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Resolved How to boot into Safe Mode in Windows 10

Discussion in 'Windows 10' started by AlexH, 2018/06/09.

  1. 2018/06/09
    AlexH

    AlexH Red Nose Day revisited Thread Starter

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    Hi,

    My HP Envy, 64-bit Win 10 fast version, will not start into windows. It sits and those little dots spin for hours - overnight, with the words "Diagnosing your computer" doing nothing.

    I need help getting into Safe Mode, from a powered off PC.

    It just spent more than 13 hours with the dot-circle spinning from a power off state, and nothing else happened.

    I have a flash drive with an older Norton recovery disk on it, but not sure which version of Win is on it, 8 or 10. I also have an old - first build - of Win 8 on a flash drive, and am willing to use it to boot up, if it will not ruin everything.

    I just want to get to Safe Mode to use System Restore and go back two days or so.

    If anyone can tell me how to get to Safe Mode from a Powered off state, I'd appreciate it.

    Thanks again, everyone,
    -a.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 2018/06/10
  2. 2018/06/09
    retiredlearner

    retiredlearner SuperGeek WindowsBBS Team Member

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  4. 2018/06/10
    jholland1964

    jholland1964 Well-Known Member

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  5. 2018/06/10
    Evan Omo

    Evan Omo Computer Support Technician Staff

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    Hi Alex. Let us know if those suggestions allow you to boot into Safe Mode.

    Also if for whatever reason you can't boot into Safe Mode try the suggestion in this link to open System Restore, How to use System Restore on Windows 10.
     
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  6. 2018/06/11
    AlexH

    AlexH Red Nose Day revisited Thread Starter

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    Hi al!

    About those suggestions you all sent me: Most, if not all, links took me to places which did not address booting into Safe Mode from a power-off state. Back when Windows was filled with 'features,' we could hit F5 or F and get into the Boot Menu, from which Safe Mode was a simple option. But not any more.

    This PC would not boot into anything at all. It kept displaying the spinning dots or, once in a while, "Diagnosing your PC" and one other large font message.

    I tinkered with it, as I used to do when I thought I knew what I was doing, back before I turned 70 :rolleyes: and finally got to a screen from which I chose to do System Restore. It worked … sort of. Telling me it was successful, I clicked on Restart but it sat there and stared at me, from the blue screen - light blue, not BSOD - until I finally got ****** and powered off; a minute later, powered on and kept hitting Esc, and other keys, until I started to remove any/all flash drives. Understand, I'm probably overdoing it with about 12 or more flash drives in three expanders - two of them powered - and finally I took one 256GB thumb drive out and the screen displayed everything I needed to get back to work!

    I put them in again, one at a time, and left that one out choosing, instead, to put it into a backup PC, used for communicating with you folks when my primary doesn't work. It didn't crash the PC but it did demonstrate that it is in bad shape. I am wondering whether I can - from the DOS-like prompt - format that drive - again, on the backup PC. I'll try it later when I return from a few important appointments.

    It's up now, but I'm scared to death to do a restart. I have created another Restore point and will do it again a couple of times each day.

    I know there is a setting/option which allows me to reinstall, so to speak, Windows 10 without undoing all personalization settings.

    Most important is to thank you all for helping point me in the right direction for getting my baby back to a working state, from which I can, hopefully, get it back to a reliable state.

    Cheers, and Happy Fathers' Day to y'all for next weekend.

    -a.
     
  7. 2018/06/11
    jholland1964

    jholland1964 Well-Known Member

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    "About those suggestions you all sent me: Most, if not all, links took me to places which did not address booting into Safe Mode from a power-off state. Back when Windows was filled with 'features,' we could hit F5 or F and get into the Boot Menu, from which Safe Mode was a simple option. But not any more."

    I beg your pardon? The link that I gave you shows you how to do just that and it does work because I have done it.
    Restart your PC. When you get to the sign-in screen, hold the Shift key down while you select Power Power icon > Restart.
    After your PC restarts to the Choose an option screen, select Troubleshoot > Advanced options > Startup Settings > Restart.
    After your PC restarts, you'll see a list of options. Select 4 or F4 to start your PC in Safe Mode. Or if you'll need to use the Internet, select 5 or F5 for Safe Mode with Networking.



    "...until I started to remove any/all flash drives. Understand, I'm probably overdoing it with about 12 or more flash drives in three expanders - two of them powered - and finally I took one 256GB thumb drive out and the screen displayed everything I needed to get back to work!"


    Right there is your problem. The flash drive is BAD, especially since you said it also caused problems when plugging it into your backup computer. Get rid of that flash drive.
    Also why do you need so many "extras" plugged into the computer at the same time? That alone will cause problems because the computer has only so much power to be able to power up and you are using it all up. I can't say for sure but sounds like that really could damage your computer itself.
    It may seem to make things "easier" but I don't see any way that a person can use all 12+ flash drives at the same time. Plus it sounds awfully confusing to me.





