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Trouble starting up XP on my refurbished laptop


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#1
meddlecascade

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Hi geeks!

I bought this laptop via eBay. It was described as "refurbished," and came with Windows XP Professional and some other programs like SoundMax and a DVD player. It's a Compaq Evo N610c with an Intel Pentium 4, if that's relevant.

The issue I'm having is that the computer often takes 2 - 5 tries to boot up. It will always get to the screen where I can see the desktop, clock, task bar, etc., but it'll freeze there.

The weird thing is that it's never crashed once it gets past that stage, i.e. once it's up and running for 5 minutes it can go all day without freaking out...unless I walk away from it for 10 minutes and it goes to sleep. Then the whole boot-up cycle starts anew.

I have run the geekstogo-approved spy/mal/virus sweeper softwares (spybot, spyware guard, AntiVir Guard) and have a ZoneAlarm firewall up (with my Windows firewall turned off, although the MS Security Center window lists it as "on" even though the firewall screen itself notes that it is "off").


Thoughts?

Thanks -- meddle
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#2
computerwiz12890

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I have a feeling it is a power issue. However, let's check eventviewer and see if anything turns up:

Click on Start, Run, type eventvwr in the text box and then press Enter. Click on Application and see if there are any exlamation marks or red X's at the time when your computer froze. If there is an exlamation mark or X next to an item, double-click on that entry and copy the description of the error. Do the same thing for the System section. Post the description along with the source so I know what the description belongs to.
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#3
meddlecascade

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i'm not *totally* certain if these line up with my failed boot attempts, but they're in the ballpark.

anything catch your eye?....

APPLICATION RESULTS:
4.20 7:36am
source: Userenv

description: Windows saved user MEDDLER\User registry while an application or service was still using the registry during log off. The memory used by the user's registry has not been freed. The registry will be unloaded when it is no longer in use.

This is often caused by services running as a user account, try configuring the services to run in either the LocalService or NetworkService account.

4.19 2:51pm
source: Userenv

description: Windows saved user MEDDLER\User registry while an application or service was still using the registry during log off. The memory used by the user's registry has not been freed. The registry will be unloaded when it is no longer in use.

This is often caused by services running as a user account, try configuring the services to run in either the LocalService or NetworkService account.

4.19 2:14pm
Source: WinMgmt
description: A provider, Rsop Planning Mode Provider, has been registered in the WMI namespace, root\RSOP, but did not specify the HostingModel property. This provider will be run using the LocalSystem account. This account is privileged and the provider may cause a security violation if it does not correctly impersonate user requests. Ensure that provider has been reviewed for security behavior and update the HostingModel property of the provider registration to an account with the least privileges possible for the required functionality.

4.19 2:14pm
Source: WinMgmt
description: A provider, Rsop Planning Mode Provider, has been registered in the WMI namespace, root\RSOP, but did not specify the HostingModel property. This provider will be run using the LocalSystem account. This account is privileged and the provider may cause a security violation if it does not correctly impersonate user requests. Ensure that provider has been reviewed for security behavior and update the HostingModel property of the provider registration to an account with the least privileges possible for the required functionality.

4.19 1:35pm
Source: WinMgmt
description: A provider, HiPerfCooker_v1, has been registered in the WMI namespace, Root\WMI, to use the LocalSystem account. This account is privileged and the provider may cause a security violation if it does not correctly impersonate user requests.

4.10 7.17pm
Source: Application Hang
description: Hanging application firefox.exe, version 1.8.20060.11112, hang module hungapp, version 0.0.0.0, hang address 0x00000000.

*********************************************
SYSTEM RESULTS
4.20 10:36am
Source: Dhcp
Description: Your computer was not assigned an address from the network (by the DHCP Server) for the Network Card with network address 000BCD8C9C11. The following error occurred:
The operation was canceled by the user. . Your computer will continue to try and obtain an address on its own from the network address (DHCP) server.

4.20 10:33am
Source: E100B
Description: Adapter Intel® PRO/100 VM Network Connection: Adapter Link Down

4.20 9:01am
Source: E100B
Description: Adapter Intel® PRO/100 VM Network Connection: Adapter Link Down

4.20 9:01am
Source: MrxSmb
Description: The master browser has received a server announcement from the computer KDSE-PC that believes that it is the master browser for the domain on transport NetBT_Tcpip_{1DABF6FB-B6FB-4EF2-B. The master browser is stopping or an election is being forced.

