One of the go-to methods for diagnosing any critical error in Windows is to boot into Safe Mode. Safe Mode disables all non-essential drivers and third-party software so that your computer can boot without any interference.
But what if your computer can't boot into Safe Mode at all? Your computer may get stuck at the Startup Options screen or simply crash whenever you try to boot into Safe Mode. Fortunately, there are a plethora of fixes you can try to resolve this error.
If you have tried fixing a startup error before, you have probably used the Deployment Image Servicing and Management (DISM) tool. This tool detects and repairs any problems in the Windows disk image. Leaving the technical jargon aside, you can use DISM and System File Checker (SFC) in conjunction to resolve many system errors.
Before you hop in, however, always remember to run DISM before SFC because SFC uses the system image for repairs.
The DISM tool can be run using the Command Prompt:
System File Checker (SFC) is an in-built Windows utility that automatically detects and repairs corrupt or missing Windows system files. You should always perform an SFC scan first when diagnosing many Windows errors, including if Windows can't start up in Safe Mode. This is because most system errors are the result of corrupt or missing Windows files.MAKEUSEOF VIDEO OF THE DAY
Related: What Is the Difference Between CHKDSK, SFC, and DISM in Windows 10?
You can run SFC via the Command Prompt:
After running DISM and SFC, reboot your computer and try booting it in Safe Mode. If it still doesn't work, move on to the next section.
The Windows Startup Repair tool is another Windows utility that deals with boot issues, even if Windows itself won't boot. The utility is competent and will most likely fix any boot issues you may have, including problems with Safe Mode. There are multiple ways to access Windows Startup Repair, but if you can boot into your PC normally, you can access it using Settings.
If you can't reach the Settings menu on your PC, you can still access the Windows Startup Repair tool by forcing the computer to shut down several times.
After Startup Repair completes its job, reboot your computer and try booting into Safe Mode again.
The Complimentary Metal-Oxide-Semiconductor (CMOS) stores the configuration settings of your computer on its motherboard. It is powered by the CMOS battery, which is also a physical part of your motherboard. If you remove this battery and reinsert it, the CMOS is cleared, and all BIOS settings are restored to their default preferences.
Related: Why Does My Motherboard Have a Battery?
Fortunately, you may not need to open up your PC to perform this trick. Some motherboards allow you to reset the settings from the BIOS menu, meaning you don't need to remove the CMOS battery whatsoever.
If you don't find the option to reset your BIOS from the above menu, you can still achieve the same results by reinstalling the battery. However, you should only use this method if you're comfortable with handling computer hardware.
After clearing the CMOS, try rebooting into Safe Mode.
If none of the other methods are working, then you should probably reset your computer. Unfortunately, when you reset your PC, all your settings are lost, and Windows reinstalls itself. However, you can choose to retain your personal files, so you don't lose everything.
If you'd like to do this, Windows 10 allows you to reset your PC via the Settings:
There are other methods to factory reset your PC, so be sure to give them a try if you need to do a fresh clean.
If your computer struggles to boot into Safe Mode, don't fret. There are plenty of methods you can try, and hopefully, one of the above tricks helped you get Safe Mode back again.
Having the ability to boot into Safe Mode is important since it helps you get around many other errors. But it is also important to understand what Safe Mode is and how to use it to its full potential.What Is Safe Mode in Windows 10? Read NextShareTweetShareEmail Related TopicsAbout The AuthorManuviraj Godara(142 Articles Published)
Manuviraj is a Features Writer at MakeUseOf and has been writing about video games and technology for over two years. He is an avid gamer who also spends his free time burning through his favourite music albums and reading.MoreFrom Manuviraj Godara
Join our newsletter for tech tips, reviews, free ebooks, and exclusive deals!