Why does our desktop PC no longer boot right away?

HannibalCat October 14, 2012
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A four year old Dell desktop running Windows 7 32-bit Home Premium has begun to, semi-regularly, hang when booting. This can be fixed by manually cutting the power and rebooting – it always boots fine the second time – but it is worrying.

I used the Dell software to check components and all are apparently working fine, so I assume it’s either BIOS problems or Windows itself may be glitched. What I don’t know how to do is figure out what the problem is. This has now happened three times in the past two weeks. Before then it was fine. Would it be worth going back to an earlier system snapshot?

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  1. Harry Barnes
    October 16, 2012 at 3:15 pm

    run windows startup repair and that should fix it. Otherwise, try backing up all your files and then re-installing windows, as it may be a specific program you have installed causing the issues

  2. Dave Rimmer
    October 15, 2012 at 3:54 pm

    Do you clean it on a regular basis, ie run CCleaner, PC Doctor, Disk Cleanup etc. Have you ever run Defrag or have Spyware Blaster, Spybot Search & Destroy running at startup. I have a 6 year old PC which runs great because I reinstall the OS every year and clean it every other day with scanners. Did you install anything before you noticed the slow down. Usually when it hangs at startup it is either something you last installed, a Service or Startup program which hangs...

    • Harish Jonnalagadda
      October 15, 2012 at 8:22 pm

      Yeah Windows usually clutters over time and running CCleaner is recommended to de-clutter.

      • Dave Rimmer
        October 16, 2012 at 6:18 pm

        As I stated before it could be a Service or Startup item causing the problem. To eliminate this try the following.
        Start type Msconfig/ Systems Configuration will open go to startup and click on it you may be surprised how many items start at startup. Click Disable All and restart the PC see how it goes if all is well then one off the startup items is causing the problem, enable 1 at a time and restart the PC until you find which item is the culprit. If the PC is still the same after Disabling all Startuo items then they have been ruled out, you now need to do the same with the Services in Systems Configuration click on Services and to the left click Hide All Microsoft Services then Disable All and go through the same procedure as the Startup Items. Hope this sorts it for you.

  3. Imesh Chandrasiri
    October 15, 2012 at 9:25 am

    Run a windows startup repair and see what happens. if the problem is still there, try updating drivers. since it's four year old pc, you won't find any new drivers. there might be a possibility that some hardware is not compatible with windows 7. try installing windows 7 freshly and see the whether the problem exist. if so your pc is not compatible with windows 7.

  4. Adrian Rea
    October 14, 2012 at 8:42 pm

    I would recommend the first thing you do is ensure you have backed up your important data. Either through a live CD to backup or when you are next on your computer save all the files you value to disk or USB backup media.
    Once you have done that, if the system hangs during the POST start (before you see anything to do with Windows) it is most likely a hardware or bios issue. I would check all connections are tight and that the power supply is stable. If these are OK consider overheating or dusty. If confident I would install speed fan to see if your running temperatures are high, your CPU fan and heatsink may need a hoover to get the dust out. There may be a capacitor blown as this can give intermittent results so look up how to spot one. Otherwise, most of the issues covered by Dell disk should have been detected. good luck

    • John Hannibal Swift
      October 15, 2012 at 6:56 am

      Everything's backed up to external hard drives. I'm beginning to wonder if the problem doesn't lie with AVG 2013. Mainly the boot hangs on black screen after the Windows logo has gone, but it also got as far as loading in my profile before hanging. AVG seems to slow the system terribly when scanning, too.

      • DalSan Mack
        October 15, 2012 at 1:09 pm

        AVG is a good antivirus, but tends to be resource hungry. Try either disabling or uninstalling it and see if the problem persists. You may want to try Avast antivirus instead as it is lighter and quicker with slightly better ability to find and clean viruses and malware. Otherwise, check to see if there is a setting for boot scanning as that may be where it hangs, although it doesn't exactly seem that it would be three problem if you can restart the computer and will load fine. First thing to do is to see if it loads fine in safe mode. If not, disable AVG. If the problem still persists, check the hard drive health and other hardware and make sure all drivers are updated.

  5. ha14
    October 14, 2012 at 8:35 pm

    How to Run a Startup Repair in Windows 7
    http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/681-startup-repair.html

    How to Manually Repair Windows 7 Boot Loader Problems
    http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/32523/how-to-manually-repair-windows-7-boot-loader-problems/

    try clean startup to detect if a background process is causing troubles
    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/331796
    http://www.techgenie.com/latest/how-to-perform-clean-boot-in-windows-7/

    remove ram clean from dust and reinsert, see if this will help.

    • John Hannibal Swift
      October 15, 2012 at 6:54 am

      Thanks!

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