4.20 8:57am
Source: DHCP
Description: Your computer has automatically configured the IP address for the Network Card with network address 000802DBBD8B. The IP address being used is 169.254.54.176.

4.20 8:57am
Source: DHCP
Description: Your computer was not able to renew its address from the network (from the DHCP Server) for the Network Card with network address 000802DBBD8B. The following error occurred:
The semaphore timeout period has expired. . Your computer will continue to try and obtain an address on its own from the network address (DHCP) server.

4.20 8:57am
Source: E100B
Description: Adapter Intel® PRO/100 VM Network Connection: Adapter Link Down

4.20 7:43am
Source: Print
Description: Printer Driver HP DeskJet 1220C Printer for Windows NT x86 Version-3 was added or updated. Files:- HPW8KMD.DLL, HPW8KMD.DLL, HPW8KMD.DLL, HPW8C32.DLL, HPW8DDI.DLL, HPW8GUI.DLL, HPW8IMG.DLL, HPW8MON.DLL, HPW8R24.DLL, HPW8IME.DLL, HPW8WIN.DLL, HPW8WPS.DLL, HPW8RES.DLL, HPW8SVB.DLL, HPW8DRV.HLP, HPW8SUM.DLL.

4.20 7:20am
Source: E100B
Description: Adapter Intel® PRO/100 VM Network Connection: Adapter Link Down

....from there, under "sytem," there's lots more 'print' and E100B stuff, but i'm betting that's not what you're looking for. my wireless connection goes in and out a lot, seems like that's what the E100B thing's about, and i just added a new printer which seems like the other piece.

alright. let me know what you think....peace -- meddle
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#4
computerwiz12890

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Hmm...not sure if the errors are related to your problem...seem to belong to networking/internet related functions...except for the printer stuff of course...

Let's go through some more troubleshooting, shall we? I've got something that could possibly narrow down and maybe even solve your problem...though it may take a while to do...

Start your laptop into Safe Mode. To do this, continually tap F8 right after you turn it on until you see the Safe Mode menu. See if you can successfully boot into Safe Mode without the freezing issue. If you can, restart it and try again. Do this several times to see if the freezing will occur at all.

If you successfully boot into Safe Mode several times, without the freezing, continue onto my next 2 steps. If the freezing does occur, STOP! Since my next 2 steps will not help solve the problem if the freezing occurs in Safe Mode.


Boot into Safe Mode in order to do the first part of Step 1. Once everything is unchecked, continue following the instructions from Normal mode.

Step 1

Start > Run, type
msconfig
<enter>

On the general tab, select SELECTIVE START UP then uncheck
load system.ini
load win.ini
load startup services
load startup items

Reboot.
Does the freezing occur? If not, continue with the next part. If so, STOP and report back to me.


If not, Start > Run, type
msconfig
<enter>

check load startup items
Reboot.
Does the freezing occur? If not, continue with the next part. If so, go to STEP 2.


If not, Start > Run, type
msconfig
<enter>

check load startup services
Reboot.
Does the freezing occur? If not, continue with the next part. If so, go to STEP 2.


If not, Start > Run, type
msconfig
<enter>

check load win.ini
Reboot.
Does the freezing occur? If not, continue with the next part. If so, go to STEP 2.


If not, Start > Run, type
msconfig
<enter>

check load system.ini
Reboot.
Does the freezing occur? If not, continue with the next part. If so, go to STEP 2.

Report back

-------------------------------------

STEP 2

When you find the error, repeating, you have arrived at the group that is causing the problem.

Leave everything as is and go to the tab with the same name as the one you just re-enabled and uncheck everything you find within the tab....reboot.

Does the probelm recur? If not, check one item and reboot, continuing until you discover the offending application/service

Then report back

Edited by computerwiz12890, 21 April 2006 - 12:37 AM.

