Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 27
  1. #1
    Lounger nreiter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    30
    Thanks
    5
    Thanked 2 Times in 2 Posts

    Angry Windows 7 boot problem

    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?
    Ned

  2. Get our unique weekly Newsletter with tips and techniques, how to's and critical updates on Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows XP, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Google, etc. Join our 480,000 subscribers!

    Excel 2013: The Missing Manual

    + Get this BONUS — free!

    Get the most of Excel! Learn about new features, basics of creating a new spreadsheet and using the infamous Ribbon in the first chapter of Excel 2013: The Missing Manual - Subscribe and download Chapter 1 for free!

  3. #2
    Lounge VIP
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Scotland
    Posts
    1,168
    Thanks
    44
    Thanked 134 Times in 115 Posts
    Hello nreiter, welcome to the lounge.

    I suspect the "link" to the Windows Update is a co-incidence, meaning that I think it is caused by a boot issue and you had to re-boot after the updates and hence encountered the issue. This is reinforced by the indications that it still happens after a system Restore. After the System Restore - assuming it completes correctly - those updates are no longer present.

    So what might it be? Well, since you only boot irregularly, it may have been present for some time. SMART is a good start for the drive, but perhaps you could also download and run the manufacturers drive diagnostics tool too? 23k hours is around two and a half years, so the drive should be ok, but if you rarely shutdown, the drive may be suffering even if SMART is clean.

    There have in the past been anecdotal stories of drives that have run for a long time failing to re-start after a power cycle due to the grease on the bearing "drying up" - I've not seen it myself, but have heard of it - an urban myth perhaps or the real deal, who knows. It might be relevant in this case.

    Other than the drive, could the PSU be going soft? Boot up requires a lot more current drain on the 12v,5v and 3v rails. If the PSU is tired it may not be able to source sufficient current and drop the rails a little as a result. Should be quick and easy to swap a new PSU.

    If you don't have a spare psu, do you have a different (lower spec) video card? The video card could be dropping the PSU rails too, so a lower performance card should load the rails less.

    I assume you ran the memory checker from the system repair too and that it reports everything clean?

    Does it exhibit the fault if you unplug all USB devices: I've seen systems that hang on boot if there is a bad USB device connected.

    Finally, I'll throw in a curve ball: while the machine is running, download and burn a Linux Live CD. Re-boot, but this time , run it of the CD. Do you still see boot issues from the Live CD?

  4. The Following User Says Thank You to Tinto Tech For This Useful Post:

    nreiter (2011-12-20)

  5. #3
    Lounger nreiter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    30
    Thanks
    5
    Thanked 2 Times in 2 Posts
    You're correct about the updates not being involved, they still haven't been applied.

    The previous successful boot was on 12/3 so something happened between then and 12/13.

    I doubt it's a drive starting problem as the system does start the boot process. I'll look for the Hitachi diagnostics and run them on the drive.

    I have another PSU but it has a problem matching the mounting holes. It may fit upside down but that's a major project to install. I will keep it in mind as a last resort.

    Display adapter is a GeForce 9400GT, not a powerhouse by today's standards. I don't have another card to try, unfortunately.

    I didn't run the memory diagnostic as the system has not shown any other problems typical of memory faults, but I'll run it next time I get the boot failure to be sure.

    I've unplugged all external USB and eSATA devices with no change.

    I have been able to boot from the Windows Recovery CD, so that would seem to rule out a number of the above potential problems.

    Thanks for the suggestions, keep them coming, and I'll keep looking for something in the event logs for more clues.+
    Ned

  6. #4
    Super Moderator jwitalka's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Minnesota
    Posts
    4,774
    Thanks
    67
    Thanked 549 Times in 497 Posts
    Try the clean boot procedure.

    Jerry

  7. The Following User Says Thank You to jwitalka For This Useful Post:

    nreiter (2011-12-20)

  8. #5
    Lounger nreiter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    30
    Thanks
    5
    Thanked 2 Times in 2 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by jwitalka View Post
    Try the clean boot procedure.
    Good suggestion, I'll give that a try.
    Ned

  9. #6
    4 Star Lounger
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Fishkill, New York, USA
    Posts
    411
    Thanks
    93
    Thanked 35 Times in 31 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by nreiter View Post
    I have another PSU but it has a problem matching the mounting holes. It may fit upside down but that's a major project to install. I will keep it in mind as a last resort.+
    If all else fails and you still think it is the PSU, your spare can still be used but don't mount it. At our computer club we often lay the case on its side, disconnect wires from suspected PSU and place the spare on top of it. You should be able to temporarily reconnect wires to motherboard, drives, etc. to complete the testing.

