Laptop will only run in safe mode

  Diemmess 09:48 AM 16 Feb 12
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Answered

G'son's Inspiron (Vista home premium) is now so cluttered with extras he has piled on it it will only run in safe mode. (Well that's my guess) Have run full scans with Malwarebytes and Spybot.

Not known when it finally went critical. but can boot normally and then very soon freezes. Probably needs a fresh installation with all that involves. Tried System Restore with no improvement.

There is a huge list at Startup and I wonder how many of the file boxes I can clear without making it unable to load at switch on? Blackberry and some weird sdi10 both pop up during Normal booting.

He was using AVG which may be a culprit, but I am working in my own house and don't wish to alter his settings for Internet connection

The Start button is incomplete on "Normal" run and rebooting means turning off the power once seized. OK in Safe mode. Any point in running scandisk? Was probably run behind the scenes when recovering from one of its sulks.

I can rescue most of his data files and that's my current task, just hoping someone has a magic bullet?

  birdface 09:58 AM 16 Feb 12

All I have on start up is my security programs .being a laptop you may need to keep a few others as well.

Go into clean up and run that and it will also show you how much disk space he has left.

Make sure his Security programs are not running scans at start up.Time them to run at different times.

Looks like running c Cleaner might help as well.

Check in device manager to see if any yellow exclamation marks beside any of the drivers.

Maybe help others if you let us know what operating system he is using.

  birdface 09:59 AM 16 Feb 12

Oops ignore last just noticed.Vista sorry.

  rdave13 10:23 AM 16 Feb 12

If it's running OK in safe mode try troubleshooting using the clean boot method, http://support.microsoft.com/kb/929135 , to find out which program/s are causing the problem.

  rdave13 10:32 AM 16 Feb 12

Should have added that if it boots up ok in the clean boot option then have a look at the various programs installed, check their options, and if there is a box for 'start with windows' in any of them then untick.

  Diemmess 12:11 PM 16 Feb 12

rdave13 : I think you are there with that link, thanks for your suggestion.

Tried the first two auto reboots ... then it wouldn't reboot and I had to push the big switch.

I have to do a crash course in Vista as I go along, XP is the top limit of my experience and the time it takes to find how to do the same thing in Vista is not encouraging!

I'm also doing what I promised to do, in making copies of everything I can find on a spare external drive, currently just over an hour to go for one of his largest folders. It has to be this way in case I suddenly find I've screwed the whole thing. He does have disks for everything in that Dell package.

Will post an update when more effort has been spent. Bad news, Just checked and the file copying has stalled. Rebooting in safe mode .... must rescue the data first with this one.

  Diemmess 17:00 PM 17 Feb 12
Answer

By 24rs ago I had enough. It was reminiscent of bad old days. Possibly an overload of inherently mild enough malware, which by the time I saw it, had something so corrupt or threadbare from every sort of cleaning device we were down to the boards.

I did collect all his old data in various formats some of which he will copy back as he wants.

On booting, Safe mode was fine throughout, but Normal persisted in starting, and then more by time than activity, dragging until it froze and had to be switched off. The cursor moved, would show the tiny circle but nothing else happened.

I had cleared 1 Trojan dropper (Malwarebytes) and 58 bits of trackers in Spybot. Had tried system restore, various repairs and so on.

Was able to run chkdisk with absolutely no fuss from the program, so able to reassure him that his HD was OK, but the numbers of boots, and reboots all with the password needed at every opportunity, time wasted if I expected a procedure to complete while I was away.

A pleasure when we agreed to use the ultimate Restore-to-factory-condition. It was silky smooth, and my grandson was quite happy to take it home to load the various programs and configurations he wants.

Perhaps the method offered by rdave13 would have worked given time, but this laptop was being revived 4 miles from home and I didn't want to meddle with his Net-related settings, which could have been at the core of his trouble.

  matt2000 09:27 AM 18 Feb 12

he just slowed it down, i had this problem. click here for help

  onthelimit1 09:38 AM 18 Feb 12

I've found AVG9 to be a shocker on low RAM laptops. The later ones seem better, though.

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