Skip to main content

How to Start Windows 8 Developer Preview in Safe Mode?

It's fairly easy to start any normal Windows in Safe Mode, especially 7, by pressing the F8 key when the computer boots. The boot up process is disrupted and you are presented with a menu from which you have to choose one of the advanced boot options. The Windows Safe Mode can be used with or without networking and it is commonly known as the place where you need to go if the PC is acting weird.

While in Safe Mode, the computer only starts its vital processes and loads the default driver configuration. It's ideal for those who want to isolate a driver problem or, for those that are having hard times with virus infections. Most files can be deleted in Safe Mode and, when anything fails, the all mighty Windows Restore process greets you as soon as the boot process is over. With it, you can restore the computer to a previous configuration and possibly erase the cause of your problem. In a few words, it is a must-use mode for any advanced user.

Unfortunately, the Windows 8 preview version hasn't been added the Safe Mode option yet. This feature will surely fit in the final build or maybe even in the upcoming betas but some of us cannot wait until then. Thanks to Juan Antonio of TechNet (opens in new tab), there is a sneaky way of restoring this mode. It is not for the faint hearted, but we will guide you through the basic steps.

How to enter Safe Mode in Windows 8 Preview?

1. Start the computer as you would normally do.

2. Press the CTRL+C keys, while on the Metro UI, to bring the list of applications that start with the "C" character.

3. Right-click on "Command Prompt".

4. At the bottom of the screen, press "Advanced" and then click on "Run as administrator."

5. In the CMD window type "bcdedit /enum /v" and hit Enter.

6. A list of all valid boot options will appear. Copy the GUID identifier of Windows Developer Preview, which looks similar to this: {xxxxxxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxxxxxxxxxx}.

7. Now type the following command, including the quotation marks, and hit Enter.

Bcdedit /copy {xxxxxxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxxxxxxxxxx} /d "Windows Developer Preview - Safe Boot".

8. Type "msconfig" and hit Enter.

9. In the Boot tab, select the Windows 8 developer preview version, tick the "Safe Boot" check-box and also "Make all boot settings permanently".

10.On the window prompting you to accept the changes, click "Yes" and then press OK.

11.Reboot the computer.

12.Before Windows starts, you will be asked which operating system you want to boot. As you can see, the Safe Mode option is not visible.

Once inside, you will be welcomed by a very familiar window, which looks exactly how the Windows 7 Safe Mode looked. At the moment, the same basic commands are available, but we expect Microsoft developers to add some new juicy options once the stable build launches.