Ahmedabad Business Pages

January 07, 2018

How to Connect Dahua DVR to Jio Wifi for Mobile view

Dear Friends,

 

We have wifi usb dongal,

u can connect on dvr USB port,

then you can see your jio wifi,

select wifi network and add password,

now you can connect your dvr with mobile,

March 18, 2016

Operation Could not be Completed (ERROR 0x00000709) – How to Fix Printer Error

If you are trying to set your default printer and suddenly you get an error that “Operation could not be completed (error 0x00000709) double check the printer name and make sure that the printer is connected to the network”. In such situation you could not set your default printer, but you can print documents from notepad or WordPad but you won’t be able to print any document from MS Word, Excel or any other software program which select default printer for printing. 

tep 1.  Press Windows + R Button together and you will get run box, type “regedit” in this box and hit OK.

open registry

And you will get Registry Editor.

Step 2. Now navigate to

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\WindowsNT\CurrentVersion\Windows

0x00000709

Step 3.  Once you expanded the folder tree in registry editor Right click on Windows folder and click on Permissions.

0x00000709

Step 4. Once you click on Permissions options you will get a dialog box “Permissions for windows” Here check the Full Control under Allow option, Hit Apply and ok.

windows regisrty permission

Now close registry editor and Restart your Computer, after Restart you will not get error 0x00000709 again, you will be able to Set Your Default printers and can print any document from any software.

 

October 22, 2014

How to Shrink and Extend NTFS Volumes in Windows

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Shrinking Windows NTFS Partitions or Volumes
  3. Extending Windows NTFS Partitions or Volumes
  4. Shrinking and Extending Volumes with the Windows command line
  5. Conclusion

Introduction

In the past when you needed to resize a partition in Windows you had to use a 3rd party utility such as Partition Magic, Disk Director, or open source utilities such as Gparted and Ranish Partition Manager. These 3rd party programs, though, are no longer needed when using Windows as it has partition, or volume, resizing functionality built directly into the Windows Disk Management utility.

You may be wondering why someone would want to resize a Windows volume. One reason would be if you want to install another operating system such as linux, but do not have enough free space to create a new partition for it. By shrinking the Windows volume, you can free up enough space to create a new partition that can be used to dual boot into linux. Now lets say after trying linux, you decide its not for you. Now you are left with all this leftover space that is not being used by Windows. To reuse this space, you simply need to expand, or extend as Vista calls it, an existing Windows volume so that it uses all the available free space that was previously being used by linux.

When resizing volumes in Windows Vista, Windows 7, and Windows 8 you must be aware of the following criteria:

  • You only have the ability to shrink or expand NTFS or RAW (unformatted) partitions using Windows Vista tools.
  • When you shrink a partition, unmovable files such as a page file or a shadow copy storage area are not relocated. Therefore you cannot decrease the size of the Windows volume beyond where these types of files are located. If you need to further shrink the volume, you will need to remove, move, or delete the page file or shadow copy storage area first, then shrink the volume, and then add the page file or shadow copy storage area back to the drive.
  • If enough bad clusters are found on the disk the partition will not be allowed to shrink.
  • You must be logged into an Administrator account in order to resize Windows Volumes in Vista.
It is important to note the terms partition and volume are used interchangeably and you will see both of these terms used throughout the tutorial. Now that we know what we can and cannot do, lets start learning how to shrink and expand, or extend, Windows Vista volumes!

Shrinking Windows Partitions or Volumes

This section will show you have to shrink a Windows volume, or partition. In order to do this we must open the Windows Disk Management tool. The following steps will walk you through this process.

  1. Click on the Start Menu button in the lower left of your desktop and then click on the Control Panel menu option.
     
  2. When the Control Panel opens, click on the System and Maintenance category.
     
  3. When the System and Maintenance category opens, scroll down and click on Administrative Tools.
     
  4. Double-click on the Computer Management icon. The Computer Management console will now be open. Towards the bottom you will see a category called Storage and underneath that category will be the Disk Management icon as shown below.


    Windows Vista Computer Management

     
  5. Click once on the Disk Management icon and you will now be in the Disk Management utility as shown in the figure below. From this utility you can see all the partitions on your computer and format, delete, create, expand, or resize them. For this tutorial, I am going to resize the 16GB E: partition so that when done, it is a 8GB partition and provides another 8 GB of free space that I can use for other purposes.


    Windows Vista before shrinking

     
  6. To shrink the partition, you simply need to right click on the partition you want to work with and select the Shrink option. In this example, I right click on the E: partition and in the menu that comes up I select Shrink.
     
  7. A screen similar to the one below will appear. This screen tells you the current partition's size, how much you can shrink it by, a field where you can enter a specific amount to shrink by, and then how big the partition will be after it shrinks. By default Windows enters the maximum amount that you can shrink the volume, but if you want to change that amount, do so by entering the amount in MB into the Enter the amount of space to shrink in MB: field. When you are satisfied with how Vista will shrink the partition, click on the Shrink button.


    Windows Vista Shrink Options

     
  8. When Windows has completed shrinking the volume, you will be back at the Disk Management screen, but now the size of the partition will be the size you requested as shown below.


    Windows Vista After shrinking a volume


    Now that you reduced the size of your Windows volume, you can close the Computer Management console.

You have now finished shrinking your partition and have the extra space available to use as necessary.

Extending Windows Partitions or Volumes

This section will show you have to extend a Windows volume. In order to do this we must open the Disk Management tool where we can resize our volumes. The following steps will walk you through this process.

  1. Click on the Start Menu button in the lower left of your desktop and then click on the Control Panel menu option.
     
  2. When the Control Panel opens, click on the System and Maintenance category.
     
  3. When the System and Maintenance category opens, scroll down and click on Administrative Tools.
     
  4. Double-click on the Computer Management icon. The Computer Management console will now be open. Towards the bottom you will see a category called Storage and underneath that category will be the Disk Management icon as shown below.


    Windows Vista Computer Management

     
  5. Click once on the Disk Management icon and you will now be in the Disk Management utility as shown in the figure below. From this utility you can see all the partitions on your computer and format, delete, create, expand, or resize them. For this tutorial, I am going to expand the E: partition so that it uses up the rest of the available space on Disk 1.

    Windows Vista before expanding

  6. To expand the partition, you simply need to right click on the partition you want to work with and select the Extend option. In this example, I right click on the E: partition and in the menu that comes up I select Extend.
     
  7. A wizard screen will appear as shown below. Press the Next button to continue.

    Windows Vista Expand Wizard

     
  8. A new screen, shown below, will appear that allows you to select the available free space on your local drives that you can use to extend the space of the selected partition. It is important to note that Windows allows you to extend a volume using free space on the same drive as well as other drives. I strongly suggest that you do not extend a volume on one disk with free space from another. This is because if one of the drives has a hardware failure, then all the data on that volume will be deleted. Instead only use the free space on a drive that contains the volume you are extending
    .

    Windows Vista Expand Options


    As discussed in step 5, for this tutorial we are going to expand my 8 GB partition (E: drive) to the full size of Disk 1 using all of its available space. As Disk 1 is the only available free space on my computer, Windows will automatically select it as shown in the image above and use the maximum amount available to extend the partition. If there were other drives with free space they would be shown under the Available selection. If you want to extend the volume by a lower amount you can change it in the Select the amount of space in MB: field. Otherwise we press the Next button.
     
