Cannot login to safe mode or return to normal mode after selecting "Safeboot" in msconfig

I attempted to go into safe mode to run an application.  I went into msconfig and chose "/SAFEBOOT" under the boot.ini tab.  When I restarted my computer, I was in safe mode, but not able to login - invalid password.  So I tried restarting, pressed F8 and tried to enter safe mode with networking.  Still cannot login - invalid password - perhaps because I changed the settings using MSCONFIG.  So then I tired restarting, pressed F8 and chose "boot in normal mode."  It still comes up in safe mode and does not allow me to logon - invalid password.  I do not have the administrator password as it is my work laptop.  Is there any way I can fix this using my account?  Looking through the posts, I guest I need to edit the boot.ini file.
Who is Participating?
I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

Hi kbarboza,

you can boot with a dos boot disk and run editbini to edit the boot.ini file

Hope this helps!

kbarbozaAuthor Commented:
According to readme file, this will not work with XP.  I am using Windows XP.  Any other suggestions?

Use this DOS based utility to edit the \BOOT.INI file on an NTFS partition.

This program will run under DOS or Win9x/ME.  It will not run correctly under
Windows NT,2K,XP.

This means that you cannot run this file from Windows NT,2K or XP.

As I've said you have to create a ms-dos/win98 bootdisk ( and save the editbini utility there,
boot the computer with this disk and run the editbini utility

Cloud Class® Course: C++ 11 Fundamentals

This course will introduce you to C++ 11 and teach you about syntax fundamentals.

kbarbozaAuthor Commented:
Still confused and need more guidance.  I went to and there are a number of links.  Need more of a step by step please.

Found this

Windows Password recovery

This site provides a tool to recover lost Windows XP passwords. It works for administrator and user accounts, it doesn't change the password just tells you the old one. It works with encrypted files (EFS) and password hashes. It even works if no passwords at all are known for the machine (as long as you have another computer with internet access to view this website with).

Author claims it also works with Windows NT and Windows Server 2003 and Windows Longhorn, but the BEST thing about it is the fact that it won't reset your passwords, but simply reveal them for you to remember and then use.

Give it a try. The author would like to receive feedback. There is a free service as well as a priority service that will retrieve your passwords within minutes. The fee for the priority service is very cheap, and is really just to cover server costs.

Note: You'll need a blank floppy to run the process.

Update: Author now offers the same tool as a CD image for those of you who do not have a floppy in their computer.

Usage, instructions and additional information can be found at

Here are some more tools:

Free Windows password-cracking tools are usually Linux boot disks that have NT file system (NTFS)
drivers and software that will read the registry and rewrite the password hashes for any account including the Administrators. This process requires physical access to the console and an available floppy drive but it works like a charm! I've done it myself several times with no glitch or problem whatsoever.

Beware!!! Resetting a user's or administrator's password on some systems (like Windows XP) might cause data loss, especially EFS-encrypted files and saved passwords from within Internet Explorer. To protect yourself against EFS-encrypted files loss you should always export your Private and Public key, along with the keys for the Recovery Agent user. Please read more about EFS on my What's EFS? page. Out of the following list, the only tool that will no cause any harm to EFS-encrypted files on your hard disk is the Windows Password recovery system.

Here are 5 of these free tools:

Windows Password recovery -
Can retrieve forgotten admin and users' passwords in minutes. Safest possible option, does not write anything to hard drive.

Petter Nordahl-Hagen's Offline NT Password & Registry Editor -
A great boot CD/Floppy that can reset the local administrator's password.

Openwall's John the Ripper -
Good boot floppy with cracking capabilities.

Emergency Boot CD -

Bootable CD, intended for system recovery in the case of software or hardware faults.

Austrumi -
Bootable CD for recovering passwords and other cool tools.


Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial
All the above solution are taken from 
kbarbozaAuthor Commented:

Thanks.  I actually ran across this solution too and have been working on it that past 30 minutes +.   Problem is I am trying to create a CD image.   Even downloaded CDBurnerXP
    "Check your CD burner software for how to burn an ISO image file, It is often done by selecting "file" then "open", then selecting the ISO file downloaded. The   free tool CDBurnerXP can burn ISO files."

Not sure I am burning this ISO file correctly, but I've burned 2 CDs already and when I put them in the machine I need help with, the CD continues in a loop.  Any more guidance, suggestions?  Have you used this tool before.  I would like to use it just to display the admin password and not mess with any other settings.  
kbarbozaAuthor Commented:

got the ISO burned correctly....i'll let you know my progress...  thanks
kbarbozaAuthor Commented:
Imacgouf,  worked fine after I got all the steps.  Retrieved admin password and was able to login in safe mode and change the boot.ini back to normal.  Thanks much for your help.
Hi Kbarboza,

That's great. You are most welcome. :)
It's more than this solution.Get answers and train to solve all your tech problems - anytime, anywhere.Try it for free Edge Out The Competitionfor your dream job with proven skills and certifications.Get started today Stand Outas the employee with proven skills.Start learning today for free Move Your Career Forwardwith certification training in the latest technologies.Start your trial today
Windows XP

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.