How to Perform a Clean Boot in Windows XP

“Clean booting” is a technique for troubleshooting problems for which the cause is not immediately self-evident, especially startup problems. By disabling common startup programs, settings and drivers, it eliminates potential software conflicts which might be the cause of the problem. These may then be progressively re-enabled, so as to help pinpoint the source of the problem.

This tutorial describes:

  • how to perform a clean boot
  • how to start the Windows Installer service, and
  • how to restore your system from a clean boot state.

under Windows XP.

The System Configuration Utility automates many of the routine troubleshooting steps taken when attempting to diagnose system configuration issues. It allows many aspects of the system configuration to be modified safely, without the risk of typing errors you may make when you use a text editor such as Microsoft Notepad. It can also be used to prevent specified system files from loading when the system is booted, facilitating the diagnoses of error by a process of elimination.

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