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My love/hate relationship with my pc may be over (Fatal Crash?)

Posted: Thu Apr 29, 2021 9:18 pm
by Grifman
Ok, for the last 1 1/2 years my pc has had its ups and downs. It started with random crashes where the mouse would just freeze the entire pc, as I was unable to alt tab into task manager. This oddly enough only happened while using a browser - it never happened while playing a game. Usually I’d get a blue screen with some worthless error message that research told me could be one of a dozen thing of varying complexity. What was strange about this is that sometimes it would happen one to four times per day for several days, and then it would just stop, and then it might go 2 to 3 weeks without a mouse freeze. When it was bad I’d think it was time for a new pc, and then it would start behaving itself and I’d drop the idea.

Then sometimes, I’d get in an endless boot cycle. The machine would boot up, never get into Windows, power down, then start back up again and go through the whole cycle again and again, till I powered the machine down. Strangely, I could just not turn on the pc for a couple of days and then when I’d finally power it up, it would start right off as if nothing happened. Note, this only happened two or three times in total during that period.

A month ago I tried a number of different tweaks from some things I had read online. Things seemed pretty stable with no crashes for month. Then it started again a couple of days ago, but not while just browsing, but now it was happening in games - and much more often, every 15 minutes or so. And the last crash may be the final one. After the last crash an hour ago, the pc will boot up, ( I can get into the bios if I want), upon booting up, I get the Windows symbol, with the little spinning image under that, but after a few seconds of that, the screen goes black, and it never opens to my desktop. The machine is running but nothing happens. I tried 3 times and I did get a message once asking me if I wanted to reinstall Windows - and I said no, continue, and Windows started but same thing happened, no desktop. I only got that message once, have not gotten it on subsequent tries.

So my question is this - can this machine be saved? Or is it time to use my stimulus check. All advice welcome.

Re: My love/hate relationship with my pc may be over (Fatal Crash?)

Posted: Thu Apr 29, 2021 9:46 pm
by TheMix
Out of curiosity, what tweaks did you try?

I ask because I tried the clean install of video drivers that AB posted a while ago. Except I forgot the crucial requirement to run the software as admin. I ended up hosing my video drivers. I couldn't even get to the bios or windows screen. But... while I was trying to figure out my issue, I did find a number of threads talking about getting a "black screen on windows start". So there may be some options for you.

That said, it really sounds like something is seriously wrong with your computer.

Re: My love/hate relationship with my pc may be over (Fatal Crash?)

Posted: Thu Apr 29, 2021 9:49 pm
by TheMix
This link has some keyboard shortcuts to try. I assume that's because you can't actually see anything. :)

Re: My love/hate relationship with my pc may be over (Fatal Crash?)

Posted: Thu Apr 29, 2021 9:58 pm
by Grifman
TheMix wrote: Thu Apr 29, 2021 9:46 pm Out of curiosity, what tweaks did you try?

I ask because I tried the clean install of video drivers that AB posted a while ago. Except I forgot the crucial requirement to run the software as admin. I ended up hosing my video drivers. I couldn't even get to the bios or windows screen. But... while I was trying to figure out my issue, I did find a number of threads talking about getting a "black screen on windows start". So there may be some options for you.

That said, it really sounds like something is seriously wrong with your computer.
1). I read about some mouse freezes due to certain Firefox configurations and changed that
2). Updated to specific drivers for my mouse rather than some generic ones installed by Windows
3). Updated my video drivers
4). Used a program to identify and update all pc drivers
5). Used a system cleaning program to clean a bunch of junk files and bad registry entries

Re: My love/hate relationship with my pc may be over (Fatal Crash?)

Posted: Thu Apr 29, 2021 10:09 pm
by gilraen
Is your Windows installed on an SSD or a platter drive?

Re: My love/hate relationship with my pc may be over (Fatal Crash?)

Posted: Thu Apr 29, 2021 10:14 pm
by hitbyambulance
Grifman wrote: Thu Apr 29, 2021 9:18 pm So my question is this - can this machine be saved? Or is it time to use my stimulus check. All advice welcome.
sounds more like impending/current hardware failure, but it would hopefully be contained to one module. likely to go either one of two ways...

1) PSU issue - maybe replace that and the problems disappear. or maybe one of the hard crashes corrupted the HDD/SSD. which leads to
2) HDD/SSD failure - if this is the case, can try to use Windows Repair, but don't hope for too much

if it's either of these, then replacing the part will fix it.

also check the motherboard for swollen or leaky capacitors.

Re: My love/hate relationship with my pc may be over (Fatal Crash?)

Posted: Thu Apr 29, 2021 10:15 pm
by Anonymous Bosch
Try following the steps provided in the video below, which should help you to correctly boot back into Windows 10 again (assuming you're not dealing with a hardware failure):


Re: My love/hate relationship with my pc may be over (Fatal Crash?)

Posted: Thu Apr 29, 2021 10:25 pm
by Daehawk
Id fdisk and reinstall. And check fans and connections.

