Windows will Only start in Safe Mode

I was helping a friend learn the internet on her computer today and her mouse arrow changed to fancy images (I suppose her son set it that way thru Microsoft + or some program to add different arrows and sounds to her computer.  But everytime we moved the arrow over words to change it to a hand, a black square box about 3/4 inch on all sides appeared and we couldn't see what we were clicking on.

I told her that we should return to the standard setup to just get the normal pointers and no weird sounds as we performed different functions.

Obviously, I made a mistake because when I went into the control panel, desktop themes, and tried to change the setting to Windows Default, her computer hung up.  The only thing we could do was turn the power off but when we turned it back on it will only come up in Safe Mode.

We are not sure what is wrong.  Could you please help by trying to tell us what to fix.  We are not sure where to go.  We tried several times to turn it off and back on but it only returns in Safe Mode.

Thanks for the help.

I will go over to her house Friday morning to see what we can do to get Windows running again and get her computer to act normal with the cursor settings.

Jeanne
Jeanne061397Asked:
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Patricia Siu-Lai HoConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Jeanne, thank you very much!    pslh
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rd707Commented:
Let it boot in safe mode and then try running scandisk (start | programs | accesories | system tools | scan disk)and try again.

Let me know if this works, if not, we'll try something else.

rd707
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Patricia Siu-Lai HoCommented:
Jeanne, I would suggest: -
(1) When booting into the safe mode, go to the control panel, mouse icon, Pointers, Change the Scheme to (none). Click OK.
(2) Restart the computer and go to the command mode.
     At the C:\> prompt, type "scandisk" without the quotation. Run scandisk.
     Afterwards, at the C:\> prompt, type "scanreg /fix" without the quotation. Run scanreg.
     Restart the computer to safemode.
     Next, restart the computer again to normal mode. If it can, shut down the computer after stable via Start-Shut down-shutdown.
   
See if this can correct your friend's status. Let me know your testing.
pslh
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dew_associatesCommented:
rd707, your are not new to this site and should know better than to block a question as you have. This site is not like Newsgroups and Usenets, we observe a protocol or policy at this site with which you should become familiar. Experts do not post proposed answers that are incomplete or that are speculative, nor do they post proposed answers that incorporate the comments of others that have preceded you. By doing so, you block the question from the view of another expert who may have a solution to the problem. Since questioners can accept comments as answers, it is beneficial to the questioner that speculative answers be posted as comments, especially when the issue involves further troubleshooting. Hopefully you will cooperate with us in the future.
Dennis
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rd707Commented:
Wind your neck in - it was an accident...

rd707
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dew_associatesCommented:
Then if it was an accident, as you say, withdraw your proposed answer! While you're at it, watch you comments!
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rd707Commented:
Answer withdrawn.

Personal conflicts are against the code of practice Dennis so please keep to the subject in hand. This will also stop experts getting e-mail notifications that are essentially spam.

rd707
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dew_associatesCommented:
Jeanne, give Pslh's method a try and see how you make out. If necessary you can restore a backup of the system registry to get the system back, presuming that there is no file damage.
Dennis
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treyjeffCommented:
Also try this:  Go to the Start button, then run.  In the box type msconfig and press OK.  When the box pops up make sure normal startup is selected.
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Jeanne061397Author Commented:
Thanks for all the comments.  I will try everything tomorrow morning and let all of you know when I return home.

One question for Dennis:  If necessary and nothing else works, how do I restore a backup of the system registry to get the system back.

Thanks again for the great help.

Jeanne
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dew_associatesCommented:
Hi Jeanne!

1. Boot the system and just before the "Starting Windows" dialogue begins, tap the F8 key to bring up the Windows boot menu.

2. Now choose Command Prompt Only.

3. Change directories to C:\Windows\Command

4. Type scanreg/restore and touch enter.

5. You'll be given a choice between four older registries. Choose the earliest one and then restore it.
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rd707Commented:
Jeanne,

If there is nothing wrong with the disk or the registry, try uninstalling the desktop theme altogether and re-installing.

Scanreg is slightly more cumbersome and less user friendly than regclean - regclean has also been around for a lot longer. If you are not happy using scanreg I'd advise using regclean.

rd707
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Jeanne061397Author Commented:
rd707
The first thing I tried was what you suggested, running scandisk.  I only ran it in standard mode but it found no errors.

pslh
I did as you suggested, went to control panel, mouse, pointers. the scheme was set to NONE.

treyjeff
I did do as you suggested, in the Run box, I typed msconfig and the normal startup was selected.

Dennis, I didn't try to restore the registry until I really needed to but will keep your instructions on how to do it just in case I ever need the information.

Next, I decided to go into Display Properties and set the appearance on Windows Standard Mode.  I'm not sure what it was on.

I restarted the computer and it did not come up in safe mode.  It started normally so I didn't try to do a scan disk in DOS mode.

I then tried to put her clouds back on the desktop through Appearance as it was set to the Windows Default "Teal".  When I did that, the clouds came up but they were gray and white.  I then went to Settings and saw that the Colors were just "16 Colors".  I then changed the settings to "High Color, 16 Bit".  When I did this the computer hung up again, I couldn't do anything, so had to power down.

When I restarted computer it came back in Safe Mode again.  I then went to Control Panel, changed Background to None (clouds disappeared).  Went back to Appearance and set it to the Windows Default "Teal", then looked at the Settings and noticed it was back to "16 colors".  I restarted the computer and it came up OK.

