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Start The Computer In Safe Mode

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Getting your hands dirty...

Safe Mode is the Windows diagnostics mode. When you start the computer in Safe Mode, only the specific components that are needed to run the operating system are loaded. Safe Mode does not allow some functions, such as connection to the Internet. It also loads a standard video driver at a low resolution; therefore, your programs and the Windows desktop may look different than usual. In addition, the desktop icons may have moved to different locations on the desktop.

All Windows operating systems except Windows 3.1 and Windows NT can be started in Safe Mode.

Windows XP

The easiest way to get into Safe Mode in Windows is to hold down or tap the F8 key when Windows is booting up. When you first turn on your computer, before the Windows logo appears, start tapping the F8 key on your keyboard (about every 2 seconds)... after a few moments you should see a menu with the Safe Mode option. This is the most common and easiest way to get into Safe Mode. Note: this method only works with Windows XP, 98 and ME.

Windows XP includes the System Configuration Utility. If you can start the computer normally into Windows, this is the easiest--and the recommended--way to restart the computer in Safe Mode.

To configure the System Configuration Utility to start the computer in Safe Mode:

1) Close all open programs.

2) Click Start, and then click Run. The Run dialog box will appear.

3) The following dialog box will appear, then click OK.


4) The System Configuration Utility appears, as shown in the following dialog box. Check the "/SAFEBOOT" option, and then click OK.


5) You then see the prompt to restart the computer. Click Restart.

Windows 2000


Windows 98, 98 2nd Edition and ME.


Windows 95






Troubleshooting Windows 95 Using Safe Mode

Windows 2000 Safe-Mode Boot and Recovery Console