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Windows will not boot normally, or rather will not boot all the way. When it boots it will almost reach the logon screen, getting to where it says "Please wait", then it will flicker back and forth between that and a black screen with the cursor on it. Safe mode works fine (that's how I typed this up), so the core system files are not the issue. Any ideas on what's going on?

I do not have any system restore points courtesy of a tiny hard drive. They simply don't fit, so I can't just roll back to a previous state. However, I do have access to a couple of Linux boot discs, so if I need to boot into one of those to help fix the problem, that is an option.

Edit: Ok, so I saw the option for startup repair and ran that. It worked and I could boot normally. So, let me change my question slightly: how do I access the logs of what it did to fix the problem so I can avoid similar problems in the future?

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have you looked in the Eventlog if there are some details? – magicandre1981 Aug 15 '13 at 19:15

So, try again with "Last Known Good Configuration (advanced)."
It's a Windows startup option that uses the most recent system settings that worked correctly. Every time you turn your computer off and Windows shuts down successfully, important system settings are saved in the registry. You can use those settings to start your computer if a problem occurs. For example, if a new driver for your video card is causing problems, or an incorrect registry setting is preventing Windows from starting correctly, you can restart your computer using Last Known Good Configuration.

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