Hang at Welcome Screen, Safe Mode works fine

Discussion in 'Windows 7 Help and Support' started by Aaero, Jan 13, 2011.

  1. Aaero

    Aaero New Member

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    Problem Description

    After booting, the computer freezes at the welcome screen after logging in as any of the users. Sometimes it will restart automatically, other times it has to be "hard shut down". It freezes at the same time, consistently.

    Occasionally, through an unknown set of steps, I can get the computer to boot properly. It crashes after a short while of using it, and then once again crashes at the welcome screen. Every time it has crashed so far it was while playing a game (not necessarily graphics-intensive). Again, after this crash the computer returns to just crashing at the Welcome Screen.

    Booting to safe mode works every time.

    Attempted Solutions

    Malware Scan with Malware Bytes (clean)
    Memory test with Windows Memory Diagnostic (clean)
    Ran Driver Detective (said I needed an update on my Video, Audio and Network Drivers)


    Various System Restore and Last Known Good Configuration (occasionally works for a short while, but then computer freezes during use and problems return)
    Clean Boot (does not work, still hangs at login)
    Disabled network card, sound card, and display adapter through device manager (does not work, still hangs at login)
    Reinstalled latest version of Video and Audio Drivers (no change in behavior)
    Reinstalled Windows 7 completely (computer seemed to work fine for a while, then had same problem)


    About my Computer

    My computer is a newly purchased computer from ibuypower.com (about 1 month old).

    Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-770T
    Processor: AMD Phenom II X4 925 2.81 GHZ
    8 GB RAM
    NVidia GeForce GTS 450
    700 Watt Power Supply
    2 Hard Drives
    Flash 64 GB Drive (has OS)
    1TB Western Digital Drive (data)

    Windows 7 64-bit

    About 2 weeks ago, I had another problem where the computer would randomly freeze during use, after login. To fix it, I installed new Display Drivers for my video card. The problem disappeared and the PC has been running fine until now.

    Personal Thoughts

    I'm at a bit of a loss now about what to do. The next step for me is to try taking out all but one stick of ram and seeing if there is still a problem. If it were a RAM problem, it just seems so unlikely that the problem would be as consistent as it is. I would also think I would occasionally get problems in Safe Mode.

    I also may reinstall Windows 7 again and be more careful about which updates/drivers I install. After the reinstall I started doing Windows Updates, which might have caused me problems. I may also install Windows on my Data Drive and see if that makes a difference.

    Any thoughts or suggestions are helpful. Thanks for your time!

    Other info

    CPU-Z Screenshots
    cpu. speed. memory.

    Attached - SF Diagnostic Tool Log FilesView attachment Seven Forums.zip
     
    #1 Aaero, Jan 13, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2011
  2. Captain Jack

    Captain Jack Extraordinary Member

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    Hello and Welcome to W7F !

    Seems like you have covered all the basic steps. Even though we will suggested few steps. Download Speedfan and check the Temps. Run a Hardware Diagnostic (Memory and Hard Drive) follow this link for instructions Hardware Diagnostic !! « Captain Debugger
     
  3. Aaero

    Aaero New Member

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    Thanks for the very prompt response and for the warm welcome! It's good to be here.

    I have already run the chkdsk actually, I forgot to mention that. It came back clean with 0 bad files or errors.

    Looking at Speedfan, everything seems ok. One fan reading is consistently super-high (80 degrees) but I looked into that and it's probably just not reading properly - maybe that's voltage, or something. Anyway, things look ok.

    I have not run the memtest memory test.

    One big thing just came up though. I did end up doing one more fresh install of Windows because the last time I did that everything worked, and I had similar behavior this time. I wanted to be more careful about trying to track down what brings about the problem, and installing drivers for my GPU brought about the exact same symptoms (freezing at the welcome screen). After restarting in safe mode, I rolled back the driver and was able to get into windows properly. I tried installing the driver that came with the computer, and once again the computer crashed. Rolling back fixed the issue again.

    So now I am able to get into my computer without using safe mode, but am not able to improve the video quality. Any thoughts? Perhaps a bad video card?

    Thanks very much for your help and time.
     
