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Windows won't start after suddenly slowing down.


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#1 stayinwonderland

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Posted 01 January 2016 - 09:27 PM

Spec:

Windows 8 64
128gb SSD
16gb ram
Nvidia GTX 660 card
i7 processor
all made to spec 2 years ago

 

Symtpoms: I noticed Photoshop was hanging for a minute or so at a time. The file I was working on was quite small so no need to cause any lag issues at all. My SSD was in the red a lot recently, plus I was getting a fair few crashes here and there in other software (but some of those were usual crashes as I'm often pushing my computer in terms of ram/processor). So I thought there were some lurking, large files (y'know those big temp files you get when software doesn't close properly) on the already burdened SSD drive. Figured a restart would help. I ran a little utility to free up some space, that too seemed to hang in a similar fashion to the photoshop hang. So that is noteworthy for sure. I restarted and it never booted. Got as far as the MSI loading screen (press del to enter bios, f9 to set up etc.) and just sat there. Never, ever done that before.

 

Next up I inserted the windows disk and asked it to book from it. It said something about Windows automatic repair. Then the screen was black for ages. No loading icon, nothing.

 

Ideas: Only guess could be hard drive. Only other issue I've had recently is that my secondary HD is failing but that wouldn't cause windows to not start.

I've recently moved country and had to ship it a long way, and recently had a couple of power cuts (which is awful for a PC obviously) and, coz I've moved to the US, the electrical outlets are quite sensitive and have, upon the slightest tough, caused my computer to restart on a few occasions.

 

Really hope someone can help as I work from home on this PC and have no idea how to even check it if it won't boot.

 

Thanks in advance. 



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#2 stayinwonderland

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Posted 02 January 2016 - 01:22 PM

additional: been doing some research on how to boot in safe mode/from CD in Windows 8 and I gather it's not simple. Tried a few things but basically the first bit of help I need is in figuring out how to boot from CD as my bios has UEFI or something. Things changed SLIGHTLY when I chose UEFI CD boot option, it gave me a 'press any key to continue' style prompt, which lead to black screen of death. Then I choose the non UEFI boot from CD option in bios and that gave me a solitary blue windows icon, then black screen of death.

 

TLDR: I thought disabling secure boot was the way forward, I did that and still no change. Just refuses to get past motherboard screen.


Edited by stayinwonderland, 02 January 2016 - 02:03 PM.


#3 usasma

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Posted 03 January 2016 - 08:40 AM

Sorry for the delay in responding - lot's of family issues :(

 

Booting from a disk in UEFI is a pain.

I presume that this is an MSI motherboard and that you use F11 to get to the boot selection menu?

 

The easiest thing to try is using a UEFI compatible disk to boot from.

If things are working right, you'll get to a screen that'll mention your CD/DVD player.

If there's a problem - you won't see the CD/DVD player

 

If trying to boot from other media, you have to disable Secure Boot.

THEN, you have to enable CSM (Compatibility Support Module) - which is known by different names in different systems (I'm unsure of what it's called in MSI products

This may be known as legacy boot or something similar. 

 

What's the model of your motherboard - that'll let us find the manual and see if the settings are in there.

 

Now, there can be other issues involved.

Test this DVD on another system to see if it boots properly there.

If it does, then the problem lies with your system.

If it's the hard drive, the easiest way to test would be to disconnect the hard drive and then try to boot from the DVD.


Edited by usasma, 03 January 2016 - 08:42 AM.

My browser caused a flood of traffic, sio my IP address was banned. Hope to fix it soon. Will get back to posting as soon as Im able.

- John  (my website: http://www.carrona.org/ )**If you need a more detailed explanation, please ask for it. I have the Knack. **  If I haven't replied in 48 hours, please send me a message. My eye problems have recently increased and I'm having difficult reading posts. (23 Nov 2017)FYI - I am completely blind in the right eye and ~30% blind in the left eye.<p>If the eye problems get worse suddenly, I may not be able to respond.If that's the case and help is needed, please PM a staff member for assistance.

