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Windows 7: Windows 7 freezes turn into inability to boot into anything

18 Jan 2012   #1
cnauta

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 

Hi,
I hope this isn't a repeat of previous threads (I DID google to try to find an answer).

My problems started several weeks ago with random freezes and BSODs. Upon investigation I learned to run sfc /scannow which I did and it always found problems that it couldn't fix (even if I ran it 5 times in a row). At this point everything I read recommended re-installing Windows. So I did.

That fixed things for awhile, but I started to get random freezes. i ran sfc /scannow but it didn't find any errors. Eventually the freezes turned to total hangs. Then I began to have problems even getting back to Windows. I couldn't boot straight into Windows, I couldn't boot into (any of the) safe mode(s), I couldn't boot into the repair disk. What I mean here is that the boot process would proceed to a certain point (usually the Starting Windows screen) and just stop (even though my hard drive light would be running). I'm not sure how I did it (because every time I tried to re-create it I couldn't), but eventually I'd get to a chkdsk prompt and it would find and fix problems. Once that happened I would be able to get back into Windows.
I tried diagnosing the freezes, but couldn't come up with anything. One time I got into Windows Repair (from my Windows 7 install disk) and I ran Windows memory checker and it told me that I had RAM problems. A couple of years ago I ran into a bunch of BSODs that pointed to my RAM, but I was able to work around the problem. So this time I ordered new RAM (16GB (4x4Gb) of Crucial). By the time the RAM arrived my system was totally hosed (I couldn't boot into anything no matter what I tried). I replaced the RAM, fought with a stuck chckdsk switch (I have a USB keyboard and couldn't tell chkdsk not to run!) and everything was back to (better than) normal!

And then...

And then I started to get the temporary and intermittent freezes. I again googled for answers but was a little overwhelmed by all the results I found. I looked through my event manager, but couldn't make heads or tails of it. I brought up my resource manager so I could see what was running when it froze and the best I could come up with is that my network load was always huge when it froze. I have a wireless router and several items that run off of it besides my computer (Yamaha receiver, DirecTV, Wii, PS3 and my wife's laptop). I had an older USB wireless modem so I bought a new one (Netgear N600) and disconnected the Yamaha receiver and the DirecTV. There were still freezes. Then I got up this morning and all of my programs were hung. So I hit my reset switch and I'm back to my original problem.

That is, I can not boot into:
- Windows 7 normal
- any safe modes
- Windows 7 Install disk
- Windows 7 repair disk
- last known good configuration

The only thing I CAN boot into is an emergency boot disk that contains all kinds of diagnostic tools (Ultimate Boot CD). I've run Memtest but it found no errors.

I believe if I can somehow get to a command prompt to run chkdsk I can get back into Windows. But how can I do that?

Plus, once I'm back into Windows how do I diagnose the freezes? I've run a Western Digital program to check my hard drive, but it found no errors. If it's not my RAM and not my hard drive what could it be (and how do I figure that out)?

And please note that I'm NOT getting any BSODs - it just freezes.

Any/all help would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!

Some more information:

- I have MS Security Essentials and have kept it up-to-date
- I also use Spybot S&D and Spyware Blaster
- Just yesterday I updated MalwareBytes Anti-Malware and ran a quick scan - nothing found
- I have two external hard drives (500 Gb WD and a 750 Gb Seagate). I have unplugged (from the USB) the Seagate and my Netgear just to see if they are bogging down my computer (other than the RAM, they are the newest additions to my PC)
- When I try to boot into Windows repair (either from the Windows 7 install disk, the F8 menu or the Windows 7 repair disk) it usually gets all the way to the point that I see a cursor arrow on a black screen. And then it stops (although my HD light keeps blinking)
- When I try to boot into any of the safe modes I get all the drivers loaded and then it stops with the text still on the screen (again - the HD light keeps blinking)
- When I try to boot into normal windows, I get the "Starting Windows" screen and the Windows logo forms and then starts to 'pulse' and that's where I end (again - the HD light is on and blinking)
- these boot stop places are pretty consistent

I am at a total and complete loss with this issue. My gut is telling me that it's something with the hardware, but I just don't know. I'm hoping it's not MB related.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.
18 Jan 2012   #2
essenbe

Windows 7 Enterprise X64/Windows 10 Enterprise X64/Windows 10 Pro X64/Linux Mint
 
 

To get into a command prompt from a repair or installation disk. When you ran memtest86 how long did you run it? you should run it for at least 7 passes, usually overnight. You may also want to run the Misrosoft stand alone system seweeper to ensure your problems are not from a virus.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Jan 2012   #3
cnauta

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 

essenbe,
No, I didn't allow Memtest to run that long. I'll try it tonight.

In regards to the stand-alone system sweeper, I'm downloading that now and will try it out.

I know I'm no expert, but it sure doesn't seem/feel like a virus. But best to check it out and remove that option from the list of possibilities.

Two more thoughts:

- I have friend telling me that a hacker has gotten into my computer and removed the start-up part of your operating system. This doesn't seem right since I can't boot from my Windows 7 Install disk (and I keep my wireless DSL modem and PC protected). But anything's possible.

- When I re-installed windows I didn't reformat my Hard Drive. I wanted to, but I hit the wrong button and simply removed the partitions (the Windows repair partition and the normal Windows 7 partition). Could this be causing problems?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

18 Jan 2012   #4
Solarstarshines

Windows 10 Home Premium 64bit sp1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by cnauta View Post
Two more thoughts:

- I have friend telling me that a hacker has gotten into my computer and removed the start-up part of your operating system. This doesn't seem right since I can't boot from my Windows 7 Install disk (and I keep my wireless DSL modem and PC protected). But anything's possible.

