I would like to listen to music while in safe mode. I have tried to start the audio service manually, but it returns error code 1068.

I would also accept a solution in C or C++ if programming is necessary to do this.

(The easiest way would be to start Windows in normal mode, but I like challenges)

  • Version of Windows you are using?
    – suddnely_me
    Nov 5, 2011 at 21:49
  • windows 7 -- x64
    – user65130
    Nov 5, 2011 at 21:50
  • 8
    Safe mode is not intended for normal use. Nov 5, 2011 at 21:51
  • 5
    Why don't we just solve the problem of why you are running in safe mode to begin with? It should never be necessary to run safe mode other than to fix whatever is preventing normal mode use.
    – Paul
    Nov 5, 2011 at 22:46
  • yes PnP has started, but Windows Audio doesn't.
    – user197835
    Feb 13, 2013 at 5:45

4 Answers 4


This is how to do it in Windows XP:

  1. Run (⊞Win+R) regedit
  2. Press Ctrl+F
  3. Make sure Keys, Values, and Data are all selected
  4. Type in Sound, video and game controllers
  5. Click [Find Next]
  6. Take note of the branch address in the status bar at the bottom (it will be something like HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\ControlSet001\Control\Class\{4D36E96C-E325-11CE-BFC1-09002BE10318})
  7. Copy the device-driver GUID (the long numeric part between braces) and paste it somewhere like Notepad
  8. Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\SafeBoot\Network
  9. Create a new key (right-click, select New → Key)
  10. Copy the GUID you saved and paste it into the key name
  11. Edit the (Default) value and type Sound, video and game controllers
  12. Create several new keys (under Network) called AudioEndpointBuilder, MMCSS and Audiosrv
  13. Edit the (Default) values of each of the new keys and type Service
  14. Reboot (you’ll boot into safe-mode)
  15. Open the Services snap-in (⊞Win+Rservices.msc)
  16. Start the Multimedia Class Scheduler, Windows Audio Endpoint Builder, and Windows Audio Service services

bookingtohosting.blogspot.com writes you could not only enable sound in safe mode but also printer by starting the print spooler service or it could be any service just by adding the service to safe service list.

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.

  1. Press Windows + R, type devmgmt.msc, press Enter and look for your sound device. (e.g. Realtek High Definition Audio) Double-click it.
  2. Go to the tab 'Details' and click the drop-down list. Select 'Driver key' and copy the text from 'Value'

  3. Copy the text into a word processor (e.g. Notepad)

  4. Replace all lower-case letters with capital letters and remove the \0000.
  5. Open Registry Editor (Windows + R > regedit) and locate HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\SafeBoot\Network.

  6. Create a new key (Rightclick > New > Key)

  7. Copy the text from your word processor and paste it into the key name.

  8. Edit the '(Default)' key and type 'Sound, video and game controllers'.

  9. Create a new key called 'AudioEndpointBuilder', 'MMCSS' and 'Audiosrv'
  10. Edit all their '(Default)' keys and type 'Service'.

  11. Restart your computer

  12. Go to Services (Windows + R > services.msc) and start Multimedia Class Scheduler and Windows Audio Endpoint Builder.

  13. Then start Windows Audio Service

  • Thank you so much it worked for me though without applying step 12 and 13. Nov 7, 2019 at 13:05

Use start > run > services.msc


  • Plug and Play Service

  • Windows Audio Service

enter image description here

  • 2
    thank you but I have tried to start the audio service but it returns width error code 1068. :(
    – user65130
    Nov 5, 2011 at 22:01
  • has PnP service started?
    – Eir Nym
    Nov 6, 2011 at 0:14
  • Me too I got the same error 1068 I have tried the available options on the net and none worked for me. Nov 7, 2019 at 12:44

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