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Starting Windows in "Safe" mode

Taken from Dell support at:

http://support.ap.dell.com/ap/en/kb/document.asp?DN=FA1027295

Document Number:
FA1027295

 


Starting the Microsoft Windows® 95 Operating System in Safe Mode:  

There are three ways to start Windows 95 in Safe Mode:

Method 1

  1. Turn on your computer.
  2. Start tapping the <F5> key during the Starting Windows 95 message.

Method 2

  1. Turn on your computer.
  2. Press the <F8> key during the Starting Windows 95 message.
  3. Use the arrow keys to highlight Safe Mode, then press the < Enter > key.

Method 3

If Windows 95 fails to start, it will attempt to enter Safe Mode automatically on the following restart.

 

NOTE  NOTE: To exit Safe Mode, click the Start button, click Shutdown, click Restart The Computer, and click Yes.


Starting the Microsoft Windows® 98 Operating System in Safe Mode: 

 

There are four ways to start Windows 98 in Safe Mode:

Method 1

  1. Turn on your computer.
  2. After the Dell™ logo, hold down the <Ctrl> key until the Windows 98 Startup menu appears.
  3. Highlight or select Safe Mode (usually number 3) from the Startup menu.
  4. Press the <Enter> key.

Method 2

  1. Click the Start button, click Run, in the Open box type msconfig and click OK.
  2. Click the Advanced button.
  3. Click Enable Startup Menu.
    A check mark will appear in the box.
  4. Click OK.
  5. Click OK.
    Choose to restart your computer when prompted.
  6. When the system restarts, use the arrow keys to highlight Safe Mode, then press the <Enter> key.

Method 3

  1. Insert a non-bootable floppy disk in the floppy drive, and restart your computer.
  2. When the message Non-system disk or disk error. Replace and strike any key when ready appears, remove the floppy disk from the drive.
  3. Press the <F8> key twice.

    The Windows 98 Startup menu appears.

  4. Use the arrow keys to highlight Safe Mode, and press the <Enter> key.

Method 4

If Windows 98 fails to start, it will attempt to enter Safe Mode automatically on the following restart.

 

NOTE  NOTE: To exit Safe Mode, click the Start button, click Shutdown, click Restart The Computer, and click Yes.


Starting the Microsoft® Windows® 2000 Operating System in Safe Mode: 

 

  1. Turn on your computer.
  2. Press the <F8> key, as soon as you see the message: For troubleshooting and advanced startup options for Windows 2000, press F8.
    The Windows 2000 Advanced Options Menu appears.
  3. Safe Mode should be highlighted by default, if not, using the arrow keys, highlight it and press the <Enter> key.

 

NOTE  NOTE: To exit Safe Mode, click the Start button, click Shutdown, click Restart The Computer, and click Yes.


Starting the Microsoft Windows® Millennium Edition (Me) Operating System in Safe Mode: 

 

  1. Turn on your computer.
  2. Hold down the <Ctrl> key until the Microsoft Windows Millennium Startup Menu appears.
  3. Use the arrow keys to highlight Safe Mode, then press the <Enter> key.

 

NOTE  NOTE: To exit Safe Mode, click the Start button, click Shutdown, click Restart The Computer, and click Yes.


Starting the Microsoft Windows® XP Operating System in Safe Mode:

 

  1. Turn on the computer
  2. Immediately begin tapping the <F8> key.
  3. Use the arrow keys to highlight Safe Mode and press the <Enter> key.

 

NOTE  NOTE: To exit Safe Mode, click the Start button, click Turn Off Computer, click Restart.


Additional Information on Safe Mode

 

Safe Mode is a diagnostic and troubleshooting mode of Windows. Safe Mode bypasses the portion of the registry that loads protected mode device drivers, and bypasses the Autoexec.bat and Config.sys files. Safe Mode prevents all 32-bit (protected mode) disk drivers from being loaded except the floppy driver.

You may want to enable this setting if your computer does not start due to disk peripheral input/output (I/O) problems. If you start your computer in Safe Mode, all I/O uses 16-bit (real mode) drivers or the basic input/output system (BIOS). Also, all disk drives that are functional in protected mode only, such as CD and DVD drives, no longer function in Windows.

Safe Mode uses the original registry settings, System.ini, and Win.ini files. This effectively bypasses the [Boot] and [386Enh] sections of the System.ini file and disables all the Windows protected mode devices listed in Device Manager. Also, Windows Safe Mode does not run programs listed on the Load= and Run= lines in the [Windows] section of the Win.ini file.

 

NOTE  NOTE: Although the [Boot] section of the System.ini file is bypassed, the shell= and drivers= lines in the [Boot] section are processed.

 

Safe Mode uses a Standard VGA video driver and resizes the desktop to a resolution of 640 x 480.

Safe mode in Windows 2000 and XP

Windows XP and Windows 2000 provide Safe Mode, a startup option that disables startup programs and nonessential services to create an environment useful for troubleshooting and diagnosing problems. In Safe Mode, Windows starts a minimal set of drivers that the operating system needs to function. Support for devices such as audio devices, most USB devices, and IEEE 1394 devices is disabled to reduce the number of variables that you need to consider when diagnosing the cause of startup problems, Stop messages, or general system instability.
Logging on to the computer in Safe Mode does not update Last Known Good Configuration information. Therefore, if you log on to your computer in Safe Mode and then decide you want to try Last Known Good Configuration, the option to do so is still available.

The following registry key lists the driver and service groups enabled in safe mode:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\SafeBoot\Minimal