Vista only boots to Safemode

  gatortail 03:17 28 Mar 2012

I can only boot into safemode,luckily I can use networking choice for internet access. Is there anything I can do to get back booting normally short of a recovery install? -- I have several choice applications that I can't replace.


  difarn 09:04 28 Mar 2012

Have a look at the attached article and see if you can work through item 2.

Have you tried "last good configuration" or "system restore"?

  gatortail 16:21 28 Mar 2012

Thanks difarn,

System Restore has no available restore points for some reason. Last Known Good Config opens Vista in safemode.

Setting MSCONFIG to Normal Boot has had no affect.

Vista is OEM so I have no disk. I will recheck everything in the article you cited to make sure I have covered all those bases. The one thing there I have not seen before applies to Window 7 -- do you think it may work on Vista?

  difarn 18:30 28 Mar 2012

It is worth a try.

The problem could be because of one of the programmes that loads automatically and until you have isolated the problem programme then it will continue. Can you remember any recent changes?

One way to check this is to disable everything.

Start - type msconfig - startup tab-clear ticks against everything. Select Services tab - tick "Hide all Microsoft services" and clear the ticks against everything that remains.

Restart the PC normally - this is a bit like starting it in safe mode.

If you do try this I would make a note of all of the things you are unticking.

If this works then you can re-enable the programmes one by one restarting the PC each time to find out which is causing the problem.

You should really also go through the list of installed software in Programmes and Features in t he Control Panel and uninstall anything that is not necessary.

  gatortail 20:35 28 Mar 2012

Before working with anything in your suggested article, I tried playing around in msconfig, and by trial and error with the General and Boot tabs of MSCONFIG I have managed to get Vista open ALMOST normally. It amounted to unchecking everything EXCEPT Selective Startup, then checking "Load system services" and "Load startup items". Problem is I cannot start a multitude of non-system services, including my antivirus, that are marked disabled in my task manager -- when I attempt to start them I get "Access is denied".

One thing I wonder is whether the choice of "use original boot configuration" under Selective Startup should/not be checked as well. MS KB says it is checked by default; I read elsewhere not to mess with it. It's name may be enticingly deceptive.

I can't think of any new apps or services that changed prior to the safeboot only problem, and no new startup items (I would know, I have good warning software)-- so I would like to try enabling non-system services, most of which are listed in the task manager but not in MSCONFIG, but I don't know how. I am afraid if I set msconfig to normal startup it will go right back to opening only in safemode again.

What do you think?

  gatortail 20:49 28 Mar 2012

I forgot to add that I tied creating a system restore point but cannot access it under selective startup.

  difarn 21:12 28 Mar 2012

Can I suggest that you try this free download for Vista Services Optimizer. You can set the system services back to default and then use it to select which services to disable.

  gatortail 01:44 29 Mar 2012

I downloaded and ran VSO but none of the changes I made with it (start service, optimize, disable, etc.) manually or automatically actually changed any services. In Selective Startup only the sysstem services are enabled, so changing the status of non-system services in task manager directly or with VSO has no affect at all, except in task manager a window pops up saying Denied Access.

What do you know about the choice to boot to "(Use)oringinal configuration"?

  difarn 09:58 29 Mar 2012

In msconfig have you looked at the services tab? Can you re-enable from there or is this when you are getting access denied?

You may find this article helpful. What you are actually doing is setting up a clean boot configuration. Are you able to follow the steps in the article to return it back to normal mode?

In all posts I have read the advice is to leave use original configuration checked.

  difarn 18:01 29 Mar 2012

As an afterthought if you still cannot solve the problem -if you know of anyone with an OEM Vista disc you could borrow that to do a clean install (make sure you use the right version 32 or 64) - you will need the product number. If you do not know this you could download Belarc Advisor - a very good programme that gives you information on your pc, including product codes. Do you have a friendly computer repair shop who may be willing to let you use an OEM disc or could you make contact with your pc manufacturer - they often sell them at a very reasonable cost.

You do not say if it is a desktop or laptop. Some laptops particularly have recovery partitions - it is a matter of knowing the correct key sequence to access this.

  gatortail 02:38 30 Mar 2012

Hey difarn,

I spent most of the day fooling with services and inadvertently fixed it enough to be able to start Vista with "Start mormally" in f8. I learned plenty about services out of the experience -- it took several hours resetting each service in my taskmanager to recomendations on Black Viper's list, after which I used Vista Services optomizer to take a snapshot. FYI: setting services attributes in VSO does not stick as well as when you set them in the management console or a taskmanager app, but the snapshot feature is a godsend-- I must have changed them a million times (you can set them one way then return later and they have become set differently by some unknown process) until I must have beat down its Microsoft attitude, man against machine.

As it stands msconfig remains in Selective startup/load system sevices/load startup items -- system restore gives only errors but everything else seems to work in normal booting. Thanks a heap for your time and help.

Peace, gator

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