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Laptop won't shut down properly - hangs on Windows Shutting Down


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#1 livesism25

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Posted 27 April 2009 - 03:53 AM

Hi, I should start out by saying that I have posted this on a different forum/web site, but was not able to find a solution to my problem yet.MyPost

For you convenience I've pasted in the post below:

I have a very basic knowledge of computers, so please bear with me. I have an older laptop, HP Pavilion ZE4610US, with the following specs:

mobile AMD Athlon XP2500+ 1.86 Ghz
704 MB RAM
60 GB HD
Windows XP Home Ed. SP3

OK, here's the deal. About 18 months ago I replaced the factory installed 40 GB HD, with a slightly larger 60 GB Seagate HD. At the time, I was planning to do a dual boot with linux partition being the dominant one, but knew I might have to use WinXP at some point. Initially I set it up with about 6 GB for the WinXP, a "swap" drive and about 25 GB for the linux partition. Well, I'm not sure about the last part, it's been awhile now, so it could have been more (I know I left some unallocated/free space - but I don't think it was 20-25 GB). Well, everything was working fine for a while (with the dual boot), but since I couldn't find the appropriate drivers for the modem (and other important devices), I ended up using the winXP partition as my primary one. After some time, I believe the mbr was messed up somehow, because I didn't get to choose which partition I wanted to log into. That was really not a big deal, since I wasn't really using the linux partition. At some point I decided to "cannibalize" the Linux partition, to a second partition (E) in my WinXP setup. As you can imagine, soon I was running out of space on my small WinXP partition (C;6 GB), and I decided to merge some of the unallocated (free) space to the C drive using Partition Manager. That went well, so now I had the following split:

15 GB C Partition
15 GB Unallocated
25 GB E Partition

However, the following day things went bad, the computer automatically shut down, and when I tried to start it up I got the following message: NTFS.SYS could not be found or is damaged Naturally, I immediately thought it must have been due to my recent actions, but since I couldn't even get it to boot in "Safe Mode" or from the install disc(s), I couldn't verify this (it kept asking for an administrator's password even though I'd never - to my knowledge - set one up, and when I entered "blank" it would simply reboot after three tries). Eventually it was decided that the error message might be due to a faulty RAM module (weird coincidence). After replacing the faulty memory module I was able to get into the repair console, and do a repair install of XP. Since my original install disc was Win XP Home SP1a, I had to do the update to SP2 (have disc) and SP3 (from DL) and all intermediate/subsequent updates were lost too. After having updated to SP3, I went to MS to check for updates manually (even though I have it set up for automatic updates), and it found 30+ (about 250 MB worth) updates. What a pain with dial-up (I know I'm a dinosaur). I can't tell exactly how long thereafter, maybe 2 weeks max., my computer was no longer able to "Stand By", "Restart" or "Shut Down" properly. It would simply hang on "Windows is Shutting Down". I've tried logging in in "safe mode", but even there it won't "Restart" or "Shut Down". I've installed the latest versions of the following SW:

AVG 8.5 Free
Lavasoft Ad-aware
Malwarebytes Anti-Malware

and I've run scans without any infections being reported.

Well, here I must make a comment that I didn't include in my previous post. The first time I noticed the problem of it not being able to suspend properly, I was trying to put it into "Stand By" mode, but it started up automatically right away, and from that point on the problem persisted. The day after I ran MWR's Anti-Malware and it found one infection (AntivirusXP2008) to a registry key, which it quarantined and I subsequently deleted. The file was in the E drive, as far as I recall, so I didn't think it was that important. (I still have the mbam log)

I've tried to restore the computer back to a point when I knew it was working, and even though it appears to restore it, the problem persist. I've tried to do another repair install, but nothing appears to change, so I therefore conclude that the files that are responsible for power management must be at a "different level" than a normal WinXP level. Otherwise I would assume that a repair install would have fixed the problem. I've been trying to do some more research, and found a site that recommended dl'ing a small program from MS called dumppo.exe, which I did.

