Configuring Recovery Console Environment Variables

The Recovery Console set command allows you to configure environment variables, and these you’ll definitely want to take a look at. The 4 configurable variables have values of either TRUE or FALSE, and are all set to FALSE by default:

AllowWildCards – enables wildcard support for some commands, for example del *.txt

AllowAllPaths – allows access to all files and folders on the computer

AllowRemovableMedia – allows files to be copied from removable media, such as floppy disks

NoCopyPrompt – will no prompt when attempting to overwrite existing files.

The set command is not enabled by default, but can be enabled on both XP Home and Professional via the Registry. Access the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Setup\RecoveryConsole key in Regedit and change the value of SetCommand from 0 to 1. Then, change the values of the environment variables outlined here to TRUE with the set command and you’re off to the races.

Once your foray into the Recovery Console is complete, use the exit command to quit the environment and reboot your system.

Author: Dan DiNicolo

Dan DiNicolo is a freelance author, consultant, trainer, and the managing editor of He is the author of the CCNA Study Guide found on this site, as well as many books including the PC Magazine titles Windows XP Security Solutions and Windows Vista Security Solutions. Click here to contact Dan.