Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Reagent.xml - explain details

  1. #1


    Posts : 22
    Win8 / 8.1

    Reagent.xml - explain details


    In order to backup any reagent.xml I had, and understand how it works, i saved different version of the file:
    version 1

    1.the one inside the USB recovery (recovery partition included)
    2.the first one from the original installation inside c:\windows\system32\recovery
    the same version 1 i found in System partition under these paths:
    r:\EFI\ASUS\reagent.xml
    r:\EFI\ASUS\it-IT\reagent.xml

    and again same version 1 in the WinRE partition
    r:\Recovery\WindowsRE\reagent.xml

    after resizing my partitions, when easeus changed guid, the refres/reset function was not working (telling me to insert media and restart with that),
    i did the setid and gpt attributes trick, Unable to use built-in ASUS recovery partition
    now my refresh/reset function works (to the point it says to proceed, but i don't know it will complete the procedure because i dn't want to refresh/reset now) so i copied my new reagent.xml wich is:
    version2
    and again i resized another partition and i have
    version3

    So i have few questions for the experts to better understand how it works and how to repair any mess:
    1) Reagent.xml, wich is the one in use? c:\windows\system32\recovery ???

    2) Changes from reagent.xml version1, version2 and version3 are
    <WinreBCD id="{bed03ccc-c679-11e3-8942-d5007a7b2010}"/>
    changed to <WinreBCD id="{8c401714-f289-11e3-be88-54271e20139e}"/>

    <WinreLocation path="\Recovery\WindowsRE" id="0" offset="315621376" changed to <WinreLocation path="\Recovery\WindowsRE" id="0" offset="1393557504"
    !!! but on diskpart detail partition i get 315621376

    <ImageLocation path="\Recovery\WindowsRE" id="0" offset="315621376" no changes <ImageLocation path="\Recovery\WindowsRE" id="0" offset="315621376"

    <OsInstallLocation path="\RecoveryImage" id="0" offset="728670142464" changed to <OsInstallLocation path="\RecoveryImage" id="0" offset="728671031296"
    !!! but on diskpart detail partition i get 728679358464

    So, what these changes mean? aren't there any incongruences?
    Thanks

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    Posts : 1,121
    Windows 8.1 x64


    The reagent.xml file actually used is the one in the Recovery Tools partition, as is shown in the path info for WindowsRE. It is also copied to a Recovery drive if you make one of those.

    I like to use the output of the Reagentc /info command and compare that to the Reagent.xml file. I believe the .xml file is a configuration file used to supply certain information to the Recovery Tools for specific processes, but I do not know for sure how it interacts with the Recovery tools.

    The BCD ID is what is shown in the BCD store for the Recoverysequence for the OS loader. If that number changes, the RamDisk and Device Details will also change in the BCD store, but that is an internal Windows function. And although you can set that up yourself, it is a real pain.....

    The partition offset should be what is shown in Diskpart for that partition.

    I am not sure why you are interested is this information, perhaps you could be more precise as to a reason. But if you are trying to get the Reset to work, the Reagent.xml file for the 8.1 update Recovery Tools partition has some additional entries the normal .xml files do not. Those extra entries are tied to new folders placed on the install as part of the Workaround so a Reset back to 8.0 will work.

    After an 8.1 update, the OEM tools may no longer work, but I was able to Reset my system from within Windows 8.1.

    If you have a specific question, I will try to help. But the Microsoft TechNet site will have a more technical explanation. Look for something about One button resets, or windows deployment.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Posts : 22
    Win8 / 8.1


    @saltgrass
    thanks for your answer first of all, i went through your suggestions in other threads on the same matter and you were very helpfull.

    I'm interested on those information because i want to save any info or file if anything go wrong with refresh/reset in the future.
    The first time i get the pc and started to repartition it, i ended with an unbootable system and i sent it to asus to restore... this time i want to be sure.
    I also thought of erasing any additional RE partition or MSR, leave just the SYSTEM and C:\, image it with acronis and live with that, but maybe is better to save the chance to reset it to factory (isn't it?)

    1)
    So i'm monitoring the reagent.xml file in my system after the repartitioning process.
    What i've noticed is that version1 is, of course, in all the cases (usb, winre partition, first win8 configuration) the same file, same date.
    After repartitioning the reagent.xml, the file modified is the one in c:\windows\system32\recovery (version2)
    Therefore i thought that this is the one win8 looks for starting re environment within Windows;
    and i believe if i boot from usb or recovery environment (OEM asus pushing F9 at the boot), the system will consider the reagent.xml conteined in those media or partition.
    Since those reagent.xml versions are different and point to different:
    WinreBCD id
    WinreLocation path="\Recovery\WindowsRE" id="0" offset
    and diskpart shows an actul offset of the 20gb restore partition, different from the offset contained in both the reagent.xml versions i have saved...
    I'm very confused and not sure everything will work!
    So, is there any link between reagent.xml and the reagentc command? Will these incongruences braek my reest functions?

