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Windows 7: Random freezes during boot process before login (black screen)

10 Jul 2012   #1

Windows 7 Pro 32 bit
Random freezes during boot process before login (black screen)

Hi there,

I'm a bit desperate here, since I can't seem to find a way to debug, analyze and fix this issue.

My systems sometimes freezes during the boot process and all I get is black screen.

This happens when the error occurs:
BIOS shows up normally
Window 7 logo is shown for a brief second
black screen

With boot details enabled, I see that drivers are getting loaded until classpnp.sys. After that the screen goes black as well and the system hangs.

Now when I turn on the machine, I get a text screen asking me whether to start normally or run a recovery attempt. Usually starting normally is all it takes and Windows boots up fine.
Once Windows is up and running, it's rock solid. No lockups, no BSODs or whatsoever.

Unfortunately I have no idea how to get debug details of this part of the boot process (os loader phase?).

I already switched the SATA Ports, switched to a different brand and even switched to mSATA. So I'm pretty sure it's not the SSD. Using Windows SATA drivers or Intel RST doesn't make a difference either btw.

Any help is very very appreciated!


Hardware :
Motherboard : Intel DN2800mt, latest BIOS (156)
Graphic Card : GMA 3650 (recent drivers)
CPU : Cedar Trail Atom @ 1,8GHz
Ram : 4 GB - Corsair 1333 MHz
SSD: Crucial M4 64 GB in AHCI mode, latest FW (000f)

My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Jul 2012   #2

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit

SSD Troubleshooting:
Despite your statement that it is probably not an SSD issue, it does sound like the SSD may be disappearing from the system.
  • Make sure the following are up to date:
    • SSD firmware
    • BIOS Version
    • Chipset Drivers
    • Hard disk controller drivers/SATA drivers
    • If you have a Marvell IDE ATA/ATAPI device, make sure the drivers are up to date from the Intel site or Marvell site and not from your motherboard/vendor support site.

  • Try doing a power cycle of the SSD. The following steps should be carried out and take ~1 hour to complete.
    1. Power off the system.
    2. Remove all power supplies (ac adapter then battery for laptop, ac adapter for desktop)
    3. Hold down the power button for 30 seconds to close the circuit and drain all components of power.
    4. Reconnect all power supplies (battery then ac adapter for laptop, ac adapter for desktop)
    5. Turn on the system and enter the BIOS (see your manual for the steps to enter the BIOS)
    6. Let the computer remain in the BIOS for 20 minutes.
    7. Follow steps 1-3 and physically remove the SSD from the system by disconnecting the cables for a desktop or disconnecting the drive from the junction for a laptop.
    8. Leave the drive disconnected for 30 seconds to let all power drain from it.
    9. Replace the drive connection(s) and then do steps 4-8 again.
    10. Repeat steps 1-4.
    11. Start your computer normally and run Windows.

    The above steps were a result of: Why did my SSD "disappear" from my system? - Crucial Community

    While that may not be your drive, a power cycle should be the same on all SSD drives. See how the system responds after the SSD power cycle.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Jul 2012   #3

Windows 7 Pro 32 bit

Thanks a lot for your answer! I'll try that once I get home.

But this power cycle only affects the hardware, right? I just ask because I installed a sandforce based msata SSD (ocz nocti), cloned the OS to it and removed my old SSD (Crucial M4).
The problem still persists, even though I physically replaced the drive and SATA Port
Now I'm back to the M4 again, btw.

My drivers are all up to date. I even tried those "modded" Intel RST drivers, but they didn't make a difference.

edit: Nope, didn't help. 2 out of 10 boots still fail. Is there really no way to get some debug info from this early stage of boot process?
My System SpecsSystem Spec

10 Jul 2012   #4

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit

No method I know of to get the info from the early boot process. The provide system logs that may indicate whether hardware is having problems even if blue screens are not happening. Please upload that information by following the instructions.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Jul 2012   #5

Windows 7 Pro 32 bit

Oh, that's too bad. I just tried the Windows Performance Toolkit which is able to profile the boot process. But unfortunately it stops doing that during a crash.
Anyway, here's the debugging info. Thanks for looking into that!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Jul 2012   #6

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit

You are having a lot of XBMC related issues. You may consider replacing it with VLC media player.

Some application crashes also indicate possible hard disk corruption:
Run Disk Check with Automatically fix file system errors checked for all hard drives and SSDs. Post back your logs for the checks after finding them using Check Disk (chkdsk) - Read Event Viewer Log (you may need to search for wininit instead of chkdsk).
For any drives that do not give the message:
Windows has checked the file system and found no problems
run disk check again as above. In other words, if it says:
Windows has made corrections to the file system
after running the disk check, run the disk check again.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Jul 2012   #7

Windows 7 Pro 32 bit

Hehe, as soon as they add a mediacenter functionality, I'll consider switching.
Checkdisk fortunately hasn't found any errors on both drives.

What catches my attention is, that warm-reboots tend to fail more often than cold-boots.

It also seems that those crashes don't occur after a clean installation. Once I apply all those hundreds of security updates, the reboot roulette begins.

Oh well - maybe I just have to wait for a future update that repairs whatever it broke before.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Jul 2012   #8

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit

If you are having issues with Windows Updates, I wonder about your Windows installation. Please follow the Windows Genuine and Activation Issue Posting Instructions. Post the results in your next post; do not start a new thread.
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Brink
NOTE: The MGADIAG report does not contain any sensitive or personal information, and is best posted un-edited for us to be able to help.

7. Select (highlight) all of the MGADiag report that you just pasted, and click on the code box # toolbar icon to wrap the report in a code box when posted. (see screenshot below)

Attachment 221467
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Random freezes during boot process before login (black screen)

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