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#5
meddlecascade

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weird. i went through what you said. the computer started fine in "safe" mode, so i clicked those four things off, and then turned them all back on one-by-one, and the computer kept starting up fine.

one thing that kept happening is spybot kept notifying me of registry changes happening....things getting deleted when i unclicked something and things being added when i clicked them.

but the good/weird news is that computer's starting up fine at the moment. i'm suspicious that it'll freeze up the next time i do a "cold-start" but i'll repeat the process if that happens and report-back to ya.


thanks for the help. if i don't post anything else in the next day or so i'd consider it a problem solved.


peace -- meddle
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#6
computerwiz12890

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one thing that kept happening is spybot kept notifying me of registry changes happening....things getting deleted when i unclicked something and things being added when i clicked them.

You must have Spybot's Tea Timer function enabled. It monitors system changes, such as the addition/removal of startup items. Allow all changes since you know that you are making the changes.

but the good/weird news is that computer's starting up fine at the moment. i'm suspicious that it'll freeze up the next time i do a "cold-start" but i'll repeat the process if that happens and report-back to ya.

I don't see why a "cold-start" would be any different than restarting. The only reason that I can think of for why a "cold-start" would affect your computer differently is because of a unknown hardware situation. It would be interesting to know if it does affect your computer...since it shouldn't.

thanks for the help. if i don't post anything else in the next day or so i'd consider it a problem solved.

You're welcome. I'll be looking for your "success" or "failure" post. :whistling:

computerwiz12890 :blink:
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#7
meddlecascade

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(i am indeed running tea timer, forgot to mention that, and my differentiation between "hot" and "cold" starts may just be luddite superstition. i used those terms to refer to my perception that once the computer was up and running it'd restart easier. that may have 0 basis in reality, however. :-) )

so the update is not success, but perhaps progress.


i started up my computer this morning and it *froze* in its usual place. so i restarted in "safe" mode, ran msconfig and unchecked all those boxes, and restarted in regular mode. it restarted, no problem.

then i ran msconfig and -- on a hunch -- rechecked *all* the boxes. i restarted and the computer was up and running like a champ.

the only difference is that my firewall, zonealarm, had not turned on at start-up. apparently when the registry stuff was happening the zone alarm thing didn't get re-added. so i turned that on, got online, screwed around for awhile, then turned off the computer, let it sit for 5 minutes, turned it back on and it came on with no problems...which kinda baffles me, but i'll take it.


so i guess my question is, is it possible that the windows/zone-alarm interaction is part of this? that would be weird, 'cause the crashing problem existed before i installed zone alarm. btw, i've got windows security set-up to not monitor my firewall to avoid any firewall conflicts.


but let's be honest, i barely know what i'm talking about and am grasping at straws here.

what do you think? (and thanks for all the help thus far)

Edited by meddlecascade, 26 April 2006 - 11:59 AM.

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#8
meddlecascade

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one other thing to report....although the computer's now starting up fine, twice today it's made a loud 'pop' sound and the screen's gone black.

the on/off light still indicated that it was on, but when i hit the power button the first time, the computer turned off. (i then hit power again to get the computer back on, of course.)

upside to this is that the computer's still starting up without problems.

thoughts on the sudden-turn-off thing?

(i checked the event viewer and saw no errors at the time of the shut-off)

Edited by meddlecascade, 26 April 2006 - 05:14 PM.

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#9
computerwiz12890

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twice today it's made a loud 'pop' sound and the screen's gone black.

That REALLY doesn't sound too good... :whistling:

Considering it is a laptop, I cannot check the voltages like I want to...but...I can check the temperature of it, and check the hard drive...

Turn the laptop on, use it for about 30 minutes (or just let it sit), and then follow these instructions:

Download Speed Fan and install it.

Start Speed Fan. When it is fully loaded, take a screen shot of the first screen by pressing Print Screen/SysRq on your keyboard. Open Paint and paste. Save the screenshot as a JPEG and post it in a reply to me. Now click on the tab called S.M.A.R.T.. Select your hard drive by using the drop-down box at the top. Now take a screenshot of that as well. Post it in your reply to me as well.

Edited by computerwiz12890, 26 April 2006 - 05:36 PM.

