[SOLVED] tomshardware: SYSTEM RESTORE HAS LOCKED ME OUT OF MY DESKTOP!!

Jan 24, 2022
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tomshardware: SYSTEM RESTORE HAS LOCKED ME OUT OF MY DESKTOP!!
My son-in-law works as an IT for a large corporation. Don't know which one. He built me a computer about a year and a half ago and it's worked beautifully. It's a gaming computer with a gaming keyboard and mouse I have NO idea how to utilize or fix it when my cat steps on it and it doesn't light up or type anymore. It is a hit and miss that I do not even know how I get it working again. Like I even 'game'!
I WISH I could tell you the specs but I recently have been locked out of my Windows desktop so I can't bring up system information or anything. I believe it is Windows 10 Pro.

For about a week or so there were no back or forward buttons in Chrome. It was very irritating and inconvenient. No way that I could tell of to take me back to pages I'd already been on in the same tab. I don't know if I should have uninstalled, reinstalled Chrome, but I chose to use system restore.
The restore point was for earlier this month of January 2022. If I had installed an app it was no big deal to lose. In fact, I wondered if it was from an app added to the toolbar (?) so I removed it from Chrome.

Once I did the system restore, I was taken to the Automatic Repair page. I'm using a very old laptop to troubleshoot. I had never known about this new Automatic Repair feature. I read how to use it. But it just keeps looping. I am unable to get into safe mode. I have always been unsure of the F numbers like F8. I know sometimes you have to press another key to make them functional. F8 was not doing anything. I read that in Win 10 they changed it to F4 or just 4 and the same with F5 and F6.
I then read how to take it back to F8. I was able to do that using the command prompt. Still, nothing worked. In fact, most commands did not let me use them successfully. I then read where we usually use things as a standard user. You had to click on run as administrator. All the solutions offered for my situation did not apply as I cannot get onto my desktop or get to the start key to choose run as. I looked up to see if there was a command to run as administrator. The answer I came up with no matter how I phrased it, was NO. I can't run sfc /scannow or chkdsc. Almost everything I tried came back as an error of some kind not allowing me to successfully use the command. I did not think system restore could do this. I am unwilling to reinstall Windows. there must be a way I can get to my desktop. Unfortunately, the computer did not come with a disc and I did not make one or backup anything.

I am a 70-year-old disabled woman who does not remember things very well anymore. I used to get repair discs at a website that allowed me to fix things. This website just goes up to Win XP these days and I've read there is no way to find such a disc unless it was specific to my computer and its components. I have a portable floppy drive. I found before that this was essential to fixing my PC many times in the past. Using the command prompt from the Automatic Repair page Is a Windows shell. It is not a real DOS command prompt. I've never had luck using the shell. Only real Dos. My PC boots up fine and I'm assuming it is in Windows but just not allowing me on my desktop. Changing the safe mode F back to F8 takes you to the old DOS-looking option choices. They are exactly the same choices as the ones changed to F4,5,6. I am unable to get to safe mode and I am totally at a loss of what to do. I don't give up. I'll keep researching until I find a way. I really need some legal info that's on my PC right now, so I'm stressed. ANY help or advice or suggestions would be extremely welcome. Thank you all. P.S. Before I could click submit, the question popped up asking if I remembered to include the ver number for Windows I'm using. I have no clue if it is not Win 10 Pro. The actual ver info is in the computer that I cannot use until this is fixed. Sorry.

mod edit: spacing added
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Colif

Win 11 Master
Moderator
I assume you can't ask your son in law for help?

Cats and keyboards are dangerous, they can press key combos you didn't know existed and I have seen them create havoc like that before.

On the laptop, download the Windows 10 media creation tool and use it to make a win 10 installer on USB (it is the 2nd link on the webpage). Its a handy boot drive and it works regardless of if you have Home or Pro.

floppy drive isn't really any help anymore.

System restore has always been the last choice I would use when trying to fix windows.

is this how you changed Safe mode?
Here is another way to try to get to Safe Mode.

Boot to the Command Prompt of your boot disk (see methods to create below). Enter these BOLD commands and press ENTER after each.

(Note the colon after C with no space; then the spaces which are important - one after T before / & T before { & } before B & Y before L)

C:

BCDEDIT /SET {DEFAULT} BOOTMENUPOLICY LEGACY

EXIT


You are back to the boot screen -> Shutdown the computer.

Boot back up and "immediately" start tapping F8 (That means power button - then F8).

