Recovery Console: Guide for Windows XP

Recovery Console: Guide for Windows XP

Here we can see, “Recovery Console: Guide for Windows XP”

What is Recovery Console, and how does it work?

Recovery Console is a command-line tool only available for the following Windows versions: XP, 2000, and Server 2003.

The utility starts up with the following message:

Microsoft Windows(R) Recovery Console

The Recovery Console provides system repair and recovery functionality. 
Type EXIT to exit the Recovery Console and restart the computer.


Which Windows Installation would you like to log on to ?
(To cancel, press ENTER)

Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 8.1 do not include the command-line utility. It’s only available for Windows XP and Server 2003, as these are the most recent versions of Windows with it installed.

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Recovery Console was replaced by System Recovery Options in Windows Vista, 7, and 8, a collection of recovery tools.

With Recovery Console, you can do the following:

  • tamper with system files (copy, rename, replace etc.).
  • Start-up services can be enabled or disabled (services that run automatically at boot).
  • The MBR must be repaired (related: Fix the MBR guide).
  • Make partitions and format them.
  • Use the chkdsk command to check your system.

You can only use the Recovery Console if you are a system administrator or a member of the Administrator group.

If you have already installed the utility on your computer, you can access it from the boot menu or the original installation CD. Follow these instructions to install it and make it bootable without needing a CD.

Access Recovery Console

You have the following alternatives for getting to the Recovery Console:

  • If you still have the original Windows XP installation CD, use it.
  • Select Recovery Console from the Startup Options menu if you installed it on your system.
  • To access Command-Line and conduct Recovery Console-specific commands, use Easy Recovery Essentials.

If you have the installation CD, go ahead and install it

Follow these methods to enter Recovery Console if you have the original Windows XP installation CD:

  1. Startup your PC.
  2. Place the Windows XP CD in the drive.
  3. Press any key to boot from CD at the message.
  4. At the Welcome to Setup screen, press R:
To repair a Windows XP  installation using Recovery Console, press R.

5. Recovery Console will now be loaded from the Windows XP CD:

Microsoft Windows(R) Recovery Console

The Recovery Console provides system repair and recovery functionality. 
Type EXIT to exit the Recovery Console and restart the computer.


Which Windows Installation would you like to log on to ?
(To cancel, press ENTER)

6. Enter 1 into the box.

7. The Recovery Console has now been installed.

If you have Recovery Console installed

You can find Recovery Console in the Startup Options menu if you’ve already installed it on your machine. To do so, take the following steps:

  1. Please turn on your computer.
  2. Wait for the Boot Options menu to appear on your machine.
  3. At the Please select the operating system to start: message, select Microsoft Windows XP Recovery Console
  4. Enter the code.

If you apply Easy Recovery Essentials, you will be able to recover faster

You may access Command-Line and run the commands you need if you use Easy Recovery Essentials, our repair and recovery disk:

  1. Download Easy Recovery Essentials.
  2. The ISO image should be burned.
  3. Easy Recovery Essentials can be started from a CD, DVD, or USB drive.
  4. Select Launch Command Line.

Install the Recovery Console program

You can download and install Recovery Console on your computer.

Before you do, take a look at the following notes:

  1. The Windows XP installation CD is required.
  2. The Windows XP installation CD, which you used to install Windows XP on your computer, must be utilized.
  3. If you have Windows XP SP1 on the CD, you must install SP1 rather than SP2.
  4. Read KB 898594 if you have SP2 installed, but your original CD only has SP1.

Follow these steps to install Recovery Console:

  1. Startup Windows XP.
  2. Place the Windows XP CD into the drive.
  3. Go to Start
  4. Go to Run
  5. Type the following command, but replace e: with your computer’s optical drive letter:
e:\i386\winnt32.exe /cmdcons

6. Press Enter

7. When the Windows Setup caution message appears, select Yes.

8. Wait for the procedure to complete.

9. When the notice “The Windows Recovery Console has been successfully installed” appears, click OK.

10. After you’ve installed Recovery Console, restart your computer and look for it in the boot options menu:

Delete Recovery Console

You may also remove Recovery Console from the boot options menu if you installed it.

Follow these steps to get rid of it:

  1. Reboot your Windows XP computer.
  2. Start by pressing the Start button.
  3. Go to My Computer and select it.
  4. Double-click on C:\ or the Windows XP installation drive.
  5. The View tab can be found by clicking Tools, Folder Options, and the View tab.
  6. Ensure Hide protected operating system files are unchecked under Show hidden files and folders.
  7. Click the OK button.
  8. From C:\ remove the Cmdcons folder and the Cmldr file.
  9. Right-click the Boot.ini file and select Properties (warning: do not remove this file).
  10. Check that the Read-only option is not selected.
  11. Click the OK button.
  12. Using Notepad, open the Boot.ini file.
  13. Remove the line that says “Recovery Console” from the file. This is how the line looks:
C:\cmdcons\bootsect.dat="Microsoft Windows Recovery Console" /cmdcons

