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Occasional Boot Failure

Last response: in Windows 95/98/ME
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Anonymous
January 28, 2005 6:27:34 PM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsme.general (More info?)

During the boot sequence WinMe sometimes hangs after the Taskbar and Desktop
icons appear but before applications are loaded. The keyboard doesn't work,
the mouse arrow is an hourglass that will move but won't click, and the
movement produces a rasping sound in the speakers. Reset is always
successful, Scandisk and Dr Watson find nothing.

Bootlog Analyser tells me it happens somewhere around Enumerating Microsoft
Kernel Audio Mixer (the exact place varies) and even if the boot is
successful this group of operations may recycle or take much longer than
usual.

I have a VIA AC97 Audio Controller and Total Recorder installed.

Can anyone suggest remedies I might try please?

Alan Armstrong
Anonymous
January 29, 2005 5:08:35 AM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsme.general (More info?)

Has this only started happening since you installed Total Recorder?

If so, delete it (in Add/Remove programs) and try it without to see if there
is an improvement. You could then re-install it again to see if its fixed..

If not, then assuming that you still have a copy of the original software
and drivers disk, probably the next and easiest? thing to try would be to
uninstall all audio software utilities and "Remove" any/all Sound, Video and
Games Controllers in Device Manager in Safe Mode.

Re-boot into Normal Mode and let WinMe re-detect (enumerate) and re-install
(according to the Audio Package instructions) the drivers and software.

Hopefully, if that was the cause, it should clear out any glitches and bring
your boot sequence back up to speed.

If not, then at least you will have eliminated the audio system too<g>

Mart


"Alan Armstrong" <alan@oyster.net.ck> wrote in message
news:elKPfIaBFHA.1296@TK2MSFTNGP10.phx.gbl...
> During the boot sequence WinMe sometimes hangs after the Taskbar and
> Desktop
> icons appear but before applications are loaded. The keyboard doesn't
> work,
> the mouse arrow is an hourglass that will move but won't click, and the
> movement produces a rasping sound in the speakers. Reset is always
> successful, Scandisk and Dr Watson find nothing.
>
> Bootlog Analyser tells me it happens somewhere around Enumerating
> Microsoft
> Kernel Audio Mixer (the exact place varies) and even if the boot is
> successful this group of operations may recycle or take much longer than
> usual.
>
> I have a VIA AC97 Audio Controller and Total Recorder installed.
>
> Can anyone suggest remedies I might try please?
>
> Alan Armstrong
>
>
>
Anonymous
January 29, 2005 4:23:46 PM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsme.general (More info?)

Thank you, Mart. About 40 re-boots later things are a bit better and I am a
bit wiser.

>Has this only started happening since you installed Total Recorder?
The problem (and original TR) are over a year old so I can't remember, but
it pre-dates and was unaffected by:
- the last two TR upgrades.
- a recent install of VIA Tech's Vinyl Audio Codecs.
- a clean reinstall of WinMe in a new folder after a major crash caused by
memory failure.

Uninstalling TR and Waveflow editor (my only two audio programs apart from
WMP) made no difference to enumeration delays on reboot.

I had no idea Device Manager hides so many listings (including the ones I
suspected) in Normal Mode and I am amazed how much undocumented stuff you
MVP's somehow know! I removed all 21 items from Sound, Video and Game
Controllers and only 13 were reinstalled so I got rid of some deadwood, but
the reinstallation froze a couple of times before everything worked and I
had a clean Bootlog.

Bootlog.txt has the same number of lines as previously, but fewer audio
kernel items show enumeration delays which are shorter but still variable,
which is an improvement. However two early normal reboots (before
reinstalling TR and WF) hung with the same old symptoms, so the problem
isn't solved. Since it's only occasional, I think I can live with it until a
major failure tells us with hindsight what's causing it. Might be
imagination, but I think it might be worse since a recent Windows Update to
Media Player (I have v.9.00.00.3075) whose details I forget.

