Author Topic: Windows XP starting in safe mode  (Read 3882 times)

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Offline Ragdoll

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Windows XP starting in safe mode
« on: November 21, 2008, 08:08:50 am »
Alrighty this is driving me nuts and so far nothing found on google is helping, so perhaps one of you wonderful gurus has an answer for me. :)

HP Pavilion 563w
pent 4 2.4Ghz
1.24MB RAM
Windows XP Home

Machine came in with a boot issue, loop from Windows splash screen back to safe mode. Removed a wireless keyboard and mouse that had recently been added and it boots now, however it wants to go to the safe mode options screen and you have to choose to start up normal and then it will go to the desktop. This happens from a cold boot only, if you just do a restart it will come up fine.

Things that have been tried so far:

system cleanup (had been done previously, ran scans again just to make sure nothing has come in since.All came through clean)
Made sure no keys on keyboard sticking
Checked msconfig to make sure that booting to safe mode was not checked in the boot.ini
Last known good config
system file check
OS repair
Bios reset

Maybe I am missing something here?  This is driving me crazy, other than this issue the machine seems to be functioning very well.


Any help would be appreciated, thank you.

RD










Offline Ragdoll

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Re: Windows XP starting in safe mode
« Reply #1 on: November 21, 2008, 09:41:16 am »
Sorry I screwed up and put this here in networking and should have been in Operating Systems. Would someone mind moving it? Thanks!! ;D

Offline PCBruiser

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Re: Windows XP starting in safe mode
« Reply #2 on: November 21, 2008, 09:51:04 am »
The hard drive is failing.  That's why it only happens with cold boots.  The drive is taking too long to spin up to speed, and the bios cannot read the drive until it is spinning at rated speed.  So ... it only boots until it would normally hand off control to Win XP, and since it can't until the drive is warm enough and spinning at speed, it defaults into the Advanced Options screen.  With warm boots or restarts, the drive is already spinning at speed, so it doesn't have the same issue.
Don't Read?  Can't learn!

Offline Ragdoll

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Re: Windows XP starting in safe mode
« Reply #3 on: November 21, 2008, 10:18:51 am »
Ah bummer...hated to hear that. I had even looked in even viewer to see if anything showed up there..no disk errors so I was in hopes we were in the clear there.

Thanks PCBruiser, guess I will back up her data and give her the bad news.

Have a great day.  :)

Offline PCBruiser

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Re: Windows XP starting in safe mode
« Reply #4 on: November 21, 2008, 12:07:11 pm »
I would test the drive using the manufacturer's diagnostics before doing that to be sure.
Don't Read?  Can't learn!

Offline John B.

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Re: Windows XP starting in safe mode
« Reply #5 on: November 22, 2008, 12:43:31 pm »
This is a little information to illustrate what PCB said.

First, you need to determine what brand hard drive you have. Unless you happen to know that information, the easiest way to find out is simply to look at the drive itself, and the manufacturer's name will be on a label on the top of the drive. To do this, turn off your computer, unplug it from the wall and wait an hour. Then open the case and you should have a clear view of the hard drive. The manufacturer will be either:
  • Hitachi (or IBM for older Hitachi drives
  • Maxtor
  • Samsung
  • Seagate
  • Western Digital
There are a couple of more minor manufacturers, but those are the "big-5" with over a 90% market share.

Once you know who made the drive, close the case and plug the system back into the wall.

Now, go to the manufacturer's web site. Under Downloads or Support, etc., you will find the manufacturer's hard drive diagnostics. You should find two versions, one that creates a bootable floppy, the other that creates a bootable CD. Pick one or the other, whichever is more convenient. Then create the bootable disk following the manufacturer's instructions, boot from the disk, and run the diagnostics - there are usually two of them, a Quick one and a much longer Complete one. Run the Quick one first, and if there are no errors, run the Complete one. It isn't necessary to run the Complete one if the Quick one shows errors.

Post what you discover.

If you decide to download the CD version, that will be an iso file. To burn an .iso file, you need to use something like Nero, and do an image burn. If you do a regular burn the CD won't work. Alternatively, you can grab a free .iso burner here:

http://isorecorder.alexfeinman.com/isorecorder.htm

Watch the versions, v1 is for doing the burn on an XP SP1 system, v2 for XP SP2 and SP3. After you download the file, right click on it, and choose Install from the context menu. That will install the .iso burner. You may need to reboot.

After that, navigate to the .iso file, right click on it and there will be a new context menu item called something like "Copy file to CD". Use that, and it will correctly burn the .iso file for you.

Please let us know.

Regards,
John.

Offline Ragdoll

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Re: Windows XP starting in safe mode
« Reply #6 on: December 04, 2008, 11:02:15 am »
Thank you very much for the information gentlemen.

My apologies for not getting back sooner. My friend has been out of town and I have not had the time to get back to her machine. I will give her a call and make sure that I will be able to get to it today and then post back. 

Thanks again!!