Restore Windows system settings from the Recovery Console

Updated: 05/04/2019 by Computer Hope
Microsoft Windows

If you're able to get into normal or safe mode, we suggest restoring the system to an earlier version before trying the steps below.

  1. Boot from the Windows XP CD or Windows Recovery CD.
  2. Press 'R' to enter the Recovery Console.
  3. If prompted to select the installation of Windows, press 1, and press Enter.
  4. If prompted for a password enter your administrator password.
  5. At the C:\Windows> prompt type: cd system32\config
  6. Once in this directory, type: ren system system.bak
  7. Once the file is renamed, type: cd \
  8. At the C:\> prompt type: cd system~1

If you get an "Access Denied" error, type exit and let the system reboot and try getting into this directory again by starting over at step number 7 after getting back to the prompt.

  1. In the system~1 directory, type: cd _resto~1
  2. In the cd_resto~1 directory, type dir

If available, this will list each of the restore point folders. They will be named rpX, where X is a number. The highest number will be the latest restore point and the lowest the oldest restore. Pick the earliest restore point, for example, if you have RP1 through RP7 go into the RP1 directory.

  1. Go into the RP directory you want to restore, by typing: cd rpX
    where X is the number of the RP you saw in step 10.
  2. In the RP directory, type: cd snapshot
  3. Finally, type: Copy _registry_machine_system C:\Windows\system32\config\system
  4. After the file has copied successfully, type exit and let the computer reboot normally to see if this resolves you issue.

Additional information