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Description of the Windows 2000 Recovery Console
Article ID: 229716 - View products that this article applies to.
This article was previously published under Q229716
For a Microsoft Windows XP version of this article, see 314058
NoticeThis article applies to Windows 2000. Support for Windows 2000 ends on July 13, 2010. The Windows 2000 End-of-Support Solution Center
(http://support.microsoft.com/?scid=http%3a%2f%2fsupport.microsoft.com%2fwin2000)is a starting point for planning your migration strategy from Windows 2000. For more information see the Microsoft Support Lifecycle Policy
This article describes the functionality and limitations of the Windows Recovery Console. The Windows Recovery Console is designed to help you recover when your Windows-based computer does not start properly or does not start at all.
When you use the Windows Recovery Console, you can obtain limited access to NTFS, FAT, and FAT32 volumes without starting the Windows graphical interface. In the Windows Recovery Console you can:
Starting the Windows Recovery ConsoleTo start the Windows Recovery Console, use any of the following methods:
Using the Command ConsoleAfter you start the Windows Recovery Console, you receive the following message:
Windows NT(TM) Boot Console Command Interpreter.After you enter the number for the appropriate Windows installation, enter the Administrator account password. Note that if you use an incorrect password three times, the Windows Recovery Console quits. Also, if the SAM database is missing or damaged, you are not able to use the Windows Recovery Console because you cannot be properly authenticated. After you enter your password and the Windows Recovery Console starts, type exit to restart your computer.
This is a limited function command prompt intended only as a system recovery utility for advanced users. Using this utility incorrectly can cause serious system-wide problems that may require you to reinstall Windows to correct them.
Type 'exit' to leave the command prompt and reboot the system.
Which Windows installation would you like to logon to (enter to abort)?
Restrictions and Limitations of the Command ConsoleFrom the Windows Recovery Console you can only use the following folders:
HELPUse the help command to list all of the following supported commands:
attrib delete fixboot md type cd dir fixmbr mkdir systemroot chdir disable format more chkdsk diskpart help rd cls enable listsvc ren copy exit logon rename del expand map rmdir
ATTRIBUse the attrib command with any of the following parameters to change attributes of a file or folder:
-RNOTE: At least one attribute must be set or cleared. To view attributes, use the dir command.
+ Sets an attribute.
- Resets an attribute.
R Read-Only file attribute.
S System file attribute.
H Hidden file attribute.
CD and CHDIRUse the cd and chdir commands to change the folder. If you type cd .., you specify that you want to change to the parent folder. Type cd drive: to display the current folder in the specified drive. Type cd without parameters to display the current drive and folder. The chdir command treats spaces as delimiters. Because of this, you must enclose a subfolder name that contains a space with quotation marks, for example:
cd "\winnt\profiles\username\programs\start menu"The chdir command only operates within the system folders of the current installation of Windows, removable media, the root folder of any hard disk partition, or the local installation sources.
chkdsk drive /p /rThis command (where drive specifies the drive to check) checks the drive, and if needed, repairs or recovers the drive. It also marks bad sectors and recovers readable information.
The /p switch instructs CHKDSK to do an exhaustive check of the drive even if the drive is not marked with problems, and then corrects any errors that are found. The /r switch locates bad sectors and recovers readable information. Note that if you specify the /r switch, the /p switch is implied. The chkdsk command may be specified without arguments, in which case the current drive is implied with no switches. Optionally, the listed switches are accepted. The chkdsk command requires the Autochk.exe file. Chkdsk automatically locates this file in the bootup folder. Typically, this folder is the Cmdcons folder if the Command Console was pre-installed. If the folder cannot be found in the bootup folder, Chkdsk tries to locate the Windows CD-ROM installation media. If the installation media cannot be found, Chkdsk prompts you to provide the location of the Autochk.exe file.
CLSUse this command to clear the screen.
copy source destinationUse this command (where source specifies the file to be copied and destination specifies the folder or file name for the new file) to copy a file. Wildcards or folder copies are not permitted. A compressed file from the Windows CD-ROM is automatically decompressed as it is copied.
If destination is not specified, it defaults to the current folder. If the file already exists, you are prompted to overwrite it.
DEL and DELETE
del drive: path filename
delete drive: path filenameUse this commmand (where drive: path filename specifies the file to delete) to delete a file. The delete command only operates within the system folders of the current Windows installation, removable media, the root folder of any hard disk partition, or the local installation sources. The delete command does not accept wild card (*) characters.
dir drive: path filenameUse this command (where drive: path filename specifies drive, folder, and files to list) to display a list of files and subfolders in a folder. The dir command lists all files including hidden and system files. Files may have the following attributes:
The dir command only operates within the system folders of the current Windows installation, removable media, the root folder of any hard disk partition, or the local installation sources.
