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Windows Recovery not booting


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#1 florin91

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Posted 22 April 2013 - 05:38 PM

Hi! 
 
 
I have a netbook which came oem installed with Windows 7 Starter and included a "recovery pe" option that could be booted to repair and restore the operating system as it was at start. 
 
I resized one hdd partition, made some free space and created another 2 partitions and installed linux along with the oem windows 7 starter. 
 
Now, the problem is that the recovery partition doesn't work anymore, probably because it can't find that partition it was set up to boot from.
 
How can I edit and how can I repair it possibly without formatting giving away the linux partition ? 
 
Here you can see the log of how disk partitions are structured:
 
  
  
  DISKPART> select Disk 0
  DISKPART> list partition


  Partition ###  Type              Size     Offset
  -------------  ----------------  -------  -------
  Partition 1    Recovery           400 MB  1024 KB -- 400 MB Recovery partition
  Partition 2    Primary             96 GB   401 MB --  "C" drive of windows
  Partition 0    Extended            19 GB    97 GB  -- Linux extended:
  Partition 4    Logical             18 GB    97 GB         - Linux partition / 
  Partition 5    Logical            953 MB   115 GB         - Linux swap
  Partition 3    Primary            116 GB   116 GB  -- Windows "D" partition

 
Hmm maybe a repartition would help clean a bit, but the solution would be keeping both the linux partitions and fixing the recovery ".wim" pe. The hdd came partitioned in two 116 partitions and I resized the "C" partition to fit linux os.  
 
 
Thanks!

#2 Tripredacus

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 02:27 PM

What do you mean by "doesn't work anymore" specifically? If you boot Windows and use F8, does the Repair option still show up?



#3 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 03:50 PM

I would try to avoid needing to assume *anything*.

Which EXACT make/model the netbook is?

Different manufacturer may use different solutions for the recovery partition, and particularly the mechanism to select them at boot may greatly differ, possibilities:

  1. encoded in BIOS
  2. "special" MBR
  3. Windows (Vista :ph34r:) or later WinRE F8 switch

:cheers:

Wonko



#4 Holmes.Sherlock

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 05:18 PM

I would try to avoid needing to assume *anything*.

Which EXACT make/model the netbook is?

Different manufacturer may use different solutions for the recovery partition, and particularly the mechanism to select them at boot may greatly differ, possibilities:

  1. encoded in BIOS
  2. "special" MBR
  3. Windows (Vista :ph34r:) or later WinRE F8 switch

:cheers:

Wonko

 

Or, special recovery button hard-programmed to jump to a specific sector.



#5 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 06:23 PM

Or, special recovery button hard-programmed to jump to a specific sector.

Never seen one of those :unsure:.

Can you name one example?

 

"previous list" I posted examples would be (hopefully):

  1. DELL
  2. HP/ACER
  3. Fujitsu Siemaens/Zoomstorm :w00t: /DELL (again)

:cheers:

Wonko



#6 florin91

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 08:19 PM

What do you mean by "doesn't work anymore" specifically? If you boot Windows and use F8, does the Repair option still show up?


Yes, the recovery shows and I can hit enter to load it. It loads the pe and when it should show a menu on that windows 7 install background, it doesn't show that error anymore and throws an error.

It shows "Loading files", the windows loading bar loads, it shows a black window with x:\....\drvload.exe then it throws "The installed program cannot start. Click OK to turn off the computer."


#7 Holmes.Sherlock

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Posted 24 April 2013 - 02:37 AM

Never seen one of those :unsure:.

Can you name one example?

 

"previous list" I posted examples would be (hopefully):

  1. DELL
  2. HP/ACER
  3. Fujitsu Siemaens/Zoomstorm :w00t: /DELL (again)

:cheers:

Wonko

 

LENOVO IDEAPAD V460, which I am the proud owner of.



#8 Tripredacus

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Posted 24 April 2013 - 02:26 PM

Yes, the recovery shows and I can hit enter to load it. It loads the pe and when it should show a menu on that windows 7 install background, it doesn't show that error anymore and throws an error. It shows "Loading files", the windows loading bar loads, it shows a black window with x:\....\drvload.exe then it throws "The installed program cannot start. Click OK to turn off the computer."

Ok then in this case we can see that your button is working, so we wouldn't need to worry about MBRs or BCDs or anything like that.

 

I see your layout but... we don't know the manufacturer yet...

 

What was the original size of the Recovery Partition? Typically, the recovery partition would include the recovery image and 400MB would be too small. Either that or the recovery image could be located elsewhere, such as that Windows D partition...

 

While you are in the WinRE, where it shows that error, can you actually type into that command prompt? Can you try press SHIFT+F10 to see if you can get a command prompt there? If at all possible, it would be helpful to see what exactly that WinRE is trying to do. Files worth looking at:

 

x:\windows\system32\winpeshl.ini

x:\windows\system32\startnet.cmd

x:\sources\recovery\tools\winreconfig.xml



#9 Holmes.Sherlock

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Posted 24 April 2013 - 03:27 PM

With my LENOVO, I didn't have a OEM version of Windows. But the laptop shipped with a Win7PE based recovery environment capable of restoring standard Windows recovery images. The partition was hidden by default. I exposed it temporarily with showdriv.exe, imaged with Norton Ghost and transferred it to a USB drive. Then I tried booting another LENOVO laptop with a different model number. The environment got loaded, but a nice popup came up refusing to proceed further. Probably these tailored version of PE based recovery environment employ multiple check based on BIOS and HDD partition geometry. 

