How to Enter the Recovery Console

What is the Recovery Console?

The Recovery Console is used in Windows XP for various repairs of your system.  It can be very useful when you are unable to boot XP.

What can I do in the Recovery Console?

Microsoft has a list of commands and information about each one here.

How do I get in the Recovery Console?

  1. Find your XP CD, or another XP CD for the same edition (ex. Home, Pro, or Media Center)

  2. Put the CD in your CD drive and reboot your computer

  3. This step varies widely between different manufacturers. When you are just starting your computer, you may see an option for something like Boot Menu, press the button (often F12) and choose your CD drive, then press Enter. If that option isn't present, it should say something like Press F2 to Enter Setup, so push that button, then find where it stores boot order and make sure your CD drive is at the top. Exit and save the settings.

  4. When you see Press any key to boot from CD... press a key

  5. Wait for the drivers to load, then press R to enter the Recovery Console

  6. Type the number of the installation folder (1 for most people) and press Enter

  7. Type in your Administrator password and press Enter. If you never set one, it is probably blank.

You should see a prompt. This means that you have successfully entered the Recovery Console.