How to use Windows XP Recovery Console
The Recovery Console is a feature of Windows XP and Windows 2000 operating systems. As the name suggests, it's main function is to help you recover your system when Windows software does not boot properly. When you use the Windows Recovery system, you obtain limited access to the file systems (such as NTFS, FAT, and FAT32) without starting Windows graphical user interface (GUI).
However, it is recommended that you only use the Recovery Console after Safe Mode and other standard options do not work. There are also other tasks you can do in the Windows Recovery console, such as access system files and folders, you can also repair the Master Boot Record (MBR), as well create and format partitions.
Installing the Recovery Console to your hard drive:
It is highly recommended that you install the Recovery Console on your computer so that when problems occur, it is readily available.
Follow these steps to install the Recovery Console:
Starting the Recovery Console:
If in any case, you do not know or have forgotten your administrator's password, here are easy steps so that the Recovery Console will not prompt for your password.
Recovery Console commands:
For those people with knowledge on DOS or the command prompt, the Recovery Console will look familiar. But they are not the same as the Recovery Console, in fact some commands may not even work. Since there is not graphical interface, you will be using your keyboard to type in all the commands.
Here is a list of the available commands you can use in the Recovery Console. You can type in help followed by the command anytime to get a more detailed explanation.
Batch Executes commands that you specify in the text file, Inputfile. Outputfile holds the output of the commands. If you omit the Outputfile parameter, output appears on the screen.
Bootcfg Allows you to modify the Boot.ini file for boot configuration and recovery.
CD (Chdir) Change directory. Operates only in the system directories of the current Windows installation, removable media, the root directory of any hard disk partition, or the local installation sources.
Chkdsk Checks a disk for drive problems or errors. The /p switch runs Chkdsk even if the drive is not flagged as dirty. The /r switch locates bad sectors and recovers readable information. This switch implies /p. Chkdsk requires Autochk. Chkdsk automatically looks for Autochk.exe in the startup folder. If Chkdsk cannot find the file in the startup folder, it looks for the Windows 2000 Setup CD-ROM. If Chkdsk cannot find the installation CD-ROM, Chkdsk prompts the user for the location of Autochk.exe.
Cls Clears the screen.
Copy Copies one file to a target location. By default, the target cannot be removable media, and you cannot use wildcard characters. Copying a compressed file from the Windows 2000 Setup CD-ROM automatically decompresses the file.
Del (Delete) Deletes one file. Operates within the system directories of the current Windows installation, removable media, the root directory of any hard disk partition, or the local installation sources. By default, you cannot use wildcard characters.
Dir Displays a list of all files, including hidden and system files.
Disable Disables a Windows system service or driver. The variable service_or_driver is the name of the service or driver that you want to disable. When you use this command to disable a service, the command displaysthe service's original startup type before it changes the type to SERVICE_DISABLED. Note the original startup type so that you can use the enable command to restart the service.
Diskpart Manages partitions on hard disk volumes. The /add option creates a new partition. The /delete option deletes an existing partition. The variable device is the device name for a new partition (such as \device\harddisk0). The variable drive is the drive letter for a partition that you are deleting (for example, D). Partition is the partition-based name for a partition that you are deleting, (for example: \device\harddisk0\partition1) and can be used instead of the drive variable. The variable size is the size, in megabytes, of a new partition.
Enable Enables a Windows system service or driver. The variable service_or_driver is the name of the service or driver that you want to enable, and start_type is the startup type for an enabled service. The startup type uses one of the following formats:
Exit Quits the Recovery Console, and then restarts the computer.
Expand Expands a compressed file. The variable source is the file that you want to expand. By default, you cannot use wildcard characters. The variable destination is the directory for the new file. By default, the destination cannot be removable media and cannot be read-only. You can use the attrib command to remove the read-only attribute from the destination directory. The option /f:filespec is required if the source contains more than one file. This option permits wildcard characters. The /y switch disables the overwrite confirmation prompt. The /d switch specifies that the files will not be expanded and displays a directory of the files in the source.
Fixboot Writes a new startup sector on the system partition.
Fixmbr Repairs the startup partition's master boot code. The variable device is an optional name that specifies the device that requires a new Master Boot Record. Omit this variable when the target is the startup device.
Format Formats a disk. The /q switch performs a quick format. The /fs switch specifies the file system.
Help If you do not use the command variable to specify a command, help lists all the commands that the Recovery Console supports.
Listsvc Displays all available services and drivers on the computer.
Logon Displays detected installations of Windows and requests the local Administrator password for those installations. Use this command to move to another installation or subdirectory.
Map Displays currently active device mappings. Include the arc option to specify the use of Advanced RISC Computing (ARC) paths (the format for Boot.ini) instead of Windows device paths.
MD (Mkdir) Creates a directory. Operates only within the system directories of the current Windows installation, removable media, the root directory of any hard disk partition, or the local installation sources.
More/Type Displays the specified text file on screen. More will display a text file one page at a time, while Type displays the entire text file at once.
Rd (Rmdir) Removes a directory. Operates only within the system directories of the current Windows installation, removable media, the root directory of any hard disk partition, or the local installation sources.
Ren (Rename) Rename a file or directory. Operates only within the system directories of the current Windows installation, removable media, the root directory of any hard disk partition, or the local installation sources. You cannot specify a new drive or path as the target.
Set Displays and sets the Recovery Console environment variables.
Systemroot Sets the current directory to %SystemRoot%.
Deleting the Recovery Console:
Only attempt to do the following steps if you are sure you know what you're doing. Modifying the Boot.ini file incorrectly can prevent your computer from starting up properly.
It is extremely important that you backup important data that is not available from other media sources. To recover your operating system when your computer does not start correctly or does not start at all, you may want to install and use the Windows Recovery Console. A Repair Install will replace the system files with the files on the XP CD used for the Repair Install. It will leave your applications and settings intact, but Windows updates will need to be reapplied.
Quite useful, thanks for sharing!
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