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Windows 7: Programs randomly hang indefinitely. Cannot be shut down at all.

06 Apr 2012   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
Programs randomly hang indefinitely. Cannot be shut down at all.

3-year-old ASUS laptop running Windows 7 64-bit.

I recently went through a fresh install of W7 due to a major driver corruption caused by a Windows Update. Since reinstalling, various programs seem to get stuck indefinitely and nothing I can do will close them. For clarity, I'll give an example of what usually happens:

1. Program locks up
2. I try to close it. Nothing happens.
3. I try to end the application in the Task Manager. Nothing happens.
4. I try to end the process and/or process tree in Task Manager. Nothing happens.
5. I try to shut down the computer. It hangs on the "Logging Off" screen indefinitely (let it sit overnight to test).
6. I end up manually powering down the computer.

When I restart, one of several things happens with no pattern I can find:
A. It starts up normally.
B. It starts up but very slowly (maybe 10 minutes to get fully booted).
C. It hangs indefinitely at the Windows "flag" loading screen.
D. I enter startup repair (usually after "C." happens) and either startup repair hangs indefinitely or (if it loads) it can find nothing wrong or can't fix the problem.

Offending programs have included Windows Media Player, Media Player Classic, Open Office, Windows Explorer, iTunes, and Firefox, to name a few.

I use Avast! as my primary protection and it can find no problems. I've also run MalwareBytes with no success. Since it's a fresh install of W7 (just a couple weeks old) and I haven't really done much downloading or exotic surfing, I have to think there's a deep-seated problem going on here. Please help before I go insane!

My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Apr 2012   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient


I'm going to make a couple of guesses about your computer and also ask a few more questions. If I'm wrong about anything, please let me know. You say the Asus is about 3 years old. So that means you got it around early 2009. Windows 7 was released to the public in October 2009. Did your computer originally come with Vista? If yes, how did you originally install Windws 7? With an anytime upgrade? With an upgrade disk? With a full install disk? With an OEM disk? How did you do the fresh install a couple of weeks ago?

How did you determine the computer suffered a major driver corruption? And how did you determine it was a Windows Update that caused it? Usually, uninstalling the offending update will correct the problem. Did you try that before resorting to the fresh install? What about trying a restore point prior to the Windows Update?

Other than the major driver corruption (which would probably be software related), was your computer showing any other signs of hardware problems? Like a clicking noice from the hard drive? Overheating? Blue Screens of Death? If not, my first thought is the fresh install somehow got corrupted. You could try running a System File Checker scan from an elevated command prompt (option two, this tutorial.) If any problems are found run the scan 3 times rebooting in between each scan.

SFC /SCANNOW Command - System File Checker

If SFC doesn't help you can try a Repair Install. You can use a retail OEM disc or a retail (full or upgrade) Windows 7 installation disc to do a repair install with.

Repair Install
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Apr 2012   #3

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit

Sorry if I was unclear about my specs. Answers:

1. No, I purchased the computer at the end of 2009, not long after 7 came out, and that is the OS the system came with.

2. The driver problem I encountered went like this:
a. Running fine.
b. Shut down one night before bed and Windows runs a major update installation (took around half an hour to finish and shut down).
c. Turn it on the next morning and the audio, networking, and all USB devices no longer work, cannot be rolled back or updated, and uninstall/reinstall does not fix them. Likewise, uninstalling the previous night's updates or running a restore point did nothing.
d. Prior to this, the computer had no major issues. No BSOD, no overheating or random shutdown, hard drive occasionally made a little noise but nothing excessive.

Extra info: I just looked in my Event Viewer and found lots of errors:
1. The device, \Device\Ide\iaStor0, did not respond within the timeout period. (happens every few minutes, sometimes several times a minute)
2. The driver detected a controller error on \Device\CdRom0. (happens every few minutes, but less frequently than 1.)
3. Activation context generation failed for "C:\Program Files\P4G\MFC80U.DLL". Dependent Assembly Microsoft.VC80.MFCLOC,processorArchitecture="amd64",publicKeyToken="1fc8b3b9a1e18e3b",type="win32",v ersion="8.0.50608.0" could not be found. Please use sxstrace.exe for detailed diagnosis. (Happens occasionally. Seems to happen twice in a row when it does).

