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XP Pro. SP3. Boot up Problem


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#1
Mychael

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I don't believe this to be a virus issue so I'm posting here.
My XP Pro sp3. Has been loading /running normally for a very long time.

What is happening now is that on boot up it goes normally through POST > windows splash screen> loading desktop and taskbar with all icons.

Then one of two things will happen.
1/ The mouse curser can be moved around the desktop but remains in 'busy/working' icon and you cannot load anything and ctl+alt+del will not work.
2/ Everything looks normal on the desktop including the mouse curser which you can move around but clicking on any shortcut does nothing and if you take the mouse curser to the taskbar at the bottom it shows busy/working icon again.

The only way to exit is by pushing the reset button.

I do dual boot with Windows 7 & XP and the dual boot option works normally and I've been dual booting for over a month now and was not having issues with XP. The same mouse/keyboard is connected for Win7 as for XP and works fine in 7.. It's the same mouse/keyboard I've had for a long time with this XP.

Dual boot is with both O/S on a single HDD.

I've not added any new programs to XP other then normal updates.

For virus protection I have ESET Node32/Malwarebytes and Spybot. All have been on XP for some time.

Smart testing shows HDD to be good. I've not run memtest but then I'm using the same hardware in 7 without issue so I don't believe it's a hardware problem.

All operating temps are good.

If I do get XP to load properly and it sometimes will but not often then no test I do show ups any errors.

Any suggestions.?

Mike
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#2
Log2

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Hello, it sounds like it might be a virus, or something similar that is eating up your resources. Some ways to test and make sure, you can try booting in Safe Mode:

Tap F8 repeatedly on startup still you get a screen asking for safe mode.

If the same thing happens in there, it's most likely a virus infecting a windows file. But if safe mode works you can do some simple steps to try and get back to normal windows.

1. Go to Start click on Run
2. Type in MSConfig hit [Enter]
3. Click on the Startup tab at the top
4. Uncheck anything in that list you don't recognize, ESET is NOD32.
5. Click on the Services tab, and check the box at the bottom of the window labeled: Hide all Microsoft services
6. Uncheck all the objects that you don't recognize.

This will just make sure no programs are starting up when you start the computer. After that's done, click Ok, and it will ask you to restart. If everything is running fine after that, I would suggest going to the Malware section of the community, and ask them to make sure your computer is still running fine.


EDIT: A great thing about the Dual Boot option, is that if you have malware bytes and such on windows 7, you can select to run it on the infected partition without having to boot in XP. You can also do a CHKDSK on the infected partition through command prompt

Edited by Log2, 11 February 2011 - 10:08 PM.

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#3
Mychael

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On one of the times it started normally, Did not go through 'safe' mode boot but on one of it's normal boots I already tried the msconfig and it made no difference. There was nothing in there that I thought was out of the ordinary.
Having said that I'll try booting in 'safe' and see what happens.
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#4
Mychael

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Gets a bit weirder, tried booting into XP normally for the first time in a week now and it loaded fine, did all the updates it had been waiting to do, restarted itself and again loaded normally. HOWEVER I then tried to restart it again and it was back to the same problem of becoming unresponsive after the desktop has loaded.

Discovered that with the DUAL BOOT set up I have I cannot seem to get into safe mode in XP, if I start hitting F8 at boot up it will put me into safe mode for Windows 7, if I wait till the point when I get the option of which O/S I want to load it's past the point where F8 does anything.

Edit: Back in Win 7 again so I'll try your suggestion of running CHKDSK through a command prompt. Pretty sure it's not an infection as I always scan, run quality protection and basically had windows since 3.1 and never been infected so I must be doing something right.

Edited by Mychael, 11 February 2011 - 11:56 PM.

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#5
Log2

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Discovered that with the DUAL BOOT set up I have I cannot seem to get into safe mode in XP, if I start hitting F8 at boot up it will put me into safe mode for Windows 7, if I wait till the point when I get the option of which O/S I want to load it's past the point where F8 does anything.

Did you try actually selecting safe mode? Usually with a dual boot, you have to hit enter, then it will ask you what operating system you'd like to boot into.

Gets a bit weirder, tried booting into XP normally for the first time in a week now and it loaded fine, did all the updates it had been waiting to do, restarted itself and again loaded normally. HOWEVER I then tried to restart it again and it was back to the same problem of becoming unresponsive after the desktop has loaded.

that is odd, the only thing I can think of would be a service is malfunctioning, or something along those lines. Have you tried studying your event viewer for any errors? If not, I would suggest going into event viewer and looking under application for anything that has an error. Maybe a program is causing the memory to leak.

