View Full Version : Need help, PC keeps crashing.

06-02-07, 11:30 AM
Was a bit tough to figure which forum to put this in, but since I've ruled out hardware at this time (could be wrong), I decided to post it here.

My wife's PC freezes within 1-3 minutes after bootup, without fail, every time. The mouse pointer can still be moved. I can "open" the Windows start menu (this is WinXP SP2, btw), and then it freezes in places. any active window freezes. They cannot be moved, resized, or closed. Any application open freezes.

My first guess was overheating. I looked inside the case, and sure enough, the mobo chipset fan was disconnected. I reconnected it, and waited a few hours before trying again. Still freezing, so my next thought was "crap, we burnt out the mobo".

So, I loaded in safemode (without networking). No problems. I did a full scan with AVG, Spybot, and Adaware. No viruses, nothing from Spybot, and Adaware picked up 20 tracking cookies. Rebooted into normal mode, same thing still hapening.

Here's what I was doing at the time of the first freeze. I ran "Windows Update" on both PCs. I tend to do these at the same time on both. On my PC, it loaded fine, showing the usual "Custom/Express" buttons. On hers, it said there was a new windows update version. I clicked install, wondering why heres would prompt and mine wouldn't. After install, it froze, and hasn't worked properly since.

So naturally, I'm wondering how I could have gotten a virus from MS's website, or why AVG won't detect it. Next, I'm going to use Safe mode with netoworking, to ensure that I have the latest AVG update, as well a suse housecall.

But I'm at my wit's end, and any help would be appreciated. I'll probably put a link to this thread in my sig, so the members who only browse the higher traffic forums might look at this.

06-02-07, 11:33 AM
While I'm pretty sure at this point that it's software, and not hardware, I will post her PC specs for those who might find it relevant.

-Athlon 64 X2 3800+
-EVGA GeForce 7600GT SuperClock
-1GB PC3200
-SeaSonic S12-380
-Biostar nForce4 Mobo w/onboard audio

Latest firmware/drivers for everything except the video card (Forceware 93.71).

06-02-07, 11:41 AM
I'd uninstall that questionable update first to rule that in or out.

I had that exact problem on a recent install of XP and task manager showed 100%cpu usage if I did so much as open the start menu. The problem turned out to be a background virus scan conducted automatically by zonealrm antivirus.

If no background progs are running like that, go to your task manager>processes and disable start up programs one by one, or uncheck them in system config so they don't start with windows.

That will narrow down the culprit for you.

06-02-07, 12:17 PM
Get Autoruns:

Go to SafeMode and quickly disable all non-essential services, drivers, startup items, and anything that looks strange (disable, not delete). Reboot, if it works, add those disabled items one at a time...

06-02-07, 12:53 PM
I'd uninstall that questionable update first to rule that in or out.

Any idea how? It doesn't show up in add/remove programs even with updates checked (it's the windows update app, not a hotfix). Even if I could, it doesn't let me uninstall in safe mode. In addition to that, I can't stay on windows normally long enough to do anything before it freezes.

Get Autoruns:

I can't download or install it in safe mode. I can't stay in normal mode long enough to do anything.

I'm going to reformat, after going in safe mode and backing up whatever I can. Probably won't be able to do that for a few days.

06-02-07, 12:59 PM
Autoruns does not need to be installed. It is small (800KB) but very powerfull emergency tool.. Download it on another PC and put it on USB drive.

06-02-07, 08:20 PM
formatting and a fresh install, the other 1st thing that might be the problem, if avg is free, then it may not have everything, but of course i could be wrong.

06-02-07, 08:38 PM
Either go with Autoruns like R suggested, or boot into safe mode, go into your system configuration (start>run>msconfig), startup tab and uncheck everything in there.

Add each one back one at a time with a reboot into normal mode, as soon as it freezes the last one you checked was the problem. Shouldn't take to long.

06-07-07, 11:28 PM
Thanks to the help from you guys, I've narrowed things down. The service causing the crashes, go figure, is "Automatic Updates."

If I disable it under services, the PC works fine, but of course, I have no way to use MS's update feature. Going to windows or Microsoft Update website crashes the PC. If I Automatic Updates automatic, the PC crashes within 1-3 minutes upon bootup.

One suggestion I was given was to go to C:Windows, find the folder "SoftwareDistribution" and add ".old" to the folder name, then retry MS update. No go, still freezes.

So, any advice would be appreciated.

EDIT: Will try this next:

Scroll down to Reset, Repair and Reinstall the Automatic Updates System

The first one, Reset, is what I effectively did, and it failed. I now have the option to Repair or reinstall. I'm leaning towards reinstall. Probably won't do it tonight, as I'm worn out (5 hours of individually trying services). Still, if you guys think of anything, your input is valuable :)

06-15-07, 02:18 PM
No luck, still has the same problem. Anyone able to help?