A lot of programs installed in your PC or laptop initiates when you boot your computer. But sometimes errors can happen and your system might not start-up normally. There will be errors that you might not understand and dialog boxes that you can’t identify. When instances like these occur, a “clean boot” may be your option. Although after a clean boot configuration, some of your programs might not work efficiently or may not work at all, you can revert to the Normal start-up again to solve the problem.


Like all the problems of your Windows, you can always go to their support website for help. There, you can download the application that will grant you guided help in achieving your goal. It will also give you the option for normal or clean boot after the troubleshooting. Just make sure that you are running Windows XP and you have the service pack 3 installed.

But if you are an advanced user, having experienced some troubleshooting yourself in the past, you can manually do the process yourself. Just make sure to follow these steps accordingly to get the desired results.

1.    Start the system configuration utility

a.    Be sure that you are logged-on to your admin account. Then click on Start, select Run, type in msconfig in the box and hit enter.
b.    The System Configuration Utility will then be displayed.

2.    Configure selective start-up options

a.    In the dialog box that appeared, select the General tab, then click Selective Start-up
b.    Clear out the check-boxes of Process SYSTEM.INI File, Process WIN.INI File as well as Load Start-Up Items.
c.    Make sure that Load System Services and Use Original BOOT.INI are checked.
d.    Find and click on the Services tab.
e.    There will be a check box that prompts Hide All Microsoft Services near the bottom part of the box. Click on the box to check it.
f.    Next to that is a button that says Disable All. Click on that and click on OK.
g.    It will then prompt you to restart the windows for the changes to take effect. Click on Restart.

3.    Log-on to Windows

a.    Log-on to windows when prompted. Be sure to log-on to your admin account to continue.
b.    A dialog box will then pop-up. Just select Don’t show this message again or launch the System Configuration utility when Windows Start. Then click on OK or hit enter.

Take note that the system is now running on Diagnostic or Selective Start-up mode so this dialog box will be popping up every time the windows start. If the steps above never solved the problem, proceed with step 4. Just be reminded that you will be doing a System Restore that brings your computer back to a certain restore point. This will temporarily disable several features such as error report sending and plug-and-play.

4.    System Restore

a.    Click on start, select run, and then type msconfig on the box. Hit enter.
b.    Click on the General tab in the System configuration utility. Clear out the Load System Services check-box then click on OK.
c.    Restart your computer.

Wrap It up!

These steps will help you to start in a clean-boot state. To return to a normal start-up, just follow the steps to pull-up the System Configuration Utility window, click on the General Tab, then select Normal Start-up. You just then have to restart your computer and you’re ready to go. Just be sure that you followed every step precisely so you can enjoy the benefits of your troubleshooting.