I am also wondering about hardware or bad archived drivers, and maybe an
occasional floppy disk read problem is related as I reinstalled the FD
controller and replaced the drive without much improvement. Disks go bad
quickly in our warm humid sea-air environment which adds more uncertainty,
but when several new ones out of a sealed pack won't read I know that isn't
the cause. (CD's grow surface fungus here in only about 6 weeks and air
conditioning isn't an option as power starts at 25 cents a unit and
increases with usage to a maximum of 51. I keep a sealed 'desiccant box' for
critical stuff.)

Thank you again - I am lucky to have access to such excellent assistance.
Any other suggestions you have will be most welcome.

Alan
Related resources
Anonymous
January 30, 2005 4:22:16 AM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsme.general (More info?)

> Disks go bad quickly in our warm humid sea-air
> environment ... etc., etc., I keep a sealed 'desiccant box'
> for critical stuff.)

Jeepers, Alan! - don't know if we can compete with that <g>

Does the fungus grow on the Motherboard too? (Serious question!)

If so, you might need some serious AV utilities. (Not so serious comment)

My thoughts - when I read your first post - were hardware issues, but needed
to know a little more background. Hell's Bells! What a story!!

> Uninstalling TR and Waveflow editor (my only two audio programs apart from
> WMP) made no difference to enumeration delays on reboot.

No, I *think* we can probably disregard software for the time being.

But the biggest worry seems to be :-
> it pre-dates and was unaffected by:
> - a clean reinstall of WinMe in a new folder after
> a major crash caused by memory failure.

Apart from the alarm bells ringing re: memory failure, not too sure what you
mean by "a new folder" following a "clean install" - so let's ignore the
'memory failure' and 'new folder' aspect for a moment. If the problem's
still there after a clean install, then 'hardware' has to be in the frame of
contenders.

However, another point you mentioned earlier :-
"Problem occurs on bootup - but a reset is always successful."

Are you talking about the very first boot of the day?
Or, a 'cold boot' (i.e. power-down, followed (almost immediately) by a
power-up?
I'm wondering about a 'slow/sluggish' HD spin-up time - a 'reset' usually
keeps the HD running - well not long enough to stop. How far up the BLA list
do these 'delays' occur? When the PC boots 'normally' are the 'delays'
eliminated (vastly reduced)?

BTW - As an 'interesting exercise' <vbg> it might be worth 'Removing' your
audio drivers again and temporally disabling your VIA AC97 Audio Controller
in your BIOS for a couple of days to see how the boot sequence behaves. See
if anything else shows up in BLA.

Whilst you're at it, you could decide which is more interesting, watching
your PC booting up or watching paint dry. Personally, I rate them about the
same <g>

Certainly an odd-ball problem, and I've no real answers at the moment.

