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How do I get my computer into Safe Mode?

Solution ID: 3142
Problem Summary: How do I get my computer into Safe Mode?
Solution Summary: Instructions for booting Windows and Mac computers into Safe Mode
Distribution: All
Last Modified: 12/17/2012 1:19pm
   
  This Solution Solved My Problem
   
Full Solution:
Problem:

I need to get my computer into Safe Mode, but I'm not sure how.

Solution:

Many times in order to remove a piece of spyware or for troubleshooting and
diagnostic purposes, you'll have to start your computer in Safe Mode. While in
Safe Mode, only specific programs and files needed to run the operating system
are loaded. Some functions, such as connecting to the Internet, will not be
active in Safe Mode and a standard video driver will be loaded causing a washed
out look and a possible change in resolution.

However, because just the essential programs and files are loaded in Safe Mode,
this allows us to remove some spyware, adware, viruses and such that cannot be
removed in Normal Mode. Follow the instructions below to Start Safe Mode for
your specific operating system. 

Windows XP:
1.  If the computer is running, shut down Windows, and then turn off the power.
2.  Wait 30 seconds, and then turn the computer on. 
3.  Start tapping the F8 key. The Windows Advanced Options Menu appears. If
    you begin tapping the F8 key too soon, some computers display a
    "keyboard error 4." message. To resolve this, restart the
    computer and try again.
5.  Ensure that the Safe mode option is selected.
6.  Press Enter. The computer then begins to start in Safe mode.
7.  When you are finished with all troubleshooting, close all programs and
    restart the computer as you normally would.

Or, to use the System Configuration Utility method: 
1.  Close all open programs.
2.  Click Start, Run and type MSCONFIG in the box and click OK
3.  The System Configuration Utility appears, On the BOOT.INI tab, Check the
    "/SAFEBOOT" option, and then click OK and Restart your computer
    when prompted.
4.  The computer restarts in Safe mode.
5.  Perform the troubleshooting steps for which you are using Safe Mode.
6.  When you are finished with troubleshooting in Safe mode, open MSCONFIG
    again, on the BOOT.INI tab, uncheck "/SAFEBOOT" and click OK to
    restart your computer

Windows 2000:
1.  If the computer is running, shut down Windows, and then turn off the power.
2.  Wait 30 seconds, and then turn the computer on.
3.  When you see the black-and-white Starting Windows bar at the bottom of the
    screen, start tapping the F8 key. The Windows 2000 Advanced Options Menu
    appears.
4.  Ensure that the Safe mode option is selected. In most cases, it is the
    first item in the list and is selected by default.
5.  Press Enter. The computer then begins to start in Safe mode.
6.  When you are finished with all troubleshooting, close all programs and
    restart the computer as you normally would.

Mac OS X:
1.  Restart your computer.
2.  After you hear the start-up tone, hold down the Shift key.
3.  Your Mac will boot into Safe Mode. 

For older operating systems:

NOTE: The following operating systems are no longer supported by the NC State
Help Desk. However, as a courtesy, we have provided instructions on getting into
Safe Mode, in the hopes that it will allow many users to troubleshoot their own
problems should they be running an older operating system.

Windows 98/Windows Me:
1.  Restart the computer.
2.  Just after the diagnostics and memory count (before the Windows screen
    appears), start pressing the F8 key
3.  On the Startup Menu, choose Safe Mode

Or you may use the System Configuration Utility Method:
1.  While in Normal mode, Close all programs.
2.  Click Start, Run and type MSCONFIG in the box and click OK
3.  In the System Configuration Utility, on the General Tab, click the Advanced
    Button
4.  In the Advanced Troubleshooting Settings dialog box, check Enable Startup
    Menu.
5.  Click OK. Click OK again when the System Configuration Utility reappears.
6.  You will be prompted to restart the computer. Click Yes. The computer will
    restart in Safe mode.
7.  When you are finished with troubleshooting in Safe mode, open MSCONFIG
    again and uncheck "Enable Start-up Menu." under the Advanced
    Menu, then  click OK and restart your computer.

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Raleigh, NC 27695
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Contact Information

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