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.

  • install Windows 7 ;) – Simon Jan 7 '10 at 7:04

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 Microsoft.com. 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.)

| 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
  • 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
  • SP2 didn't work, but that error led me to try a chkdsk, and that fixed the problem! A few bad files were removed and everything seems fine. – whichdan Jan 8 '10 at 3:13

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