Hopefully that should get you into Safe Mode.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

To reverse that you can use the same steps and type these (again note spaces)

C:

BCDEDIT /SET {DEFAULT} BOOTMENUPOLICY STANDARD


Restart but F8 will not work now.

why are you reluctant to reinstall windows? I can show you a way to copy anything off its drives you want to keep.
  • on screen after languages, choose repair this pc, not install.
  • choose troubleshoot
  • choose advanced
  • choose command prompt
  • type notepad and press enter
  • in notepad, select file>open
  • Use file explorer to copy any files you need to save to USB or another hdd
we could try a reset if you know your user name and password
boot from installer

on screen after languages, choose repair this pc, not install.

choose troubleshoot

choose reset this PC

choose keep files/settings (Files = library folders. Library folders = Documents, pictures, movies, music (the default folders that come with windows). Settings = logins and desktop)

or do a clean install - follow this guide: https://forums.tomshardware.com/faq/how-to-do-a-clean-installation-of-windows-10.3170366/
 
Last edited:

Colif

Win 11 Master
Moderator
I assume you can't ask your son in law for help?

Cats and keyboards are dangerous, they can press key combos you didn't know existed and I have seen them create havoc like that before.

On the laptop, download the Windows 10 media creation tool and use it to make a win 10 installer on USB (it is the 2nd link on the webpage). Its a handy boot drive and it works regardless of if you have Home or Pro.

floppy drive isn't really any help anymore.

System restore has always been the last choice I would use when trying to fix windows.

is this how you changed Safe mode?
Here is another way to try to get to Safe Mode.

Boot to the Command Prompt of your boot disk (see methods to create below). Enter these BOLD commands and press ENTER after each.

(Note the colon after C with no space; then the spaces which are important - one after T before / & T before { & } before B & Y before L)

C:

BCDEDIT /SET {DEFAULT} BOOTMENUPOLICY LEGACY

EXIT


You are back to the boot screen -> Shutdown the computer.

Boot back up and "immediately" start tapping F8 (That means power button - then F8).

Hopefully that should get you into Safe Mode.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

To reverse that you can use the same steps and type these (again note spaces)

C:

BCDEDIT /SET {DEFAULT} BOOTMENUPOLICY STANDARD


Restart but F8 will not work now.

why are you reluctant to reinstall windows? I can show you a way to copy anything off its drives you want to keep.
  • on screen after languages, choose repair this pc, not install.
  • choose troubleshoot
  • choose advanced
  • choose command prompt
  • type notepad and press enter
  • in notepad, select file>open
  • Use file explorer to copy any files you need to save to USB or another hdd
we could try a reset if you know your user name and password
boot from installer

on screen after languages, choose repair this pc, not install.

choose troubleshoot

choose reset this PC

choose keep files/settings (Files = library folders. Library folders = Documents, pictures, movies, music (the default folders that come with windows). Settings = logins and desktop)

or do a clean install - follow this guide: https://forums.tomshardware.com/faq/how-to-do-a-clean-installation-of-windows-10.3170366/
 
Last edited:

BFG-9000

Distinguished
It really sounds like you are logged in as a default or new user rather than your old account. Did you try logging off as the standard user, then logging in under your old account or as Administrator? It's under Sign Out in the start menu when you click on your user name or icon. For that matter is your user name the same as it was?

Or you could right-click on the start button and select Sign Out. If you have no access to the start button at all, the sign out option is also in the big blue menu accessed by good old "Ctrl" + "Alt" + "Delete"

It can really depend on if you normally log in on a local account or a Microsoft account and also really matters how your son originally set it up, perhaps to automatically login with a blank or saved password which you may not know what is...

The automatic repair may also mean that something has actually corrupted your original account, which is why you are in this one.
 
My PC boots up fine and I'm assuming it is in Windows but just not allowing me on my desktop.
Can you show a photo of screens you're encountering?
(make a photo with your phone, upload to imgur.com and post link)

But considering this, you most likely will need onsite help to fix your computer issues.
I am a 70-year-old disabled woman who does not remember things very well anymore.
 
Jul 14, 2021
32
3
45
4
tomshardware: SYSTEM RESTORE HAS LOCKED ME OUT OF MY DESKTOP!!
My son-in-law works as an IT for a large corporation. Don't know which one. He built me a computer about a year and a half ago and it's worked beautifully. It's a gaming computer with a gaming keyboard and mouse I have NO idea how to utilize or fix it when my cat steps on it and it doesn't light up or type anymore. It is a hit and miss that I do not even know how I get it working again. Like I even 'game'!
I WISH I could tell you the specs but I recently have been locked out of my Windows desktop so I can't bring up system information or anything. I believe it is Windows 10 Pro.

For about a week or so there were no back or forward buttons in Chrome. It was very irritating and inconvenient. No way that I could tell of to take me back to pages I'd already been on in the same tab. I don't know if I should have uninstalled, reinstalled Chrome, but I chose to use system restore.
The restore point was for earlier this month of January 2022. If I had installed an app it was no big deal to lose. In fact, I wondered if it was from an app added to the toolbar (?) so I removed it from Chrome.

