1. Computer problem? Tech Support Guy is completely free -- paid for by advertisers and donations. Click here to join today! If you're new to Tech Support Guy, we highly recommend that you visit our Guide for New Members.

Solved: This can't be happening but machine dies on startup

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Trentham, Jul 10, 2010.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
Advertisement
  1. Trentham

    Trentham Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2002
    Messages:
    308
    This MAY not be a Win7 problem at all, but I'm able to boot off CD into XP and Linux OK...

    I've been asked to sort out a machine which has Win7 Premium 64bit. A problem started about 10 days ago whereby when starting in the morning it would get to the swirling "Starting Windows" stage and then turn off. Restart the machine and the same thing happens only it seems to get a little further... and once again and a little bit further and this is repeated maybe 8 times until it eventually starts but says the system needs to be repaired.

    The repair seems to work OK and the system is back to life.

    That's what I was told and it didn't seem all that credible but I tried it and got the system up and running. I kept it disconnected from the internet except from a brief moment when I downloaded updates to some anti-malware programs (MBAM & SuperAntiSpyware) and I turned off M$ Auto-Updates (at least set to notify if available). I scanned with the antimalware products and removed a couple of things. I disabled anything in startup that I didn't feel was essential and the system was working without problems.

    I turned the machine off and left it off for half an hour or so and it restarted with no problems.

    This morning it was exactly like the original problem... seems to be starting and then turns off!

    So far I've run a quick and advanced manufacturer's disk test with no problems. I'll be running MemTest to check out the RAM but again I don't feel that this will show anything. Possibly I'll check the machine for Win7 compatibility but it was working fine untl a couple of weeks ago.

    The only possible clues are that when it says it's recovering it suggests there was a problem with a multi-media device or installation; iPod, Webcam or similar (though no such devices are connected at the time) and I am told this started happening when iTunes got an update, although iTunes is looking fine (and claims to support 64bit). It DOES seem to be quite a coincidence!

    I'd like to have restored the system back to before this started happening but there's no restore point available before 5 days ago. :(

    I'm looking for any fresh ideas. I might have thought the power supply was dodgy but it's fine at all times once the system is going, it's just after a l-o-n-g time off that the problem occurs! I might just try a replacement anyway.

    It's worth noting that after the machine has been running for half an hour or so (not in Win7) it then started up straight away, although does need to do a repair because its first attempt this morning failed. However, it would normally take several tries before it kept going.

    It feels so much like it needs something to warm up before Win7 can start up.

    Any ideas? :confused:
     
  2. Trentham

    Trentham Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2002
    Messages:
    308
    I ought also to have mentioned that when it was turned off, the mains power was still connected to the machine. It hadn't been unplugged.
     
  3. Trentham

    Trentham Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2002
    Messages:
    308
    Tried a different PSU but same results.
     
  4. Trentham

    Trentham Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2002
    Messages:
    308
    Why do the questions I ask never get any ideas? sigh I can also add that, of course, I've done a sfc. There are no cards in the machine I can remove and I've reseated the memory and CPU. The only thing I can think of trying is to install another disk and OS and see if it can really boot another OS from a disk reliably. If it can then it must (I think) be something to do with Win7 - or the original disk drive.

    If it can't (but it can boot XP and Linux from CD) then it's maybe something to do with booting from this disk. Maybe try cloning the system onto a different disk drive???

    At least I've found out that it fails after leaving it for an hour or two so I can run a few tests a day!
     
  5. TerryNet

    TerryNet Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Messages:
    77,185
    First Name:
    Terry
    Well, Ken, if you wanna get many ideas you're gonna havta post easier problems. :)

    It sounds like the hard drive is failing when it is cold (room temperature). I think that you've already come to that conclusion, so I won't claim this to be a new idea. I suppose that if it were getting slightly less than the required power this could happen, but the hard drive itself being faulty sounds more likely. Besides, you've already tried another PSU.
     
  6. Trentham

    Trentham Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2002
    Messages:
    308
    Thanks for the reply TerryNet. I don't usually post easier problems because I can solve those myself ;-)

    My feeling was tending towards the hard drive and I think I've got a spare one I can try cloning onto and see if the problem goes away. It's just a pain having to wait an hour or so between tests for it to be in a failing state again!
     
  7. Trentham

    Trentham Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2002
    Messages:
    308
    This is really starting to annoy me now!

    I cloned the disk drive onto another, checked that it still worked (see below) and then let everything cool down. Tried booting with the old disk and it shut down. Tried booting with the cloned disk... and it shut down too! So it's not the disk.

    It's worth noting (though I'm sure it'll be found elsewhere in this forum) that after I'd cloned the drive Win7 recognised that things had changed and required me to use the original Win7 DVD to 'repair' it. It was a quick process - I assume it was just updating the HAL for the different disk drive but had I not had the Win7 DVD I might have had a problem.

