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Laptop freezes unless in Safe mode


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21-Feb-2012, 03:23 PM #1
Laptop freezes unless in Safe mode
Hi, I'm new to this forum, so I hope I'm posting this in the correct location.

Anyway, my laptop, which is an HP Pavilion (1 year old) with an i7 processor and 500gb hard drive, freezes everytime I start it up. My computer was perfectly functional until a few days ago. The first problem that occured was Safari would freeze on my homepage (google) everytime I opened the program. Every other website worked fine. On google chrome everything was running fine including google.com. Eventually safari would freeze no matter what site I went to, so I started using Chrome exclusively, which worked okay until after a couple hours, when it too began to freeze on any website. I ran a virus scan only to find a few tracking cookies and nothing with a high threat level. Well, the next thing I knew my computer itself became unresponsive. Whenever I start it up it appears everything is working until about 1-2 minutes in. Then everything freezes. For example, if I click the start menu or open a folder, it won't open until 30 minutes later if I'm lucky. So I guess my computer is just extremely slow. I did not do anything out of the ordinary, so I have no idea what is causing this problem. I also tried a system restore, which accomplished nothing. I did notice, however, that my laptop seems to run at normal speed in safe mode, for whatever reason. If anyone thinks they can help me out or knows what might be the problem, I would really appreciate it.

And just as a side note, I did notice my computer seemed to be excessively hot before the problem occurred. I don't know if this could be a cause or not.
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21-Feb-2012, 04:40 PM #2
Safe mode starts the computer with a minimum of hardware drivers so if it runs fine in that mode then there is probably a hardware conflict. Have you made any hardware changes or updates before the problem began? If the unit runs hot it will usually slow it down. Does it get as hot using Safe Mode?
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21-Feb-2012, 05:34 PM #3
I did not make any hardware changes, the computer did install some updates automatically a few days before it stopped working. It does not seem to be running hot in safe mode. But you think it's a hardware conflict?
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21-Feb-2012, 09:21 PM #4
Have you installed any new hardware recently?
How full is your C drive?
How much RAM do is installed?
Is this a 64 BIT version of Windows?
When you start a computer in Safe Mode it starts up with the basics to diagnose and repair Windows. It could also be software related. Try a process of elimination by disabling a program in startup within MSCONFIG, by disabling one at a time and restarting to find the culprit software, be aware it could take some time.
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21-Feb-2012, 11:29 PM #5
I have not installed any new hardware recently.
My C drive is about half full.
There are 4 gb of RAM installed.
Yes, it is a 64 bit version.
I will try what you said about disabling programs in msconfig. Thanks for the reply.
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22-Feb-2012, 02:25 AM #6
You were right about that process being time consuming. It took about 2 hours total, and with no results. I disabled the programs one at a time, and the computer still froze upon startup in normal mode. At least I can eliminate that. Any other ideas?
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22-Feb-2012, 03:30 AM #7
Ok, let's try having all startup applications disabled in MSCONFIG. Within MSCONFIG in services tab select hide all Microsoft Services & select disable all then restart the PC. Then enable one service at a time with restarting the PC everytime. A good indication will be after the fist reboot if it related to a service.
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22-Feb-2012, 12:36 PM #8
Actually, I might be getting somewhere now. I disabled all the services, and started my laptop in normal mode, and it seemed to run at fast speed again. So I guess this means the problem is related to one of these services? I will try enabling them one at a time now and see what happens. This will probably take quite awhile...
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22-Feb-2012, 10:52 PM #9
Well...a very bizarre thing happened while testing the services. I was making progress, enabling the services one at a time, and I thought for sure I would pinpoint the service that was causing the problem. But for some reason half the services disappeared from the list entirely. I tried restarting a few times but they wouldn't show up. I couldn't perform basic functions like connecting to the internet or a system restore because the services were disabled and missing. I ended up reinstalling windows entirely after backing up my files. This seemed to take care of the problem. I would've liked to avoid doing this, but I didn't know what else to do. Anyways, thanks for the help, it was worth a shot. And at least now I know it wasn't a hardware problem.
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23-Feb-2012, 01:05 AM #10
Ouch, before deselecting all services did you select "Hide all Microsoft Sevices"?
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25-Feb-2012, 12:41 AM #11
No, I didn't. I know what you're talking about though... that's the weird part.
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25-Feb-2012, 01:20 AM #12
You might try booting the computer into safe mode. While computer is booting gently continously tap the F8 key. This will open the safe mode. When the page (black with white lettering) is loaded, use the arrow keys on the keyboard to move to the "Last Known Configuration" option, click enter. Let the computer do it's thing. If this is successful I would suggest that you create a restore point..
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25-Feb-2012, 01:21 AM #13
You might try booting the computer into safe mode. While computer is booting gently continously tap the F8 key. This will open the safe mode. When the page (black with white lettering) is loaded, use the arrow keys on the keyboard to move to the "Last Known Configuration" option, click enter. Let the computer do it's thing. If this is successful I would suggest that you create a restore point..
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25-Feb-2012, 03:41 PM #14
The "Last Know Configuration" option is for when the computer does not start correctly. This will not work because the computer has started. What has happened all of the services has been deselected and this stops all of Microsofts services from running. I did mention when disabling the services to select "Hide all Microsoft services" (see the picture bottom left)
But Windows has been re-installed
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25-Feb-2012, 04:42 PM #15
Using the last known good configuration, when you tap the F8 key, works before the computer has started.....It also restores important files, w/o hurting your personal documents. In my not so humble opinion, a novice computer user should NOT mess around the services.....okay to uncheck start up stuff in the MSCONFIG but that is the only tab I ever suggest a novice do anything with...
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