Good luck

Mart


"Alan Armstrong" <alan@oyster.net.ck> wrote in message
news:o HfA8mlBFHA.4072@TK2MSFTNGP10.phx.gbl...
> Thank you, Mart. About 40 re-boots later things are a bit better and I am
> a
> bit wiser.
>
>>Has this only started happening since you installed Total Recorder?
> The problem (and original TR) are over a year old so I can't remember, but
> it pre-dates and was unaffected by:
> - the last two TR upgrades.
> - a recent install of VIA Tech's Vinyl Audio Codecs.
> - a clean reinstall of WinMe in a new folder after a major crash caused by
> memory failure.
>
> Uninstalling TR and Waveflow editor (my only two audio programs apart from
> WMP) made no difference to enumeration delays on reboot.
>
> I had no idea Device Manager hides so many listings (including the ones I
> suspected) in Normal Mode and I am amazed how much undocumented stuff you
> MVP's somehow know! I removed all 21 items from Sound, Video and Game
> Controllers and only 13 were reinstalled so I got rid of some deadwood,
> but
> the reinstallation froze a couple of times before everything worked and I
> had a clean Bootlog.
>
> Bootlog.txt has the same number of lines as previously, but fewer audio
> kernel items show enumeration delays which are shorter but still variable,
> which is an improvement. However two early normal reboots (before
> reinstalling TR and WF) hung with the same old symptoms, so the problem
> isn't solved. Since it's only occasional, I think I can live with it until
> a
> major failure tells us with hindsight what's causing it. Might be
> imagination, but I think it might be worse since a recent Windows Update
> to
> Media Player (I have v.9.00.00.3075) whose details I forget.
>
> I am also wondering about hardware or bad archived drivers, and maybe an
> occasional floppy disk read problem is related as I reinstalled the FD
> controller and replaced the drive without much improvement. Disks go bad
> quickly in our warm humid sea-air environment which adds more uncertainty,
> but when several new ones out of a sealed pack won't read I know that
> isn't
> the cause. (CD's grow surface fungus here in only about 6 weeks and air
> conditioning isn't an option as power starts at 25 cents a unit and
> increases with usage to a maximum of 51. I keep a sealed 'desiccant box'
> for
> critical stuff.)
>
> Thank you again - I am lucky to have access to such excellent assistance.
> Any other suggestions you have will be most welcome.
>
> Alan
>
>
>
Anonymous
January 30, 2005 4:22:17 AM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsme.general (More info?)

Hi Mart.

>Does the fungus grow on the Motherboard too?
Yes, and the best way to ruin a floppy drive is to infect it with fungus
from a bad disk - gotta practice real careful 'safe hex' with floppies. In
this climate (it's 11.30pm and still 29ºC and 86% humidity) a lot of
components fail after about 2 years or sometimes less. My last motherboard
failure was caused by corrosion of socket-to-board connections from a CPU
fan blowing dust with significant salt content over them. First to go was
LPT1 but I got by with a USB printer for another 3 months. Our local
repairman knew the problem and gave me a replacement that aimed the airflow
elsewhere. That was 18 months ago so this one might also be on the way
out...

>My thoughts - when I read your first post - were hardware issues
Hardware is always in the back of my mind too, but software problems can be
confusingly similar. (My way of distinguishing them is in a site I put
together for locals with computer problems at
http://www.geocities.com/mirihika and you are welcome to copy anything you
wish. If I've got stuff badly wrong please tell me.) Once I've eliminated
software all I can do is wait until the problem is bad enough for a trip to
the repairman.

>not too sure what you mean by "a new folder" following a "clean install"
MS KB article 277648 - a handy way of ruling out bad system files that takes
less than an hour and is easily reversed. If a problem is unaffected it
can't be due to Windows. As to why I did it, a memory card had failed and
wrecked a lot of system files but thankfully no data (took Scandisk in a DOS
boot 48 hours to clean up thousands of cross-linkages) and a normal
reinstall with Windows Setup kept crashing halfway through with a cryptic
error message. A 'new folder' workaround was the only way I could restore
Windows from an OEM CD.

>Are you talking about the very first boot of the day?
No, seems to be random and even sometimes happens from a warm restart. What
I meant was I *never* get two in a row.

>I'm wondering about a 'slow/sluggish' HD spin-up time
There would be other symptoms, surely? I have occasional crashes during
Standby and occasional Windows Explorer page faults but otherwise things
seem to be working OK. However, I guess the HD *could* be on the way out...

>How far up the BLA list do these 'delays' occur?
Varies, but mostly about 2/3 of the way through. The whole boot sequence
takes about 2½ minutes.

>When the PC boots 'normally' are the 'delays' eliminated (vastly reduced)?
A failed boot doesn't give me a complete logfile so I can't examine the
problem area - all I can do is compare with a good one and note what was
going on just before it failed. The audio device delays in successful boots
vary in length from 15-20 seconds to over 200, and there are also delays
varying from 5 to 20 seconds for the Floppy Disk controller and sometimes
large ones for Client for Microsoft Networks. Things aren't consistent from
one boot to the next, which again suggests failing hardware.

