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Helping clean a HP Mini 110 with windows XP for a friend, and I think I've got it mostly done, but one thing puzzles me. The first thing I tried was to boot into safe mode to do the virus scanning, but when the computer was starting and I hit F8 to bring up the boot options, there was only one item: Start windows XP.
No menu item to boot into safe mode at all.

I was able to get into safe mode anyway by starting MSCONFIG and choosing safe boot, but I'd like to get this to as close as normal as I can before I give it back.

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after you hit F8 and you see the start windows xp entry hit "enter" and then hit F8 several times as fast as you can right after hitting enter, see if it brings up the usual advanced screen. – Moab Jun 7 '12 at 15:38
    
Ah, that did work... now what? – AndyD273 Jun 7 '12 at 20:11
    
I made my comment an answer, you can accept this as the solution if you want, then have a look in the boot.ini file, see if it looks normal, if it looks like there are 2 XP entries or entries that don't look right, start another question and post the text in the boot.ini file and explain the issue with the F8 screen, maybe link back to this question. – Moab Jun 8 '12 at 1:08
up vote 2 down vote accepted

After you hit F8 and you see the start windows xp entry hit "enter" and then hit F8 several times as fast as you can right after hitting enter, see if it brings up the usual advanced screen

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What happens depends on how early in the boot sequence you press F8. If you press it before any OS has started booting, you get the OS Choices menu (which may have only one item):

enter image description here

You can then press F8 again for the Windows Advanced Options menu:

enter image description here

If however you press F8 just after Windows has started booting, you get a slightly different version of the Windows Advanced Options menu with no option to return to the OS Choices menu:

enter image description here

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I have the same little HP Mini 110 laptop with the same issue. I wanted to get into 'safe mode' and upon pressing 'F8' on startup it kept on going to the single line item 'Start Windows XP', without giving me the 'Start Windows in safe mode' option. I was getting frustrated. Then I realised that I might be pressing the F8 button too early (I was pressing 'F8' frantically from the moment I started the laptop). What I did was wait just a little bit more - maybe 5 seconds more, whilst the screen is still black but just before the colourful 'Windows XP' screen comes up, and then it managed to get into the 'Safe Mode' screen as pictured by another user above. That was how I got in. Finally! I think that this will solve your issue. Sorry I am nearly 3 years from you posting it! :-D Hopefully you solved it by now. But this may help someone else with the same problem. Regards, Tom from Australia.

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This duplicates another answer and adds no new content. Please don't post an answer unless you actually have something new to contribute. – DavidPostill Sep 24 '15 at 11:14

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