If the configuration of the system's registry or driver creates a conflict that prevents the system from starting, Windows may encounter problems during startup. Booting the Windows into last known good configuration is the best way to solve the issue. Now, read this post from MiniTool to learn about the details.

About the Last Known Good Configuration

What Is the Last Known Good Configuration

In NT and later versions of the Windows operating system, when the system successfully starts, you can obtain a copy of the system hardware configuration and driver settings from the system registry.

If the subsequent boot process fails, the copy will be stored. Then the last known good configuration’s record will be used by the operating system to perform a successful boot. If Windows detects a problem during the startup process, the “Last Known Good Configuration” option will be added to the startup menu.

Problems Can Be Fixed by Last Known Good Configuration

The problems that can be repaired by booting into last known good configuration are as follows:

1. The blue screen of death at startup caused by the driver update.

2. The unsuccessful boot caused by the newly applied Windows update or automatic updates.

3. The PC’s abnormal startup sequence caused by viruses, trojans, and rootkits.

4. The conflicts between newly installed hardware and other devices.

5. The conflicts between newly-installed software and other programs.

Problems Cannot Be Fixed by Last Known Good Configuration

However, not all of the Windows issues can be resolved by booting Windows into the last known good configuration. In particular, it will not help if you encounter these issues below:

1. Programs crashing at random.

2. Computer running slow or other bad performance. Maybe you are interested in this post – 10 Reasons for PC Runs Slow with Windows 10/8/7.

3. Driver-related issues that you’ve been experiencing for several days.

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Boot Windows into the Last Known Good Configuration

Just now, you have known some basic information of the last known good configuration. Now, you may wonder how to boot into last known good configuration Windows 10/7. Keep on your reading.

How to Boot into the Windows 7 Last Known Good Configuration

If you want to use the Windows 7 last known good configuration option, follow the steps below. On the other hand, if you wonder how to use last known good configuration Windows 10, you can jump to the next section.

Step 1: Fully power your computer off. Make sure that your PC is entirely turned off and not running anymore.

Step 2: Restart your computer and then wait for the screen with the logo of the manufacturer to pass.

Step 3: Repeatedly press F8 (or another key/key combination) as soon as the logo disappears.

Step 4: If you see the Windows loading screen, go back to the first step and repeat until you enter the Advanced Boot Options window.

Step 5: Use the arrow keys on your keyboard to select Last Known Good Configuration (advanced) from the list of available options.

choose the Last Known Good Configuration option

Step 6: Press Enter and wait for the process to complete. You should be able to boot into the system now.

Also see: 7 Solutions to Fix Windows Failed to Start Windows 7 Error

Here are all the steps of entering into Windows 7 last known good configuration.

How to Boot into the Last Known Good Configuration Windows 10

The last known good configuration option is not provided in Windows 8 and Windows 10. Instead, there are other options like refresh, reset (reinstall), restore, etc. You can simply boot your PC to enter Safe Mode. It’s an alternative to the last known good configuration.

Tip: To learn more information about the refresh, reset, and install features, this post – Windows 10 Reset VS Clean Install VS Fresh Start, Details Are Here can satisfy your demand.

Safe Mode is a built-in diagnostic mode of Windows 10 (7, 8, etc.) computer operating system. If you start Windows 10 PC to Safe Mode, it will only allow starting up basic system programs and services in the booting process. Here is information on how to boot Windows 10 in Safe Mode.

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You should restart your PC several times to boot to WinRE (Windows Recovery Environment) to enter into Safe Mode. You can also use Windows 10 recovery bootable media like a DVD/USB bootable drive to enter WinRE. Here are the steps:

Step 1: Insert your Windows installation CD/DVD or USB bootable drive to your computer, and start the computer.

Step 2: Enter the BIOS. 

Step 3: Choose the DVD or USB flash drive as the first boot device and boot the Windows 10 PC from the device.

Step 4: Click Repair your computer to enter into WinRE successfully.

click Repair your computer to enter into WinRE

Now, you can continue to enter Safe Mode.

Step 1: From the Choose an option screen, click the Troubleshoot option.

click the Troubleshoot option

Step 2: Next, click Advanced Options. Click the Startup Settings option.

click the Startup Settings option

Step 3: Click the Restart button.

Step 4: Then you will see multiple options for startup. Press the F4 key to enable Safe Mode.

Now your PC will start in Safe Mode. Then you can troubleshoot your system without issues.

