Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Windows 8.1 will not boot to user sign-in screen

  1. #1


    Posts : 4
    Windows 8.1

    Windows 8.1 will not boot to user sign-in screen


    Dell 3000 PC
    Windows 8,1 64.bit
    4 GB RAM
    When the computer boots it gets as far as the Windows 8.1 welcome screen but no further. I have tried to use a bootable Windows 8.1 installation disc to troubleshoot the problem. The Refresh option results in the error "The drive where Windows is installed is locked. Unlock the drive and try again". The System Restore option fails to restore an earlier restore point. The Automatic Repair options results in an error message "Automatic Repair couldn't repair your PC".
    I thought I might be able to do a repair install but that is not possible unless the computer is already booted into Windows. I cannot even boot in Safe Mode. I am hoping I do not have to completely install Windows 8.1 as I would need to install all my other application software.
    I would be very grateful for any suggestions to fix this problem. In particular, how do I unlock the Windows drive?

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    have you begun to read these?? remember to read ahead.. don't just do the first thing people say.. read about how others have done it already and what they experienced..

    https://www.google.com/search?q=The+...utf-8&oe=utf-8


    Drive Where Windows is Installed is Locked - Windows - Off-Topic / General Discussion

    https://neosmart.net/wiki/the-drive-...led-is-locked/
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Posts : 4
    Windows 8.1


    Thank you for pointing me to links for more advice on this problem. Unfortunately none of the suggestions worked and I still could not access the hard drive to make any changes that would allow the computer to boot. I decided to start from scratch and reinstall WIndows 8.1 from the installation DVD but received a warning message that this could not be done because the drive was formatted in GPT format. It turned out that the drive was formatted in GPT format to allow the computer to use the computer's UEFI firmware features. This appeared to be the reason I could not access the drive using software tools designed for the NTFS format. Because there was only a 2TB hard drive fitted to the computer (and so did not need more than 4TB capability) I reformatted the drive in NTFS format and did a clean install of WIndows 8.1. This meant I had to reinstall applications such as Microsoft Office. I was able to download my data from Dropbox.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    ok.. but just so you know ..

    and it usually is nice for you to use features like UEFI which I believe should be on a GPT partition.. so unfortunately if you feel like it, you may wanna reinstall using GPT and UEFI haha..

    You probably don't need it if you are being safe with your computer..

    but atleast take the time to read this article which should absolutely clear up anything with that.

    What?s the Difference Between GPT and MBR When Partitioning a Drive?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    Posts : 13
    Windows 10


    Quote Originally Posted by kaysee View Post
    I decided to start from scratch and reinstall WIndows 8.1 from the installation DVD but received a warning message that this could not be done because the drive was formatted in GPT format.
    You need to boot from the Windows 8.x/10 USB/DVD in UEFI mode.

    When you boot from the Windows 8.x/10 USB/DVD in UEFI mode, then Windows setup creates a GPT partitioned disk. When you boot from the Windows 8.x/10 USB/DVD in Legacy BIOS mode, then Windows setup creates a MBR partitioned disk.

    https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/...or=-2147217396

    Boot to UEFI Mode or Legacy BIOS mode

    Select the firmware mode during bootup

    1. Boot the PC. As the firmware starts to run, press the key that opens the boot device menu. For example, press the Esc, F2, F8, F9, F12, or other key to enter the firmware or boot menus.

    2. On the boot device menu, select the command that identifies both the firmware mode and the device.

    Note

    You might see separate commands for the same device. For example, you might see UEFI USB Drive and BIOS USB Drive. Each command uses the same device and media, but boots the PC in a different firmware mode.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


    Posts : 4
    Windows 8.1


    Napkins333 - thank you for explaining the different concepts between MBR and GPT (via the links). Very useful edification on my part.

    Osprey - When I booted from my installation DVD it stated that I could not install the OS on a GPT formatted partition (see my comments above). I had already spent hours trying to overcome the problem using advice on these forums and so I resorted to reformatting the hard drive to NTFS and installing WIndow 8. If I had understood the different configurations better I might have been able to fix the boot problem without resorting to a clean reinstall of Windows 8.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8


    I remember when I was installing windows It was a bit difficult to finally figure out to make sure I was using UEFI and installing that way..

    I think I remember I even had to go into my Bios and reset the "secure" boot settings etc.. then finally I saw the "UEFI USB" and it installed the correct way using GPT and UEFI....

    but seems Kaysee is happy and doesn't care to use that.. so..

    and also when formatting, You have to use a special command in the command prompt window to make it GPT ... Or I just use Rufus ha..

    but you had to use diskpart I think to clean and then set the GPT...

    if this is over your head I can reference more links but otherwise don't worry about it and When you buy your next computer, it will be installed UEFI and GPT no matter what anyway! haha.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #9


    Posts : 4
    Windows 8.1


    I will leave everything as it is (MBR and NTFS) on my computer as this is working for my current system. Many thanks to all who helped me to understand the differences between the old and the new protocols.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  10. #10


    Meanwhile a download website called "Fosshub" just got hacked and a virus was put out to kill MBR boot records..

    ha.. don't mean to scare you but it's just quite odd that happened very recently.. ha.

    and the reason this is funny is because it doesn't affect GPT partitions apparently.. or UEFI .. sheesh..

    but don't worry.. your next computer will be GPT and UEFI automatically anyway..


    Compromised Download Partner | Audacity®
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

Windows 8.1 will not boot to user sign-in screen
Related Threads
How to Fix "User Profile Service service failed the sign-in. User Profile cannot be loaded." Error in Windows 8 and 8.1 This is for when you try to sign in to a user account using a temporary profile, you get the error message below instead of your user account starting. When you click/tap on...
How to Require Users to Sign in with User Name and Password in Windows 8 and 8.1 This tutorial will show you how to require users to enter both a user name and password to sign in to Windows 8 instead of the last user displaying. You must be signed in as an administrator to be able to do...
How to Always Show "All Users" or "Last User" at Sign in to Windows 8 and 8.1 When you have more than one user account on the PC, this tutorial will show you how to always show either all users or only last user that signed out listed in the sign in (log on) screen of Windows 8 and 8.1 after a...
Can't sign in to Standard user account in User Accounts and Family Safety
Hello, I just bought my new acer laptop today, and it came with windows 8.1. Right out of the box, I installed the updates and as soon as that was done, I tried to setup a "standard" account, so I'm not surfing the web with admin privs. The problem is, I can make the accounts but I can't log...
Trying to lock down a tablet running Win 8.1 It's set to auto log in so I don't want the user to be able to sign out. Any ideas how to disable or remove it? THanks Chris
Set Windows 8 to Require Users to Sign in with User Name and Password on Lock Screen This tutorial will show you how to require users to enter both a user name and password to sign in on the lock screen instead of the last user displaying in Windows 8. You must be signed in as an...
Please let me know how to login to IE 10 app in the start screen as a different user?
Eight Forums Android App Eight Forums IOS App Follow us on Facebook