XP MSConfig "Stuck" In Diagnostic Mode - Solution :) - Techist - Tech Forum

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Old 02-25-2008, 02:42 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default XP MSConfig "Stuck" In Diagnostic Mode - Solution :)

I encountered this problem yesterday and after spending a significant amount of time scouring forums via Google it seemed that this is a known problem yet no one seems to have a solution for it. So I'm posting this in the hope that it might help anyone else who happens into the same puddle of misfortune I did.

My Scenario : I used MSconfig in Diagnostic startup to reduce the amount of apps I normally have loading on startup (Not my greatest idea and not one I will be doing again!) as i was looking to Overclock my FSB to 166 from its previous 133 on an old Matsonic MS8188E mobo. I disconnected the unit and added a jumper to enable the 166mhz speed, closed up the case and restarted (still under Diagnostic startup) System booted fine. But Control Panel/System didn't show me the new clock speed. (not available under diagnostic startup) So i went back into MSconfig reselected Normal startup and followed the prompt to restart my system. All funky and good

The Problem: Windows seemed to freeze at the login screen displaying the "Windows is starting up" message for an extrodinarily long time. before having my normal user selection screen. (It hadn't froze it was just taking a VERY long time) Finally got into windows along with a Microsoft product activation 3 day warning.
Other symptoms included:
*Still had "classic" style/color taskbar
*No option thru Rightclick Desktop/Properties/Appearance to select "XP style"
*Contol Panel/System does not show processor only said "1.00Gb Of RAM"
*Device manager opens a blank page
*No Sound
*No Sound card detected (Dxdiag)
*No internet, In fact no USB functionality at all
I'm sure there are others but those are the ones that got me worried.

Anyhow. It all seemed like I was still in diagnostic startup. I went back to MSConfig and it was showing that "Normal Startup" was selected.
I tried a few things, including, several restarts and a couple of BIOS options, I even removed the jumper returning my FSB back to 133mhz and then was stopped by another MS Activation windows telling me i have to activate now to continue using the software. That stopped play for the day.

The Solution: After puling titbits of advice from various sources and forums it did indeed appear that i'd become "stuck" in diagnostic mode, despite MSconfig telling you its in normal mode it seems it is loading a diagnostic set of services.....

A look inside Administrative Tools/Services showed that the vast majority of services were disabled. I went off to a computer with a working internet connection and found a list of services in Windows XP :"http://www.ss64.com/ntsyntax/services.html" is one such list I lost the URL to the one I actually used as it was on a different system, sorry. The list for XP Home and XP Pro are slightly different so be sure to have the correct one (may or may not have implications I dunno but to be safe have the right list for your OS)
Then open up Administrative Tools/Services and go down the list adjusting the values as appropriate. Since Diagnostic mode has disabled pretty much everything go to each applicable service and change it back to its default value. I did get a warning every time I did this about "plug and play is not currently available" which I ignored and carried on regardless.

Once finished. I restarted the system and my login screen time had returned to normal I did still have the "classic" taskbar but did now have access to the "Xp style" taskbar. Device manager showed devices and was shortly thereafter able to reconnect to the internet.


I have no idea what actually caused this problem to occur in the first place, but having seen a number of posts regarding it with no solution other than a full reinstall being offered, if you have this prob and are considering a reinstall then the above will be of interest to you.



Dingadilly is offline  
Old 09-02-2009, 11:33 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Join Date: Sep 2009
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Default Re: XP MSConfig "Stuck" In Diagnostic Mode - Solution :)

Dingadilly, THANK YOU for posting this. You saved me alot $$. This is the only post I found regarding an issue like this. I fixed that exact problem by following your steps. I joined this forum specifically to thank you. So, THANK YOU!
The only thing I have left to do is figure out why my computer doesn't think I'm the computer admin, even though I'm logged in as the admin.
harrison216 is offline  
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