Safe Mode in Windows 7, Vista and XP
What is Safe Mode?
Windows provides advanced troubleshooting and diagnostics options with the help of Safe Mode. Windows safe mode is a sub part of the booting procedure which loads all the basic functions of the windows architecture and disables any external drivers or programs from the start-up.
Safe Mode Options
Safe mode provide three modes of working :
This will load the safe mode with its all basic functions and disable networking and all peripheral hardwares. The command line Syntax is –SAFEBOOT_OPTION=Minimal
Safe mode with Networking
This will load the safe mode with networking support. This means you can connect to your network or Internet. The command line Syntax is – SAFEBOOT_OPTION=Network
Safe Mode with Command prompt
As the name suggests, this will load the default Safe mode with command prompt support. The only difference is that cmd.exe will start by default instead of Explorer.exe. This means you will not have your desktop on startup. If you want to have your desktop back you need to type Ctr + Alt + Del , select new Task. Type “Explorer.exe” and press Enter. The command line Syntax is – SAFEBOOT_OPTION=Minimal (Alternate Shell)
How to Start Windows (7, Vista, XP) in Safe mode?
Starting Windows in Safe mode can be a bit tricky and it needs some basic knowledge about the startup boot functions. There are different ways to boot in Safe mode for different systems. But the basic steps remain the same. Here is how you can boot in safe mode :
- Shutdown computer and Turn off the power supply
- Wait for 20 seconds and press the Restart Button
- Continuously Press “F8″ Key as soon as the Motherboard Logo is displayed.
- You might hear a warning beep sound (in Win XP) while pressing F8.
- You will now have the “Advanced Boot Menu” on your screen
- Select the “Safe Mode” option with the arrow key on your keyboard
- Press Enter. The computer will now start in Safe Mode
- After completing your Safe mode task, restart to start Windows in normal mode.
Troubleshooting Safe Mode in Win 7 and Vista
If you are unable to get into Safe mode after trying all the mentioned steps there is another way to do it. Do not try this with any open document or unsaved file.
- Start your computer normally
- Close all Windows and exit all programs
- Now switch off the power button on your Laptop
- IF it is a desktop switch off the Power Supply Unit directly
- This will shut down your Windows Improperly
- Now switch on the power supply unit
- Start your computer
- Now you will see a black screen with four options on the boot Menu
- Select Safe Mode before the default startup is triggered (Usually 30 sec)
- Now the computer will start in Safe Mode
- Restart Windows Normally to prevent the old warning message
Warning: This trick will work for all versions of Windows but be warned that you should not do it repeatedly as this will damage your hardware in the long run.
Start Safe Mode under Multiple Operating Systems
If you have installed two or more Operating System, then you need to follow these steps to get into Safe Mode. Remember that Multi boot troubleshooting is a bit different than the single OS and there is a higher chance that at the end of the session you might lose an OS if it is not configured back properly.
- If your computer is on, shut it down, and then switch off the power.
- Wait for 30 seconds and there after restart your computer.
- Now when you are in the Advanced Boot Options menu you will be looking at all the operating systems installed.
- Use the up/down arrow to select the version.
- Press Enter and start pressing F8 key continuously
- Now you should see the Advanced Boot Menu black screen
- Select Safe mode with the arrow keys and press Enter
- Now your Computer will start in Safe Mode
Safe Mode CRC disk Error
There are chances that while you try to Boot windows into safe mode you may encounter this error. The most common version is Windows Vista bundled with Dell systems. Vista checks for the boot sector consistency before loading the operating system. This is done during booting procedure so if anything goes wrong your system might hang up or it will get restart if automatic restart is enabled.
In order to rectify the error you need to perform the following tests:
- Check for hard disk errors during startup
- Disable any newly installed hardware
- Delete some data if there is very less space in the primary partition
Working in safe mode is not advisable for normal tasks. Use Safe mode only if you are having problems with system files or you want to remove a virus infection or do some serious system interaction which cannot be done in the normal mode. In case you get stuck you can ask for solutions in our comment section.