The Weekly Geek

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Using Safe Mode

January 29th, 2008 · No Comments

Howdy one and all, welcome back to this weeks fun and exciting edition of The Weekly Geek.

This week I want to keep it simple. Let’s go over the “Safe Mode” that all versions of Windows provide and why it is your best friend, even if you have no issues or problems with your computer.

You may be asking yourself “Why go into Safe Mode”? There are several common tasks that you should be performing that are much more efficient when run in “Safe Mode”. When you run your anti-virus program in “Safe Mode” you have halted many services that virus, worms and other nasties hide in.

When you run the defragmentation program, once again you have halted services that slow down and even prevent complete and efficient defragmentation.

I also prefer to run my anti-trojan and anti-spyware programs in safe mode, they always find more “stuff” and don’t need you to scan during reboot because, once again, the services that these nasty things hide in are turned off.

I am sure that you have noticed all of the benefits I am speaking of are simple housekeeping chores that you (hopefully) perform at least once a month.

Now, let’s go over how to get into “Safe Mode”. In all versions of Windows you must go into “Safe Mode” before you get to your desktop. In other words you must go into “Safe Mode” while the computer is still booting, before the Windows boot screen (which is before your desktop appears). You need to press the F5 or the F8 keys (repeatedly) across the top of your keyboard.

In theory the F5 will take you right into “Safe Mode” while the F8 key will take you to a text menu where, by using the arrow keys on your keyboard you can choose various boot modes. For our uses in this column we will always go into plain vanilla “Safe Mode”.

If you computer is already running when you want to perform this action you simply need to restart instead of shutdown it. When your system loads in “Safe Mode” and you have Windows ME or XP you will get a message discussing System Restore. Simply click on the “OK” or “Yes” to get to the desktop.

The first thing you will notice is that there are only 16 colors used and your screen resolution has changed so that everything is much larger. Don’t panic, “Safe Mode” is designed to use only the bare necessities to get you into a point-and-click environment. The “Safe Mode” will not allow you to connect to the internet, your network or any of several other things you are used to doing, again this is a bare scratch minimum mode that has very little running and allows very little to begin running.

To get out of “Safe Mode” you simply need to restart your computer and do nothing while it boots up. You will be returned to your normal desktop as usual.

If you want to learn more on defragmentation of you hard drive simply search for the articles on this site in our handy dandy search box.

If you want to learn more on Security issues with Worms, Viruses and Trojans, then once again, use the search box in the upper right of this web page.

Well, that is all I want to cover for this week, until we meet again, defend Troy and your computer.

Tags: Hardware · Non-Tech · Optimizing · Security

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