For everyone who runs into a serious issue such as blue screen and is not able to start Windows normally, you can enter Safe Mode when you cannot boot normally. To do so, here are the steps that you will need to follow:
- Make sure the PC is turned off.
- Press the Power button to make the PC turned on and hold the button down until the PC shuts down automatically. Please repeat it more than twice.
- Then, wait for Windows to diagnose your PC.
- Next, click Advanced options and then it will bring up the Windows Recovery Environment screen.
- When you are on the Windows RE screen, please click Troubleshoot.
- Click Advanced options on the Troubleshoot screen.
- To continue, click Startup Settings.
- After that, click Restart so that the computer will restart and another screen will be shown.
- Lastly, press the number 4 on the keyboard to enter the Safe Mode without a network.
If you are in the condition where your Windows machine freezes or crashes, it could be due to a bad application, a quirky driver, or maybe a faulty piece of hardware. One of the methods to fix it is to start the operating system in Safe Mode. These following steps assume that you are able to at least boot into Windows and access the Safe Mode feature.
In order to start Windows 10 in Safe Mode, you will need to type the command msconfig in the search field at the bottom of your screen. Then, click the System Configuration at the top of the search results or just press Enter.
Another way is to click the Start button, scroll down the apps list and open the folder for Windows Administrative Tools. Please click the shortcut for System Configuration. When you are in the System Configuration window that shows up, the current setting is usually set to Normal Startup or Selective Startup. For Diagnostic startup, please click the second one, which loads only the basic drivers and services. Keep in mind that the drivers and servers for audio, networking, and particular other functions will not load with this option, meaning you will not be able to use or test those features. After that, click the OK button. Do not forget to click the Restart button at the System Configuration message to immediately reboot your computer.
After restarting your PC, you will need to sign back into Windows and try to reproduce the issue that you were facing. Whether the issue is still there or not, you will still have to perform further testing in order to narrow it down. Please open the System Configuration tool again. Then, click the Boot tab. After that, choose the checkbox for Safe boot.
There are four different options under the safe Boot, which include:
- Minimal: This one loads only the very minimum drivers necessary for Windows to work but it still lands you at the GUI so you are able to navigate using your mouse.
- Alternate Shell: This one starts the Safe Mode with the command prompt. It means you will have to know how to load Windows without the GUI available for this one.
- Active Directory Repair: This one is an option for the computers in an enterprise environment that connect to the Active Directory of Microsoft.
- Network: This one loads the important network drivers in the Windows GUI so you are able to access and test network connectivity.
Among these options, Minimal and Network are probably considered as the most handful options for the common person troubleshooting a problem. You can choose Minimal, reboot, and try to reproduce the problem. Please do the same with Network.
If the problem is no longer there, you are always able to open System Configuration again and try booting into Normal mode and see if the issue is solved. If not, some of the other options in the Boot section of System Configuration can be helpful. Some things like No GUI, Boot log, Base Video, and OS Boot information can be used with Diagnostic startup or Safe boot. Feel free to enable any or all of these four options.
No GUI Boot
The animated dots can be simply disabled by No GUI during startup. It means it is not specifically useful for troubleshooting.
A special text file that shows you the drivers that were loaded and not loaded during startup will be generated by Boot Log. This one is a helpful option for troubleshooting a problem. Now, you can enable Boot Log and restart your computer. Then, sign into Windows. The next thing is to launch the File Explorer and open the following file: C:\Windows\ntbtlog.txt. Please check the file for the status on every driver.
The thing called Base Video loads the drivers for standard VGA graphics instead of the drivers for the certain video card or hardware. It is a useful method to troubleshoot problems with the graphic display.
Quick boot into Safe Mode in Windows 10
For those who are running Windows 10, there are some other options for booting into Safe Mode. If you use Windows 10, you should click the Start button > Settings > Update & security > Recovery. After that, click the button to Restart now in the Advanced Startup section. From this stage, your screen will show a blue menu. Upon seeing it, select Troubleshoot > Advanced options > Startup Settings > Restart. Then, at the next Startup Settings screen, you will need to press one of the keys from 1 through 9 to choose a certain startup variation, for instance, 1 to Enable debugging, 4 to Enable Safe Mode, or 5 to Enable Safe Mode with Networking. After pressing one of them, please click the Restart button. Doing so will make your PC reboots immediately. Now, it is time for you to try to reproduce the issue that you have been experiencing in Windows 10 to see if it has been fixed.
On my daily job, I am a software engineer, programmer & computer technician. My passion is assembling PC hardware, studying Operating System and all things related to computers technology. I also love to make short films for YouTube as a producer. More at about me…