#4 stayinwonderland

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Posted 03 January 2016 - 12:41 PM

Hi,

 

Thanks for getting back to me. Motherboard is MSI Z87-G41 PC MATE

 

In terms of CSM, I'm not sure if this is the same thing, but there are two options I get in BIOS, UEFI and Legacy. If I enable both it gives me a full list of boot options. I chose the legacy cd/dvd boot option. Is that the same as enabling CSM? I did disable secure boot by the way. It seemed like it was already disabled once I found it in the bios. 

 

What is a UEFI compatible disk? I have the windows disk which shipped with my PC so that should be compatible?

 

Ok, in the mean time I'll see if I can boot my windows 7 laptop from the windows 8 dvd. 

 

Thanks again,  wish me luck :/



#5 stayinwonderland

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Posted 03 January 2016 - 01:55 PM

update: tried disk in laptop, worked fine.

 

what should I do next? disconnect the hard drive? I'm not sure how that would allow the disk to work? Worth noting that when i try to boot from disk, it does get as far as the blue Windows icon. That also came up on the Win7 laptop. But on my PC it just fades to black after that, whereas laptop then brings up the repair window/options.

 

additional update: nothing major but if I try to boot from UEFI I do get the 'press any key to boot from disc...' type message. Does nothing except cause the disc drive to whir, but if I try to boot using legacy disc it does nothing at all.


Edited by stayinwonderland, 03 January 2016 - 03:32 PM.


#6 stayinwonderland

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Posted 04 January 2016 - 01:18 AM

?



#7 usasma

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Posted 04 January 2016 - 06:09 AM

I'm usually online in the early morning in UTC-5 (east coast of the US).  I don't have much time otherwise, so I may not respond quickly.

 

Fairly frequently (at work) we'll find systems with symptoms that say "bad hard drive" - but we're unable to run bootable diagnostics.

We remove the hard drive, and the diagnostics run just fine - therefore, it must be the hard drive (as this step also shows us that the DVD drive is working).

The reason behind this is that the hard drive and the DVD drive usually use the same controller on the motherboard.

If the hard drive is messed up enough, it'll confuse the controller - which in turn won't let the DVD work either.

 

Since you're getting the "Press any key to boot from disc" message - then the boot thing is working and is looking for the disk.

When you press any key and it doesn't boot - then it's most likely either a problem with the UEFI, disc, with the drive, or with the controller.

Do you have another UEFI system that you can try booting the disk on?

 

We know that legacy boot works as you were able to boot it on a W7 system.

This tends to rule out the disc as a problem - but now we have to figure why it won't boot in legacy mode on your system.

 

Finally, I'm having trouble accessing the MSI website and am running late for work.

I'll try to post back this afternoon, but will definitely respond by tomorrow AM.

Good luck!


My browser caused a flood of traffic, sio my IP address was banned. Hope to fix it soon. Will get back to posting as soon as Im able.

- John  (my website: http://www.carrona.org/ )**If you need a more detailed explanation, please ask for it. I have the Knack. **  If I haven't replied in 48 hours, please send me a message. My eye problems have recently increased and I'm having difficult reading posts. (23 Nov 2017)FYI - I am completely blind in the right eye and ~30% blind in the left eye.<p>If the eye problems get worse suddenly, I may not be able to respond.If that's the case and help is needed, please PM a staff member for assistance.

#8 stayinwonderland

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Posted 04 January 2016 - 01:14 PM

Cool, thanks for getting back.

 

I disconnected the HD and still no joy. This time it just went to a sort of DOS looking screen with text showing UEFI info and all my devices.

 

Update: I downloaded and burned Ultimate Boot CD and that works, just need to figure out how to use it as it's choc full of apps.


Edited by stayinwonderland, 04 January 2016 - 04:45 PM.


