Windows 8 : Troubleshooting Startup Problems - Computer Takes Too Long to Start (part 2) - Start in Safe Mode

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Start in Safe Mode

For many experienced Windows users who have dealt with faulty Windows startups, Safe Mode has become a close friend. Safe Mode offers a way to start Windows in a barebones setup. That is, Windows starts with just enough system files, programs, and services to allow it to run so you can diagnose issues, remove programs, and perform other tasks that can be done only at the graphic user interface level.

Typically, to access Safe Mode, you press F8 during the Windows boot process. If you do that now, you enter the Automatic Repair Mode. To enter Safe Mode in Windows 8, you must press Shift+F8 during the boot process. Figure 4 shows the options you can choose to start Windows and to diagnose and/or repair Windows. Figure 5 shows the Safe Mode Windows desktop. Although this looks like a normal version of Windows, many programs and features do not work. It is simply a place where you can modify system settings, such as those for Device Manager, MSCONFIG, the Windows Registry, Control Panel applets, and the like. You cannot, for example, start some Windows 8 apps or other programs.

FIGURE 4 Windows 8 Safe Mode options


FIGURE 5 Windows 8 Safe Mode desktop view


After you finish repairing Windows, shut down Safe Mode and restart in normally.

Another way to boot into Safe Mode is to set Windows to do it automatically. To do this, press Windows+X and choose Run. Type MSCONFIG in the Open dialog box and click OK. The System Configuration dialog box appears. (See Figure 6.)

FIGURE 6 Windows 8 Safe Mode desktop view


Click the Boot tab and select the Safe Boot option. Click Apply and then OK. You are prompted with a dialog box that has Restart or Exit Without Restart buttons. Click Restart so that Windows reboots. When it restarts, you are in Safe Mode, as shown in Figure 5. Use Safe Mode to diagnose or repair Windows.

When you want to leave Safe Mode, you need to undo the Safe Boot option in the System Configuration tool. To do that, press Windows+X, choose Run, and enter MSCONFIG. On the Boot tab of the System Configuration dialog box, clear the Safe Boot option and click Apply and then OK. Click Restart to shut down and restart Windows into its normal view.

The instruction manual that came with your computer

Most computer manufacturers provide some means of helping you troubleshoot and repair startup problems. Be sure to look through whatever documentation you have for your computer manufacturer’s recommendations. That could be your best bet because all computers are unique in some ways. The manual that came with your computer provides information that’s specific to your exact make and model of computer.

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