One method of booting command prompt when you don’t have a recovery disk, is to access the Advanced Boot Options features.
To access advanced boot feature, start the computer and press F8 after the bios has finished loading. You’ll want to do it quick because there is a very short amount of time before Windows will attempt to load normally.
Select start in Safe mode with Command Prompt.
One loaded you’ll have access to CMD and be able to trouble shoot or repair your computer from there.
Other important features of Advanced Option are as follows.
- Safe Mode: Starts Windows with minimal drivers and services. You can often pinpoint problems by narrowing the potential sources, and Safe Mode helps identify new applications, drivers, and settings as culprits while giving you a clean slate to work from.
- Safe Mode with Networking: Starts Windows in Safe Mode with network drivers and additional services to access the local network or Internet. Use this feature to provide network connectivity when you need to install software or research problems.
- Safe Mode with Command Prompt: Starts Windows in Safe Mode and finishes at the command prompt instead of the desktop. Use this option if you know how to navigate the command line and are already familiar with command-line applications.
- Enable Boot Logging: Creates a file named nbtlog.txt that lists all drivers invoked during startup. You can use nbtlog.txt as an electronic paper trail for troubleshooting. Service technicians typically use this trail to identify and isolate sources of startup failure that aren’t readily apparent.
- Enable Low-Resolution Video: Starts Windows with minimal resolution settings and refresh rates. Use this option to reset corrupt display settings, diagnose a faulty graphics card, or use a television instead of a computer monitor.
- Last Known Good Configuration (advanced): Returns the system to recent driver and registry configurations. New drivers and software can sometimes cause problems that are easily fixed by returning to a previously functional state.
- Directory Services Restore Mode: Starts Windows domain controller with Active Directory to restore directory services. (Intended for service professionals and IT administrators.)
- Debugging Mode: Boots into an advanced troubleshooting mode with debugging functionality. (Intended for service professionals and IT administrators.)
- Disable Automatic Restart on System Failure: Prevents Windows from automatically restarting upon failure, which can sometimes cause an interminable loop (until you break the cycle manually).
- Disable Driver Signature Enforcement: Loads installed software that has invalid or missing signatures.
- Start Windows Normally: Boots straight through to the logon screen or user desktop.