Computer Freezes After Startup – Troubleshooting Tips

While working on computers, there is a high probability that your system may freeze for no rhyme or reason. If your computer freezes frequently, it is time you first figure out the reasons behind such malfunctioning of your system.

Reasons Why Computer Freezes on Startup

There are myriad reasons for a computer freezing on startup. Following are a few causes, which could be detrimental in freezing your system more often.

Defective hardware (Electrostatic discharge and loose connections between hardware and computer motherboard)
Faulty software (Codes using lot of RAM; software infected with adbots, viruses and spyware)
Bugged operating systems (A corrupted Windows registry of operating system)
Infected drivers (Improper installation of drivers, small programs that enable the hardware and software to work in sync)

In all the above, the root cause that answers your query on why computer freezes is, almost all computers today are assembled and so the hardware components are manufactured by different vendors, which may result in hardware malfunctioning of the system. If your software is corrupted with malicious programs through Internet, freezing on startup is a warning sign indicating that your operating system may be at risk. This is because, viruses and spyware usually replicate their code and store them at hidden locations in your system, thereby using up more RAM. This eventually slows down your system. However, if the registry of the operating system is corrupted, then a symptom like computer freezing on startup would indicate warning to reformat your system.

Computer Freezes Shortly After Startup – Fixing the Problem

Sometimes, it may happen that you log into your system and as the system is loading, your computer freezes randomly, and no matter how many times you tap your keys and bang your mouse, the system remains frozen. In that case, I would suggest you to try the following:

– Reboot your system and set your system in clean boot.
– Click on Start, and type msconfig in the search box of the start menu and click on Enter.
– The system may prompt you for a confirmation, sometimes asking for an administrator’s password. Type the password and click on Continue.
– Now, click on selective startup on General tab and under the Selective startup of the General tab, clear the load startup items checkbox.
– Select Services tab and click the check box for Hide all Microsoft Services. Then click on Disable All.
– Click OK. And once the system prompts, click on Restart.
– If your system starts, apply divide and conquer algorithm to detect the non Microsoft service which is causing the problem, if your system is running on Windows Vista or Windows XP.

Once the startup fiasco is solved, check for the registry. Here are some steps to check this.

– Click on Start.
– In the search box of startup menu, type REGEDIT. Click Enter.
– Now find this registry key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\FileSystem
– Once found, set the NtfsDisable8dot3NameCreation to 1 to delete any duplicate or short versions for DOS names.

Computer Freezes After Startup But Works in Safe Mode – Fixing the Problem

Most people complain about the computer freezing up in Windows Vista and they might also observe that it prompts for the system to start in ‘Safe Mode’, once rebooted. Now before understanding whether this safe mode is advisable or not, it is important to understand what this safe mode is all about. Safe mode is a special way for Windows to load when a system is not starting in the normal mode. Now in the safe mode, not all functions are enabled. Most device drivers are not loaded (like that of printer and scanner). The command files autoexec.bat or config.sys are not run. Standard VGA graphic mode is used and not the normal graphics device driver. In this mode, the system checks for the msdos.sys for information to find the required Window files. So now the question arises, what to do once the system boots in safe mode? To check the root reason for what had caused Windows to load incompletely should be your first plan of action.

Click on Start, and click on control panel. In recent times, if you have added any device driver, try uninstalling it and then attempt a reboot. If your system starts normally, it means that the device was having some conflict with the driver software. Check further for installation of games or new applications and try uninstalling them as well, if you have doubts about their installation. However, if there is no problem with the hardware or the software, then it indicates a corrupt registry issue, which can be resolved only by getting a new installation copy of Windows.

When you face such an issue, do not jump into conclusions, that your system needs reformatting. Check out all the possible causes and try to figure out the core reason why your computer freezes after starting. And yes, one more important thing, always save your data in backup devices like CD or a pen drive. It will save your work at least!
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Computer Keeps Rebooting Itself

A frequently rebooting computer can really be a frustrating experience for anyone. Common factors that cause this problem are,

– Issues with software
– Hardware malfunction
– Computer virus

Issues with Software

Software-related issues can cause the computer to restart frequently. To check if a faulty/corrupt software is the cause, try to run the computer in ‘Safe Mode’. If your computer keeps rebooting itself, the chances of an issue with the software are remote. On the other hand, if your computer does not reboot in the ‘Safe Mode’, then the problem is with the software. As the issue is related to the software, we recommend that you take the help of a programmer/technician to fix this issue.

Hardware Malfunction

A hardware malfunction is one of the most common reasons which leads to automatic rebooting. If you have recently added a hardware device, you need to disconnect it to check whether it is causing the computer to restart. Also, ensure that all the cables and power sources are properly connected to the computer. Sometimes, a loose connection can cause the computer to reboot over and over again. The possibility of the RAM being the culprit is remote, as with a faulty RAM (Random-Access Memory), the computer ceases to start, or shows a blank screen. To ensure that there is no hardware conflict in the computer, follow the path mentioned below.

Start → Search → Device Manager → Press Enter

Alternatively, you can go to the ‘Device Manager’ through the following path,

Start → Control Panel → Administrative Tools → Computer Management → Device manager

‘Device Manager’ will list all the hardware attached to the computer. A device which is not properly connected to the computer, will have one of the following against its name:

1. A yellow exclamation mark or ‘Other Devices’
2. A red ‘X’ symbol
3. Down arrow

1. A yellow exclamation indicates that a device is not compatible with other hardware devices, or its drivers have not been installed. To rectify this, delete all such devices which have a yellow exclamation mark against their name, or which fall under ‘Other Devices’. Restart the computer and check if these devices have been detected by the Operating System (OS). If the problem persists, you need to download the latest drivers for these devices. You can download the drivers from the manufacturer’s website.
2. A red ‘X’ symbolizes that the either the device has been removed, or the operating system is unable to detect it. Troubleshooting involves ‘enabling’ the device from the ‘Device Manager’ tool, and restarting the computer to check if the OS is now able to detect the device. If the device still remains undetected, you need to download the latest drivers for the device.
3. Devices with a down arrow against their name indicate that the devices have been disabled. They can easily be enabled through the ‘Device Manager’ tool.

To check if your computer is rebooting continuously because of ‘bad memory’, you need to run a scan. Windows OS is equipped with ‘Windows Memory Diagnostics’, which runs a memory test on the computer. You can open this tool by following the path mentioned below:

Start → Control Panel → Administrative Tools → Memory Diagnostics Tool

Computer Virus

Another reason for the continuous rebooting of a computer can be a virus attack. It can be a possibility that the virus has tampered with your OS settings and system files. A particular type of computer virus, known as ‘bar311.exe’, is known to cause a frequent rebooting problem. You can detect the presence of this virus by the path mentioned below.

Start → Run → Type ‘cmd’ (without quotes) → Hit Enter

If your computer restarts, this virus is present in your system. It might have entered your system because of a weak, outdated antivirus software. You can remove the virus by upgrading to the latest version of the antivirus software, and running a complete scan on the computer. An updated antivirus program will also protect your system from any future invasion of dangerous viruses.

Overheating is another reason which can cause a computer to reboot on its own. The hard disk, and the processors are the components of a computer which are particularly prone to overheating. To address this issue, check whether the cooling system, and the power source of the computer is working properly.

These were some of the common causes that can cause a computer to reboot itself continuously. In the end, we would like to say that proper hardware maintenance and updated antivirus software can go a long way in preventing automatic rebooting and other issues in a computer.