BSoD - Critical Process Died | Cannot boot into safemode

Philip Goudeau 6 Reputation points

Okay so the backstory,

My dad's computer blue screened and ive been trying to help get it running again because there are some important files that he doesn't want to lose. So im trying to not wipe the drive and do a clean windows install except as a last ditch effort. Im not the most tech savy person, but Ive built a couple of machines and can stumble my way through some BIOS menus so I wanted to at least try to help.

When it boots through the default drives it gets stuck in the blue screen loop with the error

:( Critical Process Died

I got a Windows 10 recovery USB running to try and access the recovery/repair options through it.

I tried to uninstall the most recent updates and system updates and this failed.
I tried to use the system restore, and there were no available restore points we could jump back to.
All of the available troubleshooting options either retured the computer to the bsod loop, or flat out failed.

Maybe I can get it to boot in safemode through command prompt

I found a helpful looking command:

c:\> bcdedit /set (default) safeboot minimal

But it returned

An error occured while attempting to reference the specified entry.
The system cannot find the file specified.

and now im not really sure what to try next because im about at the limit of what I know how to do when it comes to these things.

The machine is one of those HP all in ones so this severly limits what options I have available as far as hardware swap outs goes.
It has an intel i3 and its a 64bit system.
And as far as I know its up to date with the latest updates and everything If that information helps with anything.

Windows 10
Windows 10
A Microsoft operating system that runs on personal computers and tablets.
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  1. Molly Lu 591 Reputation points

    Hi @Philip Goudeau ,

    Welcome to Microsoft Q&A.

    I'd suggest 2 ways of replacing system hive to fix the no boot issue.

    Way 1 : You can try boot into Last Known Good Configuration and then load hive.

    1. Force the machine to reboot --> keep pressing F8 --> into Advanced Boot Options --> select Last Known Good Configuration.
    2. Run regedit --> must click on the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE first , and then click file --> load Hive
    3. The system hive is in system driver (as C:\ or D:\ in WinPE or WinRE), the file is windows\system32\config\system
      give the hive file a name as you like when load the hive
    4. Restart to test if it boots up normally

    Way 2 : You can replace the registry HIVE file in WinPE / WinRE using command prompt

    1. Boot from repair mode (or with WINPE) . Open CMD
    2. Go to \windows\system32\config (maybe C:\ or D:)
    3. Backup the current system/software:
      Ren system system_backup
      Ren Software Software_backup
    4. Replace the system / software hive by:
      Copy C:\windows\system32\config\regback\software C:\windows\system32\config\software
      Copy C:\windows\system32\config\regback\system C:\windows\system32\config\system
    5. Restart the server.

    Best regards,


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  2. Docs 15,071 Reputation points

    This thread is approximately 6 months old.

    What's happened since September 2020?

    Steps can be made to:

    a) test the drive and other hardware components (likely a problematic drive)
    b) backup important files
    c) replace the drive

    Please perform the following steps:

    1) Find 2 or 3 flash drives that you can format (> or = 8 GB)

    2) Make tools that can be used to recover important files, test the drives, and troubleshoot

    3) On a working computer create:

    a) a new bootable windows 10 iso 20H2:
    Download Windows 10 ISO File
    Create Bootable USB Flash Drive to Install Windows 10

    b) bootable Ubuntu flash drive:
    Create a bootable USB stick on Windows | Ubuntu tutorials

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