How to Repair and Retrieve Files Using the Recovery Console

Level of difficulty: Intermediate

The Recovery Console is a feature of Windows that renders users capable of repairing and retrieving files in the Windows XP Operating System when no other standard method of start up is working. Because the usage of the Recovery Console can get a little complicated, its use is normally reserved for machine and network administrators. Most of the time, it is the only way for reconfiguring the computer system to run. Using the Recovery Console requires a Windows XP Setup disk and the technical know-how on the basic rules and commands governing it.

Materials Needed:
- Windows XP boot disk
- Administrative rights
- Computer
- Internet connection
Step 1
When using the Recovery Console, always make sure that you have the administrative privileges on the computer system that you are attempting to repair. Once the computer has been booted up by means of the startup disk, you will be asked to log in to your selected installation using an administrative password.
Step 2
The second step at using this Windows feature involves locating the Windows XP CD-ROM. When you are unable to locate it, you will need to generate a copy the Windows Setup disk. This is accomplished by downloading it from the website of Microsoft.
Step 3
Once you have the Windows Setup disk, insert it in your computer’s CD-ROM drive and then reboot the computer. You may then hold down the configuration key or choose the option that would enable booting from the said drive. You should be prompted by the computer to do so. Select 'R' to access the Recovery Console.
Step 4
When running on a dual-boot system like Windows and Linux, you may now select the installation that you want to repair and enter in the password for that given installation.
Step 5
Begin by using the default environmental rules of the Recovery Console or typing 'set' in order to modify them. The default environmental rules include AllowPaths = FALSE. This signifies that you would not be able to access the directories belonging to another installation. You can only access the directory of the installation that you are working on. AllowRemovableMedia = FALSE means that you cannot use removable media for files which are copied. The AllowWildCards = FALSE default environmental rule means that the 'copy' and 'delete' cannot be utilized with the string characters to function with several files using a single command. The NoCopyPrompt = FALSE means that before it allows you to overwrite the files, the Recovery Console prompts you.
Step 6
Using the long list of commands from the recovery console, you could repair your computer system. This list may be found in the support site of Microsoft. This list of commands may also be viewed by typing in the command line 'recovery console commands' and then pressing the Enter key.
Step 7
A number of the most typical commands may be utilized for fixing problems. For instance, knowing that the command BOOTCFG enables you to configure the recovery and boot options is quite helpful. Additionally, knowing that the command ATTRIB enables you to make modifications on the file parameters is the best start at diagnosing problems. Once you are done fixing the problem, you may now exit the Recovery Console by typing on the command line 'exit.'