How to start your computer by using the Last Known Good Configuration feature in Windows XP

INTRODUCTION

This article describes how to use the Last Known Good Configuration feature in Windows XP. The Last Known Good Configuration feature is a recovery option that you can use to start your computer by using the most recent settings that worked. The Last Known Good Configuration feature restores registry information and driver settings that were in effect the last time the computer started successfully. Use the Last Known Good Configuration feature when you cannot start Windows XP after you make a change to your computer, or when you suspect that a change that you just made may cause a problem. For example, you can use this feature if you cannot start Windows XP after you install a new driver for your video adapter, or if you installed an incorrect driver and have not yet restarted your computer.


When you start your computer by using the Last Known Good Configuration feature, Windows XP restores information in the following registry key:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet
Note Any changes that were made to other registry keys remain.

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More Information

How to start your computer by using the Last Known Good Configuration feature

To start your computer by using the Last Known Good Configuration feature, follow these steps:

  1. Start your computer.
  2. When you see the "Please select the operating system to start" message, press the F8 key.
  3. When the Windows Advanced Options menu appears, use the ARROW keys to select Last Known Good Configuration (your most recent settings that worked), and then press ENTER.
  4. If you are running other operating systems on your computer, use the ARROW keys to select Microsoft Windows XP, and then press ENTER.
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Troubleshooting

  • With the Last Known Good Configuration feature, you can recover from configuration problems such as newly installed drivers that may be incorrect for your computer's hardware. It does not correct problems that are caused by missing or corrupted drivers or files.
  • The Last Known Good Configuration feature uses information that is saved from the last time that you shut down your computer to restore registry settings and drivers. Therefore, you can use this feature only if you were able to start your computer successfully before you restore your computer by using the last known good configuration.
  • After you start your computer by using the Last Known Good Configuration feature, changes that were made since the last successful startup are lost.
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References

For additional information about how to restore Windows XP, click the following article numbers to view the articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

306084 How to restore Windows XP to a previous state

306546 How to use the Driver Roll Back feature to restore a previous version of a device driver in Windows XP

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Properties

Article ID: 307852 - Last Review: Sep 23, 2011 - Revision: 1

Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition, Microsoft Windows XP Professional

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