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Windows XP Professional SP2 Only Boots To Safe Mode

Posted on 2006-11-17
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2009-12-16
Hi Guys, hope you can help with this one!
I picked up a clients comp today because it was dead. No bios screen No beep errors, just dead. I replaced the power supply and it came back up NP. With a rather perplexing exception.
I can only boot into safe mode, if I try to use the normal boot method I get just past the windows splash screen and the desktop goes blank (like it wants to start windows) and I hear a popping or cracking sound and it reboots to a endless blank screen.
The 1st thing I tried to do was go into "msconfig" and shutdown everything in the "startup" folder and shut down all services not associated with MS. I ran "chkdsk /f" and everything was fine. I checked the "Boot.ini" file and it reads the way it's supposed to. I also replaced the "biosinfo.inf" file cleared the cmos (actually cleared the cmos before replacing the power supply and finding this new problem), reset the MBR, ran a third party program to replace the "ntldr" and have run system diag.'s on the MB and memory but everything checks out? The Hardrive has no bad sectors and I think i'll be bald before I find an anwser.
What's really strange is that I know for a fact that the CD-Rom works and I can boot from it, however I cannot boot from a startup disk - be it the "A" drive nor the CD-Rom. Booting from a CD, on startup the display stops and asks if I want to boot from the CD: however, thats it - even though the keyboard is operable I have no option to select to proceed with start or booting from the CD... So replacing the system files is kind of out of the question. (at least with my knowledge) If I try to use a floppy boot.

While in safe mode I can access the event system error logs and the only one that may be related is this:

Event id: 7026  / source: service control manager

The following boot-start or system-start drivers failed to load:


The rest of the errors are bogus errors that I've seen before, any advice???

Question by:mcmedic36
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Expert Comment

ID: 17970616
Hi mcmedic36,
You're going to need to do a windows repair. Windows is crashing because the system files are corrupted. The popping sound you are hearing (I am assuming you have speakers plugged in) is because there is a sudden voltage drop when the machine reboots, and the speakers reproduce this voltage drop as sound. If you do not have a speakers plugged in, then you are in trouble. Something is completely blown in the hardware.

To get the machine to boot from the CD, I would suggest disabling all options in the BIOS for bootable devices except the CDROM, and see if that allows you to boot.

If you cannot use the keyboard to operate the BIOS, the keyboard port is broken, Switch to USB or PS/2, whatever is the opposite of what you're using.


Expert Comment

ID: 17970716
I would suggest that make the boot otpion to hard drive and cdrom as secondary and then remove all the other drives like if you two cdrom and a floopy just connect one cd rom. in fact the event ID which you have specified is some thing to do with the removable drive or the software files are corrupted due to multiple improper boot. Please find the below link and see which senierio suits the error message and follow the same.


Gopal Krishna K
LVL 11

Expert Comment

by:Zuhir Elgmati
ID: 17970731
hi mcmedic36
look to this post , it's resolve an issue like yours :
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LVL 11

Accepted Solution

Zuhir Elgmati earned 1500 total points
ID: 17970740
if it's not work look at this discussion : http://www.pcreview.co.uk/forums/thread-2314494.php
LVL 93

Expert Comment

ID: 17970741
you can also try to run sfc /cannow in safe mode

Expert Comment

ID: 17970744
thats the perfectly what even the above link says. if you do not have the tape drive then follow other solutions provided in the link.

Gopal Krishna K

Expert Comment

ID: 17970963
1. Disable all the Startup programs and all non-microsoft services using MS Config and then try to boot normally.
2. If unsuccessful then do a system restore to a back date from Safe Mode.
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Author Comment

ID: 17985452
OK Guys - 1st of all a huge great big thanks for all the feedback and great tips on how to resolve this issue. It was interesting to read everything here and find so many different anwsers for the same error. That just goes to show how two identical computers can be worlds apart!

On to my resolve... for some reason I couldn't just let this one go, so I replaced the harddrive with a known good drive that had the OS preloaded from another computer and the problem pc would start right up NP. So that ruled out the bios and MB. Then I ran a check on the RAM, NP it checked out good too. I put the old HD back and inserted a pci video card and the problem remained. ( could only boot into safe mode) I replaced the MBR / NTLDR / SIGVERIF / BOOT.INI / BIOSINFO.INF / ran CHKDSK /F and SFC ( but, SFC cannot be run in safe mode). Other's may have just replaced the HD and OS and been done with it, as this was painfully perplexing!

So here it is guys, of all things? I enabled VGA mode during the boot and the damn thing booted right up? I knew it had to be something simple. So all the while it was the onboard video! (What I don't get is that the same onboard video works with the other harddrive and OS??!!!)  I had already tried a new PCI card and the problem remained... However after much more troubleshooting I stuck a AGP card in and presto! NP - it started right up and problem solved!!!

As soon as I was able to boot into windows I inserted the xp pro disk and ran the SFC /SCANNOW but didn't see the results before it closed itself. Also, chose to run the CHKDSK /F upon reboot and everything seems to be ok now. So again much thanks....

And please if you have any input feel free to type it up, this one was a pain!
LVL 93

Expert Comment

ID: 17985640
probably the old drivers still existed, and were loading instead of the correct one !
you can unsinstall them from device manager if you click show hidden files in the view tab

Expert Comment

ID: 17985666
As you said that you added the harddrive that was prinstalled on the other machine has been caused this issue. all the drivers might install automatically some of the drivers which does not get installed automatically will landup in conflicting and this type of error. Its always recommended that you connect all the hardware and then install the windows XP OS which will have a clear install. Hence however if you add any external hardware instead of onboard then you need to disable the onboard driver from BIOS.

However, your issue has been resolved, its glad to hear..

Gopal Krishna K

Author Comment

ID: 17992175
Sorry for the misunderstanding guys however, I did NOT add the harddrive to the problem computer but instead I replaced the problem computers harddrive with a known good harddrive that already had a good clean version of Windows XP loaded on it... the problem computer then began working with no errors.

I don't want to sound redundant, just interested in seeing the big picture...

What i'm really confused about is how putting back the original harddrive kills the onboard video again even after replacing the driver? PCI video card installed to PCI slot 1 is not recognized? But installing an AGP card clears all errors.

So in the end this was the fix - I replaced the "POWER SUPPLY", added an "AGP VIDEO CARD" = back in the saddle!

Thanks for all your comments and knowledgible help, "K"

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