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Windows XP Only Starts in Safe Mode


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#1 Louistar

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Posted 31 August 2010 - 03:27 AM

Hi, guys. Here is the problem I'm having, along with an explanation of how I got to this point:

I'm on Windows XP Home, SP3.

I seemed to have been attacked by a virus that got into my explorer.exe file. Evidently my anti-malware program deleted explorer.exe to prevent the virus from doing damage. This of course, had negative consequences. Thus, I couldn't log in properly (which was bad), but my data was still intact (which was good).

Nothing seemed to get explorer.exe back, so I repaired Windows XP through the boot CD options. This brought me back to SP2 (along with resetting tons of other stuff, like reverting IE back to IE6). Programs and data remained intact. At this point, although I had explorer.exe back, and I could boot up and log in, I was only able to do so in safe mode (or in safe mode with networking, which is why I have internet access). When the system tries to boot up normally, it gives the following error:

STOP: 0x0000007E(0xC0000005, 0xF7310184, 0xF7AC9D44, 0xF7AC9A40)

Above the error message there are some generic instructions and possible causes described. I can write those down if necessary, and post them here, but they seemed somewhat generic.

I've done the following to try to fix the problem:

Disabled all startup items.
Disabled all services.
Set BIOS options to defaults (this was one setting I changed in the BIOS options, to restore the settings to default as per the instructions from a friend)
Updated drivers for any errors occurring in device manager.
Temporarily removed some unsigned device drivers (not all of them, however, because I don't know what most of them are, and I'm afraid of causing worse damage)
Went into Recovery Console and typed "disable intelppm" as per the instructions in this KB article

I'm not sure what else I can do to figure out this problem and get windows to boot up again without errors. Does anyone have any other troubleshooting suggestions for how to resolve this issue?

Thanks,
Louis

Edited by hamluis, 31 August 2010 - 09:45 AM.
Moved from XP forum to Am I Infected ~ Hamluis.


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#2 rotring

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Posted 31 August 2010 - 07:06 AM

First of all I can feel how frustrating it would be in this situation. But not to worry, can you check the msconfig screen if it has a boot tab. If yes click on that and check if the safeboot option is checked, if checked please uncheck that. Please give me an update about it.
Thanks and Regards,
Sujith

#3 hamluis

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Posted 31 August 2010 - 09:46 AM

Moving thread to Am I Infected forum for closer look.

Louis

#4 Louistar

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Posted 31 August 2010 - 10:59 AM

First of all I can feel how frustrating it would be in this situation. But not to worry, can you check the msconfig screen if it has a boot tab. If yes click on that and check if the safeboot option is checked, if checked please uncheck that. Please give me an update about it.


Hi, rotring.

No, the safeboot option is not checked. Any other suggestions?

Thanks,
Louis

#5 rotring

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Posted 31 August 2010 - 11:54 AM

Hi,

Thanks for updating me. Hmm...lets see. Please answer these questions for me.

1. have you installed Norton on the system?
2. Do you see "Safe mode" written on all the four corners of the screen when teh computer boots up?

If the answer to these questions are yes,

1. Use the Norton Removal tool to remove the Norton completely from the system.
2. Check the device manager and check if the video drivers are corectly installed.

You might be surprised whe I ask you the second question. When booting into Safe Mode, the lowest settings are used, including your video card. This means that the resolution is 640x480, 16 colors when in Safe Mode; however, a video card can also have these settings improperly set or corrupt drivers may also cause the video resolution to be set to this resolution, giving the user the impression that they are in Safe Mode when really in normal modeestion and the answer to the same. See, someties what happens is that the graphics may baffle you and make you feel that you are in safe mode.

To correct issues with your video card that make it appear your computer is in Safe Mode please do teh following:
To change the resolution in Microsoft Windows follow the below instructions.

Click Start / Settings / Control Panel
Double-click on Display
Click the Settings tab

Once in the Settings tab change the "Screen area" by dragging the switch from the left to the right to increase the resolution. If you wish to increase the colors click the down arrow on the colors box and select the amount of colors you wish to use. It is important to realize that as you increase your screen area or resolution you may not be able to use all the different type of colors.

Try this an d if it doesnt help, please inform me.

Thanks and Regards,
Rotring.

Edited by rotring, 31 August 2010 - 11:55 AM.

Thanks and Regards,
Sujith

#6 Louistar

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Posted 31 August 2010 - 12:16 PM

Hi, Rotring.

Yes, I am in safe mode, and I don't have Norton installed. The only device in my device manager that has a yellow exclamation point next to it is "Bluetooth Pan Network Adapter" under "Network Adapters". Updating the driver doesn't seem to help because it asks for a CD that I don't have. I disabled that device, but I still have the same problem on startup. Can only boot in "Safemode with Networking" or another kind of "safe mode" listed in the options.

The video drivers in the device manager are fine and seem to have up to date drivers.

Just so you know, this problem seems to be related to the fact that I restored my Windows XP to factory defaults and now certain registry entries or other settings that were preserved (because it was not a clean format) are conflicting with the windows repair/install. How can I diagnose what is causing that problem, besides actually reformatting?

Any other suggestions?

Thanks,
Louis

#7 Louistar

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Posted 31 August 2010 - 07:03 PM

Just to let everyone know, I resolved this issue.

Is there a way to mark the post as "RESOLVED"? I can't see how to do that.

It turns out my NVIDIA display driver needed to be updated. Once that was done, the problem went away and now I can boot up normally again. So, even though there were no errors for display drivers in device manager, I still needed to update to the latest drivers.

Thanks to Rotring for his efforts to help me.

Regards,
Louis

#8 Pandy

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Posted 31 August 2010 - 09:43 PM

HI Louistar, are you sure? Would you like to post a Malwarebytes logfile for a check to see if there might still be some malware present? If so please download Malwarebytes from here http://www.malwarebytes.org/mbam.php in normal mode, a quick scan would suffice. Post the saved logfile here when finished. if you feel ok and do not feel a need to I can close this topic as resolved for you.

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