Once I did the system restore, I was taken to the Automatic Repair page. I'm using a very old laptop to troubleshoot. I had never known about this new Automatic Repair feature. I read how to use it. But it just keeps looping. I am unable to get into safe mode. I have always been unsure of the F numbers like F8. I know sometimes you have to press another key to make them functional. F8 was not doing anything. I read that in Win 10 they changed it to F4 or just 4 and the same with F5 and F6.
I then read how to take it back to F8. I was able to do that using the command prompt. Still, nothing worked. In fact, most commands did not let me use them successfully. I then read where we usually use things as a standard user. You had to click on run as administrator. All the solutions offered for my situation did not apply as I cannot get onto my desktop or get to the start key to choose run as. I looked up to see if there was a command to run as administrator. The answer I came up with no matter how I phrased it, was NO. I can't run sfc /scannow or chkdsc. Almost everything I tried came back as an error of some kind not allowing me to successfully use the command. I did not think system restore could do this. I am unwilling to reinstall Windows. there must be a way I can get to my desktop. Unfortunately, the computer did not come with a disc and I did not make one or backup anything.

I am a 70-year-old disabled woman who does not remember things very well anymore. I used to get repair discs at a website that allowed me to fix things. This website just goes up to Win XP these days and I've read there is no way to find such a disc unless it was specific to my computer and its components. I have a portable floppy drive. I found before that this was essential to fixing my PC many times in the past. Using the command prompt from the Automatic Repair page Is a Windows shell. It is not a real DOS command prompt. I've never had luck using the shell. Only real Dos. My PC boots up fine and I'm assuming it is in Windows but just not allowing me on my desktop. Changing the safe mode F back to F8 takes you to the old DOS-looking option choices. They are exactly the same choices as the ones changed to F4,5,6. I am unable to get to safe mode and I am totally at a loss of what to do. I don't give up. I'll keep researching until I find a way. I really need some legal info that's on my PC right now, so I'm stressed. ANY help or advice or suggestions would be extremely welcome. Thank you all. P.S. Before I could click submit, the question popped up asking if I remembered to include the ver number for Windows I'm using. I have no clue if it is not Win 10 Pro. The actual ver info is in the computer that I cannot use until this is fixed. Sorry.

mod edit: spacing added
I begin as I always do -- by saying that I'm a newbie so take my suggestions with a grain of salt...

It sounds like your major concern right now is the ability to retrieve your legal files, and not so much to salvage the computer. The solution then seems simple -- perhaps too simple so there must be some catch. Just take the drive out and put it into an external drive enclosure (usually costing around $20). Then simply plug the drive into a working computer via USB and retrieve the file. If you have another computer, you're set. If not, try to borrow one from a friend. Or just go your local public library. People plug in USB thumb drives all the time to access data so they should be fine with you plugging in an external hard drive. You will need access to an electrical outlet (if it's a 3.5" drive, but not if it's 2.5" drive or SSD), however, so explain the situation to them. At worst, you can use an adapter to access the drive on your smartphone. I assume you have access to one of these since you were able to post on this forum.

In fact, retrieve all your crucial files. If there are just a few small files, you can email them to yourself. If you gave access to another drive, copy them. A simple solution is a USB thumb drive or even a microSD card if the computer has a microUSB slot. If you have no other drive to copy the files, just sign up for a bunch of cloud drives: Dropbox, Google Drive, Microsoft Onezdrive, etc. They're free if you don't need a lot of space. Orr you can buy a one-month account to a large drive just for this project. Then just upload your files.

Afterwards, do whatever you need to fix Windows on that drive if you want to reinstall it as your primary drive on your computer. Bring it to a computer repair place, if necessary. If not, delete Windows and continue using that drive as an external drive. You will, of course, need to install a new drive with Windows if you want to continue using that computer.
 
Last edited:
Jul 14, 2021
32
3
45
4
tomshardware: SYSTEM RESTORE HAS LOCKED ME OUT OF MY DESKTOP!!
My son-in-law works as an IT for a large corporation. Don't know which one. He built me a computer about a year and a half ago and it's worked beautifully. It's a gaming computer with a gaming keyboard and mouse I have NO idea how to utilize or fix it when my cat steps on it and it doesn't light up or type anymore. It is a hit and miss that I do not even know how I get it working again. Like I even 'game'!
I WISH I could tell you the specs but I recently have been locked out of my Windows desktop so I can't bring up system information or anything. I believe it is Windows 10 Pro.

