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Windows 8 HP. It goes directly into the HP logo. holding shift when restarting does nothing. Key combinations do nothing. How do you recover from this?

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Have you tried the instructions of HP?

  1. Turn off the computer.
  2. Disconnect all connected devices and cables such as Personal Media Drives, USB drives, printers, and faxes. Remove media from internal drives, and remove any recently added internal hardware. Do not disconnect the monitor, keyboard, mouse, or power cord .
  3. Turn on the computer and repeatedly press the F11 key, about once every second, until the Choose your keyboard layout screen appears, then follow these instructions: a) Click to select the keyboard layout. b) The computer restarts. If the recovery partition on the hard disk drive is functioning correctly, the Choose an Option screen appears. Click Troubleshoot .
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If @VMai's answer doesn't work for you (it might, it might not - it's a perfectly good answer if your disk is not hosed) you recover by buying and installing a new hard disk, or having HP do that if a warranty still applies. Then you either reinstall from your backups or learn why you should have backups to restore from.

You say key combinations are not working - does that include the usual F2 (sometimes another Fkey) into BIOS setup? If you go in there and there are no hard disks listed, you can pray that a cable got loose, but you're more likely looking at a very dead hard disk.

If you cannot get into BIOS setup, there are fundamental problems with the computer (good news being this increases the odds you can get things back from your hard disk)

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Have you tried booting into safe mode or last known configuaration? You can tried accessing those by pressing F8 many times at booting state.

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Remove the sata cables from the HDD and CD then try again - If this works either ther cd or hdd is at fault - If still nothing then pop the battery out (CR2032 flat mounted) remove power cable and wait 5 mins. Pop the battery back in and switch on. This should reset the bios and enable you to access the bios.

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