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starting windows trouble


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#1 millipede

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 02:14 PM

I don't like being stuck but it's worse when it's my own computer. On a friend's at the moment as I'm working on theirs... ha

This morning I went to turn my computer on. Did the windows startup screen, a blue color, windows is starting up, etc... hung there a little longer than normal... then went to a black screen with nothing but the mouse. After a minute I tried different things... Esc, ctrl alt del, etc... NOTHING did anything.. In fact, after another minute the screen powered down but the computer was still on. My power settings for when I'm actually in windows is to NEVER turn the monitor off. I do that manually when I walk away from it. So, that was odd too.
So I tried two times and both times I had to force it off by holding the power button.
I can boot to safe mode.
I tried some "repair system" or something option... it ran, don't think it did anything... suggested I restart and still nothing.

I'm wondering if looking at errors would help solve the problem? or, anyone have any ideas? I've never done a system restore on my own computer before and I like it that way but I'll do whatever I need to. I was looking at the system restore options and it said that it wont affect pictures and documents. I always thought that it would. Is this true?

Windows 7, Dell Inspiron(I think most of that info is in my profile somewhere), Firefox 12, Avast, everything ALWAYS kept up to date. I allow cookies only on sites I need and trust, I use Noscript, WOT, etc... I do not think it is virus related... I ran a full avast scan in safe mode...

In the past, there's been a few times in the last month or two where the computer hung while powering down. I never figured that one out either.

I want my computer running in normal mode ASAP and am grateful for any advice. Thanks.
Let me know what other info you need from me. Restarting this machine to finish some updates but I'll be watching this topic so I should respond shortly if you need more info.
Thanks again.

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#2 Artrooks

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 02:48 PM

Hi millipede ,

I have a few thoughts.

Boot back into the Advanced Boot Options screen where Safe Mode is and try "Last Known Good Configuration." Try to reboot into normal windows.

If that doesn't work, boot to the Advanced Boot Options screen again and if present, select "Repair My Computer." Select your language and sign into your admin account. Select "System Restore" and choose a date before the problem started.
(System Restore will not delete any personal documents, music, photos. )

If that doesn't work, boot into safe mode and from an administrator prompt (Start->All Programs->Accessories->right mouse click on Command Prompt and select "Run as administrator." Type: chkdsk /r. (note "space" after chkdsk). You will be prompted that the drive is in use and asked to restart the computer. Say yes and reboot. This could take several hour, will complete 5 stages, and can not be stopped. When check disk has completed it will attempt to boot into normal windows.

Regards,
Brooks



 


#3 Guest_Xircal_*

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 03:14 PM

Might be down to AVAST. Try disabling the boot time scan for rootkits. It's enabled by default and can be found by clicking the "Settings" link top right, go to "Troubleshooting" and then remove the checkmark from "Enable rootkit scan on startup".

If it won't boot to the desktop in normal mode, try running "Last Known Good Configuration". You'll find that on the Windows Advanced Menu, accessible by rebooting and then immediately after the Dell logo disappears, hit the F8 key a few times in quick succession. The Windows Advanced Menu is a black screen with options in a white font. You have to use the Up/Down arrow keys to select an option and then hit Enter. "Last Known Good Configuration" loads an image of the operating system the last time it worked properly, or so the theory goes.

Did you create a Backup? You're comitting the cardinal sin of computing if you didn't. On Windows 7 and previous versions, you can use a backup to restore the system to the date you created the backup. That includes all your files, your personal data and all the programs you had installed at that time. You also get an opportunity to create a system image which is an exact copy of Windows 7 at time you create it. To create a backup, you need external media like an eSATA drive or an external USB hard drive together with a DVD-R disc. You can also use a number of DVD-R discs, but it's a bit clumsy and will use about six to eight discs which you then have to store somewhere. Since they're DVD-R, you cannot overwrite them with new data and have to keep buying new ones every time you create a new backup. To create a backup, go to Control Panel, then "Backup and Restore".

#4 millipede

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 03:36 PM

system restore worked. Went back to the 24th of April, the most recent option there was. Took a while to load but I'm in there. Looks like it's doing some updating now...

Thanks artrooks. Any advice now on whether there's some diagnostics or something I should run to see if something is going on that might cause this to happen again?

#5 Artrooks

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 04:31 PM

Hi,

Good job :) .

