Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Windows 8 on older PC...need to boot into Safe Mode

  1. #1


    Posts : 2
    Windows 8

    Windows 8 on older PC...need to boot into Safe Mode


    Hello everyone, my first post here.

    To make a long story short, a USB video adapter that I was using with Windows 7 stopped working with Win 8, because the drivers are no longer compatible with the latest drivers for my older Nvidia graphics card (7900GS). So the manufacturer suggests on their website to try installing an older Nvidia driver thats still compatible with Win 8.

    To make a long story short, the driver installed, the screen went black and stayed black from that point on. Panicked, I powered off the PC and thinking I could just get into Safe Mode and uninstall the driver, rebooted. Lo and behold I get a Boot Disk Failure error. So I then used the Win 8 install DVD to get to repair options, but the Automatic Repair does nothing whatsoever. I then started reading up and tried the usual bootrec commands to try and fix the issue but to no avail. Finally I booted Hiren's Boot CD,, and used the first Boot From Hard Drive option and the PC boots, but the screen stays black. The crazy thing is, the mouse cursor appears but the screen is black.

    So I know Windows is working but for the video driver.

    The solution is obvious - get to Safe Mode and uninstall the driver to get windows back to the default microsoft drivers.

    Unfortunately, not so simple to get to Safe Mode as I am running Win 8 on an old Abit IP-35pro board without any of the UEFI goodies that newer boards have. I have tried the tutorials here but nothing seems to work.

    When I try any of the bcdedit commands from the command prompt, I get the following:

    "The boot configuration data store could not be opened. The system cannot find the specified file."

    At this point I think I'm going to have to bite the bullet and just re-install Windows but I really do not want to have to do that at all. That's why I'm hoping someone here will be able to offer some suggestions or pointers.

    I did read on one site that one person had run into this issue and what he did was to start the install DVD, and elect to install Windows, as opposed to going to the repair options, ignored the message about the existing Windows installation, then once the files were copied to the hard drive, canceled the install at the first prompt after files are copied and then went back into the repair options off the install DVD and restored from a system restore point.

    Would this even work?

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    Posts : 2,156
    Win7 Ult on DIY; Win8 Pro on MBP/Parallels; Win7 Ult on MBP/Boot Camp; Win7 Ult/Win8 Pro on HP


    Start to the install DVD; see if you can see system restore points. Try system restore to before you installed the new driver if you can.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Posts : 474
    Win 8 (64) : Win 7 (64) : Vista (64) : Android JB 4.2 : iOS 6


    Just some clarification, I got lost. Do you have a black screen when your monitor is connected to the USB video adapter?
    Last edited by fourthofjuly; 29 Apr 2013 at 18:00.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    Posts : 2
    Windows 8


    Quote Originally Posted by fourthofjuly View Post
    Just some clarification, I got lost. Do you have a black screen with you monitor connected to the USB video adapter?
    Yes. The monitor is connected. The PC boots up. I can see the cursor and move it around with the mouse. However the rest of the screen is black.

    This happened right after I installed the Nvidia driver.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    Posts : 474
    Win 8 (64) : Win 7 (64) : Vista (64) : Android JB 4.2 : iOS 6


    Your USB video adapter is not being supported by Win 8, so why don't you connect your monitor directly to your onboard display card while you are trying to fix your problem of uninstalling a driver?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    Sloe Deth, Californicatia
    Posts : 3,908
    Windows 8 Pro with Media Center/Windows 7


    Quote Originally Posted by Harry Ohm View Post
    Hello everyone, my first post here.

    ...Lo and behold I get a Boot Disk Failure error.
    If this happens, don't let Windows 8 try to repair it, you need to use GWscan or similar utility that scans the entire drive. This has happened all too often on my machine, and it always means I have read element failure.

    I don't know if this will be your case, but before you let Windows 8 do any Automatic Repair, you should do a full surface scan of the drive before anything else. Then let Windows 8 perform any Auto Repair it wants to do.

    Also what 4thofjuly says is viable as well, make sure you plug in a monitor that does not need any special drivers. Maybe the USB port is detecting that hardware as if it were a hard drive and it is interfering with the mounted drives.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


    Maryland USA
    Posts : 758
    Windows 8 & Windows 7 Dual Boot


    try starting the computer in VGA mode from the safe mode menu. then uninstall drivers, then reboot..
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

Windows 8 on older PC...need to boot into Safe Mode
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