A “clean boot” starts Windows with a minimal set of drivers and applications at startup, so that you can determine whether a background program is interfering with your game. This is similar to starting Windows in Safe Mode, but provides you more control over which services and applications run at startup to help you isolate the cause of a problem.

If you wish to learn more about what kind of applications can interfere with games, please consult the following article: Applications Which May Interfere With Your Game  

Important Note:

This guide is technical in nature and should not be attempted if you:

  1.  Do not understand any of the terms used in this document;
  2.  Are not confident in your ability to carry out the instructions given.

If you are at all unsure of this, we would recommend you ask a local computer professional or someone you trust to do this for you.

Before You Begin, it’s Important That:

  • You log on to your computer as an administrator to be able to perform a clean boot.
  • Your computer may temporarily lose some functionality when you perform a clean boot. When you start your computer normally, the functionality returns. However, you may receive the original error message, or experience the original behaviour if the problem still exists.
  • If the computer is connected to a network, network policy settings may prevent you from following these steps. We strongly recommend that you do not use the System Configuration utility to change the advanced boot options on the computer unless a computer professional directs you to.

How to Perform a Clean Boot in Windows:

  1. Sign in to the computer as an administrator.  
  2. Open the Start menu and type msconfig and select System Configuration from the results.

  1. On the Services tab of System Configuration, select Hide all Microsoft services, and then select Disable all.

  1. On the Startup tab of System Configuration, select Open Task Manager.

  1. Under Startup in Task Manager, for each startup item, select the item and then select Disable.

  1. Close Task Manager.
  2. On the Startup tab of System Configuration, select OK.  When you restart the computer, it's in a clean boot environment.

How to determine what is causing the problem after you do a clean boot

If your problem does not occur while the computer is in a clean boot environment, then you can determine which startup application or service is causing the problem by systematically turning them on or off and restarting the computer.  While turning on a single service or startup item and rebooting each time will eventually find the problematic service or application, the most efficient way to do this is to test half of them at a time, thus eliminating half of the items as the potential cause with each reboot of the computer.  You can then repeat this process until you've isolated the problem. 

After you finish troubleshooting, follow these steps to reset the computer to start normally.

  1. Open the Start menu and type msconfig and select System Configuration from the results.
  2. On the General tab, select Normal Startup.
  3. Select Services, clear the check box beside Hide all Microsoft services, and then select Enable all.
  4. Select Startup, and then select Open Task Manager.
  5. In Task Manager, Enable all of your startup programs, and then select OK.
  6. When you're prompted to restart the computer, select Restart.