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My friend has an HP ProBook 470, and he complained that sometimes it hangs during boot.

I've got HP ProBook 450, and after spending a bunch of time I've found out that if you will attach or detach a USB device (mouse) while Windows is starting up, his laptop will hang up. His mouse is faulty, but that doesn't matter; it just explains why hangups were rare.

The thing is my laptop doesn't have such a problem. Furthermore, I've swapped hard disks and with mine in his laptop it's not hanging up, so the BIOS (EFI legacy mode) is not the reason.

I've also enabled "Boot Logging" via msconfig, but as expected ntbtlog.txt has no records of unsuccessful startups.

To make the laptop hang you need to attach or detach a USB device (I've tried two mice) just after the blinking cursor on a dark blank screen appears and before "Starting Windows" message. If it hangs, only a hardware reset helps.

I'm not really familiar with the Windows startup process and don't know how to get logs that early on. Is that Windows boot manager that is hanging up? How do I find out the reason?

IMO, unrelated: Windows may hang during boot if a USB storage device is attached immediately after EFI POST


Windows activator was used on his laptop (is that blinking cursor grub4dos?).

After running bootrec /fixmbr and bootrec /fixboot I've rebooted the laptop and that "blinking cursor" disappeared along with a problem. I found that: http://media1.jex.cz/images/media1:4c5ea78d2c40c.png/w7lxe-emu1-3500.png

What I don't understand: I've tried (before fixing the MBR) as Billy_Bob suggested a friend's hard disk drive in my laptop, but it didn't hang. If the modified bootsector is located in the MBR of the friend's hard disk drive, why wasn't the problem reproduced on my laptop?

  • check the boot order whether the hard disk is selected as primary boot partition and not usb drive. Also this might be due to the performance issue of hard disk write where it took a long time to detect the available USB drive file system and stats. – vembutech Nov 20 '14 at 21:42
  • What happens if you get into the Advanced Startup Options menu by repeatedly pressing F8 after powering on the computer, then connect/disconnect a USB device, then attempt to start the computer normally? – Twisty Impersonator Nov 21 '14 at 0:44
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As long as you tried it with YOUR laptop and his HDD and his MOUSE and YOUR laptop didn't hang. . . . You have found a hardware issue. As long as yours and his are the same IDENTICAL laptops. Same BIOS, firmware - same peripherals and same firmware in all peripherals. I admire your detective work and wish I could have responded in a comment.

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