System Restore via Recovery Console


The purpose of this article if to provide the computer user with a methodology to execute a system restore point via a XP cd.

Why

Problem:  The computer is no longer boot-able via the hard disk due to a faulty registry hive or faulty registry key(s).   Fortunately, when XP is first installed, it creates a virgin copy of the registry and stores in a safe place. The solutions below will have you use dos commands to modify the system files manually.

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Solution 1:  This solution will have you rename the current unstable registry as bak files, then you will delete the originals.  Afterwards, you will then copy the virgin registry from its safe location into the folder which will be activated after reboot.   Upon rebooting XP, it will use the copy of the virgin registry and XP will be in a state as it was immediately after first being installed.

Note: If this solution above proves futile after executing then try Solution 2.

Solution 2:  Replace the dysfunctional registry hive with a functional version stored on the hard disk by re-instating a system restore point.

Note: If after executing Solution 1 or 2 via the steps below ultimately proved futile, then it simply means that corruption to the system folders is too intensive and your only recourse is to execute either a “Repair Installation” or “Clean Install” using your XP CD.   I would do a “Repair Install” first because it will repair or replace missing or corrupted system files with genuine ones from the cd “and” your personal files on the hd will be preserved in the process.  In any case, just do an internet search for the methods I quoted for their standard instructions.

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How to Manually Re-instate the Basic Registry

Solution 1 :

      1. Place your XP setup cd in the cd drive and boot the computer.
        1. (Note: Be sure your Computer is set to boot via the cd drive.  You may have to modify the booting via the computer bios if it is currently set to ignore booting via the cd drive.)
      2. At the XP setup screen you will have options to install / setup xp.  However, at the bottom you will see the option to press “R” for repair.  Select R to launch the console.
      3. The next prompt will be asking your for admin password.  If you have none, then just press enter a couple of times.
      4. The next prompt will ask your a number of the o.s. to log into.  If you only have one copy of xp installed on the computer, then enter the number 1, then hit enter.
      5. At the disk prompt type and enter the following:
        • md tmp
        • copy c:\windows\system32\config\system c:\windows\tmp\system.bak
        • copy c:\windows\system32\config\software c:\windows\tmp\software.bak
        • copy c:\windows\system32\config\sam c:\windows\tmp\sam.bak
        • copy c:\windows\system32\config\security c:\windows\tmp\security.bak
        • copy c:\windows\system32\config\default c:\windows\tmp\default.bak
        • delete c:\windows\system32\config\system
        • delete c:\windows\system32\config\software
        • delete c:\windows\system32\config\sam
        • delete c:\windows\system32\config\security
        • delete c:\windows\system32\config\default
        • copy c:\windows\repair\system c:\windows\system32\config\system
        • copy c:\windows\repair\software c:\windows\system32\config\software
        • copy c:\windows\repair\sam c:\windows\system32\config\sam
        • copy c:\windows\repair\security c:\windows\system32\config\security
        • copy c:\windows\repair\default c:\windows\system32\config\default
        • Next Exit and remove cd.

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How to Manually Re-instate A System Restore Point

Solution 2:

      1. Boot with an XP Setup Cd
      2. Select “R” for repair from the first screen to launch the Recovery Console
      3. Enter the line number of the O.S. listed, then press Enter
      4. If asked, enter the password or simply press the enter key to bypass if no password was created for windows.  (Note :  Step 5 below would have been accomplished if you executed Solution 1 above. )
      5. At the disk prompt type and enter:
        • cd \
        • cd windows\system32\config
        • ren system system.bak
        • exit
      6. Boot with an XP Setup Cd
      7. Select “R” for repair from the first screen to launch the Recovery Console
      8. Enter the line number of the O.S. listed, then press Enter
      9. If asked, enter the password or simply press the enter key to bypass if no password was created for windows
      10. At the disk prompt type and enter:
        • cd \
        • cd system~1\_resto~1\
        • dir
      11. Numbered Restore points and their creation dates will be listed, ie,  RP##.  Choose a restore point to re-instate by entering its filename and number at the prompt:
        • cd rp??\snapshot
        • dir
      12. Next re-instate the 5 registry files inside the restore point by copying them to the hive folder and overwriting its files:
        • COPY _Registry_machine_system C:\Windows\System32\Config\System
        • COPY _Registry_machine_software C:\Windows\System32\Config\Software
        • COPY _Registry_machine_sam C:\Windows\System32\Config\Sam
        • COPY _Registry_machine_security C:\Windows\System32\Config\Security
        • COPY _Registry_user_.default C:\Windows\System32\Config\Default
        • Next Exit and Remove cd to reboot

Note (reiteration): If after executing Solution 1 or 2 via the steps below ultimately proved futile, then it simply means that corruption to the system folders is too intensive and your only recourse is to execute either a “Repair Installation” or “Clean Install” using your XP CD.   I would do a “Repair Install” first because it will repair or replace missing or corrupted system files with genuine ones from the cd “and” your personal files on the hd will be preserved in the process.  In any case, just do an internet search for the methods I quoted for their standard instructions.

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