Windows Recovery Console

When dealing with a Blue Screen of Death at boot - the first option should be to boot into Safe Mode (press F8 during bootup). From safe mode you can run a system restore with %systemroot%\system32\restore\rstrui.exe

Some hardware failures are so severe they prevent booting into Safe Mode.

The recovery console allows an alternative boot option giving a limited command prompt - this can be used to disable services or replace system files until you are able to boot into safe mode.

Recovery Console commands:

ATTRIB   Change file attributes
BATCH    Execute a batch file
CD       Change directory
CHKDSK   Check Disk
CLS      Clear screen
COPY     Copy files*
DEL      Delete Files*
DIR      Directory listing
DISABLE  Disable Service
DISKPART Create or delete disk Partitions (like running setup)
ENABLE   Enable Service
EXIT     Quit the recovery console and reboot
EXPAND
FIXBOOT  Write a new boot sector to the system partition
FIXMBR   Repair the Master boot Record
FORMAT   FORMAT drive /FS:NTFS
HELP
LISTSVC  List all services and drivers
LOGON    Logon as administrator (local)
MAP      List local physical drive mappings
MAP arc  List local physical drive mappings(ARC path)
MD       Make Directory*
MORE
RD       Remove Directory*
REN      Rename file*
SYSTEMROOT Set the current directory to be %Systemroot%

* File operations are only possible on:
  system directories, floppy drive(removable media), Root directories,
  local install sources. You can copy FROM but not TO a floppy disk.

Installation:

The recovery console is not installed by default, from the install CD use the command: D:\i386\winnt32 /cmdcons
Then restart the machine.

“When a deep injury is done us, we never recover until we forgive” ~ Alan Paton

Related:

SC - Service Control
WinMSD - List running services
Q326215 - Recovery console Windows 2003
Q314058 - Recovery console Windows XP
Q308402 - Recovery Console and Sysprep
Q307654 - install and use the Recovery Console XP
Q812450 - Program Files Are Missing or Damaged
Q330184 - Invalid Boot.ini / Hal.dll error message
Q816579 - Perform an In-Place Upgrade of Windows Server 2003
List of Windows Services
Repair Win XP from the Recovery Console - InformationWeek
Recovery Console renders XP passwords useless


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