  9. You will now be presented with a confirmation screen. If you are sure you want to extend the volume, press the Finish button. Otherwise, press the Back button to make changes or the Cancel button to cancel this operation.
     
  10. When Windows has completed extending the volume, you will be back at the Disk Management screen where you will see the volume you extended with the new size. An example of this is shown below.


    Windows Vista after Extending


    At this point you can close the Computer Management window as your task is complete.

Shrinking and Extending Volumes with the Windows command line

Windows provides the ability to resize volumes directly from the command line using the Diskpart utility. The Windows Diskpart utility is a command line program for managing the disk partitions, or volumes, on your computer. Some of the tasks you can do with this utility include repartitioning drives, deleting partitions, creating partitions, changing drive letters, and now shrinking and expanding volumes.

To access the diskpart utility follow these steps:

  1. Click on the Start Menu button.
     
  2. In the Run/Search field type Diskpart and press the enter key on your board.
     
  3. Windows may ask if you want to allow this program to run and you should press the Continue button.
     
  4. A command prompt will now open and you will be within the Diskpart console. For a list of commands that you can use within the Diskpart console you can type help. For the help instructions for a particular command you can type the name of the command followed by help, such as select help .

Before you can expand or shrink a volume using Diskpart you must first select the volume you would like to work with. To do this you need to use the list volume command to find the IDs associated with each volume. When you type list volume and then press enter, diskpart will display a list of Windows volumes on your computer. Next to each volume will also be a numbers that can be used to identify that specific volume. An example of what the list volume command looks like can be found below.

List volume in diskpart


After determining the ID of the volume that you would like to work with, you need to select that volume using the select volume command. To use this command you would type select volume ID, where ID is the ID associated with the volume you found using the list volume command. Now that the volume has been selected, diskpart knows that any further commands will be associated with this particular volume until you enter another select volume command.

To shrink a selected volume you would use the shrink command. The shrink command has two arguments that you can use to define how you want diskpart to shrink the volume. The first argument is desired= which will shrink the volume by the desired amount in MB if possible. The second argument is minimum= which tells diskpart that it should only shrink the volume if it can shrink it by the specified amount in MB. If you do not use either of these arguments, diskpart will shrink the partition by the maximum amount possible. If you would like to determine the maximum amount of space that you can shrink a volume, you can type the shrink querymax command.

Shrink examples are:

Command
What it does
shrink desired=2048 This command will shrink the volume by 2 GB if possible.
shrink minimum=2048 This command will shrink the volume as much as possible, but fail if there is less than 2GB available to shrink it by.
shrink This command will shrink the volume by the maximum it can be.

Vista Shrink from command line
Shrinking a volume from the command line


To extend a selected volume you would use the extend command. For the extend command the most common arguments are size and disk. The size= argument will extend the selected volume by the desired amount of MB. The disk= argument allows you to specify the disk which has the free space you wish to extend a volume with. If no argument, or no disk= argument, is provided when using the extend command, diskpart will use all the available space on the current disk to extend the volume. As said previously, we strongly suggest that you do not use the disk= argument to extend a volume onto another disk as this increases your chance of losing data if one of the two drives has a hardware failure.

Extend examples are:

Command
What it does
extend size=2048 disk=2 This command will extend the volume by 2 GB using the free space from disk 2..
extend size=2048 This command will extend the volume by 2GB from the same disk.
extend This command will extend the volume as much as it can be.

 

 

 

Conclusion

With the ability to extend and shrink a partition using Windows Vista, Windows 7, or Windows 8 you no longer need to worry about installing a new drive in order to dual-boot to an alternate operating system. Now you simply find a drive that has some free space on it, shrink it, and use it as necessary. As always if you have any questions you may have in of our Windows forums.

October 22, 2014

How to configure Storage Spaces in Windows 8

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. How to create a new Storage Space pool
  3. How to create an Simple storage space (Raid-0)
  4. How to add more usable space to a Simple storage space
  5. How to create a Mirror or synchronized storage space (Raid-1)
  6. How to create a Parity storage space (Raid-5)
  7. How to repair a a failed Parity storage space
  8. How to delete a storage space
  9. How to delete a storage pool
  10. Frequently Asked Questions

 

Introduction

Storage Spaces is a new feature in Windows 8 that allows you to pool together multiple hard drives into one larger drive or to mirror two different drives so that your data is protected against a drive failing. When Windows combines the drives they are placed into what is called a storage pool. These pools are then divided into storage spaces, or virtual drives, that can be accessed via a drive letter in Windows. When creating the storage spaces you can use the following methods:

Simple Storage Space

Simple striping, otherwise known as Raid-0, takes multiple drives and combines them into one virtual drive seen by Windows. This allows you to take different drives of different sizes and combine them into a new drive that uses all of the space on each drive. This allows you to quickly add more storage to a storage space that is running low by adding a new physical drive to the pool. This type of storage space is not recommended for critical or irreplaceable data because if one of these drives fails, you lose all of the data on all of the drives.

Two-way Mirroring Storage Space

Two-way mirroring, or Raid-1, is when you take two drives and they mirror each other. This type of storage space provides hardware protection because if one drive fails the data is still safely stored on the other drive. Please note, that when you use this type of storage space you will only be able to use the space of the smallest drive.

Three-way Mirroring Storage Space

Three-way mirroring is similar to two-way mirroring, but requires 5 drives. This storage process provides hardware protection in the event that two drives fail at the same time.

Parity Storage Space

The parity storage space, or Raid-5, allows you to take 3 or more drives and combine all but the last one into one large virtual drive. The last drive is then used as the parity drive that protects you in the event that one drive fails. If second drive fails before you replace the first failed one, you will lose all of your data.

If you tend to have a lot of spare drives, then using these extra drives as storage spaces can help to protect your data in the event of drive failure. This tutorial will explain how to setup the various storage spaces and manage them. If you have any questions, please feel free to discuss them in the Windows 8 forum.

 

How to create a new Storage Space pool

First go to the Windows 8 Start Screen and type Storage Spaces. When the search results appear click on the Settings category as shown below.

Note: In order to use Storage Spaces you will need at least one or more extra hard drives installed in your computer.


Search for Storage Spaces

 

Now click on the option labeled Storage Spaces and you will be brought to the Storage Spaces control panel.

 

Storage Spaces Control Panel

 

Click on the option labeled Create a new pool and storage space. This will open up a new screen where you can select the drives that you wish to add to a storage pool.

 

Select the drives to add to a pool

 

Put a check mark next to each drive you wish to use for the new pool and then click on the Create pool button. The new storage pool will be created and you will be brought to a new screen where you can create a new storage space that is associated with that pool.

If you do not wish to create a new storage space at this time, you can simply click on the Cancel button, otherwise you can read about the different storage space options in the following sections:

How to create an Simple storage space (Raid-0)

How to create a Two-way Mirror or synchronized storage space (Raid-1)

How to create a Parity storage space (Raid-5)

 

How to create an Simple storage space (Raid-0)

A Simple volume is the equivalent of a Raid-0 drive array. This type of storage space allows you to take multiple drives and configure them as one virtual drive that has free space of all the combined drives. So for example, if you have three 1 terabyte drives and you use them to make a Simple storage space the new virtual drive would have a total storage of 3 terabytes. This type of storage space allows you to easily add more storage to a drive as it becomes necessary.

