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How to start Windows without programs running (other than OS)


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#1 Frank14612

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Posted 15 September 2011 - 07:06 PM

I want to be able to restart Windows, by choice, either without startup programs running, or with startup programs running.

The reason is that I have an old (~2001) Palm m105 PDA handheld that updates using Palm HotSync Manager via a USB/serial port cradle (Serial Port 6). It works very well and I don't have a need to replace it with something more up to date, but the problem is, when I try to run the hotsync while other programs are running, I get a Windows BSOD at some point before the hotsync finishes, I have to reboot every time, and the hotsync never finishes. However, I find that if I shut down almost every optional running program before running the hotsync, then I can run the hotsync to completion without the BSOD happening. As a workaround, to simplify things, I figure that when I'm ready to run the hotsync, if I reboot Windows to a state where no applications are running, I can run the hotsync and then reboot Windows back to its normal startup state, with all the normal startup programs running. This all seems very labor and time intensive regardless of how I do it.

One way I thought of doing this more cleanly (though probably not saving any time) is to create another user account, with no startup programs, and run the hotsync from there, and switch between the two. Is this reasonable? Or is there an easy (or easier) way of accomplishing what I want to do, short of buying a new PDA?

Thanks!

Frank

P.S. I don't want to mess around with msconfig.

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#2 Allan

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Posted 16 September 2011 - 06:43 AM

Actually, that's the only way I can think of to do it - a second user account.

#3 Frank14612

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Posted 16 September 2011 - 09:29 AM

Thanks, Allan, now that I know it's feasible I'll give it a try. :)

Frank

#4 Frank14612

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Posted 16 September 2011 - 11:46 AM

Update: It works!

After creating the new user (following the nicely done BleepingComputer tutorial), I was able to click on either identity (my own or the new "HotSync") to switch quickly between them during the current Windows session.

What I didn't anticipate, and what caused difficulties for me, were that none of my familiar desktop shortcuts were available in the new identity, many of the programs that I wanted to be shut down were up and running (I had to disable them with WinPatrol), and a number of programs that I needed (e.g., Palm Desktop) would not run. So I had to download and install a new copy of Palm Desktop and set it up. Luckily, I found a procedure online for doing that (the Palm OS on my handheld is intended to run on Windows XP 32-bit, not Win7 64-bit) on the Web. Again, I found a procedure for doing that on the Web. So it was like Brave New World.

On the negative side, just as the hotsync was finishing (a roughly 5-minute operation) I got the dreaded BSOD. As before, the BSOD flashed on the screen for about 1/2 second (so I couldn't read it) before the PC rebooted normally.

So if things continue this way, on the whole the hotsync operation is easier and faster than my previous method (in my original post) and I'll continue to use it. I just wonder why I keep getting those BSODs! :(

Frank

#5 Plastic Nev

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Posted 16 September 2011 - 12:11 PM

Hi Frank, next time you reboot, or start up from cold, start tapping F8 key, that should get you into the safe mode start screen. You should then find something (I forget the exact words) on the lines of a tick box for restart after system failure, untick the box, then select start windows normally.
Next time you get a blue screen it should then stay at that so you can read and make a note of the fault codes.
Post them here and someone may be able to help further from that.
Nev.
Why all the fuss, I already have Windows 8. Three windows at the front, and five at the back since I bought the house.
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#6 Frank14612

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Posted 16 September 2011 - 12:12 PM

Update: It doesn't work!

I didn't realize until checking further that all the items I disabled in the new "HotSync" account, were ALSO disabled in my own account. I had to re-enable all of them. Apparently the two accounts are connected to the point where whatever you do in one in terms of programs is reflected in the other. This is obviously NOT ACCEPTABLE. :angry:

So I deleted the new HotSync account and now will return to using my original method, which though tedious, works. If anyone knows of another way of getting to where I want to go, I would appreciate knowing of it.

Thanks!

