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Windows Server 2008 Unable to break out of boot loop

By c_j_m ·
With a server 2008 installation, I wanted to reboot into safe mode. Msconfig was used to allow restart in safe mode. However, on reboot, it gets to the log on screen then reboots again very quickly. I've tried frantically typing the password, but the reboot is too quick and loops incessantly. This is not a boot loop linked to an OS update which I've come across in researching an answer.

I tried putting the installation disk in and chose the repair (rescue?) option. This resulted in a message box saying it was the wrong version of windows. Not sure what is going on as it was the right version as far as I could tell. I want to avoid reinstalling Windows Server if at all possible.

The machine is dual boot with linux so if there's a solution involving manually editing appropriate files this would be no problem.

Anyone able to help?


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Edit the registry to remove the MSconfig settings.

by seanferd In reply to Windows Server 2008 Unabl ...

At least the one for safeboot. You''l need an offline registry editor for Linux, or a boot utilities disk which does (e.g., , using a vanilla Bart PE disk if it has Autoruns incorporated in the build, all the better). You may be looking at a broken msgina file or entry, userinit, or other logon/winlogon entries if you have problems with profile corruption or malware.

Can you log on under an account other than the one you have been trying?

As to the disk being the wrong version, is it at a different SP level than the installation? Or a different edition?

Of course, if there is a BSOD occurring (heaven forbid), and the server is set to restart on failure (the default behavior on every desktop version of Windows, AFAIK), then you'll need to change that setting as well.

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