Warning: This type of storage space should be avoided for critical data due to its lack of fault tolerance and increased risk of drive failure. This is because data is written to both drives and if one of the drives has a hardware failure, you lose access to all of your data on that virtual drive. Therefore, this type of storage space should only be used for data that you do not care if you lose or can easily be recreated, such as backup volumes or temporary storage.

Below is an example of taking two 5 GB drives and combining them into a Simple storage space. Please note, that there is some overhead associated with this and you do not get the total physical space of the drive as usable space.

 

Simple Storage Space

 

Tip: It is suggest that you do not create a Simple storage space that is greater than the total pool capacity.

When you are ready, simply click on the Create Storage Space button and it will be created.

 

Newly created simple storage space

 

As you can see from the above picture, we have create a Simple storage space of 8.50 GB from two 5 GB drives. In the future, if you need to add more usable space to the Simple storage space, you can add another hard drive, which is outlined in the next section.

 

How to add more usable space to a Simple storage space

If you are using a Simple storage space and run out of room on the drive, you can add a new drive to the pool in order to increase amount of space available on the drive letter. To do this, open Storage Spaces and find the storage pool you would like to manage. Then click on the Add drives option to open a dialog box where you can add another drive to the storage pool.

 

 

Select the drive you wish add and click on the Add drives button. The third drive will now be part of the pool as shown below.

 

Drive added to the pool

 

Now you need to modify the storage space so that it using all of the space that was just added. To do that, click on the Change option to open the storage space's properties screen.

 

Modifying the simple storage space

 

In the field labeled Storage space size change the amount to the number reflected in the Total pool capacity row. Then click on the Change storage space button.

Your Simple storage space will now be using all of the space available on all the drives in the pool.

 

How to create a Two-way Mirror or synchronized storage space (Raid-1)

A two-way mirror, or Raid-1, storage space is when you use two drives and data is written to both of them at the same time. This synchronization allows your data to be backed up to both drives and if one drive fails, you do not lose any of your your data. All you have to do is remove the failed drive, install a new drive, and then add it to the pool. Windows will then synchronize all the data from the old disk to the new one so that they are mirrored again.

Please note that since each drive is a mirror of the other, you will only have access to half the space allocated to the storage pool. For example, if you have two 1.5 terabyte drives added to a storage pool, the storage pool will have a total capacity of 3 terabytes. If we now use that storage pool to create a two-way mirror, the drive letter that is created will only have 1.5 terabyte of usable space because half of the space is used as accessible storage and the other half is the mirror.

Below is an example of a two-way mirrored storage space:

 

Two-way mirror storage space

 

Notice that though the total pool capacity is 8.5 GB , we only have usable space of 4.25 GB for the Two-mirrored storage space. When you are ready, click on the Create storage space button and the new mirror will be created as shown below.

 

Two-way mirror created

 

As you can see above, we have created a 4.25 GB two-way mirror using the 8.5 GB storage pool.

It is also possible to create a three-way mirror that requires 5 physical drives. This type of storage space protects you against two drive failures at the same time. We will not be discussing how to create this type of mirror as it uses the same steps as above.

 

How to create a Parity storage space (Raid-5)

A Parity, or Raid-5, storage space is useful if you want to combine two or more drives together to make one large drive, while still protecting your data in the event that one of the drives has a hardware failure. When creating this type of storage space, your total usable drive space will be the total disk space of all the drives minus one of them. Therefore, if you have four 120 gigabyte drives and create a parity storage space, the total usable space will be 360 gigabytes (3 * 160GB) with the fourth drive being used as a backup in the event that one of the drives fails.

Below is an example of a Parity, or Raid-5, storage space using four 5GB drives.

 

Parity Storage Space

 

 

When you are ready, click on the Create storage space button and the new parity storage space will be created as shown below.

 

Parity storage space created

 

 

Notice how the total pool capacity is 17GB (4 x 5GB minus some overhead), but the maximum size is 11.5 (3 x 5 GB with some space taken out for overhead).

 

How to repair a a failed Parity storage space

If you are using a Parity storage space and one of the drives dies, your data will still be accessible and the storage space will continue to work. With the drive failed, though, you will no longer be fault tolerant, which means that if another drive fails you will lose all of your data. Therefore, it is important to replace a failed drive as soon as possible with a new one.

Tip: It is perfectly fine to replace a failed drive with one that is larger. You should not, though, replace a failed drive with one that is smaller.

When a drive fails, Windows will issue an alert stating that there is a problem as shown below.

 

Drive failure alert

 

Click on the alert and you will be brought to the storage spaces control panel where you can determine which drive is having a problem.

 

Failed drive

 

Notice in the image above how Storage Spaces is telling us the particular drive that is failed. If you cannot fix the drive, you need to purchase and install a new hard drive in your computer. You should then click on the Add drives option for this storage pool and add the new drive into the pool.

STOP: Make sure the new drive is added before you remove the failed one. If you remove the failed one before you add a new drive to the storage pool, you will lose all of your data.

Once the new drive is added to the pool, click on the Remove option next to the drive that has failed. Windows will then recreate the necessary data on the new drive. While the data is being written, you will see a warning symbol next to the storage space. When it has finished repairing the storage space, this warning message will disappear, and your parity drive will be fully functional and protecting your computer.

 

How to delete a storage space

To delete a storage space, you just need to click on the Delete option next to the particular one that you wish to delete.

 

Delete a storage space

Once you delete a storage, all of your data will be lost, so be sure to make a backup of anything that you need to save. You can then use the storage pool to create another storage space or continue to deleting the storage pool.

 

How to delete a storage pool

Before you can delete a storage pool, you first need to delete any storage spaces currently using it. Once all the storage spaces are deleted, you can then continue with deleting a storage pool.

 

Delete Storage Pool

 

Once you find the storage pool you wish to delete, simply click on the Delete button to delete it.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Question:I ran out of space on one of my storage spaces and now Windows will not allow me to access the drive. What can I do?

For some reason, Microsoft decided to disable access to the drive when it runs out of space instead of just reporting it full. If you try and bring it back online, it will state that you need to install further drives into the storage pool in order to access it again. Another method is to change the storage space and make it slightly larger and then try to bring it online again. As long as you do not try to write anything further to the disk, you should be able to delete any files you need to in order to clear up some space. Then you can modify the storage space again and set it to its original size. Your drive letter should not be accessible and working correctly.

Question: I noticed it was possible to add multiple storage spaces to the same storage pool, with each using up all the space in the pool, and each one will have its own drive letter. Why is that?

To be honest, we are not sure what the logic behind this was, but we suggest you avoid doing that. It's perfectly fine to use the same pool for multiple storage spaces, but please make sure you do not allocate space to both of them so that they overlap. For example, if you wish to take a pool and split it into two separate storage space mirrors, that is fine. It is not suggested, though, that you take one storage pool and split it up into two mirrors that both use 100% of the space of the storage pool. That will just confuse things.

October 22, 2014

How to create a command-line toolkit for Windows

If you are a system administrator, IT professional, or a power user it is common to find yourself using the command prompt to perform administrative tasks in Windows. Whether it be copying files, accessing the Registry, searching for files, or modifying disk partitions, command-line tools can be faster and more powerful than their graphical alternatives. This tutorial will walk you through creating a command-line toolkit that contains useful programs and utilities that can make administering and using your computer easier and more efficient. The tutorial will also walk you through configuring your PATH environment variable so that these tools are available whenever you need them without having to specify the complete path to your toolkit folder. At the end of the tutorial we have listed a variety of command-line programs that are included with Windows or are by 3rd party developers that you can use as part of your command-line toolkit.

