3.2. Using F8 Options During Boot-up

In Windows 2000 or XP, a message appears at the bottom of the splash screen at the start of the boot process, telling you to press the F8 key to see the advanced boot options. In Vista, there is no prompt, but you can still access the boot menu to appear by pressing F8 immediately after the POST process. After you open the boot menu, you can choose Safe Mode or Safe Mode with Networking. Windows 2000 and Windows XP also have a Safe Mode with Command Prompt option that loads cmd.exe as your shell application.

When you access the F8 boot menu at system startup, you reveal several advanced boot options, depending on your OS:

  • Safe Mode

  • Safe Mode with Networking

  • Save Mode with Command Prompt

  • Enable Boot Logging

  • Enable VGA Mode

  • Enable low-resolution video (640x480)

  • Last Known Good Configuration

  • Directory Services Restore Mode

  • Debugging Mode

  • Disable Automatic Restart on System Failure

  • Disable Driver Signature Enforcement

3.2.1. Booting into Safe Mode

If the computer hangs or crashes and reboots during the boot process, you might have a device-related error. If a Windows XP or Vista computer fails to boot properly, and you think that the problem is related to a service or driver that is loading, you might be able to boot the computer into Safe Mode.

Windows NT 4.0 does not have a Safe Mode boot, but it does have Enable VGA (Video Graphics Array) mode that you can select from the main boot menu. This is similar to Windows XP Enable VGA Mode, which loads all ...

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