Microsoft KB Archive/216417

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This article describes how to install the Microsoft Windows Recovery Console to your hard disk. If you install this tool to your local hard disk, Windows Recovery Console is added as a choice on the Windows Startup menu.

Install the Windows Recovery Console After Windows is Already Installed on the Computer

  1. Click Start, click Run, and then type CD-ROM drive letter:\i386\winnt32.exe /cmdcons in the Open box, where CD-ROM drive letter is the drive letter assigned to your CD-ROM drive.
  2. Click OK, follow the instructions on the screen to finish Setup, and then restart your computer.

Note To use the recovery console for an installation, you need the local Administrator password. For Domain Controllers, you need the Administrator password that is used in the Directory Service Restore mode.

Deleting the Recovery Console

  1. Restart your computer. Double-click My Computer, and then double-click the hard disk on which you installed the Recovery Console.
  2. On the Tools menu, click Folder Options, and then click the View tab.
  3. Click Show hidden files and folders, click to clear the Hide protected operating system files check box, and then click OK.
  4. At the root folder, delete the Cmdcons folder and the Cmldr file.
  5. At the root folder, right-click the Boot.ini file, and then click Properties.
  6. Click to clear the Read-only check box, and then click OK.

Warning Modifying the Boot.ini file incorrectly may prevent your computer from restarting. Be sure to delete only the entry for the Recovery Console. Also, it is recommended that you change the attribute for the Boot.ini file back to a read-only state after you complete this procedure.

  1. Open the Boot.ini file in Microsoft Windows Notepad, and remove the entry for the Recovery Console. It looks similar to this: C:\cmdcons\bootsect.dat="Microsoft Windows Recovery Console" /cmdcons
  2. Save the file and close it.

Installing Recovery Console During an Unattended Install

In order to install the Recovery Console during the unattended installation of Windows, it is necessary to use the [GuiRunOnce] section of the unattend.txt file.

Command1="path\winnt32 /cmdcons /unattend"


For additional information about how to create Setup boot disks for Windows, please see the following article(s) in the Microsoft Knowledge Base: 197063 How to create Setup boot disks for Windows 2000

For more information about how to use the unattend.txt file, see the Deployment Planning Guide of the Windows 2000 Server Resource Kit.


Article ID: 216417 - Last Review: October 26, 2007 - Revision: 4.3


  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Server
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Advanced Server
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional Edition
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Datacenter Server
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Enterprise Edition (32-bit x86)
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Standard Edition (32-bit x86)
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Web Edition
  • Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition
  • Microsoft Windows XP Professional


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