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  1. #1
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    Stuck in Safe Mode?

    Is it possible to get stuck in safe mode on windows 98?
    A friend of mine kept getting an error whenever they would try to shut down and decided to try and fix it on her own (I don't know what she did and she can't remember what she did) but then couldn't get windows to come up at all. She called Dell as that's where she got her machine. Apparently they walked her through several screens and got windows to come up in safe mode (by doing the del or f8 during boot up) and I believe by having her boot from her win 98 CD.
    However, now whenever she boots up her pc always looks like it's in safe mode (the win 98 cd was taken out of drive). The wallpaper clouds are distorted (when doing Display properties, settings the option for 256 colors or more is not even there...only choice is 2 colors). She also can't see her modem so can't get to internet or email. Also can't see several of her programs such as Excel. (all these things are what is making me think it's in safe mode all the time) As far as I know they did Not have her format her hard drive....though they did have her install windows 98 a few times. She has re-booted several times (without doing the f8 or del) but it always comes up looking like it's in some kind of safe mode. I thought once you re-booted without f8 or del (and with no cd in cd drive and no floppy in the diskette drive) it would try to reboot in normal mode. Is there something special she needs to do to re-boot in normal mode???? .... or am I wrong and it's not in safe mode but some other problem??

  2. #2
    Uranium Lounger
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    Re: Stuck in Safe Mode?

    It doesn't sound as though she's in safe mode. Were that the case, she should be seeing a special message denoting the fact and the corners of the screen would have the words "safe mode" in them.

    More likely what happened is that the Windows 98 "rescue" by Dell resulted in missing drivers and the other weirdnesses that you are seeing. The video problem should be solved by a driver update, which would hopefully enable alternate resolutions and color depths.

    Are you sure that Excel and the other applications are still installed? Safe mode would not prevent you from seeing the items in the start menu or on the desktop, so if they are missing it's possible that she has a semi-fresh installation of 98 and the applications need to be re-installed. Search the hard drive for EXCEL.EXE and try to run it from the EXE file - if it balks and throws out errors, it definitely needs to be re-installed.
    -Mark

  3. #3
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    Re: Stuck in Safe Mode?

    do you see the words safe mode in all four corners of the screen
    if not reload the video drivers

  4. #4
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    Re: Stuck in Safe Mode?

    Is the Dell a notebook or desktop? I assume with 98 it would be a couple of years old and out of the next day warranty? Most of my colleagues who have Dell machines take the 3 year warranty option and seem to get good support via the phone and when necessary a tec will come out the next day. Perhaps your friend has a 3 year warranty, if so sounds like she might need someone to come out from Dell. Cant hurt to ask her, she may be covered and not realize it.

  5. #5
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    Re: Stuck in Safe Mode?

    a dell tech will only come out if there is a hardware problem not for a software problem
    but you can call dell tech support for help
    even if your warranty has run out dell will still give free phone tech support

  6. #6
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    Re: Stuck in Safe Mode?

    Yes True, Dell come out for hardware problems, software over the phone - I know this is a dumb question but is the O/S considered hardware or software. Dell machines come factory loaded with the O/S packaged but unopened. Ive never thought to clarify if the O/S is covered as a part of the onsite warranty? Cyberdance

  7. #7
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    Re: Stuck in Safe Mode?

    os is software

  8. #8
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    Re: Stuck in Safe Mode?

    Hi Jerry, regarding 98 "safe mode" how do I deliberately boot in "safe mode" and once in it how do I get out of it? I was told to boot in "safe mode" by a tech regarding my attempt to install a 256 SDRAM into one of my memory slots, it appeared to take okay, but resulted in the machine booting to my desktop screen happily, then looping into running the windows scan test and reloading 98, over and over. I ended up returning the 32 mg sdram Id removed to get my machine back up. So still only running 64mgs - any thoughts? I do have 2 X 256 sdram chips ready to try, but have not been game to have another go until I have more confidence. Im technically challenged to say the least! If you have any advice or thoughts Id surely appreciate it. Many Thanks.
    Cyberdance

  9. #9
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    Re: Stuck in Safe Mode?

    Hi Cyberdance,
    To get to safe mode:
    1. Shut down and turn off the computer
    2. Turn it back on.
    - After the Dell logo disappears press the F8 key one or two times per second until either A) Windows starts, or [img]/forums/images/smilies/cool.gif[/img] a 'Microsoft Windows 98 Startup Menu' menu appears.
    If Windows starts, repeat steps 1 & 2 until the menu appears.

    If the menu appears, choose option 3 - Safe Mode

    3. You should be all set!

    To get out of safe mode, just click Start | Shut Down... and click Restart.

  10. #10
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    Re: Stuck in Safe Mode?

    Thank you, thank you, Ill give it a try. I dont have a Dell, only a generic machine which is 4 years old - but will see if F8 works. It may be slow but so far very reliable, Im one of those "if it aint broke, dont fix it" girls! Ive done a huge amount of work on this computer including multiple graphics stuff, so no complaints apart from it running too slow....I appreciate your swift reply, thanks again. <img src=/S/crossfingers.gif border=0 alt=crossfingers width=17 height=16>

  11. #11
    Uranium Lounger
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    Re: Stuck in Safe Mode?

    Wow, I'm one of those "if it ain't broke, why not?" kind of guys.... <img src=/S/laugh.gif border=0 alt=laugh width=15 height=15>

    Have you considered upgrading your video card to relieve the bottleneck? Memory and video power tend to make more of a difference than processor speed, so keep that in mind when you finally get tired of it being a wee bit slower than you prefer.
    -Mark

  12. #12
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    Re: Stuck in Safe Mode?

    Hi Mark, laughed at your "aint broke why not" comment, every guy I know keeps at thier computers until they are indeed "broken" - maybe its a guy thing? (to which I have no answer)... <img src=/S/confused.gif border=0 alt=confused width=15 height=20> I believe my video card and sound card are both good, I had them upgraded about 2 years back. Ive even backed up most of my graphic stuff to zip to get it off the hard drive hoping for better speed from my overworked 64 mgs, but to no avail. Believe me when I say I had to be desperate to try installing the new SDRAM myself, since I work often on my clients machines, I realize how slow mine is. But <img src=/S/exclamation.gif border=0 alt=exclamation width=15 height=15> it has been reliable, (far more so than the men in my life) hence my reasoning for not doing anything too radical, or being tempted to get a newer one (machine that is). Thanks for the thought, Im willing to take on any suggestions or ideas to improve speed, RAM seems a good option, I only have to figure out why it sent my machine in loop mode......appreciate your comments, thanks again. Cyberdance

  13. #13
    New Lounger
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    Re: Stuck in Safe Mode?

    I had the EXACT same thing happen. I found this recommendation on the MSN search site:
    1. Check your SYSTEMS.INI folder (Choose RUN, Type SYSEDIT, push the Enter key)
    2. Under the [boot] section I was missing the line "display.drv=pnpdrvr.drv"
    3. So I added the line "display.drv=pnpdrvr.drv" (without the quotes) under the last line in the [boot] section, saved and restarted the computer and it was fixed!!

    Good luck!

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