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Cant log into Windows after SafeBoot, Please Help!

By Fred G ยท 17 replies
Jan 9, 2007
  1. I restarted the computer using Safeboot mode and i'm unable to log back into windows. I did this so i can remove some programs that cant be removed in normal mode. Here's what happens after i turn the computer on: everything loads like it should but in safe mode, when i gets o the log on screen i'm asked to sign in as either the administrator or myself, i clicked on one, nothing happens, clicked on the other still nothing. I restarted the computer several times, the problem didnt go away. The os on that pc is windows XP service pack 2 home edition. i think its home anyway. If anyone knows how to fix this please let me know.
  2. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,244   +235

    Sounds like you accidently deleted some critical Windows files. You might be able to repair these by performing a Windows Repair, as long as you have a Windows CD. You can try a System Restore first
  3. Fred G

    Fred G TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 86

    i dont think i deleted anything. all i've done was go to start, then run, typed msconfig, then went to boot.ini section, clicked safeboot box and clicked minimal, thats it.

    By the way, how do i do a system restore?
  4. mikescorpio81

    mikescorpio81 TS Rookie Posts: 293

    You have messed around with msconfig and edited boot.ini by the sound of it. You didn't have to do that to get into Safe mode (F8 during boot).

    During boot, hit F8 and try to select a normal boot option. Or, login as Safe mode, bring up msconfig and select "Normal Start-up" on the first screen. That should do it ...

    System restore re-loads drivers and registry settings; unlikely to help you in this situation, but for future reference (provided you have restore points active) goto START - ALL PROGRAMS - ACCESORIES - SYSTEM TOOLS - SYSTEM RESTORE.
  5. Fred G

    Fred G TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 86

    i'm going to have to go with the F8 option. Like i said earlier i cant actually log into windows so i wont be able to to swith to normal star-up from there. Thanks for the suggestion, i'll see how this plays out.

    Nope, didnt work, i hit F8 and opted for the normal mode like you said but i was taken to the same blurry windows safe mode screen and wasnt able to log in as either the administrator or myself, just like the first time. Do you have any other ideas? Perhaps there is a way to get back in with the help of the windows cd like the other gentelman suggested?

    EDIT: P.S. I didnt mess with the config or boot.ini, i just done what i described above, i was trying to launch in safe mode
  6. mikescorpio81

    mikescorpio81 TS Rookie Posts: 293

    Sounds to me like you did muck about with msconfig. Msconfig edits boot.ini. Primarily you need to get logged into your PC, safe mode or not. Are you logging in as a network account? Obviously this will not work unless you are in as Safe mode with networking enabled. Log in as a local administrator account ... you MUST get into Windows somehow!
    Normally I hack, but I am not going down that path on this forum! :haha:
    Get into Windows somehow as a local administrator, go back into msconfig and select "Normal start-up"
  7. Fred G

    Fred G TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 86

    I swear i didnt play with that config file. Everything that i've done i already described in this thread.

    I not sure if i'm logging in as a network account, actually i should say that i dont know. That computer is part of a network of 3 pcs, it has a router that lets the other 2 pcs go on the internet and thats it. But you cant log on from one pc to another, its not that kind of network. Does this make sense to you?

    As for loggingin with a local adminstrator account, i think thats what i've been trying to do. I do get to a screen where i can pick whther to sign in as admistrator or as myself, but neither option works. nothing happens when i press either key.

    This is all pretty confusing. i'm hoping i wont have to reinstall windows just to get back into that computer. I'll try to pop in the windows cd and see what happens and by the way, the version of windows on that pc is pro, not home, if that makes any difference.
  8. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,244   +235

    Windows Repair it is... You may have not done anything, but it's not working correctly is it
  9. Fred G

    Fred G TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 86

    i have the windows cd, and i just tried putting it in, but i still couldnt get past that blurry scren where i pick the log on name. how do i conduct windows repaid using the cd?

