To enter Recovery Console in Windows XP, you will need to boot from the Windows XP CD.
- Watch for a Press any key to boot from CD… message similar to the one shown above.
- Press a key to force the computer to boot from the Windows CD. If you do not press a key, your PC will continue to boot to the Windows XP installation that’s currently installed on your hard drive. If this happens, just restart and try to boot to the Windows XP CD again.
No user intervention is required in this step. Windows XP is loading a number of files in preparation for either a reinstallation of Windows XP or for use of the Recovery Console.
Note: Do not press a function key if asked to do so during this process. Those options are only necessary when installing Windows XP or reinstalling Windows XP and only then in certain circumstances.
When the Windows XP Professional/Home Setup screen appears, press R to enter Recovery Console.
The Recovery Console is now loading but needs to know which Windows installation to access. Most users only have a single Windows XP installation so the choice is usually clear.
To the Which Windows installation would you like to log onto question, press 1 and then Enter.
The Recovery Console now needs to know the administrator password for this Windows XP installation. Unless you are using a PC in a sizable business network, the administrator password is most likely the same password you use to access Windows XP on a daily basis.
Still not sure what the administrator password is? Offline NT Password & Registry Editor, a free program typically used to reset lost Windows passwords, also has the ability to transform standard user accounts into administrator accounts, all without needing access to a working Windows installation!
To the Type the Administrator password request, enter the password and press Enter.
Note: If you do not have a password or Windows XP normally starts without asking for one, simply press Enter.
The Recovery Console is now fully loaded and the cursor should be sitting at the prompt, ready for a command, as shown in the screen shot above.
Make any changes necessary in the Windows XP Recovery Console. When complete, take out the Windows XP CD and type exit to restart the computer.
Note: A limited number of commands are available for use from within Recovery Console. See the complete list of Recovery Console commands for more information.