msconfig set to bootsafe, but can't load xp

By Meegs05 ยท 17 replies
Apr 15, 2006
  1. Hello everyone, I have a really good problem for all of you looking for a challenge.
    It started off when I was trying to remove this trojan for, this was ONE HELL of a trojan. So I came here and there was a solution posted in the malware forum, the first step is to boot in safe mode. So I pressed f8 at the right time, highlighted safe mode, I picked administrater user name and then the system just restarted. It is unable for some reason to boot up in safe. However I could still run in normal mode.

    problems add...

    So I was looking online for a way to boot in safe, I found a way by going to msconfig and clicking on the bootsafe value or something similar to that, so it restarted and got to the point of picking a user name, and the same problem as above happened. It is like this never ending cycle now of restarting, me chosing a user name then imediatly restarting. but this time I CAN'T boot in Normal mode any more because the msconfig is set to "always boot in safe mode". WTF?!

    it still gets worse

    Ok, so now I read that a good idea would be to repair xp with the cd that came with my Dell. I did, everything was going good until... a message pops up telling me that it can't continue repairing xp in SAFE MODE.

    Ok so let me tell you what I can do. I can still get into BIOS by pressing F12 and I can still get into F8. So is there a solution to this problem inside F12 or F8?

    I know this is a lot of text to read but it is sort of a big problem. If you need anymore information just let me know. Thank you for trying to help me out, this really is a difficult problem.
  2. Meegs05

    Meegs05 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Ok, so a easier question for you all is... Is there any way to change the msconfig to bootnormal mode while in BIOS or F8? I just need to get to windows.
  3. Vigilante

    Vigilante TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,666

    The bootsafe option goes into your boot.ini file.

    You'll have to edit the file from Recovery Console using the bootcfg command and one or more of the options in it.

    However, since you already tried a repair with the Dell CD, and it crapped out in the middle, you may be in hot water, cause now the system is going to think it is in the middle of a repair every time you turn it on. You may not be able to get out of it. BUT, if you edit the boot.ini file and remove the "/safeboot:xxx" option from the startup line, then that repair may be able to finish.

    If the system is restarting itself on every boot, in normal or safe mode, a repair install may not fix it anyway, as it could be something still in a startup driver or service etc...
    Given the details of what happened, a FULL reload may be the best, and even easiest option. But you'll have to backup files first.

    Good luck, a quick search on recovery console and the bootcfg command will tell you everything you need to know about using it.
  4. Meegs05

    Meegs05 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    hey thanks for the reply. I'm going to try to restart the recovery CD, then get into recovery mode. About doing a full reload... you mean clearing the whole hard drive out completly, clearly the slate? so to say? Ive tought about this and I think it is a good option however I don't know how and if I would be able to copy my important files to another drive... How would you suggest I copy my important stuff given the situation I'm in? Thanks@!

    EDIT-UPDATE, Ok so I tried doing the recovery again but it wont allow me, it goes straight to the part in the middle of the system recovery, says it can't do it in safe mode then it has to restart. So the complete wipe out of my hard drive seems to be the best solution if I can save some of my files. So how should I go about doing that?
  5. Vigilante

    Vigilante TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,666

    Recovery Console is what you're looking for, not recovery mode.

    Knowing Dell, I believe they give you a brownish colored disk for XP? When you boot off that CD, and get a menu, "Press R..." should be one of the options. If you don't have the actual Recovery Console, you'd have to edit the boot.ini file manually, by using a boot disk with NTFS access, or putting your HDD as slave on someone else's computer.

    One way to edit manually if you don't have another PC is to try a Linux Live CD of some sort. Knoppix or Linspire Live comes to mind. They usually have NTFS access and may let you in to edit that file. No guarantee it would actually work, though, just editing the file.

    Otherwise, you have to backup your files, probably at this point, by connecting it to someone's computer as a slave. Also, some of those Linux Live CDs have CD burning software in them, you could maybe burn some files that way.

    It's a tough call dude, but a full reload (meaning format the drive), would solve a lot of problems. As long as you can backup first!
  6. Peddant

    Peddant TS Rookie Posts: 1,446

  7. Meegs05

    Meegs05 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks Vigilante,

    I'v gotten to the console, I typed in BOOTCFG /DEFAULT. I can see that it says OS load options~/ Bootsafe:minimal. I don't know how to edit that line, or what to edit to, I searched the web but I came up with no helpful info.

    Thanks for getting me this far btw. you're saving my *****

    Oh... missed your post, thanks for the link Peddant.
  8. Peddant

    Peddant TS Rookie Posts: 1,446

    Try typing bootcfg /list if you see anything like /safeboot,remove it.
  9. Meegs05

    Meegs05 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    ok, I feel like I'm getting closer to the solution, I see where it says bootsafe in the recovery console, but I don't know how to delete that line. Do I re-type that line without that last part in it? or do I do it some other way? it's not like a notepad file so I can't highlight it and delete it... thanks.
  10. Peddant

    Peddant TS Rookie Posts: 1,446

    Can`t you just run the cursor backwards over it ?
  11. Meegs05

    Meegs05 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    nah, I can't becuase I'm in the recovery console. its not a word file or anything. I can't go into windows for the reasons stated above. what do you think I can do? I'm I able to fix that line in the recovery console?
  12. Peddant

    Peddant TS Rookie Posts: 1,446

    You should be able to remove the safeboot switch.
    The command is bootcfg /delete /safeboot or similar.Maybe,possibly Look here and here
  13. Meegs05

    Meegs05 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    those seems to only apply to when someone is already in windows, they say go to my computer, properties ect... I can't do that. those links don't seem to be helping me...

    When I type in Bootcfg to recovery console I get the option to either /scan, /Add, /rebuild, /Default, /List, /Disableredicrect,or /redirect. Are any of these commands able to change the line where its says under bootcfg/ list, OS load Options: /fastdetect /noexecute=optin /safeboot:minimal. that last little bit is what i need to remove.
  14. Meegs05

    Meegs05 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Hey I think its fixed! I typed in rebuild and I then basically rebuilt the boot sequence without the /safeboot:minimal part. So now I am finishing up my windows repair in normal mode!! yeah... it said it will be done in about 40 minutes.

    But one last thing... It seems I have two boot sequences registered 1 with no safeboot, and the 2nd with safeboot. I typed in some command then after it said that the 1st one was the default sequence(good) but what about the 2nd one... is that going to affect anything being there? is it going to cause problems do you think?

    I'll post back once this whole thing is 100% finished... again thanks alot to both of you for your help. :grinthumb
  15. Peddant

    Peddant TS Rookie Posts: 1,446

    I think rebuild might be the one you want.It starts from scratch and asks you to confirm each step.Just don`t add the safeboot load option.Maybe.More here
  16. Vigilante

    Vigilante TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,666

    Once the process if finished, hopefully, and you're back in Windows, you can edit the boot.ini file the "normal" way by this:

    Right-click My Computer, Properties
    Advanced Tab
    Startup and Recovery Settings button
    Edit button

    This opens the file for editing. Remove the 2nd line. Don't remove the wrong one! You should now have one entry in the default area and one down below. Then save.

    I hope you got it, but keep in mind, the original bug may still be in there, so run those virus and adware scans!
  17. Meegs05

    Meegs05 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    yeah, once it was finished I just copied my important files and then just wiped the whole thing out, now I have a fresh harddrive and it feels awesome, brand new. Glad I did it, thanks for the help
  18. Vigilante

    Vigilante TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,666

    Cool, now just be sure to load up with all the protection necessary these days.
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