>it might be worth 'Removing' your audio drivers again...
I'll give it a go, but if you think I've covered all the likely software
possibilities I may just back up everything and wait for something more
serious to happen. I'm sure it will sooner or later and I'll let you know
what it was. It's all useful learning now I'm retired and have the time to
pursue all the stuff I never had a chance to during my working years. Not
enthusiastic about watching paint dry though - unlike a reboot very little
ever seems to happen!

Thanks again, Mart.

Alan
Anonymous
January 30, 2005 3:55:29 PM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsme.general (More info?)

Hi Alan,

>>Does the fungus grow on the Motherboard too?
> Yes, ... and so this one might also be on the way
> out...

Worrying prospect - but alas, possible - or probable in your environment!

>>My thoughts - when I read your first post - were hardware issues
> Hardware is always in the back of my mind too, but software problems can
> be
> confusingly similar.

Indeed! - but slow (and painfully slow!) enumertion sounds like Hardware -
unless something silly happens with the registry, in which case I would have
expected other issues (like slow keyboard and mouse and rasping sounds).
Mmm.. see what you mean <g> But that would be more consistant with frequent
catastophic boot-ups.

> My way of distinguishing them is in a site I put together at :-
> http://www.geocities.com/mirihika

Neat site! Nice one Alan.

>>not too sure what you mean by "a new folder" following a "clean install"
> MS KB article 277648

Ah! - Long forgotton about that option - but have never had recourse to use
it.

>>Are you talking about the very first boot of the day?
> No, seems to be random and even sometimes happens from a warm restart.
> What
> I meant was I *never* get two in a row.
>
>>I'm wondering about a 'slow/sluggish' HD spin-up time
> There would be other symptoms, surely? I have occasional crashes during
> Standby and occasional Windows Explorer page faults but otherwise things
> seem to be working OK. However, I guess the HD *could* be on the way
> out...

Agreed, just clutching really... but for your own peace of mind, might be
worth d/l'ing your HD manufacturer's test utility and giving it a bit of a
thrash. Not that that necessarily proves anything, I have two (new)
identical 80Gb HD's on this box and one sounds like a tin can full of nuts
and bolts rattling around. The other purrs along, almost silently. The test
utility gives them both 100% clean bill of health. Time will tell, I
suppose.

>>How far up the BLA list do these 'delays' occur?
> Varies, but mostly about 2/3 of the way through. The whole boot sequence
> takes about 2½ minutes.

Another straw <g>

>>When the PC boots 'normally' are the 'delays'
>>eliminated (vastly reduced)?
> The audio device delays in successful boots
> vary in length from 15-20 seconds to over 200, and there are also delays
> varying from 5 to 20 seconds for the Floppy Disk controller and sometimes
> large ones for Client for Microsoft Networks. Things aren't consistent
> from
> one boot to the next, which again suggests failing hardware.

The same straw, and back around the thought loop.

>>it might be worth 'Removing' your audio drivers again...
> I'll give it a go, but if you think I've covered all the likely software
> possibilities I may just back up everything and wait for something more
> serious to happen.

Yes, and just keep the Audio utils to an absolute minimum. Enable and
disable your VIA AC97 Audio Controller from time to time and see if you can
find any commonality. Daft thought, but I suppose you are using WinMe
drivers? Any FAQ's on your mobo site?

Lateral idea - A new PCI sound card??

> I'm sure it will sooner or later and I'll let you know
> what it was. It's all useful learning now I'm retired and have the time to
> pursue all the stuff I never had a chance to during my working years. Not
> enthusiastic about watching paint dry though - unlike a reboot very little
> ever seems to happen!

You can learn something every day with Windows

> Thanks again, Mart.
>
> Alan

Your welcome Alan and I'll look forward to hearing of a positive outcome -
even if that means another new mobo <g>

Good luck with it

Mart
!