Share this Page URL

Chapter 29. When Windows Won't Work: Tro... > Ignition Trouble: Solving Startup Sn... - Pg. 342

When Windows Won't Work: Troubleshooting Common Problems 342 This error means that Windows XP is choking on something that it's trying to load during startup. This is most often an older device driver that isn't quite compatible with Windows XP. However, it could also be a Windows XP system file that has gone south for some reason (such as a bad sector on your hard disk). To solve the problem, you need to gain control over your computer. To do that, restart the machine and then look for one of the following: · If you have two or more operating systems installed on your computer, then at startup you'll see a menu with the following heading: Please select the operating system to start When you get to this menu, press F8. · If Windows XP is the only operating system on your machine, then you need to keep a sharp eye out for the following message at the bottom of the screen soon after your computer starts: For advanced startup and troubleshooting options, press F8 When you see this message, press F8. Either way, you land smack dab in the middle of the Advanced Options Menu: Microsoft Advanced Options Menu Please select an option: Safe Mode Safe Mode with Networking Safe Mode with Command Prompt Enable Boot Logging Enable VGA Mode Last Known Good Configuration (your most recent settings that worked) Directory Services Restore Mode (Windows domain controllers only) Debugging Mode Boot Normally Reboot Return to OS Choices Menu You can use these options to control the rest of the startup procedure. Here's a summary of the options you might need to use: · Safe Mode--If you're having trouble with Windows XP--for example, if a corrupt or incorrect video driver is mangling your display, or if Windows XP won't start--you can use the safe mode option to run a stripped-down version of Windows XP that includes only the minimal set of device drivers that XP requires to load. You could reinstall or roll back the offending device driver (as described later in this chapter) and then load XP normally. When Windows XP finally loads, the desktop reminds you that you're in safe mode by displaying Safe Mode in each corner. · Safe Mode with Networking--This option is identical to plain safe mode, except that Windows XP's networking drivers are also loaded at startup. This enables you to log on to your network, which is handy if you need to access the network to load a device driver, run a troubleshooting utility, or send a tech support request. · Safe Mode with Command Prompt--This option is the same as plain safe mode, except that it doesn't load the Windows XP desktop. Instead, it drops you off at the command prompt where you can enter text commands (assuming you know what you're doing). · Enable VGA Mode--This option loads Windows XP with the video display set to 640 × 480 and 256 colors. This is a good choice if Windows XP starts but displays a mangled screen. Once Windows XP loads, you can either reinstall or roll back the video driver, or you can adjust the display settings to values that the driver can handle.