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How do I install a program or update in "safe mode?"

Sometimes programs and services that are initiated when the computer is started will prevent the CFS software installer from running. It is sometimes impossible to determine which program has this effect. One way around the problem is to shut down the computer, then start it up in “safe mode,” with only essential programs and services running.

Note: when running in safe mode, it may not be possible to access the Internet.

  • If the failed operation is to install from a CD, this is not a problem.
  • If the failed operation is an automatic update from within the program, the update file has already been downloaded, so again there is no issue.
  • If the failed operation is to manually download and install a program or update, the installer file must first be downloaded so that it will be available in safe mode.

Step 1: Boot into Safe Mode

To get into safe mode, do the following:

  1. Shut down the computer.
  2. Locate the F8 key on the keyboard.
  3. Turn on the computer.
  4. Immediately start tapping the F8 key about once per second, until a STARTUP MENU is displayed. (If there is a splash screen with the computer manufacturer's logo, ignore it.)
  5. At the startup menu, select "Safe Mode." (If you have a network, select "Safe Mode with Networking," if it is available.)
  6. After what feels like a long time, you will arrive at the login screen. Generally, you should use the same login you usually use.
  7. If you receive a prompt asking whether you want to run in Safe Mode, answer yes.

Step 2: Reattempt the Failed Operation

If the failed operation was an automatic update:

You will find the update file in the UPDATE folder within the program folder. For example, if the failure was an automatic update of TaxTools, open Windows (or "File") Explorer and execute the following file:


If the failed operation was a full program install or an update from a manual download:

Locate the file you downloaded and saved, and double-click on it to initiate the installation.

Step 3: Return to Normal Mode

When the desired installation has been completed, return the computer to normal mode by restarting: click on Start and select Restart from the Shutdown (or "Power") button options.

How did we do?

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