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WinMX World :: Forum  |  PC Aid Station  |  General PC Aid  |  And now for something a bit on the weird side.
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Author Topic: And now for something a bit on the weird side.  (Read 2785 times)

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Offline Hooked

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And now for something a bit on the weird side.
« on: May 15, 2012, 01:00:18 am »
I thought I would post this up here as there isn't a forum for "When crap really gets weird".

I have two computer systems.  Both are doing the same thing.  Here's the problem:

Click the power on button, boot windows.  Windows boots to the desktop.  The issue is a 'taskbar hang'.  Inoperative taskbar and desktop icons.  Normal mouse movement.  CTRL+ALT+DEL will bring up the task manager, though it's 'window' is not currently 'on top'.  Clicking on the task manager brings the 'window' 'on top'.  Clicking the 'close' button closes the task manager and clears the taskbar hang.  Taskbar and desktop icons now function normally.

For giggles, I did a fresh install on the XP machine(several for testing actually).  Boot priority change, quick format, install, then boot priority change, restart, and boot up from the HDD.  No taskbar  or desktop issues.  Reboot several times to make sure this isn't a fluke.  Same results.  The fresh install works flawlessly. 

Here's where things take a turn for the surreal.  The first ANYTHING that you install, whether driver or program, upon reboot, you get the scenario listed above.

Just to let this one flip your head for a bit(yes Virginia, I now know what is causing it, but not why....), here's a brief rundown on the two seperate machines.

"A"

Windows XP 32-bit
i7 920
Rampage iii formula
3 GB Mushkin
HD 6570
Random 7200rpm HDD of some capacity.
Soundblaster card


"B"

Windows 7 64-bit
i7 3930k
As(s)rock Extreme Troubleboard (Shame on me...)
16GB GSkill Ares
x2 intel SSD in a RAID 0
GTX 580
Soundblaster card

....let the fun begin.  Who has an idea?


Offline White Stripes

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Re: And now for something a bit on the weird side.
« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2012, 02:36:30 am »
...install linux...

actually other than a vidcard driver screwup i havent a clue... try older/newer drivers? on the 7 machine does disabling aero do anything?

Offline Hooked

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Re: And now for something a bit on the weird side.
« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2012, 04:05:20 am »
I'm married to a woman that "uploads" photos to the CD drive for burning.  I have to do that for her.  I love her to death, but I want to divorce her computer skills.

I would have thought it was a driver issue as well.  That's where I went hunting.  It wasn't.  You'll notice that everything in those two set ups is different.  There is however something that is (was) common to both that wasn't listed though.  As trite as it is, "you'll shit bricks".

Offline Cobra

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Re: And now for something a bit on the weird side.
« Reply #3 on: May 15, 2012, 04:58:00 am »
Hmmm.... different setups with a non-driver issue.

My next guess would be with peripherals like a wireless mouse or keyboard (though technically a driver-related issue, I suppose.)
Downloading is an addiction I do not want to give up.

Offline Hooked

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Re: And now for something a bit on the weird side.
« Reply #4 on: May 15, 2012, 08:01:26 am »
Hmmm.... different setups with a non-driver issue.

My next guess would be with peripherals like a wireless mouse or keyboard (though technically a driver-related issue, I suppose.)


See there?  I found that interesting too.  It's a driver issue that spans different hardware and a different OS.  Oddly enough, I moved to a USB keyboard and mouse combo and the issue went away on both machines.  The suspect equipment is an old G11 keyboard and G518 mouse.  All of the functions on both units work just fine.  Plug them into a box and you get issues.  Remove them and plug in the wireless adapter for the other keyboard and mouse and the problem goes away (confirmation via reboot).  This is the ONLY problem with both machines.

Something that I found odd was that it happened when I loaded up 3rd party crap like FF.  My inner geek really wants to track this down just so that I know what's going on.  In the end though, I most likely won't put too much effort into it as I can simply R&R the peripherals and be on my merry way. 

As a side note, I'm leaning on the G11 being the problem child.  I'm okay with that.  I've been wanting a shiny new keyboard anyhow.

Offline Hooked

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Re: And now for something a bit on the weird side.
« Reply #5 on: May 15, 2012, 08:13:07 am »
Since I can't ninja edit my stuff that's in serious need of ninja editing, I might need to clarify this a bit.

