Mar 31

How to boot in safe mode

This tutorial will show you how to boot into safe mode in vista and windows

What is safe mode?

Safe mode is a mode that is generally used for diagnostics when things are going wrong with your operating system. It is a trouble shooting option. Safe mode does a number of things and only opens your computer in a limited state. Worth noting are
• It only loads the basic device drivers for windows to operate
• It loads with VGA graphics instead of your normal graphics driver (This is needed when diagnosis a problem with a graphics card driver a common cause of blue screens on windows vista and windows 7)

You can tell a system is in safe mode by the fact the safe mode will be written in the 4 corners of the screen.

How to enter safe mode

Safe mode is entered as the operating system starts by pressing the F8 key on your keyboard. You will see an n option screen with numerous options to boot up (see below)
Using Safe Mode

Safe Mode – Starts with windows core drivers and services

Safe Mode with Networking – As above starts with core services but also enables networking support so you can connect to the internet to download updates etc (Note: YOUR VIRUS PROTECTION WILL NOT BE ENABLED SO DO NOT RUN IN THIS MODE FOR GENERAL USE)

Safe mode with command prompt – Starts with core service as the other 2 but launches a command prompt on opening.

It is recommend you start in safe mode. It is easy enough to restart in the other modes if you decide that you need networking support. Press enter once you have selected the mode you require. You will then see a loading screen as windows loads its files (below)

safe mode vista windows 7 windows 8

Once the files have finished loading you will be presented with your windows operating screen (If you are required to login then login as usual) On the new screen you should see your desktop and possibly a help window that automatically opens when starting in safe mode. You will also see that the 4 corners of your screen have safe mode in them, this lets you know you are working in safe mode.

Finally you will more than likely notice that the screen is much larger than it usually is (bigger icons and text) this is because safe mode is using the VGA device driver so resolutions are limited. Below is a typical safe mode screen.

How to boot into safe mode 3

You can now continue to use safe mode to diagnose any problems you are having with your computer.


1 comment

  1. Ken Rinck

    Just wanna say that this is invaluable , Thanks for taking your time to write this.

Comments have been disabled.