May 29th, 2004, 04:34 PM
The Recovery console an overview
The Recovery Console.
Windows 2000 and XP have a much over looked tool for carring out repairs and other administrative task. It is called The Recovery Console and it is a usefull tool if a system restore is not a viable option to repair certain types of problems. In particular problematic drivers, which in my experiance can be difficult to solve if you cant boot into safe mode.
By default the console is not installed to the Hdd when windows is installed.
How to install and run The recovery Console and what you can do with it.
There are two ways that you can use the recovery console.
1. From your xp cdrom
2. Install to hdd.
What can you do from the console .
1. View change directories.
2. Stop/start services.
3. Copy files from floppy drive and cd Rom. But not the reverse.
4. Format local drives.
5. Fix boot sector and master boot record.
6. Various other administrative tasks.
To Start the Recovery console from your Xp setup cd.
To do this you may need to enter the setup utilty of you computer and change the boot sequence to allow booting from the cdrom drive.
Boot your computer to cdrom having first inserted the setup cd.You will see a list of options you need to select R to repair windows using the recovery console. Having made this selection and confirmed you will have to log into the recovery console as the Administrator.
To install the Recovery Console to Hdd.
Insert the setup Cd into the cdrom drive from within windows. Click Start>Run. And type "D:\i386\winnt32.exe /cmdcons" without the quotes. Assuming D is the letter of you cdrom drive. Then follow the instructions on the screen.
This method will allow you to enter the Recovery Console as a boot option.
Below is a list of commands you can use from within the 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.
Checks a disk and displays a status report.
Cls Clears the screen.
Copy Copies a single file to another location.
Deletes one or more files.
Displays a list of files and subdirectories in a directory.
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.
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.
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.
You can get more specific help about a command by doing the following. Type the command you are interested in folowed by a space, forward slash, question mark For example:
Listsvc /? Will give you a more indepth guide to what this command does and a list of the switches that can be used with the command.
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June 1st, 2004, 05:38 AM
I figured it was worth adding that you have to make sure to use the correct CD for the operating system.
A while ago (I posted about it when I was still "new" here) I had a problem with my XP box.
I had renamed my "admin" account and the XP wouldn't authenticate me no matter what I did. It wanted the "administrator" account... but that didn't exist... it was renamed to something else.
I found out that the 2K CD would completely bypass the admin authentication and allow you unrestricted access to the filesystem. If I had used the correct recovery console, I would have been restricted to certain system directories.
AFAIK: There are no "fixes" for this. Disable booting to CD/floppy.
I say both because if boot to CD is disabled, one can still use the boot disks to get themselves to the CD setup/recovery console. Some systems will even allow you to boot to flash... so I'd recommend to boot to hard drive only and set a password on the BIOS which will make it slightly harder for someone to bypass... though, there are many ways to disable/reset the BIOS passwords... so you are pretty much screwed unless you have your PC in some sort of lockbox.
Nice little overview. Thanks for sharing.
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