 

@florin91

Did you, by any chance, reduce the size of partition to which the recovery environment is supposed to restore to?



#10 florin91

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Posted 25 April 2013 - 01:22 PM

First, sorry for not giving explicit details and for not replying faster. I will give full details in this post.

 

... we don't know the manufacturer yet...


The netbook is Toshiba NB 500.
 

 
What was the original size of the Recovery Partition?


Yes, the original size was 400 MB. I didn't touched that. The RecoveryHDD folder is in D;\ partition
 
 

 
While you are in the WinRE, where it shows that error, can you actually type into that command prompt?

No, I can't type anything, the windows is like a automatically @echo off bat script
 
 

Can you try press SHIFT+F10 to see if you can get a command prompt there?


No, I can't. I tried and didn't do nothing, probably is a silent setting.
 
 

If at all possible, it would be helpful to see what exactly that WinRE is trying to do. Files worth looking at:
 
x:\windows\system32\winpeshl.ini
x:\windows\system32\startnet.cmd
x:\sources\recovery\tools\winreconfig.xml

 

Now, the things come interesting. I needed to install windows 7 on a friend netbookand installed RMPrepUSB along with Easy2Boot. Great app, btw. I used the "show drive.exe" utility to gather more information.

 
 

http://puu.sh/2GNmW

 
 
And now I can see all the partitions, especially: 

 

http://puu.sh/2GNnd

 

Now searching for those files ...
Here:
 

http://puu.sh/2GNom

 
 
 
 
 

http://puu.sh/2GNoK

 
 
 
 

http://puu.sh/2GNq8

http://puu.sh/2GNqs

http://puu.sh/2GNqU

http://puu.sh/2GNrz

http://puu.sh/2GNp7

 
Now here is the real recovery folder, on D:\
 

http://puu.sh/2GNx6

 

It contains several "boot.wim" files which of course, contain those scripts.
 
 
 

http://puu.sh/2GNxL
http://puu.sh/2GNy8

 
 
 
 

@florin91
Did you, by any chance, reduce the size of partition to which the recovery environment is supposed to restore to?


If by actually meaning with "the size of partition to which the recovery environment is supposed to restore to" the partition C:\ named Windows, then you're right. That's what I did.

Now please forgive me for attaching pictures with this size on this forum and pictures with insights from windows which I don't know if this violates that copyright law or Microsoft EULA. As I've seen in other post, EULA might be considered null :)

Why links? "You are not allowed to use that image extension on this community." I don't understand this editor. Fail!!!

Thanks!



#11 Holmes.Sherlock

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Posted 25 April 2013 - 01:32 PM

If by actually meaning with "the size of partition to which the recovery environment is supposed to restore to" the partition C:\ named Windows, then you're right. That's what I did.

 

From the screenshots, what I find it, your Toshiba netbook employs the similar scripts what my LENOVO does. If you have shrunk the size of C:\ partition, then, I think it is normal for the RE to complain to proceed further. Probably it contains a sector-by-sector backup to restore the laptop to factory default configuration by overwriting existing data.



#12 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 25 April 2013 - 02:26 PM

The "normal" way a Toshiba should work is this one:

http://aps2.toshiba-...03440001R01.htm

 

The routine is (seemingly) a "pure Windows F8" one.

Info here:

http://www.msfn.org/...via-f8-startup/

becomes suddenly relevant.

 

Most probably by moving/resizing partitions something got "loose" inside the .wim (because you report that you can load the WinRE/WinPE environment).

 

It is possible that this is simply the drive letter assignment to D: in the Registry of the RE/PE. :unsure:

 

As you might well know a drive letter (of a hard disk partition/volume) is assigned in the Registry by Disk Signature + offset to volume, see (only seemingly unrelated):

http://www.911cd.net...showtopic=19663

 

Maybe the DosDevices of the RE/PE Registry could be the first place to check for issues.

 

:cheers:

Wonko



#13 Tripredacus

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Posted 25 April 2013 - 03:19 PM

It is a standard setup really, but they put the recovery image on the D drive which is strange (wonder why they did that oh well). Anyways, the winpeshl.ini is standard except they run that INF. I don't think that is relevant. The object in Winreconfig.xml would add a new option to the WinRE screen.

 

Now about this Recenv.exe, if it is stock, it shouldn't have a problem opening. BUT OEMs don't necessarily need to use the one that comes built into the winre.wim from the OS. See because in Vista, OEMs had to actually write Recenv.exe themselves. That would allow any OEM to modify how that program operated. Now by itself, Recenv.exe doesn't do anything, it is a glorified menu but if Toshiba coded their own that could be a different story...

 

Regarding the HD re-size and Recenv.exe caring about that, I doubt it (again, unless its a custom jobber). When you choose to do the default re-install of Windows using recenv.exe, it searches all drives looking for an OS. If it were to find multiples, it would actually show you a list and choose which one to reinstall. By default it doesn't look for sectors or drive letters. Now this is when using F8 to boot into recovery. If you do it from Windows, it will automatically attempt to reimage and not go through the normal process of showing you recenv.

 

So I am wondering what that HDDrecogui.exe does that is in the winreconfig.xml. :dubbio:

 

If you did want to do it from Windows, it is these steps

1. Control Panel

2. Backup and Restore

3. Recover system settings on your computer

4. Advanced Recovery Methods

5. Reinstall Windows

 

BUT if you do this, it will reboot into WinRE, and prompt you to log into a user account. After this, it just kinda does its thing so definately not a recommendation to just "test" things out. :suda:






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