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Shutdown Hangs, Explorer Hangs,


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#1 fabjr

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Posted 17 June 2010 - 06:24 AM

1. Frequently my system will not shutdown all the way. "System shutting down" never finishes, will stay there all night.
2. Sometimes on boot up, my system doesn't make it all the way to LOGIN. After a couple of attempts to reboot it usually makes it past the login and I can operate for a while. Eventually something hangs and I have to reboot. Windows Explorer is a frequent program to hang up. In Task Manager, its Application tab status indicates 'not responding.' Once explorer hangs up then other programs quit responding. On occasion, I have held the mouse key down over the 'x' button to close a window. After a while, but not always, a program will shut down that way. Generally, though something else is hung up and I still have to reboot.
3. I use Avira AntiVir, MalwareBytes Anti-Malware, TuneUp Utilities. I have tried to use CCleaner recently, but it hangs up everytime I use it. It runs for differing amounts of time. When it hangs I can't kill it in Task Manager.
4. In My Computer / Application / Event Properties I have two pairs of messages where each pair looks like:
a. Fault bucket 734037209
b. Hanging application explorer.exe, version 6.0.2900.5512, hang module hungapp, version 0.0.0.0, hang address 0x00000000.


Please someone help me get out of this mess. I use my computer for my income. It has gotten so bad that I have spent upwards of an hour trying to get to a point where I can just do my work. This is killing my productivity. Usually, I eventually get up and running and can operate for long stretches ... maybe half an hour or even a couple of hours before something freezes and I have to reboot. I'd say it is most often windows explorer that gets hosed first and then everything goes downhill from there.

system is windows xp professional sp3. IE 8. MS Office 2003. Java JRE is 6.200. [june 2010].

v/r
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#2 quietman7

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Posted 17 June 2010 - 10:00 AM

Are you getting any error messages?

Crashes (BSOD), unexpected shutdowns, sudden freezing, random restarting, and booting problems could be symptomatic of a variety of things to include 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 sometimes malware. If the computer is overheating, it usually begins to shutdown/restart on a more regular basis.

If you are not finding any malware and there are no obvious signs of infection, then you may need to do some troubleshooting.Another thing to try is download and install the User Profile Hive Cleanup Service which helps to ensure user sessions are completely terminated when a user logs off. System processes and applications occasionally maintain connections to registry keys in the user profile after a user logs off. In those cases the user session is prevented from completely ending.
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#3 fabjr

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Posted 18 June 2010 - 03:25 AM

No error messages on shutdown. It just hangs. No cursor, no reaction to ctl-alt-del. Must power down manually.

N.B., I have had a BSOD a few times in the last week, but I don’t have the stop codes now. The main problems are: Explorer hangs and Shutdown hangs very frequently.

Done: Reviewed the links you sent me.
I do not have the problem of the system rebooting on shutdown. I get past the point of “saving settings” and get to the message “windows shutting down.” It hangs there.
Done: Shutdown: Clear Virtual Memory Pagefile option in the column to the right and verify that it is disabled,
Done: Upgraded Nvidia GE Force 6800 driver.
Done:
  • Ran Avast pro with full scan: No detections, but several archive files were corrupted. It ran for over 6 hours and only got 60% through. I have several disks. All of the C drive got tested. Also I do a lot of work on my F drive and it got completely checked within this 60% by Avast. I can't find a log of the corrupted archive files. Any ideas about that? The log files that were generated did not have any breadcrumbs about the corrupted zip and rar files
  • Using Avast Pro, I scanned My Documents which is on its own drive. No Hits
  • Ran Avira Anti-Vir full scan. No detections.
  • Ran Malwarebytes Anti-Malware. No detections.
  • RanCcleaner. Lots of registry fixes. Deleted temp files.
Done: Updated motherboard (ASUS A8n-SLI Premium) drivers.

I’ll have to see what happens on shutdown. Then again, a single sample, if successful, will not be convincing., certainly not as much as a single sample of this not working.

BTW, Thanks very much for your help. I know it takes a lot of time. It is generous of you to provide that time and your expertise.

fabjr

#4 fabjr

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Posted 18 June 2010 - 04:23 AM

Ok, after my last post, I shutdown and rebooted to get back to the forum.

1.The shutdown hung at the same place. It got past 'logging off' and past ' saving settings.' It hung at 'shutting down.' That's the usual way it
hangs. Nothing new there.

2. I had to power up 4 times before I got to the login screen. Each was a bit different from the others.

The first time I powered up I ended up in chkdsk on boot up. Chkdsk found fragments in my e: drive. Also when checking some kind of journal I have never heard of before, it did not proceed. I gave it 10 minutes and power cycled the machine.
[fyi, I virtually never visit my e: drive. It is basically an online place for me to copy all of My Documents to from time to time, particularly when I think I'm starting to have problems. ]

The second time I powered up chkdsk ran again. It got to the point where it checked the journal, but it progressed past the point where it did not proceed on the prior boot up. It said there were sectors on the disk that were free but were marked as in use. Then it went no further for another long wait. I actually took a shower while it was sitting at that point. When I came back to it there had been no progress. So I power cycled the machine again.

