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
FIXBOOT  Write a new boot sector to the system partition
FIXMBR   Repair the Master boot Record
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*
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.


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


SC - Service Control
WinMSD - List running services
Q326215 - Recovery console Windows 2003
Q308402 - Recovery Console and Sysprep
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

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