Dumppo

I changed the min. sleep mode from S1 to S3, but again nothing changed. I should say, I don't know if these changes are made since the pc never shuts down/restarts correctly (I have to physically power it down). I also read about another program GMER, which I dl'ed, to see if there were any hidden programs running that prevented a proper shut down, but I'm not sure what I'm looking for, so that didn't help a whole lot.

GMER

Finally, I read about the possibility of having a virus in your mbr, and there is tool that might be able to fix it called "MBRFix".

MbrFIX

I haven't run this yet, as I'm not sure that's what I need to do.

I have also dl'ed Seagate's HD tool, Seatools for Windows, and it passed all tests with flying colors, so I don't believe it's a failing HD. I should also mention that the laptop actually works fine, apart from the shut down issue (I'm posting on it now). There are no error messages on boot up as far as I can tell. This is what I've observed:

Stand By/Hibernate : the screen goes black, but the led lights are still on (HD spinning and fans running). Solution: "hard" power down.

Restart/Shut Down: Screen (blue) hangs on "Windows shutting Down". Again solution: "hard" power down.

After 5-10 mins on screensaver (winxp stock) the screen goes completely black and is unresponsive to anything. Solution: "hard" power down.

I suppose I could learn to live with the fact that the computer will never be able to Restart/Shut Down/Stand By the way it was supposed to, but it is a pain. I still think it has something to do with power management somehow, but I'm nowhere near "Hi-tech" enough to know what to look for. I was naive to think that a WinXP repair install would solve this issue, but that apparently doesn't change anything, so how would one go about to fix it?

I suppose I could always back up my data and reformat the whole drive, but maybe that wouldn't make any difference anyways? Also, that would mean I'd lose some nifty little programs I've DL'ed over the past couple of years (mainly DotD type ones - where the license/activation is good for one day only).

I'm really starting to lose my mind here, so if you have any suggestions I would be very grateful. Thanks in advance for your help, and sorry about the length of this post.

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#2 hamluis

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Posted 27 April 2009 - 08:03 AM

<<NTFS.SYS could not be found or is damaged>>

Have you read http://support.microsoft.com/kb/822800 ?

Louis

#3 livesism25

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Posted 27 April 2009 - 09:28 AM

<<NTFS.SYS could not be found or is damaged>>

Have you read http://support.microsoft.com/kb/822800 ?

Louis


No, I didn't read that particular page, but I had already done that on my own as soon as I was able to boot into Win XP. I believe that error message was due to a faulty ram module, because it didn't come up again after I replaced it. Additionally, the hard drive was originally formatted as NTFS, so I don't think that was the issue, but the fact that it happened right after having used Partition Manager sure makes that the obvious reason. As I said the computer boots up fine with no error message, and there's no issue when in use, the problems don't start until I want to suspend/hibernate/restart or shut down.

On a side note, I'm embarrassed to say that although I thought I had run Ad-Aware, the program log says otherwise (apparently I had only run scans with AVG and Anti-malware). I updated the definitions and ran a smart scan, where it found 24 infections, of which 23 were tracking cookies (level 3 threat) and one major infection in a program called BurnAware, which I don't remember ever having downloaded or installed. It appears to have been a trojan virus called Win32.TrojanSpy.Banker (level 10 threat). The file has been quarantined, but it may already have done its damage. I haven't had time yet to look into what exactly it does, or how/if it can affect the power settings or possibly some important registry keys. Even though it's quarantined it seems to be able to change the settings in ad-aware. The automatic updates was disabled, so I reset it to default settings, but when I restarted the program, the automatic updates was disabled again!!! I also noticed that I'm not able to schedule updates in AVG to every 4 hours (box is grayed out), so I can only schedule updates once a day.

#4 hamluis

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Posted 27 April 2009 - 10:02 AM

Since you found malware (which may be the most prominent problem)...I suggest that you start a new post at BleepingComputer.com - Am I infected What do I do - http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/f/103/am-i-infected-what-do-i-do/

This forum is not the right place to deal with possible malware issues...once they either resolve your situation or give you a clean bill of health, that would be the time to look at other causes for system problems, IMO.

Louis




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