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Starting the Microsoft Windows® 98 Operating System in Safe Mode:  
There are four ways to start Windows 98 in Safe Mode:

Method 1
Turn on your computer.
After the Dell™ logo, hold down the <Ctrl> key until the Windows 98 Startup menu appears.
Highlight or select Safe Mode (usually number 3) from the Startup menu.
Press the <Enter> key.

Method 2
Click the Start button, click Run, in the Open box type msconfig and click OK.
Click the Advanced button.
Click Enable Startup Menu.
A check mark will appear in the box.
Click OK.
Click OK.
Choose to restart your computer when prompted.
When the system restarts, use the arrow keys to highlight Safe Mode, then press the <Enter> key.

Method 3
Insert a non-bootable floppy disk in the floppy drive, and restart your computer.
When the message Non-system disk or disk error. Replace and strike any key when ready appears, remove the floppy disk from the drive.
Press the <F8> key twice.
The Windows 98 Startup menu appears.

Use the arrow keys to highlight Safe Mode, and press the <Enter> key.

Method 4
If Windows 98 fails to start, it will attempt to enter Safe Mode automatically on the following restart.

NOTE: To exit Safe Mode, click the Start button, click Shutdown, click Restart The Computer, and click Yes

Starting the Microsoft Windows® Millennium Edition (Me) Operating System in Safe Mode:
Turn on your computer.
Hold down the <Ctrl> key until the Microsoft Windows Millennium Startup Menu appears.
Use the arrow keys to highlight Safe Mode, then press the <Enter> key.

NOTE: To exit Safe Mode, click the Start button, click Shutdown, click Restart The Computer, and click Yes.

Starting the Microsoft Windows® XP Operating System in Safe Mode:
Turn on the computer
Immediately begin tapping the <F8> key.
Use the arrow keys to highlight Safe Mode and press the <Enter> key.

NOTE: To exit Safe Mode, click the Start button, click Turn Off Computer, click Restart.

Additional Information on Safe Mode

Safe Mode is a diagnostic and troubleshooting mode of Windows. Safe Mode bypasses the portion of the registry that loads protected mode device drivers, and
bypasses the Autoexec.bat and Config.sys files. Safe Mode prevents all 32-bit (protected mode) disk drivers from being loaded except the floppy driver.

You may want to enable this setting if your computer does not start due to disk peripheral input/output (I/O) problems. If you start your computer in Safe Mode,
all I/O uses 16-bit (real mode) drivers or the basic input/output system (BIOS). Also, all disk drives that are functional in protected mode only, such as CD and
DVD drives, no longer function in Windows.

Safe Mode uses the original registry settings, System.ini, and Win.ini files. This effectively bypasses the [Boot] and [386Enh] sections of the System.ini file and
disables all the Windows protected mode devices listed in Device Manager. Also, Windows Safe Mode does not run programs listed on the Load= and Run=
lines in the [Windows] section of the Win.ini file.

NOTE: Although the [Boot] section of the System.ini file is bypassed, the shell= and drivers= lines in the [Boot] section are processed.

Safe Mode uses a Standard VGA video driver and resizes the desktop to a resolution of 640 x 480.

Safe mode in Windows 2000 and XP
Windows XP and Windows 2000 provide Safe Mode, a startup option that disables startup programs and nonessential services to create an environment useful
for troubleshooting and diagnosing problems. In Safe Mode, Windows starts a minimal set of drivers that the operating system needs to function. Support for
devices such as audio devices, most USB devices, and IEEE 1394 devices is disabled to reduce the number of variables that you need to consider when
diagnosing the cause of startup problems, Stop messages, or general system instability.
Logging on to the computer in Safe Mode does not update Last Known Good Configuration information. Therefore, if you log on to your computer in Safe
Mode and then decide you want to try Last Known Good Configuration, the option to do so is still available.

The following registry key lists the driver and service groups enabled in safe mode:


Do you have any anti-virus protection on your computer?  
These days it is critical, as there are many just plain evil people who get their kicks from writing virus programs.  If you
EVER get an e-mail from someone you don’t know, do NOT open the attachments!  If you get an e-mail claiming to
be from Microsoft, or your Internet Service Provider, and it asks to open an attachment, CALL THEM FIRST!  It is
almost surely a virus!

Your computer can become infected if you open an attachment that contains a virus.  Some viruses are also
transmitted through Instant Messaging.   Unfortunately, with our kids using the computers, they are often not as
cautious as we are, so an anti-virus program is a very good idea.  We recommend a free one that is excellent. We are
not connected in any way with any of the safety programs mentioned here; this is just public service information.

If you chose to purchase,
Norton, or  McAfee Anti-Virus are two of the most respected names in the industry.

If you want an outstanding free program, you should consider downloading and installing AVG Free.  To get it you
can go to:


and follow the instructions.  We also update at least once a week, since new viruses appear almost every day.  There
is an automatic updater built in, which you can set to update as often as you’d like, so you don’t have to remember.

Another safety program you should consider (if you don’t already have one on your computer) is an anti-spyware
program.  If you are unfamiliar with spyware, here is some information:

Do you get an excessive amount of pop-up ads, even if you are not online?  You probably have
To explain what spyware is, we'll first explain what adware is.  Adware is 'freeware', whereby ads are embedded in the
program. These ads will show up when you open the program. Most adware authors provide the free version with ads
and a registered version whereby the ads are disabled.  As such, you the user have the choice, you either use the
freeware with ads served, or you purchase the registered version.

Spyware, however, is published as 'freeware' or as 'adware', but the fact that an analysis and tracking program (which
reports your activities to the advertising providers' web site for storage and analysis - allowing someone to know
EVERYTHING you do on your computer) is also installed on your system when you install this so-called 'freeware', is
usually not mentioned.  Even though the name may indicate so, spyware is not an illegal type of software in any
way.  But what the adware and spyware providers do with the collected information and what they're going to 'feed'
you with, is beyond your control.  That makes it a highly undesirable activity and it should be banned from the
Internet and/or your computer system as of today.

Spyware can even be found accompanying hardware you buy and install in your system. Yes, the software you install
with hardware purchased from certain manufacturers (some even well-known) may include spyware agents.

Some spyware programs will actually hijack your computer, and SELL the disk space and memory.  They can even
use your computer to host really ugly stuff, like child pornography.  Also, they can use your e-mail to send out spam to
other people, including e-mails infected with viruses, or that include or install pornography on other people’s

Your best defense is an anti-spyware program (different than anti-virus).  These programs will find the
spyware on your computer, and offer you the option of deleting it.  

PLEASE NOTE: There are some popular programs, such as KaZaa, (used for downloading free music through a
peer-to-peer sharing system) which include spyware with their program,  If the spyware is removed, the program WILL
NOT function, so you must make an individual choice about being able to download, but giving up personal
information to the spyware.

A very detailed article offering information and free anti-spyware programs is available at:

On our computers, we run “Ad-Aware” a very good free anti-spyware program, which is available for download at:
All of this information is passed along purely as a public service.  
We all know how expensive computers and components are, and we all want to protect our
children from pornography.  
We do not endorse or receive any compensation from any of the sites or programs listed here.
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