    2)
    Furthermore I created the USB recovery drive with the win 8 app, including the restore partition (swm splitted files), not deleting the 20gb partition;
    i've read somewhere in the forum t
    Recovery Drive - Create with USB Flash Drive in Windows 8
    that if u choose, at the end of the process, to delete the restore partition to save disk space, booting from usb in the future will not work. is that true? i must keep those 20gb?

    3)
    asus came out with asusbacktracker, a tool to backup and reate bootable media for future restore, i started to try it, but it seems to just call the previously used "create a usb recovery drive"; or will it add different files or references, making the usb with swm work?
    having those changes to reagent.xml i don't want to break my first usb created drive...

    4)
    every pc pro-user, that knows how to keep the system clean, want to have a straight partitioning, dividing os from datas etc...
    i came from winxp, with a dell dvd installation disk,
    so when i found on win8 all those extra partitions, recovery, unallocated space in between, system restore partition...
    i am thinking: wasn't it easier for the manufacturers AND Microsoft, sell new systems with a damned DVD with the original configurtion?

    Thanks for your help
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    Posts : 1,121
    Windows 8.1 x64


    If you make a Recovery Drive and remove the Recovery partition, you will no longer have the original factory image for your system. You do have a version, divided into .swm files, which cannot be recombined but can be used as the original image is used. Resetting from a Flash Drive is very slow because of its read speeds. If you want to remove the partition, I suggest you save the contents somewhere.

    The way to set up a reagent.xml file is to use reagentc.exe. It will normally put the correct information in the file. But the 8.1 update puts added info, such as the line below. If the reagent.xml file on your recovery drive does not have a line like this, it may not have been properly set up after the update.

    <DownlevelWinreLocation path="\Recovery\WindowsRE" id="0" offset="1048576" guid="{c39766f6-321a-429f-948c-cdb7b1348c30}"/>
    There are many threads about resetting an ASUS system after the update. Removing partitions from your install is not one of the suggestions. Look through some of those threads and see if you can find anything helpful.

    The reason the F9 function does not work is it is still looking at the original Winre.wim image for Windows 8. Most of these problems are being caused because Windows 8.1 is a different OS version and trying to install an older version over a new one will probably throw errors.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    Posts : 22
    Win8 / 8.1


    @saltgrass
    sorry I didn't detailed that before...t
    his time... i have not yet updated to win 8.1
    so the reagent.xml file on the usb drive doesn't have the line you specified
    the F9 fuction works... by now

    please may i ask you these questions:
    1)
    After repartitioning the reagent.xml, the file modified is the one in c:\windows\system32\recovery (version2)
    Therefore i thought that this is the one Windows 8 looks for starting re environment within Windows;
    and i believe if i boot from usb or recovery environment (OEM asus pushing F9 at the boot), the system will consider the reagent.xml conteined in those media or partition.
    is this right?

    2)
    asus came out with asusbacktracker, a tool to backup and Create bootable media for future restore, i started to try it, but it seems to just call the previously used "create a usb recovery drive"; or will it add different files or references, making the usb with swm work?
    having those changes to reagent.xml i don't want to break my first usb created drive...

    3)
    YOU SAID: If you want to remove the partition, I suggest you save the contents somewhere.
    I did imaged the restore partition, if i cancel it and one day restore it on the drive will it work if correctly registered with reagentc?

    4)
    reading now the theads you suggested: asus reset

    Thanks saltgrass
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    Posts : 1,121
    Windows 8.1 x64


    Just so we are clear, I am not suggesting anything. If you want to do a Reset and it works, that is good.

    I have not way of seeing what configuration you seem to be indicating, so I cannot suggest based on that.

    If you actually bump into a problem, post back with a picture of your Disk Management window and tell us exactly what that problem is..... but I will try to answer some of your questions.

    1. The F9 option looks for the Recovery Partition indicated in a reagentc /info listing. If you boot to a Recovery Drive, it will use the reagent.xml file on that media.

    2. I don't know anything about the backtracker. My new Asus system had to go back for warranty work and I have not seen it for 30 days, with no estimate when it will be returned.

    3. The forum, as a whole, does not recommend removing the Recovery Image partition. There are other utilities in the partition that aid in resetting the system. Those should have been copied over to the Recovery Flash drive and it should be able to recover to a clean hard drive, but flash drives have a tendency to get misplaced or overwritten. You do not have to register the Recovery Drive if your system was set up correctly prior to making the Recovery Drive.

    4. Good, but those threads concern not being able to Reset their systems. If you are just planning for possible changes to your system, it might help you see some of those situations.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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