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  1. #1
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    How to Use Safe Mode (Vista Home Premium SP1)

    My laptop stopped shutting down properly yesterday and after I forced it off it wouldn't boot up again so I entered Safe Mode.

    There are really 3 kinds of Safe Mode and I've tried all 3. In just plain "Safe Mode" I get a blank screen with the Safe Mode labels in the corners. In this mode I cannot find any way to do anything! The mouse moves the cursor around but nothing else I tried had any effect. In "Safe Mode with Communications" I had the same result. In "Safe Mode with Command Prompt" I did get the command prompt and I could use the usual commands there, so that mode seemed to be working normally.

    Is there something wrong with the other 2 Safe Modes on my laptop? If not, how do I accomplish anything in those modes?

    In an attempt to boot up today, it booted up correctly so I'm using it while it lasts! I don't know if yesterday's problem has gone away completely or not but I'm not going to try to shut down until I've learned a little here.

    Thanks, Bill

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    Re: How to Use Safe Mode (Vista Home Premium SP1)

    1. In Safe Mode only the basic files and drivers necessary to run Windows are started.
    2. Safe Mode with Networking includes the network drivers and services needed to access the Internet or other computers on your network.
    3. Safe Mode with Command Prompt starts Windows in safe mode with a command prompt window instead of the usual Windows interface. This option is intended for IT professionals and administrators.

    If a problem does not reappear when you start in safe mode, you can eliminate the default settings and basic device drivers as possible causes.
    In both Safe Mode and Safe Mode with Networking you should get a windows interface with program icons on a black background.
    Windows Vista might have repaired the original problem. I suggest you try entering Safe Mode again and check for a normal result.

  3. #3
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    Re: How to Use Safe Mode (Vista Home Premium SP1)

    John,
    Vista does seem to have fixed itself! Now, I can reboot into Safe Mode and see the desktop icons and the Start menu! I have not actually used Safe Mode before but I had booted into it before and I had forgotten that I was supposed to see those things until I received your message. It appears to working properly now.

    Now that it is working I'm wondering if you, or anyone else, has any idea what might have gone wrong or what might have caused the problem. We have been on a trip with our 6 year old grandson and he played games on the laptop quite a bit during the last week. Near the end of the trip, I had some problems shutting down but it was usually a problem with getting Windows Explorer to close. There were also a few times where I got a message that Windows Explorer or Windows was not responding and I had a choice to restart it or wait for it to respond. Each time I clicked on the restart choice and it restarted right there, in place. The final problem yesterday was that a normal shutdown hung at some point. After I forced it off by pressing the power button it hung during the next power up. That all seems to have been magically fixed!

    Thanks for your message.
    Bill

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    Re: How to Use Safe Mode (Vista Home Premium SP1)

    Bill. Try using Event Viewer to look at the various occurrences of hanging. To open Event Viewer click on the Start button and type Event Viewer in the start search box. Then click on Event Viewer at the top of the panel.

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    Re: How to Use Safe Mode (Vista Home Premium SP1)

    John,
    I've finally gotten time to look at the event viewer for a little and it does contain a lot of error entries during the time I was having the problem. Most of the errors indicate the failure of Explorer.exe to exit. I'll keep this process in mind and try to look at the events when the problems are happening the next time.

    Thanks for your help.
    Bill

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    Re: How to Use Safe Mode (Vista Home Premium SP1)

    Bill. Glad Event Viewer was helpful. You might also want to look at the Reliability and Performance Monitor. This can be started by typing Reliability in the Start Search box and clicking the icon that appears at the top of the panel. Its Reliability Monitor function can be useful.

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    Re: How to Use Safe Mode (Vista Home Premium SP1)

    John,
    I wasn't aware of the Reliability and Performance Monitor. It shows some interesting information. The Reliability part does show a lot of instances where Explorer.exe refused to respond. In some cases it also indicates that the computer was shutdown unexpectedly. Those were the times when it seemed the only way to get it to shutdown was to force it off with the On button. The Reliability curve has a slight downward slope but no quick changes in slope so maybe my recent problems were not as unique as I thought. I looked back through a few weeks and there were some instances of Explorer.exe not responding all along.

    Is Explorer.exe used for both Windows Explorer and Internet Explorer? If not, which one is it?

    Thanks,
    Bill

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    Re: How to Use Safe Mode (Vista Home Premium SP1)

    Explorer.exe is the user shell on your Windows system (taskbar, desktop, etc.).

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    Re: How to Use Safe Mode (Vista Home Premium SP1)

    Bill. I wonder if you can pin down the crashes of Explorer.exe to the running of a particular application such as a game. Perhaps keeping a log of application usage would help.

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    Re: How to Use Safe Mode (Vista Home Premium SP1)

    Check out the links at windows vista troubleshoot shutdown - Live Search. Start with WinVistaClub : Windows Vista does not shutdown. You should also ensure that your BIOS is up-to-date and the you are up-to-date with Windows patches.

    Joe
    Joe

  11. #11
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    Re: How to Use Safe Mode (Vista Home Premium SP1)

    Joe,
    Thanks for the links to the helpful articles. I've looked at them a little and I'll go back and look some more after I describe my current problem in more specific terms in a new thread.

    Bill

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    Re: How to Use Safe Mode (Vista Home Premium SP1)

    John,
    OK, I thought that it would probably be Windows Explorer which is also used for the desktop, etc. Thanks for confirming that.

    Yes, it would be a good idea for me to keep track of which games my grandson plays the next time he uses my laptop. However, right now I'm still having problems and he hasn't used the laptop for a week. I'll start a new message on this subject now that I've used the event viewer to see what is going on.

    Thanks for your help on this.
    Bill

    P.S. The new message thread is titled "Explorer.exe Stops Working"

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