Cannot open safe mode. Blocked by "Logon use interface CSGINA.DLL failed to load", message. Only option is to restart.

Removed Cisco VPN software only to create this problem.  Cannot get to windows login in either regular boot or safe mode boot. The regedit fix for this issue is straight forward but first I have to get through windows boot.
GINA = Graphical identification and Authentication

It sounds like you know what the problem is...  the Cisco VPN software added a reference in you registry to their GINA DLL (CSGINA.dll)  then you uninstalled their software and the uninstall did not remove the entry in the registry telling XP to load the now nonexistent CSGINA.dll.

In XP, the default GINA DLL is called msgina.dll and assuming XP is installed on your C drive, you will find the msgina.dll file here:


By default, there is no registry entry to load a specific GINA DLL and in that case, XP just loads the msgina.dll by default.  If your system has been afflicted with malicious software, or sometimes installing and uninstalling some third party applications, they may have adjusted your registry forcing it to try to load a different GINA.dll file. 

If for some reason that particular GINA.dll file no longer exists on your system (maybe you uninstalled that software) but the registry is still telling XP to load that GINA.dll file, your system will not be able to load any GINA file, then it complain about it and not boot.  It will of course not even try to load the default msgina.dll file since the registry is telling it to load something else.

Your registry is still telling XP to load the nonexistent CSGINA.dll, but you can fool it temporarily long enough to get your system to boot and then fix it.

You need to boot into the XP Recovery Console or some other bootable media, and copy the c:\windows\system32\msgina.dll to the same name as the GINA file that XP is trying to load.  Something like:

copy c:\windows\system32\msgina.dll   c:\windows\system32\csgina.dll

Then when XP tries to load the csgina.dll (since that is what the registry is telling it to do), it will really be loading the Microsoft MSGINA.dll instead.  Ha!  Foiled again.

Then you system will boot and you can edit the registry here:


...and remove the GinaDLL entry from the Winlogon section since it probably doesn't belong there anymore.  If there is no GinaDLL value in the Winlogon section, XP will just load the MSGINA.dll (this is what you want to happen for this problem).

So, you are going to have to boot on something like a genuine bootable XP installation CD to get into the XP Recovery Console or something else...

Do you have a genuine bootable XP installation CD?  This is not the same as any Recovery CDs that may have come with your system.

If you don't, you can make one (no XP media required). 

You could also make a Hiren's Boot CD (or Hiren's Boot USB) and do the same thing and that CD also has a remote registry editor you could use, but the above is "easier".

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Sure thing.

Just in case, tell us what your XP version and Service Pack, your system make and model and if you know if you have IDE or SATA drives since (if you are using SATA drives) there may be an adjustment necessary to get this CD to boot (go ahead and make the CD - that part doesn't matter):

If you have no bootable XP media (or are not sure what you have) create a bootable XP Recovery Console CD and be sure what you have (no XP media required).

This is not the same as any recovery disks that might have come with a store bought system. 

You can make a bootable Recovery Console CD by downloading an ISO file and burning it to a CD.

The bootable ISO image file you need to download is called:


Download the ISO file from here:

Use a new CD and this free and easy program to burn your ISO file and create your bootable CD (do not install UniBlue or the Ask Toolbar - ever!):

Here are some instructions for ImgBurn:

It would be a good idea to test your bootable CD on a computer that is working.

You may need to adjust the computer BIOS settings to use the CD ROM drive as the first boot device instead of the hard disk.  These adjustments are made before Windows tries to load.  If you miss it, you will have to reboot the system again.

When you boot on the CD, follow the prompts:

Press any key to boot from CD...

The Windows Setup... will proceed.

Press 'R' to enter the Recovery Console.

Select the installation you want to access (usually  1: C:\WINDOWS)

You may be asked to enter the Administrator password (usually empty).

You should be in the C:\WINDOWS folder.  This is the same as the 

C:\WINDOWS folder you see in explorer.

The Recovery Console allows basic file commands like: copy, rename, replace, delete, cd, chkdsk, fixboot, fixmbr, etc.

For a list of Recovery Console commands, enter help at the prompt or read about the XP Recovery Console here:

A good idea before starting things is to first verify the integrity of your file system using the chkdsk command.

From the command prompt window run the chkdsk command on the drive where Windows is installed to try to repair any problems on the afflicted drive.

Running chkdsk is fine even if it doesn't find any problems.  It will not hurt anything to run it.

Assuming your boot drive is C, run the following command:

chkdsk C: /r

Let chkdsk finish and correct any problems it might find.  

It may take a long time for chkdsk to complete or it may appear to be 'stuck'.  Be patient.  If the HDD light is still flashing, chkdsk is doing something.  Keep an eye on the percentage amount to be sure it is still making progress.  It may even appear to go backwards sometimes.

You should run chkdsk /r again until it finds no errors to correct.

Remove the CD and type 'exit' to leave the RC and restart the computer.

You do not have to adjust the BIOS again to boot on the HDD since the CD will not be present.

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Last updated December 22, 2017 Views 1,545 Applies to: