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Help detect the issue, AIDA hangs at "Loading Driver"

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Hello, all. I am sorry if I am posting this in the wrong section of the forum, but I would like to try to solve something that has been bugging me for months now. I have Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit build. Upon starting the computer and everything loading up in Desktop, a few minutes later there is a constant LED lit for disk activity, although I don't hear the HDD doing anything. During that time, I can start some programs, but those that do with HD won't start. This last for 2-3 minutes. After whatever it has been doing is done, the programs run during the hang suddenly appear, all works normal - until next restart. There is no malware on the PC.

Now, I have discovered that if in those few minutes after the boot-up I start AIDA, it will hang at "Loading Driver" screen and cause the exact behaviour! Obviously, AIDA's driver triggers whatever is being triggered to cause this hang and I have been using AIDA as a tester to see whether I may have fixed the issue by trying to disable some startup tasks, services or scheduled task, but no luck so far. After this hanging is done, AIDA continues to load and after that the PC is fully usable. AIDA is good as I can use it as a trigger because if I wait for Windows to start it, it doesn't always happen at the same moment. But AIDA obviously triggers it with something no matter the time.

If anybody has an idea what could it be, please let me know. Another way to force the hang is to select Restart or Shutdown immediately after the computer has booted. Then Windows will also trigger this hang and won't let the PC turn off until it's done - HD LED is on, no HD sounds, hangs for the sime amount of time - I suspect it is some process that causes this I just haven't figured out which one it is, yet.

I would really like to get to the bottom of this, please help diagnose this annoyance.

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When AIDA64 loads its kernel driver, it uses dynamic driver loading. Dynamic driver loading causes Windows to flush its driver cache and initialize it again. It usually takes no more than 1/10 of a second, as long as all the drivers are fine. In your case I suppose one of the drivers is acting up and causing that very long penalty. Try to check what devices do you have in your Device Manager, and if you can see any that could be disabled, try to disable them. You may also want to disconnect any external devices, like external HDDs or special USB-connected devices, maybe one of them is the culprit.

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Hello, and thanks for the quick and detailed response. Well, I do not have external hard disks nor any USB devices, it is a basic usage PC. In device manager, all components look normal, nothing with exclamation. The strange thing is that this happens only once when triggered. Once it completes, I can restart AIDA in virtually 3-4 seconds, all programs load quickly and Windows shuts down normally. Only that one hang must I endure in order to continue to use the PC. It is as if that it has to occur at initital time, then everything runs normal. I would like to find what causes that hang. So far AIDA is the only software that can trigger this, as I can not suspect when it will occur on its own or do multiple restarts, but when it does, the PC is quite unusable until it finishes.

I tried your suggestions, and I also tried disabling all but Microsoft services at starup and other autorun programs - no difference.  :(  

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Hi. No, I probably do not have all of them, but I did update to SP1 and had some more updates after that. Can you think of any particular update that might concern this? I tried with another PC with virtually the same Windows installation/updates setup, and this issue doesn't exist.

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Hi, thanks for the idea. I downloaded and installed that update without a problem, but the problem persists. AIDA still triggers the hang, or it gets triggered on its own during the loading of Desktop now, which makes the PC even more "choked" upon restart. I do not have any themes or gadgets on my Desktop, it is a simple one with wallpaper and icons, nothing special.

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It is as if Windows "forgets" or delays the loading of that "something", and when it gets triggered, it must complete it obviously. After if has done that, the PC runs without a hitch and everything opens and loads fast, no more hangs. And AIDA unmistakingly triggers it every initial time.

Also don't know why it hogs the HD LED, there is no disk activity to be heard, yet the LED is constantly on during the full time of the hanging process.

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Do you have any suggestion about what could I install and run prior to triggering this hanging, and then that tool to monitor and create a log of what was going on during those five minuted? If it "catches" AIDA and its loading, maybe it will catch those other stuff and enable us to pinpoint the culprit. I tried Windows' Process/Resource Monitor, but it chokes during the hang and doesn't catch anything useful.

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I'm afraid we don't have a tool to diagnose that issue. As you can see from how Windows Process/Resource Monitor gets stuck, the issue is deep down in the driver stack of Windows. I guess only Microsoft can get to the bottom of this :(

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Hi. I have an update about this issue. I downloaded cumulative updates for my Windows (the ones called "convenience rollup" or so) from Microsoft. After installing them, the hang still occurs for the first run, but it lasts much, much shorter now. Maybe 20 seconds or so, compared to the previous 2-3 minutes. The updates were installed in this suggested order:

1) April 2015 servicing stack update (KB3020369)

2) May 2016 Convenience rollup update (KB3125574)

3) July 2016 update rollup (KB3172605)

 

Obviously, some of them caused this change. It is now much better than it was. Thanks for the help and hints, the hang is now much more bearable. So, I just wanted to post this update so that other members could read and maybe benefit from it if they have a similar problem.

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Thank you for the info. Windows is still a mysterious machine being, and it's not easy to figure out what causes which improvement :)

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