Let me preface this by saying that I'll clarify this as well as I can.  Most, including myself, will agree that I clarify things 'like mud'.

It's not a driver conflict issue so much as it's a driver load timing issue.  ...at least that's what I've found out so far on the net.  I don't have the time to understand that type of thing.  There are other things in the world that require my attention.  The geek in me isn't too fond of this.  But the realistic person in me knows that I have near zero need for learning or retaining this type of information.  Damn conflicts of interest I tell you.  Replace and move on it is then.  >.>

Offline achilles

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Re: And now for something a bit on the weird side.
« Reply #6 on: May 16, 2012, 02:43:39 am »
Did you install any resident security applications before having your taskbar problems? AV's, FW, HIPS, AE's, BB, etc..
I'm a Hardware, and Cyber Security Guy.

Offline Hooked

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Re: And now for something a bit on the weird side.
« Reply #7 on: May 16, 2012, 08:24:54 am »
Nope.  I've had mobo drivers cause it, sound card drivers, video drivers, windows updates....cpu-z, firefox, and crysis 2.  I have faith that sec-apps would do the same thing.  I've been through several iterations for the sake of testing.   :vomit:

Offline White Stripes

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Re: And now for something a bit on the weird side.
« Reply #8 on: May 16, 2012, 05:57:37 pm »
could always use an alternate shell ;)

Offline Hooked

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Re: And now for something a bit on the weird side.
« Reply #9 on: May 17, 2012, 12:29:52 am »
could always use an alternate shell ;)


I'm slightly tempted to be a sarcastic ass (all in good humor of course) and post up a picture of a teenage mutant ninja turtle.  I will now begin humming the theme song.   :lol:

Offline White Stripes

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Re: And now for something a bit on the weird side.
« Reply #10 on: May 17, 2012, 01:24:39 am »
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_shell_replacement

i used to use geoshell at one point... since you said the taskbar is what is acting flaky ... why not replace it?

Offline Hooked

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Re: And now for something a bit on the weird side.
« Reply #11 on: May 17, 2012, 04:01:23 am »
This is one of those things that I can't afford (for personal stress between the wife and I reasons) to have go wrong, hence why I've not really given it too much thought.  I'm gonna look into it for giggles though.  I still don't believe it's a windows shell thing though.  I spoke with one of the IT guys here at work.  He kind of chuckled and mentioned that while he's never encountered my particular problem, he has encountered something quite similar.

Out of curiosity, what made you pick geo?

Offline White Stripes

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Re: And now for something a bit on the weird side.
« Reply #12 on: May 17, 2012, 02:47:56 pm »
when i used it yon time past it was the most stable (the system tray actually worked) and easiest to configure among the open source ones..

Offline White Stripes

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Re: And now for something a bit on the weird side.
« Reply #13 on: May 18, 2012, 01:16:49 am »
http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_7-performance/windows-taskbar-freezes-immediately-on-startup/4d5a7b69-5280-44f1-a0c8-cc9cbf0523fb

??

nother trick that might work is -- if your windows installs dump you straight to the desktop without showing a login or user select screen ... add a password to your user account so you first see the login prompt... wait for the hdd to stop thrashing about or if that wait seems too long give it about a minute or two then login...

a problem with xp and onwards is that the osen (try to) start everything at once rather than one at a time (like 2k and earlier) to feel 'faster' .... as you can imagine that doesnt always work so well...

Offline achilles

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Re: And now for something a bit on the weird side.
« Reply #14 on: May 18, 2012, 03:20:13 am »
I went back, and reread your first post. The first time I read it I was short on time. You indeed have a very strange problem. I have built many machines, and I have never encountered anything like your issue. Its just so hard to trouble shoot without access to the machine. One thing that I thought of was that maybe you have a corrupted copy of windows. Have you used your copy of windows in the past without problems or is it a new copy? Is there any damage to the disk? Did you get any error messages during the installation? I would try another copy of windows if possible, and see if you have the same problem. What partition are you installing windows to? Are you installing it to C? Did you build this machine yourself?
I'm a Hardware, and Cyber Security Guy.

