Recovery Console


Bird Eater
Mar 13, 2004
Not sure which forum this will fit in best, but I think this is fine.

Basically I have a laptop with WinXP Pro SP1, but no WinXP CD - (re)installation takes place off a hidden partition.

Would it be possible for me to create a bootable CD to boot into the recovery console, in the event I need to? I have an i386 folder on C:\ which appears to contain a copy of the installation files. There's also no floppy drive, if that's important. Thanks.


Jul 29, 2002
Judging from previous threads on the topic it seems to be difficult to create a working install cd from an i386 folder.

You could try to install the recovery console as a startup options by executing the command
C:\i386\winnt32.exe /cmdcons
(Adjust the path if i386 is not in the root of C)
Maybe it works.


OSNN Veteran Addict
Jan 25, 2003
First if you do not have a copy of your cd key download viewkeyxp.exe and run it. It will tell you the cd key. Write the key down and keep it somewhere safe.

Now you can use any copy of Windows XP Pro CD to reinstall windows if the HD or installation gets damaged.

You would have to know if the entire install disk image is on the HD. There should have been instructions with hte laptop on how to create an install disk (some companies call then repair disks) from the data on the HD.

If you can not create a CD you really need to get/make a Windows XP Pro CD. If you have a friend who has one ask if you can burn a copy. They should not object because the CD is useless without a valid key (unless you are a skilled hacker).

Once you have a basic Windows XP PRO CD you can update it to include the SP1 updates (and the soon to be released SP2 updates). Search the threads in here for "slipstreaming". The instructions, or links to them, have been posted several times.

When making the Windows XP PRO CD copy use something like Clone CD to get a simple one to one copy.

You can use Nero or Easy CD to make a backup cd that has SP1 built in.

BTW It is unbelievably offensive that you did not get a copy of the CD when you purchased the laptop. Even if you bought it used, if Windows was installed, a CD and CD Key should have been provided.

The first thing you should do after buying a computer is make a backup copy of the Windows CD and write down your CD key. Then store them in a safe place, preferably away from where the laptop is normally stored.


Jul 29, 2002
Not every XP cd will work with every cd key. There are OEM, retail, volume, upgrade etc. licences and cds. You may have to edit the setupp.ini file to get it work.


In the beginning......
Political User
Sep 21, 2002
You can install the recovery console onto the c drive so that you get the option to start it when windows starts on the boot menu.

Just run h:\i386\winnt32.exe /cmdcons where h is your cd drive letter, or in your case the directory to you i386 directory. You should then confirm that you want the recovery console installed.

Members online

No members online now.

Latest posts

Latest profile posts

Terrahertz wrote on Electronic Punk's profile.
Yo fellas.
Electronic Punk wrote on Sazar's profile.
Where are you buddy? :(
Perris Calderon wrote on Electronic Punk's profile.
Hey ep!

All good with me, applying for microsoft mvp right now, should have done this a while ago.

Notifications don't work, I only found your response by comming back to hunt up some threads, if you want, give me your email address so we can keep in touch easier, mine is perriscalderon at gmail
Perris Calderon wrote on Electronic Punk's profile.
Ep, glad to see you come back and tidy up...did want to ask a one day favor, I want to enhance my resume , was hoping you could make me administrator for a day, if so, take me right off since I won't be here to do anything, and don't know the slightest about the board, but it would be nice putting "served administrator osnn", if can do, THANKS

Been running around Quora lately, luv it there
Electronic Punk wrote on Perris Calderon's profile.
All good still mate?

Forum statistics

Latest member