An end user or helpdesk agent has several different methods to choose from to boot into Microsoft Diagnostics and Recovery Toolset (DaRT) 7, depending on how you deploy the DaRT recovery image. They can insert a DaRT recovery image CD or DVD or a USB flash drive into the problem computer and use it to start the computer.

They can also boot into DaRT from a recovery partition on their computer or from a remote partition on the network. For information about the advantages and disadvantages of each method, see Planning How to Save and Deploy the DaRT Recovery Image.

Whichever method that you use to boot into DaRT, you must enable the boot device in the BIOS for the boot option or options that you want to make available to the end user.

Configuring the BIOS is unique, depending on the kind of hard disk drive, network adapters, and other hardware that is used in your organization.

How to Start DaRT by Using the DaRT Recovery Image

  1. As the computer is booting into the DaRT recovery image, the NetStart dialog box appears. You are asked whether you want to initialize network services. If you click Yes, it is assumed that a DHCP server is present on the network and an attempt is made to obtain an IP address from the server. If the network uses static IP addresses instead of DHCP, you can later use the TCP/IP Configuration tool in DaRT to specify a static IP address.

    To skip the network initialization process, click No.

  2. Following the network initialization dialog box, you are asked whether you want to remap the drive letters. When you run Windows online, the system volume is typically mapped to drive C. However, when you run Windows offline under WinRE, the original system volume might be mapped to another drive, and this can cause confusion. If you decide to remap, DaRT tries to map the offline drive letters to match the online drive letters. Remapping is performed only if an offline operating system is selected later in the startup process.

  3. Following the remapping dialog box, a System Recovery Options dialog box appears and asks you to select a keyboard layout. Then it displays the system root directory, the kind of operating system installed, and the partition size. If you do not see your operating system listed, and suspect that the lack of drivers is a possible cause of the failure, click Load Drivers to load the suspect drivers. This prompts you to insert the installation media for the device and to select the driver. Select the installation that you want to repair or diagnose, and then click Next.

    If the Windows Recovery Environment (WinRE) detects or suspects that Windows 7 did not start correctly the last time that it was tried, Startup Repair might start to run automatically. For information about this situation including how to resolve it, see Troubleshooting DaRT 7.

    If any of the registry hives are corrupted or missing, Registry Editor, and several other DaRT utilities, will have limited functionality. If no operating system is selected, some tools will not be available.

    The System Recovery Options window appears and lists various recovery tools.

  4. In the System Recovery Options window, click Microsoft Diagnostics and Recovery Toolset (DaRT) to open the Diagnostics and Recovery Toolset window.

For detailed information and instructions about how to run the DaRT tools, click Help on the Diagnostics and Recovery Toolset window to open the client Help file.

How to Run DaRT at the Command Prompt

  • You can run DaRT at the command prompt by specifying the netstart.exe command and by using any of the following parameters:

    Parameter Description


    Initializes the network services.


    Remaps the drive letters.


    Displays messages asking the end user to specify whether to initialize the network and remap the drives.

    The end user’s response to the prompts overrides the -network and -remount switches.
  • You can customize DaRT so that a computer that boots into DaRT automatically opens the Remote Connection tool that is used to establish a remote connection with the help desk. For more information, see Run DaRT 7 by Using Remote Connection.

See Also