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HP ENVY LAPTOP Administrator Password followed by blinking dash-Mark on screen

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When turning on computer, a beep sound followed by “Administrative Password” appears.  I’m used to seeing this but today when putting in the password, a blank screen appears with a single blinking dash mark in the top left corner.  Tapping ESC brings up some options but “continuing startup” brings me back to the blinking dash mark. 

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@lucasr38 

That blinking cursor means that Windows has become corrupted to the degree that the boot loader code can not launch it anymore.

 

This issue is often due to a failing drive. So, let's check that first, because if it is failing, it would need to be replaced and there is no point then in doing anything else until we confirm that.

If your PC is new enough to support UEFI, you can use these steps to test the hard drive: http://support.hp.com/us-en/document/c00439024

If not, to check the drive you have to follow these steps:
1) Press Esc key repeatedly, several times a second, while rebooting the laptop. Do NOT hold the key down, just press it over and over.
2) Eventually, you will see an HP Startup Menu
3) Press the Function key for testing the hard drive (usually F2) and let it run.
If the drive checks out OK, then report that and I can provide you options for reinstalling Windows on your PC.

***If my post helped, click the White thumbs-up symbol to say thanks***

***Please mark Accept As Solution if my post solved your problem***

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@WAWood
I ran an “Extensive” hardware diagnostic from the F2 screen. 


Results

SMART Check : PASSED

Long DST : PASSED

 

Any additional steps are appreciated!

THANKS

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@lucasr38 

OK, since the drive seems to be working, then you need to consider reinstalling Windows to that drive to get the PC working again.

 

If you're faced with reinstalling Windows 10 onto your PC, there are several options, not all of which necessarily will be available to you:
- Factory reset using internal HP image
- Factory reset using external HP image you make
- Factory reset using external HP image you buy
- Windows reinstall using media you make

Each of these is discussed in some detail below ...

---------- Factory reset using internal HP image ----------
HP preloads most PCs with a compressed Windows Image that can be used to completely restore the PC to its original condition. This image is contained in the Recovery partition, and if it is intact, it will generally work well.

To do this, you press the Esc key repeatedly while rebooting and when the HP Startup Menu appears, you select the option to do the reset -- usually F11. This will take a couple of hours or more to complete and when done, your PC will start over with initial setup screens. That means that EVERYTHING previously on your PC will have been erased: accounts, settings, personal data, applications, drivers.

NOTE that the disk drive has to be in excellent condition or this will fail. So, BEFORE you do this, instead of pressing F11 as above, press F2 to run diagnostics. If the disk test passes, you should be able to run the reset.

---------- Factory reset using external HP image you make ----------
HP provides a Cloud Recovery tool that you can use, together with a 32GB USB stick, to create your on HP reset media.

Here is the link: https://support.hp.com/us-en/document/c06162205

This works the same as the factory reset described above.

---------- Factory reset using external HP image you buy ----------
For those PCs not supported by the Cloud Recovery, in some cases, HP offers Recover Media for sale. This can not be downloaded; instead, it must be ordered from HP.

HP Recovery Media is a set of DVDs and a CD, or USB stick, that will erase the hard drive (removing all data, settings, and applications, reinstall the original OS, drivers, and some HP Utilities.

In some cases, you may be able to order a USB stick instead of disks.

You can look online for Recovery Media starting with the linked paged: http://support.hp.com/us-en/drivers

Once there, input your Product name or number. On your Software and Drivers Download page, select your Operating System and and Version. Click &quot;Update&quot;.<br><br>If HP Recovery Media is available for your machine, down near the bottom of the page, you will see an entry for Order Recovery Media-CD/DVD/USB. Click the &quot;+&quot; symbol to expand that entry and click on Order Media for details.

Or, if you prefer, you can do the same by contacting HP Customer Support.

HP contact info: https://support.hp.com/us-en/contact-hp?openCLC=true

If HP no longer carries the media you need, another site you should check for HP Recovery Media is: http://www.computersurgeons.com/

These work the same as the factory reset described above.

---------- Windows reinstall using media you make ----------
If there is no HP recovery media and Cloud Recovery is not an option, then your only option is to creating your own media using the Microsoft Media Creation Tool (MCT).

Use this link to download and create that media: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows10

You may see the option to download an ISO file or create media; choose the option to create media. This will take a while because it has to download over 4GB of data and then has to format and create installation media from those files.

Insert that media into your PC, boot from it, and run through the installation. When you get the window asking for a product key, look down near the bottom of the window for the link you can click to skip that step.

When done (the PC will restart several times), you boot into Windows and you get back online, it will contact the MS activation servers and automatically reactivate Win10.

 

***If my post helped, click the White thumbs-up symbol to say thanks***

***Please mark Accept As Solution if my post solved your problem***

I am a volunteer and I do not work for, nor represent, HP
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