safe mode

Definition of safe mode in The Network Encyclopedia.

What is Safe Mode (in Windows ecosystem)?

A mode of starting Microsoft Windows 95, Windows 98, and Windows 2000 that bypasses startup files and runs a basic set of files and drivers including mouse, keyboard, video, mass storage, and basic system services. Safe mode is used for troubleshooting Windows 95, Windows 98, and Windows 2000 when your system fails to boot properly - for example, due to a corrupt device driver or after you make an erroneous change to the registry. Safe mode bypasses the system startup files to allow you to start with a “clean” configuration.

To access safe mode while booting Windows 95 and Windows 98, press the F5 key when the screen shows the message “Starting Windows 95…” or “Starting Windows 98…” You can also start safe mode from the command prompt by typing win /d:m. You can also press F6 to access safe mode with networking support. When you are in safe mode, you are informed of this by text displayed in all four corners of the screen.

To access safe mode while booting Windows 2000, press the F8 key when you see the message “Please select the operating system to start.” You will then be presented with a list of options that includes three safe mode options: standard, networking-enabled, and safe mode with command prompt. Use the arrow keys to navigate the list. Press the Enter key to make your selection.

Graphic S-1. Safe mode.