What is The Recovery Console?
The Recovery Console is a command-line prompt that is available in most versions of the Windows Operating System. It allows users to repair/replace broken, corrupted, or missing system files. These files are crucial to Windows' normal functionality and performance and the entire operating system can stop working if these files are damaged. In fact, Windows may not startup at all when these files are missing and requires the user to open the Recovery Console from the Installation CD or boot menu. The Recovery Console can be found in Windows XP, Windows 2000, and Windows Servers 2003. However, it has been replaced in Windows Vista and Windows 7 with an array of features known as System Recovery.
How To Install The Recovery Console
Users can take advantage of the Recovery Console by using the installation CD that came with the computer. If this disc is no longer available, the user can open the Recovery Console in the boot menu, but only if it has been previously installed on the computer. This can be done by inserting the installation CD into the CD-ROM or mounting a virtual disc using a Windows XP ISO file and a mounting software such as Daemon Tools. Click Start and open the Run application. Type in F:i386winnt32.exe /cmdcons, with "F:" being the CD Drive letter. The Recovery Console installation process will begin. When the Recovery Console installs itself, it will connect to the Internet to perform a Dynamic Update that will update all of its system files in order to provide the user with a reliable backup. The user can opt out of this update by pressing ESC, causing the Recovery Console to use the system files it already has. The installation process is complete and the user should restart his/her computer.
How To Use The Recovery Console
The Recovery Console can be used to repair and replace virtually any system file for the Windows Operating System. The user can find a full list of commands by typing "Help" into the command prompt. Some examples of Recovery Console commands are listed below:
Attrib Change file and directory attributes.
Batch Execute specified text file (batch) commands.
Bootcfg Configure boot file (boot.ini) settings.
ChDir (Cd) Change/display the current directory.
Chkdsk Check a disk for errors. Report capability.
Cls Clear the screen.
Copy Copy a file. Change file location or name.
Delete (Del) Delete files.
Dir Display a list of subdirectories and files.
Disable Disable a device driver or system service.
Diskpart Manage disk partitions.
Enable Enable device driver or system service.
Exit Exit Recovery Console and reboot.
Expand Extract files from a compressed file format.
Fixboot Write a new boot sector to a selected partition.
Fixmbr Repair the Master Boot Record (MBR).
Format Format a disk partition.
Help Display a list of Recovery Console commands.
Listsvc Display available drivers and system services.
Logon Log off and on to another Windows installation.
Map Display drive letter mapping.
Mkdir (Md) Create a directory.
More Display (scroll) a text file.
Net Use Connect drive letter to a network share.
Rename (Ren) Rename files.
Rmdir (Rd) Delete directory.
Systemroot Switch from current directory to system root directory.
Set Display/set environment variables.
Type Display a text file.
How To Remove The Recovery Console
The Recovery Console is a very helpful tool and is a good software to have installed on any computer. If the software causes problems, however, it is important to remove it from the computer or replace it with a fresh copy. In order to remove the Recovery Console, go to the Start Menu and open My Computer. In the hard drive that the Recovery Console was installed on, go to the Tools Menu, then Folder Options, and click View.
Click "Show hidden files and folders" and uncheck the box that says "Hide protected operating system files." Click Apply, OK, and go to the root folder.
Locate and delete the "Cmdcons" folder and the "Cmldr" file.
Locate and right-click the Boot.ini file, click Properties, and uncheck the Read-only checkbox.
The Recovery Console should now be removed from the computer.