Safe Mode

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Having an accustomed environment encircle you can exude reassuring emotions of safety and keep you in a state of tranquillity and composure… unlike this sentence.
That is why safe mode can be such a great tool to use and see from an IT perspective.
In the past week I’ve had to resort to using safe mode on several occasions, all of them because of different causes and all of them required different solutions – and all of them used the Safe Mode OS (Operating System) to get the job done.

If you have never seen or heard of safe mode, it can simply be described as a diagnostic mode built into an electronic device to help a technician diagnose and resolve technical issues usually involving software issues such as driver problems, incompatible software, viruses, display problems or corrupt files.

On a Windows based system, if you would like to access Safemode the most common method of starting up safe mode is to reboot your PC, press the F8 key (although this does vary depending on the PC type, model and BIOS version) and then select “Safe Mode” from the boot options.
If you run Windows 8, it will be either a combination of SHIFT+F8 or a different button depending on your motherboard developer. (Had to press F12 to access safe mode on an ASUS Motherboard this week).

There are other ways of starting in safe mode on a Windows based PC.
Run the Microsoft Start up configuration utility, Under General, Select “Diagnostic Setup” and then reboot your PC. This method sometimes gets blocked by rogue malware and therefore the first method needs to be implemented.

What safe mode does is try and boot into the Operating System with as little drivers as possible.
This means that whatever prompted you to use safe mode should not start along with the bare minimum of drivers to run the operating system.
This minimalistic boot up allows the user to isolate a driver problem without having to think about dozens of variations or issues because all but the very essential “core” drivers are running.
It practically takes away all the non-needed software and presents you with an OS that should be working… helping you work backwards and resolve the problem

I personally try and use the option “Safe Mode with Networking” if the issue does not involve viruses or malware as this loads up the network drivers and adaptors along with the bare minimum OS files.