<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.
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Nearby terms: SADT « SAFARI « safe « safe mode » safety » safety-critical system » saga