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  1. #1
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    Can't start in Safe Mode

    I have been having some curious problems with a Win 7 Ultimate/SP 1 laptop. For a start the Desktop icons were constantly being rearranged and resized, that seems to have stopped for now, but I never found out what was going on. The other thing is that shortly after opening the first Web page in IE10 I'd get an Avast warning about a malicious Website. This could be the BBC, or Google, or Hotmail, whatever I happened to open first. After that there would be no further warnings. Avast support told me to boot into Safe Mode and run a full scan, and this is the crux of the matter. When I got the options, I chose 'Safe Mode with Networking.' A moment later a blue screen of text appears very briefly, much too brief to read anything, then a DOS screen appears, "Windows Error Recovery." "Windows has failed to start, a recent hardware or software change may be the cause." Startup repair can help diagnose and fix the problem." Only there have been no recent changes. "Launch Startup Repair" is the selected option. So I went with that.

    Many minutes later the next message was: "Startup repair failed", and the option now was "Do you want to try system restore?" Seemed like a good idea. Many minutes later Windows re-booted, not in Safe Mode, and not to an earlier state, it was exactly as I had used it an hour earlier. So, tempting fate, I tried Safe Mode again. This time the "repair" ran for ages, but ended the same way. I used the power button to shut down, then re-booted, and everything looked normal. That much is good, but I still cannot get into Safe Mode. At Avast suggestion I used RKill, it found no problems. I used CCleaner, and Malawarebytes, no problems. Then I did a full Avast scan at boot, that found nothing. But something is wrong, and the trouble is it's is many months, maybe years, since I tried to use Safe Mode so I don't know how far back is far enough for an image to restore things to normal, or if I even have an image that is old enough.

    Any enlightenment???

    David

  2. #2
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    A restore point could still be the best option.

    Go Start - type msconfig - press Enter - check the radio button for Selective start up then under the Boot tab check the box for Safe mode - Apply - OK - Restart

    Go Start - type restore or system protection and select Restore system files and settings from a restore point - Choose a different restore point and that should list most of what it would be best to use.

    Check one back a couple of points to before this happened and Scan for affected programs and make a note of any and see if that does it.

    If it reboots back into Safe Mode then you will need to go back into msconfig and undo those steps to boot into that option.

  3. #3
    Super Moderator jwitalka's Avatar
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    A couple of Safe Mode fixes are in this thread:
    http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/w...b-49fbbe7d6579

    Jerry

  4. #4
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    It sounds like you may have at least 3 problems: 1) your laptop is BSOD'ing but is set to reboot automatically (which means that you don't get to see the details from the Blue Screen Of Death), 2) your laptop may have a corrupted system file that prevents you from booting into Safe Mode and 3) your laptop may have malware which is hidden from the OS, i.e. a rootkit.

    If you aren't able to carry out a System Restore to before the problem started then I suggest you check the possible issues in this order: a) disable automatic rebooting, b) run a scan for damaged system files and c) run a rootkit checker.

    a) disable automatic rebooting:
    1. Click on the Start orb and, if Computer appears in the right-hand pane of the Start menu, right-click on it and choose Properties from the context menu. Alternatively, right-click on Computer on your Windows desktop and choose Properties.
    2. Once in System, click on Advanced system settings in the left-hand pane.
    3. On the Advanced tab, click on the Settings... button in the Startup and Recovery group.
    4. Remove the default tick in the Automatically restart checkbox.
    5. Click on the OK button then again on the next OK button to save the changes.
    6. Exit the Control Panel > System window.
    6. Re-boot the PC. If you now see a BSOD (Blue Screen Of Death) do the following...
    7. Download, extract and run Nir Sofer's BlueScreenView.
    8. Post the results to the forum.

    b) run a scan for damaged system files:
    1. Click on the Start orb then enter cmd in the Search programs and files textbox.
    2. When cmd appears in the Search results, right-click on it and choose the Run as administrator option from the context menu,
    3. When the (elevated) command prompt appears, type sfc /scannow then press the Enter key.
    4. Wait for the System File Checker to complete and follow any prompts that it shows.
    5. Post the results to the forum.

    c) run a rootkit checker:
    1. For a quick check, download and run GMER.
    2. Post the results to the forum.

    Hope this helps...

  5. #5
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    Firstly I'd like to thank you all for a wealth of information and know-how. What a can of worms I seem to have stumbled into! To work through the suggestions:-

    I looked at the Restore points I could choose from. I have never had to do this before so this was all new to me. Don't know why but there are only 2, one on March 28th when I uninstalled a program, and one on the 26th March which is labeled "Automatic Restore Point". (I thought that Windows made Restore Points when programs were installed/uninstalled, I guess I havenít done much in the last year or so. But just 2 restore points?!? So System Restore isnít going to hack it.

    I ran sfc /scannow, it found no problems.

    I disabled Auto Restart, and restarted. Now I got to read the BSOD. Last line listed EUBKMON.SYS. Rebooted normally and searched for it. It comes with Easus ToDo Backup, which I use for imaging. There are 2 copies, one in System 32 the other in an Easus folder, both the same date and size, which checks out okay. From the search I see that it is not a system file and can be disabled, Iíll e-mail Easus about this.

    I ran GMER, did a quick scan, nothing flagged, then scanned C:, still no flags (See attached)

    I did a scan with aswMBR, nothing.

