How to Clean Boot Windows XP

Clean Boot image

Here is a description on how to do a Clean Boot in Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7 Editions. Can be used if you are having Startup problems after installing or updating a Device Driver.

A clean boot is a restart of Windows with no applications running and with as few extra drivers loading as possible, allowing you to determine whether a driver or a conflict with another programme might be causing the issue you are experiencing.

Perform a selective startup under Windows XP, Vista, 7

1. Click Start, and click Run. The Run window appears.
2. In the Open box, type msconfig and then click OK. The System Configuration Utility appears.
3. Click the General tab.
4. Click Selective Startup.
5. Uncheck the processing options that are listed below Selective Startup except "Load System Services."
* You may not be able to uncheck "Use Original BOOTINL"
* Unchecking all the boxes (except Load System Services) provides for a complete clean boot. The more options you uncheck, the more likely you are to solve the problem. Note that unchecking all boxes prevents you from installing Symantec products.
* Your situation may require that you load specific processes from the Startup group. If this is the case, use the following procedure:
a. Check "Load startup group items" and uncheck all other boxes that are below Selective Startup except "Load System Services."
b. Click the Startup tab.
c. Check the processes that you want to run when you next start the computer, and uncheck all other processes.
6. Click Apply, and then click Close.
7. When you are prompted to restart the computer, click Yes.

Windows restarts in a state that is similar to when Windows was first installed (that is, before any other software was installed to Windows).


To restore your computer to its original settings:

1. Click Start, and then click Run. The Run window appears.
2. In the Open box, type msconfig and then click OK. The System Configuration Utility appears.
3. Click Normal Startup.
4. Click OK.
5. When you are prompted to restart the computer, click Yes.

Windows restarts normally with all drivers, programs, and your regular video settings.

More information

There are four areas from which applications can be launched when Windows XP starts:
* StartUp folder: Contains shortcuts to applications that launch immediately after Windows has started
* Windows registry: Contains application modules that launch during Windows startup
* Win.ini file: Contains Windows drivers for devices such as printers or modems
* System.ini file: Contains virtual drivers for applications

The selective startup uses the Windows utility MSConfig to configure which programmes or drivers will be loaded the next time you start the computer. In the MSConfig dialog box, you mark which items from the previous list that you want to run or not run on the next startup. Unlike diagnostic startup, selective startup gives you the option to prevent specific applications from launching from the Windows registry and Startup folder. We recommend the selective startup for most users.


The diagnostic startup

The diagnostic startup is interactive, it prompts you to load or not load specific components. You can do a diagnostic startup by choosing diagnostic startup from the Windows MSConfig utility and then restarting the computer, or by restarting the computer and pressing the key F8 early in the startup process. During the diagnostic startup, you choose to load or not load each specific component. Unlike a selective startup, a diagnostic startup does not allow you to select individual items to load or not load from the StartUp folder and the Windows registry. This startup is for advanced users; that is, for users who understand how each component affects Windows.