  10. #7
    Lounger nreiter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    30
    Thanks
    5
    Thanked 2 Times in 2 Posts
    Although I seriously doubt it's the PSU, I could do as you describe. It would have to be very temporary as we live in our motorhome and there is limited space. My mid-tower lives under the desk and if I layed it down, there wouldn't be room for my feet
    Ned

  11. #8
    Gold Lounger
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Johnson City, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    3,203
    Thanks
    37
    Thanked 212 Times in 199 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by nreiter View Post
    Anyone have any ideas?
    nreiter,


    Hello.. Sometimes it is best to try the simplest things first... How is your "BIOS" battery? you can use CPUID free to see... Regards Fred
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Just Plain Fred; 2011-12-20 at 18:35.
    PlainFred

    None are so hopelessly enslaved as those who falsely believe they are free (J. W. Von Goethe)

  12. #9
    Lounger nreiter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    30
    Thanks
    5
    Thanked 2 Times in 2 Posts
    My CPUID doesn't show VBAT. And I'm now wondering if the slightly low values for the 3.3, 5, and 12V voltages indicate a failing PSU. Also, if the BIOS battery were dead, then the BIOS settings wouldn't be maintained during a power off and that's not happening.

    CPUID.PNG
    Ned

  13. #10
    Gold Lounger
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Johnson City, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    3,203
    Thanks
    37
    Thanked 212 Times in 199 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by nreiter View Post
    My CPUID doesn't show VBAT. Also, if the BIOS battery were dead, then the BIOS settings wouldn't be maintained during a power off and that's not happening.
    "n"

    Hello... You need version 1.16 CPUID 1.16... Also i didn't say that it was dead.... (battery) if its weak it can cause "Booting" problems... Regards Fred
    PlainFred

    None are so hopelessly enslaved as those who falsely believe they are free (J. W. Von Goethe)

  14. #11
    Lounger nreiter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    30
    Thanks
    5
    Thanked 2 Times in 2 Posts
    Well, that was CPUID 1.16. I got it from the link you originally posted.

    CPUID1.16.PNG
    Ned

  15. #12
    Gold Lounger
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Johnson City, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    3,203
    Thanks
    37
    Thanked 212 Times in 199 Posts
    "N",
    Hello... Sorry for my confusion... On some of the later editions things are not all the same ... Don't know why you don't see the VBAT... you have the same version as i have???..Do you have any way of testing the battery (just to eliminate it from the mix) Possibly a multimeter of some kind? Regards Fred
    PlainFred

    None are so hopelessly enslaved as those who falsely believe they are free (J. W. Von Goethe)

  16. #13
    Lounger nreiter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    30
    Thanks
    5
    Thanked 2 Times in 2 Posts
    I may just get a new battery and replace it, I think it's a CR2032? At least it's easier to change than the PSU. Yes, I have a meter and can check the voltage, but I have to wait until I can afford to be down for an hour or more. And the tower is under my desk and at my age I don't bend so well anymore
    Last edited by nreiter; 2011-12-21 at 12:00. Reason: Fix battery number
    Ned

  17. #14
    5 Star Lounger
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Slough, Berkshire UK
    Posts
    918
    Thanks
    52
    Thanked 52 Times in 50 Posts
    This is only a long shot but can you insert your windows disk and boot with it to select repair options. Then run a startup repair to see if it finds anything wrong and fixes it.
    Its possible the boot manager may be slightly corrupt and a repair run should fix it.

    Of course this may do nothing but worth a try.

    Also if your case is positioned on the floor there may be a build up of fluff and dirt in the fans and CPU cooler causing overheating.
    May be worth giving a cleanup if your going to be opening the case anyway.
    Last edited by curiousclive; 2011-12-21 at 16:11.

  18. #15
    Lounger nreiter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    30
    Thanks
    5
    Thanked 2 Times in 2 Posts
    That was the first thing I tried. Also I cleaned out the case and all fans with a vacuum cleaner and canned air. I do that every 6 months or so as it really collects dust in the motorhome. I've pretty well tried all the obvious things (except for the memory diagnostic) and am now down to grasping at straws
    Ned

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •