Do you want to clean your computer of viruses or get rid of a program that cannot be removed? Then it is better to do it in safe mode, in which only the main processes are started. In this mode, you can troubleshoot many problems that are difficult or impossible to fix during normal Windows operation. Getting into Safe Mode is pretty easy, even if Windows won't boot.
Step 1. Decide if you want to start Safe Mode
In this mode, only the most necessary files and drivers work. Anything that is not required to start the operating system (for example, a startup program) will be ignored. If the system does not boot or if there are other problems, start the computer in safe mode to fix the problem.
Step 2. Disconnect external drives from your computer
This includes CDs / DVDs and USB sticks. This will avoid booting your computer from one of the external drives.
Step 3. Restart your computer in Safe Mode
This can be done in two ways. When the computer restarts, press the F8 key several times to open the startup menu. You can also configure Windows to boot in Safe Mode. Choose the first method if Windows won't boot at all, and otherwise use the second method.
- The first method involves repeatedly pressing the "F8" key when restarting the computer. Press this key until the Windows logo appears; if you don't have time, restart your computer and try again.
- In the second method, configure the system to boot into Safe Mode directly in Windows. To do this, open the "Run" window (press the "Windows" + "R" keys) and enter "msconfig". The System Configuration window will open. Go to the "Boot" tab and check the box next to "Safe Mode". In this case, you can select the type of safe mode you want. The most common types are Safe Mode and Safe Mode with Network Driver Loading.
Step 4. Select the type of safe mode
When you press F8, you will be taken to the Advanced Startup Options screen. Three types of safe mode appear at the top of the list. Keep in mind that if you have configured to boot your system in Safe Mode directly into Windows, this list will not appear.
- Click "Safe Mode" if you don't know what to choose. This will load the smallest number of drivers required to run Windows 7, but you will not be able to connect to the Internet.
- Click "Safe Mode with Network Drivers Download" to download the minimum required number of drivers and files, and be able to connect to the Internet. Select this option if you think you will need internet or local area network for troubleshooting.
- Click Safe Mode with Command Prompt to load the minimum required drivers and files and access the command prompt. Select this option if you are an advanced user and know how to troubleshoot from the command line. Note that in this case the Windows graphical environment will not be loaded.
Step 5. Wait for the necessary files to download
The next screen will display a list of downloaded files. If all files have loaded normally, proceed with troubleshooting. If the download process freezes, write down the name of the last successfully downloaded file, and then use this information to search the Internet for troubleshooting tips.
Step 6. Log into Windows 7
When the login screen appears, log into an account with administrator rights. If there is only one user account on the computer, it most likely has administrator rights. If the only account is not password protected, you will most likely be signed in automatically.
Step 7. Start troubleshooting
If the system has booted into Safe Mode, "Safe Mode" will be displayed in all four corners of the screen. In this mode, you can run a scan for viruses and malware, remove problematic programs, and edit the registry.
- When you're done working in Safe Mode, just restart your computer.
- If you configured your computer to boot in Safe Mode in the System Configuration window, reopen it in Safe Mode and uncheck Safe Mode in the Boot tab. If you do not do this, when you restart your computer, the system will boot into safe mode again.