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XP Startup Problem intermittent


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28 replies to this topic

#1 MountainBoy

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Posted 03 November 2012 - 05:41 AM

Recently, I have been experiencing problems when I first turn on my computer in the morning. The process begins and then stalls for some reason before windows gets loaded. The screen shows as blank and I have to press the power button to turn off and try again. Instantaneous response of the power button seems to indicate to me that windows has not loaded as if it had, I would have to hold down button for several seconds to turn off. At first this hang up happened only occasionally and usually only required a second try, but now it is more common and yesterday, I had to try 4 or 5 times before I got on.

Once the computer has started and windows has loaded, I have not experienced any other problems.

Two or three times during this time, I have received this notice:
Hardware malfunction. Call your hardware vendor for support.
NMI: Parity check/memory parity error
The system has halted.

Two things might have been different about the time of the onset of this problem.
I cleaned out dust from my computer as fan had begun to run a lot. (It was very dirty and cleaning quieted everything down)
I changed from Macaffee to Kaspersky after getting hit with that FBI warning scam attack.

Any help would be appreciated. No money for new computer.

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#2 dc3

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Posted 03 November 2012 - 08:10 AM

When you were cleaning out the dust it's possible that you may have loosened a component, like a RAM module. I would check to make sure that all of your power and data connections are good, and any plugin components, especially the RAM.

If you aren't already aware of the dangers of static electricity you should know that a static discharge from your body can damage or kill board components. To prevent this touch the metal of the case before you touch anything inside. I would also suggest that you unplug the computer before opening it.

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#3 hamluis

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Posted 03 November 2012 - 09:51 AM

Pertinent background info at http://www.tech-faq.com/nmi-parity-check-memory-parity-error.html .

Louis

#4 MountainBoy

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 04:10 AM

I have three cards: a network card, a turtle beach autdio card and a video card. After reading the article, I removed each, blew off cards and sockets with can of air and reinstalled. (I had previoiusly done this with the memory modules) I am still experiencing the problem. Is there a way to isolate the problem?
Thanks

#5 MountainBoy

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Posted 11 November 2012 - 08:15 AM

I have removed my sound card and my modem card (network is built in). The only card remaining is the graphics card.

I have removed, cleaned and installed:
the graphics card
two memory cards

I still find that windows will not start reliably each morning. I usually have to try it two or three times. I get no error message, just a blank screen.

Is there anything else I can check to troubleshoot the problem? I really can't afford to replace this computer right now.
Thanks,

#6 dc3

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Posted 11 November 2012 - 11:44 AM

Please check the Event Viewer to see what errors are showing up at these times. Each error has a date and time.

Go to Start> Run and type in eventvwr.msc then press Enter.

When the Event Viewer opens click on Applications in the left pane.

If you double click on an error a description of the error will open. Click on the copy icon, (the copy icon is highlighted with the red square in the picture below), once this is done you can right click and paste this description. Please post the error description/s in your next post in this topic.

Posted Image

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#7 Allan

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Posted 11 November 2012 - 12:59 PM

At EXACTLY what point does the boot process stall? If it's before the Windows Welcome screen, it's a hardware problem.

#8 Nanobyte

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Posted 11 November 2012 - 01:30 PM

Power supply problem? Not even getting to the POST because power is not good? As Allan noted, where it is hanging is very relevant. Did you blow out the dust from the power supply as well?

#9 MountainBoy

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 05:34 AM

Thank you for your help. I was running some built in tests from Dell yesterday that took hours and hours. No errors were found. I also found some hints in the documentation from Dell regarding indicator lights on the back of the unit. Since the tests were running all night, I didn't have to start it this morning and I am sure if I did a restart with it warmed up, it would be successful.

It seems like the problem arises just before or just at the windows startup. I usually just see a blank screen when it sits there hanging. When I try again, it almost always goes to offer me the screen to choose regular or safe mode startup which made me think that windows had previously made an attempt.

Sometimes I have selected safe mode at this point
Sometimes safe mode is successfull and sometimes it hangs too after scrolling out a bunch of processes.

Since the problem is intermittent and almost never happens once the computer is warmed up, it is hard to pin down. I does seem more likely to start successfully if I let it count down the 30 seconds from the choice to start in safe or normal mode and choose normal itself.

Thanks for your help.

#10 MountainBoy

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 05:39 AM

[quote name='dc3' timestamp='1352652259' post='2892211']
Please check the Event Viewer to see what errors are showing up at these times. Each error has a date and time.

Go to Start> Run and type in eventvwr.msc then press Enter.

When the Event Viewer opens click on Applications in the left pane.

If you double click on an error a description of the error will open. Click on the copy icon, (the copy icon is highlighted with the red square in the picture below), once this is done you can right click and paste this description. Please post the error description/s in your next post in this topic.

I ran eventvwr.msc and don't see any application errors occurring at startup times.
Thanks.

Edited by MountainBoy, 12 November 2012 - 05:41 AM.


#11 Nanobyte

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 07:41 AM

If you went through all the tests in the article that hamluis linked, there's not a lot more you can do. It's quite comprehensive.

If time is a factor, it could be a temperature issue with some of the hardware. Does it complete the POST?

Have you tried letting the PC go into standby overnight to if it resumes normally the next day? I don't think that will tell you much but if the problem gets worse, it may be a temporary solution to be able to keep the PC usable.

#12 Allan

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 07:59 AM

You said it happens just before or just when the welcome screen appears. That's an important difference. Tell you what, please try to boot to safe mode. What happens?

#13 MountainBoy

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 06:23 PM

If you went through all the tests in the article that hamluis linked, there's not a lot more you can do. It's quite comprehensive.

If time is a factor, it could be a temperature issue with some of the hardware. Does it complete the POST?

Have you tried letting the PC go into standby overnight to if it resumes normally the next day? I don't think that will tell you much but if the problem gets worse, it may be a temporary solution to be able to keep the PC usable.


I am not sure what you mean by the POST.

I will try safe mode first tomorrow AM. I am trying to sort this out before I get to a point where it won't boot at all. It only seems to fail when I first start it up.

Thanks for your help

#14 Nanobyte

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 06:59 PM

POST - Here is an excerpt from a web page that explains it well. At the end of the POST you get the list of hardware it has found. If in some cases you have reached the Windows screen then it must have completed the POST.

If this is a cold-start the ROM BIOS executes a full POST (Power On Self Test). If this is a warm-start the memory test portion of the POST is switched off.

The POST can be broken down into three components:
The Video Test initializes the video adapter, tests the video card and video memory, and displays configuration information or any errors.
The BIOS Identification displays the BIOS version, manufacturer, and date.
The Memory Test tests the memory chips and displays a running sum of installed memory.

Errors that occur during the POST can be classified as either 'fatal' or 'non-fatal'. A non-fatal error will typically display an error message on screen and allow the system to continue the boot process. A fatal error, on the other hand, stops the process of booting the computer and is generally signaled by a series of beep-codes.

You made some comments about Safe Mode earlier:
"Sometimes I have selected safe mode at this point
Sometimes safe mode is successfull and sometimes it hangs too after scrolling out a bunch of processes."

This is to clarify your questions of my comments. Proceed with Safe Mode as requested by Allan.

#15 dc3

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 08:06 PM

The POST screen should look similar to the one below.

Posted Image

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