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Help! Vista starts but is locked up every time

Last response: in Windows Vista
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December 5, 2009 1:37:57 AM

I recently was nagged to death about running Chkdsk when I ran Spybot S&D so I ran it from the command prompt. Well, it got so far then said it was running read-only and stopped. So I ran it again as Chkdsk /f so it would ask to do it on reboot. So I tell it to reboot and it comes up and scans my second hard drive (I have two - one has XP on it the other has Vista Home Premium 64-bit). So the XP drive scans first - minimal problems. Then the Vista drive. Good mother almighty it scrolled for three solid minutes recovering orphaned files. It went so fast I could barely read them but most were Adobe and some were Internet Explorer something or other. So I let it keep going, and it finally finished then auto-rebooted the machine. Vista starts coming up (scrolling green bar on black screen) and it's at this screen for an abnormally long time.

Finally after like five minutes it comes up to my login screen. I log in and everything seems good. I have two programs that always trigger UAC when I reboot (I put my computer into hibernate daily - not reboot or power off). So the first comes up and I say allow, then the screen stays darker like it does when UAC is triggered. So I clicked around and it didn't go away. So I hit ctrl alt del and it went back to normal brightness, but it didn't switch to the task list menu. So I waited for awhile, nothing. I try to click anything on my desktop, start button, start bar icons - no response. Fine, I do a hard reboot. Starts up and I tell it to go ahead and start normally. Start up is normal and not slow this time, log in, this time I give it a good while before I click anything so it can catch up. I click allow, then I tell the second item to allow. I don't touch anything for five minutes. I come back over and try to click an icon. Nothing happens. I try to click the start button, nothing happens. Ctrl alt del, nothing happens. Waited again, never did anything - hard reboot again.

Started it up normally again, logged in - this time I told it to deny both applications. So I waited a long time again, then first thing I try to click the start button. Nothing happens. Ctrl alt del, nothing happens. My mouse moves just fine, it looks like everything is working but nothing responds. It doesn't act like it's locked up - normally when it is my keyboard's status lights for numpad or caps lock will not come on and they respond instantly like the system is still responding. I have the sidebar disabled on startup so that resource hog isn't coming on. I did another hard reboot, this time I told it to start in safe mode. It loads everything up, finally it comes on and everything works fine. I can open folders and do all the stuff, but the internet is broke (It doesn't see my wired home network). So I tried to do a system restore - no restore points (Lovely, I love the automatic restore points that don't ever work in Windows). I tried to login to normal Vista again - same problem.

I'm at a loss here, what is the matter? Everything worked fine until I ran that damn Chkdsk. I'm on my XP installation now, but I need access to my Vista installation. What is the problem? I've done everything short of putting the Vista disc in and reinstalling the O/S, but I've heard something about repair options on the disc - would those help me? Help would be much appreciated, I am really starting to lose any faith in Microsoft after being disappointed with the unreliability of XP (Don't get me started) and now Vista (Which corrupted its first installation and now is being stupid again - but it always worked so nicely before)! It almost acts like Vista is starting up okay and that it's just REALLY REALLY REALLY slow, but it never does this. I must use Windows however - I'm a gamer so there's not much of a way around it.

In case this is of any relevance I'll list my computer's specs (Which I believe perfectly adequate to run Vista with great speed - I had a 5.7 performance index with only my processor rated at 5.7 - the rest all at 5.9):

Intel C2D E8400 3.0 GHz (Stock clocked)
EVGA 750i FTW motherboard
4 x 1 GB DDR2 800 memory chips (two matching dual channel pairs - one pair is Corsair the other OCZ)
EVGA GTX 260 896 MB PCI-E
Seagate 640 GB SATA 16 MB cache (Vista installation) + Western Digital 320 GB SATA 8 MB cache (XP installation)

I had Vista SP 2 installed as well if that matters at all. Please help!
December 5, 2009 1:52:35 AM

Try using your OS disc to do a windows repair.
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December 5, 2009 2:08:36 AM

So I just popped the disc in and tried to do the repair option and it showed no drives. Totally blank. I did use the 64-bit disc - do I need to use the 32-bit? I can't see why I would use the 32-bit to fix a 64-bit O/S but if not - what does this mean? Is my installation corrupt because it doesn't show up in the list? Or is there something I need to click on where it says Load Drivers?
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December 5, 2009 3:04:18 AM

This isn't something you do inside windows.

