Using Windows 10 Safe Mode to Fault Isolate/Troubleshoot


  1. Posts : 108
    Windows 10 Home x64 vers. 2004
       #1

    Using Windows 10 Safe Mode to Fault Isolate/Troubleshoot


    Hi;

    I would like assistance to learn more about the Windows Safe Mode method for fault isolation/troubleshooting. I seem to recall that Safe Mode is useful for troubleshooting, but cannot recall details. I think the approach is to disable half of the existing apps, then reboot to Normal Mode to see if the problem continues.

    If no, the problem does not continue to occur, then the cause of the problem may be within the remaining, other one-half, of the enabled apps; so, disable the remaining one-half of apps, and try again, and again, etc. Thusly, drilling down until the one app that is causing the problem is identified/remains.

    If yes, the problem does continue to occur, then disable one-half of the presently enabled apps, and try again, and again, etc.

    However, I do not know where such a listing of the apps can be viewed and then also be disabled.


    Please clarify, correct my recall, or expand on the suggested method of troubleshooting by using Windows Safe Mode. Or, point me to an documented procedure for troubleshooting with Windows Safe Mode.

    TNX.
    VinceB.

    P.S. My present problem is that several icons that are located on my desktop screen and are in the taskbar are continuously flashing, and eventually, Windows 10 crashes. I am hoping that Safe Mode is useful in isolating the cause of this issue.


      My Computer

  2. dalchina's Avatar
    Posts : 29,926
    Win 10 Pro (1903)
       #2

    Hi, there are a number of threads on the forum related to icons flashing- you are free to search the forum for such threads.

    However, you also say Win 10 crashes, but not how. For example, is that a BSOD? (Blue screen with a message?)
    If it is, I'd recommend you repost in the BSOD section of this forum, observing the posting requirements of that section (data capture).

    You can check for BSOD reports using this free utility (easy to find): Bluescreenview
    Please check for recent BSOD reports and post accordingly.

    Meanwhile, please do these two very basic and routine checks:
    1. First check your disk(s):
    Download and run Hard Disk Sentinel (trial) (includes SSDs)
    (This gives exceptionally good text comments)
    Post a screenshot of its GUI using the Insert Image icon above your post.
    If all disks are reported as good, continue.

    2. Now check your file system:

    From an admin command or powershell prompt
    [Windows key + X, click command prompt (admin)]
    chkdsk C: /F
    Your PC will need to restart.
    Post back the result, which you can get after a restart as follows:
    Read Chkdsk Log in Event Viewer in Windows 10 | Windows 10 Tutorials
    or
    How to read Event Viewer log for Chkdsk in Windows 10 [Tip] | dotTech

    and post the result.

    Which is your Windows build? Windows key + R, winver
    ===================

    Notes:
    There is no specific troubleshooting method using Safe Mode.
    Safe Mode is essentially Windows with basic and a minimal number of drivers, and all user installed programs that normally start disabled.

    For example, you see the display resolution change, because a basic graphics driver is used rather than the one installed for your video card.

    Boot into Safe Mode on Windows 10 | Windows 10 Tutorials

    By contrast, a clean boot means logging in normally with normal drivers, but no user added programs starting.
    Instructions here:
    Perform a Clean Boot in Windows 10 to Troubleshoot Software Conflicts | Windows 10 Tutorials

    This helps you with one simple way to disable programs which start up.

    That's what you're thinking of in your 2nd and 3rd paras.

    Please do not bother trying to use these basic techniques as you probably have quite a different type of problem.


    If you are experiencing BSODs resolving that should be your first priority.
    For interest here are some threads on flashing icons:
    Blinking/Flashing Icons on Desktop PC - Windows 10 Forums
    Desktop icons occasional flash - Windows 10 Forums
    Taskbar desktop randomly refreshes after upgrading to ten Solved - Windows 10 Forums
      My Computers

  3. dalchina's Avatar
    Posts : 29,926
    Win 10 Pro (1903)
       #3

    Your previous two threads on this topic are here:
    Blinking/Flashing Icons on Desktop PC - Windows 10 Forums
    Desktop Icons and Taskbar Icons are Flashing, Continously - Windows 10 Forums

    Please can you close the other two off and make sure you only have one thread open on a given topic. Thank you.
      My Computers


  4. Posts : 108
    Windows 10 Home x64 vers. 2004
    Thread Starter
       #4

    dalchina said:
    Hi, there are a number of threads on the forum related to icons flashing- you are free to search the forum for such threads.

