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Windows 7: Windows Freezing After Factory Restore

21 Nov 2014   #1

Windows Home Premium X64
Windows Freezing After Factory Restore

I have an Acer Aspire 5250 which runs pre installed Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit OS.

Recently I discovered my USB Flash Drive would not install as I wanted to backup my music files. In the end downloading Super Spyware, AVG and another registry cleaner fixed the issue so I started copying my music to the USB stick. Managed to get 3/4 through when an error came up saying "Volume was changed externally so files can no longer be copied" and it would not allow any of the rest to be copied. I copied them individually so luckily I had the 35GB saved already.

I performed a system restore to an earlier time in the hope it would fix the issue but I ended up getting locked out of windows entirely. The startup repair would not fix the issue so I was stuck in limbo. I got the message saying a file was corrupted but it never fixed it. I tried doing a limited system restore to factory so my data could be backed up and saved but it kept saying Windows could not complete the installation and then a constant loop of a screen saying "start up services" but no progress so I gave in and done a full system restore from factory.

It worked and I managed to reset everything to how the computer was on first use so I began downloading the Anti-Virus and Super Spyware and then some other program's I use plus Copying the saved music from my USB back to the laptop. It got through copying most of the music but then another error message came up, different one and the next file I tried to copy was so slow in loading I knew something was wrong. Since then Windows as a whole has been underperforming and freezing up. I mean before the restore I could have 2 or 3 program's open and using them all and from time to time it might say "Windows not responding" but after a few seconds it would respond and start again. After the factory restore I can open the Internet and use it for 20-30 minutes then the system freezes and I cannot highlight the Start button or access any of the files or programs so I restart and go back in and it opens as normal then same again after a short while. Windows updates it also gets stuck on shutting down screen without moving on so in general the overall performance is disastrous. My Internet speeds are fine but once Windows freezes i cannot open any more pages on Google Chrome, it takes forever and still doesn't do anything so I restart after a minute.

I have no disks for repair, I don't know if the issue is with the hard drive or the music files (I scanned the music and no threat was found) or if I need to purchase something to speed up my PC. I appreciate any advice. In general the forums have helped me solve many issues over the years. Always someone out there who has gone through a similar issue and knows what may or may not work. Sorry for the length of the post, I'm sure most of it was utterly needless info.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Nov 2014   #2

7 Ultimate SP1 x64

I'm inclined to believe this is hard drive based. A restore (being also inclusive of a reformat) should result in no problems after, unless the hard drive - specifically the System Reserved partition, is damaged or somehow compromised.

Check the S.M.A.R.T. on the drive (command prompt):

diskdrive get status

If there's nothing found, you'll see "Status OK" (however, when mine failed, SMART didn't report correctly. That will be the case if the issue is with the mechanics like PCB rather than the actual disk itself).

Also run SFC /Scannow.

If you replace the hard drive (very easy), be warned that Microsoft's OEM EULA can be nasty. I mean you could lose your Windows license by changing that drive out because OEM Windows is tied to all system hardware and serials (inducing hard drive as I found out), not just the motherboard anymore. I had to replace both when it happened to me three years ago (but it was still cheaper than shipping it off to Acer and their $100 service charge on top of the shipping, outside of warranty).

If you want to try and get your Acer supplied OEM license back anyway, you can order the restore disks from Acer for $20. I tried that first though and it didn't work. Just FYI. Kept telling me it couldn't verify; tried it several times and had to give it up (called MS and they said they didn't support OEM too).

It is also possible, but far less likely, related to RAM. If it's hiccuping during the restore that could theoretically also result in a bad copy of data (system reserved to primary partition included) but as I said, that would be uncommonly rare. If you'd like, you can also check the RAM (Start > Search: mdsched).
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Nov 2014   #3
Microsoft MVP


What Registry Cleaner? Win7 doesn't tolerate these well. I'd only use CCleaner to stay safe.

Look over these steps for a Clean Reinstall Windows 7 which compiles everything that works best in tens of thousands of installs we've helped do here. The tutorial has been used over a million times without a single complaint. Those who stick with the tools and methods recommended in it keep perfect installs for as long as they do.

So I would start over, boot the installation DVD provided to delete all partitions and reinstall following the steps closely. Ask back any questions you have.

If the hanging persists during the reinstall then it points to hardware so run the hardware tests in Troubleshooting Steps for Windows 7.
My System SpecsSystem Spec


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