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Jess, Computer Support Specialist
Category: Computer
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Experience:  Computer Hardware & Software Specialist - 10yrs Exp, Web Designer & Developer
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My computer will start up in Safe Mode but not in normal mode. I

Resolved Question:

My computer will start up in Safe Mode but not in normal mode.
I tried installing a Printer last night and it shut down. I started the computer in safe mode and deleted the printer program, but no change. I have Vista. Can you help?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Computer
Expert:  Jess replied 5 years ago.
Hi, thank you for using I am glad to assist you today.

When the computer has successfully boot up in Safe Mode, please try to do the following:

  1. Click Start => All Programs => Accessories => RUN
  2. In the RUN box, type: msconfig
  3. Then click OK to open the System Configuration window
  4. If the window did not appear, type msconfig.exe instead of just msconfig
  5. When you are in the System Configuration window, in the first tab, the General tab, in the "Startup" selection group, click to select "Normal Startup"
  6. Click APPLY
  7. Click OK
  8. Restart the computer and see if it will now boot normally.

I hope that helped.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
When I go thru the steps there is no RUN. It says the folder is empty.
Expert:  Jess replied 5 years ago.
To initiate the RUN command, you can either Click Start then in the search box, type RUN and then wait for the results to be displayed then click RUN in the displayed results.

Or, press the Windows key in your keyboard and hold, then press the letter R. That is, the key combination Windows Logo + R.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
this is already set on Normal startup. The computer tries to start normally, but after the windows screen appears for about 10 seconds the screen acts like it goes into sleep mode and the screen goes black. I hold the power button down for 10 seconds to shut down, then I turn back on in safe mode with network and I can work but am limited.
Expert:  Jess replied 5 years ago.
Ok. It seems that there is a conflicting process causing the normal mode to be interrupted.

Disable Startup Items

To disable some programs at startup, please do the following:

Click on Start => RUN
  1. In the RUN box, type this command and click OK: msconfig
  2. You shall see then the System Configuration dialog window
  3. Click on the SERVICES tab
  4. Click to select the option "Hide Microsoft services"
  5. Then click DISABLE ALL button
  6. Then click the STARTUP tab
  7. Then click on DISABLE ALL button
  8. This should disable all listed startup programs at startup so all the checks there should disappear. However, please locate your Antivirus software there and click on it to restore the check mark.
  9. Then click APPLY
  10. Click OK to close the System Configuration window
  11. Restart your computer. Then test if the system now boots into Normal mode.

Keep me posted.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

This time when I started in normal mode the Welcome page lasted for 10 seconds then went blank for 5 or 6 seconds then the desktop appeared for a second then went blank again.


About to go to bed should I wait?

Expert:  Jess replied 5 years ago.
Can we just resume tomorrow then? Please take yout time to rest and I will just send other procedures to try tomorrow. Good night to you.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I am ready when you are.
Expert:  Jess replied 5 years ago.
When your system shifts to safe mode, do you normally get a blue screen?

Do you have a error message appearing on screen every time you start your computer?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

My system doesn't just shift to Safe Mode. When I do a force shut down and restart it allows me to choose which mode to run in..


Like I said earlier...when starting in Normal Mode the Desktop only appears for a few seconds before going blank.

Expert:  Jess replied 5 years ago.
Are you saying that the screen went completely blank? Not even in booting in Safe Mode?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

When the screen goes blank after the normal start up, I do a force shut down by holding the power button down for 10 sec. when I press the power button to turn back on the screen comes on asking me if I want to start normal or in safe mode. Safe mode is working. I am using the computer to contact you now (in safe mode).

Expert:  Jess replied 5 years ago.
Please try to run the Malwarebytes cleanup while under Safe Mode to ensure that your computer is safe from malwares.

Cleanup with Malwarebytes Antimalware

Please download the FREE version of Malwarebyte from this link:

Download FREE Malwarebytes Antimalware Here

After you download it, please install. During the FIRST RUN, please let it UPDATE. After the updates are installed, please perform a QUICK SCAN. Then REMOVE all malicious files found and restart your computer as part of the removal process.

Do the following CCleaner cleanup to ensure that your system is optimized and there are no registry errors causing this problem.

Cleanup with CCleaner

NOTE: If you are using a program named Roboform, please do not proceed with CCleaner cleanup. Roboform Data will be removed by CCleaner.

Please download the FREE version of CCleaner from this link:

Download FREE CCleaner Here or this link

After you download the free tool, install it and run the scans and tests. By default, it runs CLEANER to cleanup from all system mess which includes all unwanted files, temporary files, temporary internet files, orphaned files and more. Make sure that all this mess that the Cleaner program has detected is removed. This will free up some space in your hard drive while speeding up your system as well.

