What Does Win10 Safe Mode Do?

  1. Posts : 527

    What Does Win10 Safe Mode Do?

    I am curious about the exact workings of Safe Mode that a Registry Change made in Normal Mode doesn't seem to take effect on numerous Restarts until we Restart in Safe Mode ?

    I wonder just what is happening within the computer at such a time? And what does it signify when we consider making Registry changes in the normal course of events?

    Might do me good to have this understanding.

    That's all I want to know. But shall I provide context/background?

    Well this is the background if you want to bother to read it:

    My computer hung up and I had to do a hard reset - i.e. switch the power off to shut it down.

    It went down and came up again. First time for that behaviour.

    Then I found I couldn't switch it off via software. It wouldn't go off, only restart.

    Googling got advice to delete profiles with the key - I forget what - 'currentprofileimage' ? something like that. A key with 'image' in it.

    I found five profiles all with that key in them. I deleted the four that didn't have any values at the top level.

    And restarted as suggested. No change. Nothing different. Still the same stupid eternal restart.

    Check the Registry. Yep, the changes were in there. Only one Profile showing.

    Googling seemed to indicate I needed a complete update or reinstall or lots of intricate trouble shooting, driving updating and so on.

    But I remembered when I'd read to delete these keys it had said to do it Safe Mode and I hadn't done that. I just did in Normal Mode. My typical sloppy instruction following.

    So coincidentally somehow found these instructions for rebooting in safe mode. Hold the Shift key and press 'Restart'.

    So I did that.

    And when it came up in Safe Mode I simply told it to Shut Down. And I'll be damned: it did.

    Problem fixed.

    So I'm very happy. But I would like to know exactly what went on. Know as much as possible. Where the extra profiles came from and why. Why they had that key in them and what it signifies. Why shutdown was prevented. Why a Registry Change in Normal Mode didn't take effect. Why it took effect in Safe Mode.
      My Computer

  2. Posts : 19,520
    W11+W11 Developer Insider + Linux

    You can gleam how Safe mode works by looking at "msconfig".
    What Does Win10 Safe Mode Do?-image.png
    At it's basic settings it bypasses many drivers and doesn't start many services, in other words just basic Windows operation, just enough to run and no more. As you can see from picture, some options can be enabled but if system defaults to SF, none of that will be enabled. I like to keep Safe Mode as an option while BOOT-ing, comes handy for troubleshooting.
    You can ad Safe Boot option to BOOT menu by copying this line to Command Prompt (Admin): bcdedit /copy {current} /d "Windows 10 Safe Mode" and than adjust the options in msconfig.
    My example is in the picture.
    What Does Win10 Safe Mode Do?-image.png
      My Computers

  3. Posts : 41,615
    windows 10 professional version 1607 build 14393.969 64 bit

    These links may be useful:

    In Windows, what is 'Safe Mode' used for and why? | HowStuffWorks

    For details on what may have happened to the computer Windows often records events.
    The events can be viewed in:
    a) event viewer
    b) reliability control panel
      My Computer


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