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chkdsk found inconsistencies on my system partition, but only runs in read-only mode because it can't lock the partition exclusively (yes, even during reboot).

I want to run the Startup Command Prompt (new version of Recovery Console) that runs from the BitLocker helper partition, then the system partition won't be in use and chkdsk should be able to get its exclusive lock. Plenty of instructions around the web with instructions on how to do this, e.g.

All of these indicate that the "Advanced" button pulls up a menu offering an option of "Command Prompt". But on my system (Win8 Pro RTM 64-bit from MSDN, upgraded from Win7 Ultimate in-place) it doesn't.

What causes these options to be missing and can I get them back?

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1 Answer 1

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I discovered that the Recovery Environment was disabled.

C:\Windows\System32\Recovery>reagentc /info
Windows Recovery Environment (Windows RE) and system reset configuration

    Windows RE status:         Disabled
    Windows RE location:
    Boot Configuration Data (BCD) identifier: 00000000-0000-0000-0000-0000000000
    Recovery image location:
    Recovery image index:      0
    Custom image location:
    Custom image index:        0

The WinRE binary (winre.wim) was still present in C:\Windows\System32\Recovery, so I was able to re-enable the recovery environment as described here. The basic steps are:

  • Use robocopy to place WinRE.wim onto the boot partition. Do NOT use the /move option.
  • Use reagentc /setreimage to tell Windows where to find WinRE.wim.
  • Run reagentc /enable

After this I was able to reboot into the WinRE Command Prompt and perform an offline chkdsk on my system drive.

(Note: It is helpful to "suspend" BitLocker before using WinRE. It'll automatically reactivate the protection the next time you boot.)

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