Next, run REGISTRY Cleaner and fix the found problems. Run this REGISTRY cleaner several times and fix the issues until no issues will be found.

In order to run the Registry cleanup mode, open CCleaner, then look at the left panel of the CCleaner window. Locate and click the Registry link there and that should give you the Registry cleanup mode. Then click on the Scan for issues button. When the scan reached 100%, click FIX issues to remove the errors from your system. Then click the Scan for issues again then FIX whenever issues are still found. When no issues are found, close CCleaner.

Also, if you have installed drivers or software or updates recently which could be causing device or resource conflict, please UNINSTALL them in Control Panel => Programs and Features.

When you are in the list of installed software in your Programs and Features window, notice the date when the items were installed to see the recently installed programs that can be removed.

Keep me posted.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

I tried to update a program to see if i got any errors to pop up. One error came up "The window installer service could not be accessed."


I downloaded "regzooka" yesterday and cleaned before contacting you. It cleaned over 500 threats. It also has the registry cleanup and has cleaned the system. Still no change.

Expert:  Jess replied 5 years ago.
Ok. While in Safe Mode, please try to run System Restore.

How to Run System Restore in Windows Vista

1. Navigate to the Start => All Programs => Accessories => System Tools program group.
2. Click on the System Restore program icon.
3. Click Next => on the Restore system files and settings window.
4. Choose the restore point that you want to use. You should use a restore point with a prior date when you still don't have the problem you are facing now. Use a point dated like 1 week ago or two weeks ago.

Important: You need to check the Show more restore points checkbox to see more than the most recent restore points available in your system.

System Restore will only restore your system files and settings that was previously saved as a Restore Point. It will not affect your personal files.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

I bought the laptop used and for some reason there are no restore points that I can find. I searched all day yesterday and there are none.


System Tools


Expert:  Jess replied 5 years ago.
Please try to uninstall ALL the recently installed programs that you can readily re-install. You can see the detail about WHEN the program was installed in Control Panel => Programs and Features.

Also, do you have the Vista, installation DVD?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I may have an older copy but no disks with this pc.
Expert:  Jess replied 5 years ago.
Ok. Let us first try if you can do System Restore using Command Prompt.

TO get back to your previous working computer settings, we will try System Restore. Please follow the following procedures:

1) Turn on the computer

2) Start tapping/pressing the F8 key in your keyboard until you see Advanced Options Menu

3) Select Safe mode with Command Prompt and press enter

4) Press ENTER

When you BOOT successfully, you will get the Black Windows (Command Prompt).
Please type this commands line per line and press the ENTER key each time.

cd \ (2 words command, space between d and \, then press Enter)
cd \windows\system32\restore (2 words command, space between d and \, then press Enter)
rstrui (press Enter)

NOTE: If the rstrui.exe does nothing, try it again as rstrui.exe and press enter to launch System Restore.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Same result "No Restore Points have been created on your computer's system disk. To creat a restore point open System Protection." Even when I try to go to System Protection I can't create a restore point.
I found an old Vista Upgrade disk...should I just reinstall?
Expert:  Jess replied 5 years ago.
If that is not a FULL product version, if it is just an Upgrade disc, it won't work unless you used that to do the upgrade yourself from the older version of your Windows like windows XP.

Anyhow, do you have a lot of files that needs to be transfered prior to a re-install? If so, then you can make a copy of those files while you are in Safe Mode prior to reloading Vista.

Also, try resetting the hardware configuration of your computer through the BIOS. Restart the computer and press DEL or the F2 key to enter Setup (BIOS). When you are there, use the arrow keys to navigate through the menus and choose LOAD BIOS Defaults OR Load Setup Defaults there. Save and Exit. When the computer restarts, see then if it boots normally. Give this a try and let me know your results.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
can't get into bios. when do I press the F2 or Del key?
Expert:  Jess replied 5 years ago.
Please shut down the computer. Then turn it back on. In the black screen you will see a prompt or label about DEL or F2 to enter Setup. Immediately press DEL or F2 then. The key (whether DEL or F2) varies depending on your BIOS chip model.

That is, press the DEL or F2 key before Windows loads.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I had to use the F10 key. I reset the defaults and saved. Restarted and nothing changed.
what next?
Expert:  Jess replied 5 years ago.
Please go to your BIOS Setup again and in the Boot section, try to set the CD/DVD ROM to be the FIRST boot device. That shall make you use the Vista DVD.

Load the Vista DVD and then SAVE & Exit and then see if the system boot into the DVD that will load Windows Vista. Then choose REPAIR there in the screen.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
you were right the disk wouldn't work. Because It was not the disk used to load Vista the first time. Should I call Compaq now?
Expert:  Jess replied 5 years ago.
If your Compaq computer has a built-in recovery partition, then you can reset the computer to factory default. But if this is an older laptop that relies on a recovery CDs (not a hidden recovery partition), then you cannot reset it to factory settings.