The first step is to create a folder that you will use to store your command-line programs. This folder can be located anywhere, but should have a name that describes what it is being used for. Some example folder names that you can use are bin, cl, or command-line. For the purpose of this tutorial, we will use the folder C:\command-line to store the command-line tools that we would like to use. Once the folder has been created, we now want to add it to the Windows PATH so that we do not have to type the full path to the command-line tool every time we wish to use one.

To do this, click on the Start button and type System. If you are using Windows 8, you can just type System from the Start Screen. When the search results appear, click on the System control panel in the search results to open the control panel as shown below.

 

System Control Panel

 

Now click on the Advanced system settings option as indicated by the red arrow in the image above. This will open the Advanced tab for the System Properties screen.

 

Advanced System Properties screen

 

Now click on the Environment Variables button to open a screen that lists the various environment variables that are configured in Windows.

 

Environment Variables screen

 

Under the System variables box scroll down till you see the Path variable. Once you see that variable, double-click on it to open a screen where you can edit it.

 

Edit Path Variable

 

The Path variable is a list of folders separated by a semi-colon (;) that Windows will use to search for programs to execute when you type them in. When you try to launch a program from the command-line, Windows will search through all the folders in its path and execute the program if it is found. As we do not want to have to type the full path to a command-line program (C:\command-line\program.exe) every time we use it, we can add the C:\Command-line folder to our path so we only have to type the program name (program.exe) to launch it.

As our command-line tools in this tutorial are located in C:\command-line we want to add this folder to the end of the list of folders that are already present in the Variable value field. To do this, go to the very end of the text in the Variable value field and type ;C:\command-line. When you do this you will need to substitute C:\command-line with the path to your folder. When you are done, you should now see the field that looks similar to the image above.

To save your changes, click on the OK button and then close the System Control Panel. Now whenever you type in a program name that is stored in your command-line program folder, Windows will be able to find it and execute it.

 

Useful Command-line programs to add to your command-line toolkit

This section will list a variety of command-line programs that can you use to start your toolkit. When using the list below, if the program is not bundled with Windows, then the name of the program will also be a link to the site that you can use to download the program and save it to your command-line folder. If the program name does not contain a link, then it is bundled with Windows and can already be used from your command prompt. If there are any other tools that you recommend we add to this list, please let us know.

 

Administration and Troubleshooting Programs

Command Description
AccessChk AccessChk lists the kind of permissions specific users or groups have to resources including files, directories, Registry keys, global objects and Windows services
at The AT command schedules commands and programs to run on a computer at a specified time and date. The Schedule service must be running to use the AT command.
CoreInfo Coreinfo is a command-line utility that shows you the mapping between logical processors and the physical processor, NUMA node, and socket on which they reside, as well as the cache’s assigned to each logical processor.
driverquery Displays a list of installed device drivers.
MpCmdRun.exe A command-line interface for Windows Defender. To execute this program you must use the full path: %ProgramFiles%\Windows Defender\MpCmdRun.exe
net Various Windows management commands. More information can be found here.
netsh Netsh is a command-line scripting utility that allows you to, either locally or remotely, display or modify the network configuration of a computer that is currently running. More information can be found here.
powershell Windows PowerShell is a task-based command-line shell and scripting language designed especially for system administration. More information can be found here.
PsLogList Allows you to list the contents of local or remote computer's Windows Event Log.
PsPasswd PsPasswd is a tool that lets you change an account password on the local or remote systems.
PsService Allows you to list and configure Windows services.
runas Run a program as another user.
rundll32 Execute functions exported in a DLL file.
sc Manage Windows Services.
shutdown Shutdown a local or remote computer.
SigCheck Verify that images are digitally signed and dumps version information contained within the file.
UnixUtils A collection of Unix utilities that have been ported to Windows. These utilities are very useful and include programs like grep, split, tar, dir, etc.
wmic A program that allows command-line and batch file access to Windows Management Instrumentation. More information can be found here.
WUInstall A command-line Windows Update installer and management program.

 

Boot and Windows Startup Programs

Command Description
bcdboot The bcdboot.exe command-line tool is used to copy critical boot files to the system partition and to create a new system BCD store. More information can be found here.
bcdedit The Bcdedit.exe command-line tool modifies the boot configuration data store. The boot configuration data store contains boot configuration parameters and controls how the operating system is booted. This tool is for Windows Vista and later. More information can be found here.
bootcfg More information can be found here.
repair-bde The bootcfg command is a Microsoft Windows Server 2003 utility that modifies the Boot.ini file. This command has a function that can scan your computer's hard disks for Microsoft Windows NT, Microsoft Windows 2000, Microsoft Windows XP, and Windows Server 2003 installations, and then add them to an existing Boot.ini file or rebuild a new Boot.ini file if one does not exist. You can use the bootcfg command to add additional Boot.ini file parameters to existing or new entries. More information can be found here.

 

 

File Comparison, Search, and Viewing Programs

Command Description
comp Compares the contents of two files or sets of files.
findstr Searches for strings in files. This is a powerful tool, but contains a limited Regular Expression functionality. If you want a string searching tool with greater RegExp functionality, you may want to use grep that is part of the UnixUtils package.
fc Compares two files or sets of files and displays the differences between them.
more Displays a file one page at a time.
sort Reads input, sorts data, and writes the results to the screen, to a file, or to another device. More information about sort can be found here.
type Displays the entire file to the screen.

 

File Permission and Management Programs

Command Description
7Zip Full featured archive program that can work with almost any archive type. When adding this to your command-line folder, be sure to copy both 7z.exe & 7z.dll for it to work properly.
attrib Displays, sets, or removes the read-only, archive, system, and hidden attributes assigned to files or directories. Used without parameters, attrib displays attributes of all files in the current directory. More information can be found here.
cd Changes the current working directory.
copy Copy a file to another name or to a different folder.
dir List the files in a folder.
File Checksum Integrity Verifier The File Checksum Integrity Verifier (FCIV) utility can generate MD5 or SHA-1 hash values for files to compare the values against a known good value. FCIV can compare hash values to make sure that the files have not been changed.
forfiles Selects a file (or set of files) and executes a command on that file.
Handle Handle is a utility that displays information about open handles for any process in the system. You can use it to see the programs that have a file open, or to see the object types and names of all the handles of a program.
icacls Displays or modifies discretionary access control lists (DACLs) on specified files, and applies stored DACLs to files in specified directories. More information about icacls can be found here.
Junction Allows you to create, list, or delete Junctions in Windows.
LADS LADS will display a list of all alternate data streams found in a particular folder.
md5sum Lists the md5 has for a particular file or numerous files in a folder.
move Move a file or folder to another location.
ren Rename a file or folder.
Sdelete You can use SDelete both to securely delete existing files, as well as to securely erase any file data that exists in the unallocated portions of a disk (including files that you have already deleted or encrypted). SDelete implements the Department of Defense clearing and sanitizing standard DOD 5220.22-M, to give you confidence that once deleted with SDelete, your file data is gone forever.
sfc Scans the integrity of all protected system files and replaces incorrect versions with correct Microsoft versions.
Strings Displays strings found within a file.
xcopy Copies files and directories, including subdirectories.

