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Windows 7: Failed startups, system freezes+restarts, and more

23 Oct 2012   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
Failed startups, system freezes+restarts, and more

When I boot up my computer, things start smoothly. My mo-bo flashes and my BIOS Setup is available. Once on the "Starting Windows" screen with the pulsing windows logo, about 10 seconds in the screen will freeze. After staying frozen for a moment, the screen goes dark and my monitor reports:

At this point my machine is still running; LEDs, Temp. readout, fans, etc. still function as normal. Motherboard reports no error. My only option is to force a shutdown or restart. Once I do, things start over.

Mobo flashes, and now instead of the 'Starting Windows' screen, I get an error message reading:
"Windows failed to start. A recent hardware or software change might be the cause. If windows files have been damaged or configured incorrectly, startup repair can help diagnose and fix the problem. If power was interrupted during startup, choose start windows normally."

My options are:
Launch Startup Repair (Recommended)
Start Windows Normally.

If I start Windows Normally, it goes straight to the 'Starting Windows' screen, where it often will freeze once again and follow up with a 'No Signal' message. Occassionally, it will not freeze and make it to the Windows Log-in screen (hurray!). Punching in my password takes me to a 'Welcome' screen with a swirling blue circle, and this page will often freeze, the screen goes dark, and 'No Signal' appears. Only on a rare occassion will my system actually start Windows, load my desktop and start-up programs. When it does, my computer will run anywhere from 15 minutes to a couple hours until it will lag, freeze, go dark (No Signal), and force a restart.

Instead, should I choose to Launch Startup Repair, I end up with a 20-minute scan that reports Startup Repair cannot fix the issue automatically. The report (for whatever it's worth) it supplied with my last attempt is as follows:
Problem Event Name: StartupRepairOffline
Problem Signature 01: 6.1.7600.16385
Problem Signature 02: 6.1.7600.16385
Problem Signature 03: unknown
Problem Signature 04: 87
Problem Signature 05: ExternalMedia
Problem Signature 06: 1
Problem Signature 07: No Root Cause
OS Version: 6.1.7600.
Locale ID: 1033
Sometimes instead of a 'Windows has failed to start' error message, I receive an improper shutdown notice and am given options to start in Safe Mode (or Safe Mode with Networking). My system is always able to start and run fine in Safe Mode.

I have been struggling with this issue for a few months and have since replaced my processor and motherboard, and sent my video card in for repairs. Whether or not Asus actually did anything to my GPU remains unknown.

If anyone has any suggestions or questions, please send them my way. I'm desperate at this point!! Is it my video card?? Are my startup files corrupt?? Should I re-install Windows?? Thanks for your time and help!!

My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Oct 2012   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient


Hello Lukapaka and welcome to Seven Forums.

Problems such as your computer is having can be difficult to diagnose. They could be software related (damaged or corrupt operating system, bad drivers, etc.), or hardware related (failing motherboard, RAM, etc), or malware might have infected your machine.

If you can get into Safe Mode through Advanced Boot Options try installing the free Malwarebytes and run a full scan. You could also try running a system file checker scan from an elevated command prompt (option two.) If problems are found, run the scan 3 times and reboot your computer after each scan.


SFC /SCANNOW Command - System File Checker

If your computer is still having issues you might want to go through these troubleshooting tutorials prepared by one of the Forum experts. they are time consuming but very thorough. Many people have been able to solve their computer isues.

Troubleshooting Windows 7 Failure to Boot

Troubleshooting Steps for Windows 7

If all else fails you might consider a clean install.

Clean Reinstall - Factory OEM Windows 7
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Oct 2012   #3

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit

Thanks for the speedy reply and all the great links! I'm going through your list now. Malwarebytes found several trojans, but upon restart problems still arose. I'll keep chugging along!
My System SpecsSystem Spec

23 Oct 2012   #4

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient


Since Malwarebytes found some problems, I'd recommend doing some additional scans with some more free anti-malware programs. (There's no such thing as an anti-malware product that is 100% effective 100% of the time. If such a product existed we'd all be using it.)

ESET Online Scanner

Windows Defender Offline (The boot media must be created on a machine that is known to be malware free. Otherwise it may be compromised and not find the things it should.)



The more scans you run that come back "no threat detected" the closer you will come to a nearly 100% certainty that your machine is malware free. If you have any questions or if other issues arise, please post back.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Oct 2012   #5

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit

Thanks for the new links. If I can get my computer loaded normally would I be better off running these programs out of Safe Mode, or should it make no difference whether I'm in Safe Mode or not?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Oct 2012   #6

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient


I'm not a malware expert so this is just personal opinion. I think the best way to run anti-malware scans is with bootable media such as Windows Defender Offline (CD/DVD/flash drive.) Today's malware is sophisticated enough to not care if the computer is in safe mode or normal startup. By using a bootable media the anti-malware scan can begin before Windows loads and when malware is at it's most vulnerable to detection.

Many anti-virus companies offer what is commonly called Rescue CDs or Rescue Disks. They are similar to Windows Defender Offline in that you use the disk to boot the computer and the scan begins before Windows starts. But just like traditional AVs, there is not such thing as a "best" rescue disk. They can each miss something that a different disk may find.

Rescue CDs: Tips for fighting malware | TechRepublic
My System SpecsSystem Spec

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