Boot into the BIOS (delete key on startup). Make your DVD drive the 1st boot device. Insert the OS disc. Restart. Press any key when prompted. Highlight your volume and press enter. Use the R option to repair your installation.

Use your 64 bit disc.
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December 5, 2009 4:26:04 AM

I did boot via BIOS...but it doesn't matter anymore. When I tried to start Vista again this time it just told me "Disc read error, please restart" or some such. Every time it did this. So I tried to install Vista and apparently installing Vista is the fastest way to delete 280 GB's worth of files off your computer in less than 15 minutes. I just lost everything on my Vista hard drive...

So, lets turn this thread into something still useful to me. First - was what happened to my PC a virus? If so - WTF!? I ran Avast all the time and left it on high security mode and left the resident scanner which keeps a check on the computer without running the manual scanner and it stopped viruses plenty of times with pop up alerts telling me it did. I ran spyware checks all the time, I always had the firewall enabled. I don't understand what else I could have done to prevent it. It honestly strikes me as Microsoft's fault for not coding their OS better than they did.

Second - I think I'm done with Vista. I've had to install it twice now, once from corrupting it's own installation (Due to inactivity - I never used it for like 6 months and when I went to use it it wouldn't boot up), and now this time from essentially running Chkdsk. The thing is, I must use Windows due to my games (So no Macs). Linux might work with some games but I need total compatibility with EVERY game and all software that I use (which is Windows based as of now). I'm not using Windows 7 - it's Vista 2.0 IMO and giving Microsoft MORE money to solve my OS not working has worked so well so far (Buying Vista to fix XP acting stupid) /endsarcasm. I used XP 32-bit on my other hard drive, so my question - how reliable is XP 64-bit? It's more worth it to me to buy a 64-bit version of XP than to deal with Vista.

In my experience, it seems every 6-9 months my Vista installation corrupts itself. While XP is unreliable too (I've had to reinstall XP like 5 or 6 times in the times I've used it over several years), I can at least install XP over top of its own installation without deleting all my info off my hard drive. And hell, I'm using XP right now...but a problem I've had with XP that Vista didn't have - I get random blue screens. For example, I'm using Opera and when I went to speed dial to click on another tile I got a blue screen. I also get blue screens after playing games for awhile.

I mean my options are deal with random BSOD or deal with losing all my hard drive info every 6-9 months...and the BSOD is supposedly caused by something wrong, the other is just from poorly written code that I guess Windows is just built around. I mainly want 64-bit so I can gain benefit from using more than 3 GB of ram and to utilize dual/quad core technology. So, any helpful advice? I am seriously one of the biggest advocates of Vista turned into a true hater now, I'm just as shocked at this nonsense happening as any other person would be. All I do is play games and browse the web with antivirus software, firewalls, and regular spyware checks. A lot of other people don't even do what I do so I can only imagine how terrible their experience must be.
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December 5, 2009 4:56:17 AM

If your vista installation is corrupting that often, you may have a bad sector on that hard drive. The BSODs on the XP install can be caused by lots of things. It could be something as simple as a driver.

XP 64 bit isn't a very good option. Microsoft didn't put much support into it because vista 64 bit was coming out. It's buggy and lacks support. I wouldn't recommend it.

It sounds like you've taken some good steps to keep off the viruses/malware. Avast is a good program. I use a combination of Malwarebytes and Avira.
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December 5, 2009 5:38:48 AM

So as far as the bad sector - what do I do to solve that problem? I've never had one before so I'm a bit clueless on how to resolve it. As far as the BSOD with XP goes, someone tried to tell me I had faulty memory (My games would crash after gaming for awhile, causing an nv4_displ.dll error which is video related and I had another video card sent to me from manufacturer and still had the same problem). What's funny is that Vista never crashed from playing a game and being 64-bit it used all 4 GBs of ram. So I'm not sure what in XP is causing those BSODs. If I install a fresh install of XP on my big hard drive after a good formatting I would imagine that problem would go away, no?

