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Using The Recovery Console

Installing, using and configuring the Windows Recovery Console

What is the Recovery Console?

The Recovery Console is an addition to Windows that lets a user do things outside the OS, like replacing system files, fixing errors in the HDD, etc. It's mainly only used in worst case scenario's as working with the console means having the basic knowledge of bat scripting and using commands.

There are several ways to install the Recovery Console, but in this tutorial, this is how to install it by using your XP disk.

Installing the Recovery Console

First, insert your XP CD into the machine. Go to Start > Run, type in the following command like so: X:\i386\winnt32.exe /cmdcons

E:\ is my CD drive, but remember to replace X with your CD drive letter.

You will be prompted about the console and asked if you want to install it - select yes. Allow the console to install without interruption - once it's finished, you will receive another prompt to say the console was installed correctly, hit the OK button.

Next time you reboot, you will now notice an extra menu appear for 3 seconds or so and one of the options listed is the Microsoft Windows Recovery Console.

How do I use the Recovery Console

To use the console, you'll need to have the basic knowledge of batch scripting. To get a basic idea of commands you are allowed to use, open the command prompt, go to Start > Run, type in cmd and hit enter.

When the command prompt opens, type in help to access a list of all the different commands you can use within Windows. These are the commands you can use while the OS is loaded, there are several more commands you can use while in the console, a list of them can be found here
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