    P.S. I must mention that i gave a somewhat incorrect account: when i click on the admistrator or my name it does loadiong settings like it would normally do, but then it abrutly says saving setting and goes back to the intial screen with the names, it all happens very quickly thats why i didnt even notice it before
  10. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,244   +235

    You need to make the CD drive the first boot device in the bios. The boot preference should be CD, Hard drive, Floppy
  11. Fred G

    Fred G TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 86

    I will try that, thx!

    ok, here's what happened: i hit F12 to get to boot menu, i selected use CDROM as boot option, after that i was told to hit F2 for Automated System Recovery which i've done and when i got to next screen i was told to put in a floppy disk lbeled Automated System Recovery. I dont have a floppy disk by that name, in fact i dont use floppies at all anymore. Is this something that i should have? Or i was doing something wrong? :confused:
  12. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,244   +235

    Don't hit F2. If the XP CD boots properly you should see something like "windows is examining your system..." Then it will continue. Follow the on-screen instructions. When you see the first repair option using the Recovery Console, continue on. The next time you see an option to repair, select it. The computer will act like XP is installing new, but when you finish, all your programs and settings will remain
  13. Fred G

    Fred G TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 86

    Actually i hit F12 to get to the boot menu not F2.(EDIT: Please disregard the first sentence, i'm not thinking what i'm saying) But anyway, i did get past the screen when windows was examining itself. I think what confused me was the screen you mentioned where a repair and installation are offered, i was afraid to choose that since i thought windows would reinstall itself, but from what you are telling thats not going to happen.

    I will try to follow your advice tomorrow, my eyes are closing and i cant stay awake to keep doing this. Thank you for taking out the time to help me, i really appreciate it, I will let you know tomorrow how it worked out.
  14. Fred G

    Fred G TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 86

    Bad news, i followed your instructions, didnt select the recovery console and got to the place where windows was repairing and installing itself like you said. Everything was going fine until i got this popup message that said: windows cannot continue setup in safemode and will now restart press ok, i pressed ok, setup restarted and i went back to same messaage again, cant seem to get out of this cycle now. If i hit ok it just restarts and goes back to that message and on and on. I took the windows cd out, in boot menu swithced back to harddrive, but i still cant get out of the setup mode. Now i'm getting really scared, not only i wasnt able to fix windows, but now i have this setup process that keeps restarting if i hit ok and i cant get past that. I really need some serious help.

    EDIT: I've also tried hitting F8 and switched to normal startup but that didnt have any effect, just like before when the issue was simply logging in
  15. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,244   +235

    I don't know what happened to your system but I only see one way out of this now... Boot off the Windows CD once again. When you get to the second repair option choose to do a fresh install. Delete the current partition and install XP fresh... You will loose all your data, but I see no other way of fixing this. If the fresh install fails, you have a serious hardware failure to deal with next
  16. Fred G

    Fred G TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 86

    I dont know happened to it either, everything was working fine, it was a bit slow thats about it. I do have antivirus and antispyware installed and did scan for that stuff often and removed whatever was found. So its not likely to be a virus.

    Now the problem is how do i even get to do a fresh reinstall. As i've said earlier i'm trapped in this set up mode, it goes to setup no matter whether the windows cd is in the drive or not. The first thing i need to do is stop this somehow and at least get back to where i was yesterday before i attempted system repair. At this point i'm willing to reinstall windows, and like you said i may not have much choice about that, if you know how can get to starting a fresh windows install from this point please tell me.
  17. mikescorpio81

    mikescorpio81 TS Rookie Posts: 293

    Are you telling us that you don't know any local administrator logins?? Dangerous! You will know if you are logging in as a Network account due to the Domain selection underneath your password.

    Can you get to the "press CTRL+ALT+DEL" screen?? Sorry about the lateness of my reply ... I have been busy fixing other peoples PCs (in real life!) :grinthumb

    If its all sorted, please reply back asap.
  18. Fred G

    Fred G TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 86

    No its not a netwiorkk account since i'm not getting any domain selection under the password. I'm not sure what you mean about administrator logins, i dont think i know any though.

    In any case, someone is helping me with this this situation. He took out the hard drive and will try to save the data on it if possible. Unfotunately the data wasnt backed up since i dont have a portable hard drive to save it on. I will post an update on how this was fixed when his work is complete just in case someone else is having this problem. There was no way out the situation by conventional means since i couldnt reinstall or conduct windows repair in safe mode. As for pressing alt+cntrl+del, i think you are right, that could have been helpful, it does work in normal mode, but i havent thought of it then and didnt try it. As far as what caused this, i' afraid we'll never know. Though i do have some theories. That computer was somewhat slow for the past several months, also i discovered something strange right before this happened. I found 2 programs or files in startup, but it want in english, it was in chinese, actually the characters were chinese and were pointing to a Windows NT folder. I didnt attempt to get rid of them, i was afraid if i erased them something would stop working since the folder deals with windows operations. I was actually planning to make a post about that in this forum, but never got a chance to do it.
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