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#10
meddlecascade

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wow. it took me most of today to discover that i still had mspaint on my computer (good ol' "run" command)....you have a true flailer on your hands here, geek-friend. :-)

okay. attached are the things you mentioned....the s.m.a.r.t. screen wouldn't fit on one speedfan screen, and i couldn't figure out how to enlarge the window, hence the two smart-shots.


oh, and these were taken after i was on the computer for more like 6 hours than a half-hour. don't know if that matters....and the first time i ran speedfan the "temp1" reading was 54C, and it had a flame icon next to it.


lemme know your thoughts -- meddle

first_smart_shot.JPG

second_smart_shot.JPG

opening_shot.JPG
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#11
computerwiz12890

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54 degrees C is rather hot. It could possibly be causing your laptop's symptoms. If the laptop has overheated like this for a while, it is possible the damage is done, and cannot be undone...

As for your hard drive, it is fine.

Head over to the Hardware forum and ask for help there. A hardware expert will help you out, since hardware is not my strong point.

When you ask for help tell them about the freezing (if it is still occuring), the "popping" noise you heard, and the temperature of your laptop.

Also, ask them how to open up and clean out your laptop. It probably could use a good dusting internally. They will need to know the brand and model # of your laptop.

Hope all goes well for ya :whistling:

Edited by computerwiz12890, 27 April 2006 - 04:47 PM.

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#12
meddlecascade

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trouble starting up again this morning....

don't know why, but the computer was up to its old freezing-up routine. i re-tried a couple times in regular mode, then went to safe mode, ran msconfig, clicked everything off, booted up normally, ran msconfig and clicked everything back on and it started up fine.

...and even though i've told windows firewall before to not monitor my firewall it somehow turned itself on again....and i've never asked it to monitor my virus protection but that's somehow running....could these issues have something to with too many things trying to happen during the start-up phase?

(i'm also talking to the folks on the hardware forums, waiting to hear back from them at the moment)

peace -- meddle
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#13
computerwiz12890

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i re-tried a couple times in regular mode, then went to safe mode, ran msconfig, clicked everything off, booted up normally, ran msconfig and clicked everything back on and it started up fine.

That is very puzzling... :whistling:

I'm willing to blame all these problems on the heat, but, assuming it is actually something else, let's give the computer a good cleaning (speaking about software, not physically). :help:

Download and install Tune Up 2006 Trial

Click on Clean up & Repair. Run TuneUp DiskCleaner. Delete all junk files. Afterwords, return to the Main Screen.

Click on Clean up & Repair. Run TuneUp RegistryCleaner. Fix all errors. Afterwords, return to the Main Screen.

Click on Optimize & Improve. Run TuneUp RegistryDefrag, which will take a few minutes and need a reboot.

After the reboot, start Tune Up again. Click on Optimize & Improve then click on TuneUp System Optimizer. Now click on Accelerate downloads and Internet surfing to accelerate downloads, select the speed just above your actual connection speed, this requires a reboot.

After the reboot, start Tune Up again. Click on Optimize & Improve then click on TuneUp System Optimizer. In the menu to the left called "Wizards", choose System Advisor. Note some of the advice it tells you.


And if that doesn't help, you must clean out the dust in the computer to help cool it off. If that is not enough, you can purchase a laptop cooler. If it overheats too much for too long, it can permanently damage internal components.

If the problem persists after using Tune-up and getting it cleaned and cooled down, let me know and we'll continue troubleshooting. If Tune-up or cleaning solves it, let me know, since I always like to know the results. :blink:

Edited by computerwiz12890, 02 May 2006 - 03:46 PM.

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#14
meddlecascade

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right on, i'll keep you posted.

i ran the TuneUp stuff, and it certainly found lots to fix...diskcleaner freed up almost a gig of space, the registry cleaner found like 800 mistakes and the registry defrag decreased the space my registry took up by 17%.

...and i'll buy some compressed air later today and post you later on.

thanks for the continued assistance.


peace -- meddle
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#15
computerwiz12890

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Hello meddle.

I noticed in the hardware forum that you are still having issues. Ready to continue troubleshooting?

Let's collect some information:

Click Start, then Run, type cmd in the Open box and click "Ok". At the prompt in the Command window, type fsutil dirty query c: (This queries the drive and will tell you if it is dirty or clean)

Let me know what it reports.

In addition:

Right-click on My Computer and select Properties. Click on the Hardware tab. Click on Device Manager. Double-click on the catagory called Display Adaptors. Write down the name of your video card and post that info in a reply to me.

It is possible it is your video card causing the problem. I don't quite see how, but it can't hurt to update it. Get that info and I'll find what you need to update it.
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