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How to use System Restore using the Command Line in XP

PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2012 12:59 pm
by djmaxx007
How to use System Restore using the Command Line in XP

Sometimes when your Windows XP PC won't boot, it's because some parts of the system settings are incorrect. An ailment that a quick system restore could easily fix (assuming System Restore is enabled on your PC!). The problem is, you can't get to System Restore because XP won't boot! Here is a way to use system restore using the command line and a bootable Operating Ssystem disc or flash drive. In my experience, this has worked at least 8 out of 10 times, so it's worth a try. I have included an easy option to try first, then the down and dirty option (don't worry, it's not too hard).

Materials Needed:
-A bootable OS disc. MOST bootable discs will work, even bootable Linux discs like Knoppix (assuming that you replace DOS commands with Linux commands). Some examples are the Windows XP OS disc, a Windows PE disc (self made or a commercial version), bootable USB drives, etc.

Option 1
This option requires the Windows XP Operating System disc.

1.) Boot from the XP disc and you will see three options once it has completed booting. One of the options will be "To repair a Windows XP installation using the Recovery Console, press R". Go ahead and press "R".
2.) Choose your Windows installation once the Recovery Console starts. Usually it's "1". You may have to type in your administrator password*.
3.) Once you are logged in, type chkdsk /p (note the space between the "k" and "/p" ) and hit enter.
4.) After it completes, restart the computer. This could have fixed your problem but if not, then proceed to Option 2.

Option 2
This step is rather detailed and will only work if you have System Restore turned on. You will need to go back into the Recovery Console (by following steps 1 and 2 from above). Once you're logged into the proper Windows installation we need to run some commands.

Here are some notes before we continue. What you are about to do is basically a minor System Restore via the Recovery Console. I say minor because you're only going to copy part of the registry, not the whole thing. Since you are copying over a registry backup to be used you may loose some program(s) or their settings, it all depends on when the last Restore Point for System Restore was created. If some programs don't work it's really as simple as reinstalling them.

The text in red will be what you type and the black text will what the system outputs or what is put there by the system. READY, SET, GO.

C:\Windows>CD C:\system~1\_resto~1

After you enter the DIR command and hit enter you will get a list of folders like such rp1, rp2, rp3, rp4, etc. etc. The "rp" part of the folder name denoting it's a Restore Point

What you'll want to do is find the 2nd highest numbered folder in that list. So, for instance, if it listed rp1 through rp24 you'll want the rp23 folder. I'll use rp23 for the rest of this little fix just to keep things simple but substitute rp23 for whatever folder is the 2nd highest in the list on your pc.

Now, we have more commands..

C:\system~1\_resto~1>cd rp23

C:\system~1\_resto~1\rp23>cd snapshot

C:\system~1\_resto~1\rp23\snapshot>copy _registry_machine_system c:\windows\system32\config\system (note the single space between "copy" & "_registry" AND "..._system" & "c:\windows...")

Overwrite system [y,n]: y

1 file copied

C:\system~1\_resto~1\rp23\snapshot>exit (before typing exit, please remove your Windows XP CD from the CD Drive)

After typing “exit” and pressing “enter” on the keyboard your computer will restart, hopefully into a working machine. If by some chance this did not fix your issue you can either go through this option again and try a different restore point.

* Sometimes the Recovery Console may ask you for either an administrator password that you don't know, or it won't ask you the first time but will the second time. In this case you may need to force change the administrator password. There are a few simple ways to do this. The first is to delete the password altogether. Google "Offline NT Editor" and you should be able to find a bootable ISO. Burn that ISO to a disc and boot from it. Follow the onscreen prompts and you should be able to clear the admin password.
The second option is to search for OPH Crack. This option allows you to find out what the password is, assuming that it is not a "complex" password, meaning it does not use special characters such as "!, *, $, #" etc. This is the less favorable option in this case as the system generated password can be very long. It is better to just clear it using Offline NT Editor.

Re: How to use System Restore using the Command Line in XP

PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2012 4:33 am
by davidkulligan
Using Windows XP, turned off my firewall and virus protection. System restore goes through the whole process, the computer reboots, and then I get the message. :( "no changes have been made"?
what should i do?

Re: How to use System Restore using the Command Line in XP

PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2012 7:12 pm
by djmaxx007
Are you using the regular system restore, or the process I described above?