     
    Last edited: 2018/06/11
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  8. 2018/06/11
    AlexH

    AlexH Red Nose Day revisited Thread Starter

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    Thanks for all the help, really. But I was unable to get anywhere near a sign-in screen, from which your advice would have been good. No matter what I did, hitting ESC at power on, or hitting F5 or F8, or any other hot-key for an HP or for Windows, I never got anywhere near anything other than spinning dots. I even allowed it to go overnight with the legend, at the bottom of the screen, "Diagnosing your PC" without it going anywhere else from there.

    Pulling the bad flash drive out is what broke the stalemate, thank goodness.

    As for why I have so many? Yes, I agree with you its foolish and I will change my processes now, thanks to your advice and questioning. Simply put, I kept them in so that I could selectively back up various types of files, for just such an event as this, if I was unable to get it back.

    I just don't trust backing up to a cloud location, because if I find that I cannot even get on line, then what good is that? But if I have the requisite files on various thumb drives, I can rebuild from a new install, and have all the resources I need to get back to the type of configuration I need to get back to work. I would welcome knowing about a reliable backup application. I do use Norton's backup, and have a load of available space on Microsoft's OneDrive which I can use, and Win 10 does have a backup app built in, but it needs space on a separate drive. I can't see backing up to a separate partition on the same hard disk device, as if it crashes big time, then I'm in the same place as before.

    AS an experiment, I'm thinking of going into the command prompt and using the old fashioned FORMAT G: to see whether it fixes the drive. I hate to throw away a 256GB flash drive but if it clobbers my system, it ain't worth the chip it's etched on.


    So, I hope you now understand why I didn't find "Restart your PC. When you get to the sign-in screen, hold the Shift key down while you select Power Power icon > Restart..." helpful. I do think that once I pulled that flash drive out, it got me to where you folks were telling me to go [keep it clean, please] and from there, I was able to run System Restore. But then once that was done, clicking Restart did nothing, so I powered off and back on and finally got the usual log on screen.

    I've created two more Restore points since but haven't had the guts to restart the computer.

    Ran SFC /scannow and all came up clean.

    So I will keep working on this beastie and whittling down the number of flash/thumb drives to a more manageable number. If you have any suggestions for a reliable backup app, please do let me know. BTW, one reason I have more than a reasonable number is that some are higher speed USB 3.0 drives in a USB 3.0 expander, while others are USB 2.0 in older type sockets.

    And again, thank you all for your advice, guidance and plain old criticism; it's all more than welcome, as it has pointed me in the path of repairing my PC. I've always said there are so many people who know more than I do; it's one of the reasons I love working with this area of technology. The chance to learn 'stuff.'

    Cheers!

    -a.
     
  9. 2018/06/11
    jholland1964

    jholland1964 Well-Known Member

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    Honestly Alex I have to say that 99.9% of your troubles you have brought on yourself. It certainly sounds as if you have made tons of extra work because, based on what you say, it sounds like you are backing up tiny portions of things to various flash drives rather than doing a full back up to one or two places. Makes no sense to me whatsoever. AND you are probably consuming lots of resources running all of those flash drives. Can I ask you something? Using your technique of using 12+ flash drives have you ever even attempted to restore your entire system using those 12+ flash drives?? Why do they all have to be plugged in all the time?

    Why not get rid of those 12+ flash drives and go with ONE or maybe two external Hard Drives? You can put full backups on them if you wish and not have to have 12 separate flash drives with different files on each.

    System Restore does NOT back up the entire system. It restores some things – like the registry – but not all things – like your files. It will not reinstall an uninstalled program. System Restore allows you to undo unwanted system changes and it "usually" will not affect personal files but WILL remove apps, drivers, and updates installed after the restore point was created. So...you make a restore point, then all of your security programs update and you update a favorite piece of software. THEN you decide you need to use System Restore to take your computer back, so your system goes back to yesterday but ALL of those updates are removed and you have to do them again. System Restore really is not that wonderful, good in a "pinch' I guess but quite often just doesn't do what you want it to do or expect it to do. Plus the more you use it really the more damage you can do to your system.
     
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  10. 2018/06/11
    jholland1964

    jholland1964 Well-Known Member

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    Just noticed that you keep saying when trying to get to Safe Mode from a cold boot you hit ESC...who told you to hit ESC? I sure didn't and as far as I could find none of the links given to you said to hit ESC. So where did you see that?