  4. Captain Jack

    Captain Jack Extraordinary Member

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    Try older drivers for GPU not the brand new ones sometimes a little more version might work well.
     
  5. Aaero

    Aaero New Member

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    Just some more information -

    I tried installing a different version of the video drivers and it worked for a short while, then the PC crashed (freeze with unresponsive mouse, automatically restarted) while browsing the internet (no graphics intensive applications were running).

    Once again, I rolled back the video driver to the default driver for windows and was able to log in properly.

    This is also similar behavior to how the problem started in the first place. It froze, seemingly randomly, after using the computer for a few hours. After this freeze, I was unable to log into windows normally but could use safe mode freely. In safe mode, rolling back the video driver to the Windows Default VGA Driver allows me to log in normally but gives me extremely limited video access.

    I'm really not sure what the problem is, or even sure that the problem is video card related. It seems to me that I might have a bad video card, but I don't know of an easy way to test that (I don't think I have an extra one sitting around).

    Any thoughts?
     
  6. cybercore

    cybercore New Member

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  7. MikeHawthorne

    MikeHawthorne Essential Member
    Microsoft Community Contributor

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    Hi

    This sounds like a video card problem to me too.

    But since you don't have any problem booting into Safe Mode you could try downloading CCleaner, and use the Tools tab to see what's starting at boot.

    There are other ways to do this but CCleaner makes it very easy and reversible, and everyone should have it anyway.

    CCleaner Download | C Cleaner Review, Testimonials | Free CCleaner

    There are a lot of things that don't need to run, (I have more then half of them turned off) try getting it down to the basics I.E. video card drivers, mouse and keyboard, your antivirus, sound card drivers etc., and see if the problem goes away. If it does then you can probably figure out what is causing the problem by elimination.

    If it still does it then I'd suspect the video card or a memory problem there's always the chance that there is a defective component on a new computer.

    Mike
     
  8. Aaero

    Aaero New Member

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    Hi again - thanks for the info. I attached screenshots and the SF Diag Tool log to my first post. I looked around for posts detailing any information I should include with my posts, but I didn't see either of these. I didn't look in the BSOD subforum though.

    Just to note - the SF Diagnostic Tool put the files on my data drive (D) rather than on the system drive (C).

    I can't run the Furmark stress test because if I use any driver other than the Windows default driver, the computer won't boot. If I run the stress test with the Windows default driver, advanced functionality like OpenGL and DirectX are disabled.

    I will try using CCleaner to look at what's loading when I boot - it does sounds like a tool I should have anyway so thanks for the tip!

    Lastly, regarding the memory test - I will run that, I'm just waiting for a chance. It might be a few days before I can leave my computer running overnight to do that test.
     
    #8 Aaero, Jan 14, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2011
  9. Aaero

    Aaero New Member

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    A quick update - Memtext returned no errors (I let it run for about 15 hours). Crashes seem to happen at more random spots now - it's not just when the Welcome Screen is loaded, though it still happens there occasionally. It froze while playing a game again last night, and seems to freeze occasionally regardless of the activity.

    I ran another malware scan recently and had no results.

    I have tried 3 different drivers for the GPU, nothing seems to be making a difference. I'm using the newest drivers right now.

    It's still under warranty, so I may have to send it in soon to have someone else look at it, I'm nearing the end of options as far as what I know how to do. While the video card is working I'm going to run a stress test.

    Edit: Video Card Stress Test did not seem to cause any problems, it leveled out around 76 degrees celcius and was still producing 40-60 fps.
     
    #9 Aaero, Jan 18, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2011
  10. Aaero

    Aaero New Member

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    Final update - I appear to have found and solved the problem. It was a hardware problem, the GPU was malfunctioning. As the PC was under warranty they shipped me a new GPU, and while I was replacing it I noticed that a single strand from one of the power cables had been shoved into the PCI-Express slot along with the GPU.

    This was almost certainly the issue.

    I didn't notice when I opened the case and did a visual inspection, but if I would have taken the physical card out I would have seen it I'm sure. This is likely a one-time issue, but it seems that if you're having problems similar to what I had, the most likely culprit is the GPU.

    Thanks to everyone for all the attempted help! Best of luck to anyone else who happens upon this thread in the future.
     

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