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Old 16th January 2005   #1
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Dell, XP Home will not start in safe mode


edit note: merged another thread with this one. See post #25 for details. Newt

I have been working on a friend's computer, Dell Dimension 2400, just finished getting all system errors cleared, a PCI Video Card to work, Nvida, Got message on restart, says Volume C is "Dirty" runs disc check, appears to apply fixes, too fast to note, pause won't stop it, machine then restarted normally.

Wanted to re-run check disc from management console in safe mode, restarted, F8 to safe mode, generate BSoD stop error. Power off by button, power on, machine starts normally.

Restart, F8 to safe mode, BSoD again. Machine refuses to start in safe mode but will start normally.

BSoD message from safe mode start up:

"Stop: C000021a {Fatal System Error}
The session manager in initialization system process terminated unexpectedly with status of OXC000034 (OX0000000 OX00000000) The system has been shut down."

Several attempts at safe mode, same results. Power button no F8, yields normal startup.

With XP running, Go to Management Console, Drive C, Properties, System Tools, Disc Check, selected "Scan for and attempt to recover bad sectors" checked OK, get no message to run on reboot, scan starts, runs through 4 categories, states "scan completed."

This is the first time in my limited computer experience I ever ran across a machine that would start normally but not in safe mode and chkdisc runs on "C" drive with Windows loaded. Anybody know what is going on here??

Any and all help will be greatly appreciated.

Martin

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Old 16th January 2005   #2
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Hi Martin,

Take a look here http://aumha.org/win5/kbestop.htm

However, a search on that page didn't come up with anything. There is a OX0000034 but that's for W2K. Maybe you can root around in there find it.

EDIT: Did find a Hebrew site with that stop sequence http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q...=Google+Search but has to be translated - Hebrew language set has to be downloaded.

Regards - Charles


Last edited by charlesvar; 16th January 2005 at 17:00.
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Old 16th January 2005   #3
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Thanks Charles, I found that error message, here

Applies to XP Pro? And I sure don't know how to fix it from this description.

Martin

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Old 16th January 2005   #4
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It may be that the VGA driver is corrupt. Boot to Windows and invoke the msconfig command. To safely test that, you could format a floppy and place NTLDR, NTDETECT.COM and boot.ini on it. Then alter the command line on the boot.ini file to include /BASEVIDEO at the tail end. Boot with that in the drive and see if Windows loads, albeit with strange looking video rendered. If instead, you get the BSOD, that'll speak for replacing the VGA driver from CD.

I first was going to suggest choosing that option in msconfig and let it place that command in there. Then it hit me, what if it did produce the BSOD, then you're left unbootable in any mode. You would have to use a boot.iniEdit disk, which would muddy the water more.

With the boot floppy method, you can safely test it and withdraw to recover.

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Old 16th January 2005   #5
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Hi Martin,

Is it the same story with diagnostic/selective startups in msconfig?

Regards - Charles

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Old 16th January 2005   #6
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Check for the presence of:

C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\vga.dll
C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM\vga.drv
C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\bootvid.dll

Also look in the boot log that is created when you attempt Safe Mode booting. It's in Windows folder named ntbtlog.txt. May be some clue there.

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Old 16th January 2005   #7
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Dell Safe Mode


Martinr121

Just tried something else and it went straight to Safe Mode. Went into Setup by selecting Delete as soon as I started the system. Made no changes, but clicked ESC to get out of it and immediately from there click F8. It jumped right to the menu you are looking for. This is on a Dell 2100 which is close to your machine.

It also worked on my Dell 8200 the same way. Maybe for you also????????


Last edited by Mudd; 16th January 2005 at 19:16. Reason: Addendum
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Old 16th January 2005   #8
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For a safe mode boot, give this a try. A matter of adding a single line to boot.ini and maybe adjusting the time you see the menu options when you start before it rolls to the default mode and starts (4 seconds on mine). Saves all that nasty F-key tapping stuff.

[boot loader]
timeout=4
default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="XP Pro Normal" /fastdetect /NoExecute=OptIn
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Safe Mode" /SAFEBOOT:minimal /BOOTLOG /fastdetect /NoExecute=OptIn

Just make sure the 'safe mode' partition number matches the normal boot one. And note that the text inside the " " marks is display stuff only and it does not matter what you put in there as long as you have something.