    Another question; who told you or where did you read that you should use Flash Drives for backups? Generally Not recommended because they are not really super reliable. An external hard drive is certainly more reliable and more recommended than flash drives. Usually flash drives are recommend to move files from one computer to another or for very temporary storage but certainly never for permanent storage
     
    Last edited: 2018/06/11
  11. 2018/06/11
    retiredlearner

    retiredlearner SuperGeek WindowsBBS Team Member

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    Hi Alex, nice to see you are back to 'normal' again. I,ll just add one tip to what jh has been saying - when you strike a problem it always pays to disconnect ALL peripherals while trying to sort things out. The old "bare bones" adage usually is the answer. ;)
     
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  12. 2018/06/12
    AlexH

    AlexH Red Nose Day revisited Thread Starter

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    You're right, of course. As I approach the official age for being an old phardt, I find more senior moments hitting me at the wrong times. What you've said is something that I'd not have missed even a few years ago. And I feel like an arse for having not thunk of it first. Truly.

    I do appreciate the advice, pointers, links, and guidance I get here; I actually joined recently, after many years of lurking and logging in to get help with the hard stuff.

    Most of the advice I get here is done, as you do, with a gentle hand, as opposed to making me feel like I'm being scolded for not getting it right. Over the years, I've never taken that approach. If someone asks for help, I assume it's because they're in some level of dire straights and need help, not castigation. WindowsBBS is more than just a site for getting help; it's also a site for getting an education, for learning more about the things we do with technology. [Enuf … I'll take my soapbox and go now.]

    Be that as it may, I'm glad to see you checking in on this one, as I get ready to close the thread.

    Thanks, again, to all who helped point me in the right direction and made me remember things I shouldn't have forgotten.

    Cheers!

    -a.

    PS: I'm still scared to death to restart my PC :(but will do another Sys Restore - so I can go back before whatever might happen from an update - and also try to back up to one single high capacity flash drive … until I get an external drive. I've also thought about getting an SSD internal drive with only 1TB - 2TB capacity, so I can do backups regularly.. But, cost is definitely an issue, when it comes to solid state drives.

    I still miss Norton's Ghost, and am trying to find a reliable backup app, other than what's built into Win 10.
     
  13. 2018/06/12
    jholland1964

    jholland1964 Well-Known Member

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    No, No, No! You are not using System Restore correctly.

    By default, Windows creates its own restore point of the changes introduced by a system or piece of software automatically as changes occur on your computer.

    If you create a Restore point today and there is not another Windows update for several weeks that restore point you create today will be Too old to use and the system itself will also automatically make a new one PRIOR to the update install. That is the first thing that Windows Update does before installing new updates, create a NEW restore point.

    Generally the common advice is to use restore points that are NO MORE than a couple days old.

    There is only so much space allotted for System Restore and as new restore points are AUTOMATICALLY created by Windows the oldest points drop away.

    Stop messing with Windows System Restore and let it AUTOMATICALLY do the work it was designed to do.

    Please read the information from Ask Leo
    "System Restore is not a substitute for backing up.
    So, why is that?
    Because it doesn't back most things up. In fact, System Restore actually operates only on a very few system files and settings"

    Here is more reading from Ask Leo

    As to Backup Software check out this thread right here;

    Backup Software Recommendation
     
  14. 2018/06/12
    Christer

    Christer Geek Member Staff

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    That thread is three years old. Things have happened since then. I too miss Norton Ghost (running from a floppy) but for me, TeraByte - Image for Linux was the perfect replacement. It runs from a USB-stick, created by the installer. Don't worry about "Linux", that's the OS it runs on. It works with any OS. There's a free 30-day trial.
     
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  15. 2018/06/12
    jholland1964

    jholland1964 Well-Known Member

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    Whoops! :oops: Sorry about that, didn't notice the date. I had no suggestions but hope he will receive numerous suggestions.
     
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  16. 2018/06/12
    AlexH

    AlexH Red Nose Day revisited Thread Starter

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    Forgive me, but I DO understand what Sys Restore is all about. I may not be expressing myself properly, but I do get it.

    I have used it properly a few times in the past few years, when an update that came through at 3am made my system a little wonky; I restored to just prior to that update, and got things back to normal, then slowly added the updates one-by-one, to see which one actually ******* up. On some occasions, I knew right away, from the results, which ones were the offenders. So I simply got rid of them things behaved well, again.

    Again, I may not be expressing myself properly but that's due to recent medical issues, which are not for public review. My understanding of Windows, though not nearly as good as many here, I not at a first grade level.

    So, I appreciate your advice …

    -a.
     
  17. 2018/06/12
    retiredlearner

    retiredlearner SuperGeek WindowsBBS Team Member

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    Like the RED nose Alex :D I can remember when they were large red units which people tied on the grille of the family car and then wondered why the car overheated!:eek:
     
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  18. 2018/06/13 at 07:58
    AlexH

    AlexH Red Nose Day revisited Thread Starter

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    So THAT'S why I kept getting hot on Red Nose Day!
    -a.
     

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