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Vista hangs on startup

Posted on 2011-04-30
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Last Modified: 2012-06-27
Laptop, Inspiron 1720, 2 GB RAM - nice machine.

this computer hangs on normal start up and the progress bar just flashes endlessly.  If I try to start in safe mode it hangs where the last file displayed is windows\...\drivers\crcdisk.sys.  I have tried to reinstall Vista Home premium, 32 bit but it too gets to a point near completion and just hangs.  I have tried FIXMBR and running the bootrec utility with no luck.

I have made it to the command prompt and it looks like someone tried to reinstall on here on two different partitions 4 times or so as there are Windows.old and windows.000 folders.

Any suggestions?
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Question by:paleface
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Assisted Solution

by:austinstace
austinstace earned 400 total points
ID: 35498836
Find out the brand and model number for the hard drive that is installed in the computer. When you start the computer watch the screen. It will tell you to hit a key to enter setup. Once in setup, look for the screen that lists the drives. Note the model number. Before you leave the bios settings screens, make sure that your first boot device is cd. It probably is but check just to make sure.

Go to the hard drive manufacturer's web site and download their diagnostic utility. You will want to get the one that can be burned to a bootable cd.

Turn the computer on, put the diagnostic cd in and reboot. Follow the instructions provided with the hard drive test software to see if you are experiencing drive failure.
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Expert Comment

by:asidu
ID: 35499483
Are you able to run the dell diagnostic on start up.
If there is a factory default image on the system. You could reinstall your system from there. You will loose your data !
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Expert Comment

by:Jackie Man
ID: 35499500
1. Start the computer with Vista Home Premium disc

2. Goto Command Prompt in Vista Recovery Environment

Note: A tutorial of Using Command Prompt in Vista Windows Recovery is in the URL below.

URL: http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/tutorials/tutorial147.html

3. Run the command below.

   chkdsk /r
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by:asidu
ID: 35499506
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Assisted Solution

by:nobus
nobus earned 400 total points
ID: 35499537
i would start by testing the disk -  as suggested
you can run the diag from a bootable cd : http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/      

**testing the ram too will make sure your basics are OK
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Author Comment

by:paleface
ID: 35517002
Yes I ran the dell diagnostic and it came up with no errors.  Unfortunately I can't get behind the Dell splash screen to get a read out on the hard drive, so I'll have to take a peek inside.  chkdsk /r had been performed with no improvement.  
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by:nobus
ID: 35686404
starting a disk diag from ubcd will tell hyou the model - then you can run the correct one
no need for peeking in
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by:paleface
ID: 35689400
I don't need to know the manufacturer to obtain the correct disk diag?
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by:Jackie Man
ID: 35689566
You need to know the manufacturer to obtain the correct disk diag.
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by:nobus
ID: 35690203
no - the diag will list all the disks models it finds - you can google the model  to fuind the manufacturer
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by:austinstace
ID: 35691238
The ultimatebootcd that nobus referred you to includes a very extensive set of tools. All of the common hard drive manufacturer's diagnostic tests are included on that disc. It is a very handly tool but can be unwieldy for a one-off need. If you do download it, you can check the hard drive(s) and memory to make sure they are not faulty.

Another method of obtaining the tools to test the hard drive(s) and memory is to download a copy of memtest86 from download.com.

To get the diagnostic software for your hard drive, take a peak inside your case and get the model number and manufacturer of the hard drive. Get the manufacturer's disk diagnostic utility and run that.

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by:nobus
ID: 35691403
i just posted above that even that is not needed...
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by:austinstace
ID: 35691419
Not intending to step on any toes nobus. I'm was attempting to clarify and sum up what we have all said since the op seemed to have questions.
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Expert Comment

by:Jackie Man
ID: 35691437
Different brands of HDD have their own HDD diagnostic tools for their respective brand.
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by:nobus
ID: 35691505
of course jackieman )-( we are only discussing how to find the proper one
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Author Comment

by:paleface
ID: 35692813
This download looks awesome but i'm in a rural area ... its going .... but its going to take a while  :)
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Author Comment

by:paleface
ID: 35693995
Downloaded and burned the ISO .. ubcd boots and launches fine.

If I go into HDD diagnosis the only tool that is not manufacturer specific (already tried the fujitsu and it only listed as "other") is the ViVARD tool.  It will perform a surface test etc.

If I go back to the main menu and go into HDD Device info and mangmt then to atainf it identifies the dvd drive, then says no controller found in 4 locations.

DISKINFO id's the dvd as well but flies past the hdd so fast i can't see it and it won't 'pause' or scroll or page up ... After repeated tries I see the sector info etc ... still trying to glean something out useful in the blink of an eye.
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Author Comment

by:paleface
ID: 35694062
a speed test on the hard drive looks promising ... at least the graphics look reasonable.
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Author Comment

by:paleface
ID: 35694098
Fast hdd test passed
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Author Comment

by:paleface
ID: 35695190
The hard drive passed the full test as well with reasonable read write readings.  I wanted to use the restore method described above by asidu but it was not an option.  So after logging into the command prompt and looking for retrievable data, documents, and pictures - there was none - I decided to try to do a basic install again.