I don't know what the problem really is but since she only used the computer to hook into the free Juno Internet and Mail, I thought I would leave well enough alone.  I hope she doesn't have anymore problems but I truly feel this computer needs help.  She should not have to run it with only "16 colors".

I'm just afraid to do anymore to her computer as I'm really not sure what her problems are.  I'm not even sure which solution fixed her problem of starting the computer in Safe Mode.

By the way, she does not have that black square box about 3/4 inch on all sides when she points to  sites on the internet.  She gets the "hand".  That was what we were trying to correct in the first place.

I won't be seeing my friend until March 6th (unless she has more problems) so if anyone has any other suggestions, it will have to wait until I see her again.

Thanks for all the help.  Everyone was so helpful, I think you all should get credit and I'm not sure how to split the credit.

Help.  Jeanne
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dew_associatesCommented:
Jeanne, it sounds like the software drivers for her video card are corrupted. Does she have anyone that can install fresh ones for her?
Dennis
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rd707Commented:
If the problem hasn't been solved, don't feel the need to close the question just yet. The points should only really be given if a satisfactory solution was supplied.

I'm not sure if you can split credit. Someone else may know.

If you wish to credit one person, I'd say give it to pslh for his original help or to dew_assoc for his continued help.

rd707
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rd707Commented:
It could also be the display adapter. This will either be on chip or a card depending on the manufacturer.

Go to Start | Settings | control panel

Double-click on the system icon. Click the device manager tab. Double-click on display adapters. Select (what should be) the only entry and click the Properties button. This will tell you any immediate problems that have been flagged up by the system. It won't however tell you if you have the correct display adapter software installed. You will need to know what the actual adapter IS to find this out.

rd707
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Patricia Siu-Lai HoCommented:
Thanks rd707 for your last comment on the part mentioned about pslh.
---------------
Jeanne, you may help your friend in advising her in trying the followings: -

Go to the safe mode, control panel, device manager, expand the display adapter,
select the graphic card and click remove.

Then restart the computer, the graphic card will be redetected. Then shut down the computer via start-shut down-shutdown.

Restart the computer again from cold boot after 15min. Try to change the resolution to 16bit high color of 800x600. See any hang.

If there is still some hanging, inspect if your friend's PC has enabled the active desktop. Disabled it.

Restart the computer. When it logs in windows entering user and password, select [cancel] without entering any password. It will log to the local machine of the computer.
Disabled the active desktop. and change resolution to 16bit high color 800x600 resolution.

Restart the computer again and log on user desktop entering password and [OK] key. Now, confirm the display to be 16bit high color 800x600 resolution on the user desktop.

See if any help.
pslh
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Jeanne061397Author Commented:
dew associates-Dennis
You said that maybe the software drivers for her video card are corrupted. No, she does not have
 anyone that can install fresh ones for her?  She is a Senior Citizen (76) and lives alone.  She told me today that awhile back her computer was hit by lightening and she took it to someone who repaired it.

rd707 - I won't close the question yet.  I won't be able to see her until 3/3.  I will do what has been requested and report back at that time.  I will try to do as you suggested with the display adapter then.

pslh  -
I will also try what you suggested at that time and report back to all of you.

It is a shame that here in Florida there are so many senior citizens trying to understand the computers at their age and there is just not enough help for them.  I try to teach as many as I can the basics but I'm just not technical enough to understand all the troubleshooting techniques.

I will report back after 3/3.  You guys are all great to help us out.  I highly recommend this site to everyone.

Jeanne
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dew_associatesCommented:
Jeanne, take your time. When you're ready, let us know and we'll do as much as possible. You'll need to somehow determine the type of video card in order to replace the drivers, so with that you might want to pickup the phone can give her a call or the shop where she took it.
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abaldwinCommented:
Have you tried to remove the video card physically from the computer......plug it back in the same slot it came out of and then turn the machine back on?  This could be a function of a video card not being seated properly.

Andy
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TatsniceCommented:
Strange thing that she can only use 16 colors.  I suspect with the themes selected and getting the black box for
internet browsing as a pointer points to a mismatch between settings and the colors needed to display the pointer correctly.
The themes may well have been overwritten by another user testing out different pointers.  because she is using 16 colors as the setting it is unable to display the colors needed for the themes..

Try going into the control panel, double click on the mouse.  click on the pointers tab ...  You should see what sort of pointers have been added to the list for each process.
Try changing the pointers back to something suitable for the color setting.  It may take some time to figure out which ones..  Hopefully none has not been overwritten.  It may just be that 3d pointers has been selected
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aux5Commented:
Anyone with half a brain would be wise to closely follow help from Dew & Associates, which is an honor to receive.

Jeanne, you're swell for helpin' out your friend.

Never be afraid to goof around with your operating system, I can't wait to get my fumble-fingers on Windows 2000, which all the papers are calling "Incredibly Complex."

Hooray for Experts-Exchange, and adieu
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Jeanne061397Author Commented:
I went to my friend's house today and she wouldn't let me mess with her computer as she is happy with the standard windows setup and is having no trouble logging on so she decided to keep the computer the way it is using 16 colors.

I would like to close this question and don't know who I should give the points to.  Everyone was helpful and I did get rid of that black box.

I think it goes to Plsh.  Help.

Jeanne
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dew_associatesCommented:
Jeanne, just accept Pslh's comment as an answer!
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