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Windows 7: Protecting the PC - Boot Menu

27 Feb 2012   #11

Win 7 Ult + Starter, XP Pro +Home, 2kAS, Linux Mint 8, SuperOS

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by sevenxbmc View Post
@ fafhrd - It crashes sometimes because some of the XBMC plugins are unstable...sometimes they work perfect and then at other times they crash, causing the user to reset the computer manually. This then leads to the "recovery menu" where windows asks what mode we want to boot into...
I would have loved to used linux, but its way too complicated for me as well as time-consuming and i have setup XBMC to run as a SHELL instead of Windows Explorer.
It looks like the following might be worth a try - it says "XBMC Live is the XBMC Media Center software bundled with an embedded operating-system, all pre-packaged for that set-top-box feeling.":

XBMCbuntu - XBMC

It can be run from a CD, as well as being installed to the hard disk or a USB drive. There are many commercial set-top-boxes etc running Linux without exposing any of the embedded Linux OS to the user. Android is getting more popular too.

IMHO, though, if you are crashing, better to solve that rather than have the family messing about with the OS, when windows frustratingly dumps them back in safe mode.

The plugin crashes may be originating from a less than optimum graphics driver - latest is not always best - Guru of 3D: PC Hardware Reviews and tests is a great place to start for downloads and there's a HTPC section on the forum there.

On your original question - To reduce time to display recovery options when needed from the default of 30 seconds, you can go to System Properties (Start Menu, right-click Computer, Properties, Advanced System Settings, Startup and Recovery Settings...,System Startup, Check the box for Time to display recovery options when needed: and reduce the setting from 30 seconds. There's always the chance that you won't be able to boot at all if a bad crash happens, though!

If it's set up and running from a remote, and not crashing, do you need a keyboard connected all the time at all? If you do, another partial solution that springs to mind is to disable the F8 key - try it with an old keyboard if you have one - all you need is a screwdriver, and a small piece of sellotape to cover the contact on the circuit board - some keyboards are easy, others frustratingly hard to reassemble. But they are pretty cheap! Then, when you need to, you can use Msconfig.exe to get the System Configuration to start the next boot in safe mode, under the Boot tab, check Safe boot, Minimal, and there's another Timeout: [30] seconds box to mess with. There's also a checkbox for Make all boot settings permanent, which I would leave alone at present.

Another way to achieve safe mode is to interrupt the normal boot process, by pulling the plug during the time when Windows is loading - I don't know a way around that one.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Feb 2012   #12

Windows 7 Ultimate (32 Bit)

thank fafhrd mate. I already have tried xbmc live. I know how to run it, but then I have to setup apps, plugins etc and that is a daunting task as i hate to learn the commands.

But on your advice, i have now set the boot menu to only show up for 1 second and also disconnected the keyboard. The only reason i wanted a keyboard is so that when i launch a basic internet browser, the keyboard is much easier than a remote.

I believe the kids do exactly that - pull the plug, whilst windows is loading. This then brings them to the safe mode menu. However if the safe mode menu loads for only 1 second, I think its safe to say they won't be able to do much.

Thanks again mate...your a star!
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Protecting the PC - Boot Menu

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