Windows Legacy OS forum


Safe Mode Problem

by The ancient one / July 3, 2013 7:39 AM PDT

I am unable to access safe mode using the F8 function key. I can access safe mode by going to Run/msconfig/boot.ini/safeboot

What have I tried:
Different keyboard
Check disk.
Ran Ccleaner
Ran malware and anti-virus programs
Ran system restore

Computer info
Windows XP Home Edition Service Pack 3 (build 2600)
Intel Pentium 4
2048 Megabytes Usable Installed Memory
2 GB of RAM

The computer seems to be running without any other problems but it does have me worried that it is trying to tell me that there is a problem. This is an old system (at least 10 years) and somewhat cranky just like me but with a relatively new hard drive. I am trying to keep this machine limping along until I build a new machine which means I am going to be asking a lot of questions CNET during the next several months.

Any suggestions or should I just let things alone, since I can access safe mode.

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All Answers

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What Type Of Keyboard?
by Grif Thomas Forum moderator / July 4, 2013 5:59 AM PDT
In reply to: Safe Mode Problem

It's not quite clear EXACTLY what the problem is.. Are you able to access the F8 menu but selecting the "Safe Mode" option doesn't work?.....If so, are you able to access "Safe Mode with Networking" instead? the problem related to an inability to access the F8 menu because pressing F8 at startup fails to bring the F8 menu?

If the problem is this second issue, then USB keyboards can fail to access the BIOS or F8 functions because the keyboard isn't fully recognized till part of Windows loads.. If you're using a USB keyboard, try replacing it with the older PS2 plugged (round plug) keyboard. This type of keyboard is recognized quicker and usually allows F8 to function as it should.

In addition, if a USB keyboard is the only one that is allowed, you may need to make sure the BIOS settings have enabled the "Legacy support". Access the CMOS/BIOS settings by pressing the correct F-key to access such (and yes, you may need a PS2 keyboard to perform such a step, but not always.), then make sure "Legacy support" is enabled so the USB keyboard is recognized earlier.

Hope this helps and let us know more.


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RE: What type of Keyboard?
by The ancient one / July 4, 2013 12:30 PM PDT
In reply to: What Type Of Keyboard?

Both keyboards that I tried are USB and I no longer have a PS2 type of keyboard. The problem is related to an inability to access the F8 menu because pressing F8 at startup fails to bring the F8 menu. This problem just began within the last couple of weeks. Prior to that I was able to access the F8 menu by pressing the F8 at startup. I have made no changes to any hardware or peripherals nor have I changed anything in the CMOS/BIOS. I haven't checked the BIOS recently but will do so if I can remember which key does the trick.

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Accesing the BIOS
by mchainmchain / July 4, 2013 5:36 PM PDT

Manufacturer boot screen usually says what F key to depress while it is running.

There are two operating systems on your system. First is BIOS, then the os. BIOS checks hardware to make sure everything is working as it should, then hands off boot to the os.

Try F2, F1, Ctrl+Alt, etc. You can google BIOS keys used by BIOS manufacturers to find the one that applies, or go directly to the vendor manufacturer of your system to get the proper key..

Other than that, you can get a PS2 keyboard at resellers, some retail vendors, MicroCenter. Google is good here too.

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Re: Accessing the BIOS
by The ancient one / July 4, 2013 10:58 PM PDT
In reply to: Accesing the BIOS

I am unable to do that also. Checked with the manufacturer website (Intel) and the Function Key for Accessing the BIOS is the F2 key. Tried that and got no results - it just continued the bootup process.

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Time for a new PS/2 keyboard
by mchainmchain / July 5, 2013 2:00 AM PDT
In reply to: Re: Accessing the BIOS

Either that or F2 is not being depressed repeatedly whilst the vendor screen is displaying.

Friend or family have a PS/2 keyboard lying around?

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Additonal Infor On Safe Mode Problem
by The ancient one / July 4, 2013 11:54 PM PDT
In reply to: Safe Mode Problem

The following is what occurs when I boot up my computer.
The first thing is a black screen that stays on for a second or two with the following:
GeForce FX 5200 BIOS
Copyright © 1996-2003 NVIDIA Corp
Then a screen with the Intel Desktop Boards logo which stays on for approx. 35 seconds
Then a black screen that stays on for about a second with the following information.
Intel Desktop Boards
Intel ® Pentium ® 4 processor, 2.40 GHz
2048 System RAM
USB Legacy . . . . . . . . . Enabled
Fixed Disk 0: PM-WDC WD3200AAJB-00J3A0
(Ultra DMA Mode ATA/100)
Fixed Disk 1: PS-WDC WD5000AAKB-00H8A0
(Ultra DMA Mode ATA/100)
USB Mass Storage Device: TEAC DW-224E-V C.CA
Keyboard Error 0085
Press <F4> to Resume
Then Windows XP logo, then the Welcome screen, and finally the Desktop screen
Pressing the Function Key (either F2 for access to the BIOS or F8 for access to the F8 Menu) does not access anything. The boot process just continues until it completes itself at the Desktop.

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It looks like you need a PS/2 keyboard.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / July 5, 2013 1:21 AM PDT

I had a few older machines that needed me to keep a PS/2 keyboard handy when the BIOS was reset so I could get to the BIOS to set it up to legacy mode and then use the USB keyboard I really wanted.

If a PS/2 keyboard can't be obtained or does not fix the issue then this machine's days are numbered.

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Yep, I Always Keep A PS2 Keyboard Around the Place
by Grif Thomas Forum moderator / July 5, 2013 3:57 AM PDT

...for just such issues.. They're inexpensive and we've found it's an easy fix when such issues arise.

Hope this helps.


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Problem Solved
by The ancient one / July 6, 2013 10:13 AM PDT
In reply to: Safe Mode Problem

After doing everything that I could think of to rectify the problem, I just happened to think that it had been over 6 months since my last cleaning of the "innards" of my machine. I took off the cover and removed the intake fan cleaned it thoroughly, air blasted the CPU fan and then air blasted everything attached to the mobo. And guess what? Yep, I can now access the F8 menu and the BIOS using the function keys. I guess I should put the air blaster in my ear and clean out my brains.

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