Create Media to Run Push-Button Reset Features

Updated: April 1, 2014

Applies To: Windows 8, Windows 8.1

Want to provide your customers with a recovery USB key or DVD? With Windows RE and Windows 8.1 or Windows 8, you can prepare a push-button reset image that's ready to repair their PC. If you add Bare Metal Reset/Recovery configuration files, they'll be able to repair their PC even in cases when the hard drive needs to be replaced.

You can start with the base Windows and Windows RE tools images from the Windows installation media, or you can use customized Windows and Windows RE tools images that will restore the PC back to its factory state with all of its original apps, drivers, and customizations.

noteNote
  • The PC firmware/BIOS must be configured so that the PC can boot from the media (USB drive or DVD drive).

  • The USB flash drive or DVD recovery media must have enough space for the Windows image (2 GB minimum), the Windows RE tools image (300 MB minimum), plus any configuration files, scripts, and tools required. For these push-button reset features to work, everything has to fit on one USB flash drive or DVD - you can't split the images.

To create a bootable USB recovery drive for a personal PC, see Create a USB recovery drive.

To create the recovery media that you can include with the PC, you must have the following:

  • A Windows image (Install.wim). You can either use the base Windows image or a customized recovery image.

  • A Windows RE tools image (Winre.wim). You can either extract the base Windows RE tools image from the Windows image, or use a customized Windows RE image. For more information, see Customize Windows RE.

  1. Download and install the Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit (Windows ADK) from this website.

  2. On your technician computer: Click Start, and type deployment. Right-click Deployment and Imaging Tools Environment and then select Run as administrator.

  1. To use the basic Windows and Windows RE tools images:

    1. Download the Windows installation media, and mount the ISO files to a drive letter, for example, D.

      The base Windows image is at: D:\sources\install.wim.

    2. Mount the Windows image:

      md c:\mount\WindowsSetup
      
      Dism /mount-image /imagefile:D:\sources\install.wim /index:1 /mountdir:C:\mount\WindowsSetup
      
    3. Copy the Windows RE image.

      Md C:\MyImages
      
      xcopy C:\mount\WindowsSetup\Windows\System32\Recovery\winre.wim C:\MyImages\winre.wim /h
      
    4. Unmount the Windows image:

      Dism /unmount-image /mountdir:C:\mount\winre /discard
      

    To use your own customized images, use the same set of customized images that you use when deploying new PCs (install.wim and winre.wim).

  1. Create a folder structure for Windows RE, which is based on Windows PE:

    copype amd64 C:\resetmedia_amd64
    

    where amd64 is the architecture of the system you are creating media for.

  2. Replace the default Windows PE boot image (Boot.wim) with a Windows RE tools image.

    xcopy C:\MyImages\winre.wim C:\resetmedia_amd64\media\sources\boot.wim /h
    

  1. Copy the Windows image to the working folder.

    copy D:\sources\install.wim C:\resetmedia_amd64\media\sources\install.wim
    

    where D:\sources\install.wim is either the base Windows image or a customized push-button reset recovery image.

  • To enable the user to wipe the hard drive and/or use an empty hard drive, add configuration scripts for bare metal recovery to the working folder, under \sources. For more info, see Bare Metal Reset/Recovery: Enable Your Users to Create Media and to Recover Hard Drive Space.

    copy E:\Recovery\RecoveryImage\ResetConfig.xml C:\resetmedia_amd64\media\sources\ResetConfig.xml
    
    copy E:\Recovery\RecoveryImage\ResetPartitions-UEFI.txt C:\resetmedia_amd64\media\sources\ResetPartitions-UEFI.txt
    

  1. Install Windows RE to a USB flash drive:

    Makewinpemedia /ufd C:\resetmedia_amd64 F:
    

    where F is the drive letter of the USB flash drive.

  2. Label the USB flash drive with a descriptive name:

    In File Explorer, right-click the drive, and select Rename, and type Full-PC Recovery.

  1. Create a DVD image file:

    Makewinpemedia /iso C:\resetmedia_amd64 C:\resetmedia_amd64\RecoveryImage.iso
    
  2. Insert a DVD.

  3. In File Explorer, navigate to C:\resetmedia_amd64, right-click RecoveryImage.iso, and then click Burn disc image.

  1. On your destination PC, insert your new recovery media.

  2. Start the PC, press a key to open the firmware boot menus, and then select the appropriate boot device.

  3. At the Windows RE Tools menus, select a keyboard layout, for example, US.

  4. Click Troubleshoot > Advanced options > Startup Repair, and follow the on-screen instructions to repair the PC's boot files.

  1. On your destination PC, insert your new recovery media.

  2. Start the PC, press a key to open the firmware boot menus, and then select the appropriate boot device.

  3. At the Windows RE Tools menus, select a keyboard layout, for example, US.

  4. Click Troubleshoot > Refresh your PC > Next, and follow the on-screen instructions to refresh the PC.

  1. On a PC with an empty hard drive, insert your new recovery media.

  2. Start the PC, press a key to open the firmware boot menus, and then select the appropriate boot device.

  3. At the Windows RE Tools menus, select a keyboard layout, for example, US.

  4. Click Troubleshoot > Reset your PC > Next

    noteNote
    If you are testing on the same PC, and you have not cleaned the hard drive, you may be prompted to select a drive. Select Windows 8.1.

    Select Yes, repartition the drives > Just remove my files > Reset.

    Windows resets the computer to its original state by using the recovery image.

    ImportantImportant
    Troubleshooting

    • Make sure that ResetConfig.xml is saved as an UTF-8 file.

    • Make sure that the filename listed in the <DiskpartScriptPath>ResetPartitions-BIOS.txt</DiskpartScriptPath> element of the ResetConfig.xml file matches the filename in the Diskpart script.

    • Make sure that the Diskpart script doesn't include code to select the disk, clean the disk, or assign letters to the partitions.

    Optional: Large-Scale Deployment

    If you are deploying USB keys with your computers, you can create a basic copy of the Windows recovery media on USB by using the steps above. After you have performed final customization of the image, you can boot the computer to Windows PE, and update the install.wim image on the USB recovery media.

    You can potentially save time by appending the Windows image on the USB flash drive, rather than recapturing the entire Windows image. If you do this, you must also update the ResetConfig.xml configuration file element: RestoreFromIndex to the appropriate index number. For more information, see Append a Volume Image to an Existing Image Using DISM and ResetConfig XML Reference.

See Also

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