Note to Martin - while I like this version most times, consider adding the /BASEVIDEO line to yours for testing. It absolutely forces the system to start using the most primative VGA drivers on the system.

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Old 16th January 2005   #9
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I think some of you are misreading what the problem may be here. FWIR, Martin has no problem DIRECTING the system to boot in the Safe Mode. It just has a problem executing that order. It may be due to the fact that Safe Mode uses the VGA driver and DLL, the same as invoking the /BASEVIDEO switch, and that they are corrupt.

I though better than to tell him to alter his boot.ini file on the root and direct it to boot normally but using the VGA drivers (/BASEVIDEO) since IF the VGA drivers were corrupt, then he would lose the power to boot into ANY mode. I was just guessing that why he couldn't boot to Safe Mode was due to VGA driver or DLL corruption. To make that a prerequisite for normal booting would a mistake. That's why I thought it better to alter the boot.ini file on a boot floppy instead so that if it wouldn't boot to normal mode with /BASEVIDEO added to the command string then he could pull the floppy and still get into Windows.

Hablo?


Last edited by surferdude2; 16th January 2005 at 21:27.
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Old 16th January 2005   #10
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Gentlemen: I really and truly appreciate all of the input on this post. But, you have obviously been mislead by the designation in my profile of "super geek"

Surferdude is correct, I can get the boot menu with no trouble, it is the execution thereof that runs afoul of the BSoD.

But I have no idea on how to alter/add to the boot menu in msconfig and/or how to alter/add to the boot menu on a floppy is beyond me. No super geek here.

Since you seem to think the video drivers are at the root of this, let me add this information:

The machine has onboard video, intel. It has no AGP slot. I had an older Nvida PCI Video card from Verto. Since the machine has only 128MB of DDR Ram, and the onboard graphics uses 32MB of that, I thought I'd try to run the Verto card and free up that 32MB. I downloaded the universal latest Nvida drivers and installed them on the machine. BIOS video options on the Dell machine are only "onboard" or "auto". Help in BIOS says if set to auto, will use other than onboard. Set BIOS to "auto" Uninstall Intel Graphics.


Shut down and plugged in PCI card. On start, Discheck runs, says "C" is "DIRTY" runs through discheck, fixies? some stuff, then Machine boots loads new card + drivers, then loads intel onboard graphics drivers. See no change in Video Display. Device Manager shows both as display adapters installed and functioning correctly. Check drivers for Verto card, 15 or so drivers in there, all from recent download from Nvida, all uncertified, and according to device manager, of unknown origin. Then check Windows Update for drivers, downloads and installs two Nvida drivers, WHQL certified. Shut down per Windows to get new drivers to work. On restart, reloads Intel Graphics drivers again. Go to device manager, disable intel graphics. Reboot, all seems well.

Disturbed by the "DIRTY" designation on "C", run disc check with "find and fix bad sectors" enabled. Check runs on "C" with Windows loaded, runs through 4 stages, reports finished. no 5th stage. Try to run it in safe mode. F8 to boot menu, select "safe mode" loads drivers per normal, then 10 seconds, Get BSoD.

I'm reasonably sure that if I enabled the Intel Graphics, pulled the Verto card and reset BIOS to "onboard" that it would solve this BSoD problem, but I hate to turn away from the challenge.

It is really hard to write this and watch the Colts game at the same time. At least it is now halftime.

Go Colts!!

Take care,

Martin

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Old 17th January 2005   #11
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Don't get buck fever on me Martin. You can do this boot.ini thing.

Just format a floppy on that machine with the problem, since it boots Windows. Then drag/drop or otherwise send the following 3 files to that floppy:

NTLDR
NTDETECT.COM
BOOT.INI

They are all located on in the root folder of the C: drive. Leave that floppy in the drive and reboot with it. You should go right into Windows normally, just as if nothing was different except the sound you'll hear from the floppy drive being queried.

Once you have that established, then you can proceed to edit the boot.ini file on the floppy. It's a text file so double clicking it will open it in Notepad.

