Windows 10: BCDEDIT Safeboot Trouble on HP ProDesk 400 Towers Solved

  1.    10 Oct 2016 #1

    BCDEDIT Safeboot Trouble on HP ProDesk 400 Towers

    I have a method for doing safeboots on non-bootable systems. I have been primarily using Dell PCs and have no problem with any of those. Recently, I purchased two HP ProDesk 400 Towers and they work fine except for this one wrinkle.

    I use recdisc to create a system repair disk and create recovery disk to create a similar troubleshooting aid on a USB. For some reason, the system repair disk still works as expected, but the USB recovery disk does not.

    On booting up the USB, I select Troubleshoot and Command Prompt. Then type in one of the following depending on the circumstances:
    BCDEDIT /SET {default} safeboot minimal
    BCDEDIT /SET {default} safeboot network
    BCDEDIT /SET {default} safeboot alternateshell

    It should return a message that it has executed successfully (I also have found that if I am doing BCDEDIT inside of Windows 10, using {current} instead of {default} works best).

    I set the optical disk and USB drive aside as insurance. I don't like the bootmenupolicy legacy method and I want to be able to go into safe mood even if Windows 10 will not boot up.

    To turn the safeboot back off with BCDEDIT, I use:
    BCDEDIT /deletevalue {default} safeboot

    And then the system boots in normal mode. As above, I use {current} instead of {default} if I am doing this inside of Windows 10.

    On the HP ProDesk 400 Tower, using the USB to boot up into the command prompt, I get the following error if I type in a BCDEDIT command of any kind, including just typing in BCDEDIT:

    The boot configuration data store could not be opened.
    The requested system device cannot be found.

    I can use the system repair disk successfully, but it bothers me that the USB will not work. The only thing I found to try is using different USB ports and especially to use 2.0 instead of 3.0. That did not help me at all. None of my USB ports would allow me to do BCDEDIT, although they all allow me to boot up on the USB. I actually have 2 USBs. One 2.0 and one 3.0 because I have noted some issues in the past where some laptops were happier with the traditional 2.0 drive using a 2.0 port. Most of our PCs don't care either way.

    Any ideas as to why I am getting the error message? The PC boots up fine from the HDD and from the system repair disk and BCDEDIT works fine unless I boot up from a USB Recovery Drive.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  2.    10 Oct 2016 #2

    Does the USB create a RamDisk eg X:\ when it boots ? it is likely looking there for the BCD File not on C:\ , you may need to change to C:\ 1st if the Path is not set to the system directory.

    You can just set Safe mode up so it is there for 5 secs at each boot so you can use it anytime instead , this works for me....

    Post back if you want instructions for that , and i'll find my notes...

      My ComputerSystem Spec

  3.    10 Oct 2016 #3

    It is on X:, but it is on X:\Windows\System32. Looking around, it looks to me like all of the C: drive. I see x:\Users and x:\Program Files and x:\Program Files (x86), for instance.

    If I type in C:, all that is there is a folder called Recovery that appears to be empty and a file called system that appears to be empty.

    Are you saying the reason it can't find the Store File is because the drive was called X instead of C?

    I am interested in seeing your instructions for the method you are using. Thanks.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  4.    10 Oct 2016 #4

    It looks like your USB is assigning the drive letter X:\ to what is C:\ while in Windows , that is not what I meant about a RAMDISK , which is usually assigned X:\ and includes the Files of whatever you are Booting ie WinPE , I am not familiar with what the System Disk is using to Boot with nowadays as I use Macrium Reflect now for making System Images and use their Rescue Boot Disk for that part of my system protection and backup strategy.

    However I like to have easy access to Safe mode just incase and use BCDEDIT to set that up with a time of 5-8 secs so it doesn't really interfere or slow down anything at Boot. I use instructions found online some time ago and it works with either UEFI systems or Legacy.

    From my notes.....

    Hit WinKey+x and select Command Prompt (Admin),

    type bcdedit /copy {current} /d "Windows 10 Safe Mode" and hit Enter. (or copy and paste too)

    Hit WinKey+x type msconfig, and hit Enter this runs System Configuration App,

    navigate to the Boot tab. Highlight the Windows 10 Safe Mode option you just created above,

    and below tick Safe boot and select Minimal under Boot options and reduce the Timeout value to 7 secs.
    so you won't be held up at boot - the min. is three seconds, max 30 secs.

    Tick Make all boot settings permanent on the RH Side then OK (ignore Dire warning about permanent)

    Repeat the above steps, substituting suitable names in quotes at the Command Prompt, to create shortcuts for

    Safe Mode with Networking (tick Network rather than Minimal in System Configuration) or
    Safe Mode with Command Prompt ( tick Alternate shell).

    Restart and Test Entry into SafeMode

    If when you restart you don't see the Safe Mode Options created above, in typical Win10 Blue, then you may also need to set the Boot menu to display as well......... I Did on a Legacy (non uefi) System....(YMMV) to see the Dos-like Boot Manager Screen, (Black and White ,3-4 lines) on a UEFI system I get the Windows Blue Boot Screen automatically with the choices made/added above. I added all 3 since the number of entries does not effect the Boot time.

    To also add the Display of the Menu at boot with BCDEDIT if needed....

    at a Admin Command Prompt again (Win key + X) type

    bcdedit /set {bootmgr} displaybootmenu yes <enter>

    if you need to turn it off again to reverse the display of the menu (only)

    bcdedit /set {bootmgr} displaybootmenu no <enter>

    Last edited by Kbird; 11 Oct 2016 at 12:53.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  5.    11 Oct 2016 #5

    Thanks Kbird! I was doing this method at one time...seems like it was when I was migrating from Win8 to Win8.1 or UEFI or some combination thereof, that the extra boot entries stopped appearing and I never did figure out how to fix that. I'd much rather do it this way then continue my collection of USB Recovery Drives anyway.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  6.    11 Oct 2016 #6

    Glad to help , but don't be surprised if a Major Win10 Revision resets the BCD and you have to redo it.... might be what happened in the past to you...

      My ComputerSystem Spec


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