Use the following steps to get to the Recovery Console from the boot DVD:
Insert the DVD and boot from it. You'll get a black and white screen:
Press any key to boot from CD or DVD....
If this doesn't appear, it may be the DVD is not a Windows bootable DVD. Assuming you get this message, press a key (spacebar or anything else). If you don't press any key within about 5 seconds, it will boot from the hard disk.
Continuing to boot from the DVD you'll see a loading progress screen.
Windows is loading files...
This typically takes 2-3 minutes. When complete the first options screen appears.
Change any options if desired, and press Next.
To start the Recovery Console, select Repair your computer.
Unless you have multiple copies of Windows installed, only one choice will appear. Select your OS, and press Next.
Here you can pick from a number of useful options.
Startup Repair looks for damaged or missing key system files and will replace them if a problem is discovered.
System Restore replaces the registry with a previously saved one (jump to System Restore).
Windows Complete PC Restore restore the entire computer from a previously saved backup (if it was made). This feature is only available on Business and Ultimate editions of Vista and Professional and Ultimate versions of Windows 7.
Windows Memory Diagnostic Tool to check your system memory for errors.
Command Prompt for advanced users who wish to manually perform an action (jump to Command Prompt).
After selecting System Restore from the options menu, the screen appears:
From the list of restore points, select the one you want to restore. You'll want to pick a date prior to the problem event, such as before an installation that you suspect caused the problem. You do not want to pick the newest restore point, since that has saved the very last problematic registry.
If you have multiple drives, in rare cases there may be restorable information on those other drives. The status will confirm which drives have recovery information. Check any drives that you want to recovery (including the system drive). Press Next.
This is the final confirmation. Press Finish to begin restoring the selected restore point.
It may take 10 minutes or more, so be patient and don't power down or reset the PC while the restoration is occurring. After the reboot and logging on again, Windows will confirm the restore completed successfully.
If you don't like the results of the restoration, you can return to System Restore and choose a different restore point.
All commands, directories and filenames are not case sensitive. Don't forget to include the spaces exactly as shown. Most DOS type commands are available, although the HELP command to list the commands has been removed.
Unlike XP's recovery command prompt, files and folders marked hidden will not appear. Use the "/h" command line option to see these files and folders. For example to see the hidden files and directories in the C: root, at the prompt type dir c:\ /h
Validate and Fix the File System
This runs the check disk program to detect and attempt to repair problems on one partition. For example, to repair the C: drive:
- At the prompt type chkdsk c: /r
Repair the Boot Process
Typically this is used if Windows doesn't start and you can't get to the safe mode menu. You might also replace the Master Boot Record (MBR) and boot sector if you suspect a virus infection. There are four options:
New MBR - Insert a new generic MBR without changing the partition table.
- At the prompt, type: bootrec /FixMbr
New Boot Sector - Insert a new Windows 7/Vista compatible boot sector. It will automatically insert the right type of sector for the file system type (NTFS, FAT32, etc.)
- At the prompt, type: bootrec /FixBoot
Rebuild BCD - Rebuild the Boot Configuration Data (BCD). The BCD controls which partition boots. This option will let you select which installations to include in the BCD.
- At the prompt, type: bootrec /RebuildBcd
Find OSes - Scan the system for all OS installations that are compatible with Vista/2008 and will also show those that are currently included in the BCD.
- At the prompt, type: bootrec /ScanOs
Edit or View a File
- At the prompt, type Notepad filename
- Notepad opens to edit the filename provided. You can also open notepad without a filename and either open a file from within Notepad or create a new file and save it.
Exit Command Prompt
- At the prompt, type Exit
- The system will close the command prompt dialog and return to the Recovery Options menu.