The Recovery Console is a useful utility for troubleshooting and recovering a system. When you use the Recovery Console, you can gain limited access to any volumes without starting the Windows Graphical interface. The utility provides you with the following capabilities:

  • Use, copy, rename, or replace operating system files and folders
  • Enable or disable services or devices from starting when you restart your computer
  • Repair the file system boot sector or the Master Boot Record (MBR)
  • Create and format partitions on drivesOnce you start the Recovery Console, you will have access to a limited number of commands. These commands are described below.
    • Attrib: Changes the attributes of a file or directory.
    • Batch: Executes the commands specified in the text file.
    • Bootcfg: Configures and recovers the boot.ini file.
    • ChDir (Cd): Displays the name of the current directory or changes the current directory.
    • Chkdsk: Checks a disk and displays a status report.
    • Cls: Clears the screen.
    • Copy: Copies a single file to another location.
    • Delete (Del): Deletes one or more files.
    • Dir: Displays a list of files and subdirectories in a directory.
    • Disable: Disables a system service or a device driver.
    • Diskpart: Manages partitions on your hard drives.
    • Enable: Starts or enables a system service or a device driver.
    • Exit: Exits the Recovery Console and restarts your computer.
    • Expand: Extracts a file from a compressed file.
    • Fixboot: Writes a new partition boot sector onto the system partition.
    • Fixmbr: Repairs the master boot record of the partition boot sector.
    • Format: Formats a disk.
    • Help: Displays a list of the commands you can use in the Recovery Console.
    • Listsvc: Lists the services and drivers available on the computer.
    • Logon: Logs on to a Windows installation.
    • Map: Displays the drive letter mappings.
    • Mkdir (Md): Creates a directory.
    • More: Displays a text file.
    • Net Use: Connects a network share to a drive letter.
    • Rename (Ren): Renames a single file.
    • Rmdir (Rd): Deletes a directory.
    • Set: Displays and sets environment variables.
    • Systemroot: Sets the current directory to the systemroot directory of the system you are currently logged on to.
    • Type: Displays a text file.

One of the many things you can do with the Windows Server 2003 Recovery Console is format a disk. Once you have started the Recovery Console and provided the correct Administrator password, type the following command where x is the letter assigned to the drive you want to format:

Format x:

Incorrect or corrupt drivers can wreak havoc on your computer and cause Windows to not function correctly. If you are having problems with a driver, you can launch the Recovery Console to replace it.

Once you have a copy of the uncorrupted driver files (on a floppy or other media) and know where they are located, start the Recovery Console using one of the methods described earlier. From the system prompt type in the command shown below where:

  • Source_path is the path to the replacement file
  • Source_filename is the name of the replacement file
  • Destination_path is the path to the file that you are replacing
  • Destination_filename is the name of the file you are replacing

Copy [source_path] source_filename [destination_path] destination_filename

When you are prompted, press Y to overwrite the exiting file and then press Enter.

The Recovery Console is a useful utility for advanced users that can be used to troubleshoot Windows problems. Under the Recovery Console, you have access to various commands that can be used to recover a computer. It can be used to perform very simple tasks such as viewing a directory or more powerful tasks such as fixing the boot sector.

[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]