Situations in Which Windows May Not Start in Safe Mode

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Article ID: 199175 - View products that this article applies to.
This article was previously published under Q199175
This article applies to Windows 2000. Support for Windows 2000 ends on July 13, 2010. The Windows 2000 End-of-Support Solution Center is a starting point for planning your migration strategy from Windows 2000. For more information see the Microsoft Support Lifecycle Policy.
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You can use Safe mode to start Windows using a minimal set of drivers and services. If a faulty driver or program is causing problems, you may be able to use Safe mode to bypass the problem and start Windows so that you can diagnose the problem. However, Safe mode may not work in all situations.


Safe mode may not work in these situations:
  • A mass storage driver (SCSI or IDE) is damaged or has been accidentally removed.
  • The Ntoskrnl.exe or Hal.dll file is damaged.
  • A program replaced system files that are critical to the operation of Windows.
To diagnose a problem with Safe mode, follow these steps:
  1. Try all versions of Safe mode to see if Windows will start.
  2. If no version of Safe mode will start, try using the command console to replace or rename a faulty driver or to disable or enable a service.
  3. If the command console does not resolve the issue, you may need to restore the system from a backup.
For more information about the command console or other Windows recovery options, please consult your Windows documentation.

For additional information, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
216417 How to Install the Windows Recovery Console


Article ID: 199175 - Last Review: October 30, 2006 - Revision: 4.3
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Server
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional Edition
kbinfo KB199175

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