NeoSmart announces Windows Recovery Essentials

Important news is coming from NeoSmart Technologies, the company praised for the award-winning boot manager software EasyBCD: the developer will soon release a new system recovery CD for Windows operating systems, rewritten from the ground up due to licensing issues with the official Microsoft products.

Like many companies selling recovery CDs for Windows, NeoSmart was thus far licensing the Windows Pre Installation Environment (WinPE) directly from Microsoft to develop and release its own bootable recovery environments.

But starting from January 2012, NeoSmart reveals, Microsoft stopped renewing the pre-existing licensing agreements with third parties, forcing its partners to search for an alternative solution to develop future bootable CDs without using Redmond’s own WinPE.

NeoSmart says it is now working on its “next generation” repair CDs, a product that is “not just a replacement for the current WinPE-based repair CDs, but rather a whole new software written from the ground up with the express intent of fixing whatever it may be that stops your PC from booting”.

The upcoming (and currently in private beta) Windows Recovery Essentials (or WinRE for short) will be able to repair and fix “common and uncommon problems” preventing the system to boot or work properly, NeoSmart promises, “including those that the Windows installation DVD can’t or won’t fix”.

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floopydoodle said,
Be ready to get sued for the name, Windows Recovery Essentials.

Just change it to Easy Recovery Essentials.

NeoSmart has come up with some nifty apps over the years - EasyBCD's the most popular, but TweakUI x64 before that, Ln-win and ToolTipFixer. Looking forward to this one.

This 'crap' is absolutely unnecessary...

Using the FREE Microsoft provided features as a home user or the professional level 'free' tools, there is nothing these type of products can do that are not already available.

Even in the XP days, the 'use' of tools like this was questionable, but with the revamped PE environment of Vista and Win7, they are often more destructive than helpful.

Even Windows 7's own 'automated' recovery features are more advanced than users realize, let alone what the full environment provides. (WinPE is not longer a 'stub' version of NT like XP and previous versions, it is NT with Win32 emulated APIs.)

Since the release of Vista, there has not been one time tools like these have been needed, as even using the Vista/Server 2008 DVDs or USB boot tools can even be used on older NT installations and is a common way IT people deal with even older Windows 2000/2003 servers that they need to gain access.

Not only is the WinPE powerful, but a full installation of Windows Vista/7 CAN boot from a USB device or a CD if needed.

Additionally, any serious IT person would have a Win2008/Win7 on a SD or portable hard drive with a multi-interface, that could be used on SATA/IDE/USB/etc... (

Even in the NT 3.1 and NT 4.0 days, at the very 'least' you carried a simple IDE drive with you.

Using any 'older' version of NT on a newer installation is dangerous, or using Linux or OS X on an NTFS volume is playing with FIRE.

The way Linux handles FS' technology and 'understands' and works with NTFS is reductive at best.

Not mangling the ACLs is hard for Linux, let alone the System Volume/Restore/Encryption/Compression or even the way NTFS has redundant types of hardlinks and junctions will confuse Linux rather easily.

If you 'fix' a NTFS volume using Linux or dual boot and 'share' an NTFS volume while flipping between Linux and Windows, 'copy on write' information and other volume level information is often lost and Windows has to rebuild these on the next boot.

(In a dual boot/shared volume environment, this also dogs Windows performance as it is constantly having to repair what Linux is doing to the NTFS volumes which Linux does NOT update, track, or maintain as the full specifications of NTFS need.)

There is a lot of things that happen from losing restore points and versions to even application/OS based metadata. When you add on an inexperience user messing with the FS outside of Windows things get even more messy - fast, messing up 'virtualized' paths and other things that a user will see as 'duplicate' information and not understand why it exists for system stability and security.

-Why do you think Microsoft STOPPED licensing the WinPE? Do you think it was because they stopped enjoying the money, or do you maybe think it was they got tired of 3rd party software butchering Windows installations and affecting users?