Microsoft KB Archive/254582
The information in this article applies to:
- Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional
- Microsoft Windows 2000 Server
- Microsoft Windows 2000 Advanced Server
- Microsoft Windows 2000 Datacenter Server
This article describes the functionality and limitations of the Windows 2000 Recovery Console. The Recovery Console is designed to help you recover when your Windows 2000-based computer does not start properly or at all.
With the Windows 2000 Recovery Console you can obtain limited access to NTFS, FAT, and FAT32 volumes without starting the Windows graphical interface. In the Recovery Console you can:
- Use, copy, rename or replace operating system files and folders.
- Enable or disable services or devices from starting when you next start your computer.
- Repair the file system boot sector or the Master Boot Record (MBR).
- Create and format partitions on drives.
Note that only an administrator can obtain access to the Recovery Console so unauthorized users cannot use any NTFS volume.
Starting the Recovery Console
To start the Recovery Console, use any of the following methods:
- Start your computer with the Windows 2000 Setup floppy disks, or with the Windows 2000 CD-ROM. At the "Welcome to Setup" screen press F10, or press R to Repair, and then C to start the Recovery Console.
Add the Recovery Console to the Windows 2000 Startup folder by using Winnt32.exe with the "/cmdcons" switch. This requires approximately 7MB of disk space on your system partition to hold the cmdcons directory and files. Note that if you are using software mirroring, please see the following article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
Q229077 Mirroring prevents pre-installing the Recovery Console
Follow the instructions in the following article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
Q222478 Template to Run Recovery Console Using a Remote Install Server
Using the Command Console
After you start the Recovery Console, you receive the following message:
Windows NT(TM) Boot Console Command Interpreter.
This is a limited function command prompt intended only as a system recovery utility for advanced users. Using this utility incorrectly can cause serious system-wide problems that may require you to reinstall Windows NT to correct them.
Type 'exit' to leave the command prompt and reboot the system.
Which Windows NT installation would you like to logon to (enter to abort)?
After you enter the number for the appropriate Windows 2000 installation, enter the Administrator account password. Note that if you use an incorrect password 3 times, the Recovery Console quits. Also, if the SAM database is missing or damaged, you are not be able to use the Recovery Console because you cannot be properly authenticated. After you enter your password and the Recovery Console starts, typing "exit" restarts your computer.
Restrictions and Limitations of the Command Console
From the Recovery Console you can only use the following folders:
- The root folder.
- The %SystemRoot% folder and the subfolders of the Windows 2000 installation you are currently logged in to.
- The Cmdcons folder.
- Removable media drives such as CD-ROM drives.
NOTE: If you try to obtain access to other folders, you receive an "Access Denied" error message. Also, while in the Recovery Console you cannot copy a file from the local hard disk to a floppy disk. You can copy a file from a floppy disk or CD-ROM to a hard disk, and from one hard disk to another hard disk.
HELP lists all of the following supported commands:
ATTRIB DELETE FIXBOOT MD TYPE CD DIR FIXMBR MKDIR SYSTEMROOT CHDIR DISABLE FORMAT MORE CHKDSK DISKPART HELP RD CLS ENABLE LISTSVC REN COPY EXIT LOGON RENAME DEL EXPAND MAP RMDIR
The ATTRIB command with any of the following parameters can change attributes of a file or folder:
+ Sets an attribute.
- Resets an attribute.
R Read-Only file attribute.
S System file attribute.
H Hidden file attribute.
NOTE: At least one attribute must be set or cleared. To View attributes use the DIR command.
CD and CHDIR
The CD and CHDIR commands change the folder. CD .. specifies that you want to change to the parent folder. Type CD drive: to display the current folder in the specified drive. Type CD without parameters to display the current drive and folder. The CHDIR command treats spaces as delimiters. Because of this, you must enclose a subfolder name that contains a space with quotation marks. For example:
CD "\winnt\profiles\username\programs\start menu"
The CHDIR command only operates within the system folders of the current installation of Windows 2000, removable media, the root folder of any hard disk partition, or the local installation sources.
CHKDSK drive /P /R
Checks, and if needed, repairs or recovers a drive. Also marks bad sectors and recovers readable information.
drive specifies the drive to check. The /P switch instructs CHKDSK to do an exhaustive check of the drive even if the drive is not marked with problems and corrects any errors found. The /R switch locates bad sectors and recovers readable information. Note that specifying the /R switch implies the /P switch. CHKDSK may be specified without arguments, in which case the current drive is implied with no switches. Optionally, the listed switches are accepted. The CHKDSK command requires the Autochk.exe file. CHKDSK automatically locates this file in the bootup folder. This would typically be the Cmdcons folder if the Command Console was pre-installed. If it cannot be found in the bootup folder, CHKDSK tries to locate the Windows 2000 CD-ROM installation media. If the installation media cannot be found, CHKDSK prompts you to provide the location of the Autochk.exe file.
Clears the screen.
Copies a file.
source: Specifies the file to be copied. Wildcards or folder copies are not permitted. A compressed file from the Windows 2000 CD-ROM is automatically decompressed as it is copied.
destination: Specifies the folder or file name for the new file. If this is not specified, it defaults to the current folder. If the file already exists, you are prompted to overwrite it.
DEL and DELETE
DEL drive: pathfilename
DELETE drive: pathfilename
Deletes a file
drive: pathfilename specifies the file to delete.
The DELETE command only operates within the system folders of the current Windows 2000 installation, removable media, the root folder of any hard disk partition, or the local installation sources. The DELETE command does not accept wild card (*) characters.
