Problem with booting HP Laptop.

  hmws 14:52 03 Sep 2012

My wife's laptop kept beeping on bootup yesterday, seemed to be pretty continual. Laptop is about 2 years old running Windows 7.

I managed to power off by taking battery out and eventually managed to boot up, tried running diagnostics checks and nothing came up and indeed a couple of times it just powered off the laptop. When eventually got login screen and was prompted for password the box was full of "*" and then as you cleared them more appeared. After deleting about 3 or 4 times eventually logged in.

When pressing "START" button it went straight to search and proceeded to fill the search box with "//////////". Once again after deleting this three or four times actually managed to access the laptop as normal.

Does this sound "virus like"?

She has never been on the internet and wouldn't know how to connect it as she just does some accounts on the machine and backsup to a USB stick. She is the only one to use the laptop.

Are the symptoms familiar to anyone - should I just try re-installing Windows?

Any advice you can give me would be appreciated. Thanks

  difarn 16:15 03 Sep 2012

It could signify a hardware failure or corrupted files.

Could you identify the pattern of the start-up beeps - this article explains what they may mean.

Did start-up repair show at all to look for startup problems?

You say that there is a backup already on a USB stick. Is this USB stick used only on this PC? Has it ever been put into another PC?

If the PC is operating ok for the moment you could try running the free Malwarebytes - here.

You could first of all try a Start-up repair.

You will need your windows 7 disk or the recovery disk that you may have made. This article will take you through it step by step.

  mgmcc 08:29 04 Sep 2012

"...was prompted for password the box was full of "" and then as you cleared them more appeared."*

"...went straight to search and proceeded to fill the search box with "//////////" "

Silly question perhaps, but the Laptop doesn't have a sticking key and, in particular, the "/" key, does it?

  hmws 11:15 04 Sep 2012

Thanks for both your answers. In response to sticking keys definitely not. The PC is like new. The USB key does get sent to some Accountants and returned and I would assume that they would have appropriate AV programs installed. Incidentally if we bought an AV program even though it is never used on the Internet would this pick up any Virus / Malware on the USB stick?

When booting up last night after about 5 seconds it powered straight off. Switching on again immediately gives a continual beeping. Powering up a third time I pressed "F2" and enter HP diagnostics. Ran Start up Test without any problem. Ran "Run-In Test" this was taking 25 mins to run and I cancelled it after it had got to running through 6 times.

I will try downloading the Malware program to a USB stick from my pc and run it. I will also try to run from the Windows Installation DVD this evening.

Once eventually I can get the PC up to booting it appears to work fine and I may choose to leave it on as my wife needs to complete her work on it. At least after she has finished her work we have 3 months to get it repaired.

Thanks for your advice and if I come up with any solutions in the coming evenings I will let you know.

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