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Judy G. Russell
October 15th, 2006, 11:07 AM
Help!

My desktop system decided last night to stop working on reboot. (I had to restart after removing a program - a trial version of Adobe Acrobat 7.)

The operating system (W2K, SP4) appears to load fine, and the mouse cursor rolls around the screen, but there is no response to mouse clicks and no response to the keyboard. It will boot into Safe Mode and both keyboard and mouse work there. Sometimes if I try booting again, it will respond to the keyboard briefly but then stop.

Outside of taking it back to the place which built it for me and saying "FIX IT!!!", anybody have any ideas?

Gary Maltzen
October 15th, 2006, 12:41 PM
Use the F8 key and select "Boot Logging"; then when it locks up reboot and select "Safe Mode" and look for C:\WINDOWS\ntbtlog.txt to see which module was loaded last.

Another possibility - use the Win2KSP4 install CD to perform an "upgrade" install; this should correct most configuration and mismatch problems. (I don't know if an upgrade-install of an earlier SP will work correctly - sort of depends on drivers.)

Judy G. Russell
October 15th, 2006, 02:22 PM
Use the F8 key and select "Boot Logging"; then when it locks up reboot and select "Safe Mode" and look for C:\WINDOWS\ntbtlog.txt to see which module was loaded last. Another possibility - use the Win2KSP4 install CD to perform an "upgrade" install; this should correct most configuration and mismatch problems. (I don't know if an upgrade-install of an earlier SP will work correctly - sort of depends on drivers.)Stupid here... I don't have an install CD with SP4. But I was able to get the log file. What I'm not sure is what I should be looking for. I'm attaching the file with just these last two boots (the first failed one and then the safe mode boot) and perhaps you can take a look. Thanks.

Mike Landi
October 15th, 2006, 09:23 PM
Stupid here... I don't have an install CD with SP4. But I was able to get the log file. What I'm not sure is what I should be looking for. I'm attaching the file with just these last two boots (the first failed one and then the safe mode boot) and perhaps you can take a look. Thanks.

I'll defer to Gary here, who is way above my league, but it looks to me like you have a hardware problem of some kind. Other than re-installing SP4, I'd suggest booting into safe mode and then opening device manager. Check each entry for "doubles" (two keyboards, two drive A's, etc.).... EXCEPT FOR ENTRIES UNDER "System Devices". Leave those alone. Delete any and all items that are duplicated.

Reboot. Let Windows install what it wants to. Reboot again.

I think that will help.

Judy G. Russell
October 15th, 2006, 09:47 PM
I'd suggest booting into safe mode and then opening device manager. Check each entry for "doubles" (two keyboards, two drive A's, etc.).... EXCEPT FOR ENTRIES UNDER "System Devices". Leave those alone. Delete any and all items that are duplicated. Reboot. Let Windows install what it wants to. Reboot again. I think that will help.Will do, and thanks!

Judy G. Russell
October 15th, 2006, 10:12 PM
I think that will help.YOU'RE A GENIUS.

There were about four or five USB Root Hub listings (in addition to the specific ones I expected). I deleted them all, rebooted and voila! Here I am, back with the desktop running just fine.

THANKS!!!

Mike Landi
October 16th, 2006, 08:29 AM
YOU'RE A GENIUS.

There were about four or five USB Root Hub listings (in addition to the specific ones I expected). I deleted them all, rebooted and voila! Here I am, back with the desktop running just fine.

THANKS!!!

<blush>

I'm glad it was simple. I've fought many, many Microsoft battles and that has happened to me before.

The bad one is when it won't boot into Safe Mode. That is "not a good thing". <g>

Judy G. Russell
October 16th, 2006, 09:48 AM
<blush>I'm glad it was simple. I've fought many, many Microsoft battles and that has happened to me before.I've been really spoiled by this W2K system -- this is the first spot of trouble I've ever had. (I keep it really clean.) So now at least I know what the symptoms are and where to look first for a fix.

The bad one is when it won't boot into Safe Mode. That is "not a good thing". <g>If that had happened, I'd have been at the shop with the box this morning! Instead, I'm just sitting here smiling and typing. Thanks!

fhaber
October 16th, 2006, 10:52 AM
I'm too late to help with this, but I find 60% of hard hangs at boot are caused by nameless|worthless|too_many|who_knows USB devices connected. The boot enumeration is just tetchy, and only slightly better under XP. Newer motherboards are a bit better at this.

