How to: Start Windows in safe mode

Applies to: Microsoft Windows XP

Symptoms

In order to solve certain Windows problems, including the removal of some viruses, it is necessary to start Windows in safe mode.

Explanation

When Windows runs in safe mode, only essential drivers and components are started. No network drivers are loaded, so network or Internet access is possible. No inessential services, including anti-virus or security software, are started, and a basic 640 x 480 graphics display mode is used. Any driver or component that is causing a conflict or preventing Windows from starting will not be loaded in safe mode. This should enable you to uninstall or remove the offending component and restore the ability for Windows to run normally.

Solution

Method 1

The computer should now start in safe mode.

Before shutting down the computer, repeat the steps described above and clear the /SAFEBOOT check box to enable a normal restart.

Method 2