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Windows 7: Extremely slow start up and Windows Explorer keeps crashing.

05 Mar 2011   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate 32bit
Extremely slow start up and Windows Explorer keeps crashing.

Hello, my name is Thomas, and I'm new here. I'm not all that versed in computer repair but I'm coming to you for help with a serious issue on my laptop. It all started two (2) days ago while I was on Facebook. All was running fine all morning when suddenly my computer started slowing down and needed a ten (10) second break every time I input a new letter into my messages. I bore through it for a good ten (10) minutes before shutting the computer down out of fear that overheating was the cause of the sudden slow down.

After about half an hour I turned my computer back on and all seemed fine until I tried logging into my account. Suddenly it would only log into a black screen with nothing but the mouse visible. The mouse was usable but nothing else would load. I proceeded to shut my computer down and reboot it into Safe Mode. Once in Safe Mode, I ran my anti-virus (avast!) and it came up with nothing wrong with my computer. Odd, so I tried a system restore, this did nothing at all for my log in issues.

I closed my computer and went to meditate to clear my mind and relieve myself of the immense anger building, so as to not strike the computer out of frustration. When I came back and opened my laptop, it loaded up properly. Not a single issue, the laptop ran as it had a month before. I continued with my plans for the day and the computer ran fine for a good hour and a half before finally showing some issues again. When I went to watch the original Tron on Windows Media Player, it froze up.

I couldn't exit the program, I couldn't launch Task Manager, I couldn't even launch Firefox to try finding a solution online. Suddenly I got a notification that Windows Explorer had stopped responding. Joy. Again, I shut down my computer for a short time while I went out to Wal-Mart and bought Norton 360. When I arrived home, I installed Norton, ran the anti-virus and it found nothing. Ran the system check and it gave two (2) issues with my computer. There was a problem with the OS but wouldn't tell me exactly what it was or how to fix it and the drivers for "Plug N' Play ID" where missing.

I went to Microsoft's website and downloaded their "Fix It" program and it appeared to have fixed the issues, or so Norton claims. All ran fine for a good forty (40) minutes until I went to sync my iPod Touch in an attempt to put my new Tron soundtrack on it. The sync locked up at three (3) songs completed and suddenly the it froze. I was then prompted to uninstall and reinstall iTunes as it was missing the proper drivers to communicate with iPods. I did as instructed but the install froze when it came to "Checking to see if a restart is needed." When it unfroze, twenty (20) minutes later, I was told to restart my computer to finish the install. I did but the black screen reappeared except, this time the start button was visible too.

I then waited and after fifteen (15) minutes, my icons appeared, then my wallpaper and finally I could resume my activities. Or so I thought. Once I tried unpinning a certain program from my tool bar Windows Explorer crashed again. The crashes would continue to happen for the next two (2) days, but only when I'm in normal mode. Safe Mode runs fine, in fact, I'm currently posting this through Safe Mode with Networking. I'm in dire need of help and I'm running out of patience as this is the second time my computer has had severe issues, the first being last summer when it refused to access the internet no matter what we did.

Back then we sent it in to a computer repair shop and they upgraded my computer from Vista to Windows 7 Ultimate. This means I don't have access to the OS install disc at all.

My System SpecsSystem Spec

05 Mar 2011   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate 32bit

No help coming?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Mar 2011   #3
Microsoft MVP


Have a look at this post by Capn Jack: Troubleshooting Explorer.exe Crashing Issues

If that doesn't fix things, then please provide us with the reports in this post (even though you're not reporting BSOD's):
My System SpecsSystem Spec

06 Mar 2011   #4

Windows 7 Ultimate 32bit

As said before, I'm new here, and I didn't know where else to post about my computer continually crashing like this. I tried doing the first thing Jack said, but I couldn't figure it out and disabling things didn't seem to make any difference at all.... unless I was supposed to reboot every time I disabled something. Currently, my laptop seems to be cooperating, but that was only after I disabled one of my two video drivers.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Mar 2011   #5

Windows 7 Ultimate 32bit

So um, yeah, the disabled driver isn't working to solve the problem anymore. Now its actually getting worse, to the point where it takes 5-6 restarts to get my computer running properly. I created a zip folder with the dump file and hopefully it attached to this post properly. Once I get the whole thing fully loaded (about 30-40 minutes of hard-restarting) and it'll run fine for about 2-3 hours before windows explorer crashes again. I've tried Jack's registry fix, and it did nothing. So did turning off all start up processes not related to Microsoft. I'm honestly getting desperate here and I don't have the money to replace the 2 year old computer and I have no way of backing everything up in case my computer dies completely. I'd like to add, if I didn't already, that the computer works perfectly fine in Safe Mode. Any help at all is welcome, especially any that gets my computer up and logging in properly again.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Mar 2011   #6
Microsoft MVP


Do you have a sticker on your computer with the Windows product code? If not, contact the person who installed it for you and get it. You will need this if you have to reinstall Windows.

I'm not real good with user dumps, but here goes...

