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?
Or....is 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.
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:
Ran malware and anti-virus programs
Ran system restore
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.