However, factory reset will wipe everything and restore the system as if it is new. If your computer is equipped with this, try to do this in Safe Mode:

  1. Click Start
  2. Click Run
  3. In the "Open" box type C:\CPQS\QUICKSR\FRESTORE.EXE
  4. Click OK then see if the restore process starts. If you see an error like invalid filename, then the computer does not support the reset procedure.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Not supported.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
while in the black screen I typed msconfig and a window came up and I told it to start up using only basic start up programs and this worked. will I be limited by using this start up?
Expert:  Jess replied 5 years ago.
Cool... You are not limited in capabilities when you disable some of the startup programs and load just the basic ones. Keep that settings then since it worked.

Startup programs are intended to start when Windows starts. But some of them need not start automatically since they only take the system resources. Besides, you can also start them manually when you need them.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I can't get online because my wireless has been disabled. I am using my pc to contact you now. is there a way to enable this without turning everything else on?
Expert:  Jess replied 5 years ago.
Is the wireless switch ON? Is it OFF or DISABLED?

When it is OFF, you can turn it ON manually or by pressing the FN key + a function key with the wifi icon.

If it is disabled, then it could be the Wireless Zero service. Go to Start => Run. Type SERVICES.MSC then click OK.

Locate and enable Wireless Zero there.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
this is agrivating. I will leave positive feedback for you. If you can think of anything else to try email me [email protected] >>>> I may just buy a new operating system.
Expert:  Jess replied 5 years ago.
Have you tried enabling the service that I mentioned about?

Also, you can go back to MSCONFIG window then try to enable the startup program ONE at a time. Or you can enable a group.

For instance, you have disabled about 25 items in the startup list. Try to enable 5 at a time and see if the system still loads normally. That way, you can point out the actual conflicting program that will crash your computer. When you have reached that conclusion, then DISABLE ONLY the program that would cause the system to crash.

This process could take some time but this could spare you from buying a new Operating System.

Best regards,
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Hey Jess,
I was out of town for a day. I am trying to enable the programs in groups now. All Services are back on except for the "Windows Event Log" What do you think the problem is?

Expert:  Jess replied 5 years ago.
The problem is that, a certain startup program or service is in conflict with the boot process causing the system to crash. So disabling all non-Windows processes and startup programs would help isolate the problem.

When doing the disabling of startup programs and services resolve the problem, you can then enable them in groups and test if the system is still stable. This is to pinpoint exactly what startup program OR service is causing the crash.

When you now know exactly what startup program or service is causing the crash, you can then keep ALL of them enabled and LEAVE the culprit in disabled state.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
So there are programs or services inside the Windows events Log? How do I get to these to disable and enable? We are getting closer to a resolution!
Expert:  Jess replied 5 years ago.
What is the status of your computer now:

A. Working normally since other services and startup programs are disabled?
B. Still shifting to Safe Mode?

If your status is A, then please do the enabling of the services and startup programs one batch at a time until you pinpoint which service OR startup program makes the system to crash. After having concluded which one, then ENABLE all the rest then just DISABLE the culprit service or startup program.

I hope that clarifies.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I have enabled all of the good services. The only bad one is "Windows Event Log". All others must be OK. I can use the Laptop now, but is there something that I can do to fix the "Windows Event Log"?
Expert:  Jess replied 5 years ago.
Are you saying that when you enable "Windows Event Log", your system will crash again? Have you tested that?

If so, then please keep Windows Event Log disabled to avoid for further system crash. The associated system file for Windows Event Log could have been corrupted which then requires a complete reinstall of your OS.

However, you can try to run a scan like this:

Run the System File Checker

1. Click Start => Programs => Accessories => Locate Command Prompt
2. When located, right click on it then click Run as administrator
3. Provide your password XXXXX prompted or click OK in a prompt window
4. In the black command prompt window, type this command and press the ENTER key after: sfc /scannow (2-word, there is space between c and /)
5. Let the scan complete and restart your computer after the scan.

After the scan, try enabling Windows Event Log and see if the system still crashes. If so, then please keep it disabled so that you can then use your computer normally.

I hope this helped.
Jess and 6 other Computer Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I did the scan and nothing changed. When I booted up the screen went black after showing the desktop for a split second. I then disabled it and booted back up. It is woking for now, until I can afford a new operating system.
Thanks for the patience and advice.
Expert:  Jess replied 5 years ago.
I am glad that the system is now working though Windows Event Log is disabled. You can keep that settings then.

Thank you for using JustAnswer!