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Startup and shutdown problems


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#1 ChicagoMel

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Posted 07 June 2012 - 06:11 PM

My computer is getting stuck so to speak from time to time at startup and shutdown. Tuesday morning when I booted, the blue "welcome" screen went through fine, but the screen stayed white after that, the icons and desktop interface never came up. I had to hit power and force a shutdown and boot again. Later and then again tonight, it got stuck on shutdown, on the blue "shutting down" screen. I again shut it down with the power button. Both times, the activity light had a strange pattern, a steady blink, rather than the fast, erratic flashes while it's working when I'm using the computer or the steady light it usually has at startup and shutdown. Startup has been slightly sluggish for a while, with the desktop taking maybe 30 or 45 seconds sometimes to come in completely, but it never did anything besides that. I read that shutdown issues can be from trouble closing programs, but other than that, I've no idea what's what.

I ran Avast as a normal scan Sunday, before anything happened, and then a boot scan after it happened. I also ran Malwarebytes and used CCleaner and nothing turned up from either of the malware scans (I know CCleaner cleans, it doesn't scan.)

I'm running Windows 7 with all the service packs and stuff up to date, on a Dell Inspiron. I'm unsure of the exact number but it's about a year old.

Was using Firefox...until Chrome took over.

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#2 quietman7

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Posted 07 June 2012 - 08:20 PM

How many applications are loading at startup when Windows boots? Almost all applications you install want to startup when Windows loads. If you allow all these startups, they will compete for and use system resources resulting in poor performance and a slow system. Many of these programs are not needed and disabling them can save resources and improve performance as they are available from Start > Programs or an icon on the desktop if needed.

To disable unnecessary startups, use a free Startup Manager like one of the following:You will be provided with a list of programs that load when Windows starts. If you untick an entry it will no longer run at startup. This will allow you to experiment and see how your system performs with any of them disabled.
-- Note: some startup programs are necessary so be careful what you disable.

If you are unsure what any of the program entries are or if they are safe to disable, search the name using Google <- click here for an example.
Or search the following databases:
From what you describe, most likely your shutdown issue is related to one of these programs which is not terminating properly.
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#3 ChicagoMel

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Posted 07 June 2012 - 09:35 PM

I already have WinPatrol and I did disable a few nonessential programs, and deleted one (Facebook Messenger) that I don't use like I thought I would when I DL'd it. Bringing Firefox up may take a few moments longer because of the delayed start (I set for one minute delay) but it did seem to speed up the boot time slightly. I will have to wait and see what happens and let you know re shutdown and such. I do put some stock in your feeling it's possibly not a virus...want to move this to the Windows 7 area and out of the virus area for any further posts?

Was using Firefox...until Chrome took over.

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#4 quietman7

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Posted 08 June 2012 - 07:11 AM

Let's try doing an online scan first to see if it finds anything else that the other scans may have missed.

Please perform a scan with Eset Online Anti-virus Scanner.
  • If using Mozilla Firefox, you will be prompted to download and use the ESET Smart Installer. Just double-click on esetsmartinstaller_enu.exe to install.
  • Vista/Windows 7 users need to run Internet Explorer/Firefox as Administrator.
    To do this, right-click on the IE icon in the Start Menu or Quick Launch Bar on the Taskbar and select Run As Administrator from the context menu.
  • Read the End User License Agreement and check the box:
  • Check Posted Image.
  • Click the Posted Image button.
  • Accept any security warnings from your browser and allow the download/installation of any require files.
  • Under scan settings, check Posted Image and make sure that the option Remove found threats is NOT checked.
  • Click Advanced settings and select the following:
    • Scan potentially unwanted applications
    • Scan for potentially unsafe applications
    • Enable Anti-Stealth technology
  • Click the Start button.
  • ESET will install itself, download virus signature database updates, and begin scanning your computer.
  • The scan can take some time to complete...close all programs and do NOT use the computer while the scan is running.
  • When the scan completes, push Posted Image
  • Push Posted Image, and save the file to your desktop as ESETScan.txt.
  • Push the Posted Image button, then Finish.
  • Copy and paste the contents of ESETScan.txt in your next reply. If no threats are found, there is no option to create a log.

