Recovery Console

The Recovery Console is a special boot up method that can be used to help fix problems that are preventing your Windows installation from properly booting up into Windows. This method allows you to access the files, format drives, disable and enable services, and other tasks from a console prompt while the operating system is not loaded. It is suggested that the Recovery Console is to only be used only after Safe mode and the other standard startup options do not work. I feel that the Recovery Console is also useful in other situations such as removing malware files that start in both Safe mode and Standard Mode and thus not allowing you to delete the infection.

How to Start Recovery Console

There are two ways to start the Recovery Console. Your friend who told you to do it by selecting an option during startup has apparently installed Recovery Console on his hard drive, which makes that option appear at boot time. We’ll cover that later on in this article, but for now, restart your computer with the Windows XP Setup disk in the CDROM drive. (Don’t have a Windows Setup disk? Skip this section and look below.) If you are prompted to press a key to start the computer from CDROM, do so quickly. Otherwise it may try to boot from the hard drive. After a few minutes, you’ll see a prompt to press the R key to start the Recovery Console. Next, you’ll see a prompt to enter a number corresponding to the Windows XP installation that you need to repair. Enter “1″ and then supply your Administrator password.

What you’ll see next is not very exciting — just a black and white screen, similar to the DOS prompt of years gone by. But it has powers far beyond those of mortal men. Faster than a speeding virus, more powerful than a trojan horse, and able to leap tall partitions in a single bound, it’s… the Recovery Console!

Recovery Console Commands

  • CHKDSK /R - Scans your hard drive and attempts to repair any problems found.
  • DISKPART - Displays a table of all hard drive partitions. You can also add or delete partitions, but this is the stuff of wizardry.
  • FIXMBR - Replaces the Master Boot Record on the hard drive, if you are having trouble booting.
  • FIXBOOT - Creates a new startup sector on the hard drive, if you are having trouble booting.
  • FORMAT - Format formats a disk. Format will WIPE EVERYTHING from the specified disk, and prepare it for a fresh install.
  • MKDIR - Make a new directory.
  • RMDIR - Remove a directory.
  • EXIT - Close the Recovery Console and restart your computer.