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Windows Xp Repair Cannot Finish Due To Safe Mode


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Hello all,

I am repairing a PC for someone, it had some missing system files so I initiated the windows xp installation/repair with their CD. It works like a charm until it goes into windows, but it cannot finish because windows is stuck in safe mode.

so it reboots itself

and goes back into the setup, which is in safe mode and cannot finish.

I can no longer boot windows in safe mode because the repair needs to finish. Any ideas?

Thanks,

Adam

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You can do it easily. But carefully.

Go grab yourself a copy of Gparted , a free open source partition editor.

Boot from the CD that you just burned.

Takes a minute so no worries, I can't remember exactly where it is in there but you should see where you can re write or over write the MBR or " master boot record " .

This can cause the system to be useless, I just state this for the simple reason that someone will do it for another reason. But you have one.

I have to say that recovery disks have been known to bork the entire installation, at times deleting the entire directory structure and deleting the MBR instead of correcting it , it re writes it as if there is new installation . after this can certainly render everything useless. So I hope they have a backup of there data , and another installation disk for the OS ?

You have to be very careful at what you do at this point, there is one way that Iv'e gotten around this, thats to install a linux distro side by side, this will install a boot record , and then install grub , a boot loader. You might want to think of this before attempting to re write the MBR really.

Even if the disk is small , you can still install a basic linux system on it to get what you need to get you out of hot water, and make the windoze installation bootable again.

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if you have a windows xp cd you could just boot up off the CD and run the recovery console instead of installing windows then choose the windows installation probably C enter the username/pw if there is one and type FIXMBR

FYI to boot off a cd you must go into the bios and set the default boot device to be your cdrom

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I went ahead and ran FIXMBR from the recovery console, says it was successful...

but now the xp disc cannot find a previous installation of windows to repair, and it is telling me the install CD is not recognized. It is a full windows xp install CD, and before i ran the FIXMBR it did recognize it.

Is there anything I can do to continue with a repair?

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This is what I was concerned with. Once the mbr has been overwritten by either a partial installation ( which is just about what you have there or had ) then the fixmrb command doesn't have any relevant information to grab from the boot sector so it chucks a fresh one in pointing no where. no I dont know exactly, why it does that , never did , just been there many times before. Same way when trying to install windows next to linux , windowz cares not what else is on the disk . Where linux will at the least look , and give the option to install a bootloader to access both installation folders.

Do you have any live linux cd ? Something that you would be able to see the existing file structure on the hdd ? If not there free if you can't download one for some reason, i have ubuntu 10.10 oem disks here for you.

There are ways to do this unless theres worse damage. You should be able to install linux next to the windoze installation , and unless the directory tree has been trashed by a virus ( maybe the reason you got it in the first place ) then you should be golden , i did say should hahah

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thanks for your reply MUD.

EDIT: I tried it today and it detected the OS.

However, it did not solve the problem of turning off Safe Mode. It's still in a vicious cycle of attempting to finalize the Windows Repair upon booting, but restarts because it's stuck in safe mode.

I have no idea how to get around this.. would loading up Linux help me at this point? I would need instructions on what to do from there.

Thanks!

-Adam

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the only thing i can think of doing is trying to edit boot.ini to switch off safe mode from the recovery console. i found these instructions -

From the command prompt type "edit boot.ini" (THIS COMMAND IS INVALID FOR ME, DOES ANYONE KNOW THE PROPER EDITBOOT.INI COMMAND?) and press enter. This will take you into the editor for the boot.ini. Below is a print out of boot.ini with Safe Mode and without Safe Mode switch.

Boot.ini with Safe Mode switch

[boot loader]

timeout=30

default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS

[operating systems]

multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect /safeboot:minimal

Boot.ini without Safe Mode switch

[boot loader]

timeout=30

default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS

[operating systems]

multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect

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