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Anxt

HP Pavillion dv6700 freezes at windows startup

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I have had my laptop for about 2 years now, and up until this past July it was working fine. However, I began running into the issue that the computer would not boot properly. It would load normally up until the loading bar appeared, at which point it would freeze. Very rarely, it will work at seemingly random times, but it often takes me hours or even days to get it to boot. I run Windows Vista 32 bit, and when trying to boot in safe mode, it loads normally until it reaches whatever file is after crcdisk.sys. That is the last file I see it load before it stops working. The LED indicating that the hard drive is working stops flashing and stays off.

I have tried everything I can think of, all of the options in the F8 menu, I have tried using a recovery disk, but it seems I cannot boot from my CD/DVD Drive. Any thoughts on why that might be? I feel like if I could just boot from the recovery disk I could repair the OS and be done with this nonsense.

Thanks in advance.

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Let's take the easy part first.

Not booting from the CD/DVD drive is usually because the computer BIOS is not set to try the CD/DVD drive before it tries the hard disk.

Access to the BIOS is gained at switch-on for a few seconds only, before Windows starts up by pressing the correct key on the keyboard. On an hp, you usually need to hit the F10 key at start up. (Others use the ESC, the DEL or the F2 keys depending on the make of computer and/or motherboard and/or BIOS).

If the BIOS is already set to boot from the CD/DVD drive first, then the problem may be anything from a dirty drive lens, or a bad (or scratched) CD, to a failing drive.

.

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I have enabled booting from the CD/DVD drive, and the CD was freshly burned just before I tried it. I have also tried booting from a USB flash drive, which results in the same thing as the CD. I.e., it doesn't seem to notice it's there. I have tried it in all of the USB ports on the computer, with no success. Could it be an issue with the motherboard or the BIOS itself?

Edit: I meant to include that when attempting to boot from the CD/DVD drive and the USB drive, I set each to the top of the list when I was trying it.

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Seems there's more than one thing can cause this. I found this long thread on the MS Technet Forums - a lot of Vista users have had these symptoms, with various causes and solutions. Good chance one of the fixes discussed there will work for you.

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Yea, I looked through that thread before, and the only solution there that I have not tried is the one where apparently people are booting through another computer to repair the damage on the notebook HDD. I'm no expert, and I have no idea how exactly to go about doing that, or what kind of cables I would need, etc. I'll do some checking up on it and if I can give it a shot then I'll report the success/failure back here.

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So you tried a Linux live CD? Would it boot?

The adapter they're talking about allows connecting a HDD to another computer's USB port. If you google "hdd to usb adapter", you can find lots of them, plus video tutorials and whatnot (I just tried it, you can get a decent one for around $25.00). That would let you recover your files and reformat, at least, or possibly fix the current OS install - and it's a handy thing to have around.

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Well, a strange thing actually happened last night. I figured I would just try booting it for laughs, and well...it worked. My computer is actually on for the first time in about a week. So I have no idea what happened, but now that it's on, what can I do to make sure I don't have any future booting issues?

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So I have no idea what happened, but now that it's on, what can I do to make sure I don't have any future booting issues?

Chances are high the problem will return - you need to identify the problem (hardware, software, drivers, running processes, etc) and fix it.

Have you tried using a boot log file to compare a successful boot to a failed boot? Have you been looking at event viewer (in XP, not sure if the name is the same in Vista) to see if there are any importanat errors or warnings listed? Have you checked device manager to see if there have been any changes to your hardware? Maybe try disabling unneeded devices (a bare minimum system) to see if this helps, add one device back at a time to see if the re-enabled device creates problems once again.

This is a tedious process and time consuming but you need to go over your system (all areas - see above) with a fine-toothed comb, keep records of what you've investigated and your findings (errors, warnings), use the tools at your disposal or, take the thing to someone who knows and can do it for you.

The rule of thumb is to check the most obvious and simple things first and progressively get more complicated - power (battery), cables (loose), screws (loose), etc. I know some of this may be too much for you seeing it is a laptop but you would normally check to make sure the hardware is still properly attached and hasn't come loose over time - a visual inspection, them move to the less obvious stuff listed above.

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