I just hate the impasse that I'm at. I liked Vista's stability and using 64-bit which seems like the way of the future - plus DX 10 compatability (And DX 11? Not sure on that, but I'd assume so). I hate the idea of just clinging to old XP 32-bit - makes it seem like I'm losing out on performance (To some extent I am, since my 4 GB of ram is only 3 GB to XP 32-bit - but I got both pairs of memory cheap so I could settle if I had to). But then again, I can't make myself buy Windows 7. People act like it's the end all of great OSes and it's this wonderful thing but it still looks like Vista to me and since MS didn't do so well with Vista I don't trust Windows 7 to be so wonderful either. I hate how Microsoft themselves act like Vista didn't happen - Newegg doesn't even sell Vista anymore, but dammit they still sell that old XP...it's just all so frustrating.

Do you think my problem was from a corrupt install or from a virus? If the latter, I really have little faith to try Vista anymore. I did everything I can think of to protect it so at some point I pass blame on to the manufacturer (Microsoft) for not making a better coded OS. What good does it do me to keep using Vista if it can be crippled so easily and unlike XP, can't have it's installation overwritten via a reinstall from outside of Windows?

I'd just use Linux if I knew anything at all about it (which I don't) and if I didn't play so many games...
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December 5, 2009 5:57:12 AM

As far as the hard drive goes, go to the manufacturer's website. You can download their diagnostic utility to scan the hard drive. You can also run chkdsk /r to try to repair any errors.

Vista uses dx10, not dx11. You can actually use up to ~3.25GB of RAM on 32 bit XP. It's still some resource loss. I'm not a huge fan of vista. I've to say, windows 7 is 10x better.

The BSOD problem really sounds like a driver issue.
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December 5, 2009 6:19:07 AM

Hmm, well I'll give that a try to fix the other drive. I'm not sure I buy the overhype that surrounds Windows 7 - I still think it's more marketing than anything, because people bad mouthed Vista a lot and wouldn't use it so no matter how many service packs Microsoft released, it was still Vista and people still badmouthed it and didn't want anything to do with it. Huh, and I used to defend Vista as being good - and then this happens. It's just really striking be negatively that even in the Windows 7 commercials you have people saying stuff like "I wanted an OS that just worked, and now here's Windows 7" as if to say all the old versions of Windows didn't work, but now this one is so perfect. I hate to use a Mac ad, but the one where he talks about saying "This time will be different" EACH time and it not is really hitting a chord with me. I paid $135 for Vista 64-bit and now I'm stuck with a broken turd, I'd have to pay close to the same thing for Windows 7 64-bit. And then MS goes and sticks it to us Vista users who bought it earlier than 6 months before Windows 7's release date was announced by giving anyone who just bought Vista an upgrade to Windows 7 for something real cheap (Wasn't it like $20-$50? I know it wasn't much). Any discount for me, the person who bought it over a year ago? NOPE! So why do they deserve any more of my money? There's just WAY too much overhype going on around Windows 7 that I want no part of.
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December 5, 2009 6:33:09 AM

I don't blame you for being wary of windows 7. When windows xp came out it was just like vista. Nobody wanted to touch it. Then with the SPs, people came to embrace it.

Vista never got that kind of love. It did get better with the patches MS released.

Maybe you just need to give windows 7 some time and see how it plays out. Personally, I like it. I think it's head and shoulders above vista.
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December 5, 2009 6:42:09 AM

Yeah, I mean Vista was dogged before it even came out. First it was praised, then it was bashed. I had a school technician who already said it was terrible before it even came out or before he himself could have possibly even used it. How can you say something is bad if you never use it? And I feel like a ton of Windows 7 users are those people who never even tried Vista and said it was awful. I can at least give solid reasoning why I don't like Vista given this experience, but what do these other people have to go on?

So tell me then (Since none of the Windows 7 fanboys that have tried to "convert" me have ever presented ANY evidence other than "Because Vista sucks" which previously didn't work with me and still isn't getting the argument very far), what is supposed to be so wonderful? I have never heard people praising Microsoft so much before, it's almost turning into that fanatical Mac OSX fanbase that always praises their OS so much. I'm not saying you're a fanboy, but I've dealt with a lot of elitist comments elsewhere from Windows 7 users that has not made me too fond of them (Seriously, their smug rating is up there with hybrid drivers and Mac users), nor made me want to believe anything they said as anything but pure fangasm. Of course you always have people who don't like something and are just telling everyone else it's wonderful so they don't feel like an idiot for buying something that isn't any good as well, so I am indeed very leery of Windows 7.
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December 5, 2009 6:50:03 AM

The thing that impressed me the most about windows 7, is the ability to automatically find the correct drivers for hardware. You rarely have to manually install drivers in windows 7.

