Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Use System Restore from Recovery Console

I ran into a problem where one of my user's laptops would get stuck just after the Windows loader, and trying to get into safe mode didn't work either. You're supposed to be able to use the Recovery Console to fix problems like this caused by a corrupt registry by following Microsoft's instructions from KB 307545. Instead, I found this thread with instructions on how to use System Restore while in the Recovery Console. When running a "chkdsk /r C:" from the recovery console wasn't enough, I gave this system restore option a try. It worked just fine and after I was done and rebooted, the system booted and I was able to login and do an actual restore using the GUI tool. In order to get to the recovery console, you can boot from your Windows installation disk and press R when asked to get into the repair section. If you'd rather not take use this system restore workaround, feel free to use Microsoft's instructions instead by following the link above.

When you get to the recovery console follow these instructions.
1. Type cd \ then Enter
2. Then cd system~1\_resto~1 then Enter. If you get an access denied error, skip down to the bottom of this post for now.
3. Type dir then Enter. When you hit enter it will list all the restore points folders like rp1, rp2 …….. If the restore points have more than one page then u have to keep on hitting the key to view the last restore point folder. You will have to choose the second to last option folder
4. Type cd rp {the second to the last restore point no. } (Note: Example: cd rp9, if rp9 is the second to the last restore point where the last restore point no. is 10
5. Then type cd snapshot Now the command prompt will look like this c:\system~1\_resto~1\rp9\snapshot
6. Type: copy _registry_machine_system c:\windows\system32\config\system and press enter
7. Then type: copy _registry_machine_software c:\windows\system32\config\software and press enter.

8. Type exit and press enter

I ran into the Access Denied error at step 2, and this workaround worked for me:

1. Type cd \ then press Enter
2. Type cd windows\system32\config then press Enter
3. Type ren system system.bak then press Enter
4. Type exit press Enter
5. After the machine reboots, go back into the Recovery Console and try again

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