Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
Up until a week or so ago I had no problems with booting my system, but I rarely have occasion to reboot. Usually only after some driver updates but I've done none of those in awhile. Last week after I downloaded and installed the monthly Windows updates, the boot process would get to the initial GUI screen with the throbbing Windows logo and stall. The hard drive activity light is solid. I can leave it in that condition for up to a half hour and it never finishes booting. I've booted to the recovery screen and run all the repair options, and although it shows one problem, the actual problem varies from try to try and doesn't seem to be relevant. I've opened a command prompt from the repair options screen and run sfc /scannow and it doesn't find any problems. I can usually get to safe mode with command prompt via the F8 boot menu and again run sfc and chkdsk /r and still no problems found. Some times a restore to a previous restore point will allow Windows to boot, but the next reboot will hang.
Today I updated the nVidia driver to the latest as I always suspect the video driver when Windows has booting problems, took a restore point, and rebooted. Still hangs at the same place. I tried doing a system restore to the newly created restore point but it still hangs. Then I booted to safe mode with command prompt, ran sfc to check and again no problems found. I then did a normal start boot and Windows loaded and showed the completion screen for the restore.
There were a lot of different attempts to resolve this over the past week but none that worked consistently. Sometimes doing a system restore works and the system will start normally. Other times booting to safe mode with command prompt, the restarting works, but rarely the same procedure works twice in a row. Is it possible my 1TB hard drive is failing? The S.M.A.R.T. data doesn't show any problems but the drive has over 23,000 hours of run time. And a chkdsk /f finds no bad sectors or data.
I know if I do a restart it will hang again, so I'm not going to do that until I can get to the bottom of this. Anyone have any ideas?