How do I diagnose XP fails to boot in 'Normal', Boots in 'safe mode'.

By JimOnSquam ยท 12 replies
Oct 13, 2005
  1. When system boots, I get boot option screen offering Normal,...,Safe Boot, etc. If I let it boot in Normal, seems to try an load to a point (never get to GUI) get very quick flash of a blue screen but I am unable to read it. Then system goes back to hard boot eventually ending back at boot option screen. I tried a Restore going back a week but no help. Not sure when I did last good boot. May have been a couple weeks. Using msconfig I have tried to to limited boot but it doesn't seem to make a difference. BTW, do the msconfig boot options work with normal or safe boot?

    I have backed up my critical data using network connection but I don't know what steps to take to proceed. Sisnce XP works in safe mode I suspect hdw is ok. Also, I do not know of any system changes leading to this problem.

    Any help greatly appreciated
  2. meatologist

    meatologist TS Rookie Posts: 134

    The BSOD that you are getting could be anything... but i've seen alot of machines that do what you are describing and the issue is graphics 90% of the time and a USB device the other 10%....

    In Safe Mode, Windows only uses basic files and drivers (mouse, monitor, keyboard, mass storage, base video, default system services, and no network connections).

    Try reinstalling your graphics card drivers.

    Ensure that you unplug ALL USB devices (unless they are keyboard and mouse) - and then boot the machine - this is to eliminate any possible external h/w probs.

    Let us know how you get on....
  3. JimOnSquam

    JimOnSquam TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Problem installing Video driver

    Thanks for the suggestion Meatologist. I guess I have been suspecting a driver of somesort too. I actually did a reinstall of the Video driver yesterday when I started working on this problem. I used the Driver install on 'Device Manager' (in System) in the control pannel. When I did that, I let it search MS online for a driver and I believe it installed OK. However, Tonight I thought I would get the driver from IBM (for the IBM 8511 system). I found a driver download for my Radeon 7000 and proceeded to install it. However, the ATI install wizard fails with "INF error - Video driver not found" and then "Setup was unable to complete the installation. Try to setup your display adapter with a standard VGA driver before running setup". Does this make any sence? Is there any way to get the boot to stop on the BOSD? Could this be a bad Video card perhaps? Also I have a native VGA adapter on the motherboard and was wondering how I might try that but I'm just a bit nervous about loosing the display entirely and adding to the confusion. I also ran dxdiag and it doesn't show any of the video information such as the card type.
  4. JimOnSquam

    JimOnSquam TS Rookie Topic Starter

    More information and progress report

    I am amazed that there are folks out there looking at these forums and taking the time to help someone resolve their problems. It is greatly appreciated.

    Today I also reloaded my Radeon driver with original that came with machine... no help and then removed the Radeon card to use the native video on the motherboard... Video worked but still fails with 'Normal' boot.
    I also looked at the events in the System log, I get the following error when I boot but I suspect it is just related to being in Safe Mode

    ''DCOM got error ''This service cannot be started in Safe Mode '' attempting to start the service EventSystem with arguments '''' in order to run the server:

    Also I looked in the application event log and see the following at around the time I did my original reboot that started this problem. It is listed as a Warning...

    ''Windows saved user OFFICE-NETVISTA\Jim registry while an application or service was still using the registry during log off. The memory used by the user's registry has not been freed. The registry will be unloaded when it is no longer in use.

    This is often caused by services running as a user account, try configuring the services to run in either the LocalService or NetworkService account.''

    As luck would have it, I also discovered that I have about 5 months of onsite service warrenty left (3 years) from IBM. Maybe the extended warrenty was not a bad idea. The only problem is that they likely will do a C: drive image reload and I will lose everything. I may end up going that root but would rather not.

  5. meatologist

    meatologist TS Rookie Posts: 134

    Windows Repair??

    Hey Jim,

    If you have removed your Radeon from your motherboard and attempted to use the on-board graphics - but you are still having problems - then I would go as far to say that's its not a hardware problem! well, not with the graphics at least.

    It's possible that it could be the video drivers that are installed on your machine. Ensure that you have removed all but the generic driver for the on-board card. As you are running a Radeon - you will need to ensure that you have removed all catalysts including the ATI Display Driver, ATI Control Panel and ATI Uninstall Utility.

    I think that it's unlikely to be the software, but you may aswell try everything!

    I dont think you need to worry about the System Log error - as you're booting into Safe Mode - so all your services wont be able to start anyway...

    When you boot into Safe Mode - try uninstalling anything that you either dont really need on your system or anything that you dont mind reinstalling after you have fixed ur machine...

    again.. make sure that you just have the basics plugged in (keyboard, mouse, monitor)

    if it turns out that Windows will still not boot into a Normal state... then you could attempt a Repair - take a look at this website for step-by-step instructions:

    You will require your original Windows XP CD.