Frank

#7 Frank14612

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Posted 16 September 2011 - 12:20 PM

Hi Frank, next time you reboot, or start up from cold, start tapping F8 key, that should get you into the safe mode start screen. You should then find something (I forget the exact words) on the lines of a tick box for restart after system failure, untick the box, then select start windows normally.
Next time you get a blue screen it should then stay at that so you can read and make a note of the fault codes.
Post them here and someone may be able to help further from that.
Nev.

Thanks for the tip, Nev. I'll try it. (I just hope there's no down-side to it. I've got stuck by one before.)

Frank

#8 Plastic Nev

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Posted 16 September 2011 - 01:25 PM

Hi Frank, if we can get those fault codes it may help narrow down which program is causing the blue screen or BSOD. There must be a conflict with at least one of them, and hopefully will mean you only need to shut that one or two down instead of all of them.
Nev.
Why all the fuss, I already have Windows 8. Three windows at the front, and five at the back since I bought the house.
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#9 Frank14612

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Posted 16 September 2011 - 02:26 PM

Nev,

I'm confused to say that I just ran HotSync on my m105 PDA three times, in normal Windows operation, and not once did it cause a BSOD. :scratchhead: The sync succeeded each time! :)

I can only suggest that there is a variable involved. It appears that this time I went under the radar but at other times I've got shot down. It could just be that the conflicting process was not running at this time.

For now I'll cross my fingers that this good news will last. However, if it occurs again I will post the BSOD details here. In the meantime, I thank you for your good advice and help.

Frank

#10 Plastic Nev

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Posted 16 September 2011 - 04:04 PM

Hi Frank, I keep forgetting that some things in Windows7 can be done without going to safe mode every time, I since remembered that you can get the system to halt on a blue screen so you can read off and note the error codes.
So for the next time try this first.

Click, Start then type in .....system ......DO NOT press ENTER
You will get a list of several options and headers, under control panel, click on the one that says ONLY "system" (it's quicker than going to the control panel)

Then click on "Advanced System Settings" in the left hand column. The system Properties box should open and should be on the advanced tab.
In the Startup and Recovery box click on "Settings"

Uncheck "Automatically Restart" then click OK. Then "apply".

This should give you the Blue Screen and the STOP error instead of restarting.
Why all the fuss, I already have Windows 8. Three windows at the front, and five at the back since I bought the house.
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#11 Frank14612

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Posted 16 September 2011 - 05:03 PM

<snip>

This should give you the Blue Screen and the STOP error instead of restarting.

Done! I'll report back in a few days to allow for variables to occur.

Frank

#12 Allan

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Posted 16 September 2011 - 05:07 PM

Download BlueScreenView:
http://www.nirsoft.net/utils/blue_screen_view.html
unzip downloaded file and double click on BlueScreenView.exe to run the program.
when scanning is done, go to EDIT - Select All
Go to FILE - SAVE Selected Items, and save the report as BSOD.txt
Open BSOD.txt in Notepad, copy all of the content, and paste it into your next reply

#13 Frank14612

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Posted 16 September 2011 - 05:33 PM

Will do.

(It's hard to believe I'm now actually looking forward to a BSOD!?!?)

Frank

#14 Frank14612

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Posted 18 September 2011 - 03:59 PM

UPdate: Here I am, a couple of days and 4 or 5 Windows restarts and 5 PDA hotsyncs later, and with NO BSODs! The hotsyncs have all gone perfectly. My problem seems to have gone away. :)

If this is so, it's because:
1) I created a new user account, then
2) I had to install a new version of the Palm Desktop (with a new HotSync version in it) in the new user account since the old version there wouldn't work at all, then
3) That new Palm Desktop version carried over into my main user account and stayed there even after I deleted the new user account because it was causing other problems, and then
4) The new version of the Palm Desktop has cured the BSOD problems I'd been having.

Without having taken Allan's advice, I wouldn't have thought to look for and install a later version of the Palm Desktop. Of course, I should have thought of doing that in the first place. :blush:

So, posing the question to you experts has solved my problem. :P

Thanks!

Frank

#15 Allan

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Posted 18 September 2011 - 04:02 PM

Thanks for the update. Glad things are working well.




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