The debugger says it can't get a timestamp on explorer.exe - yet the lm vm command spits out a timestamp for me.

The error is reported as an In-page I/O error (and failed due to NTSTATUS code 0xc0000185 - The I/O device reported an I/O error) - so hardware can be suspected here.

And, finally, there are no 3rd party drivers in the Stack Text - which tells me that this is either a hardware/compatibility problem - or a problem with Windows.

So, because of the possibility of hardware errors, I'd try this (the first 2 don't require getting into Windows):
I suggest starting all troubleshooting with the following diagnostic tests. They'll save you a lot of time and heartache if there is a hardware failure, and you'll have the disks on hand in case you need them in the future:
H/W Diagnostics:
Please start by running these bootable hardware diagnostics:
Memory Diagnostics (read the details at the link)
HD Diagnostic (read the details at the link)

Also, please run one of these free, independent online malware scans to ensure that your current protection hasn't been compromised: Free Online AntiMalware Scanners (read the details at the link)
Then, if the above tests pass, I'd try these free stress tests:
FurMark download site: FurMark: VGA Stress Test, Graphics Card and GPU Stability Test, Burn-in Test, OpenGL Benchmark and GPU Temperature | oZone3D.Net
FurMark Setup:
- If you have more than one GPU, select Multi-GPU during setup
- In the Run mode box, select "Stability Test" and "Log GPU Temperature"
Click "Go" to start the test
- Run the test until the GPU temperature maxes out - or until you start having problems (whichever comes first).
NOTE: Set the alarm to go off at 90C. Then watch the system from that point on. If the system doesn't display a temperature, watch it constantly and turn it off at the first sign of video problems. DO NOT leave it it unmonitored, it can DAMAGE your video card!!!
- Click "Quit" to exit
Prime95 download site: Free Software - GIMPS
Prime95 Setup:
- extract the contents of the zip file to a location of your choice
- double click on the executable file
- select "Just stress testing"
- select the "Blend" test. If you've already run MemTest overnight please run the "Small FFTs" test instead. (run all 3 if you find a problem and note how long it takes to error out with each)
- "Number of torture test threads to run" should equal the number of CPU's times 2 (if you're using hyperthreading).
The easiest way to figure this out is to go to Task Manager...Performance tab - and see the number of boxes under CPU Usage History
Then run the test for 6 to 24 hours - or until you get errors (whichever comes first).
This won't necessarily crash the system - but check the output in the test window for errors.
The Test selection box and the stress.txt file describes what components that the program stresses.
More details on the use of this test: Torture test your CPU with Prime95
Two other video stress tests (may be more stressful than FurMark):
Video Memory stress Test - МИ NVIDIA / Утилиты / VMT
Artifact Locator - МИ NVIDIA / Утилиты / Artifact Locator
Sorry, but I don't read the language that this website is made in.
Another interesting test that just came to my attention: Download - OCCT Website english
USE AT YOUR OWN RISK - program doesn't have a whole bunch of safety features to protect you from yourself!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Mar 2011   #7

Windows 7 Ultimate 32bit

Um... there are no stickers, I got this laptop second hand from my ex and she removed all stickers aside from the bar codes on the bottom. I also can't contact the people who intalled Windows 7 as I don't know who they were, they were a friend of my mom's co-worker. Don't really have any blank discs, in fact, I have no spare money at all right now, as every cent I have is about to be used to move across the country. *sigh* If it's really a hardware issue and there is nothing I can do to fix it without paying any money, I guess I'm going to be cut off from everyone soon, or put the move off a few more months to buy a new laptop.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Mar 2011   #8

Win 7 Pro x64 SP1 OS X Snow Leopard 10.6.7

Hello Thomas,
Get your AntiVirus to do some malware scans to check if there is malware in your system. Download Malwarebytes as well and let it scan your computer.

Have you run SFC /SCANNOW?
Can you be more detail by extremely slow start up? Is it slow during booting or when you have logged in?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Mar 2011   #9

Windows 7 Ultimate 32bit

I have tried SFC/SCANNOW and it errored at 86%. It got there, hung for about 15 minutes and it stopped saying that the action could not be completed as requested. I've run Norton's full computer scan and all it ever found was tracking cookies, nothing it couldn't fix.

It all seems random really. One time I turn it on, it'll get past "Welcome" and load my wallpaper, but nothing else. Or it'll load my task bar and some of my desktop icons, yet not my background. Or it won't load anything beyond the mouse, which is movable. Or it'll load my wallpaper, half my task bar icons and blank icons on my desktop. Or it'll only load the task bar and start button. Note that nothing can be clicked on unless it loads everything.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Mar 2011   #10

Win 7 Pro x64 SP1 OS X Snow Leopard 10.6.7

Repair Install
It is advisable to do a repair install - you mention errors in sfc /scannow? They are pointing to corrupt OS files. Doing a repair install will still have your data and everything. Just moves to a folder named Windows.old
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Extremely slow start up and Windows Explorer keeps crashing.

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