What is a startup menu - A Tutorial

Windows tips -> What is a startup menu - A Tutorial

Among the Windows operating system menus, 'Startup menu' is one of the most important menu but least used menu. Generally this menu is not visible outside. Only if there is any problem this menu becomes visible.

This startup menu has the following startup items, Normal, Safe Mode, step by step, command prompt only etc. If you choose your preferred option the windows will boot accordingly.

The 'safe mode' option in the startup menu is very important. If the computer hangs due to any hardware problems then you can use the 'safe mode' to login and fix the problem. The usual drivers and programs will not run when computer is started in safe mode. In safe mode you can remove adware, spyware and malware.

If you want to give commands using DOS prompt then select the 'Command Prompt only' option.

If you want that the commands from config.sys and autoexec.bat to execute one by one then you can select the 'Step by Step' option in the startup menu. With this you can exactly pin point which command is causing the problem.

In the startup menu if you do not select any options within 30 seconds then windows will use the default option. The default option is the 'Normal' mode.

Now let us see how to bring the startup menu during booting. There are two ways. The first option is by pressing a key while the computer is booting and the second option is by bringing the startup menu automatically without pressing any button.

To bring the startup menu by pressing a key

Turn on your computer. The booting process will now begin. After the basic testing windows will show some system information. Now press the F8 key.

In the black window when you see a small line or square at teh top left corner of the screen you should press F8 key or Conrtol key based on the operating system you are using. If you are not sure try both.

To show startup menu every time the computer boots

In the above method, the startup menu will only appear if you pressed the right key at the right moment. If you missed then the windows will start booting in normal mode without showing the startup screen. But you can make startup window show everytime the windows boots.

The steps given below may differ a bit based on your operating system.

If you are using Windows 98/ME or XP the follow the steps below to show startup screen at every time the computer boots.
  1. Give 'Start->Run' command
  2. In the Run window type 'Msconfig' and press 'enter' key.
  3. The system configuration editor window will open. Windows 98/ME users click on 'General' tab and click 'Advanced' button and then select 'Enable startup menu'. Windows XP users click on 'boot.ini' tab and select the SAFEBOOT check box.
  4. Click on 'OK' button

From now on whenever you start your computer it will show the startup menu.

In Windows 2000 there is no MSCONFIG utility. Therefore Windows 2000 users must use the control F8 key to enter startup menu.

If you are a Windows 2000 user and you want to download the MSCONFIG utility then you can download the MSCONFIG utility from http://www.drd.dyndns.org/softlib/utils/msconfig2k.zip