Start the computer and use the Recovery Console

Applies To: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2003 with SP1, Windows Server 2003 with SP2

To start the computer and use the Recovery Console

  1. Insert the Setup CD and restart the computer from the CD drive.

  2. When the text-based part of Setup begins, follow the prompts; choose the repair or recover option by pressing R.

  3. If you have a dual-boot or multiple-boot system, choose the installation that you need to access from the Recovery Console.

  4. When prompted, type the password for the local administrator account.

  5. At the system prompt, type the relevant Recovery Console commands; type help for a list of commands or helpcommandname for help about a specific command.

  6. To exit the Recovery Console and restart the computer, type exit.


  • Because the Recovery Console is quite powerful, it is recommended for use only by advanced users or administrators.

  • In most cases, you will need the password for the built-in administrator account to use the Recovery Console.

  • You can set the Recovery console: Allow automatic administrative logon setting in the Security Options section of Local Security Settings. Changing this setting will allow you to start the Recovery Console without having to provide the administrator password. For more information, see "Recovery console: Allow automatic administrative logon" and "Edit local security settings" in Related Topics at the bottom of this page.

    Be careful when enabling this option. This will allow anyone with physical access to a computer to boot into the Recovery Console and access the Recovery Console commands.

Information about functional differences

  • Your server might function differently based on the version and edition of the operating system that is installed, your account permissions, and your menu settings. For more information, see Viewing Help on the Web.

See Also


Recovery Console commands
Recovery Console overview
Repair overview
Edit local security settings
Recovery console: Allow automatic administrative logon