You'll see something like this:

[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 Whistler Personal" /fastdetect /NoExecute=OptIn

Just change it to this:

[boot loader]
timeout=30
default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS /BASEVIDEO
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows Whistler Personal" /fastdetect /NoExecute=OptIn /BASEVIDEO

You're merely adding the switch term /BASEVIDEO in those two places, preceded by a space. Save the file and then reboot on that floppy again. This time you should be seeing Windows from a VGA driver rendition which will be immediately apparent.

If instead, you get the BSOD, then it will tell us that the VGA drivers or DLL are corrupt. Check those that I mentioned earlier. Post back any results.

BTW, the space between Window and the S is not correct and is caused by the BB line wrap.


Last edited by surferdude2; 17th January 2005 at 04:17.
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Old 17th January 2005   #12
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Dude, you sure make it sound easy, and I think I can do it by just following your lead. It is late, and I am tired from a long day. I'll try it tomorrow and post back results. No buck fever here, just push the button and cross my fingers. I'd just hate to mess up somebody else's machine

Thanks again for your input and instruction.

Take care,

Martin

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Old 17th January 2005   #13
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Hi All: Ok, made floppy, changed boot.ini as instructed. On reboot from floppy in original form, Windows boots normally.

With changed boot.ini /BASEVIDEO file, get error: "Windows cannot start because the following file is missing or corrupt <Windows root> system 32\hal.dll"

Copied hal.dll from service pack files, pasted into/replaced in system 32 and I386 where existing hal.dll resided. There are a number of different versions of hal.ini, and I was not sure of what I was doing. Also thought missing on floppy? If so, which of the three folders on floppy would need it?

Also, file size of hal.dll smaller on that machine than on mine. 102MB if I remember correctly. I have 3 on my machine, 103MB, 125MB and 129mb.

Dell system boots with replaced hal.dll file, however it boots with a blank screen after BIOS and Windows Logo progress screen.

Used Acronis prior, doing system restore on the Dell machine as I write this.

Searched for:

C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\vga.dll
C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM\vga.drv
C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\bootvid.dll

All present and accounted for.

Assuming Acronis system restore works and I get video back, where do I go from here?

Thanks,

Martin

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Old 17th January 2005   #14
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Changing the Hal.dll was a mistake. That caused the loss of the video hardware installed. If you edited the boot.ini on the floppy according to instructions, it would not render that error. Something went amiss in the editing so the easy out would have been to just pull the floppy and reboot normally. Then when you get back into Windows, check the floppy boot.ini file for comformity. That was the whole point, to make it a safe trial device. If baffled, copy and paste the entire contents here for review. It's probably just some little glitch that upset the command interpreter. Syntax is so important there.

Even so, since you indicate that the VGA files seem intact and correct, I'm thinking the video card has given up the ghost. You may just have to go back to square one and forget the added card and let him run the onboard video.

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Old 17th January 2005   #15
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Hey Dude:
"The video card has given up the ghost."

Not according to the device manager, in there and "Working Correctly" Monitor cable plugged into card.
Onboard is disabled through BIOS, Confirmed disabled in device manager. Verto card in device manager, Nvidia drivers installed. Video Tweaks by Nvida, Intel onboard uses Intel drivers.

Maybe I shouldn't have replaced the hal.dlls on that machine, but I am desperate. Safe Mode will definitely be needed on that machine.

Here is text, copied directly from floppy used to boot the Dell machine to the hall.dll error and pasted here:

[boot loader]
timeout=30
default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)\WINDOWS /BASEVIDEO (W/O space)
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition" /fastdetect /NoExecute=OptIn /BASEVIDEO

Dell's recovery and/or utilities occupy partition 1 which is inaccessible to Windows.

After first failed attempt to use the /BASEVIDEO, now when rebooting from floppy, I get a boot menu.

Choices:

1. Windows XP Home Edition
2. Default

Default is the highlighted (default) choice.

Choice one boots to Windows with Verto Video PCI card as graphics Adapter.
Choice two gives the hal.dll missing error message.

After allowing XP to boot from floppy, in msconfig, boot.ini indicates booting from a modified boot.ini that does not appear in the boot list.

Are you bailing out by telling me to restore onboard? If so, it's ok, I understand. This may be more trouble than it is worth, and there is a 256MB memory stick on it's way. More than make up for the 32MB lost to onboard graphics.

Acronis was able to restore the "C" drive. Now boots normally except for "Safe Mode" is still BSoD.

You take care, thanks again for your help.

Martin

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