Yours is only the third instance of registry/enumeration corruption pointing Windows at a fugitive USB device. The root hub(s) are kinda critical these days, as PS/2, serial, parallel, SCSI and firewire ports go the way of all flesh. Thanks (?gee-thanks) for the data point. Do you turn your machine off with the power strip? If so, it might be time to change your CMOS coin cell.

For reference (OK, just for me), what's the motherboard in your box? You might ask your vendor whether they think a BIOS upgrade (flash) might help, or a newer "motherboard manufacturer's component suite." Intel, Asus, etc. sometimes update these.

And don't leave too many disconnected USB cables hanging off the machine. Inconvenient, I know, but it seems to help.

Judy G. Russell
October 16th, 2006, 02:58 PM
I'm too late to help with this, but I find 60% of hard hangs at boot are caused by nameless|worthless|too_many|who_knows USB devices connected. The boot enumeration is just tetchy, and only slightly better under XP. Newer motherboards are a bit better at this.I suspect this was operator error from yanking a USB device out when the OS wouldn't let me stop it and I couldn't figure out why.

Do you turn your machine off with the power strip? If so, it might be time to change your CMOS coin cell.Nope. On the very rare occasions when I turn it off at all, I shut it down first and then turn the power off.

For reference (OK, just for me), what's the motherboard in your box? You might ask your vendor whether they think a BIOS upgrade (flash) might help, or a newer "motherboard manufacturer's component suite." Intel, Asus, etc. sometimes update these.It's Intel, but the specs are at home (assuming I can even find them). I bought the box probably three, maybe even four years ago. I remember insisting on the top of the line Intel MB, but don't remember now what that was.

And don't leave too many disconnected USB cables hanging off the machine. Inconvenient, I know, but it seems to help.I should have known something was about to go kabloooey when PowerDesk kept seeing new USB devices as drives with higher letters than they should have been considering what was actually connected. All I have routinely is Drives C, D, E and F and all of a sudden I was seeing H, I, J and K, with H-J not being active at all. I'll do better in the future, I promise!

Gary Maltzen
October 16th, 2006, 05:00 PM
There were about four or five USB Root Hub listings (in addition to the specific ones I expected). I deleted them all, rebooted and voila! Here I am, back with the desktop running just fine.I was noticing all the "driver not loaded" entries in the boot log (many are typical); glad to see Mike already found you a solution.

To make an SP4 install CD from your pre-SP4 install CD, google "slipstream cd".

Judy G. Russell
October 16th, 2006, 05:26 PM
To make an SP4 install CD from your pre-SP4 install CD, google "slipstream cd".Thanks, Gary! I'll get to that! (Last night, I was busy making a full system backup just in case the drive was getting ready to die for some reason.)

Mike Landi
October 16th, 2006, 07:16 PM
I should have known something was about to go kabloooey when PowerDesk kept seeing new USB devices as drives with higher letters than they should have been considering what was actually connected.

That would have been a big red flag to me if you had mentioned it. USB can get goofy sometimes, but it is usually well behaved.

To be fair, I poke around in Device Manager often, looking for problems. I also look through the Event Manager for signs of trouble. I probably head off problems by noticing oddities.

The last one was a hung virus update agent. No error, no warning, but a week had gone by since the last successful check. <gulp>

Mike Landi
October 16th, 2006, 07:17 PM
I saw the "drive not loaded" entries and jumped to hardware problems. I was expecting that since a hang on Windows startup, without a message, usually is a driver/hardware fault.

I'm glad it was an easy fix.

Mike Landi
October 16th, 2006, 07:18 PM
I was busy making a full system backup

NEVER a bad idea. <g>

Gary Maltzen
October 16th, 2006, 09:24 PM
... full system backup...Maxtor and Retrospect to the rescue, I suspect. Did you also create the Retrospect recovery CD?

The other handy thing I've found handy is a BartPE (http://www.nu2.nu/pebuilder/) (PE = Preboot Environment)

I also bought a copy of GetBackNTFS when my son lost access to his system; recovered almost all the files on his (250G) drive. Some app had trashed the first few sectors of the drive.

