Safe Mode Load List?

Does anyone know, or know where I can find, the load sequence for booting Win 7 in safe mode? I had a computer crash in an odd way. Even restoring a good system image didn't fix it. I was able to start a boot in safe mode, but it gets to a certain device driver and hangs. I'm trying to find out what the next (not yet displayed), device in the load sequence is as a clue. The problem is probably hardware (it pretty much has to be since the system image restore didn't affect it). Knowing the driver that is hanging ought to point to the hardware.

Thanks. That does get me a step closer. I was hoping there was a list of the actual filenames in sequence so I would know for sure which driver was the next one in the list. I was hoping there might be something like a cfg or ini file or something that windows does the load from, or maybe a way to redirect the screen output to a file (if there is a way to trigger a "nested" safe mode boot inside a command window, I'd be all set).


Extraordinary Member
Premium Supporter
I don't seem to be able to get my computer to safe mode. Probably because my mobo uses F8 to change boot order, of disks.

All I can say is, Windows has had a "boot by command" option, meaning you have the ability to choose each file / driver separately. You get the total list of files / drivers, POST style B/W, and you can pick from there.

I know this isn't very good...

Pauli, I did some searching to see what I could find on this. The closest I came was the ability to boot up on a repair disk and get a command prompt from there. It gives you access to DOS commands, but not the ability to load individual startup components. It sounds like you are referring to either a way to manage the list Windows uses for loading stuff at startup, or a way to interact with the boot process before the computer boots, or maybe some type of command line with arguments that can be passed to customize a startup. The first and third sort of describe a super-msconfig that give you control over the core items the computer needs to work.

If you can think of more specifics on what you're referring to, that function could be useful for a lot of problems. For my immediate issue, all I really need is the "secret recipe", the load sequence of file names for safe mode boot. For some reason, Microsoft doesn't seem to want people messing around with that.


Extraordinary Member
Premium Supporter
I may have done it once again: exceeded the limits of my knowledge and experience. :redface:

Anyway, I referred to the option "Start safe mode with command prompt" in the window you get after pressing F8 at Windows start. I recall there was a time when it stopped at each file / driver... but I may be wrong, and to be honest, I don't know if one was able to do anything else but go on.

There seems to have been problems with classpnp.sys in connection with atipcie.sys, like

While waiting for a more experienced to give advice, perhaps you could check those files? Uninstall atipcie.sys = ATI drivers, to start with, and see what happens? Let Windows run with default drivers?

Dunno, sorry. Hope and trust you get it running!


Senior Member
Pauli, I think you nailed it! Apparently that atipcie.sys has been a problem for a lot of people (it is also the last driver displayed before it hangs for me). I did a little on-line checking and people described exactly the same symptoms--same hangup point in normal and safe boots and lines flashing on the screen during startup. I had just been assuming it was a hardware problem because of musical POST beeps that point to a bad motherboard (although it's been working that way for a year), plus lines that flash on the screen during bootup that point to the video as the specific location. I figured that the boot was hanging because the ATI driver is very particular about the ATI hardware working perfectly. It looks like it is an equal opportunity hanger--it does it for other people even if the hardware is working.

Another coincidence: I tried booting from a Linux live DVD and it worked, probably because it doesn't use the same driver. Sure enough, the solution in Windows is to replace the driver.

Damn, you're good! Of course solving the problem in this way is a bad solution. I still have a defective motherboard and sooner or later it will bite the dust. Now that I have it running again, I probably won't get around to fixing it prophylactically.


Extraordinary Member
Premium Supporter
Oops, with a happy face! Sometimes the blind hen = rooster in this case, is able to find the grain. Cheerio!

I'm having the exact same problem as described in this thread, but can't seem to understand the solution. :-(

I just upgraded my motherboard from one with AMD-socket to Intel, and with the new motherboard I get stuck in safe mode on the atipcie.sys file. It still works fine if I put back my old motherboard.

I have managed to install the drivers for my new motherboard
but that didn't solve anything.

Just like described earlier in this thread I can boot from a Linux DVD and by doing so I have tried renaming the atipcie.sys-file to stop it from loading. All this seem to do though is making the booting stop on the file before atipcie.sys.

I have completely run out of ideas by now so any help is greatly appreciated!

Pettervu, I was surprised to get an alert on this old post. I should have documented the solution better. My recollection is that I had to download the ATI driver "suite" (then called ATI Catalyst Control Center, now AMD Catalyst Control Center), from the computer manufacturer's web site. The download from AMD's web site wasn't compatible with the OEM hardware.

As I recall, everything in that package has to be of the matching version number. I tried replacing just the atipcie.sys with one I found online and it wasn't compatible. Uninstall the existing CCC (I think I did that from Windows Control Panel, uninstall programs), then install the replacement.

That's as much as I remember. The episode drove me nuts for days and I might be blocking the memory. :razz: Hope that's enough to get you up and running again.

Update: I just reread your post and your problem may be the upgraded motherboard. If it originally used AMD graphics, the drivers loaded at bootup would have been to support that hardware. If your new motherboard uses different on-board graphics, atipcie.sys might be getting indigestion when it can't find its hardware. Try uninstalling the CCC. You might even need to re-install the drivers for the new motherboard afterwards.

BTW, Windows licensing is tied to the motherboard. If you replace that, you may have to purchase a new license. You might want to talk to Microsoft to avoid having the activation de-activated.

Last edited:
Thank you for your reply Fixer1234!

I guess my problem was quite different than yours and I finally ended up bying a new Windows license. Everything is working perfectly now!

I actually found that you had described your problem and solution really well in another thread: Information on boot problem and AtiPcie.sys

Might be of use for someone else...

This website is not affiliated, owned, or endorsed by Microsoft Corporation. It is a member of the Microsoft Partner Program.