Computer Safe Mode Troubleshooting

    July 28, 2003

If your computer is acting very sluggish,and you have tried to reboot (fully shutting it off for at least one minute and then re-starting), but it won’t start up correctly (if at all) – you can try to straighten it out by opting for it to start in “safe mode” – it will be limited in what you can do, but it will allow you to troubleshoot and perhaps save some data.

Right now – while your computer is acting correctly, go to START, HELP and then put “safe mode” in the index search box. See how it tells you to start safe mode – it may say to hit F8 as the Windows screen is coming up. I recommend that you hit whichever key it tells you, every second while starting up so you will not miss the opportunity. Then pick the “safe mode” option of starting up – this will get you to the limited mode.

You will not be able to use your drivers and other features, but you can run your troubleshooter. Go to START, HELP and put “troubleshoot” in the index search box. Then choose the scenario that best describes your situation. Make note of what it tells you to do, since it is unlikely that you can print it out. Then follow those instructions as written.

Once you run the troubleshooter, start the computer back up in “normal mode” if the choice comes up, and see if your problem is takes care of. There might still be a little work to do in some cases, like perhaps removing your modem and then having Windows detect it as new hardware and re-installing the driver (if your modem connection will not work).

The “safe mode” trick is invaluable as a troubleshooting and repair resource. Remember it!

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