Quick Tips

Win XP Boots, But Not Safemode - Fixed!


I recently resolved an issue with a machine that boots into windows normally, but could not boot into safe mode.  Since this issue was not too urgent for me, I had not searched for the answer thoroughly, until recently.  I recently worked on another machine that has similar problems.

I wanted to boot into safemode to doublecheck some malware removal issues.  After doing some searching online, I initially got no where.  Then I tried some other search terms and found one that got me the answer  "XP Pro won't boot in safe mode".  This led me to the answer I was searching for, the thread contained the exact issue I was having.  I found the answer via the SuperAntiSpyware app, which I used to help remove the malware previously.

After using SuperAntiSpyware and verifying I can boot back into safe mode, I searched for the term "repair safeboot key".  The result helped explain the issue and gave me an answer via DidierStevens.com.  The issue stems from the fact that malicious malware removed my registry keys for safe mode.  It tried to keep itself safe by making sure I cannot remove it by going to safe mode.  Lucky for me, I did remove the malware, but was left with a system that did not boot into safe mode, since the registry keys at HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Safeboot were all deleted.

I'm happy to say that I have learned a good lesson that I would not have known about were it not for the malware that infected my machine.  Like the saying goes, if life gives you lemons, make lemonade!

Have you dealt with this issue or something similar?  Share your thoughts and solutions in the comments.

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