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Old 11-02-2010, 06:21 AM
 
Location: Amelia View
4,243 posts, read 12,761,410 times
Reputation: 3790

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Perhaps I'm having a duh moment, but is it possible to watch as each line of code is executed in a bootup routine? In the old days of DOS commands and GWBasic programming, I could watch and see the computer doing its thing as it started up - if there was a crash the reason was completely obvious.

With my XP machine, all I see is the Windows logo screen with the little blue bar under it running from left to right as the computer boots up. I haven't a clue what the little blue bar is actually 'measuring' at any given moment unless the line of invisible code is asking "where's the mouse; ok, there it is" (because the mouse lights up), or "where's the scanner; there it is" (because the scanner makes a noise), etc.

I'm asking because lately I'm having frequent problems when booting. Either the little blue bar gets stuck and bootup stops completely with no messages or I get the blue Check Disk screen and have to run through that whole thing.

It's either a dying hard drive or something is amiss with a device or driver. Rather than start disconnecting devices one by one to see if it's one of those, or taking guesses and updating drivers one by one, I'd like to be able to watch the lines of code, rather than the useless little blue bar, as the computer runs through each to see where the problem lies.

Can I do this, and if so, how?
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Old 11-02-2010, 08:07 AM
 
102 posts, read 150,746 times
Reputation: 39
I think what you are wanting is a verbose startup. This article should help you:

Have A Verbose Startup For XP For Identifying Startup Problems | TECH YARD

A chkdsk error can be mild or wild, depending. Have you done a full chkdsk? http://support.microsoft.com/kb/315265

Once you perform a chkdsk, perhaps running defrag would help. After a time, the files on your HDD are no longer contiguous and you start to experience disk thrashing. This is not good for your disk. You would notice it as your computer being slower to respond among other indicators. Download and run a tool like CCleaner as well to clean up your system.

Depending on the age of your computer, or even taking into account mean time between failure rate, your HDD could be on the way out. If you have not backed up your data, I would do so now so you don't potentially lose it should your HDD fail. And they do fail.

You can read all about the boot process in this Wikipedia article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Booting

Last edited by scifiwestern; 11-02-2010 at 08:18 AM..
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Old 11-02-2010, 08:13 AM
 
Location: Amelia View
4,243 posts, read 12,761,410 times
Reputation: 3790
Quote:
Originally Posted by scifiwestern View Post
I think what you are wanting is a verbose startup. This article should help you.

Have A Verbose Startup For XP For Identifying Startup Problems | TECH YARD
Yes, I think this is EXACTLY what I'm looking for ... thank you!
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Old 11-02-2010, 08:20 AM
 
102 posts, read 150,746 times
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mawipafl,

You are quite welcome. Glad I could help you.
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Old 11-02-2010, 09:48 AM
 
28,607 posts, read 40,583,741 times
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Keep in mind that if the PC is locking up it is likely that the problem file isn't the last one you see on the screen, it's the next one. Since it isn't loading/running it probably won't show up.

There was a site I found once that listed the programs in the order they loaded so you could see what the next one was. I've lost the link (or it's dead) and haven't found a replacement.
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Old 11-02-2010, 11:53 PM
 
15,924 posts, read 17,645,472 times
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If it works sometimes and not others that would rule out a driver issue.

Methinks the blue bar is to keep your eyes occupied.

A dumb question, when was the last time you cleaned your system (fans, boards etc)???? A quick & easy, do a clean up on the system and reseat all the PCB's.
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Old 11-03-2010, 11:54 AM
 
28,607 posts, read 40,583,741 times
Reputation: 37262
If you have the Windows CD you could run the Recovery Console from it and let it repair any system file errors it finds.
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