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How to reboot computer in Safe mode

Safe mode is a special Windows mode that can be used to help fix problems with spyware, malware and trojans. The mode load a minimal set of drivers. You can use Safe mode to start Windows so that you can modify the registry, remove files, load or remove drivers.

Use the following instructions to reboot your computer in Safe mode.

Restart your computer.

After hearing your computer beep once during startup, start pressing the F8 key on your keyboard. On a computer that is configured for booting to multiple operating systems, you can press the F8 key when the Boot Menu appears.

Instead of Windows loading as normal, Windows Advanced Options menu appears similar to the one below.

Select Safe mode when the Windows Advanced Options menu appears, and then press ENTER.
Windows will start loading.

When Windows has finished loading, you will see a screen as shown below.

Click Yes.
Now you can start using Windows in Safe mode.

March 1, 2009 on 9:48 am | In Tutorials - HowTo | 32 Comments |


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  1. having a hard time here trying to get rid of total secuirty of my computer here i did everything so far till teh reboot, and then press F8 and nothing happen here so i dont know why it wont remove the program here can u help me out thanks and god bless

    Comment by Pat — July 31, 2009 #

  2. Pat, probably Safe mode blocked by malware. You can ask for help at our spyware removal forum.

    Comment by Patrik — July 31, 2009 #

  3. Argh! I’m trying to manually remove the files using Control alt delete to get into Windows task manager, but it doesn’t work! Everyone keeps telling me that it will work in safe mode, but every time I try to get into safe mode, I get the blue screen of death. Help?

    Comment by Carie — August 25, 2009 #

  4. Carie, probably a malware blocks Safe Mode. Ask for help at our Spyware removal forum.

    Comment by Patrik — August 25, 2009 #

  5. wont let me hit the next button get all the way to the end and it wont let me hit next

    Comment by bobby — August 27, 2009 #

  6. hi,

    I am unable to boot system in safemode, when I chose safe mode option it is loading all dll and sys file then system is restarting again. plz help me

    Comment by Gudachari — September 14, 2009 #

  7. Gudachari, probably a virus has damaged Windows registry or removed a few system files. Try to repair Safe mode using free program SafeBootKeyRepair. Download it from here.

    Comment by Patrik — September 14, 2009 #

  8. thanks for the ideas, but i press the F* key and it doesn’t help i can’t get into the windows advanced options

    Comment by tirzah — September 24, 2009 #

  9. i cant get into the windows advancaed options menu tho i pressed F8

    Comment by tirzah — September 24, 2009 #

  10. tirzah, if your computer works in Normal mode, then you can run msconfig and to select Safe mode.

    Comment by Patrik — September 24, 2009 #

  11. cannot get rid of police pro

    Comment by hugo — October 6, 2009 #

  12. Aaaarrrghh we have a p bell laptop here thats gone weird! Its gone into bios stuff and gets stuck at re boot set up pages and wont budge. Weve tried the f8 key start up thing, etc etc have no cd’s help….anybody??? we arnt very puter literate either x

    Comment by Rachyrach — November 16, 2009 #

  13. Probably it`s problem with hardware. You need call to local service company.

    Comment by Patrik — November 17, 2009 #

  14. My computer seems to be on a loop – try to restart in safe mode, and it just restarts itself, and takes me back to the same page. Any suggestions?

    Comment by Todd — November 27, 2009 #

  15. Todd, what is “same page” ? You can`t boot your PC in Normal mode too ?

    Comment by Patrik — November 27, 2009 #

  16. I am so thankful for everyones help.
    safe mode allowed me to get to it. There was more than one item.
    All finally seems well now.
    Those using fowl language here, cut us some slack that are chtistian and dont use the f word like a verb. :-) It is not necessary to cuss to communicate your frustrations.

    Comment by Susan — December 6, 2009 #

  17. How do I change the size of the safe mode screens I can’t access the next step?

    Comment by troubled — February 4, 2010 #

  18. I have this horrible spyware that I can’t get rid of. I tried restarting my computer in safe mode, but now, I cant get to the internet to download the removal program. HELP!!

