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How To Use the Recovery Console on a Windows Server 2003-Based Computer That Do...

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Article ID: 326215 - Last Review: July 8, 2008 - Revision: 9.0
How To Use the Recovery Console on a Windows Server 2003-Based
Computer That Does Not Start
This article was previously published under Q326215

This step-by-step article describes how to use Recovery Console to recover a
Windows Server 2003-based computer that does not start.

The Recovery Console is a command-line tool that you can use to repair Windows if
the computer does not start correctly. You can start the Recovery Console from the
Windows Server 2003 CD, or at startup, if you previously installed the Recovery
Console on the computer.

Use the Recovery Console on a Computer that Does Not Start
NOTE: You must be logged on as Administrator or as a member of the
Administrators group to perform this 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, follow these steps:

1. Configure the computer to start from the CD or the DVD drive. For more
information about how to do this, see the computer documentation or
contact the computer manufacturer.
2. Insert the Windows Server 2003 CD in the computer's CD or DVD drive.
3. Restart the computer.
4. When you receive the message that prompts you to press any key to start
from the CD, press a key to start the computer from the Windows Server
2003 CD.
5. When the Welcome to Setup screen appears, press the R key to start the
Recovery Console.
6. Select the Windows installation that you must access from the Recovery
Console.
7. Follow the instructions that appear on the screen, type the Administrator
password, and then press ENTER.
8. At the command prompt, type the appropriate Recovery Console commands
to repair your Windows Server 2003 installation.

For a list of commands that are available in the Recovery Console, type help
at the command prompt, and then press ENTER.

NOTE: Alternatively, you can install the Recovery Console as a startup
option on the computer so that it is always available. For information about
how to do so, see the Precautionary Measures section in this article.
9. To quit the Recovery Console and restart the computer, type exit at the
command prompt, and then press ENTER.

Recovery Console Commands
The following list describes the available commands for the Recovery Console:

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z Attrib changes attributes on one file or folder.
z Batch executes commands that you specify in the text file, InputFile.
OutputFile holds the output of the commands. If you omit the OutputFile
argument, output is displayed on the screen.
z Bootcfg is used for boot configuration and recovery. You can use the
bootcfg command to make changes to the Boot.ini file.
z CD (chdir) operates only in the system directories of the current Windows
installation, in removable media, in the root directory of any hard disk
partition, or in the local installation sources.
z Chkdsk: The /p switch runs Chkdsk even if the drive is not flagged as dirty.
The /r switch locates bad sectors and recovers readable information. This
switch implies /p. Chkdsk requires Autochk. Chkdsk automatically looks for
Autochk.exe in the startup folder or in the boot folder. If Chkdsk cannot find
the file in the startup folder, it looks for the Windows Server 2003
installation CD. If Chkdsk cannot find the installation CD, it prompts the user
for the location of Autochk.exe.
z Cls clears the screen.
z Copy copies one file to a target location. By default, the target cannot be
removable media, and you cannot use wildcard characters. Copying a
compressed file from the Windows Server 2003 installation CD automatically
decompresses the file.
z Del (delete) deletes one file. Del operates in the system directories of the
current Windows installation, in removable media, in the root directory of
any hard disk partition, or in the local installation sources. By default, you
cannot use wildcard characters.
z Dir displays a list of all files, including hidden and system files.
z Disable disables a Windows system service or a Windows driver. The
servicename argument is the name of the service or the driver that you
want to disable. When you use this command to disable a service, it displays
the service's original startup type before changing the type to
SERVICE_DISABLED. It is a good idea to note the original startup type so
that you can use the enable command to restart the service.
z Diskpart manages partitions on hard disk volumes.
{ The /add option creates a new partition.
{ The /delete option deletes an existing partition.
{ The device-name argument is the device name for a new partition.
One example of a device name for a new partition is
\device\harddisk0.
{ The drive-name argument is the drive letter for a partition that you
are deleting, such as D:.
{ Partition-name is the partition-based name for a partition that you
are deleting, and can be used instead of the drive-name argument.
One example of a partition-based name is \device\harddisk0
\partition1.
{ The size argument is the size in megabytes of a new partition.
z Enable enables a Windows system service or a Windows driver. The
servicename argument is the name of the service or the driver that you
want to enable, and start_type is the startup type for an enabled service.
The startup type uses one of the following formats:

