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Laptop freeze on start up


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#1
Ed Burls

Ed Burls

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Hello,

I've had a problem for about a month now I've been unable to resolve. During normal start up my laptop freezes in the Windows screen. The loader bar just stops and I have to press and hold the off button to get out of it. It starts up OK in Safe mode, except that I can only use it on battery power. As soon as I plug the AC cable in it freezes and the only thing I can do is press the off button to get out of it. It's possible that the issue was caused by a power spike, although I am just guessing. Normally it's plugged into a surge protected adaptor but it might not have been the day it stopped working. My wife was using the laptop one morning (remote accessing in to her work account) and it just froze on her. Some info:

Windows XP, SP 3, Dell Inspiron 1150

I've already tried the following and it has made no difference:

- System restore to a month before the issue occured
- Changed the RAM (I updated RAM about 6 months ago and still had the old RAM)
- Disk cleanup, Defrag etc
- I first posted in this in the Malware forum and got some Malware cleaned but this didn’t resolve the issue and was advised to try a new post in the hardware forum. I was also advised that the issue could be related to using registry cleaners (Ccleaner, Tuneup) as I have done from time to time (although never will again).

Thanks for looking at this.
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#2
makai

makai

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Hello,
Troubleshooting laptops can be difficult at times, especially if it's a hardware problem. Its very curious that it'll run in Safe mode but only on the battery.

If it were me, the first thing I would do is replace the hard drive and reinstall Windows on it. This is to find out if its hardware or Windows causing your problem. For me, this wouldn't be a problem as I have several spare HD's lying around which I use for repairing/troubleshooting other people's laptops. Reinstalling Windows is the best and fastest option for troubleshooting this kind of problem... not to mention that if your registry in your current installation is messed up then heaven only knows what else might pop up later. Reinstalling Windows will fix all that. Of course, there are other considerations... reinstalling software, setting up your email, browers, etc, but that comes later. The first thing is isolation of the failure.

If you don't have a spare HD, this is what I suggest you do.
1) Invest in a new hard drive
2) Buy a USB hard drive enclosure
3) Pull out your current hard drive and replace it with the new one
4) Reload Windows onto the new hard drive with your recovery software and see what happens

Is it worth spending money for a new HD? That really depends on your financial standing. However, you will gain several things...
1) You won't have to spend more time troubleshooting this since you'll find out pretty much right away if its Windows or hardware.
2) You'll gain a back up drive either way since you also purchased an enclosure.
3) Even if you didn't go this route, you would still need somewhere to store your data as the best solution for this kind of problem is eliminating the possibilities... which means backing up your data and reinstalling Windows anyways.

Here's a link to your Manual. See the list for how to remove the hard drive.
Your laptop utilizes a PATA (ATA-6) hard drive... Here's a PAGE with suitable replacements. Size=money.
Here's a SUGGESTION for an enclosure. I've been using this enclosure for years and have several of them. No problems whatsoever. Of course, this is just a suggestion and Newegg carries other models. Just make sure you buy the right type (PATA - ATA-6... they are both the same even though the name is different) Note that the details tab for the enclosure states "Support HDD up to 80G". I've run 250GB drives with this enclosure with no problems, as have many other people. In fact currently have a 120GB and 250GB drives installed in two of these. I still have to state... YMMV

makai
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#3
Ed Burls

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Thanks for your immeadiate and detailed response. Time to dig out the reinstall CDs!

Ed
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#4
makai

makai

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You're welcome! Let us know if you require further help. Good luck!

makai
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