How to troubleshoot start up problems


My computer just cuts of power and improperly shuts down without any warning everytime windows finishes starting up. What could cause this? While I recovered the computer (with a recovery cd that came with the pc) to factory settings, it did not loose power and suddenly shutdown; it ran smoothly untill everything was loaded and installed. Everytime I try to go into safe mode it would freeze up. It is hard to think that it is caused by a hardware because everything runs perfectly when it is installing windows, even the part where you enter information about time zones, name, registration, and agreeing terms with IBM and Microsoft.


This question was answered on June 9, 2005. Much of the information contained herein may have changed since posting.

Usually, if your computer slows down when you have many programs open, or if you are working with large files, you may want to install more RAM You may want to consider increasing the RAM on your computer, keep in mind that you are adding a physical piece of hardware to your computer Understand that there are risks involved with replacing hardware components in your computer, so you should consult your hardware manufacturer or an organization that specializes in hardware if you have questions For RAM to work correctly in your computer, it must comply with the requirements of your motherboard.

I will give you a few tricks and tips to try.

Verify that any programs that start automatically when you start your computer are truly needed and, if not, quit them For example, an antivirus program is a program that you probably want to run all of the time, but you may have other less essential programs that you do not need to have running all the time To determine which programs are running, press CTRL ALT DELETE, and note of all of the programs that are listed Note that Explorer is the Windows operating system and Systray is the system tray that is located on the right side of the taskbar You should not quit these two programs Determine which programs must run all of the time, and then quit the remaining programs To quit a program, press CTRL ALT DELETE, click the program that you want to quit, and then click End Task.

Determine if you are running programs that create memory leaks Your computer may be leaking memory if your computer becomes slow after you run and quit one or more programs If your computer runs well before you run a program, but then slows noticeably after you quit the program, the program may have a memory leak To verify this:

a Restart your computer and do not manually start any programs.

b Right-click My Computer, click Properties, and then click the Performance tab Note the percentage number that is next to System Resources This is the amount of free system resources before you run any programs.

c Start one of your programs, use it as you would normally for 15 or more minutes, and then quit the program.

d Right-click My Computer, click Properties, and then click the Performance tab Note the percentage number that is next to System Resources, and then compare that number to the number that you noted in step B If the system resources are substantially less than they were before you started the program, the program may be creating a memory leak To resolve this issue, contact the manufacturer of the program to inquire about the availability of a fix for this issue To work around this issue, restart your computer after you quit the program.

3. If you are using the minimal amount of RAM or a slower CPU, you can add more RAM to your computer or obtain and install a faster CPU For information about how to do this, contact your computer manufacturer, or view the documentation that is included with your computer.


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Posted by Kisha of Katharine Gibbs School - New York on June 9, 2005