Repairing or removing WinRE

Mark Phelps

Active Member
I really need some help and I'm hoping someone here can help me or tell me where else I can go ...

My problem is that I'm not able to boot into WinRE using the Vista DVD or the Windows Anytime Update DVD. I read about installing WinRE to my hard drive, and since I was messing around with triple booting XP/Vista/Ubuntu (another story for another time!) , I was having to repeatedly use the Vista DVD to do Startup Repair, so I thought it would be great to have Win RE on the hard drive instead.

So, I downloaded the WAIK and other stuff, built the necessary files on a separate WinXP box, copied them over to my Vista box and installed WinRE. That's where I screwed up. I was careless and installed Win RE to the Vista OS partition. But I thought I was doing the right thing at the time. When I rebooted and pressed F8, instead of getting the nice recovery menu screen, I got the standard safe mode screen.

So, then, I booted into the DVD, but instead of getting the recovery screen, I just got the Aurora background -- and there the machine sits, apparently nothing happening. No menu. No mouse cursor. No disk activity light flashing. Nothing.

Suspecting that maybe I had damaged the Vista DVD through repeated use, I booted from the Windows Anytime Upgrade CD -- which is supposed to provide the same WinRE environment. Same result -- Aurora background, nothing else.

In reading over the WinRE installation instructions again, I notice that it said "full retail DVD" but I have an OEM DVD, Perhaps that was the problem.

Anyway ... I'd like to remove the WinRE I installed so that I can restore the ability to do Startup Repair (and other things) from the Vista DVD.

Is there any way to do that -- remove WinRE?
Sorry I didn't reply sooner, but I've been away for a while ...

I "installed" WinRE to the Vista OS partition long after Vista was working. I have a multi-boot system consisting of several drives, each with different OSs. I use GRUB to boot to a menu that allows me to select the Linux OS, or the Vista Boot Loader, which in turn, allows me to select XP or Vista.

The WinRE problems started long before I installed the other OSs, so it's not related to that activity.

At present, I'm unable to do a "Startup Repair" because, while pressing F8 upon a Windows boot does present a "Repair your computer" option, selecting that option fails and says to boot from the Vista DVD -- which also doesn't work because it only gives me the Aurora background and a mouse pointer. No language prompt panel. No further progress.