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Computer freezes before log-on

By androidprincess
Jul 30, 2009
  1. Hello all

    My aunts four-year-old Dell with Windows XP is having problems booting up. After two days working on it, I'm out of ideas.

    The computer freezes on a black screen right before you log on. The cursor is still visible, but there isn't anything to click on. It doesn't get stuck every time, but its horribly annoying to have to keep restarting until it decides to work. It even freezes in safe mode!

    I scanned for viruses and spyware, but it didn't find anything. Then I tried doing a clean boot to remove errors. And I tried doing a selective startup, but it didn't make a difference. My aunt mentioned something about a Windows update failing to install, but I don't imagine that would cause this problem (am I wrong?).

    I would like to do a system restore, but it won't work. I select a restore point, it gives me some information about the computer taking a moment to collect information and then restarting, but the computer never actually restarts after I hit next. I don't know if this is a separate issue or part of the same problem. And my aunt can't find her CD to reboot Windows.

    Does anyone have any more things I could try? I'd really appreciate the help.
  2. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    Which Dell model is it? Desktop or laptop? Please give us model and configuration.
    A four year old Dell could be in the early stages of a hard drive failure.
    Or the problem could be inadequate memory... made worse by Windows automatic downloads.
    But we can help more usefully if we know which computer you have.
    Unless the computer is full of dust, lint, mogus, and firch, it is usually either the hard drive or inadequate memory.
  3. androidprincess

    androidprincess TS Rookie Topic Starter

    It is a desktop. I don't remember the model right off, since it isn't my computer, but I can try to find out. I'm not sure if my aunt would know her model (she isn't good with technology).
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