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Computer won't start outside safe mode, running very slow

Last response: in Motherboards
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August 24, 2009 7:50:01 PM

A problem I seem to keep having with the forum setup at this site is that I can't choose which forum to post in if I don't know what the problem is. I posted this last night in the Homebuilt section for lack of a better idea but got no real response, so I'm going to try it here now.

I was using the computer all day, and had a bunch of programmes running all at once. After many hours I started getting some windows error messages telling me it needed to shut a programme down, but I couldn't actually see what programme it was referring to. I wasn't actually paying much attention as I didn't have anything vital running and it was just a run-of-the-mill windows error message. But it kept coming back again and again, though I couldn't see what programmes were shutting down, if any.
Then, the computer just went blank and restarted. I thought that was a bummer, but I was ready for a break anyway so I left it for several hours. I come back to a blank screen. Windows has not restarted. I cut the power and restart and the first phase goes OK, I get the little "Windows is loading" progress bar, but it loads a little longer after that is gone, then the curser appears, and then nothing further. So I figure windows is screwed and I'm gonna need to reinstall. Again, a bummer, but not the end of the worlds.

So the next time I restarted, the loading screen that comes from my mobo stays on the screen for a long time, about 20 seconds. And that I figure it a bad sign cause that's got nothing to do with software (as far as I know) and it usually blips past so fast I can barely see it. I have put the windows disk in for a repair and/or reinstall by this stage, but it takes forever to ask me whether I want to boot from disk, and then the DVD barely turns over and it takes a long time to load the next screen.
I did use the windows disk to run a memory check which came up clean, and then a system boot fail repair (it was called something like that, the description says it's a repair to run if windows fails to boot) and that almost immediately tells me there are no problems with windows.

Still, it won't load up past that blank screen (which usually comes right before the desktop appears) and the first stages of the boot process are running extremely slow. Luckily I can use safe mode and safe mode with networking, which is how I am reaching you now.
And strangely enough, once loaded up in safe mode, things do seem to be running fine. I can even run some old, low-powered games without difficulty (other than the crap graphics cause the GPU isn't being utilized).

I'm hoping like [bleep] that somehow this isn't a hardware problem, cause I just went two weeks without my computer when my GPU went down (long story, was misdiagnosed and I ended up with new GPU AND new redundant mobo) and I'm really not in the mood to go through this again so soon. But it's hard to see how this could be fixable without getting a new part. Since getting the new mobo and GPU I have had a few minor issues; the mobo beeps one or two times more than usual during startup, and the GPU does occasionally suddenly spins its fans very hard and loud. I asked about these things on this board but no one seemed very interested, and as I was happy to have my beasty up and running and there didn't seem to be any serious problems I eventually ignored them.

I am running 32-bit Windows Home Premium Vista, on a k9a2 cf-f motherboard, X2 4600+ CPU, Radeon 4870 512mb version GPU, 2 gigs PC2 6400 RAM (Corsair or Kingston, can't remember which I went with in the end) Antec Truepower 550W PSU. The GPU and mobo are like a month old, the rest about two years, and until the recent problem it was a very stable build.

I used memtest86 to test my RAM and it found no problems. Not sure how reliable that is or how much it tells us, but there it is.

So please tell me, how do I go about finding out who's to blame? I'm sure you'll need more information, so just tell me what you need to know.

Thankyou.
a b V Motherboard
August 24, 2009 8:05:21 PM

Try a system restore , retroactive to a few days ago.
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August 24, 2009 9:45:03 PM

Two new factors. I tried "last good configuration" and to my immense surprise, it worked.... sort of. Windows has loaded up, but I'm getting a mass of windows error windows shutting everything down, although I seem to have most basic functions available. So it's getting tempting to think a reinstall would fix things. But that can't explain the slow start-up before windows even gets in on the act, can it? Which brings me to the second point:
I was premature in saying memtest found no errors. I ran it again, and this time let it go for several passes, and on like the third pass I think it found 3 errors and halted. No idea what the information it displayed means, and I couldn't store it any way, but I did take photos of the screen with my digital camera ;) 
So this sounds like good news I guess, if the problem is in the RAM. Unfortunately I don't have any replacement sticks to test the problem. And it's now late and I need to go to bed and can't be fooling around with the hardware, so I just want to ask if people think this sounds like the RAM could be responsible? Or if not that, what else?

Finally, I'll include the error code from one of the windows messages:
Problem signature:
Problem Event Name: BEX
Application Name: wermgr.exe
Application Version: 6.0.6000.16386
Application Timestamp: 4549aeda
Fault Module Name: StackHash_27f2
Fault Module Version: 0.0.0.0
Fault Module Timestamp: 00000000
Exception Offset: 01912a99
Exception Code: c0000005
Exception Data: 00000008
OS Version: 6.0.6000.2.0.0.768.3
Locale ID: 1033
Additional Information 1: 27f2
Additional Information 2: 325055436168101a578479ab72a66d1a
Additional Information 3: 21e2
Additional Information 4: c8b0deb27397de66dbbb0cb7ca788765

The "Exception Offset" changes with each message, but the rest of the information is the same for each message, I think. By the way, what does BEX mean? I tried looking it up and just found a lot of similar posts by other confused people.

EDIT: Two people elsewhere just suggested a harddisk malfunction could explain these problems. Does that seem likely?

Thanks again.
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a b V Motherboard
August 25, 2009 11:24:43 AM

Let me ask you this:

How long ago did you perform a fresh install of Windows meaning not an upgrade version?

Did you recently install new hardware? T ome, it almost sounds like you changed the motherboard without doing a fresh install of Windows.
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August 25, 2009 3:46:07 PM

Just by the title it sounds like software issue. Either system restore or uninstall/reinstall all drivers and uninstall any brand new programs that you installed. If all else fails backup your data bc it is time for a reload
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