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Can not boot in safe mode or nomal mode.


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#1
tbqin

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Any help/suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

I have a Dell Dimension 4600 running Windows XP Home Edition w/ SP2.

Recently, I started having problems related to TASKDIR.dll after doing several searches regarding this - all suggested booting in safe mode. My mistake was probably the way I booted into safe mode. I modified the msconfig (in the normal manner of >>Start>>Run>>msconfig) and clicked the check box to boot in safe mode. Now when my machine boots it goes to a black screen with "safe mode" in all four corners. The safe mode menu or command line does not appear.

I have tried booting with the last known good boot and get the same result.

Now I am stuck without being able to boot in safe mode or in normal mode.
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#2
emery

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when you boot into safe mode it shows safe mode in all 4 corners. That's it? No start menu or oversized icons?

does ctrl+alt+del work when you are in safe mode ?
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#3
tbqin

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Hi emery and thank you for replying.

That is correct. "Safe Mode" appears in all four corners of the screen and "Windows XP (Build 2600.xpsp_SP2_gdr.050301-1519 Service Pack ...) appears between the Safe Modes on the top of the screen. That is all. No menu appears or oversized icons - the mouse icon(which does function - at least moves) is the only other thing appearing on the screen


ctrl+alt+del does not work either. The only way I can start the booting process again is to physically unplug the computer.


This happens no matter which boot option (ie. safe mode, safe mode with command, ..., normal) I choose.
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#4
emery

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Do you still have your windows installation cd?
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#5
tbqin

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Yes, I have a XP "reinstallation disk" which Dell provided with the computer.

I have tried to put this in the CD drive in hopes that it would be recognized but nothing happened. You can hear the drive spin the cd, but then it goes to the safe mode screen described earlier.

I did change the boot sequence to be CD-ROM first then the hard drive.
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#6
emery

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Are you sure you saved your changes in your BIOS before restarting when you changed the boot priority?
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#7
tbqin

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Is that when you are prompted to "Save and Exit" after making a change to the boot sequence. If so, I did save and exit. If not, please advise on how to do this.
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#8
emery

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Yes, that's when youre prompted to Save and Exit.

Do you have any other drives that take CD's? Like a dvd burner/player in your machine?

If you do, make it first boot priority and try the windows cd again.

Edited by emery, 25 May 2006 - 02:32 PM.

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#9
gerryf

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the re-installation cd is likely not a full windows disk, but a disk image that will return your system to the way it was when you bought it.

Don't use it.

You obviously have another PC, do you feel comfortable pulling the harddrive from the faulty one, inserting it as a slave, and doing a little edit?

If you do, do so, open boot.ini on the root of the drive you are repiaring in notepad and post the content here

We need to edit the boot.ini file and that is one way to do it. If you do not feel comfortable, I have an alternative, but it will take me too much time to give you directions right now as I am walking out the door. If you want to do it the other way, what OS are you using on the other computer that works and does it have a cd burner? Can you burn an iso?


I will check back later tonight, either way
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#10
tbqin

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my other PC is here at work. I do not have another at home with the faulty one.
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#11
tbqin

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The OS here is Windows 2000 Professional. No burner on my machine, but can probably find one. Not sure what a iso is.
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#12
gerryf

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well, we are going to need a burner


Since it does not sound as if you have a real windows disk, you need a portable recovery console



download RC.iso from the following link:

http://www.thecomput...edic.com/rc.iso



You need to burn this image to a CD and boot your computer with it--this is different than burning a file to a CD. If you do not know how to burn an ISO image, then download the following program to another Windows machine, install it.



http://www.cdburnerxp.se/



It is called cdburner xp, but it works on 2000 and even 98se



An iso is an image of a disk, not a file. So check the help file on how to burn an image (dont just copy teh file to a disk)



Once the CD is burnt, place it in the defunct computer



Then reboot your broken PC with that CD in the CD-ROM drive.



Make sure the PC is set to run from the cd as the primary boot device. You do this by setting your PC to boot to the CD-ROM in BIOS (enter bios by pressing f1, f2 pr del key during memory count up, then searching for boot order, and setting the CD as the first boot device)



When the PC boots, it will boot from the CD...after the first several screens load, you will be given a choice to choose R for recovery console. You will be asked to log in.



For Windows XP Home, there is not password, just hit enter. For Windows XP pro, ask whomever set up the machine what password they used.



Once at the Recovery console c:\windows prompt, type
bootcfg /add



windows will scan your system, looking for windows installs



It will find c:\windows and give it a number 1

type 1

<enter>



it will ask for a name, type

Windows2

<enter>



it will ask for switches, leave blank and hit

<enter>



Type

EXIT



windows will reboot



This time, you will be give a choice of two operating systems WINDOWS and WINDOWS2, choose the second



Windows will boot.



Now, open c:\boot.ini in notepad and paste the contents here
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#13
tbqin

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Gerry,

Thank you for the instructions. I will try this tonight when I get home and hopefully be able to post the boot.ini file.
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#14
tbqin

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Gerry,

Thank you very much. Your instructions worked great.

Here is the contents of the boot.ini file.

[boot loader]
timeout=30
default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)\WINDOWS
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)\WINDOWS="Windows2"
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition" /fastdetect /NoExecute=OptIn /safeboot:minimal
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#15
tbqin

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After posting the contents of the boot.ini here a dialog box appeared telling me to select "Normal Startup" under the "General Tab" to boot normally. After acknowledging the message the "System Configuration Utility" window appeared. The current selection on this window is "Selective Startup". "Normal Startup" is one of the options, but I will wait for your response before selecting it.

Thanks again.
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