Thursday, January 19, 2006

Installing the XP Recovery Console (Advanced)

What do you do if Windows fails to boot after you just installed the latest video driver for your graphics card or some cool new application. These are just a few examples of what can happen when Windows fails to boot. There are other events that can cause this type of failure as well, such as a corrupt boot record, a critical file was deleted, the file system got corrupted, etc.

There is no one solution that can solve all your problems booting your computer except to reinstall the whole operating system. One of your first lines of defense is Windows Recovery Console. The Recovery Console is a text based command line repair tool that allows you to perform some basic diagnostics and repairs of the Windows OS.

There are two ways to access the Recovery Console, the first way is booting off the Windows installation CD, and the second way it to boot to it from your hard drive if you had the forethought to install it before you have problems. If its already installed you access it from the Advanced Boot options screen (press F8 while Windows boots up), or in the OS boot menu.

To install the Recovery Console on your local system follow the instructions below (This will require almost 8MB of free disk space to install this service):
  • Insert the Windows installation CD.
  • From the Start menu select Run...
  • Type the following command "{x:}\i386\winnt32.exe /cmdcons" (note: replace {x:} with the drive letter assigned to your CD-ROM drive).
  • Press the OK button.
  • Follow the instructions on the screen to install the Recovery Console.
  • When the installation is complete, you will need to reboot your computer.
The Recovery Console will now show up in the list of available operating systems you can select from in the boot menu.

Note: To use the Recovery Console you need administrator privileges on the local computer.

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