    However, you also say Win 10 crashes, but not how. For example, is that a BSOD? (Blue screen with a message?)

    If it is, I'd recommend you repost in the BSOD section of this forum, observing the posting requirements of that section (data capture).

    You can check for BSOD reports using this free utility (easy to find): Bluescreenview
    Please check for recent BSOD reports and post accordingly.

    Meanwhile, please do these two very basic and routine checks:
    1. First check your disk(s):
    Download and run Hard Disk Sentinel (trial) (includes SSDs)
    (This gives exceptionally good text comments)
    Post a screenshot of its GUI using the Insert Image icon above your post.
    If all disks are reported as good, continue.

    2. Now check your file system:

    From an admin command or powershell prompt
    [Windows key + X, click command prompt (admin)]
    chkdsk C: /F
    Your PC will need to restart.
    Post back the result, which you can get after a restart as follows:
    Read Chkdsk Log in Event Viewer in Windows 10 | Windows 10 Tutorials
    or
    How to read Event Viewer log for Chkdsk in Windows 10 [Tip] | dotTech

    and post the result.

    Which is your Windows build? Windows key + R, winver
    ===================

    Notes:
    There is no specific troubleshooting method using Safe Mode.
    Safe Mode is essentially Windows with basic and a minimal number of drivers, and all user installed programs that normally start disabled.


    For example, you see the display resolution change, because a basic graphics driver is used rather than the one installed for your video card.

    Boot into Safe Mode on Windows 10 | Windows 10 Tutorials

    By contrast, a clean boot means logging in normally with normal drivers, but no user added programs starting.
    Instructions here:
    Perform a Clean Boot in Windows 10 to Troubleshoot Software Conflicts | Windows 10 Tutorials

    This helps you with one simple way to disable programs which start up.

    That's what you're thinking of in your 2nd and 3rd paras.

    Please do not bother trying to use these basic techniques as you probably have quite a different type of problem.


    If you are experiencing BSODs resolving that should be your first priority.
    For interest here are some threads on flashing icons:
    Blinking/Flashing Icons on Desktop PC - Windows 10 Forums
    Desktop icons occasional flash - Windows 10 Forums
    Taskbar desktop randomly refreshes after upgrading to ten Solved - Windows 10 Forums
    TNX Dalchina. I'll work on some of your suggestions when time permits.
    No, it is not BSOD. When I say Windows crashes, I mean that the desktop icons and those within the taskbar, when clicked, do not respond. In the taskbar I see a blank box with a blue line at its bottom. At this point, I need to reboot the PC to regain control.
    Are you saying that my user "installed programs that normally start" are disabled?? Please clarify for me.
    Winver reports: Version 1803 OS Build 17134.345

    I will look into Clean Boot further.
    I did run DELL's diagnostic routine, and believe that the HDD is healthy.






      My Computer

  5. dalchina's Avatar
    Posts : 29,926
    Win 10 Pro (1903)
       #5

    Hi,
    Are you saying that my user "installed programs that normally start" are disabled?? Please clarify for me.
    That was specifically about Safe Mode. In Safe Mode your startups don't. Safe Mode is a minimal mode with minimal risk of not starting. Hence as much as reasonably possibly doesn't run. That said, in a few cases, services related to a few installed programs may still run, I've found.

    Disks: please follow the instructions given- chkdsk checks the file system - quite different to checking the physical disk. HD Sentinel sometimes finds or reports things others don't.

    When I say Windows crashes, I mean that the desktop icons and those within the taskbar, when clicked, do not respond. In the taskbar I see a blank box with a blue line at its bottom. At this point, I need to reboot the PC to regain control.
    Please see if anything goes wrong in
    a. Safe Mode
    b. after a clean boot

    Please examine your Reliability History - type 'Reli' in the search field for example.
    Click on red x's to see details and note any patterns and report appropriately.

    Please run Appcrashview (free) and advise results.

    These may give some clue as to what's happening.

    Note: freezes (by their nature) may mean no appropriate report is generated.

    zbook will probably take this thread over soon.

    Thanks.
    Last edited by dalchina; 16 Oct 2018 at 02:33.
      My Computers


 

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