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Recovery console


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The Recovery Console provides system repair and recovery functionality.

Type EXIT to quit the Recovery Console and restart the computer.




Which Windows Installation would you like to log onto

(To cancel, press ENTER)?



Hit the number 1 on your keyboard, or whichever number corresponds to the operating system you were using when havoc struck. Enter your administrator password, and then hit enter.


If you type the following commands into your computer, it will work magic, akin to going back in time. There are three parts to this process, but believe me, they take much less time than reinstalling Windows XP and all your applications. So follow along with me, and keep in mind that each command must be typed exactly as you see it here. Please note that this procedure assumes that Windows XP is installed to the C:\Windows folder. Make sure to change C:\Windows to the appropriate windows folder if it's at a different location. The copy commands will answer you with a little "file copied" message. The delete commands just move on to the next line. Because of the way your Web browser displays individual lines, a command might look to you like it's two lines, so I've separated each command by an empty line. But anyway, type the whole command in one line, and when you've finished typing that command, hit the Enter key. Be sure to include the spaces I've included between each word here:

md tmp

copy C:\windows\system32\config\system C:\windows\tmp\system.bak

copy C:\windows\system32\config\software C:\windows\tmp\software.bak

copy C:\windows\system32\config\sam C:\windows\tmp\sam.bak

copy C:\windows\system32\config\security C:\windows\tmp\security.bak

copy C:\windows\system32\config\default C:\windows\tmp\default.bak

delete C:\windows\system32\config\system

delete C:\windows\system32\config\software

delete C:\windows\system32\config\Sam

delete C:\windows\system32\config\security

delete C:\windows\system32\config\default

copy C:\windows\repair\system C:\windows\system32\config\system

copy C:\windows\repair\software C:\windows\system32\config\software

copy C:\windows\repair\sam C:\windows\system32\config\sam

copy C:\windows\repair\security C:\windows\system32\config\security

copy C:\windows\repair\default C:\windows\system32\config\default

. You first made a temporary directory called "tmp" (md tmp), and then into it, you copied all the files that boot up Windows. Then you deleted all those startup files, one of which is the stinker that got you into this mess in the first place. After that, you copied into that same place fresh startup files from a special repair directory. When you reboot, Windows will look for those files


Now type Exit and watch your computer restart into Windows XP again. Be sure not to tell it to boot from the CD this time.


Part 2

copy the saved registry files from their backed up location by using System Restore. This folder is not available in Recovery Console and is normally not visible -- Microsoft is protecting you from yourself by hiding it from you and locking it away from you. But we have the keys. Before you start this procedure, you'll need to change several settings to make that folder visible:


1. Start Windows Explorer.


2. On the Tools menu, click Folder options.


3. Click the View tab.


4. Under Hidden files and folders, click to select Show hidden files and folders, and then click to clear the "Hide protected operating system files (Recommended)" check box.


5. Click Yes when the dialog box is displayed that confirms that you want to display these files.


6. Double-click the drive where you installed Windows XP to get a list of the folders. It's important to click the correct drive.


7. Open the System Volume Information folder. This folder appears dimmed because it is set as a super-hidden folder. If you're using the FAT32 file system, this will be easy. If you're using NTFS, it won't let you open the folder, but here's how to get around that: Right-click on that system volume information folder and select Sharing and Security. Then click the Security tab. (No security tab? Skip two paragraphs.) Click Add, and then in the box that's labeled "Enter the object names to select," type the name of the user that's at the top of the Start menu


type the name the way it's listed there on the Start Menu. click OK a couple of times


But what if you don't see a Security tab? Try this: Click to select the checkboxes in the "Network sharing and security" area -- one is labeled "Share this folder on the network" and the other is labeled "Allow network users to change my files." Change the share name to something short, like sysinfo. Then it'll let you in. After you're done with this entire rescue operation, you might want to go back and change these back to the way they were before, for maximum security.


OK. Now here you are, in the inner sanctum where only the high priests go. Be not afraid, all ye who enter here. As Microsoft so eloquently puts it:


NOTE : This folder contains one or more _restore {GUID} folders such as "_restore{87BD3667-3246-476B-923F-F86E30B3E7F8}".


8. Open a folder that was not created at the current time. You may have to click Details on the View menu to see when these folders were created. There may be one or more folders starting with "RP x under this folder. These are restore points.


9. Open one of these folders to locate a Snapshot subfolder; the following path is an example of a folder path to the Snapshot folder:


C:\System Volume Information\_restore{D86480E3-73EF-47BC-A0EB-A81BE6EE3ED8}RP1Snapshot


From the Snapshot folder, copy the following files to the C:\Windows\Tmp folder







This is how Microsoft explains this: "These files are the backed up registry files from System Restore. Because you used the registry file created by Setup, this registry does not know that these restore points exist and are available. A new folder is created with a new GUID under System Volume Information and a restore point is created that includes a copy of the registry files that were copied during part one. This is why it is important not to use the most current folder, especially if the time stamp on the folder is the same as the current time


Now it's time to place those files you just made visible to the Recovery Console where they belong. And to do that, we need to get back into the Recovery Console. So, make sure your CD is in the drive, and restart Windows, this time hitting any key when it tells you to do that if you want to boot from CD. Yes, you want to boot from CD, so you can launch your Recovery Console. Type R


Part 3

In part three, you delete the existing registry files, and then copy the System Restore Registry files to the C:\Windows\System32\Config folder:


From within Recovery Console, type the following commands:

Del c:\windows\system32\config\sam

Del c:\windows\system32\config\security

Del c:\windows\system32\config\software

Del c:\windows\system32\config\default

Del c:\windows\system32\config\system

copy c:\windows\tmp\_registry_machine_software c:\windows\system32\config\software

copy c:\windows\tmp\_registry_machine_system c:\windows\system32\config\system

copy c:\windows\tmp\_registry_machine_sam c:\windows\system32\config\sam

copy c:\windows\tmp\_registry_machine_security c:\windows\system32\config\security

copy c:\windows\tmp\_registry_user_.default c:\windows\system32\config\default

Now. Type exit and your computer will reboot into whichever restore file you chose. But If it's not the right one, that's alright, you can now go into your System Restore area and pick a different restore point if you want.


1. Click Start, then click All Programs.


2. Click Accessories, and then click System Tools.


3. Click System Restore, and then click Restore to a previous Restore Point.

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