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Frequently asked Questions

1. How do I boot Windows into Safe Mode?

2. How to use the Reach Recovery disk?


1. How do I boot Windows into Safe Mode?

Safe Mode is a diagnostic mode which results in Windows only loading those bits that it absolutely needs to run. That is why it won't run networking, and hence you cannot access the Internet. Some hardware devices like cameras may not work either in Safe Mode.

Windows 7 and before:

If not already shut down, shut down your computer. If this is not possible from within Windows, hold the Power-On/Off button for more than 3 seconds until the computer switches off.

Now identify the F8-key. It is located along the top row of keys on your keyboard. Switch on your computer again, and immediately and repeatedly start pressing the F8 key. It is not enough to just press the F8 key one, press it repeatedly. When successful, you will see a black screen with white letters. Along the top of the screen it will say "Advanced Boot Options".
Using the up and down cursor keys, move the white highlight bar to the top of the menu, so that you have highlighted the entry which says "Safe Mode". Now press the Enter key.

Windows 8:

Boot normally and at the Windows 8 login screen, simply choose restart and hold down the Shift key. You will arrive at the windows with options to troubleshoot your system from which you can select to boot in Safe Mode. Alternatively:

If you're able to boot Windows normally, but still need to enter Safe mode, you can click on the Start button and type msconfig. Launch System Configuration from the list of search results, then select its Boot tab. You can now check a box to enable Safe boot, with various different types of Safe mode available below. Click Ok, then click Restart to boot your computer into Safe mode.

Windows will now boot into Safe Mode. Enter your password at the log-in screen.

The desktop will appear, but it will be showing a black background with rather large looking icons on your desktop. At the same time a window called "Windows Help and Support" will appear. You can close this window by clicking on the red cross in the top right hand corner of that window.

You can now use your computer to back up your work on memory sticks. What you cannot do is go on-line, use the Internet, or open Word documents (due to licensing issues).


2. How to use the Reach Recovery disk?

The Reach Recovery disk allows you to reset your computer to the state it was in when we first delivered it to you. Before you procede make sure:

  • The machine is plugged into the mains and not running off battery
  • The following steps will destroy all data (including all files) on the machine so a backup of anything you wish to keep is necessary before proceeding. Anything you wish saved (pictures, music, documents) should be saved to either memory stick, disc or the cloud
  • You have the time to complete this. Typically this process can take up to an hour and must be left to finish. Failure to do so could leave you with an unbootable machine!
  1. Take your Reach Recovery CD, if you have not yet created one you can create one using the windows burn feature by clicking on "Create Reach Recovery Media" button on the Recovery menu.
  2. Insert your recovery media and restart your computer.
  3. The disc should start spinning shortly after restarting and after a short time you should be presented with a screen identical to the one below.
  4. Click next. It is quite normal for the disc to eject at this point, it may be removed and the disc tray shut again.
  5. Select the partition on the left hand side labelled "Reach Recovery" you may need to expand the "My Computer" icon by clicking on it if it is not viewable immediately. As in the figure below you should notice on the right hand side a backup along with the date it was created. If you cannot find a drive called Reach Recovery you can try opening the drives by clicking on them and looking for a folder called "Reach Recovery" - this is usually the case with laptops such as Toshiba, Asus or HP.
  6. Click next
  7. Select the largest drive for recovery (figure below), this is often labelled, although will vary dependant on your computer make.
  8. Click next
  9. The software should automatically select the correct drive for repair. You can if you wish confirm this (as in figure below) by checking the drive has been selected. Click next.
  10. Ensure that "Primary" is selected and click next.
  11. Select "No Thank You" and click next.
  12. Select "Do Not Replace" and click next.
  13. Select "Do Not Check At Reboot" and click next.
  14. The next screen shows a summary of the operations to be performed; you can review this if needed. When you are ready click finish. This will now begin the process of recovering your computer to the state in which it was originally supplied by Reach Data. This can take some considerable time so prepare for a wait.
  15. Once the operation has been successfully completed you will receive an alert (as in figure below). If there are any CDs/DVDs in the drive please remove them now and click OK now. You can now click finish to automatically reboot your machine.

Note: This action is irreversible and completely destructive and should be only attempted once all other methods of repair have been unsuccessful or if instructed by a member of Reach Data Technical Support. This will only work if the Reach Recovery” is in place and unaltered. This is stored on a recovery partition on the hard drive and normally hidden from access. If the recovery partition or any files in the directory have been touched in any way this will render this process useless and you may be left with an unbootable machine.