XP Safe Mode / Msconfig / Keyboard problem

By wiggins1982 ยท 22 replies
Aug 31, 2009
  1. Hi

    My laptop was having some iexplorer bugs so I ran a virus scan with symnatec, and was then advised to log in via safe mode and run the scan again. I turned on safe mode in msconfig and restarted, but when the log in screen appeared in safe mode, my mouse or keyboard did not work so I can't get in.

    If I try holding F8 and choosing to boot normaly or under any other condition it reverts to safe mode, presumably because of the msconfig change, so I can't get back to msconfig to chane the setting back.

    Any idea how I can get round this?


  2. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 6,908   +10

    Forget about Symantec. Run your next scan with Avast or Avira, then SuperAntispyware and MalwareBytes...
    You are apparently using USB mouse and USB keyboard which have not installed yet in the install run.
  3. wiggins1982

    wiggins1982 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Ok, I'll try that but at this stage I can't even get into the system. How do I get past the safe mode login? - as every option brings me to that point.
  4. gguerra

    gguerra TS Guru Posts: 314

    When the window login screen comes up and it is the first time you are booting with a USB keyboard/mouse it will take a little while for them to start working. If the F8 key works at boot up that means your keyboard and we'll assume the mouse is working. Windows will take a little while to see the USB devices and load the drivers. If you can't get into windows that obviously you can't do anything else. What do you mean "as every option brings me to that point." nothing happens when you highlight safe mode and press enter or does it just restart by itself and bring you back to the same screen?
  5. wiggins1982

    wiggins1982 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    No matter what I option I choose after hitting F8 it always goes to safe mode - I've tried to start windows 'normally' and in with VGA enabled, but both just run on to safe mode log in. The machine is a laptop so keyboard and mouse are integrated not USB. If I just leave the laptop on the log in window a screen save comes up, but the devices don't come on.
  6. gguerra

    gguerra TS Guru Posts: 314

    If you have it boot up the Windows CD and go to the recovery console. Run a chkdsk /r and then reboot when it's done. If that doesnt fix the problem try a repair install by booting the CD. If you dont have a CD you can still scan it in safe mode. I know malwarebytes will run in safe mode, not sure about SuperAntiSpyware.
  7. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 6,908   +10

    Can you describe more about "...some iexplore bugs..."? Any chance those bugs are still in play?
    I would avoid going into Repair Console, but if you have the install CD, this would be a good time to go to repair. mode... Boot normally, and wait until the next screens AFTER Repair Console for the screen which gives you the choice to depress "R" which will give you the opportunity to boot to Windows in a repair mode without removing or damaging any other files which are not Windows files. This will take some time, and it will remove Service Pack 3 and some other updates. However this is a useful patch when all else fails and you are running out of time.

    Alternately, here is a way, though a bit cumbersome, that will bring you out of the Symantec SAFE MODE Trap: you may have to use all the steps, or just the second half.

    To use the System Configuration Utility in staring Windows XP in Safe Mode.

    1 Close all programs
    2 At the Windows taskbar, click Start > Run
    3 In the Open box, type msconfig
    4 Click OK
    5 In the System Configuration Utility, on the BOOT.INI tab, check /SAFEBOOT
    6 Click OK
    7 When you are asked to restart the computer, click Restart and go to Step 4

    The computer restarts in Safe Mode. Wait seven or eight minutes for Safe Mode to boot and to become stable.

    After working in Safe Mode, restart in Normal Mode by doing the following:

    1 Close all programs
    2 On the Windows taskbar, click Start -> Run
    3 In the open box, type the following text: msconfig
    4 Click OK
    5 In the System Configuration Utility, on the BOOT.INI tab, uncheck
    6 Click OK
    7 Close all programs, then restart the computer

    You should now be out of the SAFE MODE trap.
  8. wiggins1982

    wiggins1982 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Hi guys, thanks for that bit of advice. The problem is still that I can't boot safe mode, because I have no way of actually logging in when the mouse+keyboard aren't working. Until I do that, I can;t even attempt your suggestions. Annoyingly, it is a work laptop so it's XP pro, and I only have an XP home disc at home.

    The original issue in iexplorer was that on any site I had to enter a password for, it would crach with a sysfade error messgae of "the instruction at *numbers here* referenced memory at *numbes here* could not be read.
  9. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 6,908   +10

    Your computer does not have a PS/2 socket for motherboard, and PS/2 socket for a mouse? So you can use a borrowed keyboard and mouse?
  10. Bobbye

    Bobbye Helper on the Fringe Posts: 16,321   +36

    Well, somethings wrong here- or I'm missing something!

    All the laptops I've seen have the keyboard and touchpad build in! So why can't you use those instead of the USB mouse and keyboard?

    You just have to be sure the process for the touchpad is checked on the Startup menu.

