Friday, 21 October 2016

Windows Startup Repair (StartRep.exe) crashes on Windows 8/10 in E2B

A few days ago I used E2B to boot to a Windows 10 install ISO in order to repair a notebook that had some boot issues.

I ran the Win10 ISO from the \_ISO\WINDOWS\WIN10 folder and chose the 'S' Startup Repair option in the blue console window and it immediately crashed...


Coincidentally, a user also contacted me yesterday about the same issue! StartRep works fine on Win7 ISOs, but there seems to be something 'special' about the Win8/10 version of StartRep.exe!

Upon investigation, I found that the StartRep.exe also crashed if you chose the Windows Troubleshooter option (recenv.exe) and then ran the Startup Repair option (which runs StartRep.exe)! All the other troubleshooting functions worked, but not Startup Repair.

I also found that if I ran the ISO without using an XML file which had a WinPE section in it, then StartRep.exe worked OK. Also, Windows Setup only gives the user the 'Repair' option (Alt+R) in the Windows Setup menu as long as the XML file does not contain a WinPE section.

So, you can run Windows Repair if you place the Windows 8/10 ISO in one of the other menu folders (e.g. \_ISO\WIN or \_ISO\MAINMENU) and name it with a .iso01 file extension. However, this would mean having to have two copies of each Windows Install ISO on the E2B drive, which is not very convenient!

So, E2B v1.86 will now prompt the user to press a key within 4 seconds for a 'Repair' option whenever they choose a Windows 8/10/2016 Install ISO file from one of the Windows Install menus. If they press a key, the ISO will be run as .iso01 and the standard Repair option will be available. However, in this mode you cannot install Windows because the ISO will not be loaded as a virtual DVD by ImDisk.


If you don't press a key within 4 seconds, then you will be prompted to select an XML file and you can install Windows as normal.
But don't try to run StartRep if you boot using an XML file!
Please try E2B v1.86a and let me know if you see any problems. It is available from the Alternate Downloads Area here.

Note that there is now a new key-string of $$STRb8rp in all the STRINGS.txt language files now.
If you would like to provide a translation for the line:
$$STRb8rp=Press any key for Windows Repair only...\n
then please feel free to send me a modified language STRINGS.txt file with a correctly translated line!