How To Windows Recovery Console Commands for Windows XP Share Pin Email Print electravk / Getty Images Windows Key Concepts Computer Concepts File Types Command Line Basics Guides & Tutorials Installing & Upgrading Tips & Tricks by Tim Fisher Tim Fisher has 30+ years' professional technology support experience. He writes troubleshooting content and is the General Manager of Lifewire. Updated January 14, 2019 The Recovery Console is a command line based, advanced diagnostic feature available in some early versions of the Windows operating system. Recovery Console is used to help resolve a number of major system problems. It's particularly useful for repairing or replacing important operating system files. When these files aren't working as they should, Windows will sometimes not startup at all. In these cases, you must start the Recovery Console to restore the files. How to Access & Use Recovery Console The Recovery Console is usually accessed via booting from a Windows installation CD. Recovery Console can also sometimes be accessed from the boot menu, but only if it has been preinstalled on your system. A number of commands unsurprisingly called Recovery Console commands (all listed below), are available from within Recovery Console. Using these commands in specific ways can help solve specific problems. Here are some examples where executing a particular command in the Recovery Console is necessary to fix a serious Windows issue: Repair the Master Boot Record in Windows XPRestore Hal.dll From the Windows XP CDRestore NTLDR and Ntdetect.com From the Windows XP CD Recovery Console Commands As mentioned above, several commands are available within Recovery Console, quite a few of them exclusive to the tool. When used, these commands can do things as simple as copying a file from one place to another, or as complicated as repairing the master boot record after a major virus attack. Recovery Console commands are similar to Command Prompt commands and DOS commands but are completely different tools with different options and abilities. Below is a complete list of Recovery Console commands, along with links to more detailed information about how to use each command: Command Purpose Attrib Changes or displays the file attributes of a file or folder Batch Used to create a script to run other Recovery Console commands Bootcfg Used to build or modify the boot.ini file Chdir Changes or displays the drive letter and folder you're working from Chkdsk Identifies, and often corrects, certain hard drive errors (aka check disk) Cls Clears the screen of all previously entered commands and other text Copy Copies a single file from one location to another Delete Deletes a single file Dir Displays a list of files and folders contained inside the folder you're working from Disable Disables a system service or device driver Diskpart Creates or deletes hard drive partitions Enable Enables a system service or device driver Exit Ends the current Recovery Console session and then restarts the computer Expand Extracts a single file or group of files from a compressed file Fixboot Writes a new partition boot sector to the system partition that you specify Fixmbr Writes a new master boot record to the hard drive you specify Format Formats a drive in the file system you specify Help Provides more detailed information on any of the other Recovery Console commands Listsvc Lists the services and drivers available in your Windows installation Logon Used to gain access to the Windows installation you specify Map Displays the partition and hard drive that each drive letter is assigned to Mkdir Creates a new folder More Used to display information inside a text file (same as type command) Net use [included in Recovery Console but is not usable] Rename Changes the name of the file you specify Rmdir Used to delete an existing and completely empty folder Set Enables or disables certain options in Recovery Console Systemroot Sets the %systemroot% environment variable as the folder you're working from Type Used to display information inside a text file (same as more command) Recovery Console Availability The Recovery Console feature is available in Windows XP, Windows 2000, and Windows Server 2003. Recovery Console is not available in Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7 or Windows Vista. Windows Server 2003 and Windows XP were the last Microsoft operating systems that contained Recovery Console. Windows 7 and Windows Vista replaced Recovery Console with a collection of recovery tools referred to as System Recovery Options. In Windows 10 and Windows 8, neither Recovery Console nor System Recovery Options is available. Instead, Microsoft created the arguably more powerful Advanced Startup Options as a central place to diagnose and repair Windows problems from outside the running operating system. Continue Reading How to Enter Windows XP's Recovery Console How to Restore Missing NTLDR & Ntdetect.com Files in Windows XP How to Repair the Master Boot Record In Windows XP How to Use the Bootcfg Command in Recovery Console Details on the Fixmbr Command in Recovery Console Details on the Diskpart Command in Recovery Console Details on the Expand Command in Windows XP Recovery Console Details on the Fixboot Command in Recovery Console Details on the Rename Command in Recovery Console What Is the System Recovery Options Menu? Details on the Set Command in Recovery Console Details on the Map Command in Recovery Console Details on the Systemroot Command in Recovery Console Details on the Listsvc Command in Recovery Console How to Fix Startup Issues in Windows XP With Fixboot What is the Master Boot Code and How Do You Fix MBC Errors?