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Windows Freezes at Welcome Screen - Additional Trouble Ensues


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#1 knodel

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Posted 12 January 2009 - 10:38 AM

Hi all,

I've been using this forum as a guest on and off for the last year to overcome smaller PC troubles - it's a great resource so thanks to everyone. That said, this is my first post since I'm now facing some major difficulties. It's a convoluted story, but here goes.

I'm running a Dell XPS 700, using Windows XP SP2.

I tried starting up my computer in the morning, and windows froze on the blue "welcome" screen. Shut the computer off and repeated 3x - same thing everytime.

My system drive was cluttered to begin with, and since everything I had on there was previously backed up, I decided to cut to the chase and do a clean install from the Windows disk I received from Dell. Which worked OK - windows ran normally, I re-installed all my drivers (from Dell CD), and I began to feel hopeful.

At this point, I plugged in an external hard-drive with installers for a bunch of basic software and tried to install them. At which point I realized that my computer had somehow become infected with this rescyled/boot virus. How it happened so quickly I have no idea.

I ran Malabytes Malaware and SpybotSD and they didn't get the virus, so after doing some searching, I ran Combofix. In retrospect, I fully realize that this was probably a mistake owing to the brute force nature of this software and my inexperience with it; however at the time, it seemed like a reasonable approach. If this turns out to be the problem then I'll be the first one to call myself an idiot.

In the short term however, this seemed to work. The computer started up normally after Combifix did its job, the virus was gone, and everything seemed to be in order.

I installed some software ((Skype, iTunes, Firefox, etc), and updated Windows and Explorer. However, when I restarted after all of this, I experienced the exact same problem that I had originally - Windows froze up at the blue "welcome" screen. I gave up for the night and went to bed.

Today I went in with Windows Recovery Console and did chkdsk /r - according to the scan, there were more than one problems with the hard drive and they were repaired. However, upon booting up, Windows still froze on the welcome screen.

My next attempt was to do a repair install - this seemed to be running fine - however, as the last of the files were being copied (at this point I was on the cheesy blue Windows screen, not the system screen), I received an error message that Windows could not locate a file - ***reg.exe (i'm very sorry - i've forgotten the first three letters of this file) to copy. I was prompted to provide a location for it and by browsing the disk it seemed like I was able to see iit. However, the setup would still not recognize it. I plowed through the installation anyway, and not surprisingly, windows wouldn't start up without the disk present. This time it froze on the black splash screen. *sigh*

My last attempt to rescue this situation was to do another clean install - preceded by a quick re-format. everything is still backed up, so why not? Unfortunately, this approach also hit a snag - I was 99% through the initial file copying step when the computer stalled on the pci.sys file. I shut the system down again, and started another clean install, this time doing the slow re-format.

And that's where I'm at - the reformatting is 95% complete, and if this works, I'll be very happy. However, if it doesn't work, I have no other ideas, and don't want to keep beating up on my hard-drive. Any suggestions or comments would be welcome, and sorry again for this long-winded tale.

Thanks in advance,
Jeff

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#2 hamluis

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Posted 12 January 2009 - 10:54 AM

Hi :thumbsup:.

I would run a diagnostic on the hard drive.

Hard Drive Installation and Diagnostic Tools - http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/t/28744/hard-drive-installation-and-diagnostic-tools/

Worth reading, IMO: http://www.techspot.com/vb/topic16553.html

I would also install a new CMOS battery and run a check of RAM...but these steps aren't necessarily logical (it's just the way that I approach unknown problems).

Louis

#3 knodel

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Posted 12 January 2009 - 12:59 PM

Hi again!

Well, the second attempt at a clean install seems to have taken. Windows is up and running again, and I've already restarted the system several times following updates, installations, etc. No problems to speak of.

Per your advice I'll still run a diagnostic on the HD and confirm that all is well.

Thanks a bunch,
Jeff

#4 hamluis

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Posted 12 January 2009 - 03:33 PM

Glad you solved it, happy computing :thumbsup:.

Louis




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