How to open Command Prompt at boot using the Shift F10 keyboard shortcut
In our opinion, this is the best method of opening Command Prompt at boot, and that’s why we’re showing it first. It can be done immediately after BIOS POST, and it works no matter what Windows version you have installed on your PC. It even works if you don’t have Windows or any other operating system installed on your computer. Here’s what you need to do:
First, use a Windows installation media (DVD, USB stick, etc.) to boot your computer or device. It doesn’t matter whether the installation media is for Windows 10, Windows 7, or Windows 8.1: any of them works.
When the Windows setup wizard shows up, simultaneously press the Shift F10 keys on your keyboard. This keyboard shortcut opens Command Prompt before boot.
NOTE: If you don’t already have a Windows setup DVD or USB stick at hand, read these tutorials to learn how to create your own Windows setup drive: Download ISO files with Windows 10 and Office (all versions) and How to use the Windows USB/DVD Download Tool.
How to boot to Command Prompt using a Windows 10 (or 8.1) installation USB memory stick or DVD
This method to open Command Prompt “from BIOS” is similar to the previous one, except it uses more clicks than keys. 🙂
Start your computer and, from the BIOS boot menu, choose the drive where you have the Windows 10 (or 8.1) Setup files as the boot device. Wait for the Windows Setup to load, and choose the language and keyboard that you want to use. Then, press Next.
How to start Command Prompt when Windows 10 (or 8.1) doesn’t boot, using a USB repair drive
If you have a Windows 10 or Windows 8.1 recovery drive, you can use it to start the Command Prompt. Insert the drive, then start your computer and use the BIOS boot menu to select the removable repair drive as the boot device. When the recovery drive loads, it first asks you to choose the keyboard layout. Select the one that you want to use.
Then, you can choose one of several options. Select Troubleshoot.
In the list of Advanced options, click or tap on Command Prompt.
The Command Prompt is now loaded, and you can use it.
How to load Command Prompt “at startup” using a Windows 7 setup CD/DVD or USB memory stick
If Windows 7 is not able to load correctly, you can boot using an installation disc. Start your computer and configure it to boot from the DVD drive or the USB memory stick where you have the Windows 7 setup files. Wait for the Windows 7 setup wizard to show up, choose the language that you want to use, and click Next.
Then, click “Repair your computer.”
How to get to Command Prompt “from BIOS” using a Windows 7 repair disc
If Windows 7 is not able to load correctly, you can boot using a recovery disc that you can create on a working Windows 7 computer. Here’s a tutorial on how to create his drive: What is a system repair disc and how to create one in Windows.
Start your computer and, in the BIOS boot menu, choose the system repair drive as the boot device. After the repair disc is loaded, select the desired language for the keyboard, click Next, and wait for the repair disc to scan the operating systems available on your computer. Select Windows 7 and click Next.
How do you run cmd.exe under the local system account?
I’m currently running Vista and I would like to manually complete the same operations as my Windows Service. Since the Windows Service is running under the Local System Account, I would like to emulate this same behavior. Basically, I would like to run CMD.EXE under the Local System Account.
I found information online which suggests lauching the CMD.exe using the DOS Task Scheduler AT command, but I received a Vista warning that “due to security enhancements, this task will run at the time excepted but not interactively.” Here’s a sample command:
AT 12:00 /interactive cmd.exe
Another solution suggested creating a secondary Windows Service via the Service Control (sc.exe) which merely launches CMD.exe.
C:sc create RunCMDAsLSA binpath= "cmd" type=own type=interact C:sc start RunCMDAsLSA
In this case the service fails to start and results it the following error message:
FAILED 1053: The service did not respond to the start or control request in a timely fashion.
The third suggestion was to launch CMD.exe via a Scheduled Task. Though you may run scheduled tasks under various accounts, I don’t believe the Local System Account is one of them.
I’ve tried using the Runas as well, but think I’m running into the same restriction as found when running a scheduled task.
Thus far, each of my attempts have ended in failure. Any suggestions?
How to start an application without waiting in a batch file?
I’m making a guess here, but your
start invocation probably looks like this:
start "FooBarPath with spaces in itprogram.exe"
This will open a new console window, using “FooBarPath with spaces in itprogram.exe” as its title.
If you use
start with something that is (or needs to be) surrounded by quotes, you need to put empty quotes as the first argument:
start "" "FooBarPath with spaces in itprogram.exe"
This is because
start interprets the first quoted argument it finds as the window title for a new console window.
I’ve managed to load command prompt at startup. what’s next?
After you’ve managed to load the Command Prompt at startup, you can use advanced tools such as diskpart or bootrec to repair your system’s partitions, boot records, write a new boot sector (if needed), or rebuild the Boot Configuration Data.
If these are the things you must do to get your PC up and running again, these tutorials might interest you: How to use diskpart, chkdsk, defrag, and other disk-related commands and How to use the Command Prompt to fix issues with your PC’s boot records.
Why did you want to boot to command prompt?
Hopefully, this guide was useful to you when you’ve encountered issues with your Windows computers and devices. If you know other ways to start the Command Prompt when Windows refuses to load correctly, don’t hesitate to share them using the comments below.