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Windows XP Cannot Boot to Safe Mode

Article Summary:This article troubleshoots computers that can access the Advanced Options Menu, but cannot boot to any mode of Windows.

Table of Contents:

  1. Perform an In-Place Upgrade (Repair Installation) of Windows XP
  2. Use System Restore to Revert to a Previous State
  3. Attempt to Boot to the Last Known-Good Configuration
  4. Run the Extended Dell Diagnostics
  5. Restore the Operating System to Factory Settings

Step 1:Perform an In-Place Upgrade (Repair Installation) of Windows XP
The Windows XP CD provided with your computer contains an option to replace the system files on Windows XP, effectively refreshing the installation of Windows.
To learn more about using Startup Repair to restore critical Windows files, click the link below:
How to Perform a Windows XP Repair Installation
Step 2:Use System Restore to Revert to a Previous State
Windows XP contains a feature known as System Restore to roll back changes to the computer based on "restore points" that are commonly scheduled by Windows. This functionality is available through Windows Safe Mode with Command Prompt. To access and use this feature, refer to the link below:
How to Use System Restore from Safe Mode with Command Prompt
Step 3:Attempt to Boot to the Last Known-Good Configuration
The Last Known-Good Configuration can help you reestablish the settings that your computer used the last time that you successfully booted to Windows. To invoke the Last Known-Good Configuration, perform the following steps.
  1. Power on the system.

  2. Press <F8> when the message For troubleshooting and advanced startup options for Windows, press F8 appears.

  3. Choose Last Known-Good Configuration.

This procedure only works if the system has not successfully booted since any changes were made.
Step 4:Run the Extended Dell Diagnostics
A piece of hardware may be interfering with the normal boot process of Windows. Dell has an exhaustive suite of diagnostic tools to identify hardware problems on your Dell computer. Click the link below to get information on running the Dell 32-bit diagnostics.
How to Run the Dell Diagnostics Utility
Step 5:Restore the Operating System to Factory Settings
A critical error has occured with your operating system that is neither hardware related, nor can it be repaired using standard system tools. To restore your computer's operating system and software to the original factory settings, launch the link below:
Launch the Microsoft Windows Reinstallation Guide

Article ID: SLN289776

Last Date Modified: 04/05/2016 03:19 PM

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