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Veeam Agent – Windows recovery image file not found

KB ID: 2685
Product: Veeam Agent for Microsoft Windows | 3.0.2 | 4.0 | 5.0 | 6.0 | 6.1
Published: 2018-07-12
Last Modified: 2023-12-06
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This article includes steps that advise executing commands using Diskpart, which has no confirmation system to prevent mistakes. Failure to understand how to use Diskpart or typos may cause issues. Please take your time and double-check each command is correct for your environment before executing them. Steps that involve specifying disk numbers or partition numbers must be reviewed closely; the disk and partition numbers used in this article's examples may not match your environment.

Challenge

The Veeam Recovery Media Creation process is encountering an error, which typically presents as follows:
Windows recovery image file not found

Cause

The Veeam Recovery Environment is built on top of the Windows Recovery Environment, which, in turn, is created from the Windows Preinstallation Environment. If a system is missing the necessary Windows PE/RE components, the creation of Veeam Recovery Media will fail.

Solution

Please note that the steps outlined in the resolution below will require 8GB or more of free space on the disk specified in the DISM commands.

Part 1: Preparing the Image File

To resolve the issue of missing Windows Recovery Environment files, you will need to copy them from the Windows Installation media to the running system. Perform the following steps on the machine that is having the issue:

  1. Mount the Windows Installation ISO or insert the installation media.
  2. Using Windows Explorer, check the "sources" folder on the Windows installation media:
    1. If install.wim is present, skip to Part 2: Using Diskpart Check if the Recovery Partition is Present
    2. if install.esd is present, proceed to step 3
  3. Use the DISM Export-Image function to extract the install.wim from the install.esd file in the installation media.
How to export install.wim from install.esd file
Using the DISM Get-ImageInfo function, determine which Index ID inside the install.esd matches the installed version of Windows.
Modify file paths as needed for your environment.
dism /get-imageinfo /imagefile:D:\sources\install.esd

Next, use the Export-Image function to export the install.wim for the Index ID that you need. For the example command below, the machine had Windows 10 Pro installed, and Index #6 matched that edition.

Be sure to include the /Compress switch; if it is not included, the resulting WIM file will fail to mount using DISM.

 dism /Export-image /SourceImageFile:D:\sources\install.esd /SourceIndex:6 /DestinationImageFile:C:\tempsources\install.wim /Compress:fast /CheckIntegrity

Part 2: Using Diskpart Check if the Recovery Partition is Present

Open an elevated Command Prompt, and run the following commands in Diskpart:

  1. List all available disks:
list disk
  1. Select the disk where the OS is installed. (Usual Disk 0)
select disk #
  1. List all partitions on the selected disk:
list part
Recovery Partition
Example of Recovery Partition
With the state of the Recovery partition now known, proceed to Part 3 of this article.

Part 3: Recovery Image Handling

Below are three expandable sections that provide information on the next actions to take based on whether the Recovery partition is available.

Scenario Summaries:

  • Scenario 1: Replace the Existing Recovery Image in the Recovery Partition

    The Recovery partition is present, and you would prefer to update it instead of storing the recovery image on the OS partition.

  • Scenario 2: Create a New Recovery Partition

    There is no Recovery partition, but you would like to create one and store the Recovery image there.

  • Scenario 3: Place the Recovery Image on the OS Volume

    There is no Recovery partition, and you don't want to create one.

Scenario 1: Replace the Existing Recovery Image in the Recovery Partition

In this scenario, you will assign a drive letter to the existing Recovery partition, replace the recovery image on that partition with the one from the ISO, and then reinitialize the recovery environment.

