OS freezes during startup?!

ycchan

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The computer boots up normally and I see the Windows XP logo. The status bar will move for a few seconds then it would freeze. The HDD indicator stays alight. (no flashing activity) Nothing happens after.

When I restart the computer, I get a message from windows that it has not started properly. I chose "start windows normally" and it would freeze as mentioned above.

Also tried "start windows last known good configuration " no dice.

Safe mode with networking works and I get to the Windows desktop. But once I restart windows normally, it would freeze. Does anyone know what could be the problem?

I'm running Win XP SP3
Comp specs, see sig.

Thanks.
 

nessus

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Jan 30, 2001
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While booted into safe mode, choose a system restore from a day or towo before the problem started. See if that takes care of it.
 

Catweazle

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You can get to safe mode OK? Then it's either a driver or something loading at startup creating the problem.

Here's a heavy-handed approach which oughta sort it out, then:

  • In Safe Mode, run msconfig and identify everything which is listed as loading at startup. Either disable the boot time loading of the relevent programs, or uninstall them.
  • Still in Safe Mode, use both Device Manager and the Uninstall programs Control Panel app to remove all your devices and any installed software items related to them. Don't reboot if prompted aafter any of the uninstalls. Just keep on uninstalling the next'n.
  • When done, Shut Down.
  • Power up again. Hopefully, the thing oughta boot to Desktop using generic drivers. If it doesn't, then your problem was either a nasty infection or a corrupt install, right from the outset, in which case a wipe and start over was best option anyways.
  • Reload your up to date drivers afresh, and then have a good look to ensure the software you're gonna allow to load at startup actually needs to and actually is dependable software.

That's all if a restore point don't fix it, of course :D



Edit: Oh! Do you actually prolly NEED to be so heavy-handed?

Nope. But the above'll sure as shit obviate the need for about a million questions about your rig and what's on it!
 

ycchan

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Thanks for the suggestions.

Tried the system restore point but it didn't work.
One thing I noticed is when I choose system restore point again, all previous store points are gone. :eek:

Also did the "heavy handed approach". I disabled some of the start up aps but all seem normal to me. i.e. adobe, mcafee etc I disabled any suspicious programs but it didn't solve the problem.

Tried using diagnostic mode but it would would freeze as well. The start up win xp status bar freezes after the 9th sweep...:confused:
 

vabch22

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Have you tried booting VGA mode? I had a issue kind of like yours and it was due to the video drivers not loading correctly. If I booted in VGA mode, or removed the drivers in safe mode, the PC booted fine.

Also, if you have PCAnywhere and recently updated it or removed it, we had issues in the past where it will fubar Intel video drivers (some of the pcany drivers overwrite the same files as Intel) causing the OS to BSOD or no longer boot properly.
 

ycchan

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Tried booting into VGA mode, doesn't solve the problem. Also tried uninstalling the video drivers.

Seems I'm running out of options...only safe mode works.
 

SkullE

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Remove all network plugs and try to boot again.

You'd be surprised how many times i've ran into the hunting for a network freeze pause. sometimes for as long as 2 minutes.
 

vabch22

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I assume you've already tried disabling any unneeded startup items/apps?

I remember years ago where I had two CDROMs and one was causing my PC not to boot. I unplugged them both, Win booted. Found the bad drive and replaced it. Try unplugging any devices you don't need and see if it boots (ie. cdroms, usb devices, etc.)
 

Azhar

Fixing stupid since 1972
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I assume you've already tried disabling any unneeded startup items/apps?

I remember years ago where I had two CDROMs and one was causing my PC not to boot. I unplugged them both, Win booted. Found the bad drive and replaced it. Try unplugging any devices you don't need and see if it boots (ie. cdroms, usb devices, etc.)

That's exactly the same problem I've had the first time I've ever installed Vista. It would take 20 minutes to boot and for-fricken-ever to install. It turned out it was a bad DVD drive that did it. I unplugged the drive and Vista was blazing fast.

XP tends to ignore bad hardware. Vista isn't as forgiving. Looking back, I remember many times I had to pull out a disk and see if it's scratched up because the drive wouldn't always load it. My Computer would constantly freeze up if there was a disk in the drive too in XP.
 

ycchan

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Unplugged both DVDRWs...
Disconnected the soundcard, floppy drive and firewire. Changed graphics card, updated new drivers. The damn thing still freezes during windows startup.

I guess that rules out any hardware issues.
 

ycchan

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Remove all network plugs and try to boot again.

You'd be surprised how many times i've ran into the hunting for a network freeze pause. sometimes for as long as 2 minutes.

Don't think thats the problem as Safe mode with networking works. I tried nevertheless.
 

Catweazle

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I guess that rules out any hardware issues.

