That Windows fails is nothing new. Microsoft’s operating system can be running perfectly for months and suddenly, overnight, stop booting. Why this can happen depends a lot on chance. For example, a program may have corrupted the system, a driver may have been damaged, and even an update may have gotten stuck and prevented us from starting the system normally. Whatever the reason, Windows hides an ace up its sleeve with which, no matter how serious the error, we can start the PC. This ace is known as Safe Mode.
Safe Mode, or failsafe mode, is a special mode that allows us to start the operating system with what is strictly necessary for it to work. When starting the PC in this mode, what we do is load only the official Microsoft drivers, as well as the processes that are signed by the company. Therefore, all third-party drivers, programs and services that may be responsible for something going wrong are disabled.
By disabling all of this, we make sure that no third-party programs or drivers can cause problems. It is also effective against viruses, since, not having the Microsoft signature, it cannot boot in this mode, so we can eliminate it.
Of course, we must bear in mind that this mode is limited. We will not be able to launch many programs as we do not have certain services running. We will not be able to install many programs either, since the installers do not work. What we can do is access all our personal files, as well as uninstall programs that may be causing problems.
To launch this mode, we can force the PC to shutdown during startup 5 times in a row, or if we are inside Windows hold down the shift key while we click on restart.
When the Safe Mode does not work, it is that our PC has an already very serious error that affects the essential files of the operating system. So, what we should do is try to repair the system from another section called “Advanced Startup”. It is easy that we have already seen this section on some other occasion. For example, after an unexpected system shutdown. It is characterized by showing a blue screen with different options in white letters.
Although the truth is that, if we cannot start Windows in Safe Mode, things look bad. However, from this advanced start we can try some tricks to try to get our PC to work again:
- Open command prompt and run DISM, CHKDSK and SFC.
- Use a restore point to recover the system. The PC will be left as it was at the time of creation, returning to work (almost) always.
- Uninstall the latest updates. In this way, if it has been one of them that has corrupted the system, we will be able to recover it.
- Reset (reinstall) Windows without losing data. In addition, in this process we take the opportunity to download the latest version from the cloud and install it.