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  1. #1
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    WXP/SP3 boots only in Safe Mode

    Well, it wasn't the first time for sure but a rather rare event, I did something really stupid this past week. While reading the latest newsletter article discussing the Registry cleanup apps decided to clean up my Registry using CCleaner, it's been a long time. BIG MISTAKE.

    I made a backup of the Registry when CCleaner offered to save the changes and continued. I rebooted just to make sure everything was OK, uh oh, it booted in Safe Mode, I hate it when that happens.

    So, I restored the CCleaner registry backup, still boots in Safe Mode.

    Hm, I'm getting a little uncomfortable now.

    Performed a System Restore to earlier in the morning when an MS update was installed, still boots in Safe Mode.

    OK, performed a System Restore to the previous day, still boots in Safe Mode and the System Restore was unable to complete.

    OK, performed a System Restore to the day previous to that, still boots in Safe Mode and the System Restore was unable to complete.

    Well, maybe I'll restore the CCleaner registry backup file again just to make sure, duh, it's gone, no longer where I saved it. Apparently the System Restore deleted it and no, it's not in the Recycle Bin.

    OK, time to do an Install/Repair of Windows XP based on a previous article (Langa Letter June 19,2006 at Information Week) using a slipstreamed SP3 DVD which I've used before.

    I went through the booting of the WXP/SP3 install dvd and when I got to the screen where you select a volume and then (R)epair, there was no Repair option (see image), only:

    - To set up Windows XP on the selected item, press ENTER.
    - To create a partition in the unpartitioned space, press C.
    - To delete the selected partition, press D.

    Now, this computer is dual-boot, it came with Vista and is the primary OS, maybe the cause of my problem . . . WXP is configured to be the OS to boot.

    Just to double-check, I went through the same procedure on another WXP computer that wasn't dual-boot and the Repair option was there.

    Now I'm kind of up a creek as they say unless someone can lead me through some procedure where I can complete the Install/Repair.

    Thanks for any pointers, I'm game for just about anything at this point.

    Jim
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  2. #2
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    I would try a "manual" system restore. Here is how: http://www.rivanet.co.uk/documents/WinXP%20Crashed.pdf.

    I have used it twice and it worked fine.

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    WoeIsMe (2011-11-14)

  4. #3
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    Thanks ruirib for the quick response and suggestion, I've printed it out and am on my way, will let you know how I make out.

    Jim

  5. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by ruirib View Post
    I would try a "manual" system restore. Here is how: http://www.rivanet.co.uk/documents/WinXP Crashed.pdf.

    I have used it twice and it worked fine.
    Well, it's certainly a detailed, well documented manual procedure and I'll keep it in my kit bag but unfortunately, it didn't work for me.

    I suspected it wasn't going to work after Part I when I rebooted back into Safe Mode, the narrative didn't mention that so figured it should have booted 'normally' at that point. I completed the whole procedure though, hoping in the end it would work.

    Thanks again for the quick reply . . . still looking . . .

    Jim

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    Quote Originally Posted by WoeIsMe View Post
    still looking . . .
    Jim,
    Hello...seeing how you do not have many options at this point ..Is there (or might there be ) a second screen after the "Install" option? Regards Fred

    PS: one other thought ... Can you enter the "Boot Menu" (BIOS) screen... If so select (up down arrows) the XP partition \ HD, and hit enter ...It just might boot normally ...
    Also check and make sure your F-8 key isn't stuck
    Last edited by Just Plain Fred; 2011-11-13 at 15:58.
    PlainFred

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    Jim, why did you reboot into safe mode? Wouldn't it reboot in normal mode, after the first part?

  8. #7
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    I don't know how UBCD4Win CD is these days for booting if you're all AHCI controller oriented; but if you can boot with it and access the drive, you can use a utility on it that will restore any registry point you choose, no ifs, ands, or buts.

    Also, you didn't modify your boot.ini file so it only boots in safe mode at any time by chance?

