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How To Start A Computer In Safe Mode
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This article discusses what Safe Mode is and how it can be used to remove computer viruses and/or spyware.

Safe Mode is an alternate way to start a Windows based computer. In a nut-shell; Windows starts up with only the bare minimum services and applications running. This is why Safe Mode can be helpful when a computer becomes infected with a computer virus or if spyware and/or adware becomes a problem. The infected computer can be boot (started) into Safe Mode at which point anti-malware (antivirus / antispyware) software can be run before the infected files are have a chance to start up. This method helps remove those pests that just won't go away while scanning in "normal" mode. Some, but not all, spyware and viruses can be prevented from loading on start-up by starting a computer in Safe Mode.

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  1. You should print these instructions before continuing. (Click the 'printer friendly page' link above.)
  2. Click Start and then click Shut Down.
  3. In the drop-down list of the Shut Down Windows dialog box, click Restart, and then click OK.
  4. As your computer restarts but before you see the Windows logo, press the F8 key.
  5. Use your arrow keys to highlight the 'Safe Mode' option, and then press ENTER.

    • Note
    • If you get to the Windows logo let Windows load, then go through the restart process again.
    • In Safe Mode, the computer is running basic files and drivers only, no network connection. You can choose the Safe Mode with Networking option, which loads all of the above plus it gives you the ability to network, or you can choose the Safe Mode with Command Prompt (for advanced users). You can also select Last Known Good Configuration, which lets you attempt to restore the computer it's last know good configuration.
    • Safe Mode is perfect for removing viruses, spyware, adware a.k.a malware. It's not foolproof but it can give you an advantage over the malware by preventing it,or them from starting up as with Windows.
    • There might be times where Safe Mode will not be able to help you.
  • To Start Windows ME In Safe Mode 
    1. Restart your computer.
    2. When the machine first starts you should tap the F8 key repeatedly until a menu appears.
    3. When you have the menu on the screen. Select the option for Safe Mode using the arrow keys.
    4. Then press enter on your keyboard to boot into Safe Mode.
    5. To exit Safe Mode simply restart the computer.
      • Using the System Configuration Tool Method 
        1. Close all programs so that you have nothing open and are at the desktop.
        2. Click on the Start button then click on Run.
        3. In the Run field type msconfig
        4. Press the OK button and the System Configuration Utility will start up.
        5. You should now press the Advanced button.
        6. Place a checkmark in the checkbox labeled Enable Startup Menu - press OK
        7. Press the Yes button and your computer will restart into Safe Mode.
        8. To get back to normal mode, complete all of the steps above again, but in Step 6 this time remove the check from the checkbox labeled Enable Startup Menu.
        9. Restart the computer back into normal mode.

  • To Start Windows 2000 In Safe Mode 
    1. Restart your computer, and when the Boot menu appears, press F8.
    2. When the Windows Advanced Options menu appears, select an option, and then press ENTER.
    3. When the Boot menu appears again, with the words Safe Mode displayed at the bottom, choose which installation you want to start, and then press ENTER.
  • To Start Windows 98 In Safe Mode 
    1. Restart your computer.
    2. As the computer restarts, press and hold the CTRL key until the Windows 98 Startup menu is displayed.
    3. Select the Safe Mode menu option from the Startup menu, and then press ENTER.

      For an alternate method see Using the System Configuration Tool Method
  • To Start Windows 95 In Safe Mode 
    1. Restart your computer.
    2. When the machine first starts it should list some information about what is installed in your machine, hard drive, memory etc... When it is finished with that it will say Starting Windows 95. Immediately after seeing Starting Windows 95 press the F8 key.
    3. When the menu appears select the option for Safe Mode using the arrow keys.
  • To Start Windows 95 and 98 In Safe Mode Using The Command Prompt 
    1. Select Start - Shut Down - Restart the Computer in MS-DOS Mode.
    2. Navigate to the disk containing the Windows folder (example, C:\).
    3. Type win /d:m and press Enter.

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