5. Safe Mode

If you choose Safe Mode on the Advanced Options Menu, Windows will attempt to start up in a special mode where only its most basic components are loaded. It also bypasses any programs that normally run at system startup. You may find that some minor problems can be cured immediately by just doing a normal Windows Restart from within Safe Mode.

Other things you can try in Safe Mode are:

  • Running a Windows System Restore to undo recent system changes.
  • De-installing problem software via the Add or Remove Programs control panel or, if applicable, temporarily disabling it by deleting its entry in the Startup folder.
  • Disabling auto-running software using the Windows MSCONFIG utility (run via [Start/Run]).
  • Removing or disabling recently added hardware (via the Hardware/Device Manager section of the System control panel.
  • Running anti-virus software or adware/spyware removal software that you were unable to run (or was ineffective) in normal Windows mode

When you log into Windows in Safe Mode, use the Administrator username or another administrator-level username

As well as the basic Safe Mode, there two other variations:

  • Safe Mode with Networking - this loads the additional Windows components to let you access the network - e.g. to let you download software updates or an anti-virus scanner such as Stinger.
  • Safe Mode with Command Prompt - provides you with a command prompt instead of the graphical user interface. Use of this option is beyond the scope of this document.

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