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Win XP...No Safe Mode

By aszunick ·
Running XP Pro on a Dell 4600. The computer works fine in normal mode. I had the need to boot into the Safe Mode. Reboot>F8. Boot selection window comes up and I select Safe Mode. System reboots into Normaal Mode every time. Haven't done anything different lately
All suggestions appreciated.
Thanks,
Arnie (aszunick@yahoo.com)

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by wcp In reply to Win XP...No Safe Mode

This is rather a strange problem.
One can only guess that Windows system (?) file(s) might have been corrupted or missing due to failing HD, Windows, or virus.
I recommend the following in sequence.

1. Scan for virus.
Make sure your current antivirus definition got updated before you run. Additional scan by online may be a good idea. http://tinyurl.com/5pzi
http://tinyurl.com/2xis
http://tinyurl.com/bdvsv
http://tinyurl.com/aauh5

2. Do a HD diagnostic test.
Download a diagnostic utility program from the HD manufacturer?s website.

3. Do CHKDSK.
From Command Prompt, type CHKDSK /R. It will run the next boot.

4. Do System File Check.
Start > Run and type SFC /SCANNOW. You have to out your Windows CD in the CD-ROM.

5. Do System Restore.
Go back to a date when you did not have the problem.

6. Reinstall Windows.
This is also called repair installation or in-place upgrade.

If you need more info, please add a comment.

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by wcp In reply to

I am quoting the following paragraphs from http://tinyurl.com/b8cb8. It?s for Windows 2K but it should apply to Windows XP.
*************
When you boot into a safe-mode configuration, the boot loader NT Loader (NTLDR) passes to the kernel (ntoskrnl.exe) an associated switch as a command-line parameter, with any switches you have specified in the boot.ini file for the installation you are booting. If you boot into any safe mode, NTLDR passes the /SAFEBOOT: switch. NTLDR appends one or more additional strings to /SAFEBOOT:, depending on which type of safe mode you select. For standard safe mode, NTLDR appends MINIMAL, and adds NETWORK for networking-enabled safe mode. NTLDR adds MINIMAL(ALTERNATESHELL) for safe mode with command prompt and DSREPAIR for DS-repair mode.
The Win2K kernel scans boot parameters in search of the safe-mode switches early during the boot, and sets the internal variable InitSafeBootMode to a value that reflects the switches the kernel finds. The kernel writes the InitSafeBootMode value to the Registry value HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\ CurrentControlSet\Control\ SafeBootOptions\OptionValue so that user-mode components, such as the Service Control Manager (SCM), can determine what boot mode the system is in. In addition, if the system is booting safe mode with command prompt, the kernel sets the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\ CurrentControlSet\ Control\SafeBoot\ Options\UseAlternateShell value to 1. The kernel records the parameters that NTLDR passes to it in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\ CurrentControlSet\ Control\SystemStartOptions.
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BIOS flash or FDISK /MBR (http://tinyurl.com/85na4) may be other options but this is applicable if the problem started right after the XP Service Pack 2 installation. If you?d like to try this, backup your data beforehand.

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by aszunick In reply to

Tried as much as I could....see response below.

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by aszunick In reply to Win XP...No Safe Mode

Thanks for the recommendations. My thinking was a bit difference from yours so correct me if I'm wrong. I thought the boot sequence preceeded any install of the operating system. Therefore it should have something to do with the BIOS firmware.

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by bipin002 In reply to Win XP...No Safe Mode

If you have the cd do a non distructive recovery

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by aszunick In reply to

Can I do the recovery with an upgrade disk as opposed to having a full program? See my comments below.

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by sgt_shultz In reply to Win XP...No Safe Mode

my 2 cents is that *is* a weird one. i have never heard of it myself and so far, connot find those symptoms at support.microsoft.com
just for grins, what about trying a restore point?

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by sgt_shultz In reply to

2 more cents: the boot menu screen you reached after pressing f8 is the windows boot loader menu. so you are 'past' the bios stuff at that point.
one far fetched thing that occurs to me is that you are actually 'rebooting' into normal mode due to an error in safe mode that we can't see. you could turn off that 'feature' of rebooting on system error by right-clicking my computer, then picking performance then unchecking relevant box.
meanwhile, i found this very interesting article that talks about something i have found lacking in windows and wished for: a start menu option to reboot into safe mode. i will clip it in next comment...

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by sgt_shultz In reply to

How to Automate Advanced Restart Options for Dual-Boot Configurations
SUMMARY
<some stuff clipped out because of the silly 2000 character rule which should be at least 6000 imho)
This article describes a method you can use to create a custom Advanced Restart menu on the Start menu. You can use the Advanced Restart menu to preselect advanced restart options before you restart your computer. After you select your restart options, you are prompted to restart, and your computer starts with your preselected options, and does not require that you press any keys during startup.
MORE INFORMATION
IMPORTANT: The following procedure assumes that you have a dual-boot configuration with Windows XP and Windows 2000. Also, although the following procedure works correctly, Microsoft does not support the following procedure. 1. Create a shortcut that is named Advanced Restart on the Windows XP Start menu.
2. For the target path, use the msconfig -4 command. For example, you might use the c:\windows\pchealth\helpctr\binaries\msconfig.exe -4 command.
3. Create the same shortcut with the same path for the Windows 2000 Start menu. This shortcut on the Windows 2000 Start menu should use the path to the Msconfig.exe tool in the Windows XP folder.
The "Advanced Restart" shortcut you created starts Msconfig.exe with a switch that loads the Boot.ini file properties dialog box. From this dialog box, you can select the default operating system, Safe mode options, and other advanced boot options. After you select the restart options and press OK, you are prompted to restart your computer. When your computer restarts, it starts with the options you previously selected, and does not require that you press any keys during startup.

Note that when you boot into Windows XP or Windows 2000 after you use Msconfig.exe, Msconfig.exe automatically starts in diagnostic mode

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by aszunick In reply to

See my comments below.

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