  1. Assign a Drive letter to the existing Recovery partition:
  1. Open an elevated Command Prompt
  2. Run Diskpart:
diskpart
  1. List all available disks:
list disk
  1. Select the disk where the OS is installed. (Usual Disk 0)
select disk #
  1. List all partitions on the selected disk:
list part
  1. Select the Recovery partition.
select part #
  1. Assign the selected Recovery partition a drive letter:

    The letter R:\ is used throughout this section to make the steps consistent.
assign letter=R
  1. Exit Diskpart, and complete the remaining steps in this Scenario guide from the existing elevated Command Prompt.
exit
  1. Disable the recovery environment:
reagentc /disable
  1. Using the DISM Mount-Image function, mount the install.wim:
    Correct file paths as needed depending on the location of the install.wim. For example, if you had to extract the install.wim from the install.esd on the ISO, correct the imagefile path to match where you exported that install.wim.
DISM /Mount-image /imagefile:D:\sources\install.wim /Index:1 /MountDir:C:\dism /readonly /optimize
  1. Copy WinRe.wim and ReAgent.xml files from the mounted image to the system's C:\Windows\System32\Recovery folder:

    Note:  The example command will overwrite all data in the C:\Windows\System32\Recovery folder with content from the mounted image. (WinRe.wim is a system file and is hidden by default, as such, you won't be able to see the file once it's copied to the target location.)
robocopy /MIR /XJ C:\dism\Windows\System32\Recovery\ C:\Windows\System32\Recovery
  1. Unmount the image:
dism /unmount-image /mountdir:C:\dism /discard
  1. On the Recovery partition that you assigned a Drive letter to in Step 2 of this scenario, check if there is a folder named Recovery and within it is a folder named WindowsRE.
dir R: /A /S
Recovery Dir
  • If the folders are present (R:\Recovery\WindowsRE), skip the mkdir command and proceed to Step 8.
  • If those folders are not present, create them:
mkdir R:\Recovery\WindowsRE
  1. Copy the recovery environment image to the R:\Recovery\WindowsRE folder:
xcopy /h C:\Windows\System32\Recovery\Winre.wim R:\Recovery\WindowsRE
  1. Enable Recovery image using  REAgentC:
reagentc /setreimage /path R:\Recovery\WindowsRE /target C:\Windows
  1. Enable the recovery environment:
reagentc /enable
  1. Check that the Recovery environment is pointed to the correct partition:
reagentc /info
  1. Remove the drive letter from the Recovery partition:
  1. Open Diskpart
diskpart
  1. List all available disks:
list disk
  1. Select the disk where the OS is installed. (Usual Disk 0)
select disk #
  1. List all partitions on the selected disk:
list part
  1. Select the Recovery partition.
select part #
  1. Remove the drive letter from the Recovery partition:
remove letter=R
  1. Exit Diskpart, and close the Command Prompt
exit
With those steps completed, the Veeam Recovery Media Creation process should function properly. If it continues to fail, please create a Veeam support case and mention this KB article and the scenario you completed.
Scenario 2: Create a New Recovery Partition

In this scenario, you will shrink the last partition on the OS disk, create a new partition, assign it the Recovery type, copy the recovery image into that new partition, then reinitialize the recovery environment.

Note:

  • If the last partition on the OS disk is not large enough to shrink, you may have to shrink the next-to-last partition to make space for the Recovery partition.

 

  1. Shrink the last partition on the OS disk and create the new Recovery partition:
  1. Open an elevated Command Prompt
  2. Run Diskpart:
diskpart
  1. List all available disks:
list disk
  1. Select the disk where the OS is installed. (Usual Disk 0)
    Tip: Take note of whether the disk you select is marked as GPT or not, you'll need to know that in a future step.
select disk #
  1. List all partitions on the selected disk:
list part
  1. Select the last partition on the disk, which you are going to shrink to make space for the new Recovery Partition. (Usually, it is the OS partition)

    Critical Note: The partition you select must have sufficient space to be shrunk by 8GB. If the last partition on the disk is unable to be shrunk by 8GB, you may need to shrink the next-to-last partition instead and insert the new Recovery partition before the last partition.
select part #
  1. Shrink the partition to create space for the new Recovery partition:
shrink desired=8192
  1. Create a new Primary partition:
create partition primary
  1. After the partition command in the previous step completes, the new partition will be selected. Now, format it as NTFS and give it the label "Recovery"
format quick fs=ntfs label="Recovery"
  1. Update the partition type ID:
    • If the disk was not marked as GPT, use the command:
      set id = 27
      
