Saturday, September 23, 2006

Tweaking Windows Recovery Console

The Windows Recovery Console is designed to help system administrators recover Windows-based computer that fails to start up properly. It is available only in command prompt. Hence the name "Console" attached. It looks like the Windows 9x boot disk, but Windows Recovery Console is more powerful and features rich than the old Windows boot disk.

Basically, Windows Recovery Console allow system administrators to:

  1. Copy, rename, replace, and access to operating system files and folders
  2. Enable or disable Windows services for next system bootup
  3. Repair the file system boot sector or the Master Boot Record (MBR)
  4. Create and format partitions
By default setup, Windows Recovery Console with Administrator account logon allows access to only
  1. the root folder
  2. the %SystemRoot% folder and sub folders of the Windows installation
  3. the Cmdcons folder
  4. the removable media drives such as the CD-ROM drive or the DVD-ROM drive
Trying access to folders other than those listed above will rejected with an "Access Denied" error message. Besides that, Windows Recovery Console disallow copy files from local hard disk to removable storage such as floppy disk. However, Windows Recovery Console allow copy files from removable storage to local hard disk or copy files from one hard disk to another hard disk.

Although, limitations imposed on default setup that stated above could be resolved by
  1. First, enable setting in Local Security Policy.

    1. Click on Start button,
    2. Click on Run menu,
    3. Type gpedit.msc and click OK button,
    4. Click on Computer Configuration, Windows Setting, Security Setting, Local Policies, Security Options,
    5. Look for "Recovery Console: Allow floppy copy and access to all drives and all folders" policy on the right pane and double-click it,
    6. Select Enabled,
    7. Click OK

    Note! As a security measures, it might be wise to double-click on "Recovery Console: Allow automatic administrative logon" policy too and disable it.

  2. Second and last, boot up to Windows Recovery Console, logon with Administrator login account, and execute these two commands:

    1. set AllowRemovableMedia = true
    2. set AllowAllPaths = true

    3. It might be useful to turn on these two features too:

    4. set AllowWildCards = true to allow wildcard support for some commands such as del.
    5. set NoCopyPrompt = true to disable prompt when overwriting an existing file.
Related information:
  • Install Windows Recovery Console
  • Search more related info with Google Search engine built-in

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