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.

How to Fix an ‘Invalid Partition Table’ Error

Partition tables or partition maps store information to help load the operating system into the computer. The BIOS is a firmware that stores partition tables and the associated memory data. It’s the first thing that loads when you switch on the computer. The BIOS is required to check whether the partitions are in working condition. The most common use of the BIOS is to format your system or reinstall a better operating system (OS).

So imagine how you would feel when your OS doesn’t load, and shows a message Invalid Partition Table. Partition systems of old contained the Master Boot Record, which was responsible for the booting of the system. Since Windows Vista, manufacturers have started using a new system, GUID Partition Table (GPT), which allows the computer to be split into multiple partitions, extremely useful for dual-booting systems.

An invalid partition table error occurs due to the following reasons:

– The MBR is trying to boot from some other device than the DVD-ROM, which is the first option in the boot priority order.
– When some other device is connected to the USB port, like a flash drive or an external hard disk drive (HDD).
– There is no operating system installed on the computer.

In the following sections, we shall tell you how to fix the invalid partition table error.

On Windows XP

Step 1: Analysis

– Download Hiren’s BootCD, a free bootable software that will run at the time of booting, irrespective if your operating system works or not. Burn it to a CD/DVD and insert it in the CD drive to make it run.
– Press Ctrl+Alt+Del to restart your computer.
– Press F12 to enter BIOS and enter 1st Boot Setting : CD-ROM Group. Change the booting order to reflect the changes.
– Save the changes.
– Now restart the computer once again. Select Mini Windows XP from the options when it boots.
– After the OS gets loaded, go to Start – Programs- Administrative Tools- Disk Management to see the status of each partition, i.e. C, D, and however many drives you may have. The amount of memory allocated to each partition can be seen.
– If everything’s fine, go to Windows Explorer and check C Drive to see if an OS is installed.
– If it isn’t, restart your computer once more.
– Now run the Boot CD, and go to Master Boot Record Tools – Partition Table Doctor 3.5. This is not compatible with Windows Vista, 7, and 8.
– Click on Partition Table Doctor 3.5, and make sure all data is saved, before clicking on OK.
– You should scan bad sectors, if any, with HDD Regenerator. This software shows if any sectors have become corrupted and repairs it.

Step 2: Recover Data

– To recover data from the C drive, use recovery software like EASEUS Data Recovery or GetDataBack.
– Copy-paste the files from the D drive and save this in an external hard disk drive or flash drive.

Step 3: Fix Partition Table

– Boot the CD and choose Next to go to the next menu.
– Choose MBR (Master Boot Record).
– Next, choose Partition Table Doctor from the options.
– Click on OK.
– Now the program will open up. Click on the Operations menu and click on Rebuild Partition Table, to start repairing the damage to the partition.
– Exit the program and eject the CD.
– This would have taken care of the error. Now insert a bootable CD/DVD of your respective operating system and install it again to get your system running.

On Windows Vista, 7, and 8

– Load the Windows Vista OS (or Windows 7 & 8) bootable disc, and press any key to boot from the DVD.
– Choose the language, time, and currency. Now click on Next to continue, and click on Repair Your Computer.
– When the System Recovery dialog box pops up, choose Command Prompt.
– Type bootrec.exe and press Enter. This rebuilds the partition and fixes the problem.

These are the ways to fix the partition error on your computer. For novices and beginners not comfortable working with the BIOS, it’s recommended to get the error checked by a professional.

How to Fix Java Virtual Machine Launcher Error

Tip to fix Java virtual machine launcher error
JVM Function
The Java virtual machine is responsible for memory allocation and garbage collection, along with interpretation of byte code to machine code.
The Java runtime environment (JRE) is mandatory to be installed on your computer for certain applications to work properly. The main component of JRE is the Java virtual machine (JVM), which helps run Java applications. A java file, on compilation, produces a ‘.class’ file instead of an executable file. This class file contains Java byte code, which the JVM interprets into machine-readable instructions. JVM is platform-independent, since it provides a machine interface that does not depend on the underlying operating system and hardware architecture.

There may be times that you may get error messages while launching JVM, in situations such as booting the computer, playing games like Minecraft, or opening certain Java-based applications. Here, we have compiled a few solutions that may help you fix Java virtual machine launcher errors on Windows XP, Windows 7, and Windows 8.

Error Message #1: Could not create the Java Virtual Machine.
This error message is commonly encountered while trying to start Java-based games, such as Minecraft.
➦Open the control panel.
➦Go to system.
➦Go to advanced systems properties.
➦Click ‘environment variables’.
➦In system variables, click ‘new’.
➦Put new variable name: _JAVA_OPTIONS
➦Put new variable value: -Xmx512M
➦Click ‘ok’.

-Xmx/s is the configuration parameter that controls the amount of memory Java uses.

