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Clean Win7 install on new HDD, only stable in Safe Mode

Last response: in Systems
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September 6, 2012 3:44:51 PM

I've had a prebuilt Dell system for about 2 years and it's been working fine. About 6 months ago I upgraded the video card w/o incident. Then, about 2 months ago, the machine would randomly stop working. The screen would stay on, I could move the mouse, but nothing I clicked would do anything. Status bars would pulse as normal, but nothing actually completed.

I suspected the HDD so I bought a new one recently and have swapped it into the machine. I did a clean install of Win7 64 Home Prem, and the install seemed to work just fine... until I actually tried to login for the first time.

It worked for about 10 minutes and then has the same problem. Stops responding, but the screen is still alive. I can move the mouse but nothing works. If I'm running a Microsoft Security Essentials scan, the progress bar will pulse and pulse, but not actually move forward, no increase in scanned file count or time elapsed.

It works like a champ though, stable and perfect, in Safe Mode.

I've run MEMTEST from an Ultimate Boot CD and found no RAM errors. The HDD was new-in-the-box. The video card was new too, and worked perfectly for several months, though it was a tight fit in my case and I had to remove some plastic from a support clip in the back to make room. I cleaned out all the dust so the fans and power supply should be running well.

I'm really at a loss here. I have to believe it's a hardware thing, but I don't know what to check.

Any suggestions or advice would be appreciated!

Thanks,
Adam
September 6, 2012 11:08:13 PM

"I did a clean install of Win7 64 Home Prem" So you installed win7. Did you load the necessary drivers after you did the clean load? If not, go to the dell support site, find the downlaod page for your PC and download everything you can see -- audio, video, chipset, etc. Then when you are done see if the problems you are seeing go away.

The difference between safe mode and normal mode. In safe mode only the most primitive drivers are used with little or no hardware acceleration. In normal mode win7 will be trying to use the best possible driver. If you have not loaded the appropriate drivers then when win7 guesses it guesses wrong.
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September 7, 2012 3:40:33 PM

tsnor said:
"I did a clean install of Win7 64 Home Prem" So you installed win7. Did you load the necessary drivers after you did the clean load? If not, go to the dell support site, find the downlaod page for your PC and download everything you can see -- audio, video, chipset, etc. Then when you are done see if the problems you are seeing go away.

The difference between safe mode and normal mode. In safe mode only the most primitive drivers are used with little or no hardware acceleration. In normal mode win7 will be trying to use the best possible driver. If you have not loaded the appropriate drivers then when win7 guesses it guesses wrong.



tsnor,

I only had about 10 minutes of stability in normal mode, no time to d/l and install drivers or anything from the Dell site. I tried to get the newest Radeon drivers from AMD in safe mode, but can't actually install them because there's not enough loaded in safe mode. What things should I target if I can only get one thing at a time installed?

Thanks,
abhartman
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September 7, 2012 10:35:11 PM

download the chipset drivers to a memory stick. Come up in safe mode. Install from memory stick. Once the basic drivers are in place you should have enough stability to load video.

IF you post the model number people may be able to link the drivers you need.


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