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How to retrieve files from a PC that won’t boot Windows 11

If you have a computer that does not start Windows 11, you can extract files by starting Explorer from the command prompt in the recovery environment (repair function). This page introduces how to extract files from a Windows 11 PC that won’t boot.

 How to retrieve and rescue data from a computer that does not boot Windows 11
It cannot be executed if the computer itself or the disk drive fails. You can extract and rescue files only if the computer is fine and there is a problem booting Windows 11. Also, if encrypted with Bit loocker, a recovery key is required.

1. Boot Windows 11 in recovery environment to extract data

The recovery function has three methods of booting the recovery environment by forced termination of the PC/installation media/recovery drive as follows. Also, if you want to rescue files, even if you don’t have a recovery drive or installation media, you can force quit the system.

If you don’t know how to boot into the recovery environment, please refer to the page below for detailed instructions.
3 Ways to Boot Recovery Environment When Windows 11 Won’t Boot

Start recovery environment from forced shutdown of PC

  • By pressing and holding the power button on the computer to forcibly shut it down twice or more, you can launch the “recovery environment” after the automatic repair starts.
  • If you booted into the recovery environment from a force quit, click on the one that says ” Advanced Options ” to proceed.

Boot recovery environment from installation media

Start the Windows 11 installation media, select the keyboard type and language, and click “Repair your computer” on the next screen to launch the “repair function”.
 Boot into recovery environment from recovery drive
If you have created a recovery drive, you can boot your computer from the recovery drive to launch the repair function.
 This completes booting into the recovery environment. Next, start Explorer.

2. Launch Explorer from Command Prompt
If you want to take out (copy) the file and save (paste) it to a USB memory or an external drive, connect it to your computer first.2-1. Click “Troubleshooting” in “Choose an option”.

If you start the recovery environment from forced termination, the “Advanced options” screen will be displayed, so click “Advanced options”.
 2-2. Click “Command Prompt” to start the command prompt.
Depending on your environment, you may be required to select a user and enter a password.2-3. Type ” notepad ” and press “Enter” on the keyboard> notepad

 4. When Notepad starts, click “File” and then click “Open” to start Explorer.
 Next, use Explorer to extract (copy) files and folders and save (paste) them to another location.

3. Extract and save data from Explorer

3-1. Click “This PC” to display “Devices and Drives”.
 3-2. Click the “Files of type” box and change it to “All files”.
 3-3. Copy the files and folders you want to retrieve. Multiple selections are not allowed.
 3-4. Paste (save) the copied files and folders to another storage location.
By repeating this process, you can take out the necessary files, save them in another location, and use them in the future.3-5. Finally, open the USB memory where you saved (pasted) the extracted (copied) file, check the contents, and click “Cancel”.

3-6. Click the “X” Close button to close Notepad and Command Prompt.  3-7. When you return to the option selection screen, click “Turn off the PC” to finish extracting files.

Extract files from safe mode

File extraction (rescue) may be able to start in safe mode even though Windows 11 does not start normally. If you can boot in safe mode, you can start explorer and extract files normally.

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