 

Filesystem Management Programs

Command Description
chkdsk Checks a disk and displays a status report.
defrag Locates and consolidates fragmented files on local volumes to improve system performance.
diskpart Diskpart allows you to manage and modify disk partitions. More information about diskpart can be found here.
FixMBR Repairs the master boot record of the boot disk. The fixmbr command is only available when you are using the Recovery Console.
recover Recovers readable information from a bad or defective disk.
takeown This tool allows an administrator to recover access to a file that was denied by re-assigning file ownership.

 

Network Diagnostics & Administration Programs

Command Description
arp Displays and modifies the IP-to-Physical address translation tables used by address resolution protocol (ARP). Useful for finding mac addresses of other networked devices on your network.
cURL cURL is a command line tool for downloading web pages, entire sites, ftp files, etc.
ipconfig Displays all current TCP/IP network configuration values and refreshes Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) and Domain Name System (DNS) settings. Used without parameters, ipconfig displays the IP address, subnet mask, and default gateway for all adapters. More information can be found here.
Netcat Netcat is a featured networking utility which reads and writes data across network connections, using the TCP/IP protocol. This is a very useful tool for diagnosing network connections, open firewall ports, or for sending the output of a local command to a remote computer.
netstat Displays protocol statistics and current TCP/IP network connections.
Nmap Nmap ("Network Mapper") is a utility for network discovery and security auditing. This program can quickly perform a TCP/IP audit of your network.
nslookup Nslookup allows you to perform DNS (Domain Name Service) resolution.
pathping The PathPing tool is a route tracing tool that combines features of Ping and Tracert with additional information that neither of those tools provides. PathPing sends packets to each router on the way to a final destination over a period of time, and then computes results based on the packets returned from each hop. Since PathPing shows the degree of packet loss at any given router or link, you can pinpoint which routers or links might be causing network problems. More information can be found here.
ping Ping is a computer network administration utility used to test if you can reach a host on an Internet Protocol (IP) network and to measure the round-trip time for messages sent from the originating host to a destination computer.
PsFile PsFile is a command-line utility that shows a list of files on a system that are opened remotely, and it also allows you to close opened files either by name or by a file identifier.
PsExec PsExec is a program that lets you execute processes on other systems, complete with full interactive use for console applications, without having to manually install client software. Please note that some anti-virus vendors may detect this as "Remote Admin", but it is a legitimate tool from Microsoft.
PsLoggedOn PsLoggedOn is an program that displays both the locally logged on users and users logged on via resources for either the local computer, or a remote one. If you specify a user name instead of a computer, PsLoggedOn searches the computers in the network neighborhood and tells you if the user is currently logged on.
route Displays and modifies the entries in the local IP routing table. Used without parameters, route displays help. More information can be found here.
tracert Displays the path taken from TCP/IP packets as they traverse from your local computer to a remote target. More information can be found here.
Wget GNU Wget is a program for retrieving files using HTTP, HTTPS and FTP, the most widely-used Internet protocols.

 

Process Management Programs

Command Description
ListDlls ListDLLs is a utility that reports the DLLs loaded into processes. You can use it to list all DLLs loaded into all processes, into a specific process, or to list the processes that have a particular DLL loaded.
PsKill Allows you to terminate processes.
PsList Lists all running processes.
tasklist Lists all running running processes and services. This program can also be used to list what services are running under a particular svchost process. See here for more information regarding how to do that.
taskkill This tool is used to terminate tasks by process id (PID) or image name.

 

 

If there are any other command-line tools that you think we missed, please let us know about them

October 22, 2014

How to backup and restore your data using Cobian Backup

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Installation of the backup software
  3. Using Cobian Backup to backup your data
  4. Using Cobian Backup to restore your data
  5. Advanced Backup Strategies
  6. Conclusion

 

Introduction

As many of you know, today's digital world comes with a lot of things that make our daily life easier. However, as time goes on you rely more and more on the information stored on your PC. No one is completely safe from power outages, corrupt hard disks, an infected system through a backdoor or trojan, or even a fire. To make sure that a computer can easily be restored to a previous point, software developers created what is called backup software or imaging software.

There are different methods of creating a backup of your data, but this tutorial will only focus on one possibility, using a freeware tool called Cobian Backup. Cobian Backup uses a simplified approach to backing up and restoring your data consisting of backup folders, optionally compressed archives, and restoring your files through standard Windows file manipulation methods. Furthermore, Cobian Backup utilizes Windows Shadow Volume Copies to backup your data so that even files that are currently open will be able to be backed up from the last saved state.

If you wish to receive a broader overview of the different forms of backing up data, you can browse this excellent Wikipedia article on backups or another one on images.


Installation of the backup software

The first step is to download the software from the author's page. The current version of Cobian Backup is code named gravity and is the one you should download for this tutorial. Once the setup file is downloaded you need to double-click it to start the setup process.

  1. On the first window you will be asked what language you want the tool to be installed in. English language is pre selected, but there is a wide range of choices to choose from.
     
  2. Next you will be shown a window containing the License Agreement. You need to accept the agreement by putting a check mark in the box next to I accept the conditions. The button Next will not be grayed out anymore. Click the Next button to proceed
     
  3. The next window will prompt you for the path where Cobian Backup should be installed. It should be preset to C:\Program Files\Cobian Backup 8. Click on the Next button.
     
  4. You will now see a screen asking for the Installation type. At this screen select the As an application (No autostart) radio button and press the Next button. This way the backup software is not started every time you boot Windows. If you wish to have it start every time do not change any of the defaults. When ready to proceed click on Next button.
     
  5. The program will now install and when it has completed click on the Done button to finish the installation.

At this point you have successfully installed Cobian Backup and should see the Cobian Backup Gravity Task Manager icon icon in your Windows taskbar. Now that the program has been installed, lets move on to learning how to use it.

 

Using Cobian Backup to backup your data

To open Cobian Backup, right-click on the Cobian Backup Gravity Task Manager icon icon located on your taskbar and select the Open option. This will open the main screen for Cobian Backup as shown below.

 

Main screen of Cobian Backup

 

To create a new backup, we need to create a new backup task that will allow us to configure what files are being backed up and various configuration settings. To create a new backup task, please click on the New Task Button icon that appears on the main ribbon bar of the program. The New Task dialog should appear as shown below.

 

New Task dialog screen

 

The first step is to give your backup an easily identifiable name and enter it in the Task name field as shown in the image above. There is no right way in naming such files. Just use what best suits your needs and what is easiest to remember. You should leave all the other options on that page the same except the Backup Type. Before we create a backup we need to specify how we want these files backed up.

 

Backup Types image


As you can see from the image above there are four different possibilities:

Backup Type
Description
FULL The Full option will make Cobian backup every single file you specified even if it has not changed since the last backup. By default this type of backup will create backup folders containing the time stamp of when the backup ran. Regardless of the Backup Type you select, the first time a task is run it will perform a Full install.
INCREMENTAL This is the feature you will most likely be using after creating your first backup instance. It checks if the source has changed from the last backup and only will backup those files that are new or have changed since the last backup. This saves a lot of time and space on your PC or the medium you will store your backup upon.
DIFFERENTIAL This setting works in the same way as incremental but instead compares the files from the last Full backup. If the current files are different compared to the last Full backup it will back up that file.
DUMMY This setting does not actually back up any files but can be used to schedule the execution of programs, close services, reboot the computer, etc.


Until you become more familiar with the program we suggest you select the Incremental backup type setting.

Before we select the files we wish to backup, we first want to change a setting in the Archive options screen. Please click on the Archive option in the left hand menu of the New Task dialog as shown in the image below.

