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Last Updated December 10, 2003

 

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Recovery Console & Safe Boot Resources

One of the biggest headaches with Windows NT was that if the Operating System failed you couldn't boot it from a floppy disk and do a few basic recovery options such as stopping a service, or modifying, deleting, or updating a file. Well, now you can! By installing the Recovery Console on your Windows 2000 installations, you'll be offered this option whenever you boot up. And if you forget to install it, you can get to it be using the 4 installation boot floppies and choosing the repair option. The Recovery Console can be pre-installed by running the "WINNT32 /CMDCONS" command from the Windows 2000 installation CD-ROM to place the files on the local hard disk. This option requires approximately 7 megabytes (MB) of disk space on the system partition.

Where to Start..
Description of the Windows 2000 Recovery Console
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 229716 - 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. 

Differences Between Manual and Fast Repair in Windows 2000
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 238359 - Windows 2000 includes two repair choices: Manual Repair or Fast Repair. To see these choices, boot from the Windows 2000 installation media, press R to repair, and then press R to use the Emergency Repair process. When you do this, you see the following options: Manual Repair: To choose from a list of repair options, press M. Fast Repair: To perform all repair options, press F. The two repair choices cause the Repair process to perform different tasks. 

How to Install the Windows 2000 Recovery Console
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 216417 Describes how to install the Windows 2000 Recovery console to your hard disk. Note that if you install this tool to your local hard disk, Windows 2000 Recovery console is added as a choice on the Windows 2000 Startup menu. 

HOW TO: Install and Use the Recovery Console in Windows 2000 
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 318752 - You can use the Windows Recovery Console to help recover a Windows-based computer that either does not start properly or does not start at all. If Safe mode and other startup options do not work, you may want to use the Recovery Console. 

HOW TO: Use Recovery Console on a Computer That Does Not Start in Windows 2000 
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 301645 - This step-by-step article describes how to recover a Microsoft Windows 2000 Server-based computer that does not start. 

Repairing the Master Boot Record
One of the most important parts of your system's hard disk is the Master Boot Record (MBR). Without a valid MBR, it's impossible to boot the system from the hard disk. Source: EarthWeb

Repairing Windows 2000 through the Recovery Console
Repairing Windows NT after a system crash can be a real pain. However, Windows 2000 provides a built-in Recovery Console utility that greatly simplifies the recovery process. Source: EarthWeb (June 13, 2000)

Windows 2000 Safe-Mode Boot and Recovery Console
Introduction to and instructions on how to use the safe-mode boot and Recovery Console features of the Windows 2000 operating system. Source: Microsoft (July 2000)

WebCast: Microsoft Windows 2000 Safe-Mode Boot and Recovery Console
Level:200 The session will discuss the features and uses of two great tools that come with Microsoft Windows 2000. These tools can help you troubleshoot issues that prevent the operating system from booting. We will discuss how to use them, when to use them, and what their limitations are

Safe Boot

Description of Safe Boot Mode in Windows 2000
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 202485 - Windows 2000 supports several Safe Boot options that load a minimal set of drivers. You can use these options to to start Windows 2000 so you can modify the registry or load or remove drivers.

Safe-Mode Boot Switches for Windows 2000 Boot.ini File
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 239780 Windows 2000 includes a Safe-mode boot feature. To use this feature, press F8 during boot and then choose the Safe-mode boot mode you want to use. There are also switches that you can use to make any of these modes available in the Boot.ini 

Situations in Which Windows 2000 May Not Start in Safe Mode
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 199175 - You can use Safe mode to start Windows 2000 using a minimal set of drivers and services. If a faulty driver or program is causing problems, you may be able to use Safe mode to bypass the problem and start Windows 2000 so you can diagnose the problem 

Useful Articles worth reading...

Creating a Template to Run Recovery Console Using a Remote Install Server 
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 222478 - The Recovery Console for Windows 2000 assists in repairing a non-bootable installation, but it requires the installation media consisting of the four Setup disks or the CD-ROM. The Recovery Console can also be preinstalled by running the command "Winnt32 /cmdcons" ahead of time to place the files on the local hard disk. This option requires approximately 7 megabytes (MB) of disk space 

Description of the SET Command in Recovery Console 
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 235364 - This article describes the set command in Recovery Console and how to enable it before starting Recovery Console 

HOW TO: Boot Windows 2000-Based Computers When You Use a Debugger Program 
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 295553 - This article describes the commands that you can issue from a kernel debugger so that you can initiate reboots of your computer while it is in Safe mode. 

How to Copy Files from Recovery Console to Removable Media
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 240831 Describes how to configure Windows 2000 Recovery Console so that you can gain access to removable media devices without restriction. You can use Recovery Console for recovery purposes when your Windows 2000-based computer doesn't boot properly 

How to Change the Recovery Console Administrator Password on a Domain Controller
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 239803 When you promote a Windows 2000 Server-based computer to a domain controller, you are prompted to type a Directory Service Restore Mode Administrator password. This password is also used by Recovery Console, and is separate from the Administrator. 

How to Delete the Pagefile.sys File in Recovery Console
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 255205 - When you boot into Recovery Console and try to delete the Pagefile.sys file, the file is not present. A directory listing does not show the Pagefile.sys on the root of the boot folder (the drive containing the %SystemRoot% folder). 