I liked the preview/snap feature. You can make a window snap side by side with another window.

Here's some of the main features of W7.
http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows7/products/fe...

I haven't got to use it extensively yet. But I got a decent look at it with the last few PCs I built. It's got a leg up on vista IMO.
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December 5, 2009 7:04:34 AM

Hmm, the only thing there that really interests me is the performance part. I hate how Microsoft always puts all kinds of stupid media functions I'll never use or care nothing about in and then act like it's something that's supposed to pull me in. It might work for the masses, but I'm not the masses. The performance difference would have to be pretty large for me to get it though, and I'm comparing to XP. The driver thing was never a hassle to me, you do it once when installing the PC then it's all done. My USB devices all work fine, the only drivers they need are the factory software from say Razer or Logitech with the specialized settings made just for my mouse (Like adjusting the polling rate or the DPI) which the OS will never install on it's own. All that aero interface that it retained is still eating away resources. Although it amazes me all the changes they made just to make it prettier. It's like some of the effects in Ubuntu - they're off the wall, but do you need them? Is anything more than a window necessary? I hate this aesthetic society we seem to live in where pretty = good, I want functional. XP still looks fine to me, Vista looked like ooh and aah at first but after a week it wore off and then it didn't matter anymore - which is why I'm never pulled to an OS by aesthetics.
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December 5, 2009 7:10:31 AM

My main PC is still on XP 32 bit. But I'm warming up to windows 7. As a system builder, it's nice to install all the hardware, and not have to load any CDs or visit manufacturer's websites to download drivers. Most all drivers install on their own. That's what's impressed me the most so far.

Time will tell how stable and secure windows 7 is.
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December 5, 2009 8:02:15 PM

Well I started looking around today, it's funny that an OEM copy of XP Pro costs $137 where a Retail copy of Windows 7 is only $120 or something and the OEM copy of Windows 7 is $105. I found some reviewers who weren't too hapy with Windows 7 (Which was seeming at least smarter since it's not as expensive) but some are complaining it's not much different than Vista performance wise which is what I feared. Here are some of those reviews:
http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Windows+7+Home+Premium+-+Wi...

Other versions also had a fair amount of negative reviews. It just sucks that they haven't lowered the price of XP more. It's such an old OS by comparison and it's still more expensive, to me a company lowers the price on stuff it considers not as good and charges a high price for stuff they know is good. Makes it seem like Microsoft still knows XP is the best OS they've made. It's kind of like a five year old game still selling for $50 where brand new ones that are similar have sold for $30, because the $50 game is better quality wise even though it is older. But it's not usually the same company doing this, just strikes me as unusual...
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December 5, 2009 11:46:40 PM

You have to compare apples with apples.

xp home OEM - $90
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

windows 7 home OEM - $105
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

If you want to go on reviews, you should look at reputable sources. The customers on best buy, newegg, tiger direct...etc, rarely know what they are talking about. You have to take those customer reviews with a grain of salt.

Here's a review from a notable/reputable source
http://reviews.cnet.com/windows/microsoft-windows-7-pro...;contentBody
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December 6, 2009 2:24:22 PM

Once you encounter bad blocks on your hard drive, the best thing to do is replace it. Back up what data you can, then replace the hard drive. I know it's frustrating, but something like that can't be blamed on Vista.

I never believed all the negative press surrounding Vista. I took the time to download the betas / release candidates and used it extensively before it was released. I never had any issues. I found a lot of people simply read a couple of negative things about Vista somewhere, then started parroting those opinions rather than trying to form one of their own.

Windows 7 offers a definate improvement over Vista... but if you were happy with Vista, then you won't have as many reasons to celebrate. You'll have to decide for yourself if upgrading is worth it. Being a technician, it's a benefit for me to use the latest OS from MS at home and that's why I usually upgrade. That, and the pre-order discounts MS offered for the Win 7 upgrades, convinced me to upgrade to Win 7.
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December 6, 2009 8:43:07 PM

I'm pretty sure my drive is still covered under some kind of 3 year manufacturer warranty - so are you telling me this is something I could get them to replace it for? The drive is already wiped of the information I cared about so it's as useful as a blank 640 GB to me anyway...
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Best solution

December 7, 2009 1:44:53 AM

You should run the manufacturer's diagnostic utilities to see if there is actually a problem with the drive. If there is, then you can check out their warranty policy. You can likely get a new replacement.
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