 

Archive Options of New Task

 

In this menu we can select whether or not we want to use compression when creating backups. It is strongly recommended that you enable ZIP compression for your backups. Though this will increase the amount of time that a backup takes to finish, it will also save you a great deal of hard drive space. You should also select the option labeled Compress individually, which will compress each file individual rather than making one large compressed backup. This makes it easier to restore individual files as needed.

From this screen it is also possible to password protect all of the compressed files so that you are unable to extract the files without entering a password. If you wish to use this option, please select AES 256 under the Encryption method drop down menu and then enter your decryption password.

Once you have configured your archive settings, please click on the Files section of the New Task dialog. This will open a screen where you can select the directories and files you wish to backup and the folder that you will store the backups.

 

Select the files you wish to backup

 

In the above screen, click on the Add button in the Source category to select the files and folders you wish to backup. When you click on the Add button you will be presented with different choices where you can select files from. These are explained below.

Source Type
Description
Files This will allow you to select individual files that you would like to backup.
Directory This will allow you to select directories that you would like to backup. If you add a directory as your source then all files and subdirectories underneath that directory will be backed up.
FTP Site This will allow you to backup files stored on a remote FTP site. If you select this option you will need to enter your FTP site login information in order for the program to access the files.
Manually This will allow you to type out the path to the files or directories you would like to backup.

Once you have selected all the files and folders you wish to backup, please click on the Add button for the Destination section to select the folder or FTP site that you wish to store your backups. For most people, you will not use FTP and instead select a folder on your computer to store the backups. A good location to store backups are an external USB drive. When you have finished selecting the files you wish to backup and the location to store the backups, click on the OK button.

You will now be back at the main screen for the Cobian Backup program and your new task will be listed in the All Tasks section. To start your backup, click on the Start Job Button button on the button bar to start your Backup Task. When you click on the button a dialog will be shown asking you to confirm if you should run the job. Click on the OK button to start the job.

Your backup will now start, and when completed, the backup will be saved in your chosen backup location. The backups will be in the form of the original folder and filenames with timestamps attached to the file/folder names so that you can differentiate between the different backup dates.

 

Using Cobian Backup to restore your data

Most backup programs store the backed up data in proprietary file formats that require you to use the same backup program to restore your data. This means that if backup logs are lost or the program is no longer installed you have no way of restoring your data from the backups. Cobian utilizes a simpler method of copying the backed up files to your selected backup folder as a normal file. If you selected to compress your files, then the files will be compressed using archive formats such as ZIP or 7ZIP that are easily extracted using a variety of tools.

To restore a file it is as simple as opening your backup folder in Windows Explorer, selecting the backup that you wish to restore from, and copying the file out of the folder. There is no need to use Cobian to restore your files, but rather you use the built-in file manipulation methods that you normally would in Windows. This approach makes it much easier and faster to find and restore files that you are looking for.

 

Advanced Backup Strategies

A backup strategy that is commonly used in an office setting is to perform a complete backup once a week and then perform backups of only the changed files for the other days of the week. This allows you to have access to a complete backup for each week while still benefiting from the reduced storage requirements of an incremental backup for the other days. It is highly recommended that home users utilize a similar strategy when setting up their backup tasks.

To utilize this method you would create a task called Weekly Backup and schedule it to run on a particular day of the week at a certain time. This backup would be a Full backup and will backup every file that you have selected. You would then create a second task called Nightly Backup that is schedule to run on the other days of the week at a certain. This task would utilize a Differential backup type so that it only backs up those files that have changed since the last Full backup.

Utilizing this strategy not only provides a great deal of protection for your files but also greatly reduces the amount of storage space required to store your backups.

 

Conclusion

As you have seen in this tutorial, backing up your data can be done free of charge and with little of your time. Having these backups on hand can save you a lot of trouble and stress when having power problems, infected machines, corrupt hard drives, or just when you need to reinstall the operating system. If you have any further questions you can find some additional information in the help files of the software or post your questions in our forum.

October 22, 2014

How to set your default programs in Windows

In Windows there are certain programs that are configured as the default one to use for certain tasks. Windows will then use these default programs when a person performs a particular action in Windows. For example, even if you have multiple web browsers installed in Windows, only one will be configured as the default. This default web browser will then be used whenever you perform a particular task in Windows that relates to web browsing such as clicking on links in emails or opening up HTML documents. This tutorial will walk you through configuring your default programs in Windows Vista, Windows 7, and Windows 8. Though this tutorial will not cover setting your default programs in Windows XP, the concepts are the same.

To configure your default programs in Windows Vista and Windows 7, you can click on the Start button and type Set default programs. When the Set your default programs search result appears, please click on it. In Windows 8, type Set default programs from the Start Screen and then click on the Settings category. Then click on the Set your default programs search result. You should now see the Set Default Programs control panel screen.

 

Set Default Programs Control Panel

 

On this screen you will see a list of all the installed programs that can be configured as a default in Windows. Each program is configured to be able to handle certain default actions in Windows. When you select a particular program to be the default one for its type of program, you can either configure it to be the default for all related tasks or you can specify the specific items that you wish it to be the default.

The easiest way to select a program to be the default one for all related actions is to just click on the program name and then click on the Set this program as default button. For example, if Internet Explorer is currently configured as the default browser and we wish Chrome to become the default, we would click on the Google Chrome entry and then click on the Set this program as default button. All of the default actions that are related to web browsers will then be assigned to Google Chrome and Internet Explorer would no longer be used.

It is also possible to specify that a particular program will only be the default for certain actions. To pick and choose what actions you wish a particular program to be the default for you can click on a program and then click on the Choose defaults for this program button. This allows you to fine-tune exactly which programs you want to use for certain tasks. For example, if Internet Explorer is set to be your default browser, but you want Google Chrome to be used to open any locally saved HTML files, you would single click on the Google Chrome entry so it is highlighted and then select Choose defaults for this program. You will now be at the Set associations for a program screen.

 

Set associations for a program screen

 

On this screen you can select the specific actions that you wish this program be set to the default. As we want to make Google Chrome the default for opening .html documents, we would put a check mark next to the .htm and .html extensions and then press the Save button. Now Internet Explorer will still be configured as the default web browser, but when you double-click on a .html or .htm file, Google Chrome will open them instead.

As you can see, having the ability to customize what programs are the default for a particular action, or for all related actions, allows you to fine-tune exactly how you wish your programs to interact with Windows. This allows you to choose the programs that are best suited for your particular tasks or needs.

If you have any questions regarding these steps, please ask us in the Windows 8 Forum.

October 22, 2014

How to use System Image Recovery in the Windows 7 and Windows 8 Recovery Environment

n the event that you are unable to start Windows or wish to restore your hard drives to a previous backup you can use the System Image Recovery program from the Windows 7 or Windows 8 Recovery Environment. This process will overwrite the entire contents of your hard drives with the contents of a previously created system image. It is important to note that all of your data will be removed and replaced with the contents of the system image. Therefore, please backup any new data that has been since you created the system image that you plan to restore.

If you have not created a system image and would like to learn how to create one, you can visit this guide:

How to create a System Image backup in Windows 7 and Windows 8

To access System Image Recovery you need to boot Windows into the Recovery Environment. For instructions on how to do this, please see these tutorials:

How to start the Windows 7 Recovery Environment

How to access the Advanced Startup Options menu in Windows 8

Once you are in the Windows Recovery Environment at the list of the available recovery tools, click on the System Image Recovery option. If you are using Windows 8, you will be prompted to select a User that you wish to login as. Once you enter the username and password you will be shown the Re-Image Your Computer screen.

