcd for example using the standard command line utility bcdedit.exe or programs for editing third-party download configuration data (EasyBCD, BCDTool, etc.)

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The standard boot recovery environment first appeared in Windows Vista and was developed in subsequent versions of Windows. Its main purpose is to provide access to software troubleshooting tools in cases where normal system loading is not possible. For example, if the bootloader is damaged winload.exe, then the boot manager, without any user intervention, will boot the emergency recovery tools, repair the damaged file and restart the computer. To complete this entire chain of actions, the appropriate parameters of the recovery environment, boot configurations, service files, etc. are used. To view information about the configuration of the Windows recovery environment, including the location of image files, you can use the command:

As a result of the command, information is displayed:

In this example, the boot.sdi and Winre.wim recovery environment files are located in the second section of the hard drive in the folder Recovery subfolder 421c18c2-2b28-11e2-900c-964304a650eb.

In Windows 8 (8.1) and Windows 10, information obtained using the utility reagentc displayed in a slightly different form:

In this case, the recovery environment files are located in the first partition of the hard drive, in the folder Recovery, subfolder WindowsRE.

Windows Recovery Environment files and folders have an attribute "Hidden", are accessible only to users with administrator rights and, as a rule, are located in the hard drive section, which is not assigned a letter. This is to prevent accidental damage to Windows recovery tools when changing or deleting files and directories. However, if necessary, to access the directory with the image winre.wim by standard means, you can temporarily assign a letter to the recovery partition using the snap-in Drive management (diskmgmt.msc).

In addition to this material:

Create a bootable flash drive using Rufus. An example of using the free Rufus program to create a bootable flash drive with a Windows distribution.

Testing bootable media using virtual boot Using virtualization technology to test bootable flash drives. Links for downloading free and convenient programs to simplify the process of creating, debugging and checking created bootable media.

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