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Reposting: Access violation from Linksys when restarting


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#1 LouEllen

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Posted 22 January 2009 - 11:08 AM

***Reposting a problem originally posted in December but not resolved***

My son's computer was recently infected with a pretty nasty bit of malware, which I successfully removed with the wonderful assistance of Bleeping Computer folks. The machine is running Windows XP Media Center edition SP3 with all available updates, and it is connected to a wireless network using a Linksys compact Wireless-G USB adapter. The router is Linksys Wireless-G, model WRT45G, with the firmware recently updated.

Now that the malware is gone, sometimes (but not always) when I restart the machine, I get the message "Access violation at address 00000000", which seems to be coming from the Linksys Router Monitor. When I do get that message, then another message "PCARMDrv.exe failed to initialize" appears when I shut down the machine. However, the machine does connect successfully to the internet, and there don't seem to be any further connectivity issues while it is running. There are two other machines on the network and they are having no problems, so Iím reluctant to mess around too much with this. (I didnít set up my network and know almost nothing about it.)

When I posted this issue earlier, the BC helper suggested that I run msconfig and check the system startup, then look for PCARMDrv.exe and uncheck it. So I ran msconfig, but PCARMDrv.exe was not listed. And now I have an additional problem. While running msconfig, I also looked at the Services tab and clicked "Hide Microsoft services", examined the list, then de-selected "Hide Microsoft services" and hit OK. Even though I made no changes, somehow this put it into Diagnostic or Selective Startup mode (I forget what it was called). I got a message about access denied and needing administrator privileges, even though I was logged in as a user with admin privileges, so I restarted the machine and set it back to Normal mode. However, now every time I restart the machine, I am prompted to choose which operating system I want to start, and the list contains two identical entries: Windows XP Media Center Edition.

So, how can I get rid of both these issues? Neither one is preventing us from using the machine, but I donít think I should ignore them. Thanks!

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#2 hub714

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Posted 23 January 2009 - 12:45 PM

Hi There,

Here's a quick question: If you remove the USB Adapter and try to start up the computer, does the PCARMdrv error still show up?

If not, try to find the newest drivers for that USB Adapter. Once you find them, uninstall the old drivers, and install the new ones.

That should solve the PCARMDrv problem.

For the other problem, go back into MSCONFIG and click on the boot.ini tab. There should be a button that says to check boot paths. They might both work since windows may have just accidentally changed the boot.ini entry. If you look up at the dialog box there should be two entries of Windows.

DO NOT go deleting either one of them yourself unless you're darn sure of what you're doing though. It would be a hassle to get it back if something went wrong. Also, it's just a rule of thumb, but I try to get people not to play with system settings, but I also know that it's through playing around with things that you learn more :thumbsup:

#3 LouEllen

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Posted 23 January 2009 - 01:08 PM

Please bear with me here...this networking stuff is way beyond my expertise. You're going to have to go verrrry slowly... ;-)

The USB adapter sticks out the back of the PC tower. To remove the adapter, can I just pull it out when the machine is off and then restart? It's hard to say whether this would prove anything, as I do not consistently get the access violation error on startup (the PCARMDrv.exe error occurs upon shutdown).

I'm not at my son's machine at the moment, but I'm not sure what you want me to do with msconfig. Do I click the "check boot paths" button? Then what can I expect to happen?

Trust me, I'm reluctant to play with system settings also. I just didn't think clicking show and hide would cause any permanent changes!

#4 hub714

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Posted 23 January 2009 - 01:39 PM

Haha no problem :thumbsup:

To remove the adapter you can just remove the usb stick at any time. That's the beauty of USB plug and play. You can plug and unplug this kind of usb device whenever you want.

I'm suspecting that the usb driver for the linksys thing conflicts with SP3 or something. So I was thinking, if your computer boots properly without the USB stick then obviously, that's the problem. But you're right it wouldn't really prove anything since it doesn't always happen. Just go onto the linksys website and look for new drivers for the USB adapter and that SHOULD theoretically solve your problem.

Boot issue:

Yes click the check boot paths button and if it comes up with errors it should fix it I believe.

#5 LouEllen

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Posted 26 January 2009 - 06:50 AM

The boot issue sounds like the (possibly) easier one to fix. Is there any danger in doing this? My son needs his computer to study for mid-terms this week so I don't want to risk making a complete mess of it.

#6 hub714

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Posted 26 January 2009 - 12:36 PM

Well if you don't want to risk messing it up, I wouldn't do anything until it NEEDS to be done. I don't do anything to my laptop during the school term either. I don't want to lose all my code and what not. .. I would be pissed for sure =)




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