The Recovery Console has been deprecated in Windows Vista, so what happened to all those wonderful commands that were available in recovery console? Well, we were kind of hoping that you wouldn’t need them anymore. But if you do, you’ll be glad to know that most of them are available via the command line in the Windows Recovery Environment (WinRE). The recovery console commands listed in the following table are different or unavailable in WinRE.

Recovery Console Command: BootCfg
WinRE Equivalent: BootRec /ScanOS; BootRec /RebuildBcd; bcdedit

Recovery Console Command: FixBoot
WinRE Equivalent: BootRec /FixBoot

Recovery Console Command: FixMBR
WinRE Equivalent: BootRec /FixMbr

Recovery Console Command: Map
WinRE Equivalent: DiskPart

Recovery Console Command: Logon
WinRE Equivalent: Not needed

Recovery Console Command: LISTSVC; ENABLE; DISABLE; SYSTEMROOT
WinRE Equivalent: Not available
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Just as it was the case for Windows Vista, Microsoft’s latest iteration of the Windows client can also be uninstalled, although “uninstall” does not specifically describe the process that end users will need to take in order to revert to a previously existing copy of a Windows OS. At the same time, also as for its predecessor, Windows 7 can only be removed and the previous Windows platform reinstated in a single installation scenario. Namely, uninstalling the latest version of the operating system is only possible if users installed Windows 7 as a new installation over an earlier version of Windows in the first place.

Obviously, clean installs of Windows 7, where no old OS existed on the hard drive, cannot be uninstalled. The same is valid for users that opted to upgrade from Windows Vista to Windows 7, as well as for those who created multi-boot configurations, deploying Windows 7 alongside older Windows releases.

Uninstalling Windows 7 is only possible if “You used the Windows 7 installation media to install Windows 7 to the same hard disk drive on which you had Windows XP, Windows Vista, or another version of Windows 7 installed. In this scenario, the Windows 7 installation will have created a Windows.old folder that contains your previous operating system and personal files. This Windows.old folder is in the root of the Windows partition,” Microsoft noted.
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Keeping Windows 7 and Windows Vista running under normal parameters takes much more work than is done in Redmond alone. Fact is that the ecosystems of software and hardware products designed to integrate with the Windows clients have to do this seamlessly, especially when dealing with solutions that hook into the core of the operating system. Driver update failures for example, can easily cripple Windows 7 and Windows Vista, causing the two platforms to no longer start.

“This problem may occur if any one of the following conditions is true: The new device or the driver causes conflicts with other drivers that are installed on the computer. A hardware-specific issue occurs. The driver that is installed is damaged,” Microsoft explained.

In case you performed a driver update for a device component of your computer and Windows 7 and Vista are acting up, then your best choice to resolve the matter is to roll back the changes. Reverting the driver update will cause the issues introduced by the refresh to go away. First you will need to boot into Windows.
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Users that upgrade Windows Vista OEM computers to Windows 7 might find that the recovery applications set in place by the original equipment manufacturer are no longer accessible. This scenario is valid for some OEM machines that were acquired with Windows Vista pre-installed, the Redmond company explained. OEMs, in certain cases, will preload the Windows Recovery Environment inside the operating system. In this regard, users would be able to benefit from the System Recovery Options right in the graphical user interface (UI) and help topics.

“You have a computer that is preinstalled with Windows Vista by the computer manufacturer. After you upgrade from Windows Vista to Windows 7 on this computer, you notice that manufacturer-specific recovery applications are no longer available on the System Recovery Options menu,” Microsoft explained.

It is not uncommon for OEMs to customize the System Recovery Options. Original Equipment Manufacturers will in fact tailor Windows platforms to their specific needs, and always present custom build copies of the operating system along with their new computers. In this context, the Windows RE tools are customized in accordance with different OEMs. More »