What happened to the Recovery Console?

The Recovery Console in earlier versions of Windows has been removed in this version of Windows and replaced by several tools located in the System Recovery Options menu. The System Recovery Options menu is on the Windows Vista installation disc. If your computer manufacturer has preinstalled recovery options, the menu might also be installed on your hard disk. If your computer does not include the System Recovery Options menu, your computer manufacturer might have customized or replaced the tool. Check the information that came with your computer or go to the manufacturer's website.

If Windows doesn't start correctly, you can use these tools to repair startup problems, restore your system files to an earlier point in time, run tests on your computer's random access memory, and in some editions of Windows Vista, restore your entire computer and system files from backups. For more information, see What are the system recovery options in Windows Vista?

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How do I access the System Recovery Options menu?

If you have a Windows Vista installation disc, you need to restart (boot) your computer using the installation disc. If you do not restart your computer from the disc, the option to repair your computer will not appear.

If you have a Windows installation disc:

  1. Insert the installation disc.

  2. Restart your computer.

    Click the Start button Picture of Start button, click the arrow next to the Lock button Picture of Lock button, and then click Restart.
  3. If prompted, press any key to start Windows from the installation disc.

    Note

    • If your computer is not configured to start from a CD or DVD, check the information that came with your computer. You may need to change your computer's BIOS settings. For more information, see BIOS: frequently asked questions.

  4. Choose your language settings, and then click Next.

  5. Click Repair your computer.

  6. Select the operating system you want to repair, and then click Next.

  7. On the System Recovery Options menu, click a tool to open it.

If your computer has preinstalled recovery options:

  1. Remove all floppy disks, CDs, and DVDs from your computer, and then restart your computer.

    Click the Start button Picture of Start button, click the arrow next to the Lock button Picture of Lock button, and then click Restart.
  2. Do one of the following:

    • If your computer has a single operating system installed, press and hold the F8 key as your computer restarts. You need to press F8 before the Windows logo appears. If the Windows logo appears, you will need to try again by waiting until the Windows logon prompt appears, and then shutting down and restarting your computer.

    • If your computer has more than one operating system, use the arrow keys to highlight the operating system you want to repair, and then press and hold F8.

  3. On the Advanced Boot Options screen, use the arrow keys to highlight Repair your computer, and then press ENTER. (If Repair your computer is not listed as an option, then your computer does not include the System Recovery Options menu as a preinstalled recovery option.)

  4. Select a keyboard layout, and then click Next.

  5. Select a user name and enter the password, and then click OK.

  6. On the System Recovery Options menu, click a tool to open it.

How does the Command Prompt option in the menu differ from the Recovery Console?

The Recovery Console in earlier versions of Windows was a limited console that only allowed you to use certain commands. It has been replaced by an actual command prompt. Advanced users can use the command prompt to perform recovery-related operations and also run other command line tools for diagnosing and troubleshooting problems. To view a list of common commands, at the command prompt type help, and then press ENTER.