    If you dont want to go down that route and would rather IBM stuck to their word and actually fixed it for you, then I would suggest plugging in another hard disk (if you have one) and suck all ur data off directly from your original hard drive.

    If you're not sure how to do that - let us know and I'm sure we can help!

    good luck
  6. howard_hopkinso

    howard_hopkinso TS Rookie Posts: 24,177   +19

    Hello and welcome to Techspot.

    It may be that a third party driver is causing your problems.

    If you follow the above instructions. Someone will take a look at your minidumps, and advise.

    Regards Howard :wave: :wave:
  7. Liquidlen

    Liquidlen TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,094

    This error is almost 99% due to the fact that you did not load Vid drivers correctly.
    You should always delete the excess files that sit in Temp files and Recycle bin other wise when you reboot Windows will try to re-install them since the Vid card is still there.
    first go to ATI and download their driver cleanup utility and print a copy of their instructions for use.
    Next Go to Microsoft and check on which version of DirectX you can use just to make sure(If you have the right version fine if not you should change it first.
    Now use Device manager uninstall your Video card drvers and reset with Standard VGA drivers,before you reboot use the cleanup utility and delete the recycle bin and Temp files.
    You can do all of this in safe mode.
    If you can reboot normally with Standard VGA drivers you are on the right track
    Now you can turn off all Applications including all unnecessary services . then reinstall the correct drivers for your card that you have investigated and know that go with your card
    Now reboot if you have the right drivers Great, if not you must start again.
  8. JimOnSquam

    JimOnSquam TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Minidumps and Video Driver Cleanup

    To try and get an accurate relationship between activities on the computer and the log entries, I did a shutdown followed by a power on while carefully watching the time.Using the event vierer, I find the following in the system log.
    - At the time I shut down: Event 10005 and 6006
    - When system is attempting to boot (and failing); Nothing in the log
    - When I finally restart in Safe Mode; Events 6005, 6005, 10005

    It appears that there is no events logging when I get the flash of the BSOD. I did, however, look for event 1001 and found 7 from a few days ago. The first is around the time I started having problems.
    The computer has rebooted from a bugcheck. The bugcheck was: 0x100000d1 (0xffffffab, 0x00000002, 0x00000001, 0x839fc9d0). A dump was saved in: C:\WINDOWS\Minidump\Mini101305-01.dmp.
    And the most recent (two days ago pasted below). Some of these may be related to the failed attemps to reload the video driver or attemptinig to us the F8 screen to load last good config (which does not work and hangs)
    The computer has rebooted from a bugcheck. The bugcheck was: 0x100000d1 (0xffffffeb, 0x00000002, 0x00000001, 0x839eec30). A dump was saved in: C:\WINDOWS\Minidump\Mini101405-01.dmp.
    I will attach a zip of the mini dump files

    As for the suggestion by Liquidlen to clean up the vid drivers, Where do I find the ATI driver cleanup utility. I looked on the ATI web but couldn't find one. The website is a bit confusing to navigate but it is more likely just me. Also where might I find these extra temp files I need to clean up?

    Again... THANKS to all for the help.
  9. howard_hopkinso

    howard_hopkinso TS Rookie Posts: 24,177   +19

    All your recent minidumps crash at ntoskrnl.exe. This is the Windows boot up kernel driver.

    Take a look HERE for further information/solutions

    Regards Howard :)
  10. JimOnSquam

    JimOnSquam TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Possible corrupted ntoskrnl.exe

    Howard, I looked at the link you provided and it assumes I have an XP CD which I do not. Also, would the boot.ini or ntoskrnl.exe be a problem if I can boot in safe Mode? I do have access to cab files in c:\I386\DRIVERS.CAB and C:I386\ Can I do an extract on those maybe? I also have access to another computer running XP that might have the needed files if that helps. Another question is whether the boot.ini file can be viewed and edited with msconfig. I have looked at it there and it appears to be ok.

    Still frustrated... Jim
  11. howard_hopkinso

    howard_hopkinso TS Rookie Posts: 24,177   +19

    Without a Windows cd, I don`t know what can be done.

    Maybe other members will have other suggestions for you.

    Regards and good luck Howard :)
  12. howard_hopkinso

    howard_hopkinso TS Rookie Posts: 24,177   +19

    Another possible cause for your error, is faulty ram.

    Look HERE for instructions on how to test for faulty ram.

    Regards Howard :)
  13. JimOnSquam

    JimOnSquam TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I bit the big one... Reloaded

    Howard and all others.
    Thanks SO much for all your help on trying to get my problem resolved. I finally gave in and did a reload of the original system image (from special partition). Figured I might have screwed up more stuff trying to fix the original problem.

    Reload was sucessful and now I am running around doing updates and restoring backup files. This experience did teach me that there is great help out there, lots of neat tricks for diagnosing, and that with good backups, you can recover.

    Thanks again!!!! Jim
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