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Looking For Trouble

Thoughts about “methods” for identifying problems with a Windows computer. This page is the start of a framework for trouble shooting.

The computer will not boot or will not present the Logon screen

This case will probably require an alternate bootable device. A thumb drive or CD that contains one of the following.

  1. Hirens, as referenced on the Websites and Tools page
  2. Linux, Many flavors of linux offer a download that can be booted from a thumb drive.
  3. Windows Installation media.

One reason for an alternate boot media is too determine if most of the hardware is functional. If the computer will boot from an alternate media then it is probable that the processor, memory, video and USB components are OK. Successful boot from Hirens will allow you to use gsmartcontrol and chkdsk.

If the computer boots and you can get past logon.

  1. Windows Task Manager. Does the system get “quiet/calm”? Is any process consuming more than 5% of CPU, Disk or Network? Use Resource Monitor to “drill down” to process level details.
  2. GsmartControl. Are all disks healthy? Does the boot disk indicate any relocation events, positioning errors, uncorrectable errors?
  3. Use SFC (System File Checker) as indicated here.
  4. Boot time. Are there unnecessary boot time activities? Use the “Startup” tab in Task Manager enable or disable boot time inititiation of programs.
  5. Windows Event Viewer. Are there “Critical” or “Error” events?
  6. Windows Scheduler. Look for “suspicious” items. Similar to boot startup cleanup, but way more complex. This step is probably not necessary unless Task Manager indicates a suspicious process and the process is not started at boot time.
  7. Malwarebytes. Run it. Disable boot time initiation.
  8. CCleaner Run it. Disable boot time initiation.
  9. Superantispyware Run it. Disable boot time initiation.


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computerclub/helpcenter/looking_for_trouble.txt · Last modified: 2019/09/22 11:31 by phillip