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Recovery Console and WXP Pro SP2

Discussion in 'Windows XP' started by n7Epsilon, Sep 11, 2004.

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  1. n7Epsilon

    n7Epsilon Thread Starter

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    Hi,
    Does anyone have an idea how to install the Windows Recovery Console (WinXP Pro) under Service Pack 2 ??? I've searched for this and came up with nothing. Going through the normal process of:
    1. Clicking on Start > Run
    2. Entering D:\i386\winnt32.exe /cmdcons

    Gives me this strange message:
    "You have a newer version of Windows XP on your computer. Windows setup cannot continue."

    and I click on Ok, and it doesn't install....

    I have tried this on another computer updated with SP1 and it seems to install fine... but, how do I get it to install on SP2....

    I later found out that Windows XP Setup creates a CMDCONS folder on the C:\ drive (number 1 partition) and copies some files there off the CD...(when it installs, knew this from examining the other computer.)

    I also found out that the First Part of Setup (that runs under Windows 98) copies some files to a folder on the hard drive that including those copied to the CMDCONS directory when installing the Recovery Console manually (that's why we get an option to run the recovery console during setup).

    So, I copied that folder (CMDCONS) from another Windows XP Pro computer (where it installed the recovery console) to mine...
    but another problem came up...

    A BOOTSECT.DAT file is created in the C:\CMDCONS folder that contains the necessary boot sector information to boot to the recovery console...

    I know that this file is specific to each computer as after adding this line to my boot.ini file:

    C:\Cmdcons\bootsect.dat="Windows Recovery Console" under [Operating System] and choosing that option from the boot menu.. It gives this error message:

    Remove any disks from their drives
    Press any key to restart ... (or something like that, I can't remember exactly)

    This error message indicates an invalid BOOTSECT.DAT file...

    If there's no way to install it normally from the WXP Pro Setup CD, can anyone suggest a way to manually install the recovery console...

    I have MBRTool as well as Norton's DISKEDIT.EXE, so I can dump a boot record to a single file (eg: BOOTSECT.DAT), but which boot record......???

    Please reply...Thanks very much for all your help..
     
  2. Dan O

    Dan O

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  3. WhitPhil

    WhitPhil Gone but never forgotten Trusted Advisor

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    Are you trying to install it from your original CD, your SP1 CD or your SP2 CD?

    My guess is that only the latter is going to work.
     
  4. Rollin' Rog

    Rollin' Rog

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    You can still run the Recovery Console from the orignal disk by selecting the 'r' option when you boot with it (r=repair)
     
  5. n7Epsilon

    n7Epsilon Thread Starter

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    Hi,
    I am trying to install it from the original XP CD, so that may be the problem... I have ordered the SP2 CD, can I install the recovery console directly from there ???
    I guess I'll have to uninstall Service Pack 2, install the recovery console and then reinstall it... One concern though, will any of my programs break after uninstalling SP2...I really do not want to perform a full format and a full reinstall....
    Thanks anyway..
     
  6. Rollin' Rog

    Rollin' Rog

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    From the "Setup" notes on this link, it sounds like the Recovery Console has to be installed first, one way or another, unless you want to boot with the CD to run it:

    http://www.microsoft.com/technet/prodtechnol/winxppro/deploy/relnsp2.mspx


    Probably not, but MS suggests you may need to reinstall "SP2" hotfixes if you don't reinstall.

    I uninstalled before reinstalling, and while I did not test extensively, I did not see any problems. I also did a System Restore for good measure.
    There are also undocumented issues. I found one myself when installing on a Dell Inspiron 1150. Neither Dell or Microsoft had any info on the fact that I had to roll back the driver for the processor after installing to resolve a severe degradation in performance.

    Things that may break after installing...

    http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?kbid=884130&product=windowsxpsp2

    http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?kbid=842242

    http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=fh;ln;xpsp2swhw
     
  7. n7Epsilon

    n7Epsilon Thread Starter

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    Thanks for the information, I have found the TechNet article talking about this. I guess that this also applies to the final release of SP2...