Open up Device Manager and set it to 'View hidden devices'. There might be virtual device drivers trying to load which aren't loading successfully, and if so they should be listed there as hidden devices.
 

ycchan

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Device manager shows no problems even with hidden devices. (i.e.no exclamation mark)
 

ycchan

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btw whenever I change something in msconfig, I get a message stating "An access denied error was returned while attempting to change a service. You may need to log on using administrator account to make specified changes". Which seems weird because I'm using an admin account. Ironically, after pressing "OK" I get "You must restart computer for some of the chnges made by system configuration to take effect".

Is this normal?

Also, I tried using Win XP CD repair mode.

I figured maybe the boot sector files were damaged/corrupt so I tried to copy it from the Win XP CD.

i.e. copy D:\i386\ntldr C:
copy D:\i386\ntdetect.com C:

I get "ACCESS DENIED" wtf :confused:
 

vabch22

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btw whenever I change something in msconfig, I get a message stating "An access denied error was returned while attempting to change a service. You may need to log on using administrator account to make specified changes". Which seems weird because I'm using an admin account. Ironically, after pressing "OK" I get "You must restart computer for some of the chnges made by system configuration to take effect".

Is this normal?

Also, I tried using Win XP CD repair mode.

I figured maybe the boot sector files were damaged/corrupt so I tried to copy it from the Win XP CD.

i.e. copy D:\i386\ntldr C:
copy D:\i386\ntdetect.com C:

I get "ACCESS DENIED" wtf :confused:

I say login as root and kick it's ass. :p

So any option via repair console tells you access denied? Do you have any security software installed (ie. PGP) or any other drive encryption? Maybe a setting in the BIOS? I know HP has such an option to go with their ProtectTools, but not sure if any other vendors use items along those lines.
 

Azhar

Fixing stupid since 1972
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18,876
btw whenever I change something in msconfig, I get a message stating "An access denied error was returned while attempting to change a service. You may need to log on using administrator account to make specified changes". Which seems weird because I'm using an admin account. Ironically, after pressing "OK" I get "You must restart computer for some of the chnges made by system configuration to take effect".

Is this normal?

Also, I tried using Win XP CD repair mode.

I figured maybe the boot sector files were damaged/corrupt so I tried to copy it from the Win XP CD.

i.e. copy D:\i386\ntldr C:
copy D:\i386\ntdetect.com C:

I get "ACCESS DENIED" wtf :confused:

Even if you are the computer administrator, you will still be required root access to access system changing settings. Easiest way to go about accessing MSCONFIG is to create a shortcut to MSCONFIG and then rightclicking it and selecting "Run as Administrator".
 

ycchan

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Even if you are the computer administrator, you will still be required root access to access system changing settings. Easiest way to go about accessing MSCONFIG is to create a shortcut to MSCONFIG and then rightclicking it and selecting "Run as Administrator".

To set it to run as administrator, do I uncheck the box "protect my computer and data from unauthorized program activity"?

It seems something is blocking me from running as administrator. Because that access denied message is still there when I want to change something in msconfig.
(I uninstalled McAfee security centre, still doesn't work ahh)
 

ycchan

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nothing in the Event logs?

Under Computer Management > Event Viewer, I get an error message which states "unable to complete the operation on "system". The interface is unknown.

This is the same for application, IE, Security.

:mad::mad:
 

H-street

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are you part of a domain?

the only thing i found was http://support.microsoft.com/kb/888189 on that error..

check the user accounts, make sure there isn't something odd going on there.

to me it sounds like the OS is kindof gone screwy configuration wise..

my suggestion, would be to try and repair the installation first with the xp cd and see what it finds. it could be something as simple as a corrupt configuration (permissions) or registry..

hav eyou installed any updates lately that may have caused it? look at your windows update log and if you need to uninstall the last few (last tuesday was Super Tuesday)

for reference here is the booting information http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb457123.aspx

specifically read up and enable boot logging

Technet said:
Boot logging

Boot logging lists the files that were successfully and unsuccessfully processed during startup. Boot logging enables you to log the Windows XP Professional components that are processed when you start your computer in safe mode and also in normal mode. Compare the differences between the two logs to determine which components are not required to start.

Enable boot logging using either of these methods:

Edit the Boot.ini file as described in “Reviewing and Correcting Boot.ini Settings” later in this chapter. Add the /bootlog parameter, save the revised Boot.ini, and restart the computer. For more information about the /bootlog parameter, see Table 29-14 later in this chapter.

Restart the computer and press F8 when prompted. On the Windows Advanced Options menu, select Enable Boot Logging.

that should get you right to the heart of what is wrong, boot in regular .. when it freezes restart and view the log..

here is the recommendation from MS

Technet said:
If you cannot start your computer in normal mode, start it in safe mode. For the services that run only in normal mode, disable those services one at a time, trying to restart your computer in normal mode after you disable each service. Continue to individually disable services until your computer starts in normal mode.
 

ycchan

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I got fed up and reinstalled windows using the repair function. That solved the prob finally.

Thanks all.
 
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