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Startup issue

Last response: in Windows 7
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November 8, 2012 6:01:40 PM

I have been experiencing windows 7 (64bit Home Premium) issues.
I did a "search" here on the forums and got back 26k possible threads! wow
I read through a lot of them but couldnt find a good match plus there is no way I can read all 26k threads.

About a little over a month ago I cranked up my pc and it took almost 20mins to get to a stable and usable desktop. Even after it finally got to desktop it would seem to freeze alot. Once it was stable I rebooted hoping that would help. That didn't help at all. In fact, it got worse. Let me back track a second. Before I rebooted I disabled the windows logon password. After the reboot, I got a blank desktop with mouse pointer only. I couldn't ctrl alt delete or anything else. I could however move the mouse around tho. Tried shutting it down normally by pressing the power button and waited for it to shutdown but it never did. So I did a "Hard Shutdown" by holding the power button down for 4 seconds. Rebooted in safe mode with network access. Went straight to desktop without a hitch. Did a Google search on the issue. The two most common answers were, it was either a VGA issue or harddrive issue. The VGA issue was two fold. It was either a VGA driver issue or VGA card itself.
I started with trouble shooting harddrives. I ran multiple HDD software programs in safe mode and all came back fine. No errors. I even found a program that I ran on a bootable USB thumbdrive that checked each HDD and found no errors of any kind. For peace of mind I ran memory software as well and each stick reported no errors as well. Tested them all together and one at a time. Same results.

Next, Trouble shoot possible VGA issues.
At the time I was running 3 VGA cards in crossfire mode. So I tried booting with each card one by one without success. It would get to Blank desktop and mouse pointer with each VGA card. I un-installed VGA drivers (AMD ATI CCC 12-8) and all residual files/folders. However I couldn't for the life of me re-install the ATI drivers in safemode. I rebooted normally and again, blank desktop w/mouse pointer only. Since I couldn't install vga drivers, I started looking into "msconfig". I tried disabling all non essential startup programs to see if it was another software issue. Same results tho, Blank desktop and mouse pointer only.
I spent a entire weekend trouble shooting the issue with no success. I backed-up everything I didn't want to lose, pictures, media, work related stuff etc. etc. and did a fresh install of win7 64bit home premium(full install, Not upgrade). Installed all necessary motherboard and VGA drivers as well as all windows updates. Reinstalled all my software and patched everything up to date.

Pc was running like a top (for almost a month) until two days ago. I cranked up pc two days ago and it took almost five minutes to get to desktop. I disabled the logon password and shutdown ps and started once it was stable. Again, took almost 5 minutes to get to usable desktop, and, even then it would freeze up, the desktop that is, however i could move the mouse freely the entire time. This morning same thing. Only this time it took about 10 minutes to get to a usable desktop. Desktop would periodically freeze up, couldn't click on anything but could move mouse freely without issue. I would try to click to open or close on different things but nothing would happen. After a few mins everything I clicked on would pop open or close all of sudden, in the order I clicked on them. The only difference this go around, is I haven't got the "Blank Desktop with Mouse pointer Only" issue. However I feel that's next because when I rebooted/restarted PC it booted to blank desktop for a short brief moment then mouse pointer popped up and then desktop popped upped. Right now, doing a restart is okay. However, if I do a complete shutdown and the turn on pc from a cold boot, it takes forever for it to get to a usable desktop and even then I have to "restart" for it to perform normally.
Any ideas what might be causing this issue? I'm at my wits end.

EDIT: This problem seems to only manifest from a "Cold Boot". Once desktop is stable I select restart via windows logo/restart and all seems to work fine. The first time this happened to me the "restarts" would iron out the problem but it got to the point that evcen the restarts didnt help.

