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Following a bad graphics driver update leaving my screen completely black at boot I had a huge amount of trouble getting into Safe Mode to roll back the driver.

First off the problem is that F8 doesn't work any more to get into the Boot Options screen at startup. Sources on the internet suggest Shift+F8 but this doesn't appear to work for Sony Vaios.

If you do manage to get to the W8 Recovery screen, going to Troubleshoot > Advanced Options as suggested by How to Geek doesn't have the Windows Startup Options option.

I post my answer below to save anyone else who has this problem a few hours of headache.

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Getting to the Recovery screen

Sony Vaios appear to not allow you to use Shift+F8 to get to Recovery Screen.

In order to do this, turn off your laptop and press the purple ASSIST button. This will take you into the Recovery screen. Note that you do not have to press the power on button.

Booting into safe mode

Because the Windows Startup Settings menu option is missing, you will have to do the following to get into Safe Mode:

  1. From recovery, go Troubleshoot > Advanced Options > Command Prompt
  2. Enter the following bcdedit /set {default} safeboot network hit Enter
  3. Type exit and hit Enter to exit Command Prompt
  4. Click continue, your comptuer will now boot into safe mode

Getting to device manager

You can't get to system settings by searching in W8 Start mode - instead you need to do

  1. Start
  2. Type run, hit Enter
  3. In the Run box, type mmc devmgmt.msc and hit Enter

Getting out of Safe Mode

Follow steps 1-4 but instead of 2, run the command bcdedit /deletevalue {default} safeboot

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