[SOLVED] How to get into Windows 10 safe mode without a display signal?

vortexium

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Dec 9, 2017
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I've been using a laptop connected to an external monitor via HDMI as my primary computer for the longest time. The laptop's screen does not work and now there is no signal being sent to the external display. Here is what has happened to get me to this point:
  1. The laptop is still occasionally using the integrated GPU for games, despite setting those games to run on the high performance GPU in Windows and despite the use of an external monitor (no clue why). I tried to fix this by disabling the integrated GPU in device manager. The screen went blank so I turned off the computer.
  2. The laptop now doesn't show anything on either the external monitor or the broken built-in screen (obviously) when turned on. I took it apart and unplugged the built-in screen, thinking that that would force it to display onto the external monitor. It didn't work and as a side effect my peripherals no longer light up when turning it on, though the laptop keyboard does.
  3. What I feel like is going on right now is that when the computer is turned on, it gets through the bios sequence (which I can't see because it is being displayed on the broken screen). It then starts to boot into Windows, when it realises that I've disabled the integrated GPU and so it doesn't send a display signal to the external monitor.
From what I've read booting into safe mode will bypass the fact that the iGPU is disabled and will let me get into Windows and re-enable it. The problem is I can't find a way to get into safe mode without being able to see what is going on. I've tried the F8/Shift+F8 method and nothing happens (doesn't work on windows 10). Every other method of getting into safe mode requires navigating a menu which I can't do without a display output. I am not willing to reinstall Windows until i've exhausted every solution.

The laptop is a Lenovo Y50-70 Touch with an i7 4720hq and GTX 960m. It is running off of a single hard drive and no SSD. It is on the latest version of Windows 10.
 

Lutfij

Titan
Moderator
You could just remove the CMOS battery from the laptop and then replace it after 30 minutes and see if that helps but I'm fairly certain you're going to have to reinstall the OS. I could advise on you using a screw driver on the magnetic latch/switch to enable the external panel during boot up but that's of no use when you've forcefully told the OS to not recognize the GPU(iGPU or discrete).
 

Colif

Win 11 Master
Moderator
The problem is I can't find a way to get into safe mode without being able to see what is going on.
Yep, that sure is a barrier

I mean, I know how to get into safe mode but without a screen? one wrong move is all it takes to mess up the order

you can set F8 to get you into safe mode in win 10 but it really helps to see where you going to enter it. Needs to be set up in cmd before it will work though.

My thinking is you need to get a store to look at it. Need someone with spare screen maybe or a way to get past that.
 

Lutfij

Titan
Moderator
You could just remove the CMOS battery from the laptop and then replace it after 30 minutes and see if that helps but I'm fairly certain you're going to have to reinstall the OS. I could advise on you using a screw driver on the magnetic latch/switch to enable the external panel during boot up but that's of no use when you've forcefully told the OS to not recognize the GPU(iGPU or discrete).
 

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