Which drivers are loaded in safe mode?

Safe mode starts Windows with only the basic drivers and services listed here.

For more information about these items, go to the Microsoft website for IT professionals.

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Devices and drivers that start in safe mode

  • Floppy disk drives (internal and USB)

  • Internal CD-ROM drives (ATA, SCSI)

  • External CD-ROM drives (USB)

  • Internal DVD-ROM drives (ATA, SCSI)

  • External DVD-ROM drives (USB)

  • Internal hard disk drives (ATA, SATA, SCSI)

  • External hard disk drives (USB)

  • Keyboards (USB, PS/2, serial)

  • Mice (USB, PS/2, serial)

  • VGA display cards (PCI, AGP)

Windows services that start in safe mode

  • Windows event log

  • Plug and Play

  • Remote procedure call (WPC)

  • Cryptographic Services

  • Windows Defender

  • Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI)

Network-related devices and services that start in safe mode with networking

  • Network adapters (wired Ethernet and wireless 802.11x)

  • Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP)

  • DNS

  • Network connections

  • TCP/IP-NetBIOS Helper

  • Windows Firewall

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