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Booting Windows 10 to the recovery console command prompt

Posted by jpluimers on 2022/03/01

I bumped into an old draft on notes on NTFS boot issues.

A while ago, I wanted to boot in the Windows 10 “Safe Mode” console, but the F8 option during the boot process was gone.

So I wondered how to get there. There seem to be a few ways, of which almost all require a functioning Windows installation. When you have one, it is relatively easy, as these options will work as summarised from [Wayback] How to open the Windows 10 recovery console:

  • Hold the physical Shift key when choosing “Reboot” in the user interface. There are various ways to get to the “Power” button:
    • in the lower right corner at the logon-screen
    • in the lower right corner at the lock-screen
    • in the lower right corner after pressing CtrlAltDel
    • in the lower left corner of the “Start” menu
  • In the Settings app, there used to be an “Advanced Startup” feature, but I could not find that any more in Windows 10 version 21H1 any more
  • From a console Window, run either of these commands (the second waits zero seconds before rebooting, the first 30)
    • shutdown.exe /r /o
    • shutdown.exe /r /o /t 0

There is also a possibility to restore the F8 functionality, but you need installation media for it. [Wayback] 3 ways to boot into Safe Mode on Windows 10 version 21H1 explains how to.

Some “notes on NTFS boot issues” links for my archive

(Note that for some of the links, only the [Wayback] ones work: link-rot of the links I saved 6 years ago)


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