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Hi, I've been having this intermittent startup problem and and I haven't found a solution yet. Once I start the Windows XP SP2 computer, everything looks normal as I can get to the log in screen. I then log in using an Admin account (the only user available) and the desktop starts to load. I can move my mouse and I can see all of my icons and everything looks fine except that I am unable to click on any icons. When I move my mouse down to the taskbar I just get the hourglass. If I try to Ctrl-Alt-Del to get the task manager nothing happens.

The last program I installed was Adobe CS3 (Photoshop, Dreamweaver, Fireworks, Acrobat, Illustrator, Flash). But this problem didn't happen immediately after the install.

I've left it in the state for an hour (just to see if it was really really slow) and still the same. This doesn't always happen when I restart, although sometimes it happens so many times in a row I just use Norton Ghost to restore a backup I have (this problem is the reason I purchased Norton Ghost and its an absolute lifesaver).

I've seen similar versions of this problem where users are able to get the task manager up with Ctrl-Alt-Del but in this case I can't even do that. If I boot in Safe mode it works.

I have Norton Anti-Virus up to date and it finds nothing.

Is there any way to debug what is happening during startup? Something is preventing it from fully loading and it seems like it is "stuck" on something or a process is in an infinite loop. Or maybe I have a virus that Norton can't detect?

I've already completely rebuilt my computer once and I just don't know how to narrow the problem down.

Thanks for any help, it is much appreciated.

-Tom

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Last Post by bobbyraw
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try disabling several start up programs in safe mode by using msconfig, to see what's clogging your system...

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Thanks for the tip, that's exactly what I did by dowloading two tools, one called "Startup Control Panel" by mlin.net and the other called AutoRuns by SysInternals.com. I disabled a bunch of startup tasks but haven't reboot yet because I want to do a Ghost backup just in case it fails. I'll post the result when I get it.

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Just to post the result, I think I've narrow the problem down to acrotray.exe, which has something to do with Adobe Acrobat Professional. It is my belief that this was causing my intermittent startup issues because after disabling this program I haven't had a startup failure yet. Here's hoping ...

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well acrotray.exe usually don't eat resources,
are you by chance install/uninstall something from adobe or pdf program? probably it is corrupted.
have you try to uninstall the acrobat reader and install it again?

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Well, this problem started happening again even though acrotray.exe is disabled during startup. I now think it may be related to NvMediaCenter run as RUNDLL32.EXE C:\WINDOWS\system32\NvMcTray.dll,NvTaskbarInit during startup. This is supposedly an Nvidia tool that starts in the task bar, which helps explain the taskbar hang and infinite hourglass. But only time will tell as this problem has been intermittent for some time now and I thought it was gone. Would appreciate any feedback if anyone else has had issues with NvMediaCenter, thanks

-Tom

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Well, this problem started happening again even though acrotray.exe is disabled during startup. I now think it may be related to NvMediaCenter run as RUNDLL32.EXE C:\WINDOWS\system32\NvMcTray.dll,NvTaskbarInit during startup. This is supposedly an Nvidia tool that starts in the task bar, which helps explain the taskbar hang and infinite hourglass. But only time will tell as this problem has been intermittent for some time now and I thought it was gone. Would appreciate any feedback if anyone else has had issues with NvMediaCenter, thanks

-Tom

man i am also facing this problem for the last 1 month.And its damn irritating.:@It hangs everytime i run windows xp for the first time in a day.And then it hangs randomly.Last 2-3 days it was working fine but once again today it hanged 3-4 times already.
I have Adobe Reader,Photoshop and Autodesk Maya on my system.If you get the solution then plz tell me.I have tried everything formatting,reinstalling windows xp.

Look at this thread

http://www.daniweb.com/forums/thread102063.html

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something that make your system hang randomly can be because (what i remember now):
- unidentified bad sector in hdd.
- faulty ram.
- clashed driver resources. incorrect h/w driver.
- pc component over heat.
- power supply wattage is too low or unstable DC output.
- unstable AC electricity input (your home).
- minimum hdd space for temp folder or page file expansion.
- unstable OS system (faulty system files).
- virus/spyware/trojan.
- etc / x factor.

to test:
start in safe mode and run any program and let it on for 10-12 hours to see if it is infact because of the electricity/powersupply/hdd faulty.
while in safemode scandisk your hdd to see if it is because of badsector or faulty sector.
make your page files not to reside in your system drive and make it in a fixed amount (2x ram space).
use registry fixer like advance windows care (the personal edition is freeware) to see if there are faulty in your sytem...
check also using that software your startup pogram, disable all that nor marked as required.
use antispyware program, just download the trial, like pctools, eset nod32, f-secure. and run it to check your system for viruses/spyware/rootkit/trojan.

those above are mostly for software checking, for the h/w checking a has little knowledge aside from swapping component checking...

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if did a restore from norton, i suggest you do a repair with the windows XP cd, insert the cd start the set up program, windows will take you to a screen to choose r for repair, it will delete all system files and reinstall them...... if you are not able to get the CRTL+ALT+DEL you probable have the welcome screen to log on to windows. where you can just click on the user name to log on. if thats the screen you have RTL+ALT+DEL will not work.

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