Windows: Recovering From a Virus or Error With 'Safe' Mode
What is Windows’ safe mode? Milford Computer Service knows, and we're happy to help if you're in the Milford, New Hampshire or Nashua, New Hampshire area. As the name might imply, it’s a pretty safe place to be. If you install some rogue software, or something else isn’t working right, this is the first place to go. Windows’ safe mode is like a clean room. You step in, and only the bare essentials are loaded up. That means Windows Explorer, the Windows Desktop Manager, and close to nothing else. Your programs are all still there, they just don’t open on their own. This is an ideal situation for diagnosing issues. If your “normal Windows install” has a virus, it will have no power here. Even the most dangerous virus can sit on your desktop completely dormant until something triggers it into action. Of course, the best viruses get Windows to do this for them, but if you managed to download one of those you may want to consider if you were being targeted or not.
Booting into safe mode varies depending on your version of Windows. Google is your friend, unless you’re running Windows 8. Then Google is a god-send, because booting into safe mode without it could prove to be near impossible.
Once you’re safe in safe mode, open your browser and ask around about the best antivirus software to install. As of 2015, some excellent free programs are AVG, Avira and Avast. Of course, even the free trial of the best stuff out there will help. You’re looking to solve an immediate problem, not a long-term one, so worry about a permanent antivirus program later on. Don’t forget, though! Prevention is the best cure, and having a good antivirus program can and could have prevented this problem in the first place.
As safe mode is the simplest form that Windows can be started into, you won’t even have your video drivers loaded. Everything’s going to be big and blocky, resembling an old TV that lacks color. If you absolutely need to use your computer right now, you can. Any changes saved to the hard drive, like the creation or modifying of a document, are retained permanently. Think of safe mode as another way of accessing your same files. You can still use your favorite text editor, web browser, and all that. For added security, if you have two web browsers installed, use the one you use the least. It’s possible that your browser itself is what’s infected, and opening it will start the deadly cycle all over again. Use that second browser, unless that browser is called Internet Explorer. Then just give up, all hope is lost.
Safe mode can be a godsend to those who don’t know what went wrong, don’t have time to find out, or just need to use their computer NOW. Once you’ve done what you need done, call up the local shop or your friendly neighborhood grandson and ask for help.
Or better yet, get in touch! We guarantee your situation will be handled promptly and professionally.
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