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Windows XP freezes on startup in normal mode, but loads OK in safe mode. What do I do?


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#1 MrSnrub

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 05:33 PM

Windows XP will freeze after about 10-15 seconds after starting up. I cannot move the cursor or right-click. I have no other choice but to hold down the power button and shut down. However, it loads OK in Safe Mode. Where do I go from here to fix this?

Edited by MrSnrub, 01 January 2013 - 05:35 PM.


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#2 MrSnrub

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 06:45 PM

Arrrgh! Now when I go into Safe Mode none of the icons appear, and I can't see the Start menu! It's a totally black screen except for "Microsoft ® Windows XP Build..." and "Safe Mode" in the four corners. Please help!

#3 MrSnrub

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 06:41 PM

Now I can't even boot into Safe Mode at all anymore. It tries and then just restarts again trying to load Windows normally, resulting in another freeze.

#4 boopme

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 10:31 PM

I will ask another to look here.
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#5 MrSnrub

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 12:13 PM

Using msconfig, I can now boot into "Diagnostic Mode" safely and repeatedly without it freezing. But if I load "Selective Startup" and choose different options to load, it freezes after my next reboot. And the problem is I can't reload msconfig again and undo my selections, it is far more time-consuming than that. How can I fix this problem? Where do I go from here to find which of the one-hundred-or-so processes is the one that is causing Windows to freeze?

#6 James Litten

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 05:25 PM

Hi

A couple of questions :)

Is this the Dell GX520 that you had trouble with last year? If so, have you replaced the hard drive in it?

When it freezes, what's the longest that you've left it frozen before turning it off? If you haven't let it set for an hour, try that and see if it unfreezes (this works a lot more often than you would think).

If it does get past the frozen part then we can see if it boots normally after that.

James

#7 MrSnrub

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 06:40 PM

OK I am setting msconfig to "Normal Startup" and restarting. It is now 6:39 p.m. Here we go.

#8 MrSnrub

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 06:45 PM

In answer to your question, no, this is not the same computer as before. This is a Gateway E-475M notebook.

#9 James Litten

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 06:48 PM

Thanks, I had to be sure.

Okay, try seeing what happens if you let it stay frozen for an hour. Make sure the AC adapter is plugged in so that the battery doesn't run out.

James

#10 MrSnrub

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 08:12 PM

It's been almost an hour and a half. I am looking at the regular Windows XP desktop and the screen is completely unresponsive. I can see the cursor on the screen, but I can't move it. Keyboard is completely unresponsive, as well.

#11 James Litten

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 08:48 PM

Let's get a list of all the stuff that tries to run when you boot into normal mode.

Boot into Safe Mode with Networking
Download Autoruns.zip.
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb963902.aspx

Extract it (you can right-click the zip file and choose EXTRACT ALL) and run autoruns.exe

Agree to the license and after it finishes loading
choose FILE
choose SAVE
The default name of the file it creates is autoruns. Please change that to something else like myautoruns (otherwise the naming may interfere with a later step)
save it to your desktop so it's easy to find.

Now I need you to get that file to me somehow or put it somewhere that I can get it from. If you have any ideas, let me know. In the meantime, I'll see what I can do to find a way to get the file from you.

James

#12 James Litten

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 09:10 PM

Okay, to get the file to me, we'll use the technique that my friend AustrAlien uses.

Right-click myautoruns.arn (this is the file you saved it may just be listed as myautoruns)
Choose SEND TO
Choose COMPRESSED (ZIPPED) FOLDER
That should now create the file named myautoruns.zip on your desktop (or possibly a second myautoruns file but with a zippered folder for an icon)

Please upload the zip file to a file sharing website of your choice and and post a link to it in this thread so that we can access your uploaded zip file.

Note: The BC forums will allow a total attachment size of only 512 kb (and what you need to attach will exceed this limit).
See the suggestions in the following links for recommendations on file sharing websites:

  • http://lifehacker.com/388284/best-online-file-sharing-services
  • http://www.hongkiat.com/blog/15-great-free-online-file-sharing-alternatives/
  • http://www.smashingapps.com/2008/08/28/5-best-free-file-hosting-services-to-store-your-files.html

    I can recommend Posted Image: Also suitable is Posted Image


I use Box for distributing educational materials to teachers and it works very well for me.
James

Edited by James Litten, 10 January 2013 - 09:12 PM.


#13 MrSnrub

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 09:46 PM

https://www.box.com/s/w9pp0o99r2ctg4jlxpia

#14 James Litten

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 11:00 PM

Good job, thanks.

I don't see any of the usual suspects and it really is clean for an XP computer. Give me a little time to go through it.

In the meantime, I'd like to know two things.

1. I see you're using Vexira Antivirus. Has that been working okay for you lately?

2. Try this and let me know if it helps (it may help me narrow down my search). Start the computer normally and as soon as you see the XP logo screen hold down a SHIFT key and hold it down until the desktop has fully loaded and even for a few moments more. When you think everything has completely loaded, stop holding it down and see if it freezes.

James

#15 James Litten

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 11:20 AM

Hi

I've got a third thing to add...

3. When it freezes, open the optical drive and put in a valid disc of some sort (not a blank disc) and close it and wait a few moments to see if it unfreezes.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The only potential cause that I could glean from the Autoruns file is the loading of Mcaffee Security Scan Scheduler.
Autoruns doesn't tell me everything that starts but it certainly tells about the majority of things. Especially things that are not related to viruses or malware.

It appears to be the most likely item to be loaded 10-15 seconds after the desktop comes up and it may be having some kind of conflict with the Vexira antivirus client running on the system.

The SHIFT key trick that I mentioned in my previous post would prevent this from loading so that is probably the easiest way to see if it is the culprit.

Just prior to this problem beginning to happen was there anything that occurred with the computer's operation that may be pertinent to our investigation?
For example, were you seeing signs of a virus like ads popping up or strange redirects in your browser.
Another example would be if you installed new software right before you started seeing the problem. That Mcaffee program is often put on a computer when you install a free program because Mcaffee pays them to get it on your system, usually with a checkbox you must catch and uncheck to avoid getting it.
Recently adding new hardware would do it too. But that is something that you probably would have noticed and simply removed before coming here.

James




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