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How to Disable a Service or Device that Prevents Windows from Starting

Support for Windows XP has ended

Microsoft ended support for Windows XP on April 8, 2014. This change has affected your software updates and security options. Learn what this means for you and how to stay protected.

This article was previously published under Q310602
If a service or device driver is started automatically and is incompatible with the current version of Windows, the service or device driver may not allow Windows to remain running long enough for you to shut down the service or disable the outdated device driver.
This behavior can occur if hardware or software is installed that installs a device or service that is incompatible with Windows.
To resolve this issue, start Recovery Console and log on to the computer:
  1. Start your computer with the Windows boot disks, or with the Windows CD-ROM if your computer supports starting from the CD-ROM drive.
  2. When the Welcome to Setup dialog box is displayed, press R to repair, and then press C to start Recovery Console.
  3. Choose to install Windows and log on to your computer with the Administrator account.
  4. From the %SystemRoot%\System32 folder at the command prompt, type listsvc, and then press ENTER.
  5. Locate the service or driver that is causing the problem in the list that is provided.

    NOTE: If you select the wrong service or device, you may experience more problems.
  6. Type disable servicename (where servicename is the name of the service), and then press ENTER.

    NOTE: The disable command prints the old start_type of the service before resetting it to SERVICE_DISABLED. You should record the old start_type, in case you need to re-enable the service.
  7. Type exit, and the computer restarts automatically. Allow the computer to boot normally.
For additional information about installing or using the Recovery Console, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
229716 Description of the Windows 2000 Recovery Console

Article ID: 310602 - Last Review: 12/01/2007 02:41:18 - Revision: 2.3

  • Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition
  • Microsoft Windows XP Professional
  • Microsoft Windows XP Professional x64 Edition
  • kbenv kbprb KB310602