Starting a computer in Safe Mode

Safe mode is Windows with the bare minimum features. It is used for troubleshooting or to prevent viruses or troublesome programs starting with the computer.

In safe Mode you can’t access the Internet, hear any sound and the colours look dreadful.

To get into Windows safe mode you hold down the F8 starts. Timing is important and it can take a few attempts to get it right.

If you hold the key down too early you may get a key stuck error from the BIOS. Hold the key down too late then Windows will start normally.

In Windows XP and Vista you will get a menu. Normally you should select “Start Computer in Safe Mode”.

Once in Safe Mode you can navigate, remove files and uninstall programs. Scanning for viruses, running scandisk or defragmenting are common reasons for starting in Safe Mode as they won’t be distracted by other programs or locked files.

Running safe mode is not something you should do every day, but it is a useful tool when faced with a troublesome computer. Because it starts only the functions that Windows needs, it isn’t suitable for day-to-day use as you can’t use printers, CD’s or the Internet.

If your computer regularly starts in Safe Mode then you should back up your data and call a technician.

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    7 Responses to “Starting a computer in Safe Mode”

    1. » Blog Archive » Removing a Trojan Says:

      [...] Free help with common IT problems « Starting a computer in Safe Mode [...]

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