Recovery Console


Bird Eater
13 Mar 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.

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Also Hi EP and people. I found this place again while looking through a oooollllllldddd backup. I have filled over 10TB and was looking at my collection of antiques. Any bids on the 500Mhz Win 95 fix?
Any of the SP crew still out there?
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Just did some crude math and I apparently joined almost 18yrs ago, how is that possible???
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