 

Re-Image Your Computer screen

 

If you wish to use the latest system image that was saved on the attached hard drive, click on the Next button and skip to this next section. For most people, this is the recommended setting.

Otherwise, select the Select a system image option and press the Next button. You will now be at a screen where you can select advanced settings that allow you to load a driver that may be necessary to view a hard drive's files or to search for a system image on a network share. When you have finished finding the image you wish to use click on the Next button. If you used Windows 7 File Recovery backup to create the system image, then you may be prompted to select the particular backup you wish to use from that day. Select the backup image and then click on the Next button.

You will now be at a screen where you can select additional options.

 

Additional options screen

 

If the Format and repartition disks is available, then you can select that to have your disk reformatted and repartition during the restore process. The Exclude disks button allows you to exclude particular disks from being restored. The Advanced button will open up some advanced settings such as whether or not you want to automatically restart after the restore is finished.

For the majority of restores, you can leave the settings that System Image Recovery sets in this screen. If you are satisfied with the settings and would like to proceed, click on the Next button and you will be at a confirmation screen.

 

Confirmation screen

 

If you would like to start the restore process, click on the Finish button. You will once again be shown a prompt stating that all your data will be removed if you continue. If you still want to continue, click on the Yes button.

System Image Recovery will now to start to restore the system image you selected.

 

Restoring the system image

 

Warning: Restarting your computer during this process can cause Windows to not to start and your data could be missing. If your computer is restarted while this process is being performed, you will need to use the Windows media or a Windows Repair CD to start the system image restore process again.

When the restore process is finished, System Image Recovery will automatically reboot your computer back to Windows. You will now be using the data and Windows settings from the system image that you restored.

If you have any questions about this process, please ask in the Windows 7 Forum or Windows 8 Forum.

October 22, 2014

How to configure metered connections in Windows 8

As Windows 8 is designed to be used on mobile devices as well as desktop computers, it includes a feature called metered connections. A metered connection is a network connection where you have a limited amount of data usage per month and if you go over that amount you get billed extra charges. If you are using a network connection that has a limited data plan, then it is important to enable it as a metered connection so Windows 8 knows not to download device updates or Windows updates over it. Once a connection is configured as a metered connection system downloads will only be allowed when you are on your normal wireless connection.

To enable a network connection as a metered connection, open the Settings charm bar by pressing the Windows key and at the same time press the I key (Windows Key + I key) on your keyboard. This will open the Settings Charm Bar as shown below.

 

Settings Charm Bar

 

Click on the wireless network connections button as indicated by the red arrow in the image above. This will open a list of available wireless network connections.

 

Available Connections

 

Right-click on the connection that you wish to make a metered connection and a menu will appear.

 

Set as a metered connection

 

Click on the Set as metered connection menu option. This connection will now be classified as a metered connection in Windows 8. In the future if you wish to make a metered connection a normal unmetered one , right-click on it and to bring up its menu.

 

Set as non-metered connection

 

When the menu appears, click on the Set as non-metered connection menu option to make it a normal connection again.

Windows 8 has a default setting that does not allowed device downloads and Windows updates to occur over metered connections. This setting is controlled via the Devices category of the PC Settings screen. When you go into the Devices settings and scroll down you will see an option for allowing downloads to occur over a metered connection.

 

Devices Settings

 

By default, this is set to Off, which does not allow downloads to occur. If you wish to allow downloads over a metered connection, you should set this setting to On. It is advised that you keep this setting on Off to help avoid overage charges on your data plans. An example of how Windows Update works when this setting is off and you are on a metered connection can be see in the image below.

 

Windows update metered message

 

As you can see from the above screen, now that metered connections are enabled Windows will not install updates until you are connected to a connection that is unmetered. This will help to protect you from going over any bandwidth limits that you connection may have.

If you have any questions about these settings, please ask in the Windows 8 Forum.

October 22, 2014

How to install and use the Windows XP Recovery Console

Table of Contents

  1. What is the Recovery Console?
  2. How to install the Recovery Console to your hard drive
  3. How to start the Recovery Console
  4. Remove the prompting of a password
  5. How to use the Recovery Console
  6. Deleting the Recovery Console

What is the Recovery Console?

The Recovery Console is a special boot up method that can be used to help fix problems that are preventing your Windows installation from properly booting up into Windows. This method allows you to access the files, format drives, disable and enable services, and other tasks from a console prompt while the operating system is not loaded. It is suggested that the Recovery Console is to only be used only after Safe mode and the other standard startup options do not work. I feel that the Recovery Console is also useful in other situations such as removing malware files that start in both Safe mode and Standard Mode and thus not allowing you to delete the infection.

This tutorial will guide you through the installation of the Recovery Console and how to use it. For those who are familiar with DOS or the command prompt, you will find the Recovery Console to be very familiar. For those who are not comfortable with this type of environment, I suggest you read through this primer in order to get familiar with this type of interface:

Introduction to the Windows Command Prompt

How to install the Recovery Console to your hard drive

I recommend that you install the Recovery Console directly onto your computer so that if you need it in the future, it is readily available. The Recovery Console only takes up approximately 7 megabytes so there is no reason why you should not have it installed in case you need it.

To install the Recovery Console on your hard drive, follow these steps:

  1. Insert the Windows XP CD into your CD-ROM drive.
     
  2. Click the Start button.
     
  3. Click the Run menu option.
     
  4. In the Open: field type X:\i386\winnt32.exe /cmdcons , where X is the drive letter for your CD reader, and press the OK button. An image of this step can be found below:



     
  5. After pressing the OK button a setup window will appear similar to the one below.



     

    Simply press the Yes button to continue with the installation of the Recovery Console. The setup program will then attempt to do a Dynamic Update to make sure you have the latest files as shown below.






    Simply allow it to continue and then when it is finished, you will be presented with a screen similar to the one below telling you so.



     
  6. Press the OK button and remove the CD from your computer.

Now when you start your computer you will have an option to start the Recovery Console.
 

How to start the Recovery Console

To start the Recovery Console when it is installed on your hard drive you would do the following:

  1. Reboot your computer and as Windows starts it will present you with your startup options as shown in the figure below.




     
  2. With the arrows keys on your keyboard select the option listed as Microsoft Windows Recovery Console and press the enter key on your keyboard.
     
  3. The Recovery Console will start and ask you which Windows installation you would like to log on to. If you have multiple Windows installations, it will list each one, and you would enter the number associated with the installation you would like to work on and press enter. If you have just one Windows installation, type 1 and press enter.
     
  4. It will then prompt you for the Administrator's password. If there is no password, simply press enter. Otherwise type in the password and then press enter. If you do not know your password then see this.
     
  5. If you entered the correct password you will now be presented with a C:\Windows> prompt and you can start using the Recovery Console.
     
  6. Proceed to How to use the Recovery Console.

To start the Recovery Console directly from the Windows XP CD you would do the following:

  1. Insert the Windows XP cd in your computer.
     
  2. Restart your computer so you are booting off of the CD.
     
  3. When the Welcome to Setup screen appears, press the R button on your keyboard to start the Recovery Console.
     
  4. The Recovery Console will start and ask you which Windows installation you would like to log on to. If you have multiple Windows installations, it will list each one, and you would enter the number associated with the installation you would like to work on and press enter. If you have just one Windows installation, type 1 and press enter.
     
