Introducing Windows Recovery Essentials

There have been whispers and rumors making the rounds all over the internet for the past few months regarding the licensing of WinPE. The rumors are, in fact, true: as of January 2012, Microsoft has no longer been renewing any Windows Pre Installation Environment licensing agreements with any partner companies; all of whom are now required to find alternative means of meeting their bootable environment requirements.

As many of you are aware, NeoSmart Technologies is one of the companies licensing Windows PE from Microsoft Corp. Back in August of last year, we revealed that we’d struck a deal with Microsoft wherein we’d be licensing Windows PE for use in our system recovery CDs, making them legally available for download for our users. Unfortunately, that agreement will not be in place for much longer, and the recovery and repair CDs in their current form will soon no longer be available for purchase.

Fortunately, we’ve taken advantage of the advance notice provided by Microsoft to research and develop an alternative for the steady stream of visitors who come to our site in search of a bootable CD to repair their non-booting Windows, having access to neither installation media nor backups.

While working on the next generation of our repair CDs, we investigated the most common points of operating system failure and designed our software to detect, target, and repair these problems. Our goal was simple: make the next version of our system repair CDs in every way better: find more problems, fix more problems, and do so with speed, accuracy, and precision.

The next version of our system repair CDs is not just a replacement for the current WinPE-based repair CDs, but rather a whole new software written from the ground up with the express intent of fixing whatever it may be that stops your PC from booting. Windows Recovery Essentials (WinRE for short) will be a one-stop shop PC repair, fixing common and uncommon problems alike, including those that the Windows installation DVD can’t or won’t fix.

WinRE is currently in private beta and will be available soon. In the meantime, here’s a short peek of WinRE Beta in action:

Make sure to view in high-definition and in full-screen!

If you’re interested in taking it for a test drive, be one of the first to leave a comment saying why you’d like a copy, and if you make it good (don’t forget to follow us on twitter @NeoSmart), we can send one your way.


The current status of WinRE is soft-released. They are available for early adoption, testing, and download from and have been renamed to Easy Recovery Essentials (EasyRE for short). More details forthcoming. (May 19th, 2012)

Download Windows Recovery Essentials

70 thoughts on “Introducing Windows Recovery Essentials

  1. Is it Linux-based now that WinPE licensing is going to end? Btw the main window looks polished and beautiful. The icons at the top and bottom, not so much.

  2. Word of warning. I’m not sure if anything will come about from the name, but I have heard of programs having to change their name because of Windows trade mark.

    For instance Windows Commander had to change their name to Total Commander several years ago.

  3. That’s a fantastic news for PC users. I would like to test it and review it on IntoWindows. As you know, we here at IntoWindows always love products from NeoSmart.

  4. WinRE looks like a very nice tool to assist repair post-malware removal. Sure, I have installation media, but my customer’s machine may not have an MS sticker. There was one unscrupulous guy a few years back who sold bench-mades to small businessmen all over the city. I don’t know what he did, but none of them have validation stickers although Windows was validated. Once Windows is broken on these machines, a nuke and pave is out of the question – the customer has to buy a new license. The validation code in the Registry doesn’t work. Anything that repairs Windows is welcome news to me and would be a welcome addition to my toolbox. I really like your products, use Easy BCD myself and would like to try WinRE. Oh, and Mr. Unscrupulous went out of business one jump ahead of action by MS’s legal team, leaving all his former customers in the lurch. Nice guy…and a hair-puller for me.

  5. Wow if i had had this last week i may no have had to reinstall the OS, yes sign me up to test the Belta

  6. Getting windows update 3 of 3 loop. Love to try your software to stop it. Have vista ultimate. Will send feedback for sure. Thanks Much

  7. This is a tool I really need/want. Will make BCD experiments fun & easy. With this tool I will be less afraid to throw that weird OS on that third or fourth partition and have at it!

  8. With the proliferation of operating systems on the market today, it is imperative to have the ability to access the many different systems in use today.

  9. I am an IT manager of a large printing company and I would greatly love to give this a try. I manage quite a few servers and pc’s and am always looking for something a little better than WinPE for solving those wonderfully presky boot issues. =)

  10. Thank you for your kind remarks and your feedback thus far, everyone. We’ve sent out the first wave of invites, and more will be on their way shortly. We look forward to hearing feedback on your WinRE experience.

    @xpclient: Yes, it’s currently based off of a Linux live CD. However, a lot of work has gone into making the experience as beautiful and simple as possible for the end-user… (or so we hope!)

