What is Clean Boot?
A clean boot is performed to start Windows by using a minimal set of drivers and startup programs. This helps eliminate software conflicts that occur when you install a program or an update or when you run a program in Windows 10, Windows 8.1, Windows 8, Windows 7, or Windows Vista. You may also troubleshoot or determine what conflict is causing the problem by performing a clean boot.
Why software conflicts occur?
How to perform a clean boot?
- You must log on to the computer as an administrator to be able to perform a clean boot.
- Your computer may temporarily lose some functionality when you perform a clean boot. When you start the computer normally, the functionality returns. However, you may receive the original error message, or experience the original behaviour if the problem still exists.
- If the computer is connected to a network, network policy settings may prevent you from following these steps. We strongly recommend that you do not use the System Configuration utility to change the advanced boot options on the computer unless a Microsoft support engineer directs you to do this. Doing this may make the computer unusable.
Use the following steps to perform a clean boot:
Windows 7, Windows Vista and Windows XP
- Log on to the computer by using an account that has administrator rights.
- Click Start, type msconfig.exe in the Start Search box, and then press Enter to start the System Configuration utility.
Note If you are prompted for an administrator password or for confirmation, you should type the password or provide confirmation.
- On the General tab, click the Selective startup option, and then click to clear the Load startup items check box. (The Use Original Boot.ini check box is unavailable.)
- On the Services tab, click to select the Hide all Microsoft servicescheck box, and then click Disable all.
Note This step lets Microsoft services continue to run. These services include Networking, Plug and Play, Event Logging, Error Reporting, and other services. If you disable these services, you may permanently delete all restore points. Do not do this if you want to use the System Restore utility together with existing restore points.
- Click OK, and then click Restart.
What is next when I have a clean boot environment?
After the computer is restarted, you will have a clean boot environment. Then, do one of the following, as appropriate for your situation:
- If you could not install or uninstall a program or an update before you performed the clean boot, try to install or uninstall the program or update again.Note If you receive the “The Windows Installer service could not be accessed” error during the installation or uninstallation, follow How to start the Windows Installer service when system services are not loaded, and then install or uninstall the program or update again.
- If the installation or uninstallation is successful, you have resolved your issue. Follow How to reset the computer to start as usual to reset your computer to the normal startup.
- If the installation or uninstallation still fails, that means this issue is not caused by application or service interference. You may have to go to Microsoft Support for more specific support.
- If you could not run a program before you performed the clean boot, try to run the program again.
- If the program runs correctly, this issue is caused by application or service interferences. Follow How to determine what is causing the issue by performing a clean boot to determine which application or service causes the issue.
- If the program still does not run as expected, this issue is not caused by application or service interference. You may have to go to Microsoft Support for more specific support.
How to reset the computer to start normally after clean boot troubleshooting
After you have finished troubleshooting, follow these steps to reset the computer to start normally.
- Click Start, type msconfig.exe in the Start Search box, and then press Enter.
Note If you are prompted for an administrator password or for confirmation, you should type the password or click Continue.
- On the General tab, click the Normal Startup option, and then click OK.
- When you are prompted to restart the computer, click Restart.
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