Tip & How-To about Microsoft Windows XP Professional

How to do System Restore when the computer doesn't even boot to Safe Mode in Windows XP

System Restore is assumed to be the best method to recover the system from Registry or System file errors. Its easy to perform and is effective, no doubt. But what happens when the system doesn't even boot to the desktop, neither in Normal mode, nor in Safe Mode. How do you do a System Restore then. For Vista and Win 7 users, its a piece of cake, since the WinRE provides them the direct option to System Restore from the installation/repair CD. But what for the XP users?

The following method is very useful and serves as a bliss for Windows XP users to recover their system from crashes due to Registry or System file failures. All you need for the method is a Windows XP installation CD. (This is not a re-installation process. All data and settings are intact after the operation.)

Step 1: Boot to the Recovery Console

  • Insert the Windows XP CD into the computer.
  • Turn the computer off.
  • Setup the computer to boot from cd: either by pressing F2, F9 or Delete to go in BIOS and changing the boot sequence or by pressing F12 on Dell computers to launch the Boot Device Menu.
  • As soon as you get the message 'Press any key to boot from the cd', hit enter.
  • Wait for the Windows Setup to initialize
  • At the Welcome to Setup screen press R to repair windows using recovery console.
  • You will be prompted to choose a Windows installation. Press 1 on the top of the keyboard and then press Enter.
  • You will be prompted to enter the Administrator password. Press Enter if no password was set.
Step 2: Accessing the Restore points.
Type the following commands in the Recovery Console.


cd system~1

If you get an Access Denied error:
  • Type the following commands to change the directory to c:windowssystem32config:
    cd windows
    cd system32
    cd config
  • Rename the system branch of the registry. That will allow us to access the system restore folder from inside the Recovery Console. In case the process fails and you want to perform a Windows Repair you will need to rename system.bak to system again.
    ren system system.bak
  • Type exit to leave the recovery console and to restart the computer.
  • Go back into the Recovery Console and repeat Step 2.
cd _resto~1

If the _resto~1 folder exists, inside it there are several folders named RP1, RP2. These are restore points. RP1 is the oldest restore point. You can use dir to view what RP folders are available. If there is no _resto~1 folder or if there are no restore points inside it:
  • Type the following commands:
    cd
    cd windows
    cd system32
    cd config
    copy c:\windows\repair\system system
  • If you are getting a file not found error try:
    copy c:\windows\repair\system.bak system
  • Then type the following :
  • copy c:\windows\repair\security security
  • copy c:\windows\repair\software software
  • copy c:\windows\repair\sam sam
  • copy c:\windows\repair\default default
  • exit
  • You will be able to boot into a altered version of the operating system. Backup your files from the c:Documents and Settings folder and then reinstall the operating system.
Step 3: Choose the most convenient RP folder.
Supposing we have RP3 available let's type in:

cd rp3

Change the directory to snapshot:

cd snapshot

Step 4: Restore the main registry branches.
If you are being asked if you want to overwrite type in y to agree.

copy _registry_machine_system c:\windows\system32\config\system
copy _registry_machine_software c:\windows\system32\config\software


The following commands are most of the time optional however the process might not work if they are not executed

copy _registry_machine_security c:\windows\system32\config\security
copy _registry_machine_sam c:\windows\system32\config\sam
copy _registry_user_.default c:\windows\system32\config\default

Type exit to reboot the system. Start the computer normally.

Thanks,
Abhishek

Posted by on

Microsoft Windows XP Professional Logo

Related Questions:

1 Answer

how do I reset my Toshiba Satellite 1800-S207 laptop to original factory settings


Satellite 1800-S207
Windows 7 and earlier Toshiba laptops come with the factory software recovery image stored in a special (hidden) area on the hard disk. From this special hidden image, you can restore your computer to its factory-fresh software condition.
How To: Perform system recovery - Windows 7
The following article will show you how to perform a system recovery. To Recover or perform a system recovery means to take the laptop back to factory settings (default settings). System restore means to go back to an earlier point in time on the computer.

There are two methods to perform a system recovery:
  • Using Partitioned Recovery Method (Free Recovery)
  • Using Recovery CDs / DVDs / Media
Details provided at the link listed below.
http://forums.toshiba.com/t5/System-Recovery-and-Recovery/How-To-Perform-system-recovery-Windows-7/ta-p/279643
Restore means to go back to an earlier point in time on the computer.

Refresh means PC settings will be set to default without effecting personal files or settings.

Reset means back to factory settings. (default settings) - deleting all personal files, programs and settings. Similar to Recover or Recovery


Windows 8 Toshiba laptops have many restore and recovery options available depending on your needs. To better understand these options and how they affect your computer, please view the video available in the linked article below.
http://forums.toshiba.com/t5/System-Recovery-and-Recovery/How-To-Understanding-System-Restore-Refresh-Reset-and-Recovery/ta-p/342690

Oct 01, 2013 | Toshiba Satellite 1800-S207 Notebook

1 Answer

TOO MANY ERRORS RESTORE SYSTEM TO ORIGINALFOLDERS & FILES


Don't restore your system, You need to clean your system. RegInOut is a System Utilities program that includes several features which allows the PC users to speedup their computer performance. It improves system performance by removing junk files and fixing registry errors. Its additional feature of Internet Optimizer enhance users web browsing experience.

Dec 20, 2011 | Dell Computers & Internet

4 Answers

How do I retrieve a delete Word 2007 file after deleing trashbin


you can restore this file in some way by doing system restore, system restore, will actually restore your computer from its previous setting. that includes your file
( this is one of the many ways)
  • To access the System Restore Wizard, click Start, and then click Help and Support. Click Performance and Maintenance, click Using System Restore to undo changes, and then click Run the System Restore Wizard.
  • Creating a restore point can be useful any time you anticipate making changes to your computer that are risky or might make your computer unstable.
  • you need to restore from previous date then follow what the computer says, then see what happens...
  • goodluck
  • Jul 28, 2009 | Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium...

    Not finding what you are looking for?

    590 people viewed this tip

    Ask a Question

    Usually answered in minutes!

    Top Microsoft Computers & Internet Experts

    micky dee

    Level 3 Expert

    2658 Answers

    Piyal Perera
    Piyal Perera

    Level 3 Expert

    528 Answers

    Les Dickinson
    Les Dickinson

    Level 3 Expert

    18389 Answers

    Are you a Microsoft Computer and Internet Expert? Answer questions, earn points and help others

    Answer questions

    Loading...