#1 How can I fix my PC when Windows 10 won’t boot? by anwenwilson 06.07.2017 15:34

Microsoft has spent a lot of time (and money) trying to make Windows self-repairing, partly because it generally gets the blame when other programs – or users – try to “improve” it. Given that tens of thousands of expert programmers have worked on the code over the past 30 years, the number of safe, simple, significant and forwards-/backwards-compatible improvements may be quite small. If Windows 10 knew you had a blank or even a black screen of death, it would try to fix it. If it can’t fix it, it should switch to the Windows Recovery Environment, otherwise known as Windows RE or WinRE, which boils down to two options:

1) Start Windows in safe mode using the code on the internal hard drive, then use the troubleshooting routines to fix it.

2) Use code on an external device such as a recovery DVD or USB thumbdrive to start Windows, and then repair or replace the code on the internal hard drive.

So, your first aim should be to get to WinRE. From there you can get to safe mode and use the troubleshooting and repair options. If you can’t do that, you will have to – as WinRE puts it – “use a device”.

Starting in safe mode
Safe mode was designed to solve the chicken-and-egg problem that you need to access your PC to fix it, but you can’t access your PC if it won’t start. In theory, WinRE makes it simple to get into safe mode. That’s not working on your laptop, but you can try to force it.


Windows RE is supposed to appear after your PC has failed to boot two or three times. That depends on Windows 10 counting boots correctly, as distinct from restarting from sleep or recovering from some other failure.

However, you are definitely booting your PC if you start with it turned off. To make sure it is off, hold the power button down for at least five seconds. (Touching the power button usually invokes a sleep or hibernation mode where the PC can be woken up by a network connection.) In extremis, you can ensure it’s off by unplugging it from the mains and removing the laptop’s battery, if possible. If not, you can leave it until the battery runs flat then try again.

Before WinRE arrived, you could get into safe mode by pressing a key such as F2 or F8. (You may need to look up which key to press.) That worked when Windows generally took from 40 to 90 seconds to start. It’s impractical with today’s Windows 10 computers, which can start in eight to 10 seconds, but you can still try it. It may bring up WinRE or the UEFI/Trusted Platform Module (TPM) screen – see below.

Once you get into Safe Mode, you can use the troubleshooting and reset or recovery options to repair your PC. Since you have a blank screen problem, it may be worth updating the video graphics driver.

Other troubleshooting options include System Restore, System Image Recovery, Startup Repair, Command Prompt, Startup Settings, UEFI Firmware, and “Go back to previous build”, if there is one.

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