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safe mode

safe mode in Technology

operating system
An alternative way to start Microsoft Windows such that only a minimal set of software components (drivers and background processes) are loaded, making it easier to diagnose problems. Safe mode loads a standard low resolution video driver and does not support connection to the Internet.
Windows will sometimes restart in safe mode automatically following a crash. All Windows versions except Windows 3.1 can be started in safe mode, usually by holding the Ctrl or F8 key while the computer is restarting. To start Windows NT in safe mode you need to edit C:\boot.ini.
Once the problem is fixed you need to restart Windows normally to load all the installed components.

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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Historical Examples
  • This may be defined as the safe mode of running before a broken sea.

    The Life Savers James Otis
  • Hercules paused for a moment to contemplate the stream, and glanced about for some safe mode to transport Deianeira across.

    Myths of Greece and Rome H. A. Guerber
  • For instance, that we must "stuff a cold to cure it," when the reverse of the case is the only safe mode of procedure.

    The Spirit Land Samuel B. (Samuel Bulfinch) Emmons

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