    So it looks like everything is working fine, I obviously donít have a problem, unless of course I need to start in Safe Mode, which is where this started. Now Iíll try to restore an image. I say this with the greatest trepidation. For many years Iíve taken Fredís advice to heart, Iíve made images with 'Image for DOS', 'Image for Windows', a couple whoís names I canít remember, and lately 'Easus Todo'. I have never successfully restored an image, each and every time it has ended with some error message and Iíve had to re-install everything. But hey, what else would I be doing?

    Thanks again for the help and time,

    David

  6. #6
    Gold Lounger Roderunner's Avatar
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    Hi David, this will be useful for you. BSOD Help.pdf
    George's PC Specs. / Laptop. Desktop.

  7. #7
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    Hi David,

    Well done for the troubleshooting. It looks like others have had BSODs and trouble with booting into Safe Mode when EaseUS ToDo Backup is installed. Have a read of this blog which documents the same problem and how it was solved by the uninstallation of EaseUS ToDo Backup.

    The EaseUS Support Team itself advises the removal of its product to check whether the problem goes away. If it does then I suggest you check whether there is a later version available (v6.1 was released a year ago), have a look in the EaseUS ToDo Backup Support forums and/or contact the EaseUS Support Team.

    For the problem with only 2 system restore points, have a look at the comprehensive information included in this post: System Restore only shows limited restore points.

    Hope this helps...
    Last edited by Rick Corbett; 2014-03-30 at 09:47. Reason: Added info

  8. #8
    Super Moderator jwitalka's Avatar
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    I looked at the Restore points I could choose from. I have never had to do this before so this was all new to me. Don't know why but there are only 2, one on March 28th when I uninstalled a program, and one on the 26th March which is labeled "Automatic Restore Point". (I thought that Windows made Restore Points when programs were installed/uninstalled, I guess I haven’t done much in the last year or so. But just 2 restore points?!? So System Restore isn’t going to hack it.
    Did you tick the "Show more Restore Points" box at the bottom of the page? The number of Restore points is also affected by the amount of disk space allocated for System restore in
    Control Panel > System > Advanced System Settings > System Protection tab > Highlight System Drive > click Configure.

    Jerry

  9. #9
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    My doesn't time fly when you're having fun? Thanks for the links to System Restore. Took a look and found that only 1.3gigs is allocated, don't know why, I never set it, just accepted defaults. One other question... It seems that Restore points can be set up for each partition, but the way I have things set up is C: for System; D: for programs (the ones I install, MS & Sony have a slew of stuff on C of which I've deleted as much as I can); and E: is only data. If System Restore doesn't affect programs or data is there any point in allocating space for Restore points on D: & E:?

    What a wealth of information about BSODs, more than I ever hoped I'd need. I do have Easus Todo Backup installed, bought the Pro version after seeing good things about it in the Bible, Windows Secrets. Now, however, I'm getting a sinking feeling about it. BSODs? Problems with uninstalling? Sounds flaky to me, and this is the program that I'm relying on as a safety net?!? Right now I'm feeling like a bungee jumper who's wondering about that knot he tied before leaping into the void. Worst of all is that all the images I've religiously made for years have been with Todo Backup! Like I said in my last post this isn't going to end easily.

    Still there is a bright side to all this. The problem is with my machine, if it had been my wife's then I'd be factoring in the cost of a divorce by now.

    David
    Last edited by Rhinoceros; 2014-03-30 at 15:58. Reason: Typos

  10. #10
    Silver Lounger mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rhinoceros View Post
    My doesn't time fly when you're having fun? Thanks for the links to System Restore. Took a look and found that only 1.3gigs is allocated, don't know why, I never set it, just accepted defaults. One other question... It seems that Restore points can be set up for each partition, but the way I have things set up is C: for System; D: for programs (the ones I install, MS & Sony have a slew of stuff on C of which I've deleted as much as I can); and E: is only data. If System Restore doesn't affect programs or data is there any point in allocating space for Restore points on D: & E:?

    What a wealth of information about BSODs, more than I ever hoped I'd need. I do have Easus Todo Backup installed, bought the Pro version after seeing good things about it in the Bible, Windows Secrets. Now, however, I'm getting a sinking feeling about it. BSODs? Problems with uninstalling? Sounds flaky to me, and this is the program that I'm relying on as a safety net?!? Right now I'm feeling like a bungee jumper who's wondering about that knot he tied before leaping into the void. Worst of all is that all the images I've religiously made for years have been with Todo Backup! Like I said in my last post this isn't going to end easily.

    Still there is a bright side to all this. The problem is with my machine, if it had been my wife's then I'd be factoring in the cost of a divorce by now.

    David
    I would also suggest running a full scan with Windows Defender Offline. It may catch something which is causing or contributing to the problems with your computer.

    http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/w...fender-offline

    Have a blank CD handy. Also, you will need to know whether your OS is 32 or 64 bit. Finally, create the CD on a known good PC, not the PC in question.

    The reason I am suggesting WDO is because it will scan your hard drive pre-Windows, that is, before Windows has a chance to load. Sometimes malware buries itself deeply into Windows and is difficult to remove; if you do a pre-Windows scan, you have a better chance of catching it.
    Last edited by mrjimphelps; 2014-03-31 at 17:58.

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