Solved: Laptop crashing multiple times at boot up then ok

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bm78

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Windows XP Pro SP3. Dell Inspiron 8600 laptop. (Probably not relevant: the laptop lcd is not working and the laptop is connected to a CRT.)

Each morning when I turn on my laptop, it crashes a number of times during the start up process. After a number of crashes at start up, it then starts up without any problems and works fine for the rest of the day.

The crashes can occur before it gets to the login screen, after login but before displaying the desktop, or after it has got to the desktop. The crashes can take different forms: if it doesn't get to the login screen or login is achieved but it doesn't get to the desktop, the screen usually just stays blank and the laptop is unresponsive. Other times I get a BSoD. If it gets to the desktop, it will usually crash within say 5 minutes. Prior to crashing, Firefox (what I typically use first thing in the morning) will usually crash and crash again if I try to restart it.

In all cases I hold down the on/off button to turn off the laptop and then turn the laptop back on.

Last strange occurance: a couple of time I did get BSoD on shutting the laptop down for the day but that hasn't happened recently.

Please help.
 

bm78

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Does anyone have any ideas on this?

In the last few days chkdsk has been run automatically a number of times as I believe there was some file corruption. I have also run it myself but it hasn't fixed anything.

Could my registry data be corrupted and the computer needs to boot up multiple times in order to get to a more stable, earlier version of the registry?? (I don't know if this the way it works or not.)
 
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well i'd hate to leave you with no answer.... i dont think the registry would just work after while.. but you could do a scan with ccleaner and check the registry with that.. i really have no idea... id say it's a damaged boot file... but.. if it works after so many tries... did this perhaps happen after updating to SP3... because its infamous for breaking laptops... i also have a Dell Inspiron laptop... after updating to SP3 my wifi card doesn't work.. and eventually i just got a blue screen on boot.. idk I've heard it effect diffident things in different models.. maybe its not compatible with all your hardware... i'd update all you divers if possible Google "Dell Inspiron 8600 sp3 problems" or something see if that is your issue... sorry if i couldn't be more help
 

bm78

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Hi - thanks for the reply.

I've had SP3 installed for more than a year so its probably not that.

I just ran ccleaner and it found lots of "problems" but I have no idea about this stuff. Is it safe to let it try and fix all of these probelms?
 
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sorry ok it would be safe to fix the problems but say yes when it asks to back up the registry... as to the HJT i'm not too familiar with it so i'll have a look
 

bm78

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After 30 minutes of trying to get my laptop to boot correctly this morning, I removed one of the sticks of memory. It then booted correctly and hasn't crashed so far.

dukevyner, thanks fot offering to have a look at hijackthis. Perhaps let me see how the memory change goes first so that I don't take up your time unnecessarily.

Could a memory problem really explain why crashes only occurred at boot up?

Edit: I also removed the battery.
 
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Yes, you have found the problem. Memory can cause all of the symptoms you have had.

You just need to get a new memory stick and it should all be back to normal.

For future reference please read this warning in respect of Registry Cleaners.

The registry contains all the operating system's knowledge of a computer's configuration, hardware devices, installed software and location of the device drivers.
Under normal conditions, we do not recommend people use Registry Cleaners. Modifying registry keys incorrectly can cause Windows instability, or make Windows unbootable.
No registry cleaner is completely safe and the potential is ever present to cause more problems than they claim to fix.
Windows is a closed source system, developers of registry cleaners are not working on definitive information, but rather empirical knowledge. Automatic cleaners will usually have to do some guesswork.
If you do have a problem that is rooted in the registry, it would be far better to edit only the specific key/s and/or value/s that are causing the problem. For this you need help from someone with good knowledge and an understanding of the Windows Registry rather than leaving it in the hands of automated software. But, first you need to be sure there is a registry problem and discover what may have caused it.
 
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.. lol yeah i was gunna say that... blue screens are cause by hardware problems so if you removed a ram stick than that one must be faulty... just replace it you should be ok
 
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.. lol yeah i was gunna say that... blue screens are cause by hardware problems so if you removed a ram stick than that one must be faulty... just replace it you should be ok
That is not quite correct, Blue Screen of Death can be caused by a multitude of errors in the system, including hardware.
 

bm78

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Guys - thanks for the help - much appreciated.

It booted properly today first try.

I'll see what happens over the next few days and report back.

I'm still curious as to why crashes were restricted to boot up or shortly after boot up....???
 
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Your welcome.

When the PC boots up it is using a lot of the RAM so if it has a fault that is a likely time for it to cause a crash.
 

bm78

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Mark, I was sort of thinking the same thing but hadn't completely convinced myself.

Anyway, since removing the memory stick, my laptop has worked perfectly.

Both memory sticks that original came with laptop have now gone bad (the other one died about a year ago). Not sure how common this is. The laptop is over 5 years old.

Thanks again for the help - its really great to have my laptop working again.
 
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Your welcome, glad I could assist.

They don't fit the best RAM in new machines. If you buy top brand sticks from Kingston, Crucial and may be a few others, they come with a life time guarantee. The cheap ones aren't worth the saving.
 

bm78

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Ok I didn't realise this regarding ram. Only stick currently in my laptop is from Kingston. I'll make sure to stick with them and Crucial in the future.

Time to mark this thread as solved :)
 
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