Re: My love/hate relationship with my pc may be over (Fatal Crash?)

Posted: Thu Apr 29, 2021 10:28 pm
by Grifman
I can get to a screen that gives me options of repairing my startup, using system restore, using the command prompt (as in the video), etc. The problem is that if I choose any of those it then wants a password. I’ve typed in my MS password but it says it is not valid so I have no idea what password it wants. I’m stuck.

Re: My love/hate relationship with my pc may be over (Fatal Crash?)

Posted: Thu Apr 29, 2021 10:29 pm
by Grifman
gilraen wrote: Thu Apr 29, 2021 10:09 pm Is your Windows installed on an SSD or a platter drive?
SSD.

Re: My love/hate relationship with my pc may be over (Fatal Crash?)

Posted: Thu Apr 29, 2021 10:57 pm
by Grifman
Ok, was able to use my windows installation disk to boot up into some options. Tried using a system restore but that failed. Then tried startup repair but that failed. Going to try one more thing, then may just reinstall windows - I just hate that though mainly because I have some heavily modded Fallout 4 and Fallout NV installs that I will lose. But that may be the only solution if there is not a hardware failure.

Re: My love/hate relationship with my pc may be over (Fatal Crash?)

Posted: Fri Apr 30, 2021 1:27 am
by Grifman
I’m pretty sure this is not a hardware problem but instead is a Master Boot problem as described in the video. I’ve gotten to a C:/ prompt and scanned my hard drive and find nothing wrong. However, there are some differences between how his example PC looks vs mine when I try to start his process. However, my PC does come with lifetime technical support so I am going to try that tomorrow before reinstalling windows.

Re: My love/hate relationship with my pc may be over (Fatal Crash?)

Posted: Fri Apr 30, 2021 9:20 am
by Blackhawk
Grifman wrote: Thu Apr 29, 2021 10:28 pm I can get to a screen that gives me options of repairing my startup, using system restore, using the command prompt (as in the video), etc. The problem is that if I choose any of those it then wants a password. I’ve typed in my MS password but it says it is not valid so I have no idea what password it wants. I’m stuck.
It should be a local user account with admin rights/admin account. I don't link my accounts through Microsoft (as hard as they push me to do so), so I'm not sure how that works if you have linked them.

Did you try just leaving the password field blank and hitting enter? If it's designed to prompt for a password and you never set one, the the password is nothing.

Re: My love/hate relationship with my pc may be over (Fatal Crash?)

Posted: Fri Apr 30, 2021 10:45 am
by TheMix
Grifman wrote: Thu Apr 29, 2021 10:57 pm Ok, was able to use my windows installation disk to boot up into some options. Tried using a system restore but that failed. Then tried startup repair but that failed. Going to try one more thing, then may just reinstall windows - I just hate that though mainly because I have some heavily modded Fallout 4 and Fallout NV installs that I will lose. But that may be the only solution if there is not a hardware failure.
Assuming these are through Steam, do you have a second drive? If so, then you should be able to move the installation directories via Steam. You may then have to have Steam re-validate them once you re-install, but you should lose them.

Re: My love/hate relationship with my pc may be over (Fatal Crash?)

Posted: Fri Apr 30, 2021 10:58 am
by Anonymous Bosch
Blackhawk wrote: Fri Apr 30, 2021 9:20 am
Grifman wrote: Thu Apr 29, 2021 10:28 pm I can get to a screen that gives me options of repairing my startup, using system restore, using the command prompt (as in the video), etc. The problem is that if I choose any of those it then wants a password. I’ve typed in my MS password but it says it is not valid so I have no idea what password it wants. I’m stuck.
It should be a local user account with admin rights/admin account. I don't link my accounts through Microsoft (as hard as they push me to do so), so I'm not sure how that works if you have linked them.

Did you try just leaving the password field blank and hitting enter? If it's designed to prompt for a password and you never set one, the the password is nothing.
Also, if using a blank password does not work, the following procedure outlined by Professor Robert McMillen easily enables resetting the password:


Re: My love/hate relationship with my pc may be over (Fatal Crash?)

Posted: Fri Apr 30, 2021 12:12 pm
by Z-Corn
I agree with HBA, sounds like hardware failing and I would try swapping in a new power supply.

I've seen dirty power do all kinds of weird things to a PC.

Re: My love/hate relationship with my pc may be over (Fatal Crash?)

Posted: Sun May 02, 2021 1:13 am
by Grifman
TheMix wrote: Fri Apr 30, 2021 10:45 am
Grifman wrote: Thu Apr 29, 2021 10:57 pm Ok, was able to use my windows installation disk to boot up into some options. Tried using a system restore but that failed. Then tried startup repair but that failed. Going to try one more thing, then may just reinstall windows - I just hate that though mainly because I have some heavily modded Fallout 4 and Fallout NV installs that I will lose. But that may be the only solution if there is not a hardware failure.
Assuming these are through Steam, do you have a second drive? If so, then you should be able to move the installation directories via Steam. You may then have to have Steam re-validate them once you re-install, but you should lose them.
No my mods are Nexus mods using Mod Manager 2.

