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    Mike_P.'s Avatar
    Mike_P. Posts: 13, Reputation: 1
    New Member

    Jan 25, 2005, 03:13 PM
    Unable to Access Safe Mode in XP SP2
    I am unable to start in Safe Mode in XPSP2, either by hitting F8 during boot up or using msconfig: BOOTINI/SAFEBOOT. Start up will not enter Safe Mode, but simply returns to the start up choices each time. Because of this, when I tried the msconfig method, the PC kept cycling and I could not enter msconfig again to disable SAFEBOOT. I had to turn off the PC and restore an image of my hard drive to overcome the start up cycling problem.

    Iím given to understand that a driver involved in Safe Mode may have become corrupted at some stage (not necessarily during SP2 installation) and that a system Repair may be necessary. However, this could interfere with/corrupt the SP2 installation, let alone installed third party software and personal data.

    Any advice/recommendations would be appreciated.
    Avatar's Avatar
    Avatar Posts: 12, Reputation: 3
    New Member

    Jan 27, 2005, 02:39 PM
    Wow! I've never seen anything like that. You could try to do the step-by-step Safe Boot, that's the option that allows you to choose which drivers to disable on startup.
    Wendy225's Avatar
    Wendy225 Posts: 240, Reputation: 4
    Full Member

    Jan 27, 2005, 11:20 PM
    I have seen and heard of many problems after installing SP2, anything from minor to systems not starting up at all.

    Microsoft has provided a phone number and email and other support for Sp2 installations,you should be able to find it on their website.

    Look for support then sp2 support help.

    If you have trouble finding, it,I have the phone number around here somewhere.

    Just let me know here if you need it.

    fredg's Avatar
    fredg Posts: 4,926, Reputation: 674
    Ultra Member

    Jan 28, 2005, 05:37 AM
    If you have XP Home, then your problem could be SP2.
    There are many, many issues involving SP2 with Home Edition; you can search these by using Google, and type in something like "SP2 xp home issues", without quotes.

    Here is something to try, if you wish; it is supposed to turn off the security settings created by SP2:

    Go to Start/Run, then type in "firewall.cpl", without quotes. Then click on OK.
    A screen should pop up, just just turn it off.
    Then, re-boot, and see if you can get into SafeMode.
    Best wishes,
    Nez's Avatar
    Nez Posts: 557, Reputation: 51
    Senior Member

    Jan 28, 2005, 06:05 AM
    I suppose the problems with SP2 will never go away,and the advice given by Wendy and Fred is sensible,so please take note of what they say.I too have SP2 installed,but have not had any problems with it,nor booting into safe mode.But no doubt my time will come.I have friends who have cursed the day they installed it!

    However,a hit and miss situation is disgraceful.A case of too many products,configerations,and setups,is far beyond a coders scope for success?

    If you do use SP2,then it will need to reinitalize its boot structure after SP2 is installed.It could take several reboots for this to happen.Overtime your system will speed up.This is pathetic.

    To remove SP2 from XP Home Edition.

    Go to Start-Run-then type in:

    C:windows\$NtServicePackUninstalls$\spuninst\spuni nst.exe

    Then click OK.

    The removal wizard will take you through the removal of SP2.
    player21's Avatar
    player21 Posts: 16, Reputation: 1
    New Member

    Jan 29, 2005, 07:24 AM
    I had that same problem. I just installed windows again. Maybe your computer is missing a file, like a dll, or exe, or a system file. Just save all your work to a cd and install windows again.
    Mike_P.'s Avatar
    Mike_P. Posts: 13, Reputation: 1
    New Member

    Jan 29, 2005, 09:51 AM
    Quote Originally Posted by player21
    i had that same problem. i just installed windows again. maybe your computer is missing a file, like a dll, or exe, or a system file. just save all your work to a cd and install windows again.
    Hello Player 21.

    Comforting to know someone else has experienced this, and as I rarely if ever have the need for Safe Mode, I can't be certain how long this problem has existed. I'm personally not ready to malign SP2 yet - not aware of it giving me any problems, assuming this has nothing to do with it.

    Your 'clean' re-install of XP Home Edition has been suggested to me as a last resort. However, the challenge and technicalities of re-installing all my third party software and personal data is somewhat daunting.

    I do use Acronis True Image on a very regular basis just to create a full image of my hard disk (OS and all) on an external Hard Drive. If something goes wrong that I can't fix and 'restore' doesn't fix it, I simply re-load the entire previous image onto the internal hard drive. No chance of corruption or loss of data by this method. So, my 'work' is available to me to re-install as and when, but I am not confident of how to do this selectively when I just want to re-install everything other than the OS without losing or missing vital files etc. For example, I presume it's not just a case of copying everything under C:/Programs back to the internal hard drive. What about Windows and registry entries and goodness knows where else programmes send files. I can envisage a totally scrambled PC.

    As you sound experienced at this, would appreciate some guidance (in depth if possible)


    I have used this method to uninstall SP2, but still couldn't get into Safe Mode. I then carried out a 'Repair' to XP from the CD. Still no joy. So I re-installed SP2 from the installation CD to ensure it was clean. Still no joy.

    Thanks for the suggestion. However, if it doesn't work, how do I get the security settings back - full SP2 re-install again? Anyhow, isn't security what SP2 is all about?

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