Offline achilles

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Re: And now for something a bit on the weird side.
« Reply #15 on: May 18, 2012, 03:33:06 am »
I read a little further, and saw that Cobra brought up a very good point about the keyboard, and mouse. So did you problem go away after trying a different keyboard, and mouse? Also, do you have a printer, external drive, or any other peripherals hooked up to your machines?
I'm a Hardware, and Cyber Security Guy.

Offline White Stripes

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Re: And now for something a bit on the weird side.
« Reply #16 on: May 18, 2012, 03:34:12 am »
@achillies hes using two different machines with two different versions of windows.... ....is it possible that both osen copies could be bad? (honest question cos the odds against seem a bit high)

Offline Hooked

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Re: And now for something a bit on the weird side.
« Reply #17 on: May 18, 2012, 08:39:52 am »
Thanks for your continued interest in the perplexing and benign folks.   While not overly troubling anymore, I do find it a tich odd, which I suppose is why I'm going to continue to play with the problem for a bit.  I'll try and lay this out as I see it and answer some questions without creating a quote tree.  Cleaner is cleaner I suppose.

I have also built many machines.  I built both of these.  As far as my experience with computers goes, I've never bought one that didn't come in the form of components.  I started with windows 95.  I've tried programming.  It's not hard per say.  The boredom got to me though.  I put that mess aside as the only things that I wanted to code weren't so nice.  >.>  Wise call on my end I'd say.

First and foremost, it can't be a corrupted copy of Windows as both (XP & Win 7 64-bit) work flawlessly freshly installed.  Neither produce error messages upon install and there are no error messages during or after installing other items (drivers, programs) on either machine.  There are also no error messages in the event viewer.  After 2nd/3rd party software install, rebooting gives the dreaded hang.  The printer is unplugged and installed later.  It's not an issue of me having a hard time computing, but more me taking issue with something strange happening that shouldn't be happening and I want to look into it.  My inner geek crawls forward I suppose.

Yeah, the problem is with the keyboard/mouse combination that I'm currently running.  I bought a USB wireless keyboard/mouse combo and the problem went away.  Put the G11/G518 wired combo back on the machine, remove the wireless device, reboot and there's the problem again.  We know what the problem is...just not why.  I've been thinking about it for a couple of days now.  I've asked a couple of IT guys who've not seen this.  I asked a comp-sci guy who I'm convinced is wrong for the sake of looking intelligent.....  Here's the question that these guys haven't answered yet:

Why would a suspected bad keyboard/mouse combo work fine on a fresh install (repeatedly) and cause a hang once any other driver/program has been installed?  In a different way, the G11/G518 work on a fresh install, reboots be damned...until something else gets installed.

Once upon a time, (same XP disk, the problem followed for the win 7 "upgrade"), this was never an issue.  Running all the same hardware and poof....one day, the issue appeared.

Everything is different but the problem.  Different BIOS, different components (minus kb&mouse that is), different software.

I have some time to actually play with it this weekend.  I'm planning on taking the G11/G518 over to my brothers house and seeing what happens when I plug it into his machine.  I'm also planning on borrowing a plain vanilla USB set from him and plugging it into my machine.

Here's what I suspect:

The plain vanilla USB kb/mouse will run just fine, as does the wireless set.

My input items will hang my brother's system.

...it would be interesting to video this mess and post it up for all to see.  I'll check and see what I can get my hands on for recording equipment if you guys are interested in (briefly) watching this unfold.  Any takers?



P.s. - On an interesting side note, as I just thought about it;  this problem presents itself in the same manner when I'm installing windows 7 initially.  It's a good install disk.  ...so as another side dish of electron delight, I'll install 7 on my other machine( the i7 920, XP rig) using the wireless set to further isolate my issues.  Call it sacrificial isolation for the good of the electronic group.  Oh the geeky goodness!   :yes:


Offline Ace

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Re: And now for something a bit on the weird side.
« Reply #18 on: May 19, 2012, 11:14:25 am »
Did you get the updates after you did a fresh install?

Offline White Stripes

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Re: And now for something a bit on the weird side.
« Reply #19 on: May 19, 2012, 02:28:30 pm »
i used to have a ps2 keyboard with a bad cable that could cause the bios to think it was a mouse (even tho it was connected to the keyboard port) .... if the g15 is found to be glitchy no matter what machine its used on and you are handy with a soldering iron you could try repairing it ;)

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