My last suggestion for now would be try to do a system restore. Let me know about the safe mode suggestion, and the chkdsk, I would also suggest a sfc /scannow to repair any windows files too
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#6
Mychael

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How the dual boot works is in this order.. Power up > POST screen > option to select Win 7 or XP.
If I start pressing F8 before the system load choice I get safe mode in Win 7.
If I select XP to load then press F8 it's too late and it wont give safe mode option.
So unless there is a step I'm missing then there seems to be no way to get safe mode with XP.

CHKDSK from within Win7 shows no errors but I can try a sfc/scannow to see what happens.
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#7
Log2

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ok, sometimes with dual boot it will let you choose what OS you want to load into, anyway, try hitting F8 and choosing system restore, or restore from a previous point, or whatever it's called. If that doesn't work, you may have to use the recovery console if you have it installed, or the Windows XP cd and use the recovery from that, or you may be able to do a system restore from within windows 7. I've never tried this, so it might not work, but here's what you will do:

1. Open command prompt with admin rights
2. Change the directory cd C:\ or whatever drive XP is on, hit [Enter]
3. The type in: C:\windows\system32\restore\rstrui.exe Change C: to whatever xp is on and press [Enter]
4. Follow the instructions to restore

I've never tried it on a dual boot system like that, so I put step 2 in just to make sure command prompt is on the right drive, try it and see, no harm no foul

Edited by Log2, 12 February 2011 - 01:00 AM.

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#8
Mychael

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I can try but not sure how it will go, you see I only have one drive and that is 'C'. My dual boot was configured this way:
Single HDD formated into 2 equal sizes, one part containing the functional XP operating system, the other half was unallocated.
When I installed Win7 as a custom install I directed it the unallocated partition so I've only ever had a 'c' drive (apart from a small 220meg, partition called 'd') that windows 7 likes to create.

What this means as far as I can tell is that any run commands I try will only relate to whichever O/S is loaded at the time and as I cannot get control of XP after it loads the desktop I cannot run any command prompts.

CHKDSK & SCANNOW are perhaps only checking the active Win7.. I'm not sure but they don't bring up any errors.

On one of the times that XP did load itself correctly I ran CHKDSK and got no errors.

This XP installation I have literally had for yrs with no issues and up until last week my dual boot was also running smoothly after a month of installation, then one day from one shutdown to the next time I tried to load it XP started acting up.

I'm also not sure what will happen if I try putting my XP install disk back in on a boot up, it might kill my Win7 bootloader.
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#9
Log2

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You have two OS's booting off the same partition? I didn't know that was possible... Did you use a program to create the dual boot? However you said:

When I installed Win7 as a custom install I directed it the unallocated partition so I've only ever had a 'c' drive


And usually if you do that during an install, it will create a new partition for you. Because Unallocated just means it's not in use by any partition, so when you go to install something on it, it needs to create a partition. Perhaps this is happening.

Try, in windows 7, go to Start in the search box, type: Computer Management open that window. Click on Disk Management on the left-hand menu. Let it load, it could take a minute or two.

Now in the main window you should see a list of your partitions, and cd/dvd drives and any external hard drives, and in the lower half of the main window you should see your hard drive, probably called Disk 0. You should see a couple blue lines, that reserved 100megs for windows 7, and there should be two more. One will say (C:) and the other shouldn't have any letter. Right click on the one with no letter, and choose: Change Drive Letter or Path and make it drive [F:] or something
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#10
Mychael

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Ok, In the control window now. It's disk '0' with partitions 'd' & 'c'.
'D' must be the XP so I'll try CHKDSK again and specify 'D' and see what happens.
It lists both as 'healthy'.

Edit. It wont allow me to use the chkdsk repair command as it tells me the drive is in use by another application and I would need to dismount it.


Yes, when I did my custom install of Windows 7 I directed it to the unallocated partition on the 'c' drive. Had I not done that it would have overwritten my XP operating system which was on the other partition on that drive.

Edited by Mychael, 12 February 2011 - 02:13 AM.

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#11
Mychael

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Here is an update with a full overview of the problem with all the symptoms and the things I've tried.
Problem still exists so still trying to find a solution.


I'm out of ideas so I'll put this out there to see what others can suggest.

