How To Use Recovery Console on a Computer That Does Not Start in Windows 2000

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Article ID: 301645 - View products that this article applies to.
This article was previously published under Q301645
Notice
This article applies to Windows 2000. Support for Windows 2000 ends on July 13, 2010. The Windows 2000 End-of-Support Solution Center is a starting point for planning your migration strategy from Windows 2000. For more information see the Microsoft Support Lifecycle Policy.
Notice
This article applies to Windows 2000. Support for Windows 2000 ends on July 13, 2010. The Windows 2000 End-of-Support Solution Center is a starting point for planning your migration strategy from Windows 2000. For more information see the Microsoft Support Lifecycle Policy.
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SUMMARY

This step-by-step article describes how to recover a Microsoft Windows 2000 Server-based computer that does not start.

Run the Recovery Console on a Computer that Does Not Start

NOTE: You must be logged on as an administrator or a member of the Administrators group to complete the following procedure. Also, if your computer is connected to a network, network policy settings may prevent you from completing this procedure.

To run the Recovery Console on a computer that does not start:
  1. Insert the Windows 2000 Server Setup Disk 1 floppy disk into your disk drive, or, if you have a bootable CD-ROM drive, you can instead insert the Windows 2000 Server CD-ROM into your CD-ROM drive.
  2. Restart your computer.
  3. Follow the directions that are displayed on the screen. If you are using the Setup disks, you are prompted to insert the other Setup disks into the disk drive. It may take several minutes to load files. Select the appropriate options to repair your Windows 2000 installation and to start the Recovery Console.
  4. Once in the Recover Console, type HELP, and then press ENTER to see a list of commands.

    NOTE: As an alternative, you can install the Recovery Console on your computer so it is always available. See the "Precautionary Measures" section of this article for information about how to install the Recovery Console on a working computer.

How to Remove the Recovery Console

As a precaution, you should not normally remove the Recovery Console. However, if you want to remove the Recovery Console, you must do so manually.

To remove the Recovery Console:
  1. Restart your computer, double-click My Computer, and then double-click the hard disk on which you installed the Recovery Console. On the Tools menu, click Folder Options, and then click the View tab.
  2. If needed, click Show hidden files and folders, click to clear the Hide protected operating system files check box, and then click OK.
  3. Delete the Cmdcons folder from the root folder, and then delete the Cmldr file.
  4. In the root folder, right-click the Boot.ini file, and then click Properties. Click to clear the Read-only check box, and then click OK.
  5. NOTE: If you incorrectly modify the Boot.ini file, your computer may not start correctly. Because of this, only delete the entry for the Recovery Console from the Boot.ini file.

    Use a text editor (such as Notepad) to open the Boot.ini file, and then remove the entry for the Recovery Console. The entry should look similar to this entry:
    C:\cmdcons\bootsect.dat="Microsoft Windows 2000 Recovery Console" /cmdcons
    Save the file and close it.

    NOTE: You should now change the attribute for the Boot.ini file back to read-only.

Precautionary Measures

How to Install the Recovery Console as a Startup Console

It may be useful to install the Recovery Console on a computer that is functioning properly so that it is available for use after a system failure. This precautionary measure can save time should you have to use the Recovery Console.

NOTE: You must be logged on as an administrator or a member of the Administrators group to complete the following procedure. Also, if your computer is connected to a network, network policy settings may prevent you from completing this procedure.

To install the Recovery Console as a startup option:
  1. While Windows is running, insert the Windows 2000 Professional CD-ROM into your CD-ROM drive.
  2. When you are prompted to upgrade to Windows 2000, click No.
  3. At the command prompt, switch to your CD-ROM drive, type \i386\winnt32.exe /cmdcons, and then press ENTER.
  4. Follow the instructions on the screen. To use the Windows 2000 Recovery Console, restart your computer, and then select Windows 2000 Recovery console from the Startup menu.

How to Create an Emergency Repair Disk

You can also use a Windows 2000 Emergency Repair Disk (ERD) to fix problems that prevent your computer from starting. It may be useful to prepare an ERD when your computer is functioning well, so you can be prepared to use it if you need to repair system files. To start a computer that needs repair, use the Windows 2000 Setup CD-ROM or floppy disks you created from the CD-ROM and choose the Repair method to utilize the ERD. The repairs that are possible with this method are limited to basic system files, the partition boot sector, and the startup environment. The repair process does not recover the registry.

NOTE: The ERD does not back up data or programs, and is not a replacement for regularly backing up your computer. To replace registry files, use the Recovery Console.

Note that the repair process relies on information that is saved in the SystemRoot\Repair folder. You must not change or delete this folder. If you also back up the registry to the Repair folder, you can save your current registry files in a folder within your SystemRoot\Repair folder. This is useful if you must recover your system in the event that your hard disk fails.

To create an ERD:
  1. Click Start, point to Programs, point to Accessories, point to System Tools, and then click Backup.
  2. On the Tools menu, click Create an Emergency Repair Disk.
  3. Follow the instructions that appear on your screen.

Properties

Article ID: 301645 - Last Review: November 1, 2006 - Revision: 2.4
APPLIES TO
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Server
Keywords: 
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