You can fix it, and no need for reinstalling
When your Windows 7 computer only starts in Safe Mode but not normal mode, you should calm down. It is not a big deal because it means your system files are not corrupted. If system files get corrupted, you cannot even boot into Safe Mode.
You can backup files in Safe Mode or copy files to external drive, so no risk of data loss. Though there are many reasons when Windows 7 only works in Safe Mode, you can fix it by using one or more of the solutions here.
Solutions to system automatically starts in Safe Mode
Solution 1: Last Known Good Configuration
If you see the screen "Choose Advanced Options for: Windows 7", then simply choose the option Last Known Good Configuration (advanced). This can quickly fix your PC and start Windows normally. Only settings will be restored to previous configurations and your files will remain intact.
Solution 2: Startup Repair
If the Last Known Good Configuration cannot fix the problem, then you can run a Startup Repair to fix this problem. Startup Repair will automatically fix problems that are preventing Windows from starting by restoring the boot files.
At the Windows 7 Advanced Boot Options screen, select Repair Your Computer. Then select keyboard language. At the next screen System Recovery Options, select Startup Repair.
If this also fails, you can try the System Restore option. You can also run System Restore in Safe Mode. System restore will restore Windows to an earlier date. Windows updates or programs that installed after the restore point was taken will be removed after the system restore.
Therefore, it is recommended to scan for affected programs before starting system restore. If you do not see the option Repair your PC, you can boot your computer from Windows system repair disc to use these system recovery options.
Solution 3: Clean Boot
You may need to boot into Safe Mode to do some work, but sometimes your Windows just automatically boot into Safe Mode when you change settings to Normal Startup. It is possible some software you installed recently caused this issue. In that case, you can turn off Safe Mode option and start a clean boot to troubleshoot.
1. Press “Windows + R” key and then type “msconfig” (without quotes) in the box and then press Enter to open Windows System Configuration.
2. Under Boot tab, make sure the Safe Mode option is unchecked. If it is checked, unchecked it and apply the changes to see if you can boot Windows 7 normally. If it does not work, try the following steps.
3. Under the General tab, check Selective Startup. Under Selective Startup, uncheck the option Load Startup Items.
4. Click the Services tab, click the Hide All Microsoft Services check box, and then click Disable All.
5. Click Apply and OK.
If your system starts well, this means one of the background programs is causing this problem. Then you should determine which program caused this issue by only disabling the recently installed program services.
When you find out what is causing the problem, you can uninstall that program and return your Windows 7 to Normal Startup.
Solution 4: Fix driver issue
Besides third-party software, a driver issue can also cause a computer not starting in normal mode Windows 7. You fix the driver issue by modifying some entries. Microsoft has an article “Not Boot In Normal Mode - Driver Issue” that explains this very well.
Be aware that inappropriately modifying Registry may lead to more serious problems, so do it with caution. It is also recommended to create a backup before trying to edit registry.
Solution 5: Fix battery issue (if you are using a laptop)
For computers that have a battery (laptop or notebook), you can use the following method to fix the problem. This has been confirmed by many users.
1. Boot your computer in Safe Mode.
2. Right click on My Computer and select Manage.
3. In the Computer Management window, select Device Manager.
4. Click on Batteries.
5. Locate the entry "Microsoft ACPI-Compliant Control Method Battery" and disable it.
After that, reboot your computer and then you can boot Windows 7 in normal mode. If none of these methods works and you have no system backup available, you may consider reinstalling Windows 7.
Avoid the trouble of trying to find a solution next time
For problems like "Windows 7 starts in Safe Mode but not normal", it is hard to tell what is the real reason behind it. Looking for and trying out all the solutions may be too cumbersome.
Therefore, you can create a system image backup while your computer is running well. No matter what situation you meet, a system image backup can restore your Windows back to normal. Even if its hardware fails, you can restore to another computer with dissimilar hardware.
Compared with Windows 7 Backup and Restore, free backup software AOMEI Backupper is much faster and with more options. It can backup and restore your Windows system in no time.
You can use AOMEI Backupper to set up automatic system image backup followed by incremental backup and differential backup to have your data always backed up and take less disk space.
There are various backup options available, such as comments, image compression and splitting. The Professional version also supports encrypt backup image and event trigger backup.
If you want to protect unlimited computers within your company, you can pick AOMEI Backupper Technician. With the inbuilt AOMEI Image Deploy tool, you are also allowed to deploy/restore system image file on server-side computer to multiple client-side computers over network.