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Windows 7 Safe Mode
This document pertains to HP and Compaq computers with Windows 7.
Safe Mode is a diagnostic mode that allows you to use Windows with basic drivers. No extra software is loaded, so troubleshooting software and driver problems is much easier.
In Safe Mode, Windows might look different, because Safe Mode uses a low graphics mode (VGA at 16 colors) for the display. Also, the words Safe Mode appear in the four corners of the screen.
Choose one of the options below to start the computer in Safe Mode.
View a video on entering Safe Mode from Windows 7
If you are unable to view the video, it may be due to the type of mobile device you are using. You can still use the written information on the screen or access the video with a PC or laptop.
Entering Safe Mode at startup
Use the following steps to start Windows 7 in Safe Mode when the computer is off:
  1. Turn on the computer and immediately begin pressing the F8 key repeatedly.
  2. From the Windows Advanced Options Menu, use the arrow keys to select Safe Mode, and press ENTER.
    The computer will automatically exit Safe Mode when it is shut down.
Entering Safe Mode from Windows 7
Use the following steps to start Windows in Safe Mode from the Windows desktop:
  1. Click Start , and type msconfig into the Search box. Click msconfig.
    If prompted, type the Administrator password or provide confirmation.
    Figure : Opening the System Configuration tool
    Image of msconfig search field
    The System Configuration tool displays.
  2. Click the Boot tab.
  3. Under Boot options, click Safe boot and select Minimal.
    Figure : Boot tab of the System Configuration tool
    Image of System Configuration tool Boot tab
  4. Click Apply, and then click OK.
  5. When prompted, click Restart.
    Figure : Restart the computer
    Image of System Configuration Restart button
    The computer starts in Safe Mode.
  6. When you have finished troubleshooting, exit Safe Mode by opening the System Configuration tool again. On the General tab of the System Configuration window, select Normal startup and click OK.