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Windows XP Pro re-install/upgrade can not run under Safemode. It Conti


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#1
Frank T

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Hello Geeks to Go,
I have been trying to Repair or upgrade WinXP Pro for many hours on my system without success. Any help you could provide would be very much appreciated.

I have a Windows XP PRO with SP2 system that kept booting up what looked like in normal mode but was actually only booting in Safe mode. I tried numerous things to fix without success then I decided to use the XP Pro CD to re-install/upgrade to fix the problem. Now I get the error message: “Windows XP Setup cannot run under Safemode. Setup will restart now.”

Without using the XP CD and rebooting, each option on the Windows boot menu that I try, (Safe Mode, Normal Mode, etc.,) I get the message… Setup can not run under Safemode, Setup will restart now or Setup is restarting… and it just goes into an endless cycle of the same thing.

I have read posts on this site and tried some options:

When I choose the recovery mode option R and run the bootcfg /list & bootcfg /rebuild, I get the following error: Failed to successfully scan disks for Windows installations. This error may be caused by a corrupt file system, which would prevent Bootcfg from successfully scanning. Use chkdsk to detect any disk errors. Note: This operation must complete successfully in order for the /add or /rebuild commands to be utilized.

I ran Chkdsk /P /R. It did find some errors and fixed them. Then I retried all above numerous times and it keeps going back to the same messages, either “cannot run under Safemode” or the
”Failed to successfully scan disks for Windows installations” error running the Recovery console.

If there is a way that I can use a file editor (I have Hirons Ultimate Boot CD) to fix a particular boot file, that may be a way to try to fix it. I also ran the scan disk tool within the CD with no errors found on the hard drive this time since the CHKDSK fixed the errors.
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#2
SRX660

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If you have tried all normal methods of reinstalling XP, then it is time to start replacing hardware parts until you find the problem.

I had a similar problem with a customer computer. Unfortunately, he had tried many fixes found on the internet before giving it to me. My only option was hardware replacement until it started working. The real problem was a memory stick with one bad module, so it would boot up until it hit that memory bit and then fail. I am thinking he did not have to go thru all his gyrations to fix the computer.After replacing that one stick( left the other one in the computer), it booted up and started installing XP immediately. Even with mismatched memory( different brands) it ran fine. I just could not save any data from the drive by the time i got the computer.

SRX660
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#3
Frank T

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Thanks SRX660 !

Worked on it til almost 4am this morning 12 hours straight, then gave up and crashed. I used a brand new XP Pro SP2 CD right out of a new box that I've had for a couple years and it still didn't make any difference. I already tried replacing the video card without success. Isn't there another way to stop the system from continuing the upgrade process or going right into the setup, possibly getting it to boot back in to safe mode, like deleting a folder or setup command from a file using something like a boot CD with Volkov Commander? That way I can at least go into safe mode with network support and copy all my data over to another drive on my network at home. Right now it just stays in that loop. Either way, I'll start right on your suggestion of starting with the memory and let you know the status. Hopefully I'll be able to get past the "cannot run under safemode" problem or at least get bootcfg /rebuild to work trying the hardware replacement method. Thanks for your help. I really appreciate it.
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#4
Alzeimer

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Did you try this option:

XP Repair install

Boot the computer using the XP CD. You may need to change the boot order in the system BIOS so the CD boots before the hard drive. Check your system documentation for steps to access the BIOS and change the boot order.

When you see the "Welcome To Setup" screen, you will see the options below
This portion of the Setup program prepares Microsoft

Windows XP to run on your computer:

To setup Windows XP now, press ENTER.

To repair a Windows XP installation using Recovery Console, press R.

To quit Setup without installing Windows XP, press F3.

Press Enter to start the Windows Setup. Do Not choose "To repair a Windows XP installation using the Recovery Console, press R", (you Do Not want to load Recovery Console). I repeat, Do Not choose "To repair a Windows XP installation using the Recovery Console, press R".

Accept the License Agreement and Windows will search for existing Windows installations.

Select the XP installation you want to repair from the list and press R to start the repair. If Repair is not one of the options, END setup.

Setup will copy the necessary files to the hard drive and reboot. Do not press any key to boot from CD when the message appears. Setup will continue as if it were doing a clean install, but your applications and settings will remain intact.
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#5
Frank T

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Yes. I have been skipping the first R option for the last 20+ reboots. I'm continuing to try that method right now removing one memory module at a time, restarting and choosing the 2nd R after it highlights Microsoft Windows XP Professional after the License agreement screen. So far after the 1st module removal and going through that process, it still returned to the cannot run under Safemode error. Currently trying again with only the 2nd memory module. The only card I have on this system is an Nvidia PCI card as it has integrated network and keyboard/mouse/USB slots. I also have one floppy drive, one CD drive, and only the one hard drive attached. If this last attempt with the memory doesn't work, I'm not sure what to do next.
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#6
Frank T

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Yes. I have been skipping the first R option for the last 20+ reboots. I'm continuing to try that method right now removing one memory module at a time, restarting and choosing the 2nd R after it highlights Microsoft Windows XP Professional after the License agreement screen. So far after the 1st module removal and going through that process, it still returned to the cannot run under Safemode error. Currently trying again with only the 2nd memory module. The only card I have on this system is an Nvidia PCI card as it has integrated network and keyboard/mouse/USB slots. I also have one floppy drive, one CD drive, and only the one hard drive attached. If this last attempt with the memory doesn't work, I'm not sure what to do next.



Failed. Now I'm trying the bootcfg /rebuild method with each memory card. So far the first one has failed. I'm wondering if it has anything to do with the AMD processor on this system. I hope not.
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#7
Alzeimer

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The easy solution is to save your personal data on an usb stick or cd (if a burner) and just reformat your hard drive and doing a brand new fresh install.

Most times your problem is caused by a bad driver or an hardware conflict. You can try to unplug everything except the basic (video, 1 ram, and keyboard and your HDD) go into BIOS and reset to default settings, also disable your intagrated network/sound/modem for now and see if you still have the same problem (it might be your Video card Driver).

Edited by Alzeimer, 08 May 2010 - 11:00 AM.

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#8
Alzeimer

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Failed. Now I'm trying the bootcfg /rebuild method with each memory card. So far the first one has failed. I'm wondering if it has anything to do with the AMD processor on this system. I hope not.



Your Master Boot Records (MBR)or Boot Sector are on your Hard Drive not on your Ram

If you wanna test your ram you will need MEMTEST86 on a boot CD to test each ram you have one by one to see if they pass the test.
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#9
Frank T

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Thanks. I understand the hard drive and MBR relationship well. I was just trying to eliminate any possible memory issues as recommended by SRX660. Didn't work. Now I'll try your recommendation of the bios settings disabling the integrated NIC, and choosing the default settings. Already swapped out video cards and both seemed to work OK so I don't suspect a video driver issue, but who knows. If all that fails, then ideally, if I can boot this thing up with and connect on my home network, I can just copy the data across to my other drive. Hmm. I have a usb external drive that I might try plugging in and use the ultimate boot CD to load up the drivers. Then I may be able to copy all data across to the USB drive, then wipe and re-install. That is really my last resort but may be my only choice by now. Can't imagine why there is not another way to stop the WinXP install process. That's ridiculous to me.
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#10
Macboatmaster

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Do you still have the XP installation OR have you got as far as fresh install
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#11
Frank T

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Macboatmaster:
I'm trying to hold off a wipe and re-install until the very last option. Still trying all the methods I mention in these notes. Just now got an older slower Compaq PC out of my closet with XP installed and removed the hard drives. Installed my current troubled system hard drive into the older PC and am now attempting the steps all over again with the XP Pro SP2 CD on the older PC.
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#12
Frank T

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Same problem. "Windows XP cannot run under Safemode. Setup will restart now" error. Now I have narrowed the problem to the Harddrive. Hmm. Any recommended tools to attempt to fix/test the Harddrive to make it work? I do have two ultimate boot CDs. One by Hirem. I will replace the problem harddrive back into it's own system now that I now the Harddrive is the problem. Just need to find a way to get it to fixed, if possible.
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#13
Macboatmaster

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I appreciate this may sound a bit of an insult, but msconfig boot ini. Safe boot is not checked is it?
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#14
Frank T

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No worries about insults. I realize I could miss many things and you don't know my experience level.

I can't even get into Windows using any Safe boot selection or method to check. I would love to find a way to bypass the XP upgrade install (the Loop I'm stuck in) and get back to Safe Mode with network support somehow. I did check the boot.ini file using Volkov Commander file explorer (from ultimate boot cd) and I did not see the "/safeboot" statement in the boot.ini file.
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#15
Macboatmaster

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Sorry, I only just came in and thought it was booting in Safe Mode.
What is the actual stage now please that you are at.
When I said a bit of an insult, you are obviously not a novice otherwise we would not have Hirens and UBCD.
Have you used Hirens to go into Mini XP and you can of course then go direct into the hard drive. Some people do not realise that the Mini XP gives them direct access to their drive and all their files.

Edited by Macboatmaster, 08 May 2010 - 01:38 PM.

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