HP Laptop running Win 8.1 wont boot, wont go into safe mode, denies there are restore points.


Jun 1, 2007
I'm getting desperate here. I ALWAYS keep Windows Update turned off (I do not want to debate here whether that's good or bad, it's not the issue). Windows 8.1 tried to run it anyway on reboot. I tried getting into safe mood to shut off Windows Update, pressed F4 at the right time, safe boot never opened. I tried to rollback to my last good checkpoint, system restore says there are no checkpoints (I set one every week). Now, the system won't boot at all.

I'm desperate for a solution to run safe mood or system restore. I'd even let Windows Update run this one time (and only one time) if it would get the damned thing to boot.

Suggestions (other than "don't turn off Windows Update") are appreciated.

Thank you
Well I would never say don't turn off Windows update. :) I am not a fan of any kind of auto install/update. (or auto payments either.) Mine are set to tell me when it may need an update and I choose what to do.

Now to make sure you are choosing the right key, here are the instructions for getting into "Safe Mode".

How to enter "Safe Mode" when booting the computer.

In Windows 8 and 10...

As your computer restarts, press F8 (possibly a few times) to enter "Safe Mode"

a. Press the "F4" key to Enable "Safe Mode".
(The computer will then start in "Safe Mode" with a minimal set of drivers and services.)

b. Press the "F5" key to Enable "Safe Mode" with Networking.
( Once "Safe Mode" with Networking starts, Windows is in Safe Mode, with additional network and services for accessing the Internet and other computers on your network.)

c. Press the "F6" key to Enable "Safe Mode" with Command Prompt.
(In "Safe Mode" with "Command Prompt" starts Windows in Safe Mode, with a Command Prompt window instead of the Windows interface. This option is mostly only used by IT professionals.)

Now sign in to the computer with your account name and password. (If you have one set.) When you are finished troubleshooting, you can exit "Safe Mode" restarting your computer.

If that still won't work, and if your computer was doing an update that got halted, there could be a couple things that are the issue.

First try turning off the laptop and make sure there is absolutely no way for it to even try to connect to the internet and then try turning it on. If the update was bad, or is continually trying to restart the download/install, then that should bypass it.

If that doesn't work, then the update may have gone so far as to cause changes to the system that are not undoable. Another reason I avoid 10 like the plague. If that is the case, you may well need to do a restore of the whole system from a CD/DVD/USB. I hope it isn't that one. Never a fun option.


Jun 1, 2007
Unfortunately, I've already tried all of this, it just wont go into safe mode. Maybe HP has changed the key sequence for accessing safe mode?

In the event that I have to restore the OS (Win 8.1) is there a way to do that without erasing files? I don't want to have to reinstall everything and lose personal files.

Thank you.


Jun 1, 2007
This is so ridiculous it's (almost) laughable. The windows update, which was stopped at 0%, somehow created a 200 MB partition that replaced my C: drive with an empty drive. C: became D:. I deleted C: via diskpart, but that left the MBR 200 MB from where it should have been, so it still wouldn't boot. GParted is currently running to move C: back to where it should be while (hopefully) not destroying the contents of the drive. I backed up some critical files via command line before running it. BTW, my command line was on X:. Clueless... And the Goddamn HP Restore program kept blocking me from getting into Safe Mode, where I could have maybe run diskmgmt.msc and moved the partition properly. This WILL be the last HP product I buy.
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