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Last Known Good Configuration

Friday, January 19th, 2007 by | Filed Under: File & Disk Management
 
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Q:
Please explain what the Last Known Good Configuration is. I’m not quite understanding it.

A:
The Last Known Good Configuration is basically a copy of a computer’s hardware configuration and its driver settings. It is taken from the system’s registry readings when a computer has a good, clean boot up. This copy is made for whenever a computer fails to boot up successfully. When that happens, the system’s operating system is able to pull up the good copy and perform a successful startup.

The Last Known Good Configuration feature is available for any Windows operating system from NT on. Also, if your computer does happen to have some problems during its boot up, Windows will detect that and it will actually add the copy of your last successful boot to your startup menu. That way, you can go and access it from that point and start your boot up correctly again.

This feature is mostly helpful after new drivers or devices are installed on your system. If either of those had an error while the install was in process, you can still go back and get a clean boot. One more thing: Every time your computer boots up correctly, the Last Known Good Configuration record is replaced with the newest one. That way, you have the most recent successful boot for your computer to start with. Let’s say that you just installed a new driver on your system. It seems like the installation was done right, but for some reason, your computer will not start up like it usually does. Well, this is exactly where the Last Known Good Configuration comes in handy.

To start your computer using the Last Known Good Configuration that your computer has on record, simply start up your computer and hit the F8 key on your keyboard as it’s booting.The Windows Advanced Options menu should appear and you can use your keyboard’s arrow keys to scroll down to the “Last Known Good Configuration (your most recent settings that worked)” option. Once you’ve got it highlighted, press Enter.


Your computer will then boot up successfully and you’ll be able to look into what caused the problem in the first place. Now, keep in mind that the Last Known Good Configuration feature does not automatically fix the problems you were having. It will only get your computer started so you can troubleshoot the rest of the problem on your own. Either way, it’s an easy way to combat your computer startup troubles. You can’t complain about that, now can you?!

~Erin

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