Recovery Console Restrictions and Limitations

Although the environment itself looks an awful lot like the MS-DOS command line, the Recovery Console isn’t nearly as full-featured as even the normal Windows XP command line. Instead, the various utilities provided are aimed at repairing or recovering an installation, and little else.
Some of the main limitations of the Recovery Console that you should be aware of include that fact that it only provides access to the root folder (C:), the %systemroot% folder and its subfolders, the Cmdcons folder, and removable media drives such as your floppy disk and CD/DVD-ROM drive. Attempting to access any other folder results in an Access Denied message. This shouldn’t be a big issue, since you will have access to any files that could be impairing XP’s ability to boot successfully.

One additional limitation that you should be aware of is the fact that the Recovery Console will allow you to copy files from a CD, DVD, or floppy disk to a local directory, but it will not allow you to copy files from a local directory to these media sources – just something to keep in mind.

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.