14. Next, save the Boot.ini configuration file.

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In Recovery Console, you can use the following commands:

  • attrib – modifies a folder’s characteristics.
  • batch – this command executes commands supplied in a text file.
  • bootcfg — This command is used to configure and restore the boot process. See the bootcfg guide for further details.
  • cd – navigates to a different directory.
  • chdir – works similarly to cd in that it switches to a new folder.
  • chkdsk – will check the given drive and, if necessary, repair it. See the chkdsk guide for further details.
  • cls is a command that clears the command screen.
  • copy – this command copies a file to a given location.
  • del – removes a file from the system.
  • delete – deletes a file, identical to del above.
  • dir – displays the current folder’s contents as a list of files and directories.
  • deactivate — This command turns off a certain Windows service.
  • diskpart — handles hard disk partitions. See the diskpart guide for further details.
  • enable — Turns on or off a specific Windows service. Use disable to turn off a service.
  • exit – close the Recovery Console window.
  • expand — this command expands a file.
  • fixboot — replaces the boot sector on the partition with a fresh one.
  • fixmbr – repairs the boot partition’s MBR. See the Fix MBR tutorial for additional information.
  • format — this command formats a certain drive.
  • listsvc – provides a list of all services and drivers that are available.
  • logon – displays a list of all Windows installations that have been discovered.
  • map command lists drive letters, kinds, partition sizes, and mappings.
  • md – Create a new folder with the command.
  • mkdir – similar to md, creates a new folder
  • more – shows the contents of a text file on the screen.
  • rd – remove a folder from the list.
  • rmdir – deletes a folder in the same way that rd does.
  • ren is a command that allows you to rename a file.
  • rename – similar to ren, renames a file
  • set – shows and modifies environment options, 
  • systemroot – change the current folder to the current Windows installation’s SystemRoot percent folder.
  • type — this command displays a text file.


Password for Recovery Console

Recovery Console will request the Administrator password.

If you normally enter into Windows XP without a password, try pressing Enter without typing any password to see if Recovery Console accepts it.

You’ll need to know the Administrator password if this method doesn’t work.

Another approach is to boot into Windows XP and update the DWORD SecurityLevel to 1 in the Registry Editor. To do so, take the following steps:

  1. Startup Windows XP.
  2. Click Start
  3. Click Run
  4. Type regedit into the search box.
  5. Press OK or Enter to continue.
  6. To get to this key, go to:

7. Set the DWORD SecurityLevel value to 1.

8. Exit the Registry Editor by using the Esc key.

9. Finally, restart your Windows XP computer.

In Windows Vista or 7, use the Recovery Console.

On Windows Vista and Windows 7, the Recovery Console is not available. Instead of utilizing the Recovery Console to repair or restore your machine, Windows Vista, 7, and 8 use the System Recovery Options suite of tools.

Follow these procedures to enter System Recovery Options on a Windows Vista computer:

  1. First, start the computer by booting from the installation CD/DVD.
  2. To boot from the DVD, hit any key at the “Press any key to boot from CD or DVD.” message.
  3. Click Repair your computer
  4. Finally, select an operating system from the drop-down menu.
  5. Options for System Recovery are now available.

Follow these procedures to enter System Recovery Options on a Windows 7 computer:

  1. Start the computer by booting from the Windows 7 installation DVD.
  2. To boot from the DVD, hit any key at the “Press any key to boot from CD or DVD.” message.
  3. Next, choose a language, time zone, and keyboard on the Install Windows screen.
  4. Next should be selected.
  5. Press R or click Repair your computer.
  6. Options for System Recovery are now available.


I hope you found this information helpful. Please fill out the form below if you have any queries or comments.

User Questions

1. What is the procedure for using the Windows XP recovery console?

Insert the Windows XP installation disc into your computer. Then, please restart your computer so that it starts from the CD. To launch the Recovery Console, press the R key on your keyboard when the Welcome to Setup page appears. When the Recovery Console loads, it will prompt you to connect to which Windows installation you want to use.

2. How can I start Windows recovery automatically?

  • Select Start, Power, and then click Restart while holding down the Shift key.
  • Choose Start, Settings, Update, Security, Recovery from the Start menu. Click Restart now under Advanced startup.
  • Run the Shutdown /r /o command from the command prompt.
  • To start the system, follow the instructions below.

3. Why won’t my Windows XP startup?

When Windows XP refuses to boot, another option is to use System Restore. To use System Restore, press [Ctrl][Alt][Delete] to restart the computer. As soon as you see the notice, To start the operating system, press [F8] to bring up the Windows Advanced Options menu, or listen for the single beep.

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4. How to get back to a restore point from recovery console?

How to get back to a restore point from recovery console? from windowsxp

5. Win XP (NTLDR is Missing) – Won’t boot

Win XP (NTLDR is Missing) – Won’t boot from techsupport