4.1 Troubleshoot PC operating system problems with appropriate tools
Windows RE (Short for Recovery) is new for Windows 7/8/10 and completely replaces the
recovery console in Windows XP. You should be able to perform most tasks of recovery console
from Windows RE.
Windows RE (Recovery Environment) is stored as winre. wim file on device hard drive or SSD
in Windows 7, 8/8.1 and 10. Windows 7 normally keeps it on the same partition/volume with
Windows, while Windows 8 and later usually keep it on the hidden System Reserved partition
that also contains boot files and Boot Configuration Data (BCD).
Microsoft recommends that you regularly create Automated System Recovery (ASR) sets as
part of an overall plan for system recovery so that you are prepared if the system fails. ASR
should be a last resort for system recovery. Use ASR only after you have exhausted other
options. For example, you should first try Safe Mode Boot and Last Known Good.
A hard disk should never be low level formatted at the customer premises. It is highly
recommended that it is done at the manufacturer's or at any authorized center.
To get into the Windows 7 Safe Mode, as the computer is booting press and hold your "F8 Key"
which should bring up the "Windows Advanced Options Menu". Use the arrow keys to move to
"Safe Mode" and press Enter key.
Steps for starting Safe Mode from a blank screen:
Hold down the Windows logo key (normally between CTRL + ALT on your keyboard) at the
same time as pressing Ctrl, Shift + B. If you're running Windows 10 on a tablet, you'll need to
press the increase volume and decrease volume buttons together three times within a twosecond
You should see the screen dim or flutter and hear a beep, which means that Windows is trying to
Since Windows 7/8/10, Microsoft added a new security feature called User Account Control
(UAC). It tries to prevent malicious apps from doing potentially harmful things on your PC.
Before the administrator-level (elevated) action is allowed, UAC asks permission from the user
to go ahead with it, or cancel the request.
Some of the troubleshooting tools
Log files: A log file (or simply log) is a file that records either the events which happen while
an operating system or other software runs. The act of keeping a logfile is called logging. When
a failure occurs in Windows Setup, review the entries in the Setuperr.log file, then the
Setupact.log file, and then other log files as appropriate
Setuperr.log: It contains information about setup errors during the installation of Windows 7.
Start with this log file when troubleshooting. A file size of 0 bytes indicates no errors during
Setupact.log: It contains the events that occurred during the installation. There are several
instances of the Setupact.log file, depending on what point in the installation process the failure
Unattend.xml: It is the answer file used by Windows 7 during unattended installations.
Setuplog.txt: It records events that occurred during the text portion installation of Windows XP.
Windows 7 does not have a text portion during installation.
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