What is Safe Mode?

  the-emsworth-kid 08:54 05 Jun 09

Following upgrades - Norton 360 V 2.0 to 3.0 and being talked through a replacement download of MSN software from their help desk - my desktop - XP Home SP 2 will not boot up unless in Safe Mode with Networking.

Have tried system restores but none of them work.

What exactly is Safe Mode?

  Seth Haniel 09:09 05 Jun 09

press F8 and you should have option for 'Safe ode' or 'Normal boot' etc

Safe mode runs in a cut down version with minimum drivers loaded so that repairs can be done to system etc,.

  Graham. 09:10 05 Jun 09
  Technotiger 09:10 05 Jun 09

Safe Mode is simply an emergency method of booting when problems are present, often then giving you the chance to try various ways of making corrections and running anti-virus/malware programs etc.

When you tried System Restore did you choose dates shown in BOLD print, the other dates are NOT restore points!

  the-emsworth-kid 09:28 05 Jun 09


Tried all 'available' Restore Points none worked.

I'm still trying to understand why 'Safe ' works

  Sea Urchin 09:34 05 Jun 09

Because as has been explained Windows starts up with the minimum amount of software needed to work

click here

  the-emsworth-kid 09:43 05 Jun 09


Many thanks for all of your valuable input. Now I understand what 'Safe Mode' means but I'm still stuck as to how to reolve the problem. Do I run for ever in Safe Mode or should I be doing something to resolve the problems which are obviously causing XP to fail on initial boot?

Sorry to appear thick but I'm an old mainframe man.

  Graham. 09:52 05 Jun 09

You will have to stop programs from starting at boot click here

Norton seems a likely first candidate.

  the-emsworth-kid 12:09 05 Jun 09

Apologies for not getting back sooner but desktop has now 'died' and have had to transfer to laptop.

Think I need to re-load XP but as the machine is a Dell it did not come with an XP disk - any ideas as to how I can do this?

  Graham. 23:21 05 Jun 09

Ctrl + F11 during boot may be worth a try.

  Strawballs 00:39 06 Jun 09

As Graham has stated Dell come with a factory restore ie windows and all of the other stuff they put on when new on a hidden partion, Graham's suggestion should allow you to access it and do a restore.

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