How to Disable a Service or Device that Prevents Windows 2000 from Booting
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 244905 - If a service or device driver is started automatically and is incompatible with the current version of Windows 2000, the service or device driver may not allow Windows 2000 to remain running long enough for you to shut down the service or disable the outdated device driver. 

HOW TO: Format a Hard Disk by Using the Windows 2000 Recovery Console 
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 313672 - This step-by-step article describes how to format a hard disk for use with Windows 2000 by using the Windows 2000 recovery console. To start the Recovery Console, start your computer by using either the Windows 2000 CD-ROM or the Windows 2000 Setup disks. 

How to Retrieve One Page Text Files in the Recovery Console by Using the Batch Command
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 243067 - The Recovery Console does not provide the ability to edit files. However, you can use the batch command in the Recovery Console to retrieve or alter information from a Windows 2000-based computer. 

Mirroring Prevents Pre-Installing the Recovery Console 
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 229077 The Windows 2000 Recovery Console is used to facilitate repairing an unbootable computer. It requires the Windows 2000 installation media (the four Setup disks or the CD-ROM).

Known Bugs and Issues

C:\Cmdcons Folder Deleted When Reinstalling Recovery Console
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 233979 If the Recovery Console is preinstalled on your computer but for some reason files in the C:\Cmdcons folder become corrupted or are accidentally deleted, you may not be able to boot into the Windows 2000 Recovery Console.

Change Directory Command Does Not Seem to Be Recognized in Recovery Console
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 256166 - When you use the the cd or chdir (change directory) command in Recovery Console, you may receive the following error message: The command is not recognized, Type HELP for a list of supported commands.  

DirectCD 3.01 Prevents Starting in Safe Mode in Windows 2000
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 261807 - After installing Adaptec's DirectCD version 3.01 on Microsoft Windows 2000, you may receive the following error message when you attempt to start in Safe Mode: STOP: 0x0000001e KMODE_EXCEPTION_NOT_HANDLED This occurs because Adaptec's driver CDR4VSD.SYS installed by DirectCD version 3.01 is not compatible with Safe Mode.

Dynamic Volumes Are Not Displayed Accurately in Text-Mode Setup or Recovery Console
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 227364 - While you are using the Recovery console to repair an unbootable Windows 2000 system, or during the text-mode portion of Windows 2000 Setup, dynamic disks may not display accurate information about the correct sizes or the complete list of volumes contained on the dynamic disk(s). There is also no visible designation as to whether a disk is a basic or dynamic disk. 

Mirroring Prevents Pre-Installing the Recovery Console
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 229077 -  The Windows 2000 Recovery Console is used to facilitate repairing an unbootable computer. It requires the Windows 2000 installation media (the four Setup disks or the CD-ROM).  When your system partition (containing the Ntldr, Ntdetect.com, and Boot.ini files) is part of a Windows 2000 basic or dynamic disk software mirror, you cannot pre-install the Recovery Console. If you try to pre-install the Recovery Console with the "WINNT32 /CMDCONS" command, you receive the following error message: No valid system partitions were found, Setup is unable to continue.

Plug and Play Detection Not Disabled in Safe-Mode Startup
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 197071 - When you start Windows 2000 in any safe mode, Plug and Play devices are still detected by the operating system.

Recovery Console Prompts for Administrator Password Even If Administrator Account Has Been Renamed
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 258585 - If you rename the built-in local Administrator account and then attempt to log on to Recovery Console, you are still prompted for the password for the account named Administrator. 

Recovery Console Starts Without Prompting for a Password
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 238836 - When you start your computer using either the Windows 2000 CD-ROM or the Windows 2000 Setup floppy disks and you choose to start Recovery Console, you may not be prompted for the administrator password. Your computer may start Recovery Console 

Setup Does Not Continue If Repair Console Is Installed During Setup Process
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 242446 - If you install Recovery Console while an installation of Windows 2000 is in progress, you cannot continue with the installation. Installing Recovery Console while the other installation is in progress deletes necessary files from the $win_nt folder. 

Setup Does Not Continue If Recovery Console Is Installed During Setup Process 
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 242446 - If you install Recovery Console while an installation of Windows 2000 is in progress, you cannot continue with the installation. Installing Recovery Console while the other installation is in progress deletes necessary files from the $winnt$.~bt folder. This does not allow the existing Setup process to be completed. You can install Recovery Console from within another operating system if you experience a problem that prevents Setup from continuing.  

Selecting Recovery Console Causes Computer to Stop Responding
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 232948 - When you try to use the Recovery Console option from the Windows 2000 Startup menu, your computer may stop responding (hang). Also, your monitor may display random characters and graphics. 

SP1 Upgrade Does Not Update Recovery Console Files
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 263125 When you install Windows 2000 Service Pack 1 (SP1), the files in the System_drive:\Cmdcons folder are not updated. To resolve this issue, you must run the winnt32.exe /cmdcons command again from an integrated installation (also known as a "slipstreamed" installation) of Windows 2000 and SP1.

The Rconsole Users Group Is Not Created in a Workgroup
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 272710 - When you set up Remote Console on a computer that is in a workgroup, the Rconsole users group may not be created.

 

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