DIR drive: pathfilename
Displays a list of files and subfolders in a folder.
drive: pathfilename: Specifies drive, folder, and/or files to list. The DIR command lists all files including hidden and system files. Files may have the following attributes:
D - Directory R - Read-only file H - Hidden file A - Files ready for archiving S - System file C - Compressed E - Encrypted P - Reparse Point
The DIR command only operates within the system folders of the current Windows 2000 installation, removable media, the root folder of any hard disk partition, or the local installation sources.
The DISABLE command disables a Windows 2000 system service or driver.
servicename: The name of the service or driver to be disabled. Use the LISTSVC command to display all eligible services or drivers to disable. DISABLE prints the old start_type of the service before resetting it to SERVICE_DISABLED. Because of this, you should record the old start_type, in case it is necessary to re-enable the service.
The start_type values that the DISABLE command displays:
DISKPART /add /delete device_name drive_name partition_name size
Use the DISKPART command to manage the partitions on your hard disk volumes.
/add: Create a new partition.
/delete: Delete an existing partition.
device_name: Device name for creating a new partition. The name can be obtained from the output of the MAP command. For example: \Device\HardDisk0
drive_name: This is a drive-letter based name for deleting an existing partition. Example D:
partition_name: This is a partition-based name for deleting an existing partition and can be used in place of the drive name argument. Example: \Device\HardDisk0\Partition1
size: Size of the new partition in megabytes.
NOTE: If no arguments are used, a user interface for managing your partitions appears.
WARNING: This command can damage your partition table if the disk has been upgraded to a dynamic disk configuration. Do not modify the structure of dynamic disks unless you are using the Disk Management tool.
You can use the ENABLE command to enable a Windows 2000 system service or driver.
servicename: The name of the service or driver to be enabled. Use the LISTSVC command to display all eligible services or drivers to enable. The ENABLE command prints the old start_type of the service before resetting it to the new value. You should note the old value, in case it is necessary to restore the start_type of the service.
start_type: Valid start_type values are:
NOTE: If you do not specify a new start_type, ENABLE prints the old start_type for you.
You can use the EXIT command to quit the Command Console and restart your computer.
FIXBOOT drive name:
Writes new Windows 2000 boot sector code on the boot partition. This fixes problems where the Windows 2000 boot sector is corrupted. The Emergency Repair process also fixes the boot sector.
drive name: Drive letter where the boot sector will be written. This overrides the default of writing to the system boot partition. The FIXBOOT command is only supported on the x86 platform.
FIXMBR device name
Repairs the master boot record (MBR) of the system partition. This is used in scenarios where a virus has damaged the MBR and Windows 2000 cannot start.
WARNING: This command has the potential to damage your partition tables if a virus is present or a hardware problem exists. This command may lead to inaccessible partitions. Microsoft suggests running anti-virus software before using this command.
device name: Optional device name that specifies the device that needs a new MBR. The name can be obtained from the output of the MAP command. If this is left blank, the boot device's MBR is fixed. For example:
If FIXMBR detects an invalid or non-standard partition table signature, it prompts you for permission before rewriting the MBR. The FIXMBR command is only supported on the x86 platform.
Formats the specified drive to the specified file system.
drive:: Drive letter of the partition to format.
/Q: Performs a quick format of the drive.
/FS:file-system: Specifies the type of file system to use, FAT, FAT32, or NTFS. If none is specified, then the existing file system format is used, when available.
The LISTSVC command lists all available services, drivers and their start types for the current Windows 2000 installation. This may be useful when using the DISABLE and ENABLE commands.
NOTE: These are extracted from the %systemroot%\System32\config\SYSTEM hive. Should the SYSTEM hive become damaged or missing, unpredictable results may occur.
The LOGON command lists all detected installations of Windows 2000 and Windows NT, and then requests the local administrator password for the copy of Windows you chose to log on to. If more than three attempts to logon do not succeed, the console quits and your computer restarts.
The MAP command lists drive letters, file system types, partition sizes and mappings to physical devices.
arc: The arc parameter tells MAP to use ARC paths instead of Windows Device paths.
MD and MKDIR
The MD or MKDIR commands make folders. Wildcard characters are not supported. The MKDIR command only operates within the system folders of the current installation of Windows 2000, removable media, the root folder of any hard disk partition, or the local installation sources.
The MORE command displays a text file to the screen.
RD and RMDIR
The RD and RMDIR commands delete a folder.
The RMDIR and RD commands only operate within the system folders of the current Windows 2000 installation, removable media, the root folder of any hard disk partition, or the local installation sources.
REN and RENAME
The REN and RENAME commands can rename a file. Note that you cannot specify a new drive or path for your destination file. The REN and RENAME commands only operate within the system folders of the current Windows 2000 installation, removable media, the root folder of any hard disk partition, or the local installation sources.
The SET command allows you to display or modify four environment options.
AllowWildCards = FALSE AllowAllPaths = FALSE AllowRemovableMedia = FALSE NoCopyPrompt = FALSE
The SYSTEMROOT command sets the current working folder to the %SystemRoot% folder of the Windows 2000 installation you are currently logged into.
The TYPE command displays a text file.
Additional query words:
Keywords : kbtool KBW2KHOME
Issue type : kbinfo
Technology : kbwin2000AdvServ kbwin2000AdvServSearch kbwin2000DataServ kbwin2000DataServSearch kbwin2000Serv kbwin2000ServSearch kbwin2000Search kbwin2000ProSearch kbwin2000Pro kbWinAdvServSearch kbWinDataServSearch
Last Reviewed: May 2, 2001