The magical healing properties of safe mode – bonus content


Okay, so you already read The healing properties of safe mode in TechNet Magazine. Here's the bonus content that was cut for space.

First, the original title was "The Magical Healing Powers of Safe Mode," but it got trimmed for space reasons. (Ich bin mit der deutschen Übersetzung des ersten Satzes ein bisschen enttäuscht. Die eingeklammerte Phrase bittet um einen von den berühmten nur auf Deutsch gesehenen unverständlich langen adjektivischen Ausdrücken. Anstatt dessen hat der Übersetzer aufgegeben und die Phrase einfach weggelassen. Anderseits benutzt die deutsche Version den ursprünglichen Titel, so vielleicht ist es ja nicht so schlecht.)

Useless Windows history: The feature now known as safe mode went through many other names before the final name was settled upon.

  • Fail-safe boot
  • FailSafe boot
  • Fail-safe mode
  • Safe mode
Comments (35)
  1. meh says:

    Und manchmal findet man auch "Clean Boot" (z.B. in SM_CLEANBOOT)

  2. "[Users] say to themselves, ‘well, that was easy enough. I should have thought of that.’"

    The hard part about magic is getting users to learn the secret incantation. Good design like this and tech support is one effective way. Witness the similar and amusing "It’s Magic!" story at Tech Tales (http://www.techtales.com/2003_09_tftcontent.html,  do a Find for "Magic!").

  3. Bahbar says:

    Somehow, I felt like I was missing a lot from this post… Maybe it was because I do not speak German :p

    So here is a somewhat corrected translation (from automatic):

    I am a little disappointed with the German translation of the first sentence. The parenthesized phrase asks for one of the famous German-only incomprehensibly long adjectival expressions. Instead, the translator has given up and simply omitted the phrase. The other uses the English version of the original title, so perhaps it is not so bad.

    Ahhh… I feel so much better now

  4. wurstl says:

    Ich bin von der deutschen Übersetzung des ersten Satzes ein bißchen enttäuscht. Der eingeklammerte Phrase schreit förmlich nach einem der berühmten nur im Deutschen existierenden unverständlich langen adjektivischen Ausdrücke. Anstatt dessen hat der Übersetzer aufgegeben und den Satz einfach weggelassen. Anderseits benutzt die deutsche Version den ursprünglichen Titel, von daher ist es vielleicht gar nicht so schlecht.

  5. jesam says:

    The translator also renamed you in the process, from Raymond Chen to Raymond Chens (with s).

    [Hab’ darüber schon geschrieben. -Raymond]
  6. Simon says:

    Wurstl: It’s "Die Phrase", not "der".

  7. Rich says:

    The linked article was curious.  Why let a user move icons off-screen in the first place?

  8. ikk says:

    I am very curious about other healing properties of safe mode…

  9. mike says:

    You mean, you were expecting:

    Als der erstmals für Windows® 95 abgesicherte Modus für Windows entwickelt wurde …

    ?

  10. mike says:

    Actually and in a similar vein, it’s a little disappointing that the English version doesn’t use German Capitals for Safe Mode. Really a missed opportunity, that. :-)

  11. Tom says:

    I work for a German company here in the states, and apparently IE was picking up something from my computer and telling the server to feed me German regardless of which link I clicked on.  Fortunately, I know enough German to be able to read the box that says "Change language here!" :)

    I have to admit the best thing about the article was this blurb at the bottom: "Raymond Chen’s Web site, The Old New Thing, and identically titled book (Addison-Wesley, 2007) deal with Windows history and Win32 programming. He prefers to run away before the fuse is lit."

  12. Florian W. says:

    Dann versuche ich mich doch mal an dem ersten Satz: Als der abgesicherte Windowsmodus (auch bekannt als "Oh, nein, es ist alles verloren, bitte richte es"-Modus) erstmals für Windows 95 entwickelt wurde, sollte er mehr …

  13. acc says:

    I have to admit the best thing about the article was this blurb at the bottom:

    The January 2007 one:

    "… He does not, however, have a pet cat named The Old New Thing."

    and then they change each month. :)

  14. Gabe says:

    If you click on the German link, it records your preference for German such that when you click on the normal link, you just get the German one.

    If you are astute enough to recognize the "Select Language" drop-down, you can select Engligh, and it will record English as your preference.

    Unfortunately, if you click "Back" twice to get back to Raymond’s blog, you will land on the German page in the middle. This will reset your preference back to German.

    Returning to the blog page without an intermediate step in German is left as an exercise for the reader.

  15. Igor Levicki says:

    Unfortunately, if you click "Back" twice to get back to Raymond’s blog, you will land on the German page in the middle. This will reset your preference back to German.

    Aha! Yet another example why back/forward navigation is evil!

  16. Chris L says:

    "Safe Mode" implies that there is an "Unsafe Mode". Just a thought!

  17. Roger Binns says:

    The single biggest annoying thing for me with safe mode is that Windows Installer doesn’t run.  This means that if your issues are caused by recently installed software, you can’t uninstall that software in safe mode unless the software doesn’t use MSI!