- When I re-installed windows I didn't reformat my Hard Drive. I wanted to, but I hit the wrong button and simply removed the partitions (the Windows repair partition and the normal Windows 7 partition). Could this be causing problems?

I would defently not try to repair but do a fresh install ,That is most likly giving you the headache

They probally got you with malware that does root searches for keys and took your key and left you empty handed

Anything is possible

You can also call MS to make sure your key hasn't been used or security of your product breached

They could issue a new key for security purposes if you were hacked just have to let them know about it
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Jan 2012   #5
essenbe

Windows 7 Enterprise X64/Windows 10 Enterprise X64/Windows 10 Pro X64/Linux Mint
 
 

Many times that is what fixing computers is, thestin all the possibilities and eliminating one thing at a time. As Irecall, you said that ram has been indicated twice before and after the new ram. That makes testing ram more important. Here is a tutorial on running memtest86. Just remember in testing ram, the problem can be the ram sticks or the dimm slots on the Motherboard. You have to check both which can make it a long ordeal. When you finsh those, run startup recovery from the repaid disk. You may have to run it 3 times. But, after each time try a normal boot. If the normal boot fails, run startup repair again. Do this for 3 times at least. Once you get into windows, enable driver verifier. This puts strain on your drivers. The object being that if a driver is causing this, you want it to crash so which driver can be determined. This should be a good start. Let us know how these go.

Solarstarshines is right. It is usually easier to do a repair install or a clean install than finding and fixing the problem. My only thing is that we need to make sure it is not a hardware problem causing this. If it is hardware, even with a clean install, we are going to see the same problem again. If it is not a hardware problem, I would think a clean install might be good with a clean all from diskpart. If we get that far we will give you help in doing that. Let us know if you get into windows.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Jan 2012   #6
cnauta

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 

Essenbe,
I will definitely test my RAM tonight, but I wanted to let you know that once I put the new RAM in I have not (yet) run into any indicators that it might be the problem.

I have downloaded the MS Stand-Alone scanner and am running it (and am surprised it is actually running! I saw the "Starting Windows" screen and thought to myself "that's as far as THAT is going to get". I'm glad I'm wrong.)

Huh.

The MS Stand-Alone scanner just stopped with this error message:

Windows Defender Offline cannot be started.
Error: Unable to detect a Windows system drive. This could be
due to missing drivers, an encrypted drive [it isn't], or a corrupted
Windows installation.

Error Code: 0x8004cc01

UPDATE
I rebooted into the Stand-Alone scanner to try again, and this time it DID hang on the Window's start-up screen. -sigh-
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Jan 2012   #7
essenbe

Windows 7 Enterprise X64/Windows 10 Enterprise X64/Windows 10 Pro X64/Linux Mint
 
 

Try to run startup repair from the repair disk. Do it the way the tutorial says with attempted normal startups between each one. See if it can find an installation. If we can't get into windows, we have a problem.

Also, do you have current backups of all of your personal files? Documents, pictures, music and such.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Jan 2012   #8
cnauta

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 

Update:

I turned my PC off for a while and decided to try something with the RAM.
As I said earlier I had put in brand new 4 x 4Gb Crucial sticks.
My MB is a dual channel (DIMMS 1 & 3; 2 & 4), so I took out the "second" set (DIMMS 2 & 4).

I started my computer, made sure the BIOS recognized the changes, and then booted into my Windows 7 Install disk.

Surprise, surprise! It actually booted! So I started Startup Repair and turned away to type this message (I'm using my wife's laptop to do this).

However, when I just looked back I had a BSOD. "The system encountered an uncorrectable hardware error."

Technical information:
STOP: 0x00000124 (0x0000000000000000, 0xFFFFFA80073F5028, 0X00000000B2000000, 0X0000000000010005)

I'm going to try rebooting back into my Windows 7 Install disk (repair startup)

UPDATE
Re-booting and again got into my Windows 7 Install disk. Went to command prompt instead this time and am running chckdsk /f /r

However, I just got an "unspecified error". I will try to re-run.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Jan 2012   #9
essenbe

Windows 7 Enterprise X64/Windows 10 Enterprise X64/Windows 10 Pro X64/Linux Mint
 
 

I'll try to get someone who is familar with the codes, but I think the 0x00000124 is a hardware code. Try taking the 2 dimms out and placing the other 2 sticks in the other 2 slots.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Jan 2012   #10
cnauta

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 

So I decided instead of re-running chkdsk that I would re-run the start-up repair utility. It started, then hung up! But no BSOD.

So I hit my reset button and let it try to boot regularly into normal Windows hoping that chkdsk would run. It did.

It didn't seem to find anything (the screens move so fast I didn't have time to check them out), and then actually booted all the way into Windows.

However, as I was typing this something happened because I looked back and it was at the Windows safemode prompt screen. I hit the option to boot normally and it (again) completed booting into Windows 7.

Which now completely confuses me all over again.

Windows repair did NOT finish successfully, so how can I be booting into Windows? It doesn't seem as if I can trust things.

What further diagnostics do you suggest? Should I back up my stuff now and do a complete re-install (with only the 2 DIMMS of memory)?

UPDATE
It had booted into Windows so I went to the kitchen to get a bite to eat. When I got back it was back at that Windows Safe Mode prompt screen. So obviously I still have something that's wrong.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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