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Safe Mode with Command Prompt

Have you ever booted up your computer and not been able to reach the Windows desktop? It may be because of corrupted Windows system files, or perhaps you inadvertently downloaded a virus. Either way, a terrible sense of panic begins to set in – trust me, I know. “All my photos and files are gone! I have no backups!” Take a deep breath and relax. Today, I’m going to show you the simplest method to get your computer back to operational in no time! Pay attention, because you never know when disaster might strike!

When your computer starts acting kooky, by giving you error messages or not loading properly, my first advice is always to boot into Safe Mode. We’ve talked about Safe Mode [1] at WorldStart before, but just to reiterate, it’s a mode of Windows that only loads the bare minimum of necessary system files. However, if one of the fundamental system files has become corrupted or attacked by a virus, then even Safe Mode will not load. Luckily, Microsoft thought ahead and developed Safe Mode with Command Prompt. This mode of Windows only loads a simple command prompt feature… like the old days when you turned on your computer and this DOS window was all you would get!

From here, we can open up System Restore, and roll back our settings to an earlier date, when things were working correctly.

To get started with Safe Mode with Command Prompt, turn off your computer. As soon as you press the power button, begin tapping the F8 key multiple times to open the Boot Menu.

Using your arrow keys, highlight Safe Mode with Command Prompt, and select Enter.

Allow Windows time to load the necessary processes, and very soon you’ll see a full screen command prompt window as I showed you before.

If you are using Windows XP, you’ll need to enter %systemroot%\system32\restore\rstrui.exe and select Enter.

However, if your computer is Windows Vista or 7, it’s a little bit easier. Simply type rstrui.exe and press Enter.

System Restore will open and from here it’s a piece of cake. For a quick review, select a restore point prior to when you first began experiencing symptoms on your computer. If you need a refresher, we have a great video tutorial [2] in the archives.

After the restore wizard finishes, your computer will restart, and you should be back to normal!

Be prepared to amaze your friends with how quickly you can fix their computer woes!

~ Jay Neil Patel