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 Post subject: PC freezes, Gadget issues, and other problems
PostPosted: Sat Sep 21, 2013 8:01 am 
8086
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Joined: Thu Nov 22, 2007 7:12 pm
Posts: 29
I apologize if this shows up twice. I finished writing the last one in Word so I wouldn't lose it and when I pasted it over and submitted it, the thing timed out.

I am kind of at the end of my rope here. My PC has been acting up and honestly it seems to have started from the time I installed an SSD as my main drive. Everything used to run pretty smoothly, and even with the SSD installed things were okay. I had decided that I wanted to sell this PC so I could build an upgraded one and this seems to be when the issues started. I was not going to sell it with the SSD, so I wiped the SSD and the HDD I use for data. I then used the HDD to load Windows in preparation to sell it. Unfortunately no one seemed interested, so after a month, I wiped the HDD and loaded Windows back on the SSD, using the HDD for data as the original setup had been.

Since then I have noticed that the PC takes an extremely long time getting through the post screens into the Windows logo screen. It runs through what is installed, and though I cannot remember the order at this time, it always takes a long time to display the first device (I believe it is the CPU and RAM).
The next issue is that my gadgets will go away after every couple restarts. I have researched this rather extensively and none of the recommended fixes seemed to work. The only one that temporarily works is going into "Turn Windows features on or off" in the control panel. I have to first unselect the gadget platform feature, restart, and then select it and restart again. This will only allow the gadgets to be displayed until maybe the next or thereafter restart.

The computer itself has started freezing on me, and the only remedy is to turn it off and on again. It will not unfreeze. There is no blue screen or any indication that it will happen, and it seems to be random as I have been doing everything for checking email, browsing the internet or just watching a video. The screen just stops responding and there is nothing I can do. As I am typing this though, the screen is severely lagging. I am typing two or three words before they appear. This is a new symptom!
Another strange occurrence is that my internet explorer settings often get wiped out for some reason. For example I have my tabs set to display my home page, Google. After a good restart or two, it goes back to that blank page and I have to restart it all over again.

My system specs are listed below. I have run safe mode scans of Malwarebytes and CCleaner as well as my antivirus, Avast. I am very careful about what I download and I try to ensure my wife is too. I am just not sure what to do anymore and I really don’t want to keep reformatting and reinstalling Windows. I will say that my SSD is rather full, I think there’s about 100gb left. Not sure if that is an issue or not.

Thanks for taking the time to read this and I do appreciate any feedback.

Motherboard: GIGABYTE Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX
CPU: Intel Core i5-2400 3.1GHz (3.4GHz Turbo Boost) Quad-Core cooled by MASSCOOL 90mm Long Life Bearing CPU Cooler
RAM: 16GB of CORSAIR Vengeance (4 x 4GB) DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800)
Graphics Card: GeForce GTX 550 Ti by GIGABYTE 1GB RAM
SSD: 512 Gb Crucial M4 CT512M4SSD2 2.5" SATA III MLC
Hard Drive: 2TB Western Digital Caviar Green SATA Internal Hard Drive
Optical Drive: ASUS 12X Blu-ray and DVD Burner
Power Supply: 550W CORSAIR Enthusiast Series Case: APEX TX-381 MicroATX Mid Tower
Monitor: Asus 23" Full HD HDMI LED Backlight LCD Monitor w/Speakers
O/S: Windows 7 Home
Fans: 1x COOLER MASTER 120mm Blue LED, 2x COOLER MASTER 80mm Blue LED


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 Post subject: Re: PC freezes, Gadget issues, and other problems
PostPosted: Sat Sep 21, 2013 8:53 am 
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I am no expert but since you have been wiping drives and changing boot drives back and forth, have you reloaded the motherboard drivers?


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 Post subject: Re: PC freezes, Gadget issues, and other problems
PostPosted: Sat Sep 21, 2013 9:24 am 
8086
8086

Joined: Thu Nov 22, 2007 7:12 pm
Posts: 29
g.m.waters (red ranger3) wrote:
I am no expert but since you have been wiping drives and changing boot drives back and forth, have you reloaded the motherboard drivers?

I actually have made sure the drivers are installed and even made an RW disc with the latest drivers this last time, about a month ago.

Funny thing just happened, our power went out, which happens very frequently at our place from storms and people driving into poles. When the PC rebooted, all the gadgets were there. That's the first time that it has done it on its own. The last thing I did to the system was remove "Unlocker" program in safe mode after I did the Malwarebytes scan. I assumed this program was legit, as I have used it since just after getting Windows 7 because I hated not being able to delete something because of it being "in use" when it was not. I couldn't imagine that being the culprit for some or all of my problems since I never had any issues before, but maybe it has to do with having an SSD, which I just recently acquired. I'll have to do some searching on that.

I was having some heat issues with my graphics card before, which is the gadget that I use to monitor the temps. Those problems went away when I reconfigured existing and added new fans to my case. Not sure if that is helpful or needed information or not, but I figured I should include it.

Thanks for the response!


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 Post subject: Re: PC freezes, Gadget issues, and other problems
PostPosted: Sat Oct 05, 2013 12:59 am 
8086
8086

Joined: Thu Nov 22, 2007 7:12 pm
Posts: 29
I found fixes for my issues and just wanted to post them here for anyone that might experience the same thing.

As far as the freezes, I haven't had an issue since running the scan in safe mode and getting rid of "Unlocker." From what I read around the internet, the program is okay but now they slip in some malware program toolbar called "Babylon" and that's most likely what was mucking up my system.

For my disappearing and reappearing gadget problem, I happened on a forum where a user was having the same issue. Apparently it is linked to a disabled UAC, which is how I have mine set. I had to add a registry value to make it work. Here's a link to the forum, the fix can be found at post 4 or by following the link in post 6: http://bit.ly/1gd34Rp

I still do not understand the long boot time. It always hangs at the very beginning before recognizing the memory, cpu, drives and such. I ran memtest and everything was good. I'll have to keep looking and maybe find a fix for that too.


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 Post subject: Re: PC freezes, Gadget issues, and other problems
PostPosted: Sat Oct 05, 2013 8:47 am 
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dgbarnett06 wrote:
....I still do not understand the long boot time. It always hangs at the very beginning before recognizing the memory, cpu, drives and such. I ran memtest ....

First thanks for the follow up on what has worked. Always good to know for the record for future people with the same problem as you indicated.

1. Update MB BIOS to most recent version available.

Update SSD firmware.

Update all chipset drivers [INF, ME, RST, etc].

Make sure SSD is running in AHCI and not IDE mode.

2. Do a CMOS reset per MB manual.

3. Try a different SATA cable. A different SATA port.

Disconnect the WD drive and see if there is improvement.

4. Since Crucial doesn't have its own diagnostic app, try SSDLife, HDTune or HDDScan to at least get SMART report.

5. If the slow boot is before the LEDs start to come on let us know. How do you know it is "before" the BIOS starts to do its equipment check? Even though you checked RAM an mem dx app only finds about half the problems; the odds of both sticks being defective is very low, so try running with only a single stick present. Any change? Replace with the other stick and try again? Try the stick in a different slot...change?


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