> Thanks for your reply. I did get as far as the `moving bar' going
> across the screen, and it started up fine on the third attempt. I'm
> using the computer now and everything is ok, but I've not tried shutting
> down and switching it back on again (yet) to see if it happens again.
> I had a look at the start system configuration. I wondered if the
> computer is timing out and switching off because Vista isn't loading
> quickly enough - although it has loaded pretty quickly previously. In
> the Start-up configuration, under the boot tab, `timeout' is set at 30
> seconds. Is this the normal setting?
> I'm hoping it's not a hardware problem. I have loaded all my data and
> it's taken me a week to sort it out and get it running as I want it.
> It's been running perfectly fine too so if it was a potential hardware
> problem, what is it likely to be? I don't really want to take it back
> because it has all my data on and because of all the hassle. Has anyone
> else had this problem?
No, this has nothing to do with the timeout setting. It is being caused
because either 1) you are having hardware issues; or 2) something is set to
start with Windows that is failing or timing out.
Before you go any further with this, go to the store and purchase an
external hard drive and an imaging program such as Acronis True Image.
Create an image of your system and store it on the external hard drive.
Alongside the image, copy your data onto the external drive. This way you
will be prepared because if you *do* have hardware issues, wishing you
don't won't make it so. If for some reason you can't buy the external hard
drive and imaging software, at least burn your important data to CD/DVD-R.
You should be doing this on a regular schedule anyway.
To determine if you have a software startup problem:
1. Make sure all drivers are current. Only get them from Acer's website for
your specific model computer.
2. Manage your startup by using the System Configuration Utility, Autoruns,
and clean-boot troubleshooting.
a. System Configuration Utility
Start Orb>Start Search box>msconfig [enter]
If you are prompted for an administrator password or for a confirmation,
type the password, or click Continue. Then see what is on the Startup tab.
You don't need to restart immediately, but the next time you do you'll get
a dialog saying you've used the Utility. Usually in Vista this will be
blocked by Windows Defender and you'll need to allow it so you can then
tick the box that says in effect, "don't bother me about this again".
Important - Do not use the System Configuration Utility to stop processes.
Instead, use Start>Run>services.msc [enter] and do not stop any services
unless you really, really know what you're doing.
b. Autoruns (free)
c. How to perform a clean boot in Vista and XP -
Standard disclaimer: I can't see and test your computer myself, so these are
just suggestions based on many years of being a professional computer tech;
suggestions based on what you've written. You should not take my
suggestions as a definitive diagnosis. If you can't do the work yourself
(and there is no shame in admitting this isn't your cup of tea), take the
machine to a professional computer repair shop (not your local equivalent
of BigComputerStore/GeekSquad). If possible, have all your data backed up
before you take the machine into a shop.
Elephant Boy Computers