D - Directory R - Read-only file H - Hidden file A - Files ready for archiving S - System file C - Compressed E - Encrypted P - Reparse Point
disable servicenameUse this command (where servicename specifies the name of the service or driver to be disabled) to disable a Windows system service or driver.
Use the listsvc command to display all eligible services or drivers to disable. The disable command prints the old start type of the service before resetting it to SERVICE_DISABLED. Because of this, you should record the old start type in case it is necessary to re-enable the service.
The start_type values that the disable command displays are:
diskpart /add /delete device_name drive_name partition_name sizeUse this command to manage the partitions on your hard disk volumes.
WARNING: This command can damage your partition table if the disk has been upgraded to a dynamic disk configuration. Do not modify the structure of dynamic disks unless you are using the Disk Management tool.
ENABLEenable servicename start_type
You can use the enable command (where servicename is the name of the service or driver to be enabled) to enable a Windows system service or driver.
Use the listsvc command to display all eligible services or drivers to enable. The enable command prints the old start type of the service before resetting it to the new value. You should note the old value, in case it is necessary to restore the start type of the service.
Valid start_type are:
SERVICE_BOOT_STARTNOTE: If you do not specify a new start type, the enable command prints the old start type for you.
EXITUse the exit command to quit the Command Console and restart your computer.
expand source [/F:filespec] [destination] [/y]
expand source [/F:filespec] /DUse this command (where source specifies the name of the file to be expanded and destination specifies the directory for the new file) to expand a file.
NOTE: You may not include wildcards.
If destination is not specified, the command defaults to the current folder.
expand prompts you if the destination file already exists unless you use /y.
fixboot drive name:Use this command (where drive name is the drive letter where the boot sector will be written) to write the new Windows boot sector code on the boot partition. This command fixes problems where the Windows boot sector is corrupted. The Emergency Repair process also fixes the boot sector. This command overrides the default of writing to the system boot partition.
fixmbr device nameUse this command (where device name is an optional device name that specifies the device that needs a new MBR) to repair the master boot record (MBR) of the system partition. This command is used in scenarios where a virus has damaged the MBR and Windows cannot start.
WARNING: This command has the potential to damage your partition tables if a virus is present or a hardware problem exists. This command may lead to inaccessible partitions. Microsoft suggests running antivirus software before using this command.
The name can be obtained from the output of the map command. If this is left blank, the boot device's MBR is fixed, for example:
fixmbr \device\harddisk2If Fixmbr detects an invalid or non-standard partition table signature, it prompts you for permission before rewriting the MBR.
format drive: /Q /FS:file-systemUse this command (where /Q performs a quick format of the drive, drive is the drive letter of the partition to format /FS:file-system specifies the type of file system to use [FAT, FAT32, or NTFS]) to format the specified drive to the specified file system.
If a file system is not specified, the existing file system format is used, when available.
LISTSVCThe listsvc command lists all available services, drivers, and their start types for the current Windows installation. This command may be useful when using the disable and enable commands.
NOTE: These are extracted from the %SystemRoot%\System32\Config\SYSTEM hive. If the SYSTEM hive become damaged or missing, unpredictable results may occur.
logonThe logon command lists all detected installations of Windows, and then requests the local administrator password for the copy of Windows you chose to log on to. If more than three attempts to logon do not succeed, the console quits and your computer restarts.
map arcUse this command (where the arc parameter tells the map command to use ARC paths instead of Windows Device paths) to list drive letters, file system types, partition sizes and mappings to physical devices.
MD and MKDIRThe md or mkdir commands create new folders. Wildcard characters are not supported. The mkdir command only operates within the system folders of the current installation of Windows, removable media, the root folder of any hard disk partition, or the local installation sources.
more filenameUse this command to display a text file to the screen.
RD and RMDIRThe rd and rmdir commands delete a folder. These commands only operate within the system folders of the current Windows installation, removable media, the root folder of any hard disk partition, or the local installation sources.
REN and RENAMEThe ren and rename commands can rename a file. Note that you cannot specify a new drive or path for your destination file. These commands only operate within the system folders of the current Windows installation, removable media, the root folder of any hard disk partition, or the local installation sources.
SETThe set command allows you to display or modify four environment options.
AllowWildCards = FALSE AllowAllPaths = FALSE AllowRemovableMedia = FALSE NoCopyPrompt = FALSE
SYSTEMROOTThe systemroot command sets the current working folder to the %SystemRoot% folder of the Windows installation you are currently logged on to.
type filenameThe type command displays a text file.