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Win 10 boot issue
38 Posts
March 10, 2023 - 1:45 pm

DELL Inspiron desktop runining Win10 Pro has begun booting on startup to the screensaver screen BUT NOT with the SIGNIN box. Neither USB mouse nor USB keyboard seem to affect screen...even after unplugging and replugging.

I have tried the 3(4?) shutdowns with power switch held for 10 secs and then repowering which is supposed(?) to take me to but I have not seen this.

I have tried tapping F4 (F5) key during powering up but this does not get me to a SAFE MODE screen.

I have run Tweaking.com "Windows Repair" app a few times but it is suggested that it best be run from SAFE MODE where I cannot get.

I have even done POWER RESET by disconnecting the power cord, waiting and then replugging which allowed the system to boot after doing a couple of power off/on cycles.

Recommendations greatly appreciated!

Jim Hillier
2700 Posts
March 10, 2023 - 1:58 pm

Sorry, but I'm confused. Perhaps you could clarify a couple of things:

I presume, because you cannot sign in, you are unable to load Windows?

If that's the case, that you cannot load Windows, how are you running the Tweaking.com software?

So, I guess the main question is, can you load Windows or not?

38 Posts
March 10, 2023 - 2:16 pm

Sorry to confuse, Jim!

I ultimately AM able to get to SIGNON screen and Windows using one of the method to do a SAFE MODE boot. However, my personal experience has mostly been that they get me to "normal" boot just not SAFE MODE as desired.

Before I powered the PC this AM I did POWER RESET by removing power cord. When I booted up after doing this I got the screensaver but no LOGIN box. I did the power off by depressing the switch for 10 Mississippi's and then powering on. This gave me the LOGIN screen and I have been using the machine for ~8hrs but do not know if PC will boot properly after next shutdown.

FWIW, I have been using SHIFT-POWER OFF at end of day. Is it better to just POWER OFF?

Jim Hillier
2700 Posts
March 10, 2023 - 2:35 pm

No problem. Okay, got it.

It's quite easy to boot into safe mode from within Windows. Here's an article that explains a couple of methods: https://davescomputertips.com/windows-10-quick-tips-2-ways-to-safe-mode/

By the way; the key to enter Safe Mode that you need to press is the F8 key, not F4 nor F5. However, MS has done away with the F8 method.

I would strongly advise you to run the System File Checker to see if there are any system file corruptions:

Open an elevated Command Prompt (admin), type in sfc /scannow (note the space between sfc and the forward slash) and then press Enter.

At completion of the scan you'll see a message inside the Command Prompt window indicating the result. Let us know what that message says.

Holding down the Shift key while shutting down will perform a complete shutdown. It's fine to shutdown that way. Either way, shouldn't make a whole lot of difference. Might take the system a little bit longer to boot back up after using the Shift+Shutdown method. that's all.

Sorry mate, I have to get to bed right now. I'll check back with you later.

38 Posts
March 11, 2023 - 11:33 am

OK, Jim. BTW, may I ask where you are located?

I ran System File Checker: "Restore Operations Completed Successfully"

I ran sfc /scannow: "No Integrity Violations"

PC was shut down overnight and restarted today. System opened to SIGNIN screen without hiccup!

Silly me...I decided to try the msconfig method to access SAFE MODE. System Configuration screen opens and I checked Safe Boot but then got a message screen re BitLocker preventing action...

Turning BitLocker OFF requires a magic code which I have no clue where it might be.
As I write for better or worse, I am decrypting the drive without turning BitLocker OFF.

Not suire if it is relevant or not but I experienced an issue with not being able to add files to the C:drive due to it being near full. I removed files from C: and freed up ~30 of its capacity.

Jim Hillier
2700 Posts
March 11, 2023 - 6:14 pm

I am in Australia.

"No integrity violations" is the optimum result. All good.

An overly full C (system) drive will create all sorts of problems. It's generally recommended to always maintain at least 15-20% of total capacity free. So, if the drive's total capacity is (say) 500GB, minimum required free space would be around 75-100GB.

Where the Bitlocker key is stored depends on how Bitlocker was set up in the first place. Here's a link to an article that might help: https://www.dell.com/support/kbdoc/en-au/000124361/bitlocker-is-prompting-for-a-recovery-key-and-you-cannot-locate-the-key

At this stage, I'd say that most of your problems will have been caused by lack of free disk space on the system drive.

1 Posts
April 2, 2023 - 7:28 pm

Hello! If the problem occurred after a recent update or installation of new software, it could be related to driver conflicts or corrupted system files. In such cases, a system restore or a clean installation of Windows 10 may be necessary.

However, if the issue persists even after a clean installation, it could be due to a hardware problem such as a faulty hard drive or RAM. You can try running diagnostic tools to identify any hardware failures and take appropriate action accordingly.

All the best, Jane, manager https://www.worktime.com


38 Posts
April 3, 2023 - 12:34 pm

Thanks for the thoughts Janeer.

Lot of water under the bridge since my last post. Progress was not reported since my login credentials for DCT were on the failed PC.

After considerable time and effort expended with the dogged assistance of Jim Hillier here were unsuccessful but before doing a clean install with associated app and data loos, I called DELL Tech Support. After their Hardware Support was satisfied that the issue was not hardware related I was transferred to Software Support. The tech ulltimately restored the system to working condition with no app or data loss. I can honestly say that I have no clue what the root cause was having tried numerous fixes.

Lesson for the day...BACKUP, BACKUP, BACKUP!

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