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Windows 7: Windows only starts in safe mode

07 Jan 2012   #1

Windows 7 64 bits
Windows only starts in safe mode

Hi all,

I have an Asus X72J series running windows 7 64-bit. To make it simple, windows doesn't manage to boot normally, but it works if I start it in safe mode. I would like to know if there is any tutorial which proposes step by step processes in order to locate the source of the problem.

I have alreay run startup repair 5 times with restarts between each, and it ended up it could not resolve my problem.

- I have not installed any software before having this trouble
- I have not installed any new peripheral or driver
- I checked the memory and HDD and both are fine
- My guess is that there is a driver or hardware compatibility problem somewhere, since the trouble appeared after a long time passed in hibernation (extended stand-by mode) in which I unplug the computer, and this is ot the first time my WIndows has some troubles after this.

I thank you in advance.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Jan 2012   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Win 7 Home Premium 64bit Ver 6.1.7600 Build 7601 - SP1

Does the machine boot right into safe mode by itself? or does it go to the Safe Mode Screen?

If it goes right into Safe Mode without giving you the chance to make choices, try to force your own by re-starting, then tapping F8 or what ever key you need, some machines use the Delete or F12 key.

When you get to the screen, use the down arrow key to choose "Boot from last known good Configuration" touch Enter or Return, and see if that helps.

If the machine already goes to that screen select "Last known Good Configuration", and reboot.

2.) Check msconfig. Type/copy/paste msconfig into the Search or Run box (preferred) select General Tab make sure Normal Startup is selected. Then go to Boot Tab, and make sure Safe Boot is not selected.

3.) Try a System Restore
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Jan 2012   #3

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Microsoft Windows 10 Pro Insider Preview 64-bit

+1 Anak !
Moreover, can you post a screenshot of your disk management window, with at least the system reserved and C partitions showing their attributes ?

To run Startup Repair with a system repair disk or an installer disk, you are to make it sure that the target partition is marked as active .

Partition - Mark as Active
My System SpecsSystem Spec

07 Jan 2012   #4

Windows 7 64 bits


- The computer tries to boot normally (i.e. not in safe mode) if I don't do anything, after what it will block on the windows logo. Then it will reboot after some time, possibly after a blue error screen. Then it will automatically launch a startup repair on the restart, saying it wasn't able to start correctly, and after trying to repair, it will restart normally, and so on...
- In order to boot it in safe mode, I have to press F9 and then F8 during boot.

- "Booting from last good known configuration" didn't help correcting the problem

- msconfig had a normal startup selected

- Trying to follow the steps of the system restore tutorial, I get blocked at the very beginnig, since I can only cancel:

- Here is a screenshot of the disk management utility.
It seems from this that the active partition is the Recovery partition, which seems to me a bit weird, but I could be wrong. Or maybe is it because, following the restarting process I described at the beginning, some boots are made directly on the repair utility?

I have not yet tried to modify this, waiting for your confirmation that it is safe to mark active the C partition.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Jan 2012   #5

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Microsoft Windows 10 Pro Insider Preview 64-bit

First , mark partition C as active. Follow Partition - Mark as Active tutorial to do it.

Then run Startup Repair for at least three times with restarts after each single run .

BTW, was it a Vista installed computer, later upgraded? I am not finding the 100MB system Reserved partition there .

A good windows 7 installation must have a hidden 100 MB partition, called System Reserved , the System and Active partition.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Jan 2012   #6

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Win 7 Home Premium 64bit Ver 6.1.7600 Build 7601 - SP1

I will take your word for it, as I am not fluent in French

I would follow Arc's lead on this.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Jan 2012   #7
Microsoft MVP


Some OEM's mark the Recovery partition Active to help the hotkey work at boot. If it was originally set that way and you change the Active flag to Win7 partition then you'll need to move the Active flag back to Recovery if you ever need to run it and it won't run.

Have you checked for infection? This should be the first step. There are steps for if the computer won't boot given first in these troubleshooting steps.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Jan 2012   #8

Windows 7 64 bits

Before all:
- no, my windows 7 installation is not an upgrade, it was pre-installed on my machine, I don't know where there isn't the partition Arc mentioned
- As I never changed the active partition, I guess the recovery partition was originally set as active as Greg said (I think I'll put that back as such)

Ok, here is what I did:
- Marked C as active
- Run Startup Repair three separate times with restarts between (found nothing)
- Tried to start normally, ended up with a blue screen
- On restart, Startup repair was launch automatically; it last a long time, but ended up saying it wasn't able to repair (I sent the report to MS)
(- The two previous steps once more)
- I started in Safe Mode, and got a message about the error previously encountered, I sent a report to MS and tried to find a solution online but nothing appeared (it was proposed on a pop-up window after starting)

- I saw Greg's post, downloaded and executed Malwarebytes, nothing was found
- I ran sfc /scannow, nothing was found after the first run (will run two more)

I will continue to dig into Greg's links and keep trying some things...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Jan 2012   #9

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bits 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1

startup repair doesn't find anything?? So it thinks all is fine and bootable?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Jan 2012   #10
Microsoft MVP


Probably best to leave the Active flag on Recovery. If it wont' start when you move it back, run the Repairs 3 times which should start Win7 again since it was starting from Recovery previously to the advice given to move the Active flag to C.

What is the status of this now?

If this is unresolved it may be best to use free Partition Wizard bootable CD to have a picture of what you're doing. Boot PW CD, rightclick on Recovery to Modify>Set to Active, OK. Then click on Disk # to highlight it, from Disk tab select Rebuild MBR, Apply steps. Reboot to see if WIn7 starts. This may preclude the need to run Startup Repairs 3 times with reboots to rewrite the boot files to the Active partition.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Windows only starts in safe mode

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