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Windows 7: Windows 7 won't boot, unless safe mode or graphics driver is disabled

18 Dec 2012   #1

Windows 7 pro 32bit , and Ubuntu 12.10 32bit
Windows 7 won't boot, unless safe mode or graphics driver is disabled

Hey everyone,
Some info about my PC:
  • Geforce 9800 gtx/gtx+ (two power supply cables plugged in)
  • Dual boot Windows 7 pro (32b) and Ubuntu 12.10 (32b) on two seprate hard drives
  • Intel DG965WH motherboard and Core 2 duo processor
  • Windows version: 6.1.7601 S.P. 1 Build 7601
Problem: As of lately my computer has been failing to boot Windows unless I start into Safe mode or Low Resolution mode. In addition, strange 'lines' are running across my screen, that flicker, and sometimes look like video noise from old tv sets. I've been able to prevent the 'noise' and boot normally after some debugging (rolling back windows, uninstalling drivers, letting windows 'fix-it' do stuff) but the problem comes back after a while. Sometimes the problem returns after a few days, sometimes a few hours. One pattern I've noticed is it seems like every time windows updates, the problem returns.

More info: I've been running this hardware for about five years now. Large changes that happened before the problem include upgrading Ubuntu from 11 to 12, and setting up a VPN, and VNC connections to Windows and Linux. I can boot into safe mode, and the 'lines' still appear. If I disable my video driver I can start Windows normally, but the lines still exist. The lines also exist on the boot menu screen, and while manipulating the bios.

Most recent :
This worked but the problem returned a few hours later.
  1. I started in safe mode and uninstalled my graphics driver
  2. I restarted, and booted into Low-Resolution mode
  3. Installed graphics driver that has worked for a long time (301.42)
  4. Restarted was able to boot, and in full HD with no 'noise'

Many Thanks,

My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Dec 2012   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Win 7 Pro x64 / Win 10 Pro

Welcome to the Seven Forums

Do you have Windows Update Settings set on automatically download and install? Windows Update Settings - Change
If so it could be that your graphic card is getting updated without you knowing it, being that it works okay after you have uninstalled and reinstalled the drivers that works.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Dec 2012   #3

Windows 7 pro 32bit , and Ubuntu 12.10 32bit

Hey Jerry,

Thank you for the hospitality. I disabled a Windows feature to 'Shut Down and Install Updates'. However, Windows was able to sneak in an update. Since then I've been back and forth between restoring and Startup Repair. Now, I don't know what changes are made when It successfully boots!

I'm going to system restore, disable all auto updates, reinstall working drivers, and report back tomorrow. Also, I'll try my graphics card in my buddy's computer.

Best Wishes,
My System SpecsSystem Spec

19 Dec 2012   #4

Windows 7 Enterprise x64

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Boomerkuwanger View Post
The lines also exist on the boot menu screen, and while manipulating the bios.
Hardware problem. Most likely has nothing to do with Windows or Ubuntu. Have you tried simply reseating the video card?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Dec 2012   #5

Windows 7 pro 32bit , and Ubuntu 12.10 32bit

Jeckler, I have tried reseating the graphics card, and air dusting everything. I'm going to put the card into my friends PC later to see what happens. I'm not convinced that it is a hardware issue yet, because I've gotten the system to run fine for a few days after the problem originated. I'm wondering if this is a malicious attack.

My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Windows 7 won't boot, unless safe mode or graphics driver is disabled

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