Windows Rebooting Options:
"Warm Rebooting" of Windows 9x:
It is common for Windows 95 and 98 computers to run low or entirely out of "resources," often causing you to lose your work in progress as the system freezes up. If you are lucky you might have enough system functionality left to save your work and reboot the computer (one way or another).
Many Windows 9x users aren't aware that it is possible to restart and refresh Windows without going all the way back to the BIOS screen. The method is known as a "warm reboot," and if you are still able to use your mouse and keyboard you should can doing this instead of totally restarting the computer.
To perform a Warm Reboot save and close any work in progress then click on START, SHUTDOWN, check RESTART, hold down the Shift key, then click on OK.
This will reload Windows 9x and your desktop without going back to the BIOS startup screens. It also removes running programs from memory, as well as stalled programs.
"Warm Rebooting" Windows 2000 and XP
The nearest equivilant to a warm reboot in Windows 2000 and XP is to Log Off, then Log back onto your username/account.
The usual method is to click on Start > Log Off. If this option is not present on the Start button, right click on your taskbar and select properties. Look for a checkbox option (Advanced) to "Display Log Off." Users of Windows XP can also Log Off by selecting Start > Shutdown > (select box) Log Off account name.
When you log back into your account the desktop icons will be refreshed, and the local_user startup programs will be reloaded.
Sometimes things go so wrong that even a warm reboot won't get you into a stable Windows desktop. It might be because of a bad driver installation, a faulty program update, a worm or virus, or a corrupted system file or registry entry. You might have to reboot into Safe Mode to fix the problem.
Safe Mode is a special way for Windows to load, with very minimal drivers (like a VGA - 480x600 video driver), when there is a critical problem that interferes with the normal operation of the computer. The purpose of Safe Mode is to allow you to troubleshoot Windows and try to determine what is causing it to malfunction. Once you have corrected the problem, then you can reboot and Windows should load normally.
How to reboot into Safe Mode:
Entering into Safe Mode requiries completely rebooting or restarting your computer, then, after the first startup screen appears continuously pressing the F8 key, until the "Boot Menu" or "Boot Options" command screen appears. In Windows 9x this brings you to the Boot Menu. Under Windows 2000/XP it offers you the Windows 2000 or XP Advanced Options menu. Next, from the Boot Menu with the option list that includes Safe Mode, use the Up-Down Arrow Keys to select SAFE MODE, and press the Enter Key. After a short time the computer will enter into Safe Mode. You may have to login (Windows 2000 and XP) using your user account or the Administrator account, and password, and must dismiss the Safe Mode Notice screen by clicking OK, or press Enter with the screen highlighted. In all instances you will see the words "Safe Mode" in the four corners of your monitor.
Once you are in Safe Mode, you can disable or delete a system service, a bad device driver, or stop certain applications from automatically running on startup, which may be preventing the computer from starting or operating normally. Additionally, Safe Mode startup allows you to safely remove startup references to Worms, Trojans or Viruses that are set to start when Windows boots. Finally, you should also be able to successfully run both Scandisk (Windows 9x) and Disk Defragmenter to completion, because the various behind-the-scenes drivers that tend to interfer with these utilities, and usually load with normal mode Windows, are not loaded in Safe Mode.
You can also use Safe Mode to change the passwords to user or Administrator accounts, create or delete accounts and run backups. Safe Mode is also good for editing the Windows Registry to remove references to unwanted startup programs that may harm your computer. You might not be able to install or uninstall some programs though, especially if they use the Windows "MSI Installer," because it is disabled in Safe Mode.
More Safe Mode Resources:
- Microsoft XP - How to start the computer in safe mode
- A description of the Safe Mode Boot options in Windows XP
- Description of Safe Boot Mode in Windows 2000
- Troubleshooting Windows 98 Startup Problems
- Troubleshooting Windows 95 Using Safe Mode
- How to log on to Windows XP if you forget your password or your password expires