Tip: If you find that Safe Mode is not working, this post – [SOLVED] Windows Safe Mode Not Working? How to Fix It Quickly can help you fix the issue.

You can also perform a system restore via WinRE that is an alternative to the last known good configuration option. Here is how to do that:

Tip: Only if you have created a restore point in advance, you can try this method.

Step 1: Enter WinRE.

Step 2: You should click Troubleshoot in Choose an option, and then choose Advanced options.

Step 3: Choose System Restore in the Advanced options window.

choose System Restore in Advanced options

Step 4: Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the restore.

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Here is how to use the Windows 10 last known good configuration alternative.

From this post, you have got the methods to boot your computer to the last known good configuration. If you think this post is useful, share it on Twitter to let more people know.Click to Tweet

Back up the System to Safeguard Your Computer

After you fix your computer’s error, I have a suggestion for you. In case of something wrong with your system, it is recommended to back up your system in advance. Now, I will introduce a piece of free backup software for you – MiniTool ShadowMaker.

MiniTool ShadowMaker provides a one-click system backup solution. It supports backing up your system drive completely, including system partition, system reserved partition and EFI system partition. And you can image all of your data including computer settings, applications, drivers, system files and boot files.

The system backup is bootable. When the system crashes, you can restore your computer to a normal state. This post – How to Restore Computer to Earlier Date in Windows 10/8/7 (2 Ways) may be the one you need.

MiniTool ShadowMaker provides Trial Edition that gives you a 30-day free trial for all backup features. You can purchase its Pro Edition to use it permanently.

Now you can download MiniTool ShadowMaker Trial Edition to back up your system.

MiniTool ShadowMaker TrialClick to Download100%Clean & Safe

Now, let’s see how to back up your Windows system.

Step 1: Decide a Backup Mode

1. Launch MiniTool ShadowMaker and keep using the Trial E

2. Please choose the computer to manage and click Connectin the Local section to enter the main interface.

choose this computer to manage and enter the main interface

Step 2: Choose the Backup Source

1. Go to the Backup page.

2. This software selects the system partition and system reserved partition by default.

Step 3: Choose a Destination Path to Store Your System

1. You can back up your system to an external hard drive, USB flash drive, NAS and more.

2. Then choose a destination path to store your system and click OK. Here I take the New Volume (E)as an example.

select the drive you want to store the disk image

1. Please do not save a volume image file to the volume being backed up.
2. The destination that is used to store the system must have enough storage space.

Step 4: Start to Back up

1. Go back to the following interface.

2. You have two options: click Back up Now to start the backup process immediately or click Back up Later to delay the backup process.

click Back up Now or Back up Later

When the process is finished, you have backed up your system successfully with MiniTool ShadowMaker.

Tip: In addition to the method mentioned above, here is another method to back up the system disk. That is using the Clone Disk feature of MiniTool ShadowMaker. This post – How to Clone a Hard Drive to SSD in Windows 10/8/7 provides more information for you.

MiniTool ShadowMaker is a user-friendly program that can help you back up the operating system with a few steps.Click to Tweet

Bottom Line

To sum up, this post has introduced what the last known good configuration is and shown the methods to enter Windows 7/10 into it. If your computer encounters some issues, you can try the last known good configuration to fix them.

After fixing your issues, it is recommended you back up your system. If you have any problem when using MiniTool program, please feel free to contact us via the email [email protected] and we will reply to you as soon as possible.

Last Known Good Configuration FAQ

❤️Where is the last known good configuration stored?
In the system’s registry, the system’s configuration settings are stored to HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Control, and driver and service configurations are stored to HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Servicess. Any changes to these locations in the registry may cause the system to fail to start.
?Does the last known configuration delete files?
The important system and registry are stored in last known good configuration every time you turn your computer off successfully. It only makes changes to system settings and your personal data won’t be affected. But you had better back up your important data regularly, you may be interested in this post – How to Backup Files on Windows 10? Try These Top 4 Ways.
?What is the difference between last known good configuration and system restore?
System Restore uses restore points to return system files and settings to an earlier point in time without affecting personal files and the restore points can be created manually. You can undo a system restore, but you can’t do it in the last known good configuration.
?What is a restore point?
A restore point is a saved “snapshot” of a computer’s data at a specific time. Restore points are a component of the Windows System Restore utility. To learn more information about restore point, this post – What Is System Restore Point and How to Create It? Look Here is what you need.
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