    Anyway, back to the problem... it's not the PSU and it's not the disk drive and there's not much else left - I've also tried plugging the drive into a different SATA port. It boots fine from CD into other OS's. All other hardware is attached to the motherboard and is common to other O/Ss.

    What is different about the way that Win7 starts up? I've discovered that all that repair stuff it offers to do after it's detected its first shutdown is unnecessary; it eventually starts up and is fine by just continually retrying. The processor is an AMD Athlon 64 x2 4000+ and just maybe the dual coredness is handled differently in Win7. Other components, mostly on the Mobo, are GeForce 6100, DDR2 RAM and a 15 in 1 card reader, not that I think this information will be of any help, but it might ring a bell somewhere.

    I've also now had the situation where it had started up OK and then just died! As if the plug had been pulled! The owner did descibe this once happening to her but it's the first time I've seen it happen.
     
  8. TerryNet

    TerryNet Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Messages:
    77,185
    First Name:
    Terry
    That screams power supply to me, because that was the symptom I had on two consecutive PSUs on one desktop. I think the problem there was that the PSU was barely adequate for the original system, and when the CD-ROM failed I replaced it with an optical drive that needed a little more power. After two PSU failures I put in one with extra capacity (larger size too--had to cut a hole in the side of the tower).

    Whether this is hardware (my guess) or software I'm pretty sure it's beyond my ability to help. If you want this moved to the Hardware forum just click on Report and ask for the move. Good luck.
     
  9. Trentham

    Trentham Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2002
    Messages:
    308
    I must admit PSU was my first guess which is why I tried another one early on, but I think I'll try another.

    Particularly since I've found another thing in that if I put it in Sleep mode, it sits there quite happily and then when I restart it, it shows the logon screen for a few moments and then cuts out again.

    Surely there's not much going on at that stage!

    Thanks for your input anyway. It's good just to be able to talk things through and convince myself that I'm not going mad!
     
  10. Trentham

    Trentham Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2002
    Messages:
    308
    Tried another much more meaty PSU but got the same result! :mad:
     
  11. TerryNet

    TerryNet Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Messages:
    77,185
    First Name:
    Terry
    Can you shrink the partition enough to create another partition and install as a dual boot Puppy or Ubuntu or whatever Linux you have and know? If a hard drive installed Linux exhibits the same bizarre symptoms that would put the finger on hardware for sure; if it works OK then a strangely corrupted Windows becomes more of a suspect.
     
  12. Trentham

    Trentham Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2002
    Messages:
    308
    Given that I've now gpt a clone of the original system, I could certainly try that. I suppose it's a bit different from booting it from CD. So far Ive booted all sorts of things from CD including Win98! Various diagnostics, Ubuntu, Trinity Rescue Kit, Slackware, DSL and probably some others and none have any problems. Maybe I'll try installing a full fledged XP - or even another Win7! In fact there's a recovery partition on this system so maybe I'll use the clone to reset to factory settings and see what happens than. That ought to be fairly definitive - though I'm not sure what I'd do with the answer, either way!

    Thanks for the suggestion.
     
  13. TerryNet

    TerryNet Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Messages:
    77,185
    First Name:
    Terry
    I like the idea of Recovering the Windows 7.
     
  14. Trentham

    Trentham Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2002
    Messages:
    308
    I subsequently remembered that this probably can't be done... it used to be a Vista m/c so that is what would be recovered, still my plan is recover Vista and see what that does, then install Win7 afresh and if there are still problems, install another OS alongside to see what that does.
     
  15. Trentham

    Trentham Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2002
    Messages:
    308
    I've now got a totally differnt view of the problem since it's now failing when I try to boot Puppy Linux! It got to "loading drivers needed to access disk drives" and then shut off. This process was repeated several times (maybe 8), each time it getting a little further until it booted OK. Interesting that it booted other systems OK, still it does indicate that it's not Win7 so I'll get this thread moved to hardware.

    Some other things I tried were

    Boot with IDE CD/DVD drive disconnected (now not using IDE)
    Connect alternative power switch (in case switch was sticking)
    Install a separate PCI card (now not using onboard graphics)
    Manually set RAM speed (the m/c has 1GB PC2-5300 and 1GB PC2-6400 so set speed to 667MHz - m/c can run at 800MHz)
     
  16. Sponsor

As Seen On
As Seen On...

Welcome to Tech Support Guy!

Are you looking for the solution to your computer problem? Join our site today to ask your question. This site is completely free -- paid for by advertisers and donations.

If you're not already familiar with forums, watch our Welcome Guide to get started.

Join over 733,556 other people just like you!

Loading...
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Short URL to this thread: https://techguy.org/934680

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice