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How To Access Command Prompt Without Booting To The Desktop On Windows 10

When something goes wrong with Windows, and we’re not talking the routine problems that it has but something where an essential file is corrupted, you often can’t fix it from the desktop. The fix often lies by fixing files from the Command Prompt, or by running a few checks to find what’s wrong. In any case, you need to access Command Prompt before you get to your desktop, if you ever get there.

Access Command Prompt

There are two cases in which you might need to access the Command Prompt; when you have Windows 10 installed, and when you have no OS installed. The process for the two is slightly different.

Windows 10 Installed

If you have Windows 10 installed, you can access Command Prompt from the advanced Startup Options. There are three routes you can take.

If you can get to the desktop, and open the Settings app, go to the Update & Security group of settings, and go to the Recovery tab, and under Advanced Startup, click Restart now. Go to Troubleshoot>Advanced options and click the Command Prompt option.

The other option is to boot directly to the Advanced Startup options screen. To do, tap F11 the second you turn your computer on, and it will take you to the Advanced Startup screen where you can again select Command Prompt.

The last alternative is to hold down the Shift key when you restart Windows 10 from the desktop. It again takes you to the Advanced Startup screen, where you click Command Prompt.

No OS Installed

If you don’t have an OS installed, you need a USB stick with Windows 10 on it. It’s not hard to get one but you will need access to a working computer to make it.

Connect it to your PC, and turn it on. Make sure that the PC boots from the USB drive. You can check and change the boot order from BIOS. Once you boot to the Install screen for Windows 10, you will see a Repair option. Click it.

The Repair option takes you to the same Advanced Startup options screen that you get and the Command Prompt option is where it should be.

From Command Prompt, you will have the usual utilities it has to offer at your disposal. For example, you can use Diskpart to format and partition your drives. If you’re trying to salvage files from the hard drive, you can use the Command Prompt to do so.

1 Comment

  1. None of those things work. It won’t go to Command Prompt without a password. Won’t take the pincode. Won’t reset the computer either. Stuck in a loop of diagnostics

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