You could Run Dell Diagnostics. See this link: http://support.dell.com/support/topics/global.aspx/support/kcs/document?docid=388104.
I would check the hard drive at least and if there were no errors reported, then perform the chkdsk /r per post #2. Do it from normal windows.

Xircal also has a good suggestion regarding backup. I would add, make a Windows 7 "Repair Disk" if your Dell gives you that option (To create a repair disk, go to Control Panel, then "Backup and Restore" as well ). The System Repair Disk is a bootable CD that allows you to boot into the Advanced Boot Menu and access "Repair My Computer" if for some reason the F8 option wasn't available.

Regards,
Brooks



 


#6 millipede

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 10:27 AM

okay, I ran chckdsk... I left it running when I went to bed this morning. I then had to google to find where the results were... ha.
In the hours, that I was sleeping, after chckdsk ran, plenty of other things happened including some errors... mostly with programs or something. Also showed that defrag ran several times... not sure what that's about.
Anyway... here are the results... nothing jumped out at me but I really don't know much about them...


Checking file system on C:
The type of the file system is NTFS.
Volume label is OS.

A disk check has been scheduled.
Windows will now check the disk.                         

CHKDSK is verifying files (stage 1 of 5)...
  242432 file records processed.                                          File verification completed.
  421 large file records processed.                                      0 bad file records processed.                                        0 EA records processed.                                              44 reparse records processed.                                       CHKDSK is verifying indexes (stage 2 of 5)...
  292218 index entries processed.                                         Index verification completed.
  0 unindexed files scanned.                                           0 unindexed files recovered.                                       CHKDSK is verifying security descriptors (stage 3 of 5)...
  242432 file SDs/SIDs processed.                                         Cleaning up 843 unused index entries from index $SII of file 0x9.
Cleaning up 843 unused index entries from index $SDH of file 0x9.
Cleaning up 843 unused security descriptors.
Security descriptor verification completed.
  24894 data files processed.                                            CHKDSK is verifying Usn Journal...
  37119984 USN bytes processed.                                             Usn Journal verification completed.
CHKDSK is verifying file data (stage 4 of 5)...
  242416 files processed.                                                 File data verification completed.
CHKDSK is verifying free space (stage 5 of 5)...
  88737449 free clusters processed.                                         Free space verification is complete.
CHKDSK discovered free space marked as allocated in the
master file table (MFT) bitmap.
CHKDSK discovered free space marked as allocated in the volume bitmap.
Windows has made corrections to the file system.

 475730943 KB total disk space.
 120305488 KB in 182098 files.
    115032 KB in 24895 indexes.
         0 KB in bad sectors.
    360623 KB in use by the system.
     65536 KB occupied by the log file.
 354949800 KB available on disk.

      4096 bytes in each allocation unit.
 118932735 total allocation units on disk.
  88737450 allocation units available on disk.

Internal Info:
00 b3 03 00 9d 28 03 00 22 03 06 00 00 00 00 00  .....(..".......
87 0d 00 00 2c 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00  ....,...........
00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00  ................

Windows has finished checking your disk.
Please wait while your computer restarts.

Oh, I ran several of the tests with the Dell program. Everything went smoothly with that.
I can't help but think that IF something is wrong it would be software related. I mean, going back to windows settings from a week earlier got me in to windows... I would think at this point if it were hardware, that wouldn't have helped much.
Anyway... Other than having to reinstall firefox after the restore, I haven't noticed any problems.
If you can think of anything else I should check to be certain, let me know.

#7 coxchris

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 11:56 PM

your chkdsk looks good to me Your file system had been repaired and successfully rebooted.

If you came out of a Malware infection (witch I dont believe its the case) you can try sfc /scannow this command will check the windows protected file but it looks like your fine. This command is run from a elevated command prompt

Defragging is a tool that moves files that are fragmented to a continuous string to quicken your hard drive response time.

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#8 millipede

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 08:46 AM

Thanks...

Yeah, I know what defrag is, I just thought it odd that it showed up several times in the logs. It wasn't something I told it to do. Would it run automatically ever? Or, would it have anything to do with running chkdsk that night?

#9 coxchris

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 11:36 AM

Well Chkdsk checks the file system (in-depth) and moves or deletes or verified the data and defrag is the same thing only at a higher level.

You can run defragmentor at any time within the operating system. Ckdsk is the same thing but it has more stages to check and has to be active before the Operating system loads because it a DOS program and its checking the NTFS file system.

Edited by coxchris, 03 May 2012 - 11:43 AM.

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