Judy G. Russell
October 16th, 2006, 10:43 PM
Maxtor and Retrospect to the rescue, I suspect. Did you also create the Retrospect recovery CD?Yep, and yep. And thanks for those other resources. They look very handy!

Judy G. Russell
October 16th, 2006, 10:45 PM
The last one was a hung virus update agent. No error, no warning, but a week had gone by since the last successful check. <gulp><gulp> indeed. I have never had a virus problem and still update the definitions daily and do a full system scan routinely. I just know that the day I don't...

Judy G. Russell
October 16th, 2006, 10:45 PM
I'm glad it was an easy fix.You and me both!

Lindsey
October 16th, 2006, 11:08 PM
I find 60% of hard hangs at boot are caused by nameless|worthless|too_many|who_knows USB devices connected.
OK, question for you -- this is something I have had in the back of my mind as a concern for some months now.

When we deployed thermal receipt printers at our teller stations to replace the impact printers that were currently installed there, I used a software tool I downloaded from the Epson Expert site to flash each printer with the company logo from my desktop (which runs Windows 2000). Each printer that I connected grabbed a different USB device number, with the result that my desktop at work, which has only two USB devices permanently connected (the mouse and a test receipt printer) and one occasional one (one of those memory sticks), has an official USB device count, which I assume is in the Windows registry, of about 40. Is this a potential problem, and if so, is there some sort of utility that will clean that junk out of the registry?

--Lindsey

Gary Maltzen
October 17th, 2006, 11:36 AM
The excess baggage shouldn't generally be a problem.is there some sort of utility that will clean that junk out of the registry?
Start->Settings->Control Panel
Add/Remove Hardware->Uninstall/Unplug a Device->Uninstall a device->Show hidden devices

I, for example, have five items related to a WD 250G external USB drive - no doubt because I reformatted it several times thus giving it a new ID each time.

Hmm, I also have 43 "Generic volume" items.

fhaber
October 17th, 2006, 12:11 PM
I've never seen a problem from a registry full of "I enumerated these once" USB entries. In fact, I regularly see roadwarrior laptops that have 40 *printer* entries, USB, parallel, and corp-networked.

I don't know of any cleaner for these, and I wouldn't bother.

The "shotgun" registry cleaners (Ccleaner is one of the more popular and more benign ones) generally concentrate on uprooted CLSID entries, leavings from uninstalls/updates, and such-like software things.

Lindsey
October 17th, 2006, 09:52 PM
The excess baggage shouldn't generally be a problem.
Oh, good -- that's a relief!

Start->Settings->Control Panel
Add/Remove Hardware->Uninstall/Unplug a Device->Uninstall a device->Show hidden devices
Thanks -- I'll take a look at that.

Hmm, I also have 43 "Generic volume" items.
Hmm indeed! :(

--Lindsey

Lindsey
October 17th, 2006, 09:54 PM
I've never seen a problem from a registry full of "I enumerated these once" USB entries. In fact, I regularly see roadwarrior laptops that have 40 *printer* entries, USB, parallel, and corp-networked.
OK; I won't obsess about it, then. Thanks!

--Lindsey

fhaber
October 17th, 2006, 10:54 PM
>OK; I won't obsess about it, then. Thanks!

You want something to obsess about? How about multiple versions of $%^ HP consumer inkjet monitoring|update|inklevel|send_pix_to_Aunt_Hattie tray software. You sometimes can find removers on the HP site. I've had to restore or reformat a couple of times.

Then there's chronic slowness at boot for computers that have had multiple removables attached. It's worse on peer networks with shares defined, and worse if those devices have included Firewire ones.

That enough to keep you busy?

-Frank, deprived with only 8 generic volumes, even though I bet there've been fifty USB/FW HDs attached at one time or another.

Lindsey
October 18th, 2006, 10:11 PM
You want something to obsess about? How about multiple versions of $%^ HP consumer inkjet monitoring|update|inklevel|send_pix_to_Aunt_Hattie tray software.
LOL!! I think I'm glad I don't have an inkjet!

Then there's chronic slowness at boot for computers that have had multiple removables attached.
Yeahwell -- I wouldn't notice that at the office. The reboot time on my PC is already slowed to a crawl by the %@!$! ScriptLogic task that has to install an update to the anti-spyware mess (one of our network people is obsessed with spyware) at each reboot. (One reason I hold off rebooting until the computer starts behaving strangely.)

--Lindsey