Re: My love/hate relationship with my pc may be over (Fatal Crash?)

Posted: Sun May 02, 2021 3:22 am
by TheMix
Grifman wrote: Sun May 02, 2021 1:13 am
TheMix wrote: Fri Apr 30, 2021 10:45 am
Grifman wrote: Thu Apr 29, 2021 10:57 pm Ok, was able to use my windows installation disk to boot up into some options. Tried using a system restore but that failed. Then tried startup repair but that failed. Going to try one more thing, then may just reinstall windows - I just hate that though mainly because I have some heavily modded Fallout 4 and Fallout NV installs that I will lose. But that may be the only solution if there is not a hardware failure.
Assuming these are through Steam, do you have a second drive? If so, then you should be able to move the installation directories via Steam. You may then have to have Steam re-validate them once you re-install, but you should lose them.
No my mods are Nexus mods using Mod Manager 2.
That's just where you downloaded them from. But they get unpacked and installed in the Steam game directory. Though I'd certainly recommend also saving the mod directory.

Re: My love/hate relationship with my pc may be over (Fatal Crash?)

Posted: Sun May 02, 2021 5:12 pm
by Grifman
Blackhawk wrote: Fri Apr 30, 2021 9:20 am
Grifman wrote: Thu Apr 29, 2021 10:28 pm I can get to a screen that gives me options of repairing my startup, using system restore, using the command prompt (as in the video), etc. The problem is that if I choose any of those it then wants a password. I’ve typed in my MS password but it says it is not valid so I have no idea what password it wants. I’m stuck.
It should be a local user account with admin rights/admin account. I don't link my accounts through Microsoft (as hard as they push me to do so), so I'm not sure how that works if you have linked them.

Did you try just leaving the password field blank and hitting enter? If it's designed to prompt for a password and you never set one, the the password is nothing.
I got the past this by by using my windows installation disk. But none of the various repair options worked.

Re: My love/hate relationship with my pc may be over (Fatal Crash?)

Posted: Sun May 02, 2021 5:21 pm
by Grifman
TheMix wrote: Sun May 02, 2021 3:22 am
Grifman wrote: Sun May 02, 2021 1:13 am
TheMix wrote: Fri Apr 30, 2021 10:45 am
Grifman wrote: Thu Apr 29, 2021 10:57 pm Ok, was able to use my windows installation disk to boot up into some options. Tried using a system restore but that failed. Then tried startup repair but that failed. Going to try one more thing, then may just reinstall windows - I just hate that though mainly because I have some heavily modded Fallout 4 and Fallout NV installs that I will lose. But that may be the only solution if there is not a hardware failure.
Assuming these are through Steam, do you have a second drive? If so, then you should be able to move the installation directories via Steam. You may then have to have Steam re-validate them once you re-install, but you should lose them.
No my mods are Nexus mods using Mod Manager 2.
That's just where you downloaded them from. But they get unpacked and installed in the Steam game directory. Though I'd certainly recommend also saving the mod directory.
No, that’s not how Mod Manager 2 works. It install the mods in their own directory outside of the game folder and loads them when you start the game.

https://levelskip.com/how-to/Mod-Organi ... -your-mods
Mods are kept isolated. Rather than being installed all together in the game folder, instead they are installed in their own folders to allow mods to be un-installed quickly and cleanly.

Re: My love/hate relationship with my pc may be over (Fatal Crash?)

Posted: Wed May 05, 2021 4:04 pm
by Grifman
Well, it's not a hardware issue as the hard drive is working but I had to totally reinstall Windows with all the associated negatives. I seriously thought about buying a new PC with my stimulus money and some covid related savings but in the end I decided that since my PC can pretty easily handle 9%% of the games that I have, I'd be better off sticking with this for the next year, then getting a new one, especially since GPU prices/availability is pretty insane right now. So I'm back but I have a lot of work to do via Steam, book marks, driver, etc. But I am back - it's very hard to live without my pc for very long.

Re: My love/hate relationship with my pc may be over (Fatal Crash?)

Posted: Wed May 05, 2021 6:08 pm
by hitbyambulance
for sure run scandisk on that hard drive

Re: My love/hate relationship with my pc may be over (Fatal Crash?)

Posted: Wed May 05, 2021 6:50 pm
by Grifman
hitbyambulance wrote: Wed May 05, 2021 6:08 pm for sure run scandisk on that hard drive
Done and no errors noted.

Re: My love/hate relationship with my pc may be over (Fatal Crash?)

Posted: Wed May 05, 2021 6:54 pm
by Grifman
Luckily I had all my Steam games except for Fallout 4, FNV and Skyrim on my non-Windows drive so those are still are there. Unfortunately, I lost those games all of their mods which I had spent hours downloading and installing :( I plan to get another PC in a year (this one will be 6 years old then) and will wait until then to even think about going through all that again.