    • If the disk was marked as GPT, use the command:
      set id = "de94bba4-06d1-4d40-a16a-bfd50179d6ac"
      
  1. Assign the new Recovery partition a drive letter:

    The letter R:\ is used throughout this section to make the steps consistent.
assign letter=R
  1. Exit Diskpart, and complete the remaining steps in this Scenario guide from the existing elevated Command Prompt.
exit
  1. Disable the recovery environment:
reagentc /disable
  1. Using the DISM Mount-Image function, mount the install.wim:
    Correct file paths as needed depending on the location of the install.wim. For example, if you had to extract the install.wim from the install.esd on the ISO, correct the imagefile path to match where you exported that install.wim.
DISM /Mount-image /imagefile:D:\sources\install.wim /Index:1 /MountDir:C:\dism /readonly /optimize
  1. Copy WinRe.wim and ReAgent.xml files from the mounted image to the system's C:\Windows\System32\Recovery folder:

    Note:  The example command will overwrite all data in the C:\Windows\System32\Recovery folder with content from the mounted image. (WinRe.wim is a system file and is hidden by default, as such, you won't be able to see the file once it's copied to the target location.)
robocopy /MIR /XJ C:\dism\Windows\System32\Recovery\ C:\Windows\System32\Recovery
  1. Unmount the image:
dism /unmount-image /mountdir:C:\dism /discard
  1. Create the Recovery folders:
mkdir R:\Recovery\WindowsRE
  1. Copy the recovery environment image to the R:\Recovery\WindowsRE folder:
xcopy /h C:\Windows\System32\Recovery\Winre.wim R:\Recovery\WindowsRE
  1. Enable the Recovery image using  REAgentC:
reagentc /setreimage /path R:\Recovery\WindowsRE /target C:\Windows
  1. Enable the recovery environment:
reagentc /enable
  1. Check that the Recovery environment is pointed to the correct partition:
reagentc /info
  1. Remove the drive letter from the Recovery partition:
  1. Open Diskpart
diskpart
  1. List all available disks:
list disk
  1. Select the disk where the OS is installed. (Usual Disk 0)
select disk #
  1. List all partitions on the selected disk:
list part
  1. Select the Recovery partition.
select part #
  1. Remove the drive letter from the Recovery partition:
remove letter=R
  1. Exit Diskpart, and close the Command Prompt
exit
With those steps completed, the Veeam Recovery Media Creation process should function properly. If it continues to fail, please create a Veeam support case and mention this KB article and the scenario you completed.
Scenario 3: Place the Recovery Image on the OS Volume

In this scenario, you will extract the recovery image from the install.wim to the C:\Windows\System32\Recovery folder and then initialize the recovery environment to use that recovery image.

 

  1. Using the DISM Mount-Image function, mount the install.wim:
    Correct file paths as needed depending on the location of the install.wim. For example, if you had to extract the install.wim from the install.esd on the ISO, correct the imagefile path to match where you exported that install.wim.
DISM /Mount-image /imagefile:D:\sources\install.wim /Index:1 /MountDir:C:\dism /readonly /optimize
  1. Disable the recovery environment:
reagentc /disable
  1. Copy WinRe.wim and ReAgent.xml files from the mounted image to the system's C:\Windows\System32\Recovery folder:

    Note:  The example command will overwrite all data in the C:\Windows\System32\Recovery folder with content from the mounted image. (WinRe.wim is a system file and is hidden by default, as such, you won't be able to see the file once it's copied to the target location.)
robocopy /MIR /XJ C:\dism\Windows\System32\Recovery\ C:\Windows\System32\Recovery
  1. Enable the Recovery image using  REAgentC:
reagentc /setreimage /path C:\Windows\System32\Recovery /target C:\Windows
  1. Unmount the image:
dism /unmount-image /mountdir:C:\dism /discard
  1. Enable the recovery environment:
reagentc /enable
With those steps completed, the Veeam Recovery Media Creation process should function properly. If it continues to fail, please create a Veeam support case and mention this KB article and the scenario you completed.
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