Windows XP not booting without Boot Logging on.
June 28, 2006 1:21 AM   Subscribe

Why does my Windows XP installation not only boot when I turn Bootlog mode on?

About a week ago, my Windows XP machine stopped booting properly. It will load up, the Windows XP logo will be displayed, then instead of showing me the blue "User Account Selection" screen, I just get a black screen with the mouse pointer. The computer isn't frozen - I can move the mouse around - but it doesn't go any further than that.

Booting into Safe Mode does the same thing - except this time I get a black screen with "Safe Mode" written in the corners.

However, I've discovered that by pressing F8 and selecting to boot in Boot Logging mode, I can get into windows properly, and it all works fine.

Does anyone have any ideas what is going wrong? It is difficult to work out, because when I turn boot logging on the computer works fine. It's when I don't log the boot process that the computer doesn't work, and it's under these circumstances that I need to see what is failing to load. Any ideas?
posted by Jimbob to Computers & Internet (4 answers total)
Have you tried last known good configuration?

I would recommend that you use the opportunity to:

A. Back up your important data NOW.
B. Defragment your hard disk, swap file, and registry. (there are utlilities for this. I recommend Diskkeeper for Defragging)
C. Attempt to use System Restore to bring the system back to a few days ago- the last time you remember it not doing this.

The only thing I can think of that would cause it to work is due to the speed reduction Boot Logging creates. It's possible that a device or service is not responding as quickly as it should, due to any number of reasons, and since normal boot is so quick, it may just jump-the-gun and let you wait for that service to catch up. Boot Logging slows things down, and allows that buggy thing to catch up.

The other thing could be registry corruption or just registry fragmentation- for the same reason stated above.
posted by id at 2:14 AM on June 28, 2006

When you start with boot looging off, is the HDD light on solid/fairly solid?

I've seen similar behaviour when the HDD is on the way out - it has trouble reading certain sectors and hangs while it retries (usually forever), but when boot logging is enabled the extra seeking back and forth is enough for it to read the bad spots.
posted by Pinback at 2:16 AM on June 28, 2006

Response by poster: When you start with boot looging off, is the HDD light on solid/fairly solid?

No, once it gets to the "black screen with mouse", the HDD isn't doing anything. However, your suggestions have inspired me to go look for some important data to back up. . .

Any good idea on surefire ways to check if the hard drive is failing?
posted by Jimbob at 3:19 AM on June 28, 2006

"Any good idea on surefire ways to check if the hard drive is failing?"


Take a look inside your computer, or when your computer boots, and find out who made your hard disk. The big companies (Maxtor, Seagate, WD, Samsung, Hitachi) provide software that ususally boots off a floppy and tests the drive independenty.

A lot of these even 'factory re-certify' the disk. It will tell you precisely if there is something wrong, and what you need to do about it (replace, keep, kill, eat).

Hopefully, you still have a warranty!

Good luck!
posted by id at 1:15 PM on June 28, 2006

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