Windows XP freezes after GUI loads

By steel313 ·
I'm running XP SP2 on a refurbished Gateway AMD 1.6 Ghz notebook I purchased more than a warranty period ago. My problem occurs at infrequent intervals as opposed to every startup.

When booting, the GUI loads, and while the processes are finishing loading, the boot process stops short, with a few processes (network connections, firewall, AV) failing to load. I still have control of my pointer until I click on something, then the system freezes. The hard reboot that inevitably follows usually fixes the issue, but then it may reappear again within the next few bootups.

Again, it's a problem I cannot recreate every time, and this would most likely explain why the manufacturer received this unit back without identifying a problem in the first place.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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All Answers

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2 Ideas

by TheChas In reply to Windows XP freezes after ...

With an intermittent problem like this, the first thing I would try is different RAM. RAM issues are a common cause of lock up problems with Windows.

If new RAM does not fix the problem, the next thing is to check for Mal-Ware and / or perform a clean install of XP.

Bad sectors on your hard drive can also cause boot problems but I would expect you to see more symptoms than just boot lockups.


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System overheating perhaps? I've had this problem when CPU got too hot

by ManiacMan In reply to 2 Ideas

You may want to ensure that you have a good heat sink and powerful enough fan to keep the system cool inside.

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Testing RAM

by seanferd In reply to 2 Ideas <br>
You want the Windows binary. If you don't have a floppy drive, get the ISO with the .zip extension an burn to CD.
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Seems to find issues in RAM that only affect Windows.

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Do you have a copy of XP or a restore disk

by ComputerCookie In reply to Windows XP freezes after ...

if tou have an XP you can do a reinstall if need be, withiut losing any data.

Post if you need to know how.

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Narrowing it down

by steel313 In reply to Windows XP freezes after ...

I just ran the RAM diagnostic tool that was posted earlier, which did not indicate any issues. I have also done an extenive search for malware (webroot, adaware, spyware doctor), which also came up negative.

I think you guys may be on the right track about doing a clean install of XP. That advice is consistent with some I received offline right before I posted this question. I have the disks, and will do that after I get back from my business trip. I will let you know if the problem persists beyond that.

Thanks for the quick and helpful replies.

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Re-install is your best bet, then

by seanferd In reply to Narrowing it down

if there isn't overheating.

Were you saying that the laptop was a returned/refurbished item that you purchased as such? If so, and a re-install doesn't help, maybe it needs to be returned again! :)

I hope it works out for you.

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Definitely refurbished...

by steel313 In reply to Re-install is your best b ...

...and you're right. It's definitely going back if the clean install doesn't work. Thanks again.

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You are quite welcome

by seanferd In reply to Definitely refurbished...

I hope the machine starts behaving, if not, I hope you have a painless return and replacement scenario. :)

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