My dual boot system has been working fine for well over a month now and the dual boot component still does function correctly.
Win 7 works properly.

The trouble is happening in XP and began a little over a week ago.

I get POST screen, then option to select O/S to boot into.
I get XP splash screen, then desktop, then desktop populates normally.
Trouble happens after that, one of several things will occur.

1/ Have normal appearing desktop with mouse control but mouse pointer stays in 'working' icon and you cannot open or close anything and you have no keyboard control.
2/ Same as above except mouse pointer normal on desktop but 'working' in taskbar.
3/ Everyhing looks normal on taskbar and desktop but you cannot do anything, except move mouse pointer around.
4/ Same as '3' but once you try to click on something mouse pointer goes to 'working' and you can get no further.

If I can get control > alt > Delete to work (it usually doesn't) then after killing and re-starting explorer everyhing will then work normally.
Sometimes it will boot normally of it's own accord.
However once I arrive at a working desktop, once there everything works as per normal for the O/S and all it's files and programs.

I've tried with a minimum start-up list.
I've deleted the two most recent programs I'd installed (ESET & Secunia)
I've run Chdsk, Sfc /scannow , full virus and maleware scans, Cccleaner never any faults/errors found by any of them.

I might get 3 good boots/re-starts in a row with out issue or it might act up on the very first boot.

Same mouse/keyboard combination I've had for ages plus they work fine if the boot is normal and they work fine under 7.
Both O/S's are on the same HDD.
HDD less then 3 months old and SMART monitoring shows no errors.
All temps are good.

I don't get crashes, I don't get BSOD's.

Only other thing I have noticed when this happens is that the all the Modem lights appear to stay on solid and if I turn the modem off for a few minutes then back on it will sometimes sort itself out. This is a Modem about 3yrs old and all other things internet seem to be working fine.

So I've tried everything everything I can think of. I'm open to ideas and suggestions.
This problem pretty much just started after many yrs of stable XP.

Always have virus checkers and anti malware programs installed and running.
Don't visit risky sites or P2P so I consider my infection risk to be low.
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#12
rshaffer61

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Just to chime in here alittle. Please do the following and let us know the results.

  • Please download the Event Viewer Tool by Vino Rosso VEW and save it to your Desktop:
  • Double-click VEW.exe
  • Under 'Select log to query', select (as appropriate):
    • Application
    • System
  • Under 'Select type to list', select (as appropriate):
    • Error
    • Information
    • Warning
Then use the 'Date of events' or 'Number of events' as follows:

Either:
  • Click the radio button for 'Number of events'
    Type 3 in the 1 to 20 box (or any number from 1 to 20)
    Then click the Run button.
    Notepad will open with the output log.

  • Click the radio button for 'Date of events'
    In the From: boxes type today's date (presuming the crash happened today) 18 02 2011
    In the To: boxes type today's date (presuming the crash happened today) 19 02 2011
    Then click the Run button.
    Notepad will open with the output log.
Please post the Output log in your next reply
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#13
rshaffer61

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Also I just saw your late edit on your waiting room topic and I need you to do the following.

Lets see what you have in your startup

Please click on
Start and then to Run
Type in msconfig and press Enter
Now click on Startups
Then uncheck everything and restart.
IMPORTANT! In case of laptop, make sure, you do NOT disable any keyboard, or touchpad entries.
If system boots correctly and is running smoothly and faster then we have a startup problem
Try going back into msconfig and check one item and reboot
Keep doing that till you have found the problem or all are finally checked.
Post back with the results
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#14
Mychael

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Thanks,
Okay here is the first of the data you asked for and a bit you haven't.

List of drivers on XP: File attached.
Data requested from VEW: File attached. Apologies for large amount, only did it over a few days.

Thanks,
Mike

Attached Files


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#15
Mychael

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Hope you can see some error report rshaffer61 as I'm even more confused now then ever.
I unticked everything from msconfig > startup and the re-start was reasonably quick without issues.

However I then re-selected everything and also got a normal boot-up. So I'm totally confused.

I think something else is going on and the number of things in startup either help improve things a little or exacerbate it but it is not the real problem.

I have a spare drive which which is an almost identicle duplicate with the same O/S and general setup on it.

I put that drive in the case and booted to it.

First boot had the same issues but a re-boot WITHOUT CHANGING ANYTHING worked fine.

Intermittent problems are so hard to diagnose.

Hope you can help.

Mike
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