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Rather than playing the F8 game on startup, is there a way (command line etc.) of configuring windows so that shutting down Window and rebooting will always come up with the advanced boot menu or alternatively is there a way of shutting down windows so that it will always come up with the Windows Recovery environment. I'm thinking of some kind of command line tool which sets a registry setting or somesuch so that on reboot Windows kicks into the advanced boot menu.

If neither of these are possible how can I add the Windows Recovery environment (WinRE) to the boot menu - can this be done with BCDEdit or Easy BCD?

This is with Windows 7 64 bit by the way.



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up vote 1 down vote accepted

First, make a backup of your current BCD with bcdedit -export backup_file.bcd. If you have BitLocker enabled on your boot drive, it needs to be disabled until after your done changing things.

If you just want the menu to show: bcdedit /delete {bootmgr} default

Booting the computer has nothing to do with the registry, only the BCD controls the boot process.

Adding WinRE is a bit involved; is there something specific you're looking for, or you just want the whole environment?

To install WinRE (the easy way):

  1. Get a copy of winre.wim and boot.sdi from your Installation CD & WinAIK. Directions here, steps 1, 2, and 5. Put boot.sdi in your \boot directory (note it might be on an unmounted partition, check Disk Manager for one). Winre.wim can go anywhere, just make it simple.
  2. run these to add WinRE to your BCD:

    Bcdedit –create {ramdiskoptions}
    Bcdedit –set {ramdiskoptions} ramdisksdidevice  boot
    Bcdedit -set {ramdiskoptions} ramdisksdipath  \boot\boot.sdi

    You now have the ramdisk options in place.

    Bcdedit –store c:\BCD –create /d “WinRE” /application osloader

    Note the GUID it gives you as you'll need it for the next several lines:

    Bcdedit –set {guid1} systemroot \Windows
    Bcdedit –set {guid1} detecthal Yes
    Bcdedit –set {guid1} winpe Yes
    Bcdedit –set {guid1} osdevice ramdisk=X:\Path\To\WinRE.wim,{ramdiskoptions}
    Bcdedit –set {guid1} device ramdisk=X:\Path\To\WinRE.wim,{ramdiskoptions}

This is almost all from memory; so it's possible I forgot something. I don't know of any easy way to make booting into WinRE a one-shot deal.

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I need to get specifically the command prompt option. Ideally what I want to do is run some kind of command line tool or somesuch before shutting windows down which will (one time only) reboot into the command prompt option of WinRE on next reboot. After exiting the WinRE command prompt the system it should subsequently boot into Windows as usual. – Empedia Aug 10 '10 at 15:56

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