PDA

View Full Version : Strange boot-up behaviour



Tony
07-07-2014, 11:55 AM
When I power up my beast, it goes through the usual POST then enumerates the devices - hard drives etc. It then goes to a blank screen for a few secs with just a flashing cursor, then appears to do the enumeration again (not the POST) before it proceeds to the OS selection menu. I say appears because it happens too quickly for me to see properly, and I've never managed to be quick enough on the pause key.

To complicate matters, recently it has started hanging at the blank screen stage - just occasionally. All I see is the blinking cursor. If I reboot it goes through it all OK.

Any ideas?

Agent_24
07-07-2014, 12:38 PM
The freezing and the enumeration screen showing twice are probably both symptoms of the same problem, which unfortunately could be many things, ranging from bad RAM to a failing PSU to a dying BIOS battery or even a flaky reset switch - though it's most likely to be a hardware issue of some kind.

Probably best you start removing\disabling devices one at a time and see if the problem goes away.

wainuitech
07-07-2014, 01:02 PM
It can also happen if you have some USB devices plugged in. Can be Malware as well.

One cause is faulty graphic Drivers or card. Seen it countless times where damaged Graphic drivers stop it from booting past the flashing cursor, yet it boots fine in safe mode.

Tony
07-07-2014, 01:43 PM
It can also happen if you have some USB devices plugged in. Can be Malware as well.

One cause is faulty graphic Drivers or card. Seen it countless times where damaged Graphic drivers stop it from booting past the flashing cursor, yet it boots fine in safe mode.I'd be surprised if it was malware. I do have USB devices plugged in, so I'll unplug them and see what happens.

Question - the "flashing cursor" sticking point is well before the option to boot in safe mode arrives (on my machine), so I don't quite understand that (a frequent occurrence these days :) )

Tony
07-07-2014, 01:51 PM
I unplugged the USB connected stuff and shut down, waited and rebooted and it made no difference. No hangup, but it did the double enumeration. I actually managed to pause it during the second listing, and that is definitely what it is doing.

pctek
07-07-2014, 03:37 PM
I unplugged the USB connected stuff and shut down, waited and rebooted and it made no difference. No hangup, but it did the double enumeration. I actually managed to pause it during the second listing, and that is definitely what it is doing.

Try Enable Boot Logging to see where it has the hissy exactly.

Agent_24
07-07-2014, 03:53 PM
Try Enable Boot Logging to see where it has the hissy exactly.

Would that work? It seems he's getting the problem even before the boot loader, or at it.

pctek
07-07-2014, 04:33 PM
Who knows - he got::
"When I power up my beast, it goes through the usual POST then enumerates the devices - hard drives etc. It then goes to a blank screen for a few secs with just a flashing cursor, then appears to do the enumeration again (not the POST) before it proceeds to the OS selection menu. "

So it did get to the O/S selection, worth a try anyway.

Tony
07-07-2014, 04:46 PM
Who knows - he got::
"When I power up my beast, it goes through the usual POST then enumerates the devices - hard drives etc. It then goes to a blank screen for a few secs with just a flashing cursor, then appears to do the enumeration again (not the POST) before it proceeds to the OS selection menu. "

So it did get to the O/S selection, worth a try anyway.As you say - worth a try. Where do I see the log?

wainuitech
07-07-2014, 07:22 PM
before it proceeds to the OS selection menu Is this Dual Booting , windows and some other OS ?

Log files: http://www.techrepublic.com/blog/tr-dojo/monitor-windows-7-boot-logs-with-the-help-of-msconfig/

Tony
07-07-2014, 10:25 PM
Is this Dual Booting , windows and some other OS ?

Log files: http://www.techrepublic.com/blog/tr-dojo/monitor-windows-7-boot-logs-with-the-help-of-msconfig/Thanks for the link. I'm triple-booting Win7, Vista and Win 8.1 preview.

Tony
07-07-2014, 10:39 PM
I've checked out msconfig and enabled boot logging but as someone pointed out, that is presumably not going to kick in until I've selected an OS, and the hang is before that point so I'm not sure it will tell us anything useful.

wainuitech
07-07-2014, 10:49 PM
Dont know if this will be of any use or not, but found a thread on Acronis, exact same problem, triple booting, slow with flashing cursor.

No info has been given here, eg: was the case opened, something added etc, but have a read https://forum.acronis.com/forum/36932 The answer is in post 17 for this case. ( on Acronis)

It looks like the cause is the HDD is not booting/detecting the correct order.

The above article may or may not trigger some memory ( no matter how minor it may seem) to whats happened ?

wainuitech
07-07-2014, 11:18 PM
Just a thought -- If you have multi drives, once it boots, run crystaldisk Info on the PC, make sure a HDD is not failing. http://crystalmark.info/?lang=en

Tony
11-07-2014, 10:02 AM
I downloaded Crystaldisk and that reports all my drives are OK. I looked at that link to the Acronis forum, and the situation is remarkably similar to mine in that I also have a new SSD, although I'm thinking my issue predates the purchase. I tried the things suggested in that thread, but nothing has made any difference.

I'm not going to spend any more time on it atm, as it is not a major impediment. Thanks everyone for the help and advice.

Tony
12-07-2014, 02:51 PM
Update - I had the flashing cursor hang up this morning, but when I did the three-finger salute, it didn't do the POST again, just the enumeration - once - and then went on to the OS selection. Curiouser and curiouser...

Tony
17-07-2014, 02:15 PM
I think I may have found the problem. I had been separately having occasional problems with my network connections (i.e. no connection and red X in notification area) when Windows started, and a reboot would fix it. Finally a light dawned and I removed my network card and reconnected to the on board ethernet. Rebooted, and the enumeration still happened twice but with no pause in between, and the network connected immediately.

Maybe it was always doing the double enumeration but was happening so quickly I didn't notice until it started pausing.