Using the Windows Recovery Console

Last year I had an issue where Windows XP failed to load. It would always get to a certain point during boot up, and then stop and reboot. This occurred when it was loading one of the Windows drivers (I can’t remember which one).

After searching the Internet for a solution to my problem, I came across the Windows Recovery Console. I loaded up the console and ran chkdsk against all the hard drives in my system. Chkdsk found a few errors on the C drive and repaired them. I reloaded Windows and everything was back to normal.

Below are the steps I used to repair my boot problem.

  1. Insert the Windows XP CD into the CD-ROM drive and restart the computer.
  2. Note: Make sure that your computer boots off the CD and not the hard drive. This can be changed in the BIOS.

  3. Once the “Welcome to Setup” screen appears, press F10 or R to repair.
  4. The Windows Recovery Console should now load and ask you which Windows you would like to log on to. Select the number pertaining to the Windows installation you would like to repair. Usually you would have only one install.
  5. Enter your administrative account and password to log on.

    After you log on, you will only be able to access the following:

    • The root folder.
    • The Windows folder and all subfolders within that directory.
    • The Cmdcons folder.
    • The removable media drives such as the CD-ROM and DVD-ROM.
  6. At the command prompt, type chkdsk /p /r, which will scan your hard drive and repair errors, locate bad sectors and recover readable information.
  7. Once the scan is done, type exit to exit the Windows Recovery Console.
  8. Restart your computer and load up Windows from the hard drive. Hopefully everything should be fixed.


This post described how I was able to fix a Windows load problem that I experienced. All I did was run chkdsk from the Windows Recovery Console, repair the errors and restart.

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