  18. imtom says:

    The existence of Safe Mode has had a side effect that made a big difference in my work.  In the mid-eighties I started using PCs running the QNX(v2) OS in an industrial application.  This application (or actually the big machines which ran it) turned out to be very popular.  (I suspect that each reader of Raymond’s blog has eaten food made, in part, by these machines.)  I continued to use QNX2 up through 2000 and that company still uses it today.  My software used a graphics driver for the VGA’s "advanced" (for ~1985) 640x480x8-bit mode, the mode used by Safe Mode as well.  I believe that if it were not for Windows Safe Mode, graphics board vendors would have long ago abandoned this mode, or at least they would not have maintained full compatability with this mode.  It was great!  I could buy any graphics card and know that it would run my software.  Thank you, Safe Mode!

  19. D. Garlans says:

    I agree with Roger… the no-Windows Installer in Safe Mode thing has burned me once or twice. I can understand why it doesn’t work, as all its various related services wouldn’t be started (which is good), but it would still be nice to have a standalone program that could understand the MSI process enough to undo recently done actions.

    Unless of course there already is one I just never heard or found out about!

  20. CornedBee says:

    "Noch ein Geheimnis der deutschen Sprache. Wenn Sie Deutsch lernen, dann werden Sie verstehen. -Raymond"

    My native language is German, and I have no idea why they would add the ‘s’ to your name. Neither plural nor genetive form is appropriate for naming the author of an article.

    Nor do I have an idea what you mean by "adjektivische Ausdrücke". Florian W. got it right. The best-fitting German translation is pretty much a literal translation of the English dash-chain phrase.

    And just to nitpick: "enttäuscht sein" goes with "von", i.e. "Ich bin von der … enttäuscht." (I’m disappointed by …)

    "Mit" goes with thing like "unzufrieden": "Ich bin mit der … unzufrieden." ("I’m unhappy with …")

  21. Hobie-wan says:

    The linked article was curious.  Why let a user move icons off-screen in the first place?

    Keep in mind that a dual screen user might suddenly find that they can no longer see the second screen because of a monitor or video card output failure. So when they moved icons to the second screen, it was a valid place to be at taht time. Likewise if one were using a high resolution mode and now can only get 800×600 to work, they might want to see those icons that were on the right edge and bottom of your screen.

  22. Neil says:

    And of course the other thing that you really need but doesn’t work in Safe Mode is of course System Restore.

  23. Neil says:

    Oh, and I don’t want to guess what happens when you have too many icons to fit in Safe Mode, although they used to fit in your previous mode. (Or then again, maybe they didn’t fit then either…)

    I also got tired of dragging all the icons back to their previous locations when back in normal mode, so I now set up icons to fit in Safe Mode, or turn on auto arrange.

  24. GreaseMonkey says:

    It probably does System Restore automatically, seeing as Safe Mode is so amazing, so you don’t need to.

  25. Gazpacho says:

    "Magical healing mode" has a certain poetry to it.

  26. I’m glad they didn’t name it any variation of "fail-safe", since that phrase has a much different meaning than what seems to be intended for safe mode.

    "Fail-safe" (if you’ll forgive me elaborating on what many should find well-understood) means that a system is designed so that when it fails, the system becomes less dangerous. Railroad brakes — which are (or were) held *open* by hydraulic pressure so that a loss of hydraulic pressure causes the train to stop, rather than be unstoppable — is an example of fail-safe engineering.

  27. Florian Kruegel says:

    I’m disappointed by the translation, too. In the paragraph starting with "There have been complaints from some people saying", the translator dropped the word "saying"; there are no quotation marks in the German translation; and "the support engineer can simply tell" became "the support engineer simply tells", as if this was a fact rather than a suggestion. It was completely incomprehensible to me until I read  the original English version.

  28. Grof Luigi says:

    How to enable MSI in safe mode:

    REGEDIT4

    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESystemCurrentControlSetControlSafeBootMinimalMSIServer]

    @="Service"

    It’s wrapped, but I think should be clear enough.

    GL

  29. Heh? says:

    it’s a little disappointing that the English version doesn’t use German Capitals for Safe Mode

    You wanted it to be called Bonn Berlin?

  30. sandman says:

    @Rich.

    Icons may be off the screen in safe mode because in win95 it was always 640×480 – but the user could have had a higher resolution mode as default.

    Personally thoughI find this sort of undocumented (at least I presume it is – can someone point me at a msdn article with a precise description of this repairs) auto-repair frustrating.

    When tackling a complex configuration problem the last think I want is the system changing it’s config as well as me. That just makes life even to find out what you need to do.

  31. Rene says:

    I’m a little disappointed by the translation of the title.

    It should be "Die magischen _Heil_kräfte des abgesicherten Modus".

  32. Ilya Birman says:

    In Russian it was "Режим защиты от сбоев" (lit.: Mode of protection against failures), but was shortened to "Безопасный режим" (lit.: Safe mode) in Windows XP, I believe.

  33. Centaur says:

    Also, Failsafe mode (don’t remember the exact punctuation) was the mode used in Windows 9x for running ScanDisk, Defrag and especially DriveSpace on certain drives. Essentially, it was Windows 3.1 with a few additional libraries.

  34. Marc K says:

    "Keep in mind that a dual screen user might suddenly find that they can no longer see the second screen because of a monitor or video card output failure."

    My experiences with Windows and multiple monitors have led me to believe that Microsoft does not support placing icons on a non-primary monitor.

Comments are closed.

Skip to main content