If you have not performed any prior configuration, you can use the Recovery Console by booting the Windows XP CD-ROM. See steps 1 -5.
I prefer to install the Recovery Console and select it from the list of available operating systems on the boot menu. To install the Recovery Console:
1. Insert the Windows XP CD into your CD-ROM drive.
2. Start / Run / <DriveLetter:>\i386\winnt32.exe /cmdcons / OK where <DriveLetter:> is the drive letter of your CD-ROM drive.
3. Press Yes to confirm the installation.
NOTE: You can install from a copy of the CD on a network share.
If you receive an error like Setup cannot continue because the version of Windows on your computer is newer than the version on the CD, see How can I slipstream (integrate) Windows XP SP2 into a Windows XP installation folder?
NOTE: If you cannot start your computer, you can run the Recovery Console from the Windows XP CD or from the Windows XP setup boot disks.
NOTE: To start the computer from the Windows XP CD, the BIOS must be configured to allow starting from the CD-ROM drive.
NOTE: You can press F6 during startup to load any 3rd-party disk driver required by your installation. See How can I add 3rd party mass storage drivers to my installed Recovery Console so I don't have to press F6 and load them?
NOTE: See tip 6658 if you wish to install the Recovery Console during an unattended installation of Windows.
To list the available commands, type help. To get help on a specific command, type help <Command>.
When working in the Recovery Console, special environment variables control the behavior. Type set to see the environment variables. You must enable the SET command. The defaults are:
|•||AllowAllPaths = FALSE prevents access to directories and subdirectories outside the selected system.|
|•||AllowRemovableMedia = FALSE prevents access to removable media as a target for copied files.|
|•||AllowWildCards = FALSE prevents wildcard support for commands such as copy and del.|
|•||NoCopyPrompt = FALSE causes prompting to confirm overwriting an existing file.|
The commands available to the Windows XP Recovery Console are:
|•||Attrib changes attributes on one file or subdirectory.|
|•||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 modifies the Boot.ini file for boot configuration and recovery.|
|•||CD (Chdir) changes the current directory (folder).|
|•||Chkdsk The /p switch runs Chkdsk even if the drive is not flagged as dirty. The /r switch, which implies /p, locates bad sectors and recovers readable information. Chkdsk requires Autochk, which it looks for in the startup folder, prompting if it can't find it there or on the CD.|
|•||Cls clears the screen.|
|•||Copy copies one file to a target location. Copying a compressed file from the CD decompresses it.|
|•||Del (Delete) deletes one file.|
|•||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 displays the service's original startup type before it changes the type to SERVICE_DISABLED.|
|•||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, like \device\harddisk0, and drive is the drive letter for a partition that you are deleting, like D. Partition is the name for a partition that you are deleting, like \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:
SERVICE_BOOT_START SERVICE_SYSTEM_START SERVICE_AUTO_START SERVICE_DEMAND_START
|•||Exit quits the Recovery Console, and then restarts the computer.|
|•||Expand expands a compressed file.|
|•||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) makes a new folder.|
|•||More/Type displays the specified text file on screen.|
|•||Rd (Rmdir) deletes a folder.|
|•||Ren (Rename) renames a file system object.|
|•||Set displays and sets the Recovery Console environment variables.|
|•||Systemroot sets the current directory to %SystemRoot%.|
If you wish to uninstall the Recovery Console, see How do I uninstall the Recovery Console?