Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

After Vista has been running in normal mode for 2-3 minutes (regardless of whether I log in) it freezes up and all I can do is move the mouse around. This doesn't occur in safe mode or running Ubuntu. I have a T400 so I've tried both graphics cards and that hasn't made a difference. I have a hunch the problem is related to Explorer in normal mode, but I could be entirely off base.

Also, when using system restore in safe mode, it BSODs after starting the process.

The only Windows Update I made that day was a Defender definition update. The actual problem started when I was running WinDirStat. About 2/3 through my OS froze up, so without thinking I just yanked the battery out and put it back in, and that's when things went downhill. I've since uninstalled it, but that didn't do anything (not that I expected it to). It might be related but it could have just been a coincidence.

I'm open to pretty much any ideas for troubleshooting, or I can post more information if anything would help. At worst, I do have a free Windows 7 upgrade I could try, but I'd rather that be a last resort.

share|improve this question
install Windows 7 ;) – Simon Jan 7 '10 at 7:04
up vote 2 down vote accepted

Some ideas:

A problem with Explorer in Normal Mode could be it, but that sounds like a virus. Also, perhaps you should try Windows Update. Lately I've seen a few nasty rootkits floating around... (I don't mean to scare ya' - just saying)

Can you please give some more info about your specs? I am not sure what a T400 is... (I can Google it, but...) Also, perhaps you can clarify a little: Does Safe mode work now or not?

Finally, perhaps the Windows 7 Upgrade is the best option regardless of Vista freezing up...


Try manually downloading SP2 from Also, Have you run a virus scan yet? If not, recommend a few programs...

  • AVG Free 9
  • OR MalwareBytes
  • OR Avira
  • OR Avast
  • Trend Micro House Call (An internet based virus scanner)


  • SpyBot Search & Destroy : For Adware(Be careful of some of the mirrors' download page,lots of ads, hard to discern the real link)
  • Lavasoft Ad-Aware

They say not to use multiple Anti-Virus side-by-side, but I've been ok with it. Also, if all else fails - system restore will possibly help.

** EDIT 2: **

Also, look at the System Event Viewer in the control panel under Administrative tools). Perhaps there is some indication of error or failure in WinDirStat...

Edit 3:

If System Restore is causing the BSOD, try a different restore point. It may not b a virus after all. (Leaving the info up as reference, though.)

share|improve this answer
I've already run everything in Windows Update. I think I'm using SP1.. Windows Update never prompted me for SP2, so I'm not sure whether it's a recommended upgrade or what. The T400 is just a recent Lenovo Thinkpad laptop. It supports switching between an onboard Intel graphics card and a discrete Radeon one. Safe mode definitely does work, as does Ubuntu. If I do upgrade to Windows 7, I'd much rather do it at my leisure :) (Sorry for the lack of linebreaks, they're not being parsed.) – whichdan Jan 7 '10 at 4:16
@whichdan - Line breaks are forgiven. I have never had success with them here on SU. ;) – Moshe Jan 7 '10 at 4:32
Thanks! I'll try some of these suggestions tomorrow. – whichdan Jan 7 '10 at 6:18
Also, System Restore is what was causing the BSOD. Couldn't think of the name. – whichdan Jan 7 '10 at 6:19
I tried a few restore points with no success. I'll try downloading SP2. – whichdan Jan 7 '10 at 20:45

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.