Software & Apps Windows How to Enter Windows XP Recovery Console Use this tool for advanced troubleshooting and system repair by Tim Fisher General Manager, VP, Lifewire.com Tim Fisher has 30+ years' professional technology support experience. He writes troubleshooting content and is the General Manager of Lifewire. our editorial process Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Tim Fisher Updated on April 04, 2020 Windows The Ultimate Laptop Buying Guide Tweet Share Email If you're having major system problems with your Windows XP machine, Recovery Console may be your best bet for resolving your issues and repairing any significant operating system files. Windows XP has been discontinued and is no longer supported. We recommend that you update to a modern version of Windows. 01 of 06 Boot From the Windows XP CD To enter Recovery Console in Windows XP, boot from the Windows XP CD. Watch for a Press any key to boot from CD message.Press any key to force the computer to boot from the Windows CD. If you don't 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. 02 of 06 Allow Windows XP to Begin the Setup Process No user intervention is required in this step. Windows XP loads files in preparation for either a reinstallation of Windows XP or for use of the Recovery Console. 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. 03 of 06 Press R to Enter Recovery Console When the Windows XP Professional/Home Setup screen appears, press R to enter Recovery Console. 04 of 06 Choose the Windows Installation The Recovery Console loads but needs to know which Windows installation to access. Most people have only one 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. 05 of 06 Enter the Administrator Password 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, can 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. If you don't have a password or Windows XP normally starts without asking for one, simply press Enter. 06 of 06 Make Necessary Changes in Windows XP Recovery Console The Recovery Console is now fully loaded and the cursor should be sitting at the prompt, ready for a command, as shown in the screenshot above. Make any changes necessary in the Windows XP Recovery Console. When complete, remove the Windows XP CD and type exit to restart the computer. A limited number of commands are available for use from within Recovery Console. See the complete list of Recovery Console commands for more information.