  5. It will then prompt you for the Administrator's password. If there is no password, simply press enter. Otherwise type in the password and then press enter. If you do not know your password then see this.
     
  6. If you entered the correct password you will now be presented with a C:\Windows> prompt and you can start using the Recovery Console.
     
  7. Proceed to How to use the Recovery Console.


Remove the prompting of a password

When the Recovery Console starts it will ask for your Administrator password before continuing. In many cases when you have XP pre installed on your computer the Recovery Console will not recognize your Administrator's password. In these situations it is possible to edit a registry setting so that the Recovery Console does not ask for a password. This setting works on both Windows XP Home and Pro editions.

To change this setting do the following:

  1. Click on the Start button.
     
  2. Click on the Run option
     
  3. Type regedit.exe in the open field and press the OK button.
     
  4. Navigate to the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\WindowsNT\CurrentVersion\Setup\RecoveryConsole
     
  5. Change the value of SecurityLevel value to 1
     
  6. Close regedit
     
  7. Reboot your computer.

Now the Recovery Console will no longer ask for a password.


How to use the Recovery Console

Though the Recovery Console looks similar to a standard command prompt it is not the same. Certain commands work, while others do not, and there are new commands available to you. There is no graphical interface, and all commands must be entered by typing them into the console prompt with your keyboard and pressing enter. This may be confusing for those who are not familiar with this type of interface, but after doing a few commands it does becomes easier.

The following is a list of the available commands that you can use in the Recovery Console. When using the recovery console you can type help followed by the command to see a more detailed explanation. For example: help attrib.

Command
Description
   
Attrib Changes attributes on a file or directory.
Batch Executes commands that you specify in the text file, Inputfile. Outputfile holds the output of the commands. If you omit the Outputfile parameter, output appears on the screen.
Bootcfg Allows you to modify the Boot.ini file for boot configuration and recovery.
CD (Chdir) Change directory. Operates only in the system directories of the current Windows installation, removable media, the root directory of any hard disk partition, or the local installation sources.
Chkdsk Checks a disk for drive problems or errors. The /p switch runs Chkdsk even if the drive is not flagged as dirty. The /r switch locates bad sectors and recovers readable information. This switch implies /p. Chkdsk requires Autochk. Chkdsk automatically looks for Autochk.exe in the startup folder. If Chkdsk cannot find the file in the startup folder, it looks for the Windows 2000 Setup CD-ROM. If Chkdsk cannot find the installation CD-ROM, Chkdsk prompts the user for the location of Autochk.exe.
Cls Clears the screen
Copy Copies one file to a target location. By default, the target cannot be removable media, and you cannot use wildcard characters. Copying a compressed file from the Windows 2000 Setup CD-ROM automatically decompresses the file.
Del (Delete) Deletes one file. Operates within the system directories of the current Windows installation, removable media, the root directory of any hard disk partition, or the local installation sources. By default, you cannot use wildcard characters.
Dir Displays a list of all files, including hidden and system files.
Disable Disables a Windows system service or driver. The variable service_or_driver is the name of the service or driver that you want to disable. When you use this command to disable a service, the command displays the service's original startup type before it changes the type to SERVICE_DISABLED. Note the original startup type so that you can use the enable command to restart the service.
Diskpart Manages partitions on hard disk volumes. The /add option creates a new partition. The /delete option deletes an existing partition. The variable device is the device name for a new partition (such as \device\harddisk0). The variable drive is the drive letter for a partition that you are deleting (for example, D). Partition is the partition-based name for a partition that you are deleting, (for example: \device\harddisk0\partition1) and can be used instead of the drive variable. The variable size is the size, in megabytes, of a new partition.
Enable Enables a Windows system service or driver. The variable service_or_driver is the name of the service or driver that you want to enable, and start_type is the startup type for an enabled service. The startup type uses one of the following formats:
SERVICE_BOOT_START
SERVICE_SYSTEM_START
SERVICE_AUTO_START
SERVICE_DEMAND_START
Exit Quits the Recovery Console, and then restarts the computer.
Expand Expands a compressed file. The variable source is the file that you want to expand. By default, you cannot use wildcard characters. The variable destination is the directory for the new file. By default, the destination cannot be removable media and cannot be read-only. You can use the attrib command to remove the read-only attribute from the destination directory. The option /f:filespec is required if the source contains more than one file. This option permits wildcard characters. The /y switch disables the overwrite confirmation prompt. The /d switch specifies that the files will not be expanded and displays a directory of the files in the source.
Fixboot Writes a new startup sector on the system partition
Fixmbr Repairs the startup partition's master boot code. The variable device is an optional name that specifies the device that requires a new Master Boot Record. Omit this variable when the target is the startup device.
Format Formats a disk. The /q switch performs a quick format. The /fs switch specifies the file system.
Help If you do not use the command variable to specify a command, help lists all the commands that the Recovery Console supports.
Listsvc Displays all available services and drivers on the computer.
Logon Displays detected installations of Windows and requests the local Administrator password for those installations. Use this command to move to another installation or subdirectory.
Map Displays currently active device mappings. Include the arc option to specify the use of Advanced RISC Computing (ARC) paths (the format for Boot.ini) instead of Windows device paths.
MD (Mkdir) Creates a directory. Operates only within the system directories of the current Windows installation, removable media, the root directory of any hard disk partition, or the local installation sources.
More/Type Displays the specified text file on screen. More will display a text file one page at a time, while Type displays the entire text file at once.
Rd (Rmdir) Removes a directory. Operates only within the system directories of the current Windows installation, removable media, the root directory of any hard disk partition, or the local installation sources.
Ren (Rename) Rename a file or directory. Operates only within the system directories of the current Windows installation, removable media, the root directory of any hard disk partition, or the local installation sources. You cannot specify a new drive or path as the target.
Set Displays and sets the Recovery Console environment variables.
Systemroot Sets the current directory to %SystemRoot%.

 


Deleting the Recovery Console

Warning: To remove the Recovery Console you need to modify the Boot.ini file. Modifying this file incorrectly can prevent your computer from starting properly. Please only attempt this step if you feel comfortable doing this.

To remove the Recovery Console from your hard drive follow these steps:

  1. Double-click on My Computer and then double-click on the drive you installed the Recovery Console (usually the C: drive).
     
  2. Click on the Tools menu and select Folder Options.
     
  3. Click on the View tab.
     
  4. Select Show hidden files and folders and uncheck Hide protected operating system files.
     
  5. Press the OK button.
     
  6. Now at the root folder delete the Cmdcons folder and the Cmldr file.
     
  7. At the root folder, right-click the Boot.ini file, and then click Properties.
     
  8. Click to clear the Read-only check box, and then click the OK button.
     
  9. Click on Start, then Run and type Notepad.exe c:\boot.ini in the Open: field and press the OK button.
     
  10. Remove the entry for the Recovery Console. It will look similar to this:
    C:\cmdcons\bootsect.dat="Microsoft Windows Recovery Console" /cmdcons

    Make sure you only delete that one entry.
     
  11. When you are done, close the notepad and save when it asks.
     
  12. Right click again on the boot.ini file and select Properties.
     
  13. Put a checkmark back in the Read-only checkbox and then press the OK button.

The recovery console should now be removed from your system.

 

--
Lawrence Abrams
Bleeping Computer Advanced Microsoft Tutorials
BleepingComputer.com: Computer Help & Tutorials for the beginning computer user.