    Comment by JaNay — March 16, 2010 #

  19. JaNay, you have tried Safe mode with networking ?

    Comment by Patrik — March 17, 2010 #

  20. i got se sem problem.i restart my pc in safe mod but se virus coms up and start to scan my of the virus is ,virus protector’and wen i shut dowen my pc than i see that the safe mode is behind the virus page.but i can’t acsses my computer.??wath to do?

    Comment by eckhard — March 28, 2010 #

  21. eckhard, if your computer is infected Virus Protector, you need use the instructions.

    Comment by Patrik — March 29, 2010 #

  22. my computer got infected with the virus protector but when i followed your instructions and rebooted my computer in safe mode with networking all i get is an empty screen with the words safe mode in the corners like in the picture above but instead of the information box where you can click yes or no i get a window which reads like this:
    The title of it is lsass.exe – Application Error
    and in it there’s a picture of a red circle with a white x in the middle and the text The applixation failed to initialize properly (0x0000005). Clik on OK to terminate the application. Then if I click ok it disappears but the screen remains black and nothing happens.
    The same thing happens when I try to reboot it in normal mode or safe mode. what do I do.

    Comment by john — May 7, 2010 #

  23. John, you have tried boot your PC in Safe mode with command prompt ?

    Comment by Patrik — May 8, 2010 #

  24. i just tried it but the same thing happens. any thougths?

    Comment by john — May 8, 2010 #

  25. John, whats your Windows version ?

    Comment by Patrik — May 9, 2010 #

  26. xp

    Comment by john — May 9, 2010 #

  27. Try the following (you need use Windows installation disk):
    Insert the disk into your computer and reboot the PC.

    Note: if you cannot boot from the CDROM, this is probably due to the boot order of your devices being incorrect. You can change this in the BIOS.
    You can enter to the BIOS from the first screen you see when you turn your computer on. To enter your BIOS,you need press the DEL key. Most Dell, Toshiba, Gateway, Sony & HP systems will press F2. Compaq users will usually have to press F10. IBM typically uses F1 or F2.

    Once recovery console loaded, select the appropriate path for windows and press Enter.
    If it asks you for the administrator password, then type the administrator password and press Enter or just hit Enter.

    You will now see the Prompt c:\windows>

    Type cd system32\config press Enter.
    Type ren system system.old press Enter.
    Type ren software software.old press Enter.
    Type ren SAM SAM.old press Enter.
    Type ren security security.old press Enter.
    Type ren default default.old press Enter.

    Type cd \ or cd C:\ and press Enter.
    It will display C:\>

    Type cd “\System Volume Information” and press Enter. Note: type including quotes.
    Type dir and press Enter.
    Hopefully, you will see a folder with a large name of the form: _restore{MANY-NUMBERS-AND-LETTERS-HERE}.
    Type dir
    It will list your Restore Points, (e.g. RP511, RP512, RP513, RP514, etc…) with dates in front of the line, make sure that you chose one that you had a good system configuration.

    Select the one from the list EXCEPT the last one (this one is with the bad configuration)!
    Say RP514 is the last one.

    Then type cd RP513 (or RP512 or RP5511 or RPn) and press Enter.
    Type cd snapshot and press Enter.
    Type dir and press Enter.
    Now you will see files like _registry_user… and _registry_machine…

    Type copy _registry_machine_security c:\windows\system32\config\security and press Enter.

    Type exit and press Enter.

    Take extra care when you typing!!!
    Remember to eject your CD.

    Comment by Patrik — May 9, 2010 #

  28. thanks alot for the help but im afraid im stuck at: cd “\System Volume Information” because i have no idea how to do the exclamation marks “”. can you help

    Comment by john — May 10, 2010 #

  29. john, this is quotes.

    Comment by Patrik — May 10, 2010 #

  30. but how do I type them in the recovery console

    Comment by john — May 10, 2010 #

  31. Press Shift and ‘

    Comment by Patrik — May 10, 2010 #

  32. How do I remove the Shield EC virus. I have tried the safe mode(F8). The Shield EC still shows up. I cannot get to my desktop to use the antimalware on my desktop. I cannot connect to the internet.

    Comment by Neeraj — September 5, 2010 #

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