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Windows Recovery Tools for the A+ Certification Exams

Part of the A+ Certification All-In-One For Dummies Cheat Sheet

One of the hardest tasks to perform when troubleshooting a system is fixing a system that will not boot. The A+ Certification exams expect you to be comfortable with the different recovery tools available in Windows. This table reviews popular recovery tools and specifies where you can find the recovery tool — be sure to know these for the exam.

Utility Description Access
Recovery Console Command line interface for troubleshooting disk issues and boot problems Boot off the Windows installation CD or using the boot menu if preinstalled
Repair Mode Provides access to GUI and command line recovery tools Boot off the Vista installation CD
Restore points A snap-shot of a system’s configuration; used to revert to a system’s state before a driver or software was installed From the Start menu, select All Programs→Accessories→System Tools→System Restore. Select Restore My Computer to an Earlier Time and click Next. Choose your desired restore point and click Next, and then click Next again. Windows will now boot to that restore point.
Windows 7 and Vista allow you to boot your operating system to a restore point which allows you to revert back to that system configuration — very useful if your system has been hit with a virus. In order to boot to a restore point, you boot off the Windows 7/Vista Installation CD/DVD and choose Repair Your Computer, then System Restore from the System Recovery dialog box.
You can also get to restore points through Safe Mode, which could prove useful if you have been hit with a virus and are unable to launch System Restore normally.
Safe Mode Loads the operating system with minimal drivers An advanced startup menu option (F8)
Last Known Good Configuration Loads the configuration from the last time you successfully booted and logged on An advanced startup menu option (F8)
Automatic System Recovery (ASR) An automated installation and restore of Windows Press F2 during bootup
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