Windows 10 boot failure

Hi folks. I have a windows 10 laptop that fails to boot. I get a blue screen with a QR code saying boot_failure. I have run all sorts of repairs and tried to get into safe mode with no luck. Everything just ends up back at the trouble shooting screen. I am able to get to the command line. The files are there and I can view them. I want to recover all of the personal files on the computer under User and Desktop. What would be best to do? Get a windows 10 USB repair disk and try that? Remove the drive from the laptop, plug it into a PC and copy all the files over? I can connect the computer to my network but I assume that at the command line I have no networking connectivity. I presume that prevents me from just copying files from the C drive.

This, or use a live USB.

You could do windows to go if you have it, but using a live linux distro would probably be better. Share a folder on another computer on the network, then connect to that share from the live usb, then mount the internal laptop drive, then copy files.

1 Like

1 - Remove the laptop drive and plug it into a PC. Note that the 2.5" laptop drives have a different connector format than 3.5" inch drives, so you’ll need to purchase a special cable.

2 - The Windows install disk contains a boot sector repair utility, but I would be inclined to ensure that you have copies of any critical data files backed up first, before going any further.

3 - If you have access to another working machine, you can download a Linux distribution and install it to a USB drive. Unlike Windows, most Linux versions offer a Live mode, meaning, that Linux will boot off of a CD, DVD, or USB drive as a fully operational operating system, so that you can evaluate it, before deciding if you wish to install it to your hard disk. These Live systems can access your NTFS Windows partitions, so that you can safely copy your data to a second USB drive.

Linux Mint, for example, has good documentation on how to download and install Mint to a USB drive:
BTW - Many folks like the Cinnamon version of Mint, because it has a Windows-ish layout, which should feel somewhat familiar.

When you start the Mint “file manager” it will display the “Documents, Pictures, Music, etc.” folders on the USB boot medium, itself. IIRC, you’ll need to look below these folders to find “Other Locations,” or similar verbiage to mount and access the files on your Windows drive.

Perfect. Thanks so much.

Glad to help and let us know if you need help making or using a live USB.

Thanks so much. I used my Ubuntu laptop to make the live USB. That was super easy. I am already copying to my network with Ubuntu on the old laptop.


There is no such thing as a “laptop drive”. The connectors commonly used are PATA, SATA, mSATA, SAS, U.2 (SFF-8639) and M.2
As most notebooks have internal SATA-II or SATA-III or M.2 connectors, it is super easy to connect the drives to any motherboard.