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How to use Windows XP Recovery Console

by awjr32 / August 23, 2004 2:00 AM PDT

My computer recently crashed and has given me a windows\system32\config\system error during boot and will not allow me to start in safe mode or any other mode. I have loaded the XP PRO CD Rom to load the recovery console. When it boots from the CD and i get the option to install full version or type R for repair i hit R. The next screen appears and says enter the recovery console you would like to enter (edit) or hit enter to exit. I have no idea what to type at this point because there is no list of operating systems associated with a number (what do i type here?).
I have tried every number (because i am limited to one character) and the only one that does anything is number 1 when i hit 1 enter the machine goes to a blue error screeen and will not enter the recovery console.
Please help me get past this screen.
I have already viewed all of microsofts write ups but they do not indicate what to type once in the recovery module.

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Re: How to use Windows XP Recovery Console
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / August 23, 2004 2:06 AM PDT

The reason that MS doesn't write what to type at the recovery console is simple. What one does there depends on what damage was done to the OS or what effect you want.

There is no "fixmachine /all" command at the recovery console. We can run CHKDSK, stop services from running and more, but given what you've written I can't tell what the damage is.

Why? You didn't share the error message in a "quoted" format. And even then I may just see what has to offer on that error message. Be sure to look at google groups too.

In closing, HISTORY about how you think your machine got to such a state is important. Some change motherboards and don't tell. Some run Kazaa.

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Re: How to use Windows XP Recovery Console
by awjr32 / August 23, 2004 2:37 AM PDT

I apologize for not using proper syntax while asking the question. What I did about a week before the crash was added a new 120GB WD hard drive as a master slave to my 80 GB WD hard drive(which crashed). The computer is a 1.7GHZ ( intel)clone which i built two years ago.
Operating systems is windows XP Pro(original).
My question is simply at the prompt described i only have the option to type in one character. after i type this one character i shoudl get the password screen. I can not get to the passowrd screen because i do not kow what to type in this one character space. When i type a "1" enter i get the blue error screen. This is not the recovery console yet. Once i get to the reocvery console i am fine.

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Re: How to use Windows XP Recovery Console
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / August 23, 2004 2:59 AM PDT

In that case, don't boot from the hard disk, but from the XP CD. That way, the corrupt OS is not in play.

There is no "correct" posting method. I only ask that you put error messages in such so it's clear what is your writing and what is not.


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Re: How to use Windows XP Recovery Console
by Edward ODaniel / August 23, 2004 7:48 AM PDT

Have you tried 0?

If you are not getting a choice a valid installation of XP is not getting found. (Or possibly a corrupted MBR)

Are you sure you have the drives jumpered properly?

Elsewhere you mention adding a drive and a crash and are not too clear on just which drive crashed--it could well be the one XP was installed on.

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