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xp freezes on "windows is starting up" screen

Posted on 2011-09-18
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Last Modified: 2012-06-27
i have hp pavilion m7570n desktop computer running xp the freezes on "windows is starting up" screen in both regular and safe mode.  help please....
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Question by:asilb
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27 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:Dr. Klahn
ID: 36558359
Just saw a similar situation, which turned out to be a disk drive going bad and stalling for up to 3 minutes at a time.

If you can do so, extract the disk drive from the system, take it to a known good system, install it on a secondary controller port and use Passmark Disk Checkup to check the SMART status on the drive and see if it is failing.
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LVL 3

Expert Comment

by:WiReDWolf
ID: 36558366
HitnF8 immediately after the POST and try Last Known Good.
If that doesn't use the xp cd to try a recovery console and do a chkdsk /f
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Author Comment

by:asilb
ID: 36558394
drklahn and wirewolf.....

thanks for both of the replies....really appreciate it....

all things being equal, i'd rather not take out the drive.....i'd much prefer to figure out a way to get to the desktop without doing that....and be able to continue to use the computer.....i've been "logging out" and not shutting down the computer recently (since this issue started) and then it seems to work ok...but shut it down/restarted it to install updates to mozy back-up.....

did try "last known good comfig" and it still hangs up....and don't have the xp cd.....

any other thoughts.....

thanks again.....allan....
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LVL 92

Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 36558480
you can test your disk with the proper diask diag - find all diags on UCBCD : http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/      
boot from it, and select the one you want under disk tools
if the disk is OK - you can do a system restore also :
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/307545
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
An easier way is to boot from a Bart PE CD (or UBCD4Win CD) and use the file manager for manipulating files. Here  the procedure :
1. rename c:\windows\system32\config\SYSTEM to c:\windows\system32\config\SYSTEM.bak
2. Navigate to the System Volume Information folder.
it contains some restore {GUID} folders such as "_restore{87BD3667-3246-476B-923F-F86E30B3E7F8}".
The restore points are in  folders starting with "RPx under this folder.
3. In such a folder, locate a Snapshot subfolder. This is an example of a folder path to the Snapshot folder:  C:\System Volume Information\_restore{D86480E3-73EF-47BC-A0EB-A81BE6EE3ED8}\RP1\Snapshot
4. From the Snapshot folder, copy the following file to the c:\windows\system32\config folder
 _REGISTRY_MACHINE_SYSTEM
5. Rename _REGISTRY_MACHINE_SYSTEM to SYSTEM
6. Exit Bart PE, reboot and test

Use a fairly recent restore point from at least a day or two prior to problem occurring .

** you can add the other hives also with this procedure

http://www.nu2.nu/pebuilder/       BARTPE
http://www.ubcd4win.com/            UBCD4WIN
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Author Comment

by:asilb
ID: 36558992
nobus.....thanks.....but if i can't get to the desktop, how can i get to any website (ultimatebootcd or any other)?  thanks...allan
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 36559348
Very easy : from another PC
just download the cd - and make it to be used on the "wrecked" one.
that is what repair people do all the time!
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Author Comment

by:asilb
ID: 36560521
hi everyone.....

thanks again for all your help....

through some good fortune and/or luck and....going through "last known config" and unplugging some devices (hdd's and printer) somehow the computer started up and i was able to get to desktop and full use of the computer....

now that i have the full use (including internet), what is the best way to determine what is causing the problem (freezing on "windows is starting up") in the first place?.....and correct it.....

thanks again.....allan....

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LVL 92

Assisted Solution

by:nobus
nobus earned 200 total points
ID: 36560562
connect the devicces one by one - and start up again to see if it freezes
that will point you to the problem device -then you can look why it freezes on it
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Author Comment

by:asilb
ID: 36560761
nobus......thanks....i'll try that when i shut down the machine again......thanks again.....allan....
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LVL 92

Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 36560796
post results !
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Author Comment

by:asilb
ID: 36560868
nobus....i will....thanks again...but, truth be told, i don't plan on shutting computer down any time soon....just "log off''....is there something else i can do to diagnose while not shutting it off and truning it back on and pontentially running into smae problem that took a long time (and some luck as far as i'm concerned) to get it back running?    thanks again......allan....
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LVL 92

Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 36561355
i would NOT just logoff - i would shut it down - and wait even a minute to restart it
any reason not to do so? (imo you just want to test that)
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Author Comment

by:asilb
ID: 36561480
nobus.....the concern is that it won't start up again.....and i'll be stuck, again, with a computer that continues to freeze and won't open to desktop....since i'm not convinced that what i did (going through last working config and unplugging certain devices) is what made it work....i'm on that "bad" computer now.....what do you think?  thanks again....allan....
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 36565032
i know - but if you want to test, you'll have to restart it
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Author Comment

by:asilb
ID: 36567467
nobus......more than i want to test it, i want to keep it running....is there any way to determine what's causing the problem by an internal test(s) while it's on?   thanks again.....allan....
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LVL 92

Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 36568216
afaik  - no
you can look in event logs if there is a problem listed though
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Author Comment

by:asilb
ID: 36569543
nobus.....sorry.....but where do you find the events log?  thanks again.....allan....
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Accepted Solution

by:
WiReDWolf earned 300 total points
ID: 36570324
You know, I've had similar problems with systems when the BIOS was configured to allow all kinds of bootable drives like external USB drives, etc.  Even with an iPod hooked up I would end up just hanging on shutdown or not being able to boot.

You said if you removed the devices hooked up to the PC the machine was able to boot suggesting that you have a similar problem.  You need to isolate which devices is causing the problem, then see if you match a configuration in the BIOS that could potentially see that device as a bootable device.

One of the worst instances of this problem that I've seen was an all-in-one printer that had a built-in flash card reader for various memory types.  Somehow the BIOS decided that it should attempt to boot via one of these 'drives' and by the time it got through them all everything timed out and the machine wouldn't boot.  As soon as the USB cable was unplugged the machine was able to boot flawlessly, multiple times.  Adjusting the BIOS to restrict bootable devices to CD/DVD and HDD only resolved the issue.
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Author Comment

by:asilb
ID: 36570695
wiredwolf.....thanks for the additional input....actaully it seems like that may be the issue.....once i disconnected one (the newer/larger one) of the two external hard drives, it seemed to boot o.k--the one time i tried it........how does one get to the bios and how do you restrcit bootable devices so i can still use the newer/larger hd?   thanks again.....allan....
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LVL 3

Expert Comment

by:WiReDWolf
ID: 36570774
That all depends on the pc. Before and during POST there should be something on the screen that says hit DEL or F2 (or something) to enter setup.  Once in setup you should have boot options which should also include boot device order and what devices are bootable. You can always set the boot sequence but you you should also be able to select or deselect items such as USB HDD And USB FDD and Removable Devices.  I usually only enable boot devices I will actually use such ad Hard Drive and CD/DVD and actively disable everything else.
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 36571903
for bios key, look in the motherboard manual
event logs : http://support.microsoft.com/kb/308427

and if you're afraid it  won't post correct; be sure to have a backup first
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Author Comment

by:asilb
ID: 36575731
wiredwolf and nobus.....thanks again for your continuing help and support....i really appreciate it....a qucik question....is there a way to get into set-up and therefore a way to enable (and disable) boot devices while the computer is running, rather than only on start-up?   thanks again....allan....

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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 36578665
not as far as i know
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Expert Comment

by:WiReDWolf
ID: 36578767
It depends on the motherboard and what tools are available. For Intel boards there is a way to adjust settings from the windows desktop but no settings will change until the system is rebooted.

As stated previously if you are that worried about not being able to boot make really good backups before doing anything. You can't solve this problem without testing so you'll have to shut down and restart eventually.
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 36579612
i just want to add : how comfortable are you when you know you are running from a corrupt system?
Repair it - get it done!
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Author Closing Comment

by:asilb
ID: 36587959
wiredwolf and nobus.....your comments really helped.....thanks so much.....once i unplugged one of the external hard dirves and re-set the order (and disabled some) of the bios boot-up, it all seems to be working now.....hope it continues......thanks again......allan...
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 36588262
tx for feedback
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