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Windows 7: Windows 7 randomly freezes, sometimes starts up without Desktop

25 Nov 2012   #1

Windows 7 Professional 64bit SP1
Windows 7 randomly freezes, sometimes starts up without Desktop

Hello all,
I think my problems are of various nature and I start to think it might be hardware related but not too sure. Let me explain a bit about the history.

Around April this year it started, that my Windows 7 pro 64bit system, which was running fine for 2 years had it's hicups. When running Chrome or Skype it just started to freeze every now or then apps didn't run at all. I believed it's was an application issue, but in the end I wasn't able to fresh install Skype anymore so I ran a Malware check.
But no malware was found.

So I thought maybe the registry is so messed up that I might have to look into a fresh install. Also I thought that way I get a fresh clean system and remove old entries that just slow down my machine. I didn't mind doing a clean installation at this point.

I had various problems during the reinstall and ended up till now with roughly 8 reinstallations of my system. All went fine up to the point, when I had to update the netframework. At that point, the updates just failed.

With the latest reinstallation I just skipped the windows updates from 2012 alltogether and it ran fine for a while. Now I get again random freezes (black screen, like if the monitor just switches off) or on boot up it can't find the Desktop and tries to configure it for around 5 minutes.

I ran malware checks, used ccCleaner and avast. Everything looks fine. I also ran the svc check that I found somewhere to do, but wasn't sure how o interpret the data.

I now don't really want to go through another re installation of the system and believe it might be some hardware failure.

I have 4 hdd's in my computer all of the same brand and size. WD 250GB HDD, one is the system drive and I want to clone now my installation over to another drive to check if it's maybe a hardware issue. Now I did read somewhere else that Windows might store the bootloader on one of these extra disks.

How can I make sure all is on one disk. Is there a good Cloner that helps me with that?
What other possibilities and things should I check? Do you believe I'm on the right track that it's a hardware issue? I mean it happened now over and over, though what makes me also suspicious were the failing windows updates.

Thank you all

my System Specs should show up somewhere, as I did add them to my profile

My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Nov 2012   #2


Please post back a screenshot of your maximized Disk Mgmt Drive map and listings, using the Snipping TOol in Start Menu. We can see if its configured correctly from that.

Then start working through these Troubleshooting Steps for Windows 7.

If you withheld installing all Windows Updates after a reinstall then you are not running Win7. YOu should install all Updates and run with Updates set to Automatic. The possibility of Updates messing up your PC is less than one in a million so there is something else wrong most likely.

I would look over these steps which spell out how to get a perfect Clean Reinstall - Factory OEM Windows 7 as if you stick closely to them and use only the tools and methods within then you will be assured of having a perfect install. You can then backup a System image in case it becomes irreparable, used to reimage the HD or its replacement in 20 minutes.

Installs should also always be done with only the target HD plugged in, to avoid interference from other HD's. This alone could be a problem which we should be able to see from the screenshot.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Nov 2012   #3

Windows 7 Professional 64bit SP1

Hi gregrocker,
will do further testing and go through the list. I already did run 6 passes of memtest86+ last night without any errors.
Will keep the updates posted here, if I have more news.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

26 Nov 2012   #4

Windows 7 Professional 64bit SP1

Here a screenshot. Looks alright to me though.
For explanation. D is a external RAID system that I have connected via eSATA.
Don't know why Windows assigned it the Drive D, but that was always like that. Even before I started to have problems.
A lot of project files reference also files in that Drive D.

Will now check for other problems.
If you have more ideas and things to look at please share them

Thanks a lot.

Attached Thumbnails
Windows 7 randomly freezes, sometimes starts up without Desktop-disk_mgmt.jpg  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Nov 2012   #5

Windows 7 Professional 64bit SP1

Looking through the event viewer a lot of services just fail and stop. If I restart them they fail shortly after again.
How can I permanently fix those services to stop working?
  • Windows Management Instrumentation
  • Multimedia Class Scheduler
  • Application Experience
  • Computer Browser Service
  • User Profile Service

And a few svchost.exe_Winmgmt application errors..
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Nov 2012   #6


I would unplug the RAID storage to see if the problem occurs, because if it doesn't then that is the culprit. Win7 has nothing but problems with dated RAID technology.

The Troubleshooting steps sequence how to run repairs:

SFC /SCANNOW Command to see if damaged system files will repair.

If not run a Repair Install

as a last resort before getting the superior Clean Reinstall - Factory OEM Windows 7 which steps are the same for retail.

Have you had a perfect reinstall following the best practices for Win7 install which are not at all like XP? If not then I would focus on doing that. It would likely take less time than troubleshooting a corrupt install that may have never been done correctly in the first place.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Nov 2012   #7

Windows 7 Professional 64bit SP1

No RAID? What's up with Windows. For Data safety I don't really want to miss my RAID. It's an external Hardware RAID System where I keep all my important Data that I don't want to loose. Everything that matters.

Or do you just mean no RAID during installation?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Nov 2012   #8


Did I say no RAID? I said to unplug it to see if it is causing the problem, that's all.

What's wrong with RAID is dated technology that doesn't even offer redundancy since if you lose a HD you most often lose all of your data.

And you should always unplug all other HD's during any installation.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Nov 2012   #9

Windows 7 Professional 64bit SP1

RAID 10 is mirroring and striping my data. It should work quite well if a disk fails. How do you protect your data?
I'm still working through my checks and fixes
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Nov 2012   #10


I keep my data sync'd to free backup on Skydrive and other HD's also sync'd.

I also keep a current and baseline backup image so that if Win7 fails I can reimage the OS and Programs in 20 minutes to the HD or its replacement.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Windows 7 randomly freezes, sometimes starts up without Desktop

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