Xmx is the maximum heap memory size that can be allocated.
Xms is the minimum heap memory size that can be allocated.

Error Message #2: Error opening registry key.
This error may be encountered while working with Java in command prompt.
➦Go to Windows\system32 folder.
➦Delete the Java executable files, including java.exe, javaw.exe, and javaws.exe.
➦Reinstall JRE.
Error Message #3: Java Virtual Machine Launcher could not find the main class: program will now exit
➦Click ‘start’ in the main menu.
➦In the search box that appears, type ‘mrt’ and press enter. A windows utility called ‘Microsoft malicious software removal tool’ will get launched.
➦Click ‘next’ and choose ‘full scan’.
➦Reboot your computer after you’ve finished scanning.
➦Click ‘start’ and launch the system configuration utility by typing ‘msconfig’ in the search field.
➦Click the ‘startup’ tab and remove the check mark next to ‘WJView.exe’ and ‘javaw.exe’.
➦Reboot when prompted.

Error Message #4: Unable to access jarfile.
This error may be encountered while trying to open an application.
➦Click ‘start’ and go to ‘default programs’.
➦Select ‘Associate a file type or protocol with a program’.
➦Click on the extension (.jar) to view the program that opens it by default.
➦Click ‘change program’ and select the default program ‘JAVA virtual machine launcher’.
➦Click ‘close’ and check whether the issue is resolved.
➦If not, try uninstalling and reinstalling Java.
➦If the problem still persists, check with the technical support of the application which gives you the error.
If you are still not sure about all this, it would be advisable to hire the services of a qualified computer technician to sort out the problem.

Print Screen Not Working – Troubleshooting Tips

Some functions are carried out by keyboard keys combination like ‘Ctrl + Alt + Delete’ (the most famous keyboard combination ever!), some are carried out by a devoted keyboard button like the ‘Print Screen’ key. By learning to use the key, you can easily take a screenshot of your desktop. This function is often helpful while recording errors on Windows and other operating systems. It can also be helpful when saving a webpage snapshot as a record.

I recently faced a problem with the print screen key. When I searched online, there was hardly any useful information presented, that could solve the problem. Finally, I had to gather bits and pieces from several computer forums to find an effective solution to fix the problem. I decided to share these tips on solving the screen capture problem here.

Print Screen Doesn’t Work in Windows – What Should You Do?
To get a screenshot, all you have to do is hit ‘PrtScn’ button and using ‘Ctrl + V’, you can paste that image in any image editor to save. Alternatively, if you don’t want the entire screen to be printed out, press ‘Alt+PrtScn’ key shortcut, to get the screenshot of just the active window. Often the problem in Windows Vista or Windows 7 crops up, when you want to copy the screenshots to paint or to Adobe Photoshop.
Just Restart the Computer
Sometimes, the problem is at a hardware level, where the keyboard entries are not mapping properly. Simply restarting your computer might restore the functionality of the computer.
Turn F Lock Off
Microsoft introduced the F Lock function to provide alternate application based tasks to the function keys (F1 – F12). It was later incorporated by keyboard manufacturers with a special key devoted to it. In case F lock is turned on, the print screen functionality may get disabled. Turning off the F lock key will restore functionality.
Press Fn Key
If you find a keyboard’s print screen command not working on your laptop, you may need to use the ‘Fn’ key. In some laptops, you have to press the Fn key, along with the printscreen key to get the job done. The Fn key, in case you haven’t noticed, is located between the control and Windows key at the bottom left corner of the key board. That should solve your problem.
Use Snipping Tool
If you find the print screen functionality not working in Windows 7 or Vista, there is an alternative way that you can take. Use the ‘Snipping Tool’ utility. Go to All Programs > Accessories > Snipping Tool, using this program, which is a special tool developed by Microsoft, you can take screenshots of whole or part of the desktop. It lets you crop certain parts when taking a screenshot.
Download and Install Gadwin
If you are using Windows XP, then the snipping tool won’t be available. If you are wondering how to take a screenshot in Windows XP, there is another way. Just download and install ‘Gadwin’, a freeware utility that can easily get screenshots for you. This is not really a fix of the print screen problem, but an alternative that can save time for you. Some of the other screenshot capture programs which you could use are Screenshot Captor, SnapDraw and Screen Grab Pro.
Taking a Screenshot on Mac OS X
If you are a Mac user, there are plenty of inbuilt screenshot functions that you could use. To save a snapshot of the entire desktop as a PNG file, hit the ‘Command+Shift+3’ keyboard combination. Use ‘Command+Control+Shift+3’, to copy the screenshot on the clipboard and paste it in some application. ‘Command+Shift+4’, is used to capture only a portion of the screen. Select the screen area to be saved, by resizing the dotted boundary layer. It will be saved as PNG file on your desktop.
As I have suggested before, if the incompatibility problem persists, there are plenty of software program options that can do the job of taking screenshots for you.