    I'll uninstall the Service Pack, install the Recovery Console, and reinstall SP2 again....(I have downloaded the 266.01 MB version, so that's not a problem),
    Hope nothing breaks, I'll create a System Restore Point just in case...

    I've found the TechNet article, so that anyone googling for the same topic will find this:

    http://www.microsoft.com/technet/prodtechnol/winxppro/deploy/relnsp2.mspx#EFAA
     
  8. n7Epsilon

    n7Epsilon Thread Starter

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    Hi,

    Here's how I've installed the recovery console....

    I did it (after dashing through many of Windows' annoying errors and undescriptive messages)!! I disabled all of of my startup applications, restored original Windows XP Pro Logon and BootScreens (Disabled LogonStudio, BootSkin and WindowBlinds), even the default Windows XP theme, closed all programs in system tray, then I uninstalled SP2 from Add/Remove Programs, it asked for a reboot, (typical Windows behavior after major surgery).....

    +++++++++++++ I did run into MAJOR problems after that reboot....

    ---- At first, Windows XP seemed to boot fine, except for the "Norton AntiVirus 2004" crash (Common Client User Session has caused an error and will be.....etc.), then my system froze, then this strange Window pops up:

    "Windows XP is shutting down after 2 minutes, this was called by the following user: NT Authority/System" and displayed the reason for this behaviour as:
    "The RPC (Remote Procedure Call) Process terminated unexpectedly"

    There was simply no way to get around that window, and as that Window said Windows shutdown occured after the countdown..........

    I rebooted Windows (or to be more accurate...watched helplessly as Windows XP Pro rebooted itself after that error) and then attempted to install the recovery console....it worked and the CMDCONS folder was installed to my C:\ drive (partition #1) and I got a 3rd "Windows Recovery Console" option in the bootmenu (dual-boot XP_Pro:98SE)

    Then....the attempt to re-install SP2>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    1. Opened the Windows XP SP2 downloaded file (266MB version)
    2. Proceeded to install, it freezes at "Creating a restore point" but Windows XP still
    did NOT crash, so I tried a trick,.....I opened "Services.msc" (Start > Run) and found the "System Restore Service" as "Started".......
    3. Tried to open "System Restore" program from (Accessories > System Tools), System restore process appears in Task Manager but doesn't show its GUI....
    4. Ended System Restore process: opened Services.msc , stopped and restarted System Restore service.....works fine........but....
    5. *bam* .... "Windows is shutting down in 2 minutes. Please save your applications and logoff. This was called by NT Authority\System." | Reason: "The RPC Process terminated unexpectedly....."
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Finally.............before the thought of kicking the PC got the best of me...

    I formatted the Windows XP Pro partition and restored everything, (from a 4GB RAR archive I had made from Windows 98SE containing the following folders:
    --- WinXP
    --- Documents and Settings
    --- Program Files
    since I keep downloads and documents on a separate partition...

    (**good thing all of Windows is contained in the WinXP folder _ except for the root folder boot files: NTLDR, BOOT.INI, BOOT.BAK....etc.)

    --- Restoring worked for me as me as the CMDCONS folder is independent of the registry or any of Windows' files.....so I just needed a clean original WIndows XP Temporary installation (at least functioning enough to get the Console installed), then restored from the backup..........

    ================
    MORAL: SP2 always checks in.....but it never checks out leaving your PC functional (well, at least in my case....)
    ================

    From this lengthy story, What did that error message mean.....???
    "Windows is shutting down in x minutes. Please save your work and logoff, any unsaved changes will be lost. This was called by user "NT Authority\System" due to the following reason: "RPC process terminated unexpectedly"

    ------------------------------
    Any feedback??
    ------------------------------
     
  9. Bob Cerelli

    Bob Cerelli

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    Can you simply try slip-streaming SP2 into your original source files which are copied to a directory on the hard drive and then running \i386\winnt32.exe /cmdcons from there.

