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VISTA stuck in Restart-BSOD cycle


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#1 TSalarek

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Posted 07 December 2008 - 05:37 PM

Not my machine, but I have it on hand. I do anti-malware work so this may get a bit technical

Specs:

Dell Inspiron 530 Desktop
build 2007

VISTA Home Basic SP 1 32-bit
1 MG RAM @ 2 x 512 MB DDR 2 (I know, trying to upgrade) 667 MHz, Dual Channel
Intel 2140 @ 1.6 GHz, 1 GB cache
Bios updated 12 Nov
SATA WDC WD2500JS-75NCB3 (222.78 GB, used 18.1 GB, open, 204.68 GB)
Partitions: C (2 sub-parts): (1) OS, (2) Dell recovery console, D: WIN restore/recovery
*Dell Recovery Console is software pre-installed by Dell to assist with recovery, it has a seperate partition within C:.

Optical: HL-DT-STDVD+-RW GSA-

Boot priority: HD, HD, CDROM, other=enabled

Display: PCI Slot, 8 MB, DVMT, DVMT fixed=256 MB

SATA mode = IDE of IDE/RAID

Hardware is all original "out of the box" from Dell. Original owner, though his step-brother had it for 6 months at one point.

Included Software: AOL, Roxio, Norton's
Added Software: AdAware2008, MBAM, Everest Home, CCleaner, AWC2, Spybot S+D


It's stuck in restart-BSOD loop, though if I hit it fast enough it will start in all safe modes (safe, safe/cmd, safe/net...). All advanced start functions work, though it gets caught in the loop on "start windows normally".

I initially thought maybe Zlob or some other malware but all the scans come back clean. We used AdAware 2008, Spybot S+D, MalwareBytes, CCleaner, Advanced Windows Care 2 (upgrding to ASC3), and Everest Home to verify hardware. All the scans were onboard at "housecall" until I could get it to the office. I have re-run all the above plus AVG with the HD slaved to my XP desktop, again all clean. If I can get HJT on it I'll be running that too. (AVG won't load to client because it needs a KB update. in the process of installing that from jump drive)

There is some connection to an uninstall of Norton's, though we ran system recovery/restore after for a full (supposedly) destructive reinstall and it's still doing it.

I have a boot log that can be posted at request. It's good sized, but I also have an excerpt (see below). Some files were noted as corrupt and recovery partition couldn't fix them. I'm thinking if I can replace these files it'll fix the loop.

This computer did NOT ship with recovery disks; it's all on recovery partition D:.

All the suggestions from MS refer to optical disks. Since it's out of warranty there's no way to get one. I thought about copying system files from my Compaq notebook, but I'm not entirely sure it'll work.

It also keeps dumping drivers. It thinks its DVD-RW is a CD-ROM and doesn't want to acknowledge the Ethernet port.

I've already had to manually update all the "added software", I would really hate to have to manually update WIN kb O_O


Attached File  boot_log_excerpt.txt   47.9KB   45 downloads NOT A HJT LOG. I C+P'd where it found "corruption" that it couldn't fix.


Any Ideas? It's been almost three weeks and I'm about plumb out. I'm hoping you guys think of something I missed.

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#2 ruby1

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Posted 07 December 2008 - 06:06 PM

Some ideas to consider

though his step-brother had it for 6 months at one point.

when it got returned from said step-brother was it working properly, were scans run on it and was step brother supervised in his use of it?

Do you know if the ComboFix tool has been run on it as this is AN item that can give continual reboots if run 'unsupervised'?

#3 TSalarek

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Posted 07 December 2008 - 06:22 PM

Some ideas to consider

though his step-brother had it for 6 months at one point.

when it got returned from said step-brother was it working properly, were scans run on it and was step brother supervised in his use of it?

Do you know if the ComboFix tool has been run on it as this is AN item that can give continual reboots if run 'unsupervised'?


