How to start windows Installer,Print spooler, windows Audio or any other services in safe mode

Safe mode starts Windows with a limited set of files and drivers. Startup programs don't run in safe mode, and only the basic drivers needed to start Windows are installed.

Safe mode is useful for troubleshooting problems with programs and drivers that might not start correctly or that might prevent Windows from starting correctly. If a problem doesn't reappear when you start in safe mode, you can eliminate the default settings and basic device drivers as possible causes. If a recently installed program, device, or driver prevents Windows from running correctly, you can start your computer in safe mode and then remove the program that's causing the problem.

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



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

Objective:- the objective of writing this article is to tell you how to start services in safe mode which does not by default load in safe mode.Sometimes we need to run these services in safe mode while doing troubleshooting as these services either have a conflict with any other services in normal mode or any Malware or virus stop these services from loading or running properly.


After reading this article you would be able to start windows installer service,windows Audio service and Print spooler service in safe mode so in other words you would be able to print in safe mode, you would be able to play audio in safe mode and you would be able to install or uninstall any software, drivers or security software in safe mode.


How to start windows installer service in safe mode


When the computer is in safe mode, the Windows Installer service isn’t started so most programs can’t be uninstalled. Since technicians do a lot of work in safe mode and being unable to uninstall is a huge problem. If you start the service manually, an error message will come up saying “Could not start the Windows Installer service on Local Computer. Error 1084: This service cannot be started in Safe Mode”. This method will do a registry tweak so that Windows Installer is made a safe service and it will launch the Windows Installer service.

So to start any service in safe mode you have to first make it a safe service by adding the name of the service in safe mode service list and then starting the service in safe mode.So in order to do this troubleshooting you need to be in safe mode first.please follow the below mentioned steps to start Windows installer service in safe mode.

Step 1. Go to run and type Regedit to open registry editor.

Step 2. In Registry Editor Navigate to the following location 

 HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\SafeBoot

start windows installer in safe mode
List services in safe mode with networking

Step 3. Now if you expand SafeBoot key here you would find two keys named minimal and network so the minimal is for normal safe mode and network is for safe mode with networking.Here you have to expand the one according to your environment you are logged into if you have started the computer in safe mode with networking then expand Network otherwise minimal.

Step 4. Now here under Network create a key by right clicking on it and selecting new --> Key and name it MSIServer.

Start windows installer in safe mode
Start windows installer in safe mode

Step 5. Now open the String entry (Default) on the right hand side under MSIServer and under value data type Service click  OK and then close the registry editor.


Start Windows Installer in Safe Mode
Start Windows Installer in Safe Mode

Step 6.Now open command prompt as administrator by typing CMD at start search and then right click on the cmd and select run as administrator.

Step 7. Type command net start msiserver.

Start Windows Installer in Safe Mode
Start Windows Installer in Safe Mode

Windows installer service has now been started.You could also start windows installer service in safe mode by typing these two command in command prompt

Start windows installer in safe mode using command prompt

REG ADD "HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\SafeBoot\Minimal\MSIServer" /VE /T REG_SZ /F /D "Service"


net start msiserver

Start windows installer in safe mode with Networking using command prompt


REG ADD "HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\SafeBoot\Network\MSIServer" /VE /T REG_SZ /F /D "Service"


net start msiserver

Note :- This is exactly what a so called SafeMSI freeware does.It is nothing but a .bat file which you could also create by typing above written two commands in a notepad and saving it with any name you want and run it under safe mode to start windows installer in safe mode.

Similarly you could also start any other service in safe mode by adding it to safe service list in registry.Just make sure you know the short name of those services to add a key name for it just as MSIServer for windows installer and Audiosrv for windows Audio service.

How to start Audio Service in safe mode

To Start Audio service in safe mode you also need to start all of its dependent services first.Windows Audio service depends on these three services so add them to safe service list and then start these service from command prompt.


  1. Windows Audio Endpoint Builder (AudioEndpointBuilder)
  2. Multimedia Class Scheduler (MMCSS)
  3. Windows Audio (Audiosrv)

You could start these services in safe mode using command line by typing the following commands.

REG ADD "HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\SafeBoot\Minimal\AudioEndpointBuilder" /VE /T REG_SZ /F /D "Service"

net start AudioEndpointBuilder

REG ADD "HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\SafeBoot\Minimal\MMCSS" /VE /T REG_SZ /F /D "Service"

net start MMCSS

REG ADD "HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\SafeBoot\Minimal\Audiosrv" /VE /T REG_SZ /F /D "Service"

net start Audiosrv.

Now after this you would be able to start audio.

Note :- Similarly to start Print Spooler service in safe mode, add Spooler to safe service list and start it.To do this using command type the following command

REG ADD "HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\SafeBoot\Minimal\Spooler" /VE /T REG_SZ /F /D "Service"

net start spooler


Tips:- If you want a list of all drivers, driver groups and services starting in normal mode and their corresponding short names open services.msc and double click the service name and it will show you the short name of that service as shown in the picture below.


Start Audio Service in safe mode
Start Windows Audio Service in safe mode

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About Nasir Sohail

Nasir Sohail is a a technology enthusiast and blogger.He loves to solve complex computer problems and then post the solution to his blog to help people solve their own computer's problem and save time and money.He has more than 10 Years of experience in providing solutions for Windows and Mac.
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