The Recovery Console can be access in two ways. It is accessible by booting to the installation CD, or you can also place it in the Advanced Boot options (F8 during boot, which gives you options like safe mode, last known good, boot logging, etc), by running \i386\winnt32.exe\cmdcons from the installation CD.

The advantage of installing the Recovery Console is that you do not need your Windows Server 2003 CD to run the utility. The installation process is very simple. Keep in mind though that it does require 7 MB of free disk space.

  1. Insert your Windows Server 2003 CD. Close the setup screen if it appears.
  2. Click Start and select run.
  3. Type in the following command where x is the letter assigned to your CD-ROM drive:
    x:\i386\winnt32.exe /cmdcons.
  4. Click OK.
  5. Click Yes to confirm the installation of the Recovery Console.
  6. Click Esc if you do not want to connect to the Internet.
  7. Click OK.
  8. Restart your computer.

Removing the Recovery Console is not as simple and it requires a little more attention. In order to do so, you need to delete the files that were added to your computer and edit the boot.ini file to remove the Recovery Console option from the boot menu. So if you want to remove the Recovery Console option from your computer, you should follow the steps that are listed below:

  1. Open the drive on which you installed the Recovery Console.
  2. Click Folder Options from the Tools menu.
  3. Select the View tab.
  4. Scroll through the available options and select Show hidden files and folders.
  5. Clear the box beside Hide protected operated system files.
  6. Click OK.
  7. Locate and delete the Cmdcons folder and the Cmldr file.
  8. Locate the Boot.ini file.
  9. Right click the file and select Properties.
  10. Clear the box beside Read-only and click OK.
  11. Open the Boot.ini file and delete the Recovery Console option.
  12. Close the Boot.ini file.

Once the Recovery Console has been removed, you should repeat steps 1 through 6 as outlined above, this time to hide protected operating system files.

[tags]cd, troubleshoot, windows server 2003, recovery console, safe mode, batch, bootcfg, chkdsk, cls, copy, del, dir, disable, diskpart, enable, exit, expand, fdisk, fixboot, fixmbr, format, help, listsvc, logon, map, md, more, rename, rd[/tags]