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accidental restart during intensive update... Stalls in startup now


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#1 sistasparky

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 01:29 PM

PLEASE help... using a computer at work to post this...

I was trying to clean up my partner's PC (Windows XP) before he took it into tech for being too slow/bogged down. I removed all the temporary internet junk, did a disk defrag, downloaded some software recommended to me by a computer-savvy family member called Advance System Care Pro which also did some Registry index fixes, etc.

I also purchased and downloaded the NOD32 Antivirus software, highly recommended to me by a computer tech acquaintance. I ran a scan and everything seemed to be ok at this point.

Computer was running much better, but still a bit on the slow side, so after some investigating it seemed likely many of the drivers were out of date. Upon looking into driver updates, it became apparent that Windows Update had not been set to do updates automatically... and my partner is not the sort of computer user to do this on his own.... So it was several updates behind, along with security updates, and all of these drivers.

I proceeded to install sets of updates. The last set I installed took a painfully long time and said would initialize on restart. When restarted, Task Manager showed System Idle function using 97%CPU and the computer was veeeerrrrrrrrryyyyy slow and unresponsive. I left it to do its updating business and returned a couple of hours later. Still going, and still slow.

That continued all night and into the next morning when we went to work. That afternoon when I came home, background system processes were still running but the computer was finally responsive and able to run other programs without too much interruption. There were still some minor updates to install ("optional" software updates), so I prepared these for later installation on another restart but left the computer running since my partner wanted to check some online banking and a few other things. I didn't realize that the computer would continue prompting him for a restart, so didn't think to warn him NOT to restart it yet. He restarted it and now the computer will not move past the startup screens... at first system info and now hangs up saying Master: NOT FOUND, slave: NOT FOUND!!! PLEASE tell me there is a way to salvage this... Thanks so much for any help

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#2 sistasparky

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 01:32 PM

PS, I am generally a "Mac" girl (spare me your boo hiss please), so if I've violated any unspoken Windows laws, please be patient with me. ;)

#3 hamluis

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 04:12 PM

<<PS, I am generally a "Mac" girl (spare me your boo hiss please), so if I've violated any unspoken Windows laws, please be patient with me. ;) >>

LOL...we don't hiss or elevate Mac users to archvillain status here :). Most of us have realized...it's a diverse place, this world...which is why Mac users can now run Windows :).

My first suggestion...uninstall Advance System Care.

System manufacturer and model?

Any "reinstallation", "recovery", "installation" CDs available for this system?

Can you boot into the BIOS? Does it reflect a hard drive properly?

Just a tip...the way to correct problems with a PC...does not often involve paying for additional software of any sort (other than possibly Windows).

Those "Not Found" messages could indicate a BIOS/CMOS battery problem. Does the BIOS reflect the correct date/time?

Louis

#4 sistasparky

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Posted 04 May 2012 - 10:48 AM

=) Thanks Louis, sorry I couldn't reply sooner, I was home by the time I got your message on my blackberry... a little too much to type for that small a keyboard ;)

With regards to purchasing software, it wasn't as an attempt to fix things, it's just that he had no antivirus software on there besides Microsoft Basic Essentials. The computer was already running much better at that point. Advanced system Care just uses ordinary Windows processes like remove unnecessary temp files, registry indexing, defrag etc, on the "deep clean" and also sets up a lighter maintenance routine.... it's just for the general user who doesn't know to clear & maintain those things and sets it up in one easy location. It was recommended to me by a family member who used to do high-level network and internet security for the gov't, so I'm pretty sure he knows his stuff and there were no problems up until I tried updating the system too fast & too hard I think. It actually helped quite a bit to polish off what I'd already done on my own.

So, even if taking that off would do something, I can't go about removing that until I can at least get it started.... now it is at least recognizing the hardrive again, but it sits on the BIOS system config page (harddisk, memory stats etc) and won't budge from there. Sadly, there is no boot disk available at the moment though I am trying to track down a Windows disc that I could borrow.

But, I don't know a whole lot about getting things going off a boot disk without losing information... Could you walk me through it a bit? Thanks so much!!

#5 hamluis

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Posted 04 May 2012 - 11:26 AM

Not to belabor a single point...but following is provided for informational purposes:

Bleeping Computer DOES NOT recommend the use of registry cleaners/optimizers for several reasons:
  • Registry cleaners are extremely powerful applications that can damage the registry by using aggressive cleaning routines and cause your computer to become unbootable.

    The Windows registry is a central repository (database) for storing configuration data, user settings and machine-dependent settings, and options for the operating system. It contains information and settings for all hardware, software, users, and preferences. Whenever a user makes changes to settings, file associations, system policies, or installed software, the changes are reflected and stored in this repository. The registry is a crucial component because it is where Windows "remembers" all this information, how it works together, how Windows boots the system and what files it uses when it does. The registry is also a vulnerable subsystem, in that relatively small changes done incorrectly can render the system inoperable. For a more detailed explanation, read Understanding The Registry.
  • Not all registry cleaners are created equal. There are a number of them available but they do not all work entirely the same way. Each vendor uses different criteria as to what constitutes a "bad entry". One cleaner may find entries on your system that will not cause problems when removed, another may not find the same entries, and still another may want to remove entries required for a program to work.
  • Not all registry cleaners create a backup of the registry before making changes. If the changes prevent the system from booting up, then there is no backup available to restore it in order to regain functionality. A backup of the registry is essential BEFORE making any changes to the registry.
  • Improperly removing registry entries can hamper malware disinfection and make the removal process more difficult if your computer becomes infected. For example, removing malware related registry entries before the infection is properly identified can contribute to system instability and even make the malware undetectable to removal tools.
  • The usefulness of cleaning the registry is highly overrated and can be dangerous. In most cases, using a cleaner to remove obsolete, invalid, and erroneous entries does not affect system performance but it can result in "unpredictable results".

Unless you have a particular problem that requires a registry edit to correct it, I would suggest you leave the registry alone. Using registry cleaning tools unnecessarily or incorrectly could lead to disastrous effects on your operating system such as preventing it from ever starting again. For routine use, the benefits to your computer are negligible while the potential risks are great.
You, as any user, can do whatever with your system...as long as no forum rules are violated and this is a forum rule, merely an attempt to be informative.

System manufacturer and model?

<<...it's just that he had no antivirus software on there besides Microsoft Basic Essentials.>>

If you mean "Microsoft Security Essentials", that is a reliable, free AV program (among several others) that many members use with justified confidence.

You might take a look at the items listed at Slow Computer-browser Check Here First; It May Not Be Malware - http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/topic87058.html ,

You didn't asnwer my query re the BIOS...does it reflect any hard drives as properly installed? Is your error message on a BIOS screen?

Louis




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