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Windows Vista Tip: Using WinRE To Repair Damaged Systems

Although with Vista, Microsoft has made great strides in the stability of its Windows operating system, things can still go wrong. What happens when a key driver goes missing or a system disk fails? How would you go about recovering the system and, especially, all your precious data?

Problem: How do you recover a damaged Vista system?

There are basically two ways to recover a damaged Windows Vista system: the installation DVD or the Windows Recovery Environment (WinRE).

Solution #1: Use your installation DVD to boot up your system.

This is the simplest method. All you have to do is locate your installation DVD and use it to boot up your damaged system. This launches the Windows Vista installation. (Don't worry, -- you're not going to reinstall Vista. All you want is to get to the "Install now" screen.)
The process begins by launching the Windows Preinstallation Environment (Windows PE), a simplified version of Windows that runs in memory only and is designed to replace DOS. Then it presents a screen which asks for three things:

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