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  1. #1
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    PC is hard to start

    I have a 3 year old Dell PC running Win 7 Pro 64, that has problems getting through the boot/startup process. Once running it is 100% reliable, running for long periods with zero problems.
    This looks like a problem with the MBR or other boot sectors on the hard drive, but I have replaced the HD without solving the problem (could still be the HD, of course....).
    The startup process fails at random points. Sometimes it hangs without even getting to the POST process. Sometimes it gets through POST, Windows load, login, etc, and almost finishes loading all my programs, and then freezes. Once it gets to the end of the whole boot/start up/ process, then (so far!) it has never failed. But it takes many failed startup attempts to get to that point.
    If I try to boot from an Acronis emergency startup/bootable CD (which I think should work with a completely failed HD) I see the same problems. That is, IF it gets through the POST, it will get part way through loading and running the Acronis software, then fail at some apparently random point.
    Any suggestions for possible causes, or steps I could take to identify the problem, would be much appreciated.
    Richard

  2. #2
    WS Lounge VIP mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    Can you boot to Safe mode? I don't think it will make a difference, because it sounds like the problem is occurring before you ever start to load Windows.

    Try creating a Windows Defender Offline disk and booting with that. WDO loads pre-Windows. That at least may give you some indication at what point in the boot process the problem is occurring.

    Have you tried swapping out the memory? If you have multiple memory modules, try removing one at a time, to see if the problem goes away. If that doesn't fix it, try disconnecting one hardware device at a time including your primary hard drive, to see if the problem goes away. (The only problem you'll get when disconnecting your primary hard drive is that it will tell you that there is no system disk; but by the time you get that message, the problem should have already occurred.)

  3. #3
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    Seems like either a power or RAM problem more than HD.

    Have you run memory tests?

    Joe

  4. #4
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    You could create a memtest86 boot disk or use a Windows 7 disk to access it's default memory diagnostic test.
    Run the memory testing application for at least a few hours in an advanced config.
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  5. #5
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    Thanks for all the advice and suggestions. I have not run a memory test, because it is difficult to get the PC to boot from a Memtest disk (or a Windows disk) to run the test. I am leaning toward the power supply as the possible cause of the problem. I will replace it and see if that fixes it. If not, I will be back for more help. Richard

  6. #6
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    Check temps also as it may be getting too hot and shutting down.
    Even with a new PSU you may need to run the start-up repair from the win 7 disk to repair any corruption caused during errors.
    If you are going to replace the PSU try to get one with a little higher rating than the old one in case it is struggling with any add-ons you may have.

    Let us know even if you fixed it.
    Last edited by curiousclive; 2012-12-14 at 13:59.
    Clive

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