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Windows 7: PC will only boot to safe mode.

09 Dec 2012   #1

windows 7 professional 64 bit
PC will only boot to safe mode.

Hi all
would you believe it, this happened the day after joining this site.
my PC boots through normal post screen up to checking NVRam, then starts to load essential drivers for safe mode. In safe mode the desktop Icons are very limited(as you would expect) so went to all programs to find Mbam to check for viruses. found that Mbam,and Norton 360, will not run, and System restore has no restore points.
A reset gives me the the usual options screen but choosing 'start normally' only brings me back to safe mode.
Has any one out there seen this before. I would appreciate any help or hints.

My System SpecsSystem Spec

09 Dec 2012   #2

Win7 Ultimate X64

Hi Pheonix69, Welcome to SF
Looks like you picked a good time to sign up

Good news is if machine will run in safe mode then generally its only a software issue (driver etc normally)
Have you changed anything lately, hardware ?
Installed any new programs ?

First step would be a system restore, roll back to the most recent restore when machine was working ok that should undo whatever is causing the problem
Post back if that doesnt work (or you dont want to) and we can try something else
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Dec 2012   #3

windows 7 professional 64 bit

Hi Pauly
Thanks for help, but no, I have not changed a thing. I just switched on and bingo.. into safe mode. I just managed to find a backdoor into restore, don't ask me how. Although the restore page did say that both drives were ready to restore, I did notice that the tick box against my 'C' drive (which has windows on it) was shaded, whereas the box against my 'E' drive was a good solid tick. It went through the restore and now have virtually all the icons associated with my account back on screen with a panel saying system restored successfully to 6/12/2012 but it is still in safe mode. I do a restart and I am back into safe mode at what appears to be a limited account again.
Going Back through this same proceedure to the 'confirm disks to restore' page, (incidentally with a yellow exclamation triangle against a line saying"you must always restore the drive that contains windows. Restoring other drives is optional) I find that I can select and deselect the 'E' drive but not my 'C' (windows SSD drive where the tick is greyed out) do you think there could be a problem with this SSD drive?
hope all this info helps, best regards, Peter

Hi Pauly
Here's more, Just done a chkdsk on 'C' and windows found no problems!
My System SpecsSystem Spec

09 Dec 2012   #4

Win7 Ultimate X64

C drive is greyed out because thats where your OS is and is what you are trying to restore, thats normal not a problem with drive
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Dec 2012   #5

Win7 Ultimate X64

OK next thing im thinking would be start up repair, this may need to run to completion upto 3 times to fix errors may be worth a try

Or a method i have found handy in the past is to access MS Config then you can choose what services/programs/drivers you want to run on boot. As safemode is working it may be something 3rd party so you can go to services tab, tick hide all MS services and disable whats left
Disable some or all programs under startup tab and tick diagnostic or selective startup on the main tab, if that works then you can turn back on bit by bit til you find the culprit. Its a good way to get an idea of whats going on without actually changing anything permanently
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Dec 2012   #6

Windows Home Premium 64bit

Hi Pheonix and welcome to the Forum. You mentioned in your first post that "Mbam and Norton 360 would not run and that restore points were not available"
To me, this sound suspicially like Malware or a Virus - typical behavour for these infections.
You might try navigating to the actual Mbam executable and renaming it say "test.exe" and see if it will run. Do the same with Norton 360.
let us know.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Dec 2012   #7
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8

Another possibility is that there are some startup progrmas that create a conflict. Disable temporarily all startups (with msconfig) and see whether that helps.

The next possibility is drivers. Some driver may have been corrupted and cannot be executed. This is a tough one because we do not know which driver is at fault. In safe mode you typically run on generic drivers. That's why it boots. If you have a chance to look into Event Viewer, you may find some info.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Dec 2012   #8

Windows 7 Pro. 64/SP-1

Go to msconfig/boot and uncheck safe boot.

Name:  msconfig safe boot.PNG
Views: 10
Size:  49.9 KB

My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Dec 2012   #9

windows 7 professional 64 bit

Hi Thankyou everyone for your invaluable support. I had already sorted the problem before reading these posts by going into msconfig and deselecting 'safe boot'. I think that I had caused the original problem by messing around with the user accounts! So I am now back to trying to sort out the original cause of all goes... In user accounts there are only three users, me as administrator, CompAdmin(administrator) and guest, non have passwords set.
When I boot up into the log on screen I get a message saying the username or password is incorrect. I click on 'ok' and I now see that there is a yellow daisy picture and user name 'Emily' that I have previously deleted and does not show in user accounts. If I attempt to logon by just tapping the arrow (as I would because no passwords are set), it returns the password incorrect msg. All attempts to log on with known, recently used passwords fails. The only way that I can log into my account is by 'switch user'. On this screen my logon picture and name, Guest account and 'CompAdmin' account are missing and the only logon options are 'Emily'' and 'Other user'. Selecting 'other user' and putting in 'peter' as username(which is me as computer administrator)and clicking the arrow (no password set) gets me into my desktop. Clicking start shows my logon name and picture in top right of pane as it should.
I am now totaly confused??
Any of you clever guys out there got any ideas?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Dec 2012   #10

windows 7 professional 64 bit

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Layback Bear View Post
Go to msconfig/boot and uncheck safe boot.

Attachment 244995
It was as simple as that. Thankyou!!
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 PC will only boot to safe mode.

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