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Should I Run A Virus Scan In Safe Mode?



A virus scanner is a critical weapon in the never-ending battle for internet security. Regularly running a virus scan will help keep your computer virus free and running smoothly. But is it necessary to always run the virus scan in normal mode? Is there a time when it should be run in Windows Safe Mode? The answer is yes, sometimes it is necessary. If you have no signs of a virus, then run your virus scan in normal mode. However, if you have symptoms of a virus, run your scan in Safe Mode.




What is Windows Safe Mode?

When a Windows computer is started in Safe Mode it runs with a very basic set of files and drivers. Windows loads just enough of the operating system to provide you with a graphical interface and access to your programs. You can force the computer to run in Safe Mode by starting the computer and tapping the F8 key repeatedly from the beginning of the boot-up process. If you catch it early enough, the computer will respond by asking you whether you want to start the computer using Safe Mode. Choose the Safe Mode option, but do not choose the option “with Networking.”

How does Safe Mode help a Virus Scan?

If you start up your computer in the normal fashion, the virus can load right along with the rest of your normal drivers and programs. While it is loaded, many viruses are “smart” enough to keep your virus scan program from running. Even if you can get your virus scanner to start up, the scanner often can not detect and remove some viruses that are loaded into memory. However, if you run the computer in Safe Mode, the virus will not load in memory and you can run a virus scan that will hopefully detect and remove the virus. You may need to run the virus scan several times in Safe Mode in order to remove the virus.




2 Responses to “Should I Run A Virus Scan In Safe Mode?”

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