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XP - safe mode b4 normal boot

By brighton42 ยท 5 replies
Jan 27, 2004
  1. I have a problem for which I can't find any explanation:
    my windows XP Pro PC will only accept to boot normally after booting a first time in safe mode (otherwise I get random-ish blue screens). Any idea what can cause the problem and how to solve it?
    XP pro sp1
    mobo: Asus A7v333
    ATI Radeon VE

  2. Steverz

    Steverz TS Rookie Posts: 50

    This may help. From Start / Run / type in msdos.sys . Click on the "Open With" and select Notepad (remove check mark from lower left to always open with selected application), wait a few seconds. At the msdos screen look for "'BootSafe=0; set to 1 to force computer to boot in "safe" mode"'. If BootSafe=1 then set it to BootSafe=0. This will force the system to open to Windows instead of Safe Mode.

    Of course, you could have a conflict in your Start menu. Check that out using MSCONFIG.

    I also found this article: So what should you do if your computer boots to Safe Mode? First, try to determine what has changed on your system that could have caused Windows to fail to boot properly. If you have added any kind of hardware, go to the Control Panel and remove it and uninstall the software driver for that device. Then attempt a reboot. If Windows boots properly, you can be reasonably certain that there was some type of conflict with the device and try to resolve it.

    Use this same method if you have loaded a new game or application sometime recently. Go to the Control Panel, click on Add/Remove Programs and remove the software. Try a reboot and hopefully you will get a normal Windows boot.

    If the problem is definitely not new hardware or software, then you most likely have a corrupted Registry. In this case, you will quite likely have to perform a new installation of Windows to set things right.

    Some of these troubleshooting suggestions should help.
  3. brighton42

    brighton42 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    thanks for your help. However I probably wasn't very clear in my first post. If I start my PC in normal mode I will have a blue screen. Then I restart in safe mode, do nothing but just restart again in normal mode and no more blue screen, everything appears to work normally. To understand what it means I have tried to get information about the precise differences between the safe mode and the normal mode but I didn't get very far.
    thanks anyway.
  4. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,452   +7

    It would help if you told us what the blue screen is about.
  5. Steverz

    Steverz TS Rookie Posts: 50

    Gotcha! There appears to be a resource/application conflict with your system since you can boot to/from Safe Mode without a blue screen, or, a registry, system problem. If this is true, then go to Start / Run / type MSCONFIG. Click the Start tab and disable everything that isn't required to run Windows (research before disabling). Disable your Antivirus, set your screensaver to none then reboot. If the problem returns, go to Start / Run / type SFC.exe and follow the instructions. Last, boot to DOS and type in at the prompt scanreg /fix . Reboot and see if it's fixed. By the way, while you are in Safe Mode, do a "scandisk using the 'thorough' option. Then perform a Defrag.
  6. kbenda

    kbenda TS Rookie

    A few more things to add:

    The main differences between Windows Safe Mode and normal mode are:

    1) hardware drivers: In safe mode, the only drivers are loaded the ones needed for basic functioning, like keyboard, mouse, video, etc.

    2) operating system services: As with the drivers, there's a limited number of services started -- just the ones necessary to perform basic functions.

    Aside: In Win2000 and XP (but not in 95, 98, or ME; I'm not sure about NT), the registry lists which drivers and services start in safe mode. You can edit this list to alter how safe mode works. For example, the serial port driver is normally not loaded, but you can add it if you want. Look for "Safeboot" in the registry.

    3) startup programs: These can be just about anything, from anti-virus programs to actual viruses. Sometimes these programs have an associated icon in the system tray (near the clock), and sometimes they just run unseen in the background.

    Aside: Problems turning the computer OFF are often related to startup programs. If you crash, hang, or get blue screens at shutdown, it could very well be a startup program that's causing it.

    The MSCONFIG program mentioned above is a great way to control which services and startup programs run in Normal Mode. You can't control the hardware drivers with msconfig.

    MSCONFIG comes with Windows 98, ME, and XP, but not with 95, NT, or 2000. With 95, NT, and 2000, you have to go into the registry to control some of the startup items. HOWEVER, you can use the XP version of msconfig in Win2000. It's a small file, so it can easily be emailed or put on a floppy and brought to your Win2000 computer. It's located in the "System32" folder, which is in the Windows (or "WINNT") folder.

    As far as this particular problem goes (normal mode starts okay after a safe mode session, but not after another normal mode session) , my guess is that it's related to a regular software program, possibly one of the startup programs.

    Explanation: Whenever you turn the computer OFF, the programs that are running do a little cleanup, etc., and sometimes they get themselves ready for the next startup. So, if you can start in normal mode after safe mode, that says that there is nothing inherently wrong with the STARTUP procedure. So, it must be that something happens AFTER you start the computer, and the thing hangs around and causes a problem later.

    The problem could be just about any program that runs once the computer is on. It could be a program you deliberately start or one that runs automatically at some point (like a startup program).

    To find out which, start in normal mode and then restart immediately in normal mode without doing anything else. If it starts up okay, the problem is probably due to a program you start deliberately. In that case, start one of your usual programs, and see if a reboot works. Keep doing this until you isolate the culprit.

    If it's not a program you start deliberately, follow the advice given in an earlier post and use MSCONFIG to see if the problem is a startup program. (For detailed advice on using msconfig, go to the Microsoft site and search for "msconfig".) If it is a startup program, you're all set. If it's not, continue using MSCONFIG but concentrate on the services instead of the startup programs.

    If that doesn't help, you have a very unusual problem, and I don't know how to help.
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