Complete pc stall after opening any software

  FreMar 11:00 10 Jul 2010

OS = Windows XP. Desktop pc with 127gb free space. AVG free, PCTools firewall.
After starting up normally, my pc stalls shortly after opening up a program. This can be anything, ie Internet Explorer, Outlook Express, or any other software. They will open up ok, work for a short time then freeze completely. I then have to turn off at the wall power point. The pc will then reboot, and will then have no further problems till the next start up session. Everything will work normally with no problems, on the odd occassion. I have considered a system restore, but have put up with the restarts for some time now, so I am now not too sure how far to go back.

  northumbria61 11:15 10 Jul 2010

It could be a conflict at startup - try limiting your startup applications via "msconfig" to see if this helps.

  birdface 11:22 10 Jul 2010

Had problems like that the other day but it worked ok in safe mode.
Maybe try last good configuration in safe mode.
I think the problem I had was with drivers missing.
So check device manager and see if there are any yellow exclamation marks beside any of the devices.

  FreMar 11:26 10 Jul 2010

Hi northumbria61, thanks for your quick responce, but when I type msconfig into run, I get an error message saying that windows cannot find msconfig, so it's no go there I'm afaid. Anything else I might try?

  FreMar 11:45 10 Jul 2010

Hello buteman, thanks for your help. I've just had a look in device manager, and expanded everything, but there are no yellow exclamation marks anywhere, everything seems ok there. If all else fails, I'll try a restore to about a month ago, I think that should be far enough back. I should have done this as soon as the trouble started.

  birdface 13:29 10 Jul 2010

If you have the original Xp disc you could try run and type in sfc /scannow it may ask for the XP disc to be inserted.

  onthelimit 13:33 10 Jul 2010

From a CMD prompt, no?

  birdface 13:34 10 Jul 2010

If you have the original Xp disc you could try run and type in sfc /scannow and press Ok or enter.It may ask for the XP disc to be inserted.

or try tools internet options.Advanced.And press reset.That resets Internet explorer back to its original condition.
You would have to enable your add-ons after that.
Or maybe try another Browser and see if that works Ok.

  MAT ALAN 13:39 10 Jul 2010

msconfig not found

could be a typing error


The reference to the path within the registry may be wrong.

Check this location in the registry:

Windows\CurrentVersion\App Paths\MSCONFIG.exe

In the right pane, next to Default, it should show:


It could also be spy/malware related...

  FreMar 17:18 10 Jul 2010

Many thanks to all who have offered advice, but I may have solved the problem in-between my original post and your possible solutions. I typed ‘missing msconfig’ into my browser and got a couple of pages regarding this, one of which offered a download of msconfig aimed at Windows 2000 users (which didn’t have this). This downloaded the file, and put a shortcut onto my desktop. I do have to access it via the shortcut, as it still can’t be found using ‘run’, but it does open ok. When I first opened the facility, it showed that ‘selective start-up’ was configured. I changed this to ‘Normal start-up, load all device drivers and services’. I have since closed down and rebooted quite a number of times since, and can’t seem to replicate the original problem. I will leave the thread open for a day or so though, just in case it goes belly up again. Thanks again to all.

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