System hacks: use the recovery environment of Windows 10

Windows Recovery Environment (WinRE), which comes pre-installed in Windows 10 Home, Professional, Education and Enterprise editions, can be used to solve common problems of unbootable Windows 10 operating system. So, how to use Windows 10 Recovery Environment well?

1. When to use the Recovery Environment

Generally speaking, when Windows 10 fails to start and restarts twice in a row, the WinRE interface will appear on the screen automatically. With the help of WinRE, we can restore the Windows 10 operating system to the state previously recorded in one of the restore points, perform a disk check, repair the boot manager, perform a system file check, return to a previous version of Windows 10, reset or repair the Windows 10 installation and resolve boot problems.

Tip: WinRE will automatically boot after Windows 10 detects the following problems: two consecutive failed attempts to boot Windows; two consecutive unplanned downtimes within two minutes of boot completion; secure boot errors (except for problems related to Bootmgr.efi); and BitLocker errors on touch devices.

2. Methods of entering the recovery environment

In addition to the automatic entry into WinRE scenario mentioned above, we can also enter Windows 10’s WinRE by the following methods.

If the Windows 10 system can be accessed normally, you can click and select “Update and Security” in the “Settings” window, and then select “Recovery”; in the In the next window, click the “Restart Now” button under “Advanced Startup” to automatically restart and enter the WinRE environment (Figure 1).

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Tip: You can also press and hold Shift and click “Reboot” while Windows 10 is running, and then you can enter the WinRE environment after rebooting.

If there is only one Windows 10 installed on your computer, you can capture and enter the WinRE environment by continuously pressing the F8 function key while booting, regardless of whether the system can boot properly.

If there is a dual system including Windows 10 installed in the computer, you can click “Change default or select other options” at the bottom of the menu when the system boots to the selection menu, enter the “Options” screen, and click “Select Other Options→Troubleshooting→Advanced Options” to enter the WinRE interface (Figure 2).

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3. Handling the recovery environment failure

Sometimes, when you invoke the recovery environment in Windows 10, you may get the error “Recovery environment not found” because this feature is disabled. Therefore, in order not to be unable to use Windows Recovery Environment normally after the problem occurs, you can usually check whether the function is normal or not, and if it is disabled, turn it on.

First check if the WinRE function is turned on. Enter the command prompt window as administrator and execute the command “reagentc /info” to check the current status of Windows Recovery Environment (Figure 3).

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If the status is Disabled, execute the “reagentc /enable” command to enable the Windows Recovery Environment. If you want to disable WinRE, execute “reagentc /disable” command. It is not recommended to disable WinRE unless you do not want others to perform unauthorized operations through WinRE.

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