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     SERVICE_BOOT_START
     SERVICE_SYSTEM_START
     SERVICE_AUTO_START
     SERVICE_DEMAND_START 

z Exit quits the Recovery Console and then restarts the computer.
z Expand expands a compressed file. The source argument is the file that
you want to expand. By default, you cannot use wildcard characters. The
destination argument is the directory for the new file. By default, the
destination cannot be removable media and cannot be read-only. You can
use the attrib command to remove the read-only attribute from the
destination directory. The option /f:filespec is required if the source
contains more than one file. This option permits wildcard characters. The /y
switch disables the overwrite confirmation prompt. The /d switch specifies
that the files should not be expanded and displays a directory of the files in
the source.
z Fixboot writes a new boot sector on the system partition. The fixboot
command is only supported on x86-based computers.
z Fixmbr repairs the boot partition's master boot record (MBR). The device-
name argument is an optional name that specifies the device that requires a
new MBR. Omit this variable when the target is the boot device. The fixmbr
command is only supported on x86-based computers.
z Format formats a disk. The /q switch performs a quick format.
The /fs:file-system switch specifies the file system.
z Help lists all the commands that the Recovery Console supports. For more
information about a specific command, type help command-name or
command-name /?.
z Listsvc displays all available services and drivers on the computer.
z Logon displays detected installations of Windows and requests the local
Administrator password for those installations. Use this command to move to
another installation or subdirectory.
z Map displays currently active device mappings. Include the arc option to
specify the use of Advanced RISC Computing (ARC) paths instead of
Windows device paths. (ARC is the format that is used for the Boot.ini file.)
z Md (Mkdir) creates a directory. The command operates only in the system
directories of the current Windows installation, in removable media, in the
root directory of any hard disk partition, or in the local installation sources.
z More/Type displays the specified text file to the screen.
z Rd (rmdir) removes a directory. The command operates only in the system
directories of the current Windows installation, in removable media, in the
root directory of any hard disk partition, or in the local installation sources.
z Ren (rename) renames a single file. The command operates only in the
system directories of the current Windows installation, in removable media,
in the root directory of any hard disk partition, or in the local installation
sources. You cannot specify a new drive or path as the target.
z Set displays and sets the Recovery Console environment variables.
z Systemroot sets the current directory to %systemroot%.

Precautionary Measures

How to Install the Recovery Console as a Startup Option
You can install the Recovery Console on a working computer so that it is available

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to use if you cannot start Windows. This precautionary measure can save you time
if you must use the Recovery Console.

NOTE: You must be logged on as Administrator or as a member of the
Administrators group to complete this 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 Server 2003 CD in the
computer's CD or DVD drive.
2. Click Start, and then click Run.
3. In the Open box, type the following line, where drive is the drive letter of
the computer's CD drive or DVD drive that contains the Windows Server
2003 CD, and then click OK:
drive:\i386\winnt32.exe /cmdcons

To install Recovery console as a startup option for Windows Server 2003 x64
edition, type the following line:
drive:\amd64\winnt32.exe /cmdcons

4. Click Yes when the message appears, to install the Recovery Console.
5. When you receive the message that states that the Recovery Console is
successfully installed, click OK.
6. To use the Recovery Console, restart the computer, and then use the
ARROW keys to select Microsoft Windows Recovery Console in the
Please select the operating system to start list.

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

To remove the Recovery Console, follow these steps:

1. Restart the computer.
2. Click Start, and then click My Computer.
3. Turn on the Show hidden files and folders option (if it is not already
turned on). To do so, follow these steps:
a. On the Tools menu, click Folder Options.
b. Click the View tab.
c. Click Show hidden files and folders, click to clear the Hide
protected operating system files (Recommended) check box (if
it is selected), and then click OK.
4. Double-click the drive letter that represents the hard disk on which you
installed the Recovery Console.
5. Delete the Cmdcons folder from the root folder, and then delete the Cmldr
file. To do so, follow these steps:
a. Right-click Cmdcons, and then click Delete. Follow the instructions
that appear on the screen, and then click Yes to confirm the deletion.
b. Right-click Cmldr, and then click Delete. Follow the instructions that
appear on the screen, and then click Yes to confirm the deletion.

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6. Remove the Recovery Console entry from the Boot.ini file. To do so, follow
these steps.

WARNING: Incorrectly modifying the Boot.ini file may prevent your
computer from restarting. Make sure that you delete only the entry for the
Recovery Console.
a. At 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.
b. Open the Boot.ini file in Notepad.
c. Locate the Recovery Console entry, and then delete it. The Recovery
Console entry looks similar to the following line:
C:\cmdcons\bootsect.dat="Microsoft Windows
Recovery Console" /cmdcons

d. On the File menu, click Save, and then click Exit to quit Notepad.
7. Change the attribute for the Boot.ini file back to Read-only. To do so, right-
click Boot.ini, and then click Properties. Click to select the Read-only
check box, and then click OK.

For additional information about how to use the Recovery Console, click the
following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
326215 (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/326215/ ) How To Use the Recovery
Console on a Windows Server 2003-Based Computer

APPLIES TO

z Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Datacenter Edition (32-bit x86)
z Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Enterprise Edition (32-bit x86)
z Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Standard Edition (32-bit x86)
z Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Web Edition
z Microsoft Windows Server 2003, 64-Bit Datacenter Edition
z Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Enterprise x64 Edition

Keywords: kbmgmtservices kbenv kbhowtomaster KB326215

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http://support.microsoft.com/kb/326215 8/6/2009