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Windows 7: Programs Only Open In Safemode, Less Processes Loaded On Startup

17 Feb 2012   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
Programs Only Open In Safemode, Less Processes Loaded On Startup

After having scoured the internet for help, not really gotten anywhere, and feeling reinstalling windows might be my only option, I'm going to leave this here before I fall asleep and see if anyone can shed some light on this.

I guess I should start from the start? Earlier I'd finished watching a film, put my computer to sleep (which I do a lot and never any trouble) and went to do something else. I came back and clicking on firefox upon awaking my computer caused it to freeze, the mouse was stuck on the loading icon and nothing responded. I restarted it via the case button and at this point windows wouldn't start up, the colourful windows lights wouldn't appear. After multiple tries I tried the startup repair, which left my computer in an odd state - no programs will work. Explorer works, but not enough processes are being run when everything has finished loading, and upon trying to do something, every program either does nothing at all, or crashes. Some get splash screens, and avast gets the UI open, which says the program isn't running, but that's as far as I've managed to get. Everything works in safemode, but, well, its safemode, hardly a permanant solution. I've tried system restore (multiple times), which for a while (a few restarts) made logging in turn to just a blank screen, where bringing up task manager, closing explorer, and running it again, would take me back to the same problem I'm having now with programs not running. Now windows boots normally, just nothing will load, unless in safemode.

I've tried scanning for viruses with avast, malwarebytes, looked through the registry at hkeyclasses-root for .exe after reading that could be the problem on google, everything there is as it should be. Sfc/ scannow found nothing also.

Whilst fixing computers isn't an expertise of mine, I've got a degree in computing so I know at least to a decent level what I'm doing - cant think of anything else to try and google seems to come up with tons of slightly related issues, but none that explain my exact situation.

Really don't want to reinstall windows unless absolutely neccessary - tried the 'update' install but that doesn't work in safemode or booting from the dvd, it'll only run in normal settings windows - where no programs at all will run.

Not installed anything recently, done anything different, done really anything at all except the usual, check youtube, blogger, facebook, and forums. It came completely out of the blue, which is why this stumped me soo much.

System specs:
AMD Phenom II x4 3.2ghz
ATI Radeon HD6850
6gb ram
500gb hdd
Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit - Version 6.1.7600 Build 7600

Sorry for a) an essay for you guys to read ._. and b) if this is in the wrong place, someone move it/do what you guys do here if it is.

And thankyou for any help in advance you guys can give on this, I'd be beyond thankful if someone can save me from having to reinstall windows!

My System SpecsSystem Spec

17 Feb 2012   #2

Microsoft Windows 8.1 Pro 64-bit

Hello Kerry, and welcome to Sevenforums!

have you tried an sfc scan yet?: SFC /SCANNOW : Run in Command Prompt at Boot (by Bare Foot Kid)

Have you checked the permissions for everything (something could have messed those up)?

I would recommend against using avast as it has proven to be unstable in some cases, but this is entirely up to your discretion.

Are you able to do a repair install?: Repair Install (by Brink)

In a last ditch effort, before you give in to do a complete reinstall, you might consider removing as many programs as you are willing to part with, including security software (perhaps even using this program for extra removal strength, in advanced mode: That way you can check to see if those programs are having any effect. try to repair install and sfc scan again after that.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Feb 2012   #3

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit

not tried an sfc scan in boot, only by running cmd in safemode.

bizarrely enough upon waking up this morning and turning on my computer I appear now to be able to get programs to run, although yet again I've not changed anything. Still, basic drivers/processes aren't starting on startup and there is no internet access.

Now I have program access I'm going to do a repair install, will report back with what happens.

You mentioned avast isn't great - never had any problems with it myself, but are there any better free antivirus softwares out there? I used AVG up until a few years ago when it failed me a fair few times, so I found avast. What would you recommend?

Anyway, thanks very much for your help, will report back with the results of the repair install.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

18 Feb 2012   #4

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit

just tried to run the windows DVD to do a repair install, it crashes explorer on trying to run from the CD, then after that when I try to click on my computer it comes up with "the remote procedure failed and did not execute". This occurs even after closing and rerunning explorer.

thoughts? ideas?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Feb 2012   #5

Microsoft Windows 8.1 Pro 64-bit

If you removed AVG via control panel's uninstaller, then there could be conflicts right there. Antiviruses need to be specially removed. Usually they will provide you a free removal tool from their website, but if not, you can use Revo uninstaller (I've already given you the link). If you cannot see the programs in the list, install them again, so that revo can completely remove it (try not to have 2 antiviruses installed at the same time). Have revo search for anything additional in advanced mode.

If you are interested in a good antivirus, I would personally recommend MSE: Anti-Malware, Virus, Spyware Protection | Microsoft Security Essentials but it is up to you.

Both Avast! and AVG are terrible antiviruses. And I promise I'm not just saying that every time you mention another antivirus Both cause problems. Them and McAfee.

Are you able to run Revo? If you can't, try installing it, then running it in safe mode (don't install in safe mode). Hopefully that would work.

at least you might consider disabling any antiviruses just until you can get your computer out of lockdown
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Feb 2012   #6

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit

sorry, probably should have been more specific, used AVG a long time ago, like, YEARS ago, on an old PC. Have been running avast the entire time since I built this pc (jan 2011), so no conflicts that I can imagine. Avast isn't even properly starting, I just get the UI as I stated in the first post. And now I have limited functionality as I stated, but it just seems like windows isn't loading everything it should at startup, basically. I've looked at msconfig and everything seems normal, checked for non windows processes and nothing that wasn't there before is there, its basically just adobe things (for premiere pro and after effects cs5.5, as well as reader) and steam, avast, and zone alarm.

Going to look into MSE regardless of how I fix this, thanks for the tip

Any more insight/thoughts/suggestions?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Feb 2012   #7

Microsoft Windows 8.1 Pro 64-bit

Yea, in MSCONFIG, hide all microsoft services and whatnot, and temporarily uncheck everything else, restart, and hope you gain some more functionality back, then try some more of the steps I've offered. Disable all startup programs, too, except your network connection (might need that)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Feb 2012   #8

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit

I'm not entirely sure what I did or what happened, but its 100% back to normal now! Not complaining, just a little confused as to what actually happened, haha..

I noticed in msconfig a adobe updater thingy that wasn't there before, so I disabled just that startup item and service, restarted, and at first it did nothing.. then after opening msconfig again all the other processes and such that should have been running before sprung to life - and functionality was fully restored. I updated some drivers, namely my graphics card as that's been bugging me with a 'please update the catalyst control centre' dialog for a few days and I've been too busy and have ignored it. Also did some big windows updates that it wanted to do, and now everything is fine. Only issue is slow internet, but I literally think that's just because my connection sucks. ADSL down POTS is crappy, cant wait to have fibre optic again when I move (which is completely beside the point).

Anyway, I don't really know what caused all this, I'd guess some conflict with updaters and such, but either way thanks soo much for all your help - if the problem comes back I'll just bump this topic, but fingers crossed everything is back to normal now. And I'll look into MSE too when I get some free time
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Feb 2012   #9

Microsoft Windows 8.1 Pro 64-bit

cool. Glad its going for ya. let me know if you need any help with anything else
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Feb 2012   #10

Windows 7 Pro. 64/SP-1

In to OP Post #6
steam, avast, and zone alarm.
Are these still on your computer? If so you are asking for trouble.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

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