Sunday, July 27, 2008

Recovery Console

Another tool you can use to repair Windows when it won't start is the Recovery Console, which is a command-line utility that will allow you to access the volumes on your hard disks. However, it does not require the Windows command prompt to run. This allows it to run when Windows won't start. It will allow you access to NTFS, FAT, and FAT32 volumes. The Recovery Console allows you to perform very advanced functions, and should be used with caution. It is recommended that only network administrators use this tool. It can be used to manage files and folders, start and stop services, repair the master boot record (MBR), and repair Windows 2000 or other Windows.

The Recovery Console has incorporated some security features to prevent unauthorized access to data, one of which is that you must enter the Administrator password to use it. This prevents someone from using the Recovery Console to access data on the computer without being authorized. You cannot copy files from the hard disk to floppy disks to prevent users from copying data and taking it with them. In order to fix Windows 2000, you are allowed to copy files from a floppy disk, CD-ROM, or another hard disk to a local hard disk. Also, you are only allowed to run commands that are supported by the Recovery Console.

One of the uses for the Recovery Console is to restore the registry. When you back up the System State, a copy of the registry is stored in the <SystemRoot>\Repair\RegBack folder. If you have a corrupt registry, you can use the Recovery Console to copy the backed-up registry files over the corrupt registry files. This will restore the registry to the state when the System State was backed up. The following is a complete list of the commands that are supported by the Recovery Console.

  • Attrib This command allows you to set the attributes of files.

  • Batch This command allows you to run commands in a text file. This allows you to run multiple commands at once.
  • Cd or Chdir This command allows you to change to a different directory.
  • Chkdsk This command allows you to run the Check Disk program. It can check and repair volumes.
  • Cls This command clears the screen.
  • Copy This command allows you to copy files from one location to another. However, in Recovery Console, wildcards are not allowed.
  • Del or Delete This command allows you to delete one file. As with the Copy command, wildcards are not allowed.
  • Dir This command will allow you to view a list of files and subfolders in a folder.
  • Disable This command allows you to disable a service or driver. You can use the Listsvc command to display a list of services and drivers that you can disable.
  • Diskpart This command can be used to add and delete partitions.
  • Enable This command allows you to enable a service or driver. You can use the Listsvc command to display a list of services and drivers that you can disable.
  • Exit This command will exit from Recovery Console and restart the computer.
  • Expand This command allows you to expand a compressed file or a file in a CAB file stored on a Windows 2000 CD-ROM. You cannot use wild cards with this command in Recovery Console.
  • Fixboot This command allows you to rewrite the boot sector of a hard disk to repair it.
  • Fixmbr This command allows you to rewrite the master boot record of the startup hard disk to repair it.
  • Format This command allows you to format a volume with FAT, FAT32, or NTFS. NTFS is used by default.
  • Help This command allows you to display the commands available in Recovery Console.
  • Listsvc This command allows you to display a list of the services and drivers that can be disabled and enabled.
  • Logon This command allows you to list all installations of Windows 2000 and Windows NT. You can choose one of these installations to log on to. You will need to enter the administrator password. If three attempts to log on fail, it will exit from the Recovery Console and restart the computer.
  • Map This command allows you to display a list of information about the drives on the hard disk.
  • Md or Mkdir This command allows you to create a directory. You cannot use wildcards with this command.
  • More or Type This command allows you to display a text file on the screen.
  • Rd or Rmdir This command allows you to delete a directory. You cannot use wildcards with this command.
  • Ren or Rename This command allows you to rename a file or directory. You cannot use wildcards with this command.
  • Set This command allows you to display and set Recovery Console environment values.
  • Systemroot This command allows you to change directory to the <SystemRoot> directory.

The Recovery Console is not installed by default.; you must install it manually from the Windows 2000 CD-ROM. To install it, run winnt32.exe /cmdcons from the i386 directory on the Windows 2000 CD-ROM. You must have administrator privileges to install it. This will create a directory called Cmdcons in the root of the drive you select. It will also create a file called Cmldr, and create an option on the Boot menu to start the Recovery Console. If your computer will not start, and you do not have Recovery Console installed on it, you can start the computer from the Windows 2000 CD-ROM or from the Windows 2000 Setup disks, and choose the Recovery Console option.

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