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Windows 7 Stalls on Startup / Stops during Running


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#1 bamashooter

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Posted 20 May 2012 - 05:17 PM

Posted 11 May 2012 - 10:06 PM
System: Purchased December 2011

H/P Pavilion dv-7 Notebook PC
600 GB HDD
6.00 GB RAM (5.8 usable)
64 bit operating system
Windows 7 Home Premium SP1
Windows Explorer 9
Mozilla Firefox 12.0
Avast
Spybot
Malwarebytes
Hijack This





Symptoms:

1. At random times, Windows stalls at startup.

2. At random times, Windows stops running suddenly.

3. Starts and runs fine in both safe modes.

The first symptom was I was taking a break from the pc when I noticed the fan was running on high speed as though a lot of processing was taking place. No downloading or anything else was taking place. That's when the first (quit during running occurred). Following that, I had to do a hard kill, etc. Then the no start would occur. The desktop would launch and that's all it would do. I would have to do a hard kill to power down the pc. When the system won't start up, I get a small error window which states to the effect that Windows is not responding. Normally, when it stops during running, I get the Firefox not repsponding. Both of these require a hard kill. If I boot up in safe mode and reboot in normal, all is well.

Everything was great until approximately 2 weeks ago when I downloaded a 7gb document via uTorrent. This was my first experience with that and I made multiple mistakes. The problems began shortly after download completion.

Viewing my task manager Immediately after download, I noticed 1 of 2 iexplore.exe files was near 500mb. I thought perhaps this was a result of my system being stuck in cybermud during my download attempts. I was using Explorer at the time though Firefox is my daily browser. I killed the process (iexplore.exe) and all appeared well. The problems began again 2-3 days later. I've been using only Firefox since the first experience.

Additionally, for the past 3 days, my desktop will reappear after it's 3 minute timed out. I set the 3 minutes in the "turn off the display" selection in Power Options.

No problems today other than the display issue.

I have run multiple H/P diagnostics tools in the included software in my H/P notebook. No problems found.

Reckon that's about all I can think of right now.

Any help will be truly appreciated,
shooter

After reading this newly discovered forum, I downloaded both spybot and hijack this. I configured and ran both per this forum's tutorials (thank you).

Spybot found nothing.

I scanned and saved to logs both my scan and startup list from hijack this.

This post has been edited by bamashooter: 11 May 2012 - 11:13 PM

20 May 2012

I originally posted this in the Security / Am I Infected section. Thanks to forum member boopme, it appears I'm clean of viruses and such causing this problem. Here's the original thread, replies, actions taken etc: http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/topic453356.html/page__p__2696354__fromsearch__1#entry2696354

In the past week, I have had no start up problems. I have had only 2-3 issues with the pc freezing. Here is my best description of the problem as of yesterday:

1. Firefox is my primary browser.

2. Power up my system, launch Firefox approximately 60 seconds after I turn the computer on.

3. I might be browsing, participating in a forum, etc and I get the "Firefox Not Responding" message atop the browser window.

4. I can minimize the browser but not close it.

5. I can click Start, slide over to shut down and not be able to shut down.

6. I cannot open Task Manager. Basically can't open anything when this happens.

7. If I click within the browser window, the window will be "painted over" with a translucent white color.

8. Unlike the first week or so of this problem, If I wait it out for, 10/20/30 minutes the problem goes away.

9. Also, I have had no start up issues during this time period referenced in entry #8.

That brings you up to my current situation.

Any help will be greatly appreciated.

Edited by bamashooter, 20 May 2012 - 05:20 PM.

Kubuntu 14.04 / KDE 4.13.3 / GRUB Version: 0.97-29ubuntu66
HP15 --f033wm Laptop / CPU: Intel / GPU: Intel Corporation Atom Processor / RAM: 8GB / Hard Drive: 1 each / Seagate / Optical Drive: HP DVDRW GUB0N / Windows 10 / 64-bit


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#2 Allan

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Posted 20 May 2012 - 05:23 PM

The fact that this started immediately after you downloaded a torrent raises the strong possibility of malware. I suggest you post in the Am I Infected forum.