I also got a BSOD a few minutes ago (first time), and here is a log:
- <Event xmlns="Error">
- <System>
<Provider Name="Microsoft-Windows-Kernel-Power" Guid="{331C3B3A-2005-44C2-AC5E-77220C37D6B4}" />







<TimeCreated SystemTime="2012-04-06T20:29:39.769612800Z" />


<Correlation />

<Execution ProcessID="4" ThreadID="8" />



<Security UserID="S-1-5-18" />


- <EventData>
<Data Name="BugcheckCode">0</Data>

<Data Name="BugcheckParameter1">0x0</Data>

<Data Name="BugcheckParameter2">0x0</Data>

<Data Name="BugcheckParameter3">0x0</Data>

<Data Name="BugcheckParameter4">0x0</Data>

<Data Name="SleepInProgress">false</Data>

<Data Name="PowerButtonTimestamp">0</Data>



I also got a series (maybe a hundred) of continuous Bonjour errors prior to the BSOD about "Task Scheduling Errors".

I hope that's clear enough to be informative. I'm not super tech-savvy.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

06 Apr 2012   #4

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit

Ran the SFC scan: "Windows Resource Protection did not find any integrity violations."

Edit: Was just moving a file (just a document) and Explore crashed and restarted. Here's the log:













Faulting application name: Explorer.EXE, version: 6.1.7601.17567, time stamp: 0x4d672ee4
Faulting module name: USER32.dll, version: 6.1.7601.17514, time stamp: 0x4ce7c9f1
Exception code: 0xc000041d
Fault offset: 0x0000000000019add
Faulting process id: 0x66c
Faulting application start time: 0x01cd1436dfc2ff5d
Faulting application path: C:\Windows\Explorer.EXE
Faulting module path: C:\Windows\system32\USER32.dll
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Apr 2012   #5

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit

Also getting some errors now (occasionally) about being unable to send data to Microsoft's Customer Experience Improvement Program. Not sure how that's even related, but there it is.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Apr 2012   #6

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient


Considering all of the problems and errors you're receiving, I think I'd go ahead and try the repair install (link to tutorial in post # 2.) If the repair install doesn't correct the issues I'd start over again with another clean install since it's only a couple of weeks since you last did it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Apr 2012   #7

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit

I don't actually have a disc. The recovery/restore for my comp is on a partition. The options look exactly like the images here:

Windows 7 Built-in Recovery Partition and Options : Guides

I don't see anything there that gives the option of "Repair Install," though. Am I overlooking something obvious?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Apr 2012   #8
Microsoft MVP


The options shown in your link are not a reinstall or even factory recovery but are only the System Recovery Options available to try to Repair Win7 when it won't start - available also from F8 Advanced Boot Options, Installation DVD or System Repair Disk.

Do you have factory preinstalled Win7 which allows full Factory Recovery from that menu? Is this what you ran? This is an inferior install which includes OEM bloatware and useless factory utilties which have much better versions built into Win7. These can throttle Win7 from its native feather-light, instantaneous state and cause issues like you have.

You can follow these steps to Clean Reinstall - Factory OEM Windows 7 - everything needed is in the blue link.

Or you can try to run Recovery again and Clean Up Factory Bloatware - Windows 7 Forums

Or you can work through these Troubleshooting Steps for Windows 7 - Windows 7 Forums
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Apr 2012   #9

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit

Sorry, you're right that those are the options found under the F8 key. There is also a partition accessible under the F9 key on boot up, though it seems (as far as I can tell) to only have the option to restore to factory defaults, not repair. This is also the option I used the LAST time I restored after the massive driver failure, and now I'm in this situation. I'm a little worried about trying to use that again. Can you advise? Thanks!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Apr 2012   #10
Microsoft MVP


I gave you your options quite clearly in my last post. What wasn't clear to you?

If you want to try to repair the existing install then work through the Troubleshooting Steps.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Programs randomly hang indefinitely. Cannot be shut down at all.

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