ARCHIVED: In Windows XP, how do I use the Recovery Console?
Warning: Do not attempt to use the Recovery Console unless you are a skilled user or a system administrator. Incorrect usage can result in loss of data or other damage to the software on your computer.
The Recovery Console allows you to bypass the Windows graphical interface and access certain folders.
Starting the Recovery Console
Start your computer with startup (setup) boot disks or with the Windows XP CD-ROM.
For help, see Microsoft Support.
Welcome to Setup screen, press
r to start the Recovery Console.
Using the Recovery Console
After you start the Recovery Console, you receive the following message: "Microsoft Windows XP(TV) Recovery Console. The Recovery Console provides system repair and recovery functionality Type EXIT to quit the Recovery Console and restart this computer. 1: C:\WINDOWS Which Windows installation would you like to log onto (To cancel, press ENTER)?" Enter the number for the appropriate Windows XP installation, and then enter the administrator account password.
Note: If you use an incorrect password three times,
the Recovery Console will quit. Also, if the SAM database is missing
or damaged, you won't be able to use the Recovery Console because you
cannot be properly authenticated. After you enter your password and
the Recovery Console starts, entering
exit restarts your
Restrictions and limitations of the Recovery Console
From the Recovery Console you can use only the following folders:
- The root folder
%SystemRoot%folder and the subfolders of the Windows XP installation you are currently logged into
- Removable media drives, such as CD-ROM drives
Note: If you try to obtain access to other folders, you will receive an "Access Denied" error message. Also, while in the Recovery Console, you cannot copy a file from the local hard disk to a floppy disk. You can copy a file from a floppy disk or CD-ROM to a hard disk, and from one hard disk to another hard disk.
Available commands and attributes
ATTRIB DEL FIXBOOT MORE SYSTEMROOT
BATCH DELETE FIXMBR MKDIR TYPE
BOOTCFG DIR FORMAT NET
CD DISABLE HELP RD
CHDIR DISKPART LISTSVC REN
CHKDSK ENABLE LOGON RENAME
CLS EXIT MAP RMDIR
COPY EXPAND MD SET
+ Sets an attribute.
- Resets an attribute.
R Read-Only file attribute.
S System file attribute.
H Hidden file attribute.
C Compressed file attribute
Note: At least one attribute must be set or
cleared. To view attributes, use the
This information is adapted from Microsoft Help and Support article 314058; refer to this article for full details on individual commands.
Last modified on January 07, 2013.