Note: If you recognize any of the detections as legitimate programs, it's possible they are "false positives" and you can ignore them or get a second opinion if you're not sure. Eset's detection rate is high and can include legitimate files which it considers suspicious, a risk tool, a potential unwanted program or a possible threat.
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#5 ChicagoMel

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Posted 08 June 2012 - 10:35 AM

Nothing was found except two false positives. I know they are because they're the same two Dell Datasafe items Eset hit on the last time I used it. You or one of the other people here had me run them by that "scan this file to see if it's safe" website just to be sure. My research tells me why it happens, they have a similar file address to what some "win32" viruses do. But I'm positive they're the same false positives from before. I'd get rid of Dell Datasafe, but I figure it's nice to have a cloud backup along with the restore points, and plus I'm not savvy enough to want to tamper with much.
The file paths if you're interested:
C:\Program Files (x86)\Dell DataSafe Local Backup\hstart.exe a variant of Win32/HiddenStart.A application cleaned by deleting - quarantined
C:\Program Files (x86)\Dell DataSafe Local Backup\Components\DSUpdate\hstart.exe a variant of Win32/HiddenStart.A application cleaned by deleting - quarantined

Ooops, when I went back to fix something in the directions, the box for delete must've been rechecked...but it says 'quarantined' so if nothing else, I can move them back right? Edit to say DDS works,so no deletes were done after all.

Edited by ChicagoMel, 08 June 2012 - 12:21 PM.

Was using Firefox...until Chrome took over.

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#6 ChicagoMel

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Posted 11 June 2012 - 11:46 PM

Grr, sadly, I can't edit the previous post anymore, but wanted to add that it hung up again tonight on shutdown...it's hard telling what programs might, well, hang up, and not shut down properly from time to time, but if it only happens every few days (it was fine from Friday until today), I can deal with it. Startup has been okay so far *crossing fingers*. Strangely, both shutdown issues were after it'd come out of a power-down state...one sleep, one hibernation. Perhaps I should ensure I wait a few minutes after bringing it out of those states before I shut it down, to give any running background programs time to finish.

Was using Firefox...until Chrome took over.

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#7 quietman7

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Posted 12 June 2012 - 07:58 AM

Power options like hibernation, sleep and standby have been known to cause a variety of issues after a computer wakes up or attempts to return to normal usage. For that reason, I do not use them.

In your case, you may just want to temporarily turn them off as a troubleshooting method to see if you encounter the shut down issue afterwards.


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#8 ChicagoMel

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 06:46 PM

Last night, there was a time it wouldn't boot at all. I was doing a update for Itunes and had to restart to finish. I tried the repair prompt when it went to the autmated startup repair scan thing, and when that failed, I did system restore and though I had to redownload the updates from this week, it does seem to work okay now. It was worrisome last night after I fixed it, because it hung up on startup and shutdown a time or two,and I'd have to put up with black screens for several seconds between startup phases, but this morning, it's improved. I'm still monitoring it closely, and if the problems continue, I'm giving it to someone who knows more to look at.

I'm not sure of the message that was displayed when it didn't boot, but I'm hoping it won't happen again.

Was using Firefox...until Chrome took over.

One God, One Truth, One Savior-Jesus


#9 ChicagoMel

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Posted 18 June 2012 - 08:53 AM

Grr, still hanging sometimes. Oddly, once it didn't go past "welcome" yesterday and then the icons never came up when it booted the next time. The shutdown hang was last night. Fortunately, it rarely, save that one time, hangs twice in a row. I'll probably let someone with more knowledge take a look when I have a chance to see what's not starting up/shutting down right. The boot process is definitely improved since that system restore, I'll say that.I haven't had any more startup error messages or long black screen periods between boot phases, and no other unusual or suspicious behavior.

Was using Firefox...until Chrome took over.

One God, One Truth, One Savior-Jesus


#10 quietman7

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Posted 18 June 2012 - 10:42 AM

Did you try experimenting using WinPatrol for other startup programs...disable one at a time and rebooting to see if you can narrow down the problem program?

Also, your issue could be with a problem service. If you have a typical installation, many services are configured as "automatic" which means they will start automatically when Windows starts or when the service is called for the first time.

To see what services are started, press the WINKEY + R keys on the keyboard or click Posted Image > Run..., and in the Open dialog box, type: cmd /k net start
Click OK or press Enter.

Another method to do this is to open the Computer Management Services Console.

In Windows XP, press the WINKEY + R keys on the keyboard or click Posted Image > Run..., and in the Open dialog box, type: services.msc
Click OK or press Enter.
-- Vista/Windows 7 users can also refer to these instructions to Enable Run Command or click Posted Image and in the Start Search box, enter: Services
Then press Enter.

Alternatively, click on Posted Image > Control Panel > System and Maintenance > Administrative Tools and double-click on the Services option. If prompted by the User Access Control, click the Continue button.

Windows Servies will open provide a list of all services, their startus and startup type.

You can compare your services with Black Viper's Windows Service Configurations and trim down a few of them::
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