Tech-Tips

How to Speed Up a Slow PC

Improve Your PC For Better Performance

Device Driver Help

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is my computer rebooting to safe mode?

Question:
What is causing Windows 98 computer to lose drivers and to enter Safe Mode? On reboot it goes to window protection mode, either requiring resetting the video settings due to conflict, or goes to illegal function and locks up, either way it shows an illegal function and locks up. We normally leave the machine on 24 hours a day.

Answer:
You may have software problems due to Windows becoming unstable. The failures you describe are typical of Windows errors. There are a few things you should do. The first thing you need to do is run an updated virus checker, so you can eliminate a virus as the cause. We like Pareto Anti-virus software, it is the easiest and fastest to use with a very detailed tracking system. The second thing you need to do is run Windows Scandisk.

Go to My Computer and Right click on your hard drive icon, and then selectProperties, then select Tools. Use the Error Checking utility. If you can't access this from start up, press (F5) while rebooting. If your PC starts up faster in safe mode, then it’s a good bet that the problem is related to either the operating system or some installed software, rather than the PC hardware itself. In that case, you can try to eliminate any unused or corrupted software.

Windows can also become corrupt as programs are added and deleted. It is not untypical that drivers are lost, especially if old drivers exist on the computer or new equipment has been recently added. Even running several programs at one time can cause a computer to use up all its available RAM and crash. These crashes can also cause loss of video and other drivers. We suggest you use Driver Detective to locate and re-install all missing or broken drivers first.

Also you may want to try the RegAce System Suite software before you try messing around with files and folders on your PC.

The hard way is to format your hard drive and reinstall Windows from scratch. You will have to reinstall all your software, drivers, Internet settings etc. (so write down any information you need to remember, like Internet access numbers, before you format your drive). This method could take many hours to complete, however you would not have any "garbage" remaining in your Windows directory. Many "purists" believe in the hard way as the only way to deal with an unstable Windows installation as it cleans up all the old drivers and files that could have caused the original problems.