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2012-04-03

A+: F8, typical problems and best choice for startup options

There's only a small window of time available to press F8; it’s right between the BIOS and when the normal operating system boots. Press F8 repeatedly right after the BIOS POST begins. It is important to note that the Last Known Good Configuration option will only be helpful before a successful logon occurs. After a user logs on, that becomes the last known good logon. It is recommended that you attempt to repair a computer with the Advanced Boot Options before using Windows Vista’s System Recovery Options, or Windows XP/2000’s Recovery Console. Now, here are some typical situations:

 Windows versions: Vista, XP, 2000
 Problem: Windows won't start after new HW/SW install
 Startup option: Last Known Good Configuration
 Description: Resets Windows to last known working configuration; must reinstall HW and/or SW after the Last Known Good time.


 Windows versions: Vista, XP, 2000
 Problem: Windows won't start after upgrading a device driver
 Startup option: Safe mode
 Description: After starting in Safe mode, open Device Manager, choose the device and Rollback to the use the previous device driver version, then restart. Note: Color settings will be preserved but the resolution drops back to VGA.


 Windows versions: Vista, XP, 2000
 Problem: Windows won't start after installing a different video card or monitor.
 Startup option: Enable VGA mode/low resolution (640x480) video
 Description: Most video adapters should be installed in VGA mode. If errors occur, use this option, then choose Display Properties for find a video mode which works before restarting.


 Windows versions: Vista, XP, 2000
 Problem: Windows can't start normally; how do you access the web to research the problem or download updates?
 Startup option: Safe Mode w/ Networking
 Description: Windows Update via the Internet may work, but some devices won't function in this mode. Color settings are preserved, but the resolution drops back to 640x480.


 Windows versions: Vista, XP, 2000
 Problem: Windows won't finish starting normally; you need to discover which driver or process prevents it.
 Startup option: Enable Boot Logging
 Description: Your PC starts w/ all normal drivers and settings, whicl also creating NTBTLOG.TXT in the default folder for Windows (C:\WINDOWS for VIsta/XP or C:\WINNT for 2000). Afterwards, restart in Safe Mode then examine the file with Notepad, Wordpad or a text editor to find the last driver file loaded. Then, update that driver or remove its HW device to restore the system to function.


 Windows versions: Vista, XP
 Problem: Windows loads programs in startup you don't need.
 Startup option: Normal mode (or Safe Mode if Normal fails), then do {Win-R} MSCONFIG
 Description: MSCONFIG can disable one or more apps before you reboot. MSCONFIG can also restore damages files or you can use System Restore to revert to an earlier configuration.





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