How To – Recovery Console; Fix XP with Recovery Console

October 17, 2007

Recovery Console; Fix XP with Recovery Console: If you work as support or if you fix your own Windows XP system that occasionally has booting up problems, you’ll want to install the Recovery Console on your system. Once you have installed the Recovery Console, it will always be available when you need to troubleshoot the boot process. This will save you from having to search for a Windows XP installation CD every time you want to run the Recovery Console.

If you’re looking for new ways to save time off the troubleshooting process, you’ll will appreciate this Windows XP tip!

This section describes the functionality and limitations of the Windows Recovery Console. The Windows Recovery Console is designed to help you recover when your Windows-based computer does not start properly or does not start at all.

When you use the Windows Recovery Console, you can obtain limited access to NTFS, FAT, and FAT32 volumes without starting the Windows graphical interface. In the Windows Recovery Console you can:

Use, copy, rename or replace operating system files and folders, Enable or disable services or devices from starting when you next start your computer, Repair the file system boot sector or the Master Boot Record (MBR), Create and format partitions on drives.

Note that only an administrator can obtain access to the Windows Recovery Console so that unauthorized users cannot use any NTFS volume. 

Because the Recovery Console is quite powerful, it is recommended for use only by advanced users or administrators.

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To install the Recovery Console as a Startup Option

1. With Windows running, insert the Setup CD into your CD-ROM drive. Start/Run/X:i386\winnt32.exe /cmdcons. Follow the instructions on the screen.

2. To run the Recovery Console, restart your computer and select the Recovery Console option from the list of available operating systems.

You must be logged on as an administrator or a member of the Administrators group in order to complete this procedure. If your computer is connected to a network, network policy settings may also prevent you from completing this procedure.

To see the commands available on the Recovery Console, type help at the at the console prompt.

 

How to add/install the Recovery Console to an XP machine startup option:

1. Insert the Windows XP installation CD into the drive and hold down the [Shift] key in order to prevent the Setup screen from appearing.

2. Access the Run command by pressing [Windows]-R.

3. Type x:\i386\winnt32.exe /cmdcons in the Open text box (where x is the CD-ROM drive letter) and click OK.

4. When you see the confirmation prompt, click Yes and follow the onscreen steps.

5. Restart Windows XP and make sure that the Recovery Console option appears on the Operating System Selection menu.

Note: If you’ve upgraded Windows XP with SP2, you cannot use the original Windows XP installation CD to install the Recovery Console. Instead, you’ll have to use a SP2 slipstream CD.

1. With Windows running, insert the Setup CD into your CD-ROM drive. Start/Run/X:i386\winnt32.exe /cmdcons. Follow the instructions on the screen.

2. To run the Recovery Console, restart your computer and select the Recovery Console option from the list of available operating systems.

3. You must be logged on as an administrator or a member of the Administrators group in order to complete this procedure. If your computer is connected to a network, network policy settings may also prevent you from completing this procedure.

4. To see the commands available on the Recovery Console, type help at the at the console prompt.

 

To start the computer and use the Recovery Console:

From the Setup CD-ROM: Insert the Setup compact disc (CD) and restart the computer. If prompted, select any options required to boot from the CD. When the text-based part of Setup begins, follow the prompts; choose the repair or recover option by pressing R. If you have a dual-boot or multiple-boot system, choose the installation that you need to access from the Recovery Console. When prompted, type the Administrator password. At the system prompt, type Recovery Console commands; type help for a list of commands, or help commandname for help on a specific command.

To exit the Recovery Console and restart the computer, type exit.

 

If you have already installed the Recovery Console.

During Startup, select Recovery Console from the startup options menu. If you have a dual-boot or multiple-boot system, choose the installation that you need to access from the Recovery Console. When prompted, type the Administrator password. At the system prompt, type Recovery Console commands; type help for a list of commands, or help commandname for help on a specific command. To exit the Recovery Console and restart the computer, type exit.

Because the Recovery Console is quite powerful, it is recommended for use only by advanced users or administrators.

 

The commands available when using the Recovery Console:

This list can be obtained in the Console by typing help

Attrib: Changes the attributes of a file or directory.
Batch: Executes the commands specified in the text file.
ChDir (Cd): Displays the name of the current directory or changes the current directory.
Chkdsk: Checks a disk and displays a status report.
Cls: Clears the screen.
Copy: Copies a single file to another location.
Delete (Del): Deletes one or more files.
Dir: Displays a list of files and subdirectories in a directory.
Disable: Disables a system service or a device driver.
Diskpart: Manages partitions on your hard drives.
Enable: Starts or enables a system service or a device driver.
Exit: Exits the Recovery Console and restarts your computer.
Expand: Extracts a file from a compressed file.
Fixboot: Writes a new partition boot sector onto the system partition.
Fixmbr: Repairs the master boot record of the partition boot sector.
Format: Formats a disk.
Help: Displays a list of the commands you can use in the Recovery Console.
Listsvc: Lists the services and drivers available on the computer.
Logon: Logs on to a Windows 2000 installation.
Map: Displays the drive letter mappings.
Mkdir (Md): Creates a directory.
More: Displays a text file.
Rename (Ren): Renames a single file.
Rmdir (Rd): Deletes a directory.
Set: Displays and sets environment variables.
Systemroot: Sets the current directory to the systemroot directory of the system you are currently logged on to.
Type: Displays a text file.

 

To Delete the Recovery Console:

1. Open My Computer. Double-click the hard drive on which you installed the Recovery Console.
2. On the Tools menu, click Folder Options. Click the View tab.
3. Click Show hidden files and folders, clear the Hide protected operating system files check box, and then click OK.
4. At the root directory, delete the \Cmdcons folder.
5. At the root directory, delete the file Cmldr.
6. At the root directory, right-click the Boot.ini file and then click Properties.
7. Clear the Read-only check box, and then click OK.
8. Open Boot.ini in Notepad, and remove the entry for the Recovery Console. It will look similar to this:
9. C:\cmdcons\bootsect.dat=”Microsoft Windows Recovery Console” /cmdcons

10. Now Just save the file and close it.

Note: Modifying the Boot.ini file incorrectly may prevent your computer from restarting. Be sure to delete only the entry for the Recovery Console. 

To open My Computer, double-click the My Computer icon on the desktop.
It is recommended that you change the attribute for the Boot.ini file back to read-only after you complete this procedure. You may also want to hide your system files again. 

By Raymond Garcia

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