NWA-PCUG Newsletter Article, November 2010
Safe Mode
By Bill Pryor, Internet SIG Leader,
Lehigh Valley Computer Group, Pennsylvania

bpryor (at) ptd.net (click to email author)

Windows Safe Mode available in Win 95, 98, ME, 2000, XP, Vista, Win 7 allows you oftentimes to boot up Windows when you can not normally run Windows at all.

For example, if you can’t run Windows at all, upon boot up, press F8 to get Windows to boot in the Safe Mode. In Safe Mode just the essential programs and files are loaded; this allows you to remove some spyware, adware, and viruses that cannot be removed in Normal Mode.

For example one of our office networked computers last week picked up a virus type program that would not allow XP to run at all! Every time an .EXE file needed to run, nothing would happen. Click on any icon to run, nothing would happen. The system was completely dysfunctional in the Normal Mode. Nothing would run at all!

Not wasting time in Google, or the listed “miracle ways” of solving this “sneak attack” by all the “virus experts” and their companies which are often really tiresome to read in all their verbosity. I just booted up by pressing F8, went into the XP Safe Mode. In the Safe Mode the anticipated programs ran fine, and at that point, I ran my Malware Bytes program which did not respond or run in the Normal Mode, but in this Safe Mode, Malware Bytes ran fine and picked up the Hijack.exe virus and quarantined it! I then rebooted the computer normally and everything ran fine again! (Not sure of the System Restore points in this instance, I elected not to use System Restore to save current essential data, and only ran the current Malware Bytes).

No special programs to download, no special techniques to use, no mystifying and complicated definitions to comprehend. Just use your computer and programs in Safe Mode. Pragmatically it is that simple!

In another instance I had an old Sony VIAO laptop that would boot up, and you would see the Desktop, and the whole screen would be frozen making the laptop really unusable. In this instance, I booted up in Safe Mode as I explained above, and removed a corrupt startup program that was in the Start Up folder. And now the whole laptop runs like new!

Problems, let’s not over complicate, or get excited, or look at the long faluten’ explanations that most people love to hear from the mouths of virus experts. Just PRESS F8 and get into the Safe Mode! Use this simple procedure in a simple way, and your computing life will be much easier!!

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