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Windows 8 fails to restart

Posted on 2014-04-20
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Last Modified: 2014-04-21
I use a 64 bit windows 8 laptop that had been working perfectly until recently. Now, when I try to restart, the computer starts the process, but then reaches a standstill and goes no further. It is as if the computer is hibernating/sleeping, but the bluetooth and wireless lights remain lit. All disc activity ceases (or nearly so). Restart happens with a minimal (safe) boot with all services and startup options loading, but if I add the "original boot configuration" it fails. I am reluctant to start all over with a reset, so I'm hoping expert advice can help identify the culprit. BTW, malwarebytes show no malware and ZoneAlarm is installed, but the problem occurs even without ZA. Occasionally on shutdown, I get the message "This app is preventing you from restarting." Of course, the app is unidentified, but if I cancel the process, nothing works unless I go to Task Manager. There, explorer.exe is "not responding." If it is restarted, most things work, but shutdown/restart still fails. I need a method to investigate, now that I've found no apparent problems with services or startups.
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Question by:2ward2
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Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 40011846
Can you run the vendor tests for hard drive and memory?  You may have a hardware fault.

In Safe Mode, can you get to Action Center, Recovery Options?  One of the options (which I use nearly a year ago) is a Windows 8 Refresh. This will repair your computer, keep all your data, but make you reinstall some applications (those loaded after Windows 8 was first set up). If you try this, back up your data first, just in case.

Another thing to try in Safe Mode is CHKDSK. But again, back up first before running CHKDSK to fix drive errors.
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by:2ward2
ID: 40011888
Thanks for your response. This is a "refurbished" MSI GT60 laptop only about 6 months old. It came with Windows 8 as an OEM install, but without a separate disk (Not sure why). Therefore, some of the options available might be troublesome or unavailable. Also, I have run chkdsk and sfc without errors. Advanced system care found no drive errors and exam of the system log seems to show a healthy drive "no action needed" or some such. As I understand "refresh" it requires a copy of the OS on a separate disk or dedicated drive, neither of which are currently available. Any other thoughts?
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John Hurst earned 2000 total points
ID: 40011894
Action Center, Recovery Options, Windows 8 Refresh should work without any OS on a separate or dedicated drive. It should work with Windows 8 as it is. Did you try it?
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Author Comment

by:2ward2
ID: 40011895
Looks like I misunderstood the caveats with the recovery issues. I'll try it and let you know. Thanks, again, for your input.
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Expert Comment

by:David Johnson, CD, MVP
ID: 40011976
it is a service or a program that is stopping the restart... all you can do is run msconfig and start eliminating items .. a 3rd party antivirus / firewall are typical culprits
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Author Comment

by:2ward2
ID: 40011983
Thanks, David. I went through that checking each service and startup program, but all could be loaded OK as long as I stayed in Minimal boot mode. If I added "Use original boot configuration", however, there were problems. I decided to take John's advice and try refresh despite my misgivings. Apparently, I failed to recognize the warning regarding the OS applied to Win 8.1, not Win 8 itself. As a result, I refreshed the computer and (so far) things are going well. Now, starts the task of reloading/installing some of the programs that the process eliminated. I will try a restart after each installation, required or not, to see if one of them reproduces the problem. For now, I'm still a (sort of) happy camper. I'm awarding John the points as his suggestion seems to have solved the problem and given me a way to progress toward further analysis of the offending program(s).
I appreciate your input.
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Author Closing Comment

by:2ward2
ID: 40011985
With John's encouragement, I started the refresh process. At one point, however, when the message of "...few more things to clean up" froze at 3% followed by another popup telling me that the computer could not load Windows 8, suggesting that I restart that process, dark thoughts were going through my mind. As it turned out, simply progressing to the only option available at that point led to success. Now, if I can get version 8.1 reinstalled I'll be back in business. Kudos to John for his advice!
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Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 40012329
@2ward2 - Thank you and I was happy to assist.
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