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Stuck in boot screen after changing options at msconfig

Discussion in 'Windows XP' started by flyvince, Nov 21, 2009.

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  1. flyvince

    flyvince Thread Starter

    Nov 21, 2009
    After F8 and onto the boot menu options, my computer refuses to boot in safe mode. It gives me an error of "Sorry for the inconvenience... windows did not boot properly.. a recent hardware or software change might have caused this".

    The other options like "safe mode with networking" and "safe mode in command prompt" DO NOT work either.

    I'd have no choice but to choose "start windows normally".

    But now I have a bigger problem. I tried another way of starting in safe mode by going to RUN > MSCONFIG > BOOT.INI and clicking the check box on SAFEBOOT.

    It prompted me to restart and when it did, I ended up on the safe mode boot menu once again. All options "safe mode", "safe mode with networking" and "safe mode in command prompt" are still giving me the same error.

    And now even the other options "start windows normally" and "last known configuration" DO NOT work either. No matter what option I choose, it just restarts the computer over and over, leaving me stuck on that screen.

    I'm running windows xp home edition. Please help me out!
  2. TheOutcaste


    Aug 7, 2007
    Welcome to TSG!

    You'll need to edit the boot.ini file to remove the /safeboot:minimal option that msconfig added.

    1. You can rebuild the boot.ini file using the Recovery Console
    2. Boot with a Live CD to edit the file
    3. Connect the drive to a different PC to edit the file.
    #1. Boot to the Recovery Console.
    Set your system to boot from CD, either by setting the boot order in the BIOS, or using the boot menu if your system provides one, usually by pressing one of the FX keys; F9, F10, F12 are common.
    Insert the Windows XP CD and boot the system.
    When prompted to Press any key to boot from CD... press any key like Spacebar or Enter

    When you boot from the CD, the following is displayed:
    On a black screen:
    Setup is inspecting your computer's hardware configuration...
    Screen turns Blue, and Windows Setup is displayed at the top.
    at the bottom is displayed the following in sequence:
    Press F6 if you need to install a third party SCSI or RAID driver
    Press F2 to run Automated System Recovery (ASR)...
    Setup is loading files (file names displayed)
    Title changes to Windows XP Professional (or Home Edition) Setup

    The options to setup or repair Windows are displayed
    Choose To repair a Windows XP installation using recovery console, press R.
    You may need to choose the Windows installation if you have a dual boot system. Type the number of the Windows installation you want to log into.
    You will need to enter the Administrator password unless you previously disabled that requirement; if it's blank, just press enter.

    You should now be at a C:\WINDOWS> prompt
    Type the following lines pressing enter after each one. Change the drive letter if needed.
    Note that there are spaces between each differently colored part of the commands:

    1. CD \ (There is a space after CD)
    2. Ren Boot.ini Boot.old
      If you get an error that the file can't be found skip step 3.
    3. Type Exit. This will reboot the system. Re-enter the Recovery Console and start at step 4.
      (If you don't reboot, any previous entries in the boot.ini file might get added again, as they are stored in memory)
    4. Type BootCfg /Rebuild
    This will go through several prompts.
    The following is an example. You would type the colored text:
    Scanning all disks for Windows installations.
    Please wait, since this may take a while...
    The Windows installation scan was successful.
    Note: These results are stored statically for this session.
          If the disk configuration changes during this session,
          in order to get an updated scan, you must first reboot
          the machine and then rescan the disks.
    Total identified Windows installs: 1
    [1]: C:\WINDOWS
    Add installation to boot list? (Yes/No/All):[B][COLOR=Red]y[/COLOR][/B]
    Enter Load Identifier:[B][COLOR=Red]Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition[/COLOR][/B] (or what ever you want to identify the OS)
    Enter OS Load Options:[B][COLOR=Red]/noexecute=optin [COLOR=Blue]/fastdetect[/COLOR][/COLOR][/B]
    Note: There is a space between [B]optin[/B] and [B]/fastdetect[/B]
    Remove the CD, then type Exit and see if it will boot into Windows.

    #2 Live CDs
    Live CDs:
    Ultimate Boot CD for Windows
    BartPE CD/DVD
    Ultimate Boot CD
    Puppy Linux
    The first two require access to a Windows XP Disk
    The Ultimate Boot CD does not include SATA drivers, so you'll need to be able to change the BIOS setting for the SATA controller to ATA instead of AHCI, or Compatibility mode instead of Enhanced (wording will vary)
    Note: A Vista/Win7 DVD can also be used to recover files and make some repairs. A Vista RE disk can be downloaded from one of these links:
    Vista Recovery Environment CD
    64 bit Vista
    32 bit Vista

    • Boot with the DVD
    • Select your language and click Next
    • Click Repair your Computer
    • After it scans for Windows installations click Next (Win7: Select Top option first)
    • Click Command Prompt.
      Type the following commands:
      attrib -R -H -S C:\boot.ini
      C:\Windows\notepad.exe c:\boot.ini
      Remove the /safeboot:minimal option, then save the file
      attrib +R +H +S C:\boot.ini

    #3 Connect hard drive to a different PC
    You can use an external USB enclosure, or connect it internally
    Then use Notepad to edit the file as above. Be sure to remove the Read Only attribute by right clicking the boot.ini file and clicking Properties.
  3. flyvince

    flyvince Thread Starter

    Nov 21, 2009
    Thank you so much!

    I still can't get my PC to boot in safe mode, but at least Windows is back and working again. I appreciate all the help. Thanks again!
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