How to Fix the ‘Page Fault in Nonpaged Area’ Error

Did You Know?
The ‘Blue Screen of Death’, or BSoD, is a Windows error screen that appears when the OS encounters a fatal error, such as a system crash, stop error, kernel error, or bug check.
‘Page Fault in Nonpaged Area 0x50’ is a Windows system error message for the 0x50 stop error. It is known to occur when a page of memory required for the PC to continue processing isn’t available. This causes Windows to crash, displaying the BSoD, on which the following message is visible:
STOP: 0x00000050
This error is prevalent in nearly all versions of Windows, including Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, and 8.1. In the following lines, we shall learn more about this error, and the means to get rid of it, starting with a discussion on what a nonpaged area means.
What is the Nonpaged Area?
The Windows OS uses RAM to store the information that it needs to execute a current process or task. The RAM in turn uses a location on the local hard disk to store pages of the memory that are needed, but aren’t actively used. As the processing continues, pages of memory are swapped between the RAM and the page file as and when required.

However, certain data is constantly required for the working of the operating system. As such, instead of swapping this data between the RAM and the page file, it is kept constantly active by being stored in a separate section of the RAM. This section is known as the nonpage area of the RAM.
What Causes the ‘Page Fault in Nonpaged Area’ Error?
As discussed above, the nonpaged area of the RAM is reserved for the critical data needed by Windows. Though most software are designed to prevent using this area, some might store data in this area, causing this error message to show up. This is a rather rare occurrence, but it cannot be completely ruled out.

In most cases, however, the Page Fault error results due to some fault in the RAM, level 1 or level 2 cache memory, or due to the presence of corrupt sectors in the hard disk.

This error is also known to occur when one or more of the existing hardware in the computer system is upgraded or replaced without installing the respective supporting device drivers.
How to Solve this Error
When this error occurs and the system crashes, the first thing you should try to do is reboot your PC and logging in again. There are chances that your system will restart and you will be able to log in normally without the crash reoccurring. If this happens, you don’t need to take any further action, as Windows has probably already resolved this issue.

If however, the BSoD occurs again before you can log in, you will need to run the following series of checks to get rid of the problem:

Checking the Software

1) Restart the system, and in the initial stages of the booting process repeatedly press the F8 key to enter the ‘Windows Advanced Options’ menu.

2) In this menu, locate the option ‘Last Known Good Configuration (your most recent settings that worked)’ by using the up and down arrow keys, and hit ‘Enter’.

3) If this fails in letting you log back in, and the BSoD reoccurs, again restart the system, and from the ‘Windows Advanced Options’ menu, select the option ‘Safe Mode’.

4) Once the system restarts in the ‘Safe Mode’, try restoring your system settings using the System Restore utility, which can be found using the path: ‘Start –> Accessories –> System Tools’.

Checking the Hard Disk

If after performing the check detailed above, you are still unable to log in, you should try checking for bad sectors on the hard disk. Use the following procedure for this:

1) Restart the computer, and log in using the ‘Safe Mode’ as described in the previous section.

2) In the start menu, type ‘run’. In the new pop-up window, type ‘cmd’, and press the Enter key. This will open up command prompt.

3) In command prompt, type ‘chkdsk’, and hit Enter. This will tell Windows to run a check for the status of the drive, by scanning through all the sectors of the hard disk. Windows may probably restart in order to be able to scan files that are otherwise locked and in use by the OS, by running ‘chkdsk’ prior to the loading of the OS.

4) If ‘chkdsk’ finds errors, you will have to run the command once again. Only this time, you need to type ‘chkdsk /F’ in order to tell it to perform a fix on the errors that were found. Note that this process can take some time to complete.

Checking the RAM

A faulty RAM is the most probable cause of the Page Fault error. To fix it, shut off your PC, and unplug the power cord.

Open up your PC and locate the RAM chip within it. Once you find the RAM, disconnect it and reconnect it back into its socket.

Try restarting your PC. If your PC has more than one RAM chip, try removing and putting them back into their sockets individually, before trying to restart the system. This should resolve the Page Fault error.

Checking for Hardware Error

If this error message is the result of a hardware upgrade without appropriate driver installation, use the following procedure to rectify it.

1) Log in using the ‘Safe Mode’, and go to Start –> Control Panel –> Device Manager.

2) From there, locate the problematic driver (the one marked with a yellow exclamation), and uninstall it. This will signal Windows to update and reinstall it properly.
In most cases, following the checks and procedures described above will lead you to a solution, and enable you to start and use your PC normally once again. If however, you still face the ‘Page Fault in Nonpaged Area’ error, then it is indicative of a much more serious problem, which might require professional inspection.