Help! Windows 7 either locks on boot, or freezes if it does!

Hey guys, this is my first post here and I'm really hoping someone can help me out (hopefully this is the right section, I think it is a software problem).

I bought this computer a couple years ago with the following hardware:

XFX 680i LT
Q6700 @ 2.66ghz
GeForce 8800GT
4.0gb DDR2 800 (OCZ Reaper)

Running Microsoft Security Essentials in the background.

A couple months ago I found it was time to upgrade to Windows 7 Professional 64-bit (from Windows XP 32-bit). Also, I bought a brand new hard drive to start fresh on. I installed Windows 7 on a brand new WD VelociRaptor 150GB. It ran beautifully for a few weeks, but as time went by I started to have more and more errors on boot-up. Specifically when the Windows loading screen pops up (with those four orbs that combine into the Windows logo), the orbs freeze just a moment before they collide to form the logo, and never budge.

This used to happen every few boot-ups, and I narrowed it down to me having to power down the machine, unplug optical drive, plug back in, turn back on, and then miraculously the computer would boot up fine or ask me to "start windows normally", which would also lead to booting up fine.

A couple weeks ago I was finding that 4GB of RAM just wasn't cutting it for my After Effects use (I am a Digital Arts student in college), so I bought an extra 4GB of 800mhz DDR2 Mushkin RAM, putting me at a comfortable 8GB of ram. (Perhaps it is worth noting that I use the Adobe Suite extensively).

This worked beautifully for about a week (minus the booting problems I've been having for a while now) but now this week I am finding my computer to be a huge nuisance. Every time I power it up it seems to hang, prompting an Optical Drive unplug/plugin, and once I get into Windows it works for about ten minutes before it starts to freeze (for about 5-20 seconds) and random, often in succession. In fact, it has frozen twice as I have been typing this and I currently only have Chrome, MSNIM, Task Manager, Event Viewer and Resource Monitor open.

I have noticed as it has been locking up CPU usage goes to 100%, where it is usually no more than 10%. This seemingly is a random occurrence, as I could be typing in my browser when it all of a sudden locks up. I also noticed my harddisk shooting up in usage a lot as well, at the same time of the CPU increase.

I am not very savvy when it comes to diagnosing issues like this, or correcting them. I opened up Event Viewer with the hope it could shed some light on something.

I seem to be getting errors from the sources "LoadPerf", "ESENT", "TabletServiceWacom". LoadPerf is definitely the most frequent, and occurs in pairs, which read like the following:

"Unloading the performance counter strings for service WmiApRpl (WmiApRpl) failed. The first DWORD in the Data section contains the error code."

"The performance strings in the Performance registry value is corrupted when process Performance extension counter provider. The BaseIndex value from the Performance registry is the first DWORD in the Data section, LastCounter value is the second DWORD in the Data section, and LastHelp value is the third DWORD in the Data section."

Let me know if there is anything else I can do to help diagnose the problem. It might also be worth noting I have had to do quite a few resets and power downs when Windows 7 hangs on the boot-up (when the orbs freeze before touching).

Any help would be HUGELY appreciated, this is really hurting me in terms of getting stuff done (it's my last month of college, too! gah!).


Trevor Henry

EDIT: I updated the video card drivers and my Realtek HD Audio drivers the other day.

EDIT2: I just remembered the machine froze a couple weeks ago while installing updates (after I clicked shutdown). It was taking a while so I went to bed, woke up in the morning and it was still on 3 of 7. Went to school and came home, still on 3 of 7. I needed the machine bad, so I restarted it (it had been hung for about 18 hours by this point). All of a sudden this seems like the culprit, as the frequency of errors rose right after this.
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  1. I also forgot to mention, the only drivers I have really updated since the Windows 7 install are my video card drivers and sound drivers (Realtek HD Audio).

    One weird freeze that has only happened to me twice is while I'm watching a fullscreen youtube video and all of a sudden the visuals freeze and the audio slows down (as in slowmo), and stretches out all distorted like for about 10 seconds. The computer then freezes and never wakes up, ending up in a restart.
  2. Alright within the last hour it is happening more and more frequent. About every 2-5 minutes 2 out of the 4 cores shoot up to 100% usage, and the remaining 2 go to 0%. The freeze lasts about 5-10 seconds.

    I really don't want to format but it is seeming like the answer.
  3. I got issues like this, was fine on a 32bit os, but now on 64 im geting random freezes / hangs, but my 4 cores just drop to 0% and just sits there for a while then comes back, or ita jump up , its all so random and i cant predicts when or why, used it for 8 horus straight with no hangs the other day ( Win 7 ultimate 64bit) was fine, today after 10 mins, firefox crashed and froze ... pissing me off

    i liek you use Adobe suite hugely, mainly for design work, and need a 64os for work, im thinkin of puting a windows 32bit os on here for games and linux 64bit os on for adobe and work stuff...
  4. This EXACT situation is happening to me. Core 2 Q9550, 8GB RAM, random freezes, hang. Full-screen flash audio slowing, etc. Very obnoxious. Any ideas?
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