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Desktop hangs at 'Starting Windows'

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Desktop hangs at 'Starting Windows'

Postby pdeinc » Tue Nov 22, 2011 1:30 pm

My dad's PC hangs when it's starting Windows. I really have little info on the hardware itself other than it's a later model Dell. I pulled his disk drive and copied off his important data in case the drive was failing. Reinstalled and started the boot process. It gets to the familiar 'Windows did not load' screen and I can select Safe Mode or Normal with the same result, that is it hangs with a blank screen. I can install his drive as the primary in a test PC and it boots normally so I don't believe it's a drive issue.

I can also insert the Dell recovery CD and it successfully loads all drivers into RAM but when it gets to the 'Starting Windows' stage, it hangs.

I'll alternately pulled each of his two expansion memory sticks let it proceed with the other thinking it's perhaps a RAM problem without success. I suppose both could be bad but believe that's unlikely.

Any thoughts?
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Re: Desktop hangs at 'Starting Windows'

Postby icecube » Tue Nov 22, 2011 8:55 pm

Hi Pdeinc

go to this link http://oca.microsoft.com/en/windiag.asp and make a test ISO to check out the memory. This CD boots into DOS and checks the memory, I use it all the time. With Dells, it usually is the memory and as you said two sticks going bad is not too likely. Also take a flashlight and check the motherboard for leaking capacitors. If everything else is Ok, I would suspect the video card. You are stuck where the drivers for that normally load. Running Chkdsk on the HD while in the other system might also straighten it out. Running Chkdsk is like a magic trick, it works for unknown reasons :lol:
As a last check, it could be the power supply. Coolmax makes a Power Supply Testor that is about $18. If it is bad, the P/S is proprietary and you'll have to get it from Dell.
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Re: Desktop hangs at 'Starting Windows'

Postby pdeinc » Wed Nov 23, 2011 2:27 am

Thanks for the suggestions. Created a windiag boot CD and tested the memory...no errors. Ran chkdsk with drive in second PC, no errors found, reinstalled drive and still get blank screen when trying to start Windows. No swollen or leaking caps that I can see. Haven't tested the power supply but there's nothing else that makes me think that's the problem.

Any other thoughts?
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Re: Desktop hangs at 'Starting Windows'

Postby PcTestCard.com » Wed Nov 23, 2011 10:16 am

The problem could be the PC mobo HDD controller.

No idea how old is the computer, I would suggest check the mobo for any damaged capacitor as well.

Hope this helps!
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Re: Desktop hangs at 'Starting Windows'

Postby pdeinc » Wed Nov 23, 2011 12:45 pm

I wouldn't think the HDD controller would have any effect when trying to boot from CD. Computer is probably 2-3 years old at a guess since it's a 2.8GHz dual core processor.

No sign of leaking caps and none looking swollen either.
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Re: Desktop hangs at 'Starting Windows'

Postby pdeinc » Wed Nov 23, 2011 4:56 pm

Upon closer examination, found a suspicious cap near memory slots. Ran out of patience and tossed the mobo and assembling new PC.
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Re: Desktop hangs at 'Starting Windows'

Postby liljim » Thu Nov 24, 2011 11:48 am

pdeinc wrote:Upon closer examination, found a suspicious cap near memory slots. Ran out of patience and tossed the mobo and assembling new PC.
lol, good call
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