recovery console consolation

A powerful and flexible tool that comes with every Windows XP setup CD is the Recovery Console.

It proved really helpful in repairing a damaged partition boot sector in one Windows installation.

Recovery Console turns out to be useful, even when safe boot mode and other startup options do not work. This is certainly the case when the partition boot sector, containing Windows boot code, has been overwritten.

Restart the computer from Microsoft Windows setup CD. At the first prompt, start the Recovery Console by pressing R.

The Recovery Console will ask which Windows installation you wish to log onto, even if only one is found. You will have to provide the administrator password to log in.

From there on, I recommend making sure that you are really operating on the intended disk partition by running the `map' command.

The `map' command will display a mapping of drive letters to physical device names, along with partition sizes, which will help you determine you are working on the right partition.

To restore the partition boot sector, run the `fixboot' command, i.e.:

fixboot C:
The target partition is C:
Are you sure you want to write a new bootsector to the partition C:? y

The `exit' command will terminate the Recovery Console and reboot your machine.

More information on the Recovery Console is available from the mothership website.