    And just in case the iexplore.exe "bug" you have is multiple entries running- if you have IE8 this is normal.
  11. wiggins1982

    wiggins1982 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    The built in keyboard and mouse aren't working. Neither is an external USB board. I have a PS2 keyboard but no socket on the laptop. The world is against me lol.
  12. wiggins1982

    wiggins1982 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Would a PS/2 to USB adapter work, or would it then fail like the USB keyboard?
  13. Bobbye

    Bobbye Helper on the Fringe Posts: 16,321   +36

    Try the arrow keys on the laptop board-lower right- do they work?

    PS/2 to USB will fail, same as the separate keyboard and mouse. It sounds like you have some kind of hardware failure within the laptop itself. How strange the neither the laptop touchpad or the separate keyboard don't work!
  14. wiggins1982

    wiggins1982 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    It's possible, but the keyboard does work in BIOS, just not on the safe mode log in. Is there a way to get round the msconfig setting of always starting in safe mode through bios?
  15. Bobbye

    Bobbye Helper on the Fringe Posts: 16,321   +36

    You don't use F8 except when you WANT to get into Safe Mode. Stop pressing F8 and reboot. Let me know what happens.
  16. wiggins1982

    wiggins1982 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Without F8 it always goes to safe mode log in which they keyboard doesn't work for.
    With F8, all of the options take me to safe mode log in as well.
    Until I can get passed safe mode log in I can't fix anything.
  17. Bobbye

    Bobbye Helper on the Fringe Posts: 16,321   +36

    Okay, that's what I wanted to make sure of. IT means as you've probably figured out by now there is some problem with the system resulting in the Safe Mode boot. And it will need to be fixed.

    but how do you do this? You can boot into the BIOS ( think you said somewhere you had gotten into that) IF you can, you may be able to use the arrow keys I mentioned- it's a toss up because they are part of the keyboard-I don't know if they will function separately. IF so, use right arrow key to skip to BIOS startup, then down key to set boot from CD first.

    IF you can do this, use the Windows CD and boot from the setup. IF you cannot even do this, then it's to the shop for you. It's a hardware problem.
  18. wiggins1982

    wiggins1982 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks guys, the Windows CD boot sorted it. I could get back into boot.ini and stop the safe mode silliness from there.
    Thanks for all your help
  19. Bobbye

    Bobbye Helper on the Fringe Posts: 16,321   +36

    Yeah! Now fix the problems!
  20. BOE229

    BOE229 TS Rookie

    I have the same problem and this seems to be the best response I have found, I am willing to try this but was wondering if it will delete the contents of the hard drive. This is for my mothers work computer and she has important files she'll need for work.
  21. Bobbye

    Bobbye Helper on the Fringe Posts: 16,321   +36

    While problems may seem the same, the questions are left for your research, not individual help.

    So when you want more information, it is best to have your own thread with the particulars for that system. Several different suggestions were made here so you will need to be more specific.

    Tell us what you want to try, why you want to do it and what your concerns are. that way, you get help for your system- not someone else's.
  22. BOE229

    BOE229 TS Rookie

    Msconfig set to safe mode

    I have a Dell Inspiron 6000 with Windows XP. I changed the msconfig settings to safe mode to try to remove a virus. When I try to turn it on i get a blue screen informing me that there is a reason that will not let windows start and to restart my computer, when i restart again, I get the same blue screen. No matter what option I choose; safe mode, safe mode with networking, start windows regularly, or last known good configuration, I get that same blue screen, and I was wondering if there is a way I can change the msconfig back to regular boot even though i can not get passed the blue error screen.
  23. Bobbye

    Bobbye Helper on the Fringe Posts: 16,321   +36

    Please copy your post above and start a new thread as requested. When you do that, include information from this: You are looking for Errors that correspond to the time of the BSOD. Try to find Error from the last normal Mode.

    You will see Errors that are specific to Safe Mode and don't give us the information we need- such as "DCOM didn't start. DCOM won't start in Safe Mode." You are the second person in two days who enabled Safe Mode using msconfig instead of booting into safe Mode using the F8 key. It most like will be an Error in the System Log.

    Start> Run> type in eventvwr

    Do this on each the System and the Applications logs:
    [1]. Click to open the log>
    [2]. Look for the Error>
    [3] .Right click on the Error> Properties>
    [4]. Click on Copy button, top right, below the down arrow >
    [5]. Paste here (Ctrl V)
    • You can ignore Warnings and Information Events.
    • If you have a recurring Error with same ID#, same Source and same Description, only one copy is needed.
    • You don't need to include the lines of code in the box below the Description, if any.
    • Please do not copy the entire Event log.

    Errors are time coded. Check the computer clock on freeze.

    IF you continue on this old thread, only those who have subscribed to it or who open it will see your post.
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