After receiving a plea for help from a good friend whom due to a mishap with a Windows update and a kitten called “Marmite” had a broken Windows XP system, I thought I’d better let you know how to use the Recovery Console to get hold of your old Restore Points.
Boot from the XP CD.
Start Windows Setup and press R to access the recovery console.
Select your Windows installation (usually just press Enter).
Type the administrator password (usually just press Enter).
Take a backup of your registry files (skip this if you did it earlier)
COPY C:\Windows\System32\Config\*.* .
Now find your restore points:
CD “system volume information”
There is a folder for each Restore Point. They are called RP1, RP2 etc. Note the dates to find the most recent one.
Pick the restore point you want to try and recover, for example, RP1:
COPY _Registry_machine_system C:\Windows\System32\Config\System
COPY _Registry_machine_software C:\Windows\System32\Config\Software
COPY _Registry_machine_sam C:\Windows\System32\Config\Sam
COPY _Registry_machine_security C:\Windows\System32\Config\Security
COPY _Registry_user_.default C:\Windows\System32\Config\Default
Type the command exit to close the Recovery Console and restart the PC.
With luck all is now well. If not, go back to the console and try the next restore point.
Repeat until you have a working machine or have run out of restore points.
There is also a great site of Windows XP repar links here.
Of course if Windows XP is booting but behaving badly, you can also restore using the GUI.