#9 usasma

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Posted 05 January 2016 - 06:52 AM

It looks like, in the Boot section of the UEFI, you can enable Boot Mode Select (Legacy + UEFI)

I presume that you'll also have to set Secure Boot Control (Disabled) in order for the Legacy stuff to work

 

The DOS looking screen was likely the POST screen for the UEFI - most likely attempting to find a device to boot from (since the HDD was missing).

 

I'm about out of ideas here.  I'd suggest posting over in the Internal Hardware forums for the experts there to have a look.  Here's a link:    http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/f/7/internal-hardware/ 


My browser caused a flood of traffic, sio my IP address was banned. Hope to fix it soon. Will get back to posting as soon as Im able.

- John  (my website: http://www.carrona.org/ )**If you need a more detailed explanation, please ask for it. I have the Knack. **  If I haven't replied in 48 hours, please send me a message. My eye problems have recently increased and I'm having difficult reading posts. (23 Nov 2017)FYI - I am completely blind in the right eye and ~30% blind in the left eye.<p>If the eye problems get worse suddenly, I may not be able to respond.If that's the case and help is needed, please PM a staff member for assistance.

#10 stayinwonderland

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Posted 05 January 2016 - 11:23 AM

I've given it to a PC guy to fix. When I told him the symptoms he gingerly asked me how old my SSD was, I told him that it just turned 2 years and he cringed. Hasn't looked at it yet but he said that SSD drives have about a 2 year life span and then drop dead without warning. That I didn't know.



#11 usasma

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Posted 06 January 2016 - 07:30 AM

 

Hasn't looked at it yet but he said that SSD drives have about a 2 year life span and then drop dead without warning. That I didn't know.

I didn't know this either :(  My SSD is about 1½ years old!

 

Unfortunately, there aren't really any tests available for SSD's - so the "fix" is to try another one.

Things like Crystal DiskInfo/S.M.A.R.T. attributes/OEM tools are becoming more important as diagnostic tools - but still aren't accurate enough to help make a firm diagnosis.

And, this makes troubleshooting much more difficult - as that's also the criteria for a motherboard problem.

 

I'm afraid that computer repair is turning into a module replacement business.

Few diagnostics, and module replacement as the ultimate diagnostic tool.

On laptops we're already there.  Most techs can replace HDD's and RAM - but beyond that it's sent to a service center for more advanced replacements.


My browser caused a flood of traffic, sio my IP address was banned. Hope to fix it soon. Will get back to posting as soon as Im able.

- John  (my website: http://www.carrona.org/ )**If you need a more detailed explanation, please ask for it. I have the Knack. **  If I haven't replied in 48 hours, please send me a message. My eye problems have recently increased and I'm having difficult reading posts. (23 Nov 2017)FYI - I am completely blind in the right eye and ~30% blind in the left eye.<p>If the eye problems get worse suddenly, I may not be able to respond.If that's the case and help is needed, please PM a staff member for assistance.

#12 stayinwonderland

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Posted 06 January 2016 - 11:57 AM

That is a shame :/

 

Well, the repair guy said he managed to get my SSD backed up and it's apparently ok. But before that, he suggested a RAID backup/clone so that the drive is always cloned and ready to be swapped out if things go bad.



#13 usasma

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Posted 07 January 2016 - 06:10 AM

Sounds like a good plan to me.

Good luck!


My browser caused a flood of traffic, sio my IP address was banned. Hope to fix it soon. Will get back to posting as soon as Im able.

- John  (my website: http://www.carrona.org/ )**If you need a more detailed explanation, please ask for it. I have the Knack. **  If I haven't replied in 48 hours, please send me a message. My eye problems have recently increased and I'm having difficult reading posts. (23 Nov 2017)FYI - I am completely blind in the right eye and ~30% blind in the left eye.<p>If the eye problems get worse suddenly, I may not be able to respond.If that's the case and help is needed, please PM a staff member for assistance.




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