Once again the install gets all the way to the 'Completing Installation' and it hangs.

At this point I am giong to search that UBcd for a wipe disk utility and attempt a clean install
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 35695947
try DFT Drive Fitness test - it runs on  nearly all brands - and will show your disk model also
if unsure - post the model
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Author Comment

by:paleface
ID: 35701485
using some of the info from one of the test screens I narrowed it down to a Western Digital and their drive test shows up with all the pertinent model, serial, firmware, etc.

Running their extended test.
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Author Comment

by:paleface
ID: 35701518
The quick test passed with no errors ... so ... after quite a few tests .. with the extended still running, let's say the hard drive passes .. what could be the issue?
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Author Comment

by:paleface
ID: 35703305
Extended hard drive test passed with no errors.
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by:austinstace
ID: 35703925
Did you run chkdsk /r ?
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by:nobus
ID: 35704129
at this point, i would say that it looks like a mobo or otherhardware problem -since it hangs during install
btw - you disconnected all peripherals  before installing?  printers, scanners, card readers, etc..?
then i would wipe the disk with DBAN before doing a fresh install
don't forget to backup first !
 http://dban.sourceforge.net/
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Here2Help earned 1200 total points
ID: 35705191
Hey.

Try tapping F8 at startup and going into Windows Recovery Environment then running Command Prompt.

Enter the Following:


bcdedit /export C:\BCD_Backup
c:
bootrec /RebuildBcd
bootrec /FixMbr
bootrec /FixBoot
cd boot
attrib bcd -s -h -r
ren c:\boot\bcd bcd.old
bootrec /RebuildBcd
bootrec /FixMbr

Open in new window

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Author Comment

by:paleface
ID: 35706270
Ran chkdsk /r for the 3rd time and get the message that windows found no problems ... however, this time the following message appeared at the end:  "Failed to transfer logged messages to the event log with status 50"

It is a laptop and there are no peripherals.

Next trying here2help's method before DBAN.

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Author Comment

by:paleface
ID: 35706447
On the RebuildBcd command it came up with 3 extra "old" copies of windows and when asked I omitted them from the boot list :  Add Windows.old? N.

On  #9.  the rebuild found 5 old copies of window including one on a seperate D: partition.  I omitted all but the C:\Windows installation.

Computer still stayed in some permanent boot loop - never succeeding at boot.

I had high hopes for that routine Here2help.  I am going to retry it using the D:\Windows and the oldest entry for C:Windows.old.002
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Expert Comment

by:austinstace
ID: 35707048
The Windows.old.xxx folders are copies of previously installed Windows operating systems and files. When you reinstall, the installation renames your current install as c:\windows.old, a second reinstall or upgrade will be renamed c:\windows.old.XXX where XXX is an incrementing number.

I don't think you are having a hardware problem. It's still a possibility but Vista is known to hang for any number of reasons right after crcdisk.sys is loaded. You may be throwing good time after bad in that you may not find the fault and be able to recover the current install. While you still have access to the drive the ultimate boot cd, you may want to consider copying off important files and doing a fresh install.

I do find it interesting that there are so many installs of Windows on this laptop.
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Author Comment

by:paleface
ID: 35707095
Yes - the reinstalls were passed on to me from previous attempts and I may have added one myself... however ....

Tentative success = after trying several rebuilds using here2help's commands canceling all other installations but using windows.old got a successful boot.

Any suggested clean up steps to take before calling this a success?
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Author Comment

by:paleface
ID: 35707143
Also ... when I received the installation disk it looked like the mother had used it as a bib while feeding a baby = super smudged and dried.  I used proper technique to clean it up and it looked great, but as i was preparing to use the DBAN and reinstall i noticed a deep scratch toward the outer edge.  Deep enough to snag my fingernail.  Now wondering if that disk is not performing in the very final stage of installation.  Does Dell provide a downloadable ISO for vista?
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Expert Comment

by:Here2Help
ID: 35707477
In Windows Recovery Environment does it show Dell Factory Image Restore?

If it does, then you won't need an installation disk.  Just click the Dell button to restore the laptop to factory settings.

Backup up any important data!
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Author Comment

by:paleface
ID: 35707782
No ... someone brought that up earlier ... that was not an option when going to the boot screen or from the WinRe from installation disk.

Do I need to submit a new question about cleaning up all these old installs?  I don't mind ...

Thanks.
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Expert Comment

by:Here2Help
ID: 35707892
Try this tutorial:

Windows 7 - Windows.old Folder - Delete (should work for vista as well)
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Author Comment

by:paleface
ID: 35708274
Thanks Here2help.  I am going to submit a new question on the subject since I am operating from the Windows.old installation and I want to rid all other 5 or 6 "old" installations and make it to where there is only the one windows installation / folder with no .old on it.
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by:Here2Help
ID: 35709843
No probs!
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