For about a week or so there were no back or forward buttons in Chrome. It was very irritating and inconvenient. No way that I could tell of to take me back to pages I'd already been on in the same tab. I don't know if I should have uninstalled, reinstalled Chrome, but I chose to use system restore.
The restore point was for earlier this month of January 2022. If I had installed an app it was no big deal to lose. In fact, I wondered if it was from an app added to the toolbar (?) so I removed it from Chrome.

Once I did the system restore, I was taken to the Automatic Repair page. I'm using a very old laptop to troubleshoot. I had never known about this new Automatic Repair feature. I read how to use it. But it just keeps looping. I am unable to get into safe mode. I have always been unsure of the F numbers like F8. I know sometimes you have to press another key to make them functional. F8 was not doing anything. I read that in Win 10 they changed it to F4 or just 4 and the same with F5 and F6.
I then read how to take it back to F8. I was able to do that using the command prompt. Still, nothing worked. In fact, most commands did not let me use them successfully. I then read where we usually use things as a standard user. You had to click on run as administrator. All the solutions offered for my situation did not apply as I cannot get onto my desktop or get to the start key to choose run as. I looked up to see if there was a command to run as administrator. The answer I came up with no matter how I phrased it, was NO. I can't run sfc /scannow or chkdsc. Almost everything I tried came back as an error of some kind not allowing me to successfully use the command. I did not think system restore could do this. I am unwilling to reinstall Windows. there must be a way I can get to my desktop. Unfortunately, the computer did not come with a disc and I did not make one or backup anything.

I am a 70-year-old disabled woman who does not remember things very well anymore. I used to get repair discs at a website that allowed me to fix things. This website just goes up to Win XP these days and I've read there is no way to find such a disc unless it was specific to my computer and its components. I have a portable floppy drive. I found before that this was essential to fixing my PC many times in the past. Using the command prompt from the Automatic Repair page Is a Windows shell. It is not a real DOS command prompt. I've never had luck using the shell. Only real Dos. My PC boots up fine and I'm assuming it is in Windows but just not allowing me on my desktop. Changing the safe mode F back to F8 takes you to the old DOS-looking option choices. They are exactly the same choices as the ones changed to F4,5,6. I am unable to get to safe mode and I am totally at a loss of what to do. I don't give up. I'll keep researching until I find a way. I really need some legal info that's on my PC right now, so I'm stressed. ANY help or advice or suggestions would be extremely welcome. Thank you all. P.S. Before I could click submit, the question popped up asking if I remembered to include the ver number for Windows I'm using. I have no clue if it is not Win 10 Pro. The actual ver info is in the computer that I cannot use until this is fixed. Sorry.

mod edit: spacing added
Here's weird suggestion. Have you tried unplugging the keyboard then plugging it back in? Or replacing the keyboard? How about examining all the keys to make sure none are stuck? This seems to have started after your kitty sat on your keyboard.

I ask because I've had two occasions where a faulty keyboard caused all sorts of problems from the inability to boot up to random errors. Apparently, the keyboard was sending random keypresses to the computer. So check to see if any keys are stuck, or whether the cord was damaged. Or if kitty urinated on it, possibly shorting the circuitry (urine is full of electrolytes, making it more conductive than water). The short is probably temporary although unlike water, dried urine residue can continue to be conductive).
 
Jan 24, 2022
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I did get out an old keyboard that was not USB. I was able to get back on my desktop. In the advanced section, there is a system restore option. I read that you could not undo a restore while in automatic repair. So I took that at face value and did not try. Didn't want to make things worse by trying something I was not supposed to.

Then I read a post by someone who had successfully done this. So I tried it and it worked!

I am on my desktop but my worries are still going. Why did this happen in the first place? If something is wrong I need to find and fix it so this does not happen again. I have no clue as to how.

Since back on my desktop I have created a recovery disk and am looking into the best and most affordable disk cloning software.

I thank you all for all your effort and suggestions. Somehow I just knew I would not have to reinstall Windows 10 to get back to my desktop. I am still confused re this automatic repair. By the way, It was a blue screen. Which said it was a 'stop' code or error. I tried to find out what mine meant and got nowhere on the Microsoft page it sent me to. There were some posts suggesting how to get to recovery. When I tried the shut down the hard way and restarting many times, it only went back to the automatic repair which is in Windows mode. I was trying to get to the recovery that begins in DOS before Windows starts up. I have heard nothing re that and wonder if it still exists. If it does not, I feel that would be a huge deletion of a feature. I could have gotten back to my desktop much sooner if I could have gotten to that and the command prompt in true DOS.

I thank you all for all your effort and for taking the time to help. I still need it! The problem must still be there. I have since discovered the back and forward arrows were removed on purpose. I do not recall why.
 

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