Message before WIN start-up; and why bother with PW? plus mute function key stays lit (HP hardware


Well-Known Member
Hi all:
I recently had to do a clean install on my PC - 3rd time in as many months. I had a friend reinstall windows and he put the ultimate (?) on instead of the home premium.

1) Now when I start up I get a dos window that says this:

choose operating system of press tab:

Windows 7 (highlighted)
Ramdisk options [EMS enabled]

to specify advanced options for this choice press f8.

this is identified as Tools: Windows Memory Diagnostics

Any way to get rid of this annoyance?

2) Why bother with passwords for windows? When you reformat, you have the option of backing up files . . . nice option if the PC crashed (mine wouldn't recognize PW and locked me out. HP said there was no work-around). But . . . if someone stole my laptop or wanted to get in for some reason, all they'd have to do is a system restore and wa la! access to all my files, sensitive or otherwise. Is there some way to further protect my files, particularly those which are in fact sensitive?

and finally,
3) this is probably a hardware issue with my PC. I don't think I'll ever purchase another HP product again. I have had to call them 5 times since I bought this in October (8 months). Usually they are very helpful, but this is ridiculous having to fix issues so often and this last time, the tech was downright condescending. :angered: Anyway . . . since this last restore, my mute function key stays lit whether the volume is muted or not. Not a big deal -- I certainly won't have the PC replaced or repaired because of it . . . but it just shouldn't be -- like the engine hot light in your car that means nothing . . . which usually doesn't come on when the car is only 8 mos. old. But I'll tell you, I'm put out enough with HP right now that I have considered ditching the product.

Well, sorry about the length of this. Venting. Hope someone can help me with at least the start-up message. Thanks very much.


Essential Member
Microsoft Community Contributor

Download EasyBCD and run it.
it will let you set your computer to boot to Windows without the ram disk option.

The recovery partition is probably not of any use to you any more because you have changed versions of Windows and could be removed but only after it is removed from boot options.

EasyBCD - Free software downloads and software reviews - CNET

I've never used a password, but I do protect files with personal data, like credit card numbers, passwords for my banks etc.

One way to do this it to use "Magic Folders" a program that makes protected folders completely invisible.

To anyone browsing through your computer they don't even appear, if you don't know the secret you can't see them or get to them.

The program can also encrypt the files so they can only be opened with a password.

You can check it out here...

PC Magic Software - Product Downloads

I've used this program for more then ten years.

As for the mute function key the only thing I can suggest is to reinstall the keyboard drivers or update them.
I don't have any idea whether this will help or not.


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Senior Member
some pointers

1) if you have a windows password, this can be removed VERY EASILY, if your account is locked out due to incorrect login attemps,this can be unlocked very easily even if you set the password to 50 letters long, the process can still be worked around.
2) if a file is on your pc., hidden, then it can be found as the data is still on the hard drive just merley covered up,
.IF ITS TOO IMPORTANT DONT PUT IT ON A PC..... the ability to get around such information may differ from Program to program so please use highly recommended software to make sure you have the best protection,


Well-Known Member
Thanks Mike, I appreciate your being on hand. I see your replies often. I'll give the EasyBCD program a shot. Would you explain why I even have this partition and why it's in my boot options? it's a bit beyond my understanding but I'm curious. Also, I appreciate it that you are not condescending (I wonder why that bugs me so much when people are ... ha ha).

I'm not really concerned about a casual visitor on my PC, but I do have one file I'd like to keep confidential and keep on the computer. Currently I have just given it an innocuous file name but I think I'll look into the magic folders. Getting a bit paranoid.

The PW thing was weird. I had none for a long time then decided to do one due to some ID issues (eg: someone got my amazon acct. info, tho they didn't use my credit card ... that first time they used a card that was not mine, then I had the acct closed b4 there could b a 2nd time). The next time I booted up I got the message, even before the blank PW box, that I had entered an incorrect password. No matter what I entered it just gave me the big red x, and I know I didn't forget the PW.

So Kaos, what is the work around? Something like this happens again, I really would like to skip the day'd worth of fixing and reinstalling, etc. Oh, and I do have highly recommended software for protection, but thanks.

Appreciatively, Clare


Extraordinary Member
Another way to remove extra boot options is through msconfig.

To launch msconfig:
  • Click on the Start button.
  • In the Search box, type msconfig and Enter.
  • When in msconfig select the Boot tab.
  • Select the boot entry you want to delete.
  • Click the Delete button and then click OK.
  • Check the Make all boot settings permanent box and then click OK.
  • Click Yes to confirm on the new dialog that opens.
  • In the next dialog, click on Restart.

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Essential Member
Microsoft Community Contributor
Hi Ibclare

The extra partition was put there by HP as a means of restoring your computer to it's original configuration if your computer crashed beyond repair.

If that happened you could hit F11 (I think) and boot into the recovery partition and restore your computer.
They do this to save the cost of giving you a real Windows disk.

Since you upgraded to a different version of Windows it will not be much help.
If you use it, it will restore back to Windows Home Premium.

Why it is showing up now as an option without hitting F11, is probably because when you reinstalled Windows the installer saw it as an additional operating system on your computer and set your system up as dual boot, just as it would if you had, had Windows XP installed on another partition.

I never noticed that you could change the boot menu from msconfig as Elmer points out.
I just looked and he's right, that sounds like an easy way to do it.

You learn something new everyday.


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Well-Known Member
Uhhh, tanx Elmuh! Only thing b4 I do that: my choices r: win7 (c:windows):current OS; Default OS or Windows Setup (Windows).
OK, I feel like an idiot asking since the answer appears obvious, but I'm just not savvy enuf -- only made it abt 3 weeks into C++ before I got tangled up in wrong turns. I appreciate your advice, all of you. Cheers, Careful Clare


Extraordinary Member
Uhhh, tanx Elmuh! Only thing b4 I do that: my choices r: win7 (c:windows):current OS; Default OS or Windows Setup (Windows).
OK, I feel like an idiot asking since the answer appears obvious, but I'm just not savvy enuf -- only made it abt 3 weeks into C++ before I got tangled up in wrong turns. I appreciate your advice, all of you. Cheers, Careful Clare
Windows 7 (C:Windows): Current OS; Default OS KEEP

Windows Setup (Windows) REMOVE

Hope that helps!


Well-Known Member
Elmer: duh, yeah. I think that's clear :-}
Mike, thanks for the explanation. I've used the built in system restore 3 times now. And yeah, no disks... for anything!

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