#3 bamashooter

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Posted 20 May 2012 - 06:57 PM

Hi Allan. Thanks for the reply. I did exactly as you indicated on 11 May 2012 and after a rather lengthy process using multiple tools and what I believe to be expert analysis, it was determined I have no virus, malware, or other contaminant of that nature which would be causing my problem. The download via uTorrent was for an automobile manual. Several members of an automobile forum I belong to downloaded the manual also. They have not mentioned having any problems. I too suspect more than a time coincidence though I have little to no knowledge, skills, or abilities to support my suspicion.

Kubuntu 14.04 / KDE 4.13.3 / GRUB Version: 0.97-29ubuntu66
HP15 --f033wm Laptop / CPU: Intel / GPU: Intel Corporation Atom Processor / RAM: 8GB / Hard Drive: 1 each / Seagate / Optical Drive: HP DVDRW GUB0N / Windows 10 / 64-bit


#4 bamashooter

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Posted 20 May 2012 - 07:47 PM

I now recall what caused my curiosity and a discovery. The internal fan/fans greatly increased in speed and sound as I was taking a break from the computer. That caught my attention and I got back on the computer to see what was going on. Having owned this since December 2011, that had never occurred. At that time, I was using Explorer. It was also the first time of the system locking up or freezing. I could only perform shut down by using the power switch. I restarted and began my search of the problem. I ultimately open task manager and began scrolling through the processes. I noticed 2 named iexplore.exe. In the memory column, one of the two was using approximately 30,000K. The other was using an enormous (to me) 500,000K +. After a little research, I killed the larger of the two. Didn't have a problem for a day or two and was most proud of my newly found skills. The next day or so later, it happened again and I shut down / powered up about 10-12 times before it would run for a while. I then researched more and learned about the 2 safe boot options. I exercised the one with networking. I then exited and started up under normal mode. All was well. It would then happen again and I would go through the safe mode, etc. Each time the system would start right up in normal mode after using safe mode. The number of instances have greatly declined since the week of 11 May though they still persists perhaps every couple to three days. And for about the last 10 days I have had no issue with start up; only with the system locking up while using the internet.

Regarding the iexplore.exe issue, I concluded that through my ignorance of downloading a torrent file, I had caused my system to get stuck in the mud so to speak and it was working overtime trying to satisfy my need. The large iexplore.exe process remained for a day or two after download until I stopped the process. The file was only 7.5gb and took 4 days and nights to download.

Edited by bamashooter, 20 May 2012 - 07:59 PM.

Kubuntu 14.04 / KDE 4.13.3 / GRUB Version: 0.97-29ubuntu66
HP15 --f033wm Laptop / CPU: Intel / GPU: Intel Corporation Atom Processor / RAM: 8GB / Hard Drive: 1 each / Seagate / Optical Drive: HP DVDRW GUB0N / Windows 10 / 64-bit


#5 Allan

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Posted 21 May 2012 - 06:42 AM

May I suggest you try a different browser (Firefox is a good choice)? Let's see if the issue persists if IE isn't open.

#6 bamashooter

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Posted 21 May 2012 - 08:42 AM

Thank you. I have been using Firefox since (immediately after) the problems began. At the time, I only had Explorer. The problem is the same with either browser. I have launched Explorer twice since 11 May and the problems occur with both browsers. I used Chrome on my other laptop, however, with Google going goofy, I try to minimize any relationship with anything Google. I now use duckduckgo as my primary search engine though it's not as robust.

Kubuntu 14.04 / KDE 4.13.3 / GRUB Version: 0.97-29ubuntu66
HP15 --f033wm Laptop / CPU: Intel / GPU: Intel Corporation Atom Processor / RAM: 8GB / Hard Drive: 1 each / Seagate / Optical Drive: HP DVDRW GUB0N / Windows 10 / 64-bit


#7 Allan

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Posted 21 May 2012 - 08:47 AM

Are you saying that iexplore.exe appears in task manager when you use Firefox?

#8 bamashooter

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Posted 21 May 2012 - 01:27 PM

No, it was there when the problem initially happened while using Explorer. I believe that process is exclusive only to Explorer and does not appear if explorer is closed.

Kubuntu 14.04 / KDE 4.13.3 / GRUB Version: 0.97-29ubuntu66
HP15 --f033wm Laptop / CPU: Intel / GPU: Intel Corporation Atom Processor / RAM: 8GB / Hard Drive: 1 each / Seagate / Optical Drive: HP DVDRW GUB0N / Windows 10 / 64-bit


#9 Allan

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Posted 21 May 2012 - 02:48 PM

That's correct - it is Internet Explorer's process. But from your post above it sounded like it was still there using resources.

