How to: Start Windows in safe mode
Applies to: Microsoft Windows XP
In order to solve certain Windows problems, including the removal of some viruses, it is necessary to start Windows in safe mode.
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.
- Start the System Configuration Utility (click Start, Run, type msconfig and press Enter).
- Select the tab labelled BOOT.INI.
- Check the box marked /SAFEBOOT.
- Click OK.
- Restart the computer.
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.
- Shut down the computer.
- Switch the computer on again and hold down the F8 key until the boot menu appears.
- Select Safe mode from the menu.