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Blank screen at startup and super-slowness


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#1
m1150

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Hello,

I don't know if this is a hardware or software problem, so I'm posting it here.

My Compaq Presario 1700 worked great until a couple of weeks ago, when it started alternating between normalcy and what I would call super-slow mode. For about 10 minutes at a time, the computer would operate at about 1% of its normal speed, and CPU usage in the Task Manager would drop to about 1%. While the computer was in super-slow mode, the hard drive would continue making noise, and occasionally would make a much louder "klunk" than normal.

Following the instructions of Compaq's online support people, I downloaded their hardware-diagnostic program, but it didn't catch any problems. I then went through all the standard "improving your system's performance" software stuff -- checking for errors on the hard disk, disabling visual themes, eliminating unnecessary start-up services, etc. -- but nothing helped.

Then yesterday, the problem got far worse. First, the computer stayed in super-slow mode for about 30 minutes. I tried restarting, but it continued in super-slow mode through the startup process, which of course took a really long time. Then it went back to normal. But the next time I tried starting up the computer, I got a blank screen after the Windows logo disappeared. The computer will launch properly if I force it into Safe Mode, but will not launch in normal mode. I've tried System Restore and "use last settings that worked," but that doesn't help.

What could the problem be? Could it be solved? Thanks.
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#2
starjax

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well, based on the performance and the "klunk" I would have you open my computer, right click on the c drive and choose properties. click on the tools tab. click on error checking. now check both boxes on the new window. choose start now. It will prompt to run this at startup. thats fine. restart the pc and let checkdisk run on the system.

this could take some time to run. It could be as simple as some bad index entries, or it could have bad sectors on the drive. If it has bad sectors then you will need to replace the drive.


Starjax
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#3
m1150

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Thanks, starjax, but I already tried that, and it went through all four phases of the check without detecting anything. I guess the only good news so far is there doesn't seem to be anything wrong with the data on the disk...
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#4
gerryf

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Actually, should have been five phases.....

I am still leaning toward a badblock or some very funky spyware. If you can only open in safe mode,

Start > run

eventvwr.msc

Look for RED Xs...

Be aware, in safemode you will see more of these than usual...don't freak if you see a ton.
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#5
m1150

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Yeah, sorry, five phases.

There are dozens of red X's in the Event Viewer. What exactly should I be looking for? Thanks
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#6
gerryf

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Red Xs that occur at the time when your PC slows down....

I'm leaning to BADBLOCKS, myself, but there are lots of reasons....
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#7
m1150

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Thanks for the suggestion. I kept the Event Viewer open while working on the computer yesterday, but no X's showed up when the computer started going super-slow. (Incidentally, I've been able to get the computer to operate in normal mode by reinstalling the display driver, although it's only working in 16 colors.)

Any other suggestions? Thanks again.
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#8
gerryf

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You cannot view the log while working...

OK, let's back up.
Right click the application folder, click CLEAR, don't save the log
Right click the system folder, click CLEAR, don't save the log

Now we are starting fresh. Reboot.

Work on your computer until it starts going slow. Stop everything. Open event viewer and report back the red Xs that occured in the last 10 minutes
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#9
m1150

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Sorry for the delay; I thought I had replied before.

No red X's appear at the time the computer goes into slow mode. However, when looking at the log, I noticed the following yellow exclamation point:

Event Type: Warning
Event Source: Disk
Event Category: None
Event ID: 51
Date: 4/21/2005
Time: 10:07:02 PM
User: N/A
Computer: CR510393-A
Description:
An error was detected on device \Device\Harddisk0\D during a paging operation.

Does that help you diagnose anything? Thanks.
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