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vista FROZEN within minutes of startup!

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Hello, I am new to the forum and first off wanted to say thank you for everyone here giving their expertise for FREE to those who are in dire need of it.

I have Vista 64 bit on a new HP pavillion (worst. laptop. ever.) and last night it froze and I had to force restart by holding down the power button.

Since freezing that initial time I can log into my computer and get to my desktop but within 2-3 minutes it will freeze again and I will have to go force restart... I have had to do this about 10-20 times now and I'm afraid of the permanent damage this can cause to my hardware!!! (Please if you can comment on this too that will be great)

So I have tried doing system restore a couple of times and that has not helped. What has helped actually is uninstalling something right at start up... for some reason this delays the computer from freezing for an hour or two. I tried running antivirus but the computer will freeze mid way every time. I am presently doing it in safe mode so hopefully that'll come up with something.

I really don't know what to do! I am a medical student with a final exam tomorrow and I NEED my computer to study tonight and cannot keep on restarting it like this. Plus it's an expensive laptop and would hate to ruin it!

Thank you everyone for reading this and I hope to read your responses soon.

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As the system seems to work OK in Safe Mode, then it's something that loads in normal mode that's causing the problem.

To start with, boot into normal mode and immediately go to Start and type in "msconfig" (without the quotes) and then press Enter.
When the window opens up, click on the Startup tab. Then uncheck all items that DON'T have Microsoft listed as the Manufacturer.
Then click on the General tab and select "Selective Startup". Click on OK and then reboot the system to test.

If the system doesn't lock up, then it's one of the things that you unchecked that's causing it. Go through these one-by-one until you figure out which one it is. Then uninstall that program from your system (if you don't know which it is, let us know which entry is at fault).

Then go back to msconfig and return the settings to normal startup. Msconfig is designed as a troubleshooting tool and I've see some issues with it's use in Vista when it's used as a permanent fix - so it's important to return it to normal after you're done. There are other methods available to make the changes permanent (if you want to).
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