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Recovery Console Commands
The command shell that is available in the Recovery Console differs from the command prompt in the normal Windows XP operating system. The available commands are discussed in this article.


A previous page discussed the Recovery Console and the commands that are available. In this article are some additional details about the commands.

Attrib
Changes the attributes of a file or directory. Has different parameters from the standard command prompt. The syntax is:
attrib [+r|-r] [+s|-s] [+h|-h] [+c|-c] [[drive:][path] filename]
The switches are described in the table below:
Switch Function
r Controls"read-only" attribute
s Controls"system" attribute
h Controls "hidden" attribute
c Controls compressed file attribute
Batch
Executes the commands specified in a text file. If desired, the results can be sent to an output file. Not available except when using the Recovery Console. The Syntax is: batch input_file.txt [output_file]
Bootcfg
Used to configure boot file boot.ini . Has different parameters from the standard command prompt. Syntax is: bootcfg /parameter The possible parameters are given in the table below.
Parameter Function
add Add a Windows installation to the boot list
copy Back up boot.ini
default Choose the default boot entry
disableredirect Disable redirection in the boot loader
list List the current entries in the boot list
rebuild Iterate through all Windows installations
redirect Enable redirection in the boot loader
scan Scan all disks for Windows installations
CD (Chdir)
Displays the name of the current directory or changes the current directory. No switches. Behaves somewhat differently from command prompt.
Chkdsk
Checks a disk and displays a status report. Has different parameters from the standard command prompt. Syntax is: chkdsk [drive:] [/p] [/r] The switch /p makes an exhaustive check of a drive without making changes. The switch /r makes the same check but also recovers readable information. (Note that there are erroneous entries on the Internet that suggest using switches that are only available in the regular command prompt.)
Cls
Clears the screen. Has same function as in the command prompt.
Copy
Copies a single file to another location. Lacks the switches present in the command prompt.
Del
Deletes a single file. Lacks the switches present in the command prompt.
Dir
Displays a list of the files and subdirectories in a directory. Lacks the switches present in the command prompt.
Disable
Disables a system service or a device driver. The command is only available when you are using the Recovery Console. The syntax is: disable {[service_name] | [device_driver_name]}
Diskpart
Creates and deletes partitions on a hard drive. The command is different from the very restricted version available in a normal command prompt. The syntax is: diskpart [/add | /delete] [device_name | drive_name | partition_name] [size]
Enable
Starts or enables a system service or a device driver. The command is only available when you are using the Recovery Console. The syntax is: enable {service_name | device_driver_name} [startup_type]
Exit
Exits the Recovery Console and restarts your computer.
Expand
Extracts a file from a compressed file. Has switches that differ from the command prompt version. The syntax is: expand source [/F:filename}] [destination] [/d] [/y] The switch /F:filename allows you to extract a single file indicated by filename. To list the files contained in a cabinet file without extracting them, use the switch /d. The switch /y suppresses prompts when over-writing a file with an extracted file.
Fixboot
Writes a new partition boot sector to the system partition. The fixboot command is only available when you are using the Recovery Console. Syntax is: fixboot [drive]
Fixmbr
Repairs the master boot record of the specified disk. The fixmbr command is only available when you are using the Recovery Console. The syntax is: fixmbr [device_name] If you do not specify a device_name, a new master boot record will be written to the boot device, which is the drive on which your primary system is loaded.
Format
Formats the specified drive to the specified file system. The syntax is: format [drive:] [/q] [/fs:file-system]The switch /q enables a quick format. The switch /fs: allows a choice of file system.
Help
Displays a list of the commands you can use in the Recovery Console.
Listsvc
Lists the services and drivers available on the computer. Only available when you are using the Recovery Console.
Logon
Logs on to a Windows installation. Only available when you are using the Recovery Console.
Map
Displays the drive letter mappings. Only available when you are using the Recovery Console.
Md (mkdir)
Creates a directory or subdirectory.
More
Displays a text file.
Net use
Connects a network share to a drive letter. The net use command with different parameters is available from the command prompt.
Rd (rmdir)
Removes (deletes) a directory. Lacks the switches available in the command prompt.
Ren (rename)
Changes the name of a single file.
Set
Displays and sets Recovery Console environment variables. Details are given on a previous page.
Systemroot
Sets the current directory to the systemroot folder of the Windows installation where you are logged on. Not available in the command prompt.
Type
Displays a text file.

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