Windows 7 Is Stuck In Safe Mode

| January 2, 2012

There can be several reasons why you boot your computer and Windows 7 is stuck in Safe Mode. The majority of the time the cause will be something such as a faulty driver or a corrupt file. Running the start-up repair option from a full install disk is often the only recourse a user will have aside from doing a complete system recovery to factory condition using disks supplied from the manufacturer.  Unfortunately, most users will have neither a full install disk or a set of recovery disks. Before doing anything rash, allow the system to boot into Safe Mode and see if Windows is actually configured to run in Safe Mode.

Windows 7 Safe Mode Options

Windows can be configured to boot in Safe Mode. If Windows 7 is stuck in Safe Mode, go to the Start button and type msconfig in the search box. This will open the Microsoft System Configuration utility. Look under the Boot tab and make sure the Safe Boot box is not checked.

Windows 7 Is Stuck In Safe Mode

Safe boot can be run in the following modes:

Safe boot: Minimal. This boots Windows into Safe Mode, running only critical system services. Networking features are disabled.

Safe boot: Alternate shell:  This option boots to the Windows Command Prompt in safe mode. It runs only critical services. Networking and desktop are disabled.

Safe boot – Active Directory repair: This will boot to the Windows desktop in safe mode, running critical system services and Active Directory.

Safe boot – Network: This option is similar to Minimal mode. It boots to the Windows desktop in safe mode, running only critical system services, but networking is enabled.

No GUI boot:  This will not display the Windows desktop when booting.

Boot log:  Stores all information from the boot process in the file %SystemRoot*Ntbtlog.txt.

Base video: This boots to the Windows desktop in minimal VGA mode. It loads standard VGA drivers instead of those specific to the video hardware of the computer.

OS Boot information: Displays the driver names as they are loaded during the boot process.

Make all boot settings permanent: When this option is selected, you cannot roll back your changes when selecting Normal Startup on the General tab; all options that you wish to change back will have to be altered manually.

Windows 7 Is Stuck In Safe Mode Alternative Resolution

While the msconfig Boot option is worth trying, it’s not likely the problem unless someone was tinkering with the msconfig utility. Therefore, you should try other options to boot normally if Windows 7 is stuck in Safe Mode.

  1. Try a System Restore. Go to Start>Programs>Accessories>System Tools>System Restore and try and reset the computer back to a date where the computer was functioning normally. You will not lose any data.
  2. Uninstall any recent programs or remove any hardware that was recently added to the computer.

If Windows is stuck in Safe Mode and you happen to have a full install disk, try to repair Windows:

  1. Put the Windows installation disc in the drive, and then start the computer.
  2. Press any key when you are prompted.
  3. Select a language, a time, a currency, and a keyboard, and then click Next.
  4. Click on Repair your computer.
  5. Click the operating system you want to repair, and then click Next.
  6. In the System Recovery Options box, click Startup Repair.
  7. Restart the PC when the process is complete.

Contact us in our forums if Windows is stuck in Safe Mode and you still can’t get your computer to boot normally

Category: Windows 7

Dave

About the Author ()

Dave has been providing free computer repair and tech support advice online since 2002. Join us on our forums and be sure to subscribe to our newsletter for weekly tips and other helpful computer articles. Connect with me on: Google+

Comments (2)

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  1. Storm Rathburn says:

    You are freakin’ awesome Dave!!! I’m so glad I ran into your site here. Need to help a friend out with their problem of being stuck in safe mode, and you hit the nail on the head 100%.