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Microsoft details why your latest Windows 11 WinRE updates may have failed

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If you’ve noticed that WinRE (Windows Recovery Environment) updates are failing on your Windows 11 PC lately, there might be a reason for that. Microsoft recently published a guidance article explaining why this happens and also detailed how to deal with the problem.

The company says it has changed the way it delivers WinRE updates when they are deployed via monthly cumulative updates via Windows Update (WU) and Windows Server Update Services (WSUS). Because this requires a large enough recovery partition, and in case the partition does not have enough space, the update will fail with the following error message “Windows Recovery Environment Service failed”. The technology giant writes:


Microsoft has changed the way it updates computers running the Windows Recovery Environment (WinRE). WinRE will be updated using the monthly cumulative update. This change only applies to PCs that receive updates from Windows Update (WU) and Windows Server Update Services (WSUS). This change begins on June 27, 2023, for Windows 11 Cumulative Update, version 22H2.

Some computers may not have a large enough recovery partition to complete this update. Because of this, the update for WinRE may fail. You will receive the error message “The Windows Recovery Environment service has failed.”

As mentioned above, a step-by-step guide has also been provided by Microsoft, although it may not be the easiest to follow for the average user.

You can see the amount of recovery partition on your computer by starting the disk management console (run “diskmgmt”):

Disk Management window showing the UEFI recovery partition and others

The guide below will help increase the recovery partition capacity by 100MB:

Resize your partition manually by 100 MB

  • Open a command line window (cmd) as manager.
  • To check WinRE status, run reagentc /info. If WinRE is installed, there should be a “Windows RE location” with a path to the WinRE directory. An example is, “Windows RE location: [file://%3f/GLOBALROOT/device/harddisk0/partition4/Recovery/WindowsRE]\\?\GLOBALROOT\device\harddisk0\partition4\Recovery\WindowsRE.” Here, the number after “hard” and “partition” is the index of the disk and partition WinRE is running on.
  • To disable WinRE, run reagentc /disable.
  • Shrink the operating system partition and create a new recovery partition.
    • To shrink the operating system, run diskpart.
    • run disk list.
    • To select the operating system disk, run basket disk. It should be the same disk index as WinRE.
    • To check the partition under the operating system disk to find the operating system partition, run the list part.
    • To select the operating system partition, run sel part.
    • run shrivel. Desirable=250 Minimum=250.
    • To select the WinRE partition, run smooth basket.
    • To delete the WinRE partition, run delete unpartition.
    • To create a new partition, run Create a primary partition.
    • To initialize the primary partition, run format quick fs=ntfs label=”Windows RE tool”
  • Set the partition to be a recovery partition.
    • To check if your disk is MBR or GPT, run Detail part. If you get a GUID like, “Type: ebd0a0a2-b9e5-4433-87c0-68b6b72699c7” under partition 3, your disk is GPT. Otherwise, it’s MBR.
      • For an MBR disk, the command should be Establish an identity card=27
      • For a GPT disk, the command should be Establish an identity card=de94bba4-06d1-4d40-a16a-bfd50179d6ac
      • gpt attributes=0x8000000000000001
  • To confirm that the WinRE partition has been created, run List Volume.
  • To exit diskpart, run exit.
  • To restart WInRE, run reagentc /enable.
  • To confirm where WinRE is installed, run reagentc /info.

Note If the build failed or you didn’t want to extend the WinRE partition, run reagentc /enable to restart WinRE.

You can find the support article Here On Microsoft’s official website.

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