What’s the Recovery Console?

Posted on January 8, 2009 by Daniel Petri in Windows Client OS with 0 Comments

What is the Recovery Console? How can I use it? What will it help me do?

If safe mode and other startup options do not work, you can consider using the Recovery Console. This method is recommended only if you are an advanced user who can use basic commands to identify and locate problem drivers and files. In addition, you must be an administrator to use the Recovery Console.

Using the Recovery Console, you can enable and disable services, format drives, read and write data on a local drive (including drives formatted to use NTFS), and perform many other administrative tasks. The Recovery Console is particularly useful if you need to repair your system by copying a file from a floppy disk or CD-ROM to your hard drive, or if you need to reconfigure a service that is preventing your computer from starting properly.

After you start the Recovery Console you will have to choose which installation you want to log on to (if you have a dual-boot or multiple-boot system) and you will have to log on with your administrator password.

The console provides commands you can use to do simple operations such as changing to a different directory or viewing a directory, and more powerful operations such as fixing the boot sector. You can access Help for the commands in the Recovery Console by typing help at the Recovery Console command prompt.

The following commands can be used with the Recovery Console:

Attrib – Changes the attributes of a file or directory.

Batch – Executes the commands specified in the text file.

Bootcfg – Boot file (boot.ini) configuration and recovery.

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 specified partition.

Fixmbr – Repairs the master boot record of the specified disk.

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 installation.

Map – Displays the drive letter mappings.

Mkdir (Md) – Creates a directory.

More – Displays a text file.

Net Use – Connects a network share to a drive letter.

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.


Description of the Windows XP Recovery Console – 314058

Install and Use the Recovery Console in Windows XP – 307654


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