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MS-DOS is different than Safe Mode. In Safe Mode you get to the desktop and it says "Safe Mode" in all 4 corners.

Try this first though, boot to a command prompt, (press and hold the ctrl key on startup, or tap f8 if Win95). Select the command prompt option from the boot menu.

At the c:> prompt enter:

scanreg /restore

use your arrow keys to select a started registry dated the morning of or prior to the problem from one of the first 4 displayed.
 

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Excellent; scanreg /restore is often the best shortcut solution when you don't know whats up. You have 5 archive backups, but usually only the first 4 are conveniently restorable.

Always ensure Scanregistry is checked in the System Configuration Utility (start > run msconfig under the startup tab or windows will not do backups and may inadvertantly restore a very old registry causing great grief.

You're most welcome for the help.
 
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