#10 bamashooter

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Posted 23 May 2012 - 05:20 PM

Froze up again today as described in my post. Probably using the internet for a couple of hours and then lock up. Lasted about 20 minutes or so and then corrected itself. However, there was no "Firefox Not Responding" though it surely wasn't.

Kubuntu 14.04 / KDE 4.13.3 / GRUB Version: 0.97-29ubuntu66
HP15 --f033wm Laptop / CPU: Intel / GPU: Intel Corporation Atom Processor / RAM: 8GB / Hard Drive: 1 each / Seagate / Optical Drive: HP DVDRW GUB0N / Windows 10 / 64-bit


#11 bamashooter

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Posted 24 May 2012 - 12:18 PM

Again this morning after approx 10 minutes of interneting. Left the house for about an hour and it's now working.

Edited by bamashooter, 24 May 2012 - 12:19 PM.

Kubuntu 14.04 / KDE 4.13.3 / GRUB Version: 0.97-29ubuntu66
HP15 --f033wm Laptop / CPU: Intel / GPU: Intel Corporation Atom Processor / RAM: 8GB / Hard Drive: 1 each / Seagate / Optical Drive: HP DVDRW GUB0N / Windows 10 / 64-bit


#12 Allan

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Posted 24 May 2012 - 12:43 PM

Is this only happening when you are browsing the Internet?

#13 bamashooter

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Posted 24 May 2012 - 01:21 PM

To the best of my knowledge. I rarely use my pc unless I'm on the internet or at least have the browser open. About the only other work I do on my pc is to scan an image, upload it and post it to an automotive forum, however, the browser is used ultimately after the initial scan and photo edit. When it would do this on startup, my browser would not be open (obviously. It no longer freezes on startup. I now minimize the number of tabs I have open hoping that might help however .....

Kubuntu 14.04 / KDE 4.13.3 / GRUB Version: 0.97-29ubuntu66
HP15 --f033wm Laptop / CPU: Intel / GPU: Intel Corporation Atom Processor / RAM: 8GB / Hard Drive: 1 each / Seagate / Optical Drive: HP DVDRW GUB0N / Windows 10 / 64-bit


#14 everready

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Posted 24 May 2012 - 04:17 PM

Hi bamashooter,

Let me put my two cents in on this matter.

If I understand you correctly your system is freezing after running a while, and then it will not respond to any clicks or keyboard input. However, you are not blue screening.
Additionally, you can boot into safe mode and safe mode with networking.
Is that correct?

How long will the system run if you are in safe mode? Does it freeze-up in safe mode at all? If it is not freezing up at all in safe mode then it is probably a driver problem.

First thing I would do is check that you have the most recent Windows updates while in normal desktop. Don't try to update if you're not up to date. If it freezes during an Update that could cause additional problems. Just let us know if the system is updated?

If the system is not freezing up in safe mode create a backup of your important data while in safe mode if you do not have a good backup.

Then let's check system files in safe mode, open up a command prompt and run

sfc /scannow

After it completes, check system behavior in normal desktop, let us know how it behaves after that.

If no change let 's check the disk for logical errors , in safe mode open up a command prompt and run

chkdsk /r /f

You will have to reboot in order to perform the chkdsk command. After it completes check system behavior in normal desktop, let us know how it behaves after that.

Also, do you have any reinstallation disk at your disposal? I'm thinking that if the above doesn't fix the problem we can try running Driver Verifier on the normal desktop and force a crash with a mindump to analyze.

Hope this helps

Edited by everready, 24 May 2012 - 04:18 PM.


#15 Allan

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Posted 24 May 2012 - 04:23 PM

There's no harm in doing the above. Just one thing - the command is chkdsk /r (the /f switch is redundant). You might as well also check the ram. To check the ram, download memtest (http://memtest.org/). Burn it to a cd using a dedicated .iso burning utility (http://www.petri.co.il/how_to_write_iso_files_to_cd.htm), make sure the cd drive is at the top of the boot order in bios, then boot to the newly created cd and run the utility.




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