Computers are complex and delicate machines, with millions of lines of computer code manipulating millions of transistors just to bring you to your desktop! It's not surprising, then, that things can sometimes go terribly wrong while you're updating your BIOS, downloading new drivers, or just surfing the Web. But that doesn't mean you have to throw away this incredibly complex (and sometimes incredibly expensive) device and replace it with a new one.
When a computer goes haywire and the operating system has trouble starting or reaching the desktop, the problem often involves misconfigured recently installed software or drivers (special software that communicates with your hardware). The installation may go smoothly--but when you reboot the system, you start getting errors. If you can't get to the desktop, you can't uninstall the bad program or drivers, and you may feel trapped.
Luckily, Microsoft has included a tool within Windows called Safe Mode to help you get around (and hopefully out of) this problem. It's a bare-bones version of your Windows operating system that includes only the basic drivers needed to boot your system safely to the desktop without any settings or problematic software interfering. Once there, you can troubleshoot further, to eliminate the problem and boot the system normally again.
To get to Safe Mode, take these steps:
1. Turn on (or reboot) your computer.
2. Wait for the computer to initialize the hardware and prepare to load the operating system.
3. Press and hold the F8 key while you wait for the Windows logo to appear. if the Windows logo appears or if the operating system begins to load, you may need to restart the computer and try again.
5. If you need access to the Internet or network while in Safe Mode, select Safe Mode with Networking.
6. Windows will boot into Safe Mode. When the desktop appears, it will display 'Safe Mode' in all four corners to let you know that you're in this special mode.
7. When you're finished, click Start, Shut Down, Restart to reboot your computer as you normally would.
8. If the problem still prevents you from getting to the desktop, you may need to go back into Safe Mode or try something more drastic.