Beginning with Windows 2000, Microsoft included the Recovery Console as one of the troubleshooting and system restore tools. The Recovery Console is a “last-resort” tool you can use when safe mode and other startup measure don’t work. Using the Recovery Console, you can copy files from other media (such as floppy disks or CD-ROMs), enable and disable services, perform drive formatting, read and write a local drive (including NTFS-formatted drives), and perform numerous other administrative tasks.
Two examples of where we’ve used the Recovery Console are when required boot files become corrupted and need to be replaced in order to boot the system and when automatically started services become corrupted and hog system resources to the point where the system becomes unresponsive. The Recovery Console is supported in Windows 2000, Windows XP, and Windows Server 2003.
Here’s how to use the Recovery Console:
- Boot the computer using the Windows installation CD
- When you see the Welcome to Setup screen, press the R key
- Choose the Windows installation you wish to access from the Recovery Console (this step is required even if you have only a single Windows installation)
- Enter the Administrator password, and then press the ENTER key
- You will then presented with a command prompt where you can enter the various commands you wish to use to repair the Windows installation (You can see a list of available commands by typing help, then pressing the ENTER key)
- When you’re finished, type exit at the command prompt, and press the ENTER key
The Recovery Console can also be installed as a startup option to simplify system recovery. For more information about using the Recovery Console, including installation options, see Microsoft Technet article number 326215.