Windows XP boots in Safe Mode, but not Normal

September 24, 2011 at 11:50:12
Specs: Windows XP, AMD Athlon 64X2 4200+

After switching PC on, I get usual brief DOS messages then the Windows flag with the pulsing bar underneath - but then, immediately before the next screen appears (the 'user log-in' screen), the PC switches off! I restart and this time I get the 'Windows did not start properly etc' screen where you can choose Safe Mode, or Start Normally or Last Known Good Configuration etc. If I choose Safe Mode, it does log in OK, and I can work happily for any length of time. But if I choose Stary Normally it once again shuts down just before we get the cursor and the log-in screen.
Whilst in Safe mode I've run 'msconfig' and disabled Startup items - no change, then re-enabled them - no change.
Having read elsewhere that the ATX power supply may be faulty, I've just replaced it with a new one but, frustratingly, it still responds exactly as above. I've had a look at the BIOS settings but am not really sure what to change to see if I can solve this.
My next option will be to re-install Windows XP, although I'm hoping to find the solution before doing this!
Is there anything else I can try?

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September 24, 2011 at 13:41:27

A faulty power supply isn't the problem or it wouldn't boot that far. Try an XP repair.

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September 24, 2011 at 14:52:02

Boot to safe mode and view event logs to see why it is shutting down. A repair may fix it but it may be some service that is failing and you may have a virus or faulty service causing it.

1/3 of highway deaths are caused by drunks. The rest are by people who can't drive any better than a drunk.

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September 24, 2011 at 15:20:17

Did you try doing a system restore back to before the problem occured?
Or Did you try Last Known Good Configuration ?
I would do those before doing a repair install.

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Related Solutions

September 24, 2011 at 16:53:43

Check for errors in Device Manager, it might be a driver issue (Safe Mode runs with minimal drivers).

Always pop back and let us know the outcome - thanks

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October 2, 2011 at 11:50:38

Thanks for the replies guys, but I've not been able to sort it out. I re-installed Windows XP, and on a new partition (after deleting the old of course). But the problem is getting worse. Almost every time I insert a USB lead into a vacant slot eg memory stick, it shuts down immediately, and shuts down every single time I withdraw the stick or other lead from a USB slot (any slot, not just the same one). After this happens, it will re-start on power-up to just before 'log-in' screen then shut down. It will however finally start correctly in Safe Mode, and only then start up OK in normal afterwards. Since original question I have cleaned all internal connectors to Motherboard and other devices, removed and replaced them to make sure connections are OK, replaced the Motherboard battery, but I 'm not sure whar to do next.

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October 2, 2011 at 12:26:15

Hmm - not nice.

I assume you cleaned RAM edge connectors with a pencil eraser as part of you cleanup. I usually pop them in and out a few times to make sure there is no oxide on the sockets themselves. Same goes for any add-on cards, such as video.

Could be worth downloading a RAM checker and also running chkdisk /r

Anything in event logs that gives a clue?

Always pop back and let us know the outcome - thanks

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