A customer had a damaged filesystem which prevented booting up all the way and required a disk check before it could boot to the desktop normally. Unfortunately, that was only the start of the trouble. In Windows, programs (including startup programs) would reach a certain point of operation and then freeze (or hang or lock up, whichever term you prefer). The worst part is that Task Manager would not start at all, even though its icon would appear in the notification area (remember when this was called the much more amusing System Tray in Windows 95?) Upon attempting to start Event Viewer to read event logs, the Event viewer would lock up as well. Ultimately, I traced this back to a corrupt event log file.
Here’s how I fixed it:
- Stop the Event Log service, either through the Services console inside the Administrative Tools control panel, or by running “net stop eventlog” with elevated privileges (hit CTRL+SHIFT+ENTER instead of just ENTER)
- Delete all of the files in C:\Windows\system32\winevt\Logs\
- Start the Event Log service with “net start eventlog” or through Services.
This will delete all of the log files, causing them to be rebuilt as new empty files by the Event Log service.