XP hangs during boot

By spock
Mar 19, 2008
  1. XP, SP2, nothing changed recently (that I'm aware of). About a week ago, the computer started hanging up when booting in normal mode (every time). It will boot fine in safe mode with networking. But, if I try to boot into normal mode, or (using msconfig while in safe mode) "diagnostic startup" or "selective startup" with everything unchecked, it hangs up. I have a wireless keyboard/mouse connected via USB. I noticed that, as soon as the windows splash screen comes up, the wireless receiver lights go off (i.e. if I'm moving the mouse around, blue light blinks until the splash screen comes up, then nothing). Disk activity light continues for a while and then stops. "Bar" on splash screen continues to move back and forth.

    I tried boot logging, but nothing is written to the boot log (hangs before boot logging starts???). Only data I see in boot log is from booting in safe mode.

    I've been searching for help, and see similar problems, but haven't found anything that has helped yet. Not sure where to start. I've disconnected everything except the display, wireless receiver, and internet, no luck. I have plugged the wireless receiver into different USB ports, no difference.

    I'd like to avoid restoring the system, as getting everything back to where it is now (or at least where it was before this!) would be a pain!

    Thanks for any help.

  2. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,524

    First try XP_FixLogon (in Safe Mode I suppose)

    Next sfc /scannow (from Start -Run)
    You may need your Windows CD, and it's advisable to remove network and stop firewall first (actually in Safe mode I don't think it'll matter!)
    The process takes about an hour to complete, and will confirm all your files are intact and their correct versions.
  3. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 9,160   +599

    use start->Accessories->System Tools->System Restore from an Admin login
    then choose a restore point from About a week ago.

    fyi: system restore points are created automatically (unless you interfere) once
    every 24 hrs, so electing one 8 days ago would be a good idea.

    I think this would be the short path for you :)
  4. spock

    spock TS Rookie Topic Starter

    kimsland - Thanks. I don't think it's a problem with the logon screen. As I said, my usb wireless receiver goes dead the instant the Windows splash screen comes up. I'm suspecting a conflict of some sort, or an indication of a bad driver, but haven't figured it out. Works fine in safe mode...

    I tried the sfc /scannow (under safe mode), but it wouldn't run. Said

    Windows File Protection could not initiate a scan..

    The specific error code is 0x000006ba [The RPC server is unavailable']

    Searching around, it looks like you can't run sfc in safe mode (which doesn't make any sense). RPC seemed to be running (showed up under services, but not RPC Locator - is that needed?)

    jobeard - Thanks, but I tried that already, didn't help. I believe I went about a week before the problem started.
  5. Matthew

    Matthew TechSpot Staff Posts: 5,261   +92

    Complete this guide or run a repair installation of Windows.
  6. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 9,160   +599

    just backup by 2-3 days until it does :)
  7. spock

    spock TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Problem solved (sort of). Found out that all devices are still all loaded in diagnostic setup mode, even with all the other items unselected, but not safe mode. So disabled just about all devices, it worked, then slowly enabled them until I found the culprit. Turns out my tv tuner card was causing the problem. (Should have guessed, as it hasn't been working lately - just didn't cause any problems until now.) (Also turns out that the usb wireless receiver does go "dead" while the windows splash screen is displayed, then becomes "live" again when it goes away. Strange!)

    Thanks for the suggestions and help. jobeard - I was initially going to try an earlier backup, but it turns out that trying to start in "diagnostic setup" wipes out the backups! That seems dumb!!
  8. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 9,160   +599

    hum; I've used the other forms except diagnostic and the restore points were not destroyed.
    To my understanding, disabling System Restore is the means to wipe them out and even at that,
    it prompts for your concurrance -- I really doubt that assertion -- but as long as you're running, it doesn't matter :)
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