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Old 23. Jan 2016, 08:48 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Safe Mode Problem

I was working to install virus software on a friend's laptop (Dell Inspiron 1500, Windows 8). Normally when doing this, I boot into safe mode with networking so I can install the necessary software. Never had a problem doing this before. However, the screen on this laptop doesn't work, so he uses the laptop via another monitor hooked up with an HDMI cable.

I went in through msconfig and told the computer to boot in safe mode, and I restarted it. Now, because it's in safe mode, it won't recognize the HDMI cable, so I can't see what's on the screen. I tried a number of solutions to get it to either recognize the HDMI cable (including opening it up and unhooking the GPU from the laptop screen) or to get it to boot back up normally. Nothing worked. I know it boots as far as the password screen, but without a working display, I can't get into it to tell it to boot up normally. The F8 key is not enabled either, so that's not an option. Google has been utterly unhelpful as well.

So, I ask you -- is there any way I can get the laptop to boot Windows normally without being able to see the display or logging into Windows? We may end up replacing the broken screen, but I wanted to see if there's another solution first. Many thanks!
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Old 23. Jan 2016, 11:20 AM   #2 (permalink)
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What a doozy in both senses of the word: problematic and extraordinary.

I presume that this is a UEFI PC because it has an HDMI connector. If it is then it is unlikely that you will be able to press F8 at startup to change the boot option.

I am surprised that disconnecting the display connector didn't work but maybe it only works with analogue (e.g. VGA) connections.

It is a common problem to be stuck in Safe Mode when you use msconfig. I'm not sure if it is the default behavior or whether it only happens if you click on the Apply button or check the box to make it permanent. Whatever the reason, you can use the keyboard to turn off safe mode.

The problem with using the keyboard is that non default behavior will not be detectable. For example, you can't see any error messages or other notifications that might be presented when you log in. I'm not sure if there are any error messages that require a response before you can continue so that is one imponderable.

Here are the keyboard entries that might work:
  1. At startup type in your password and press <Enter>
  2. Press the <Windows>+<R> to key to bring up the run dialog.
  3. Type in MSCONFIG then press <Enter> to run it. NB You could press <Enter> without typing in the command if MSCONFIG was the last command entered.
  4. Now you're in MSCONFIG on the default General tab but you need to get to the Boot tab by pressing <Ctrl>+<Tab>
  5. Turn off Safe Boot by pressing <Alt>+<F>
  6. Apply the change by pressing <Alt>+<A>
  7. Select the OK button by pressing <Enter>
  8. Select the Restart button by pressing <Alt>+<R>
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Old 23. Jan 2016, 01:31 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Pardon my ignorance, but why would one want to install antivirus software in Safe Mode?

Also, there is a way to enable Advance Boot Options on UEFI computers. Just follow the instructions in this Bleeping Computer tutorial. Although written for Windows 8 it works just as well in Windows 10.

And Remah, I must say I am simply amazed at the extent of your knowledge. Seems like every time you post a comment I learn something. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 23. Jan 2016, 05:23 PM   #4 (permalink)
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How about VLC? eg using a network connection to do it remotely.
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Old 23. Jan 2016, 05:50 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I just realized why VGA connections work, the default driver is VGA.
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Old 23. Jan 2016, 06:02 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe A.TT View Post
Pardon my ignorance, but why would one want to install antivirus software in Safe Mode?

Also, there is a way to enable Advance Boot Options on UEFI computers. Just follow the instructions in this Bleeping Computer tutorial. Although written for Windows 8 it works just as well in Windows 10.

And Remah, I must say I am simply amazed at the extent of your knowledge. Seems like every time you post a comment I learn something. Thanks for sharing.
Installing in safe mode used to be a method to avoid problems.

As to being "amazed", you presented the better solution. I'm kicking myself for not thinking of it.
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Old 23. Jan 2016, 07:41 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Thanks for the replies everyone. I'll try these out next time I see that friend, then get back to you.

The reason I was trying to use safe mode is that the computer doesn't actually have antivirus on it now, and it's so bogged down with, well, who knows what, that it's impossible to even get web pages to load. I tried downloading Avast and MalwareBytes (the same software I use) through normal Windows, but couldn't even get that far.
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Old 24. Jan 2016, 03:01 AM   #8 (permalink)
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You might want to try the Emsisoft Emergency Kit found at:

https://www.emsisoft.com/en/software/eek/

It's portable, so you can install it on a flash drive.
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Old 24. Jan 2016, 04:05 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theinfernumflame View Post
The reason I was trying to use safe mode is that the computer doesn't actually have antivirus on it now, and it's so bogged down with, well, who knows what, that it's impossible to even get web pages to load. I tried downloading Avast and MalwareBytes (the same software I use) through normal Windows, but couldn't even get that far.
the last PC that had that issue - also because it's owners didn't install an A/V when their
last one expired - was to run of those 'online' scanners.

yeah - it'll take some time - maybe 4 - 5 hrs depending on the HDD size.
- that time, some 23 Trojans & 9 actual viri were found.

that's why their newly bought A/V wouldn't install - not a clean system.

once that was all done - then their new A/V agreed to install itself.
& then it was allowed to run another, full install.

yeah - all that - took All Day !.
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Old 15. Aug 2020, 01:15 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Remah View Post
What a doozy in both senses of the word: problematic and extraordinary.

I presume that this is a UEFI PC because it has an HDMI connector. If it is then it is unlikely that you will be able to press F8 at startup to change the boot option.

I am surprised that disconnecting the display connector didn't work but maybe it only works with analogue (e.g. VGA) connections.

It is a common problem to be stuck in Safe Mode when you use msconfig. I'm not sure if it is the default behavior or whether it only happens if you click on the Apply button or check the box to make it permanent. Whatever the reason, you can use the keyboard to turn off safe mode.

The problem with using the keyboard is that non default behavior will not be detectable. For example, you can't see any error messages or other notifications that might be presented when you log in. I'm not sure if there are any error messages that require a response before you can continue so that is one imponderable.

Here are the keyboard entries that might work:
  1. At startup type in your password and press <Enter>
  2. Press the <Windows>+<R> to key to bring up the run dialog.
  3. Type in MSCONFIG then press <Enter> to run it. NB You could press <Enter> without typing in the command if MSCONFIG was the last command entered.
  4. Now you're in MSCONFIG on the default General tab but you need to get to the Boot tab by pressing <Ctrl>+<Tab>
  5. Turn off Safe Boot by pressing <Alt>+<F>
  6. Apply the change by pressing <Alt>+<A>
  7. Select the OK button by pressing <Enter>
  8. Select the Restart button by pressing <Alt>+<R>
I started an account just to come and say thank you so so much for your genius! I did not think there would be instructions for this but here you are. Thank you thank you thank you! It worked straight away, honestly could not thank you enough.
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