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  10. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Just Plain Fred View Post
    Jim,
    Hello...seeing how you do not have many options at this point ..Is there (or might there be ) a second screen after the "Install" option? Regards Fred

    PS: one other thought ... Can you enter the "Boot Menu" (BIOS) screen... If so select (up down arrows) the XP partition \ HD, and hit enter ...It just might boot normally ...
    Also check and make sure your F-8 key isn't stuck
    Thanks for the thoughts JPF, I did think of that first suggestion myself but it's scary, pretty sure it just starts overwriting what's there and don't want to do that. This computer I'm talking about has been my main computer for a number of years and has 'tons' of stuff on it I need to review and transfer before taking that step .

    Yes, I can get into BIOS but not exactly sure what you're telling me (...select the XP partition \ HD and hit Enter).

    The F8 key isn't stuck, the computer just boots into Safe Mode all the time. If I select the Vista partition from the Boot Menu it works fine.

    I'm also running 4 computers through a Belkin KVM switch and all the other computers work normally.

    One other thing I've noticed on dual-boot computers (I have a couple), the F8 key option is not available on the boot menu for the secondary OS, only the primary. Hm, just thought of something else as I said that, I could use msconfig and modify the XP BOOT.INI file to /safeboot /bootlog and see if the log gives me a clue, will try that.

    Jim

  11. #9
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    No, it just won't boot normally, always goes directly into Safe Mode.

    I should note that other than that there doesn't appear to be any other 'damage', I can run most programs (like Outlook) and run others as needed while I'm building a replacement computer I've been working on for a couple of months. The fact there's no security stuff running I wouldn't go on the Internet.

    Jim

  12. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Infinicore View Post
    I don't know how UBCD4Win CD is these days for booting if you're all AHCI controller oriented; but if you can boot with it and access the drive, you can use a utility on it that will restore any registry point you choose, no ifs, ands, or buts.

    Also, you didn't modify your boot.ini file so it only boots in safe mode at any time by chance?
    Infinicore, I hadn't heard about UBCD4WIN CD and will check it out, am downloading it now, one can never have enough tools in their kit bag as far as I'm concerned.

    I had to chuckle when you mentioned the boot.ini file, see my previous reply where I noted I was going to go into the boot.ini file and turn on logging to see of that offered any clues. I've discovered over time that the F8 key is not available to the secondary OS on a dual-boot computer, one has to modify the BOOT.INI file settings using Msconfig to force it into Safe Mode with other options as needed (networking for example).

    So, I started msconfig to do that and guess what?

    /SAFEMODE was turned ON!!!

    Color me embarassed, don't know why I didn't think to check that.

    What I think happened is this . . . I'm troubleshooting Safe Mode boots after cleaning the Registry with CCleaner and after restoring registry backups and then using System Restore multiple times all the way back to the 1st of Nov I apparently/coincidentally restored an instance of the registry where I had turned on /SAFEMODE in the BOOT.INI file.

    Good grief, what are the chances of something like that happening?

    Anyway, I've rebooted a number of times now and everything is back to 'normal' (whatever that is).

    Again Infinicore, thanks for the mention of this, will add it to my reqular checklist of things to do when all is not well.

    A BIG thanks to all those following this thread and for the great suggestions, I'm definitely a big fan of Windows Secrets and will start paying more attention to the posts here, who knows, maybe some day I'll be able to help someone also.

    Jim

  13. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by WoeIsMe View Post

    Yes, I can get into BIOS but not exactly sure what you're telling me (...select the XP partition \ HD and hit Enter).

    Jim,
    Glad to hear that you have sorted out this problem ..and thanks for posting back... Several times when i have messed up ,and couldn't "boot" normally ..If i entered the BIOS Menu... not BIOS configure. (separate choice on BIOS splash screen) My PC "escape" or F-10.. You then can see all drives present ... Then i can pick one using the up down arrows and then hit "Enter" and on my Multi-boot PC it will boot that OS. Hope this explains it ..you might give it a try for future reference... Regards Fred
    PlainFred

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