Q: My Windows XP laptop has a virus (I think) that posed as a Windows Security Essentials Alert. Now I can't access the Internet. How do I start up in safe mode?
A: If your machine is on, hold the power button for 10 seconds to power it off. Then start the machine, and as soon as it comes on, tap F8 and keep tapping until a list of options appears. Choose "safe mode with networking."
I would then recommend you download and install Malwarebytes (it's free). Once installed please run a scan with Malwarebytes to remove the threats. Then restart the machine and the virus should be gone.
-- Answer from James R., computer specialist on JustAnswer.
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