    @Clifford: Yep. Something we’re aware of, and the name will possibly change. We may just make it WinRE and not stand for anything 🙂

  11. Guys this looks great, but i would suggest another name as Microsoft has used (maybe still does) the WinRE name with Windows with exactly the meaning of Recovery Environment. Maybe ReWin?

  12. Not all of us can afford to subscribe to all the stuff at Microsoft. The Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack and the accompanying Dart CD is out of reach. This would be a welcome alternative! I’d like to give this one a try.

  13. Very Interested in trying this software, as I have a lot of respect for NeoSmart

  14. I get dead and abandoned computers donated to me for nothing from my local computer shop. I try to repair them to make a few good ones to giveaway to charities and to those that cannot afford one. I do not charge for, or make any money from the computers. It gives me something to do, as I’m on a disability pension and I cannot afford to buy software all the time. A lot of time I find that the hard drives are ok, but the Windows installation will not boot up. Most of the errors are in relation to a graphics drivers malfunction (404 errors). A repair disc like that will enable me to make few extra computers each year to give away.
    Kind Regards, Tony

  15. Besides the freelance consulting work I do, this would also be very useful for me personally with the multiple computers I manager here at home (we have a large family), not including all of the family and friends I end up helping with issues, including at the local church.

    I even have an old PC with Windows 98 SE and Windows XP SP3 that had the boot menu trashed and I can’t get into Windows 98 SE at all, but I can manage to use a boot disk and get into XP. Maybe WinRE can help with that PC… ???

  16. I will admit that I am not the sharpest ‘tech’ as came to the table at 50 yrs of age. Now, after 10 years working a Support Desk, I have a feel for computers but always appreciate a company like NeoSmart to make my life easier as well as the life of the 10000 users I support. Your EasyBCD has been a life saver for folks like me and I so look forward to the release of your upcoming replacement and the fact that you all have rewritten it from the ground up just gets me all a twitter! Please keep up the great work and I will spread the good word of your existence and that you are a ‘friend of the people’.

  17. This sounds great would love to test it on my gateway fx vista has the other user screen and will not boot up this happened after a virus cleaner erased some files which ,i dont know ,this sounds like it would help me get this comp back running……..

  18. Being a PC Repair enthusiast and long-time user of NeoSmart EasyBCD, I would also like to test-drive WRE !!

  19. I help my relatives with computers. My nephews mess up regularly and a Dell is down today. I would love to try your new software. We want to reload Vista without losing data. The factore repair option is running into a dead stop.
    Thank you for any help. Will also pay for something too if I new what to buy to save the data.

  20. We work on approx 25 – 30 pc’s and lappies a week… lots of troubleshooting plus long hours…Always trying to fix problems for clients for the lowest price? This would be a great addition to our workshop. We will definitely be getting this ASAP

  21. Given the chance I would like to try your repair disk beta .like a lot of people I do a lot of repairs for family & friends at no cost & this disk would make my job easier

  22. Fix the Windows, it’s my job. I would love to test this amazing tool in my work. Tks.

  23. I’d love to be able to help you test this software for you. I’d like to test it because I too feel that there is weaknesses in the Microsoft solutions currently and would love to be able to reduce my workload using a powerful tool!

  24. I am a service technician to repair your PC and solve this tool I would my job much easier. thanks

  25. ich würde sehr gerne Betatester werden, finde aber die eMailaddie von Mike nicht
    evtl geht die ANmeldung auch so?

    beste Grü

  26. I love your great softwares
    I would like to test your software.
    I am a tester who tests everything and also tries to find out new things that many people ignore.
    Please send me a copy of WinRE.

  27. If you need a little old lady in Texas to beta test for you, I’m available! This software would come in mighty handy for those “senior goofs” I make, and I’d appreciate it very much. (I was going to throw in here a couple “y’all” and “thank ya kindly”-s, but you get my drift!)

  28. I love to test software. Besides I share my computer with my son who is apt to mess up things once in a while. Therefore I would like to have a repair with me all the time.


  29. Im PC/IT tech and running a new repair business Im looking for great tools like this to make my job eaier. RECOVERY discs are something I cant live without personally and professionally

  30. Hi, using easybcd for 2 years now. Would like to become a tester of Windows Recovery Essentials.

  31. As EBCD user I have enjoyed your product, and wish to test drive this new beta. thanks

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