    Tried it here on two computers and it worked fine.
     
  10. Rollin' Rog

    Rollin' Rog

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    I don't know why you'd get the "NT authority" shutdown problem unless the uninstall of SP2 took a crtical update with it AND you were online at the time AND no firewall was enabled.

    When I had the displeasue of having to remove SP2 on one system I also did a System Restore for good measure.

    The problem is that between SP2 temporary files and the creation of a System Restore checkpoint, between 1 1/2 and 2 gigs free space is needed.

    Anyway if you restored a backup, make sure you enable the firewall and install any updates to block the blaster - dcom vulnerabilty that can leave an open hole just by being online.
     
  11. n7Epsilon

    n7Epsilon Thread Starter

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    Hi,
    Everything's back to normal after restoring from the backup, but since then, I have been trying to learn from the experience...

    First Question: Where does that "NT Authority" shutdown window initiate....????

    Second Question: Assuming that the shutdown was initiated remotely due to a critical security flaw (though mine wasn't), and on knowing about the presence of a "Shutdown.exe" file amongst the Windows XP Pro system files, why does it state the reason as "The RPC process terminated unexpectedly"???

    Note that: While un-installing SP2 from XP as described at the beginning of my last (lengthy) post, I double-checked that I was not online (I am using dial-up), also, in anticipation that SP2 would leave Windows open (to security exploits), I had physically disconnected the phone cable from my computer before the process...so, that NT Authority shutdown was initiated locally because of something, but I have yet to find out what that is......so any more ideas???

    Also, though I have downloaded the full SP2 (266MB version), and I do have my Windows XP Pro CD backed up to a folder on my harddrive,.. I do not know how to slipstream the files onto the existing Windows XP Setup, can anyone tell me how to do this process? That would be extremely helpful in future situations....

    Also, one final question, every time I install XP, it steps through a dynamic update process during which it asks to connect to the internet to download "updated setup files" from Microsoft, but since I disable most of my security software during setup, I refuse and it continues to install, If I do let it do that "Dynamic Update" thing, does it download the SP2 files and merge them with the existing setup files ??? Does that result in a Windows XP SP2 installed in the end......???

    Thanks, this forum has (and will still be) a wealth of information for everyone with problems of any sort (especially with Windows _ (talk about a simple UI and "simple" error messages) _ (sounds extremely contrary to Linux which displays detailed info about each and every step it initiates) _ (I guess Microsoft tries to simplify everything to newbies (maybe too mucH) _ THAT's their selling point (at least for XP))

    _ Thanks very much...
     
  12. n7Epsilon

    n7Epsilon Thread Starter

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    Hi,
    I've found an extremely good guide for slipstreaming SP2 to the original XP install CD, check it out, I've tried the steps myself and they worked!!!! Also running \i386\winnt32.exe /cmdcons afterwards from the slipstreamed CD works, thanks Bob for the suggestion, great idea.....

    Here's the guide: http://www.winsupersite.com/showcase/windowsxp_sp2_slipstream.asp

    Waiting for feedback on previous questions....
     
  13. Rollin' Rog

    Rollin' Rog

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    The only common cause of the error I know of is the presence of the blaster worm or a variant on an unpatched system. You want to make sure you have thoroughly scanned and cleaned the system. It's possible that reverting to the "unpatched" state allowed the worm to exploit the dcom vulnerabilty even though you were not online at the time.


    http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?kbid=826955
     
  14. n7Epsilon

    n7Epsilon Thread Starter

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    Hi,
    That might've been the problem then, as I got the exact message as Microsoft suggested (word-for-word) but anyway, I have already solved this by reformating the Windows XP Partition and restoring from a backup made just before uninstalling SP2, works nicely.
    Anyway, thanks for the link, forums like this really enhance a person's knowledge about computers....
     
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