Win7 PC Badly Hosed: Need Ideas Finding Problem(s)

Dave McKeen

Senior Member
The computer is a custom build. Details below my sig.

The OS is a standard install on C:\. Applications/utilities are installed on E:\
Built in October 2013, put in service February 2014. (For some reason never had much confidence in it!)
I use it mainly to finish photos in Photoshop
I have AVG AntiVirus guarding the system with Windows Firewall active.
No overclocking had been done.

What it does right:
Windows7 Pro (64 bit) appears to start normally.
Photoshop CS6, Dreamweaver CS6, ACDSee 15 and MS Office applications work fine.
I’m not getting any BSODs

What it’s having trouble with (a snippet):
I cannot install or uninstall anything except in Safe Mode. I cannot access msconfig. If I connect a USB drive it will not mount (activity indicator in Tray spins endlessly). Cannot set a System Restore point. Could not install the latest SiSoft SANDRA Lite.

IE 11 hangs frequently.

Often cannot start Windows Taks Manager to kill a hung process.
Tried to do a repair install of Windows (Install now > Get latest updates > Upgrade) but the PC hangs at Setup is Starting.

Installed HD Tune Pro in Safe Mode but could not get it to run.

Had printer Spooler problems with Epson Artisan 50 (latest drivers). Could not print some documents at all. No errors- just “duh”.

Tests & Fixes Attempted
I ran MemTest86+ V5.01 from boot CD overnight with no errors.
Ran sfc /scannow (from Safe Mode). No integrity violations.
Scanned the system with AVG AntiVirus.

I ran an AVG rescue boot disk. No malware found. I ran Malwarebytes Anti-Rootkit beta with similar results.
Tried to create a System Repair Disc. The Backup and Restore Applet hung. Backup and Restore is not available in Safe Mode.

Created a Repair Disc in my Windows 7 Home Premium (64 bit) PC (my backup computer). Booted the problem PC from the Repair Disc. In System Recovery Options chose Use recovery tools that can help fix problems... Select an operating system to repair. No operating system was listed. Clicked Load Drivers. (??) I inserted the Win7Pro install DVD. It wants me to find the drivers. I gave up. Went ahead and clicked on Repair anyway. The report said it did some things- including fix a system partition. It didn’t appear to do anything.

This PC has had problems from the beginning. I have a hunch it’s a hardware problem, but it’s just a hunch. I had a note to myself to swap out the graphics card, but never did it. I did make sure the driver was the latest, however. (Had to do it in Safe mode.) The BIOS auto-selects the appropriate GPU.

I’m guessing some system files are corrupt. Problems do not seem to be heat sensitive. I will do a clean install of Windows if I have to, but I do not relish the idea of reinstalling everything, and especially the hassles of product activation (Photoshop, Dreamweaver, Windows, MS Office).

- Dave McKeen

PC Configuration:
PC Build 19 Oct 2013
Motherboard ASUS Z87-Pro 1 PS2 BIOS 1405 8/19/2013
CPU Intel Core i7 4770K 3.5GHz Socket LGA 1150
CPU Cooler Cooler Master RR-212E-20PK-R2 Hyper 212 EVO
DRAM G.SkillF3-1600C9Q-32GXM Ripjaws X Series 32GB (4 x 8GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (XMT set in BIOS)
Drive0 (OS), Drive2 (Apps) 2 ea. CorsairCSSD-N240GBGTXB-BK Neutron Series GTX 240GB SATA III Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
Drive1 (Data) HGST-Western Digital Ultrastar 7K3000* HUA723020ALA640 2TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Enterprise
GPU ASUS GTX650TI-O-1GD5 GeForce GTX 650 Ti 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready
Driver 340.52
PSU Rosewill TACHYON -750 750w Modular Active PFC Platinum 80
Blu-Ray DriveASUS BW-14D1XT Black Blu-ray Burner SATA
O/S Microsoft Windows 7 Professional 64 bit OS all updates


Senior Member
As you can boot it, try the old SFC /SCANNOW from an elevated command prompt.

It shouldn't require Safe Mode but should run from there anyway if need be. I suspect you a corrupted Trusted Installer. This makes things difficult.


Microsoft MVP
Staff member
Premium Supporter
Microsoft MVP
Despite the comprehensive collection of symptoms and problems it is difficult to discern a single cause. There is quite a conglomeration of hardware and I would be inclined to reduce the system to a bare bones hardware config (mb, hd, minimum graphics etc) and see if the problems "go away". If they do then add hardware one item at a time and keep re-testing for problems to help either identify the cause or eliminate hardware as the likely culprit.


Extraordinary Member
Premium Supporter
I'd say your hunch about hardware is correct. I agree with Pat about stripping it down, and testing step by step. On the other hand, you must have warranties, thus you could rely on your retailer / service, perhaps?

It's nasty to work with something you can't trust. Eats your bones...

This website is not affiliated, owned, or endorsed by Microsoft Corporation. It is a member of the Microsoft Partner Program.