Here are my rig specs.
Win7 64bit Home Premium
CPU AMD Phenom II X6 1100 Thuban (Stock Clocks) CPU Cooler: Corsair H70
Motherboard: MSI 790FX GD70 (Stock NO OC)
16gb of gskil ram (x4 4gb = 16gb) (Stock Clocks)
VGA: at the moment; 1 MSI R5870 Lightning (Stock Clocks) 900mhz & 1gb memory. Normally I
have 3 vga cards in Crossfire mode but till I figure this out I'm running only one card at the moment.
3 HDD's
HDD1 (C:\); 300gb WD Velociraptor (10k rpm) HDD1 is for OS only and for any software that will not load to other HDD
HDD2 (D:\); Western Digital Caviar Black 2TB 64MB Cache 7200RPM Serial-ATA. HDD2 is used for all programs aside from OS and any other software that will not run off "Second Drive".
HDD3 (E:\); Western Digital Caviar Green 1TB 5400RPM SATA. HDD3 for storage only. No software/program runs off HDD3.

Also may want to consider HDD2 file/folder structure, however keep in mind that I've been running this particular setup for almost 3 years w/o issue. On HDD2 I had a program (a game I think) that asked if I wanted to install to a different HDD and I selected the HDD2 and it created a Second “Programs Folder (x86)” folder and installed the game in said folder. At first I thought that this would cause a issue but it ran fine w/o issue. From that point on, when installing software I would select HDD2 and most of the time it would install software into the HDD2 “Programs Folder (x86). Other times it would create a folder in the root directory of HDD2.

Any Ideas, Suggestions, Tips, anything would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks

More about : startup issue

November 8, 2012 6:35:58 PM

Umm, I would run a seriously in depth virus/malware scan.

If that doesn't work, it could be a dying C: HDD, dying mobo, or dying PSU
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November 8, 2012 6:36:24 PM

btw, wayyyyyyy to long of a post. lol. most people here will not take that time to read it...
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November 8, 2012 6:51:58 PM

Yeah guess your right. I was tring to be thorough.
I did a virus/malware check both times and nothing found.
Tested PSU yesterday and its good. I have a back up mobo (same model). Guess I need to try that. Before I do, can you reccomend a good program to check HDD's? I cant find the one I originally used the first time this happened and at the moment cant even remember the software name.
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November 8, 2012 7:01:39 PM

Um, the only software i can think of off hand is spinrite. There might be some in the partedmagic live disk distro.

Other than those bits of info. I'm at a loss. See what happens with the new mobo I guess.
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November 8, 2012 7:09:20 PM

found hdd utlity on WD site. going to try that out first.
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a b $ Windows 7
November 8, 2012 7:15:39 PM

First thing you should have done (if you haven't already) is to run 'chkdsk c: /f /v /r' as it could be nothing more than simple filesystem corruption. Contrary to what Microsoft would have you believe NTFS is quite fragile in some respects.
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November 9, 2012 11:20:47 PM

Yup that's the first thing I did. Didn't seem "robust" enough. I just completed a thorough check of all 3 hdd's using WD's HDD software & all 3 hdd's "PASSED". The 1tb hdd took the longest to complete than th 2tb hdd. Then again the 1tb hdd is the most populated of the two. The 2tb hdd has about 20 or 30 gb's on it, & the 1TB HDD has @ 600-700gb's of files stored on it. As I mentioned befor, I checked the memory & it passed also. I'm going to run a more extensive check on the memory over the weekend. If it passes then its either the mobo OS psu. However using the "ultra psu" tester it tested fine also.

t's running fine. I haven't shut it completely down tho. I've restarted a couple of times & no problems as o yet. It's wired. The problem only seems to manifest on a "cold boot". Just a hunch, I suspect it to be VGA related. The cards are almost 3yrs old & I've had to RMA 2of the 3. I'm building a new rig & when I order a new card I think I'll test my hunch.

That's where I'm at right now. I
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November 9, 2012 11:28:53 PM

Also I noticed something new the last time I did a complete shut down. Before this problem started, on a cold boot, just before showing desktop, the VGA fans would spin-up just before entering desktop & the spin-down to normal idle. According to MSI that's normal & it's always done that since day one. However, since the issues of late, on a cold boot, the VGA fans DO NOT spin-up like they did before. It's only on subsequent "restarts", via the windows logo/restart option that they spin-up & all is fine.

Thanks for the input
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