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HELP PLEASE - Computer keeps crashing


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#1 tcat28

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Posted 07 March 2010 - 09:50 PM

My computer shut down on its own the other night and I couldn't reboot it..it would freeze up. I had to run the virus scan on safe mode and it came up as my computer having a virus, which I cleaned. I ran the scan again and it came back as clean.

When I rebooted my computer, the desktop screen was white with a blue triangle and had an error message saying something like "active desktop recovery". i found the solution to that problem on this forum and I think I have fixed that problem. But my computer kept crashing.

I ran the virus scan again and it came back clean. I ran a maleware scan and it came back clean. So I bought a registery cleaner (I think that is what it is called). the name of the software is Registry Easy. I ran that, cleaned up the fixes and I am still having problems with my computer freezing up on me. I don't know what to do at this point. For example, since typing this message here, my computer has frozen up on me twice and I have had to reboot.

The operating system is Win XP home edition. It is a Dell desktop. Not sure what else you need by way of information but any help would be greatly appreciated. This computer is less than a year old.

I uninstalled and re-installed my browsers (IE, Firefox, and Chrome) and Chrome is the only that works. My computer is still crashing about every 10 minutes.

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#2 quietman7

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Posted 08 March 2010 - 09:01 AM

Did the BSOD provide a Stop Error Message or identify a driver (.sys file) as shown in this example?

Crashes (BSOD), unexpected shutdowns, sudden freezing, random restarting, and booting problems during or after running anti-malware scanners can be symptomatic of a variety of things to include problems encountered with certain types of files (.exe, .dll, .sys, .cab, archived, compressed, packed, etc) that are being scanned. Crashes can also be symptomatic of hardware/software issues, overheating caused by a failed processor fan, bad memory (RAM), failing or underpowered power supply, CPU overheating, motherboard, video card, faulty or unsigned device drivers, CMOS battery going bad, BIOS and firmware problems, dirty hardware components, programs hanging or unresponsive in the background, and even malware. Even legitimate programs like CD Emulators (Daemon Tools, Alchohol 120%, Astroburn, AnyDVD) can trigger crashes, various stop error messages and system hangs so you may or may not be dealing with multiple issues which are not all malware related. Troubleshooting for these kinds of issues can be arduous and time consuming. There are no shortcuts.

When Windows XP detects a problem from which it cannot recover, it displays Stop Error Messages which contain specific information that can help diagnose and resolve the problem detected by the Windows kernel. An error message can be related to a broad number of problems such as driver conflicts, hardware issues, read/write errors, and software malfunctions and malware. In Windows XP, the default setting is for the computer to reboot automatically when a fatal error or crash occurs. You may not see the error code because the computer reboots too fast.

An easier alternative is to turn off the automatic reboot feature so you can actually see the error code/STOP Message when it happens - this is also known as the Blue Screen Of Death (BSOD). To change the recovery settings and Disable the Automatic Restart on System Failure in Windows XP, go to Start > Run and type: sysdm.cpl
Click Ok to open System Properties.

Alternatively you can just press WINKEY + Pause/Break keys to bring up System Properties.
  • Go to the Advanced tab and under "Startup and Recovery", click on the "Settings" button and go to "System failure".
  • Make sure "Write an event to the system log" is checked and that "Automatically restart" is unchecked.
  • Click "OK" and reboot manually for the changes to take effect.
This can also be done in the Windows Advanced Options Menu as shown here here by pressing the F8 key repeatedly like you would do for entering safe mode.

-- Vista users can refer to these instructions: How To Disable the Automatic Restart on System Failure in Windows Vista.

Doing this won't cure your problem but instead of crashing and restarting you will get a blue diagnostic screen with an error code and other information to include file(s) that may be involved which will allow you to better trace your problem. Write down the full error code and the names of any files/drivers listed, then provide that information in your next reply so we can assist you with investigating the cause. Without that specific information, we would only be guessing rather than troubleshooting.

I bought a registery cleaner

Bleeping Computer DOES NOT recommend the use of registry cleaners/optimizers for several reasons:

:inlove: Registry cleaners are extremely powerful applications that can damage the registry by using aggressive cleaning routines and cause your computer to become unbootable.

The Windows registry is a central repository (database) for storing configuration data, user settings and machine-dependent settings, and options for the operating system. It contains information and settings for all hardware, software, users, and preferences. Whenever a user makes changes to settings, file associations, system policies, or installed software, the changes are reflected and stored in this repository. The registry is a crucial component because it is where Windows "remembers" all this information, how it works together, how Windows boots the system and what files it uses when it does. The registry is also a vulnerable subsystem, in that relatively small changes done incorrectly can render the system inoperable. For a more detailed explanation, read Understanding The Registry.

:flowers: Not all registry cleaners are created equal. There are a number of them available but they do not all work entirely the same way. Each vendor uses different criteria as to what constitutes a "bad entry". One cleaner may find entries on your system that will not cause problems when removed, another may not find the same entries, and still another may want to remove entries required for a program to work.

:thumbsup: Not all registry cleaners create a backup of the registry before making changes. If the changes prevent the system from booting up, then there is no backup available to restore it in order to regain functionality. A backup of the registry is essential BEFORE making any changes to the registry.

:trumpet: Improperly removing registry entries can hamper malware disinfection and make the removal process more difficult if your computer becomes infected. For example, removing malware related registry entries before the infection is properly identified can contribute to system instability and even make the malware undetectable to removal tools.

:huh: The usefulness of cleaning the registry is highly overrated and can be dangerous. In most cases, using a cleaner to remove obsolete, invalid, and erroneous entries does not affect system performance but it can result in "unpredictable results".

Unless you have a particular problem that requires a registry edit to correct it, I would suggest you leave the registry alone. Using registry cleaning tools unnecessarily or incorrectly could lead to disastrous effects on your operating system such as preventing it from ever starting again. For routine use, the benefits to your computer are negligible while the potential risks are great.
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