I'm sorry if this turns out to be the wrong place to ask this question, but I'm at a loss as to where the issue might lie.

Immediately after starting my computer, I have to restart it. Otherwise I will have the following issues.

Things that break

  • I can no longer drag tabs out of Google Chrome, to create a separate instance
  • Playlists on Youtube will automatically rewind (go to the previous song) until the start of the playlist is reached. The tab/browser does not need to have focus (see next item)
  • Possibly the same issue as the item before this one: Playing a movie or song in VLC will cause it to restart permanently while the window has focus. Meaning I can watch a movie in VLC as long as I don't click the window
  • Scrolling is no longer possible anywhere. The scroll cursor appears and disappears instantly, as if I've pressed the scroll wheel twice. Interestingly enough I can used the "tilt-scroll" still (not pressing down on the scroll-wheel, but pushing it to the left/right)
  • Playing any type of media (on VLC or Youtube, etc.) will cause the audio control bar at the top left of my screen to appear (like when you increase/decrease the volume), and never goes away until I close all media-playing sources
  • I'm not sure when this happens so feel free to ignore it. Quite often I will not be able to use alt+tab to switch process. The current process will stay in the foreground
  • Maybe worth mentioning that I know that this problem exists as soon as I reach the login screen, because I can't use the spacebar to select my user as I usually do. My usual flow: Reach login screen -> press spacebar -> enter password field appears. Flow with this problem: Reach login screen -> press spacebar -> the "select a user" button has the touched/dirty state, but stays. I have to click the button instead.

Things I've tried:

  • Installing new drivers

  • Unhooking all peripherals / switching them with other devices. I thought maybe audio control buttons got stuck as it could have caused some of the issues. (Keyboard, mouse, monitor, microphone)

  • Installing clean version of Windows 10

  • Unhooking/replacing hardware (HDDs & new power supply)

I've dealt with this issue for so long now that starting my computer twice has become part of my daily routine, but I'd like to fix it at some point. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

  • The problem must be hardware, since you have done everything possible in software. This is perhaps a weak connection somewhere that just needs the computer working in order to heat up and expand and become a good contact. Questions: (1) After the first boot, do all subsequent reboots succeed? (2) Check for a BIOS update, (3) Run MemTest86 for at least 2 runs or more, as this tests more than just the RAM. – harrymc Jun 2 at 10:18
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    Give us details about your computer? Is this a laptop? Everything you said describes a stuck button on a keyboard or mouse. For whatever reason, Windows is picking up key presses or mouse clicks that don't exist. Run a keyboard tester application, or a mouse tester application. It should show what is stuck. – Appleoddity 2 days ago
  • I'll go through all your advice later today, thanks! I did already run MemTest86, during which my screen turned off. I was then unable to turn it back on, and I had to restart my computer – Nick yesterday
  • I agree with @Appleoddity, this reeks of a stuck button. Either a media button or a back/forward (on the mouse). If you have a spare keyboard/mouse, try those. Or even just try disconnecting one at a time. – Bob yesterday
  • I'm still at work currently, but I just wanted to say that I've tried 3 different keyboards, one of which is brand new, but I haven't tried a different mouse! – Nick yesterday

I can't directly answer your question, but I can try to show a few steps which might help analyze the problem.

First, I would look for a BIOS update for your mainboard. I really have seen BIOS updates fixing all sorts of weird behavior on at least a dozen of PCs.

Secondly, I would enable the Remote Desktop on that machine and then turn the machine off. Then turn it on again, but do not log in using your mouse and keyboard yet. Instead, log in from a second machine via Remote Desktop and check whether it behaves normally then. If yes, you know that the problems are not due to a general malfunction of Windows.

Depending on the results of the steps above, I would continue to swap (more precisely: to remove) hardware. For example, do you have extension cards installed (e.g. additional USB / Firewire / RAID / whatever adapters)? If yes, remove them and test again.

In general, removing devices for such tests is better than swapping them. Well, obviously, you can't boot without a power supply, but you can boot from one HDD (and remove the others if applicable), you can boot with one DIMM module (and remove the others if applicable), and so on. If your processor has graphics integrated, use that and remove the dedicated graphics adapter (if applicable). I would advise you to strip down the system as far as possible and test again.

If that doesn't help, check the settings in the BIOS and set them to default values, or even better, to safe, conservative values. Perhaps somebody has overclocked the CPU / memory without letting you know (for example if you have bought a used item).

If that all does not help, you could boot that machine from a clean CD / DVD and examine whether you have got a virus. Theoretically, that can't be the cause for the problem because you said you already have installed Windows from scratch which usual viruses won't survive. But if you really have no other ideas, it might be worth the time.

Finally, drivers might indeed be the problem. This can be subtle: If you are missing a driver or are using a wrong one, updating won't help.

We had such a case someday: A certain PC got stuck in the middle of the boot process one time out of 20 (roughly). All drivers were up-to-date, and the Windows device manager did not show any problem (no yellow exclamation mark, no missing drivers). After a time-consuming analysis, it turned out that one of the standard Windows AHCI drivers could not handle the HDD controller properly. Installing the Intel HDD drivers resolved the problem immediately.

A long story made short: There are cases where the cause of an issue indeed are drivers although you think you are up-to-date and although the Windows device manager does not show any problem.

So you eventually should check if you have replaced the default Windows drivers by dedicated drivers of the respective manufacturers whereever possible. This can be a lot of work and usually is not necessary as long as everything works as expected, but usually is worth the effort in cases like yours.

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  • Looks like a stuck key in your keyboard, maybe the Home key, or one of the directional arrows? Have you tried to swipe your keyboard with a clean cloth, while your PC is off? You press the cloth firmly on all the keys and swipe repeatedly, left to right, and back again, on each row. Do that for your touchpad and both its buttons, too. If you have a can of compressed air handy, use that too. – Didier yesterday
  • @Didier The OP said he had unhooked / switched all peripherals with other devices. My understanding is that this includes the keyboard. Did you mean to post your comment under the OP's question :-)? – Binarus yesterday
  • yes, I clicked a little too low on the page, my apologies... :-) This said, it does look like a stuck key (or two, or more) to me, that or some malware, but I don't think it's a case of bad driver or even a real hardware issue. That's just my opinion, though. – Didier yesterday

The problem must be hardware, since you have done everything possible in software. This is perhaps a weak connection somewhere that just needs the computer working in order to heat up and expand and become a good contact.

As running MemTest86 crashed the computer, this is certainly a hardware problem, as MemTest86 doesn't use Windows or the keyboard.

If MemTest86 has managed to generate a log file, you can post it if you wish me to have a look.

Otherwise, in case of a RAM problem, you could try to run on a subset of the RAM sticks (if possible in your computer) to see if you can locate a bad stick. MemTest86 seems like an effective test tool here, as it causes a crash.

If you cannot locate a bad RAM stick (unlikely for more than one to be bad), then the problem is either the CPU or the motherboard. A professional repair-shop will have the tools and spare parts to better analyze the problem.

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