XP computer will only boot in safe mode

  Awestruck 16:10 24 Feb 2008

A friend's computer would only boot as far as the black and white screen with the usual choice of boot up options.
Safe mode was OK. But something stopped Windows XP from loading windows and it would restart and revert to the black screen with white text.
In safe mode I accessed the System Configuration utility then using selective start up I stopped the System.ini files from loading. The computer was then able to load Windows XP.
I did the usual checks to see which item on the System.ini list was causing the glitch. As I tested each item the computer started to get worse in that it even when I prevented all the System.ini files from loading, it would not allow XP to boot normally. As it deteriorated with
time, I can only imagine that the rather ancient hard drive was heating up and was less able to find the neccessary boot files. I did not have time to let it cool down for an hour or two to confirm this, but is my diagnosis a possibility?

I think I will have to buy and fit a new hard drive as it does not seem worth reinstalling Windows and all his programs, data etc on a drive produced in year 2000.

Best wishes


  Gongoozler 16:39 24 Feb 2008

I think the most common cause of this problem is corrupt graphics drivers, so you could try removing this and only letting the generic VGA driver to load. Another possibility to try is, in the System Configuration utility, selecting Services - Hide all Microsoft Services, then disable all that are remaining.

  Awestruck 20:01 27 Feb 2008

Thank you Gongoozler. I tried your suggestions but the problem remained. Then I spotted some unsavoury material had been accessed by the owner. Although he had restricted surfing history to one day there were some dodgy sites listed in the drop down list in the address field. I checked for viruses and spies and found a large number including a change to the host file. Searching on 'host' revealed a whole bunch of redirects. After removing all the nasties and dodgy hosts the computer booted normally into XP. I have warned the person that dodgy sites send spies, Trojans and viruses. He is suitable contrite.
Regards Awestruck

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