It wasn't working improperly on return, just not like it should. Owner had been very sick which is why SB had it to begin with, he used it for music DL from many sources O_O He actually didn't want to give it back except it wasn't burning anymore and was running a bit slow...which is why I thought it had malware. It was actually Roxio needing a patch and a driver needing an upgrade. No scans were run until I got in on it a couple weeks later.

Both guys are 28+, so no, he wasn't supervised. And no ComboFix.

Except for being a bit sluggish (prolly from lack of RAM) and the burn issue it was working ok until it just suddenly started doing the loop on startup. He got it squared away using average home user techniques then tried to add in Comcast Cable broadband. That's when we found the ethernet issue.

He insisted on home service which I cut him some slack on as a friend, and two weeks in the SB came to visit. The next morning it did a self re-install of the OS. The wierd thing is that it still had cookies logged from a year ago but dumped all the personal changes from the last 3 months. I just serviced an XP that did the exact same thing from Zlob, which is another reason whay I thought "malware", but, again, all the scans are comming back clean.

4 very expensive Comcast housecalls later and his broadband is disconnected while his tower sits in my workshop - Still stuck in that blasted loop.

Edited by TSalarek, 07 December 2008 - 06:23 PM.


#4 garmanma

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Posted 07 December 2008 - 07:41 PM

we ran system recovery/restore after for a full (supposedly) destructive reinstall and it's still doing it.

How did you do this?

This computer did NOT ship with recovery disks; it's all on recovery partition D:.

After proof of ownership, Dell will send them out. Last time I did this they were free.
At the bottom of this link, is another link to request them:
http://support.dell.com/support/topics/glo...lang=en&cs=
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#5 garmanma

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Posted 07 December 2008 - 07:52 PM

Found these three items in your logfile that need investigation

Attached Files

  • Attached File  boot.ini   3.91KB   36 downloads

Edited by garmanma, 07 December 2008 - 07:53 PM.

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#6 TSalarek

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Posted 08 December 2008 - 04:28 PM

much more condensed of my log excerpt above, thanks Garmanma..easier to read too.... :huh:

any suggestions on where I can get working copies of those files for a manual reinstall?


New comps are shipping without disks these days and since the Dell in question is out of warranty Dell won't free support it and they won't send disks; we already tried.

This is why a user needs to back up AS SOON AS all the updates are in and the system is working well before they make any other changes :huh:

Dell recovery console (sub-part on C: ) accesses the on-board restore partition D: and gives the option of repair, non-destructive re-install, or destructive reinstall -- as though you had an actual disk except it's on-board. we've tried all three with no change.

I thought about doing a backup disk for my Compaq notebook and patching the desktop from that, but I'm not sure it'll work -- aside from c+p by way of jump drive (previously posted as "copy"). As it is the KB to load AVG is going to be going across by jump drive....what a pain.

edit: alrighty..here we go....

2 hours on the phone with Dell....the SB changed the ownership registration; no wonder we couldn't get anything from Dell. Got it changed back and the disks are en route: OS, SP1, and drivers. They also confirmed that it'll take up to 4 GB RAM O_O nice little computer, I wouldn't mind owning this one myself.

I'd still like to try to restore those files, though...call it a personal goal as I detest re-installs :huh:

Edited by TSalarek, 08 December 2008 - 05:16 PM.


#7 TSalarek

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Posted 12 December 2008 - 01:49 AM

no ideas from BC on where I can get clean copies of those files?

or any other ideas other than a clean re-install from CD?

#8 TSalarek

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Posted 14 June 2009 - 03:33 PM

okaaaayyy....some people have no business owning computers.

Hard Drive wound up junking out on us which would explain the dump of all recent changes. New HD and reinstall of OS, plus drivers and WIN updates and it was really nice..thanks to upgrading to 2 x 1 GB RAM.

He called me a copuple weeks ago with what sounded like a simple browser hijack; turns out he's got Spybot Worm. Manual dig out and many hours later and it's stable and surfing...two days later and he's got Personal Antivirus and what sounds like Zlob.

The first thing to get deleted is that shared folder for his buddies MSN photos..I don't care how much he complains about "convenience"...grrr.

Thanks guys..leave the thread up just in case I need later.




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