Jump to content

Windows XP Safe Mode

  • PrintPrint
This document pertains to HP and Compaq PCs with Windows XP.
Safemode is a diagnostic mode that allows you to use Windows with only the most basic drivers loaded. No extra software is opened automatically with Windows making troubleshooting software and driver problems easier.
NOTE:Windows XP Safe Mode will probably not look as good as normal as the Windows display uses a low graphics mode (VGA at 16 colors).
Use one of the options below to start the computer in Safe Mode

Entering Safe Mode when starting the computer

Use the following steps to start Windows XP in Safe Mode when the computer is already off:
  1. Turn on the computer.
  2. Press the F8 key repeatedly when the first screen appears.
  3. From the Windows Advanced Options Menu, select Safe Mode and press ENTER
    When the Windows XP desktop appears, Safe Mode is displayed in the four corners of the screen and the desktop will probably look much worse due to the reduced colors.
  4. Click Administrator and enter the password (if applicable).

Entering Safe Mode from inside Windows XP

Use the following steps to start Windows XP in Safe Mode from the Windows desktop:
  1. Click Start, and then Run.
  2. In the Open field, type: msconfig
  3. Click OK.
    The MS Configuration Utility opens.
  4. Click the BOOT.INI tab.
  5. Under Boot Options, select /SAFEBOOT.
  6. Select Minimal.
  7. Click OK. When prompted, click Restart.
    The computer starts into Safe Mode. Click Administrator and enter the password if prompted. Click Yes on the message prompt that appears.
  8. When you are done troubleshooting, repeat these steps and remove the checkmark from /SAFEBOOT to prevent the computer from always starting in Safe Mode.
Figure 1: System Configuration Utility: BOOT.INI tab

HP Support forums

Find solutions and collaborate with others on the HP Support Forum
HP.comHP on FacebookHP on TwitterHP on YouTubeHP on Linked InHP on FlickrHP on Google+