The third time I powered up the system got past the windows screen with the progress bar. It started initializing devices. I know this because I have a webcam that pans around on boot up. Just after that visual sign my screen went dark and did not proceed past that.

Perseverence and patience ...

I powered up yet a fourth time. Voila! I got to the login screen and now I'm up and running, at least well enough to put this post up.

So, guru, what now?

v/r
fab

#5 quietman7

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Posted 18 June 2010 - 06:19 AM

Did you try using the User Profile Hive Cleanup Service?

Ran Avast pro with full scan: No detections, but several archive files were corrupted. It ran for over 6 hours and only got 60% through. I have several disks. All of the C drive got tested

The speed and ability to complete an anti-virus or anti-malware scan depends on a variety of factors.
  • The program itself and how its scanning engine is designed to scan: using a signature database vs heuristic scanning or a combination of both.
  • Options to scan for spyware, adware, riskware and potentially unwanted programs (PUPS).
  • Options to scan memory, boot sectors, registry and alternate data streams (ADS).
  • Type of scan performed: Deep, Quick or Custom scanning.
  • What action has to be performed when malware is detected.
  • A computer's hard drive size.
  • Disk used capacity (number of files to include temporary files) that have to be scanned.
  • Types of files (.exe, .dll, .sys, .cab, archived, compressed, packed, email, etc) that are scanned.
  • Whether external drives are included in the scan.
  • Competition for and utilization of system resources by the scanner.
  • Other running processes and programs in the background.
  • Interference from malware.
  • Interference from the user.
To speed up your scans, uninstall unnecessary programs, clean out the temporary files or use ATF Cleaner first, temporarily disable any other real-time protection tools, close all open programs and do not use the computer during the scan. If the scan still seems slow or hangs, then try performing the scan in "safe mode".

Using two security scanning engines at the same time can cause each to interfere with the other, cause systems hangs, false detections, unreliable results and other unpredictable behavior.

Note: It is not unusual for an anti-virus or anti-malware scanner to be suspicious of some compressed, archived, .cab and packed files because they have difficulty reading what is inside them. These kind of files often trigger alerts by security software using heuristic detection because they are resistant to scanning (difficult to read). This resistance may also result in some scanners to stall (hang) on these particular types of files. Certain files in the System Volume Information Folder like the Tracking.log (created by the Distributed Link Tracking Service to store maintenance information) have also been reported as a source causing some scanners to hang.

Additional Note: If you are using a CD Emulator (Daemon Tools, Alchohol 120%, Astroburn, AnyDVD, etc) be aware that they use rootkit-like techniques to hide from other applications and can interfere with investigative or anti-rootkit (ARK) tools. This interference can produce misleading or inaccurate scan results, false detection of legitimate files, cause unexpected crashes, BSODs, and general dross. This 'dross' often makes it hard to differentiate between genuine malicious rootkits and the legitimate drivers used by CD Emulators. In some cases, the drivers related to such tools can cause crashes or system hanging when attempting to boot into safe mode. Since CD Emulators use a hidden driver which can be seen as a rootkit and interfere with providing accurate results or cause other problems, it is recommended that they be removed or disabled until your scans have been completed.

RanCcleaner. Lots of registry fixes.

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.

The first time I powered up I ended up in chkdsk on boot up

Chkdsk is a disk error checking utility that verifies the logical integrity of a file system. As you use your hard drive, it can develop bad sectors which slow down hard disk performance and make data writing difficult. Chkdsk scans the hard drive and will check the files and folders for file system errors, lost clusters, lost chains, and bad sectors. When encountering logical inconsistencies in file system data, it will perform the necessary actions to repair the file system data. The equivalent utility in earlier versions of Windows was called ScanDisk

Chkdsk will create and display a status report for a disk based on the file system and will list and correct errors on the disk. If used without parameters, chkdsk displays the status of the disk in the current drive. Chkdsk scans the disk structures and disk surface for possible errors and inconsistencies in separate phases. During the first few phases, it checks the FAT or NTFS for lost clusters, cross-linked files and inconsistent directories. When these steps are completed, it asks you whether you want to run a full scan, during which it actually reads every single sector to prove that it is readable.

"lost clusters" are clusters that are neither in the free chain nor in any used file.
"cross-linked files" are two files that both claim to use the same cluster.

Chkdsk can be run from the Windows Recovery Console (see correct way to run chkdsk), the command prompt or through the Windows GUI.

The main thing that keeps utilities like Chkdsk from running successfully is having other programs running in the background. Chkdsk will not check files that are being used by Windows so using Chkdsk in the Recovery Console is a way to resolve this.
  • The command chkdsk /p (only availabe in the Recovery Console) does an exhaustive check of the drive and corrects any errors.
  • The command chkdsk /r locates bad sectors and recovers readable information. It will scan the surface of the disk for physical errors in the disk scan phase only and indicates that chkdsk should try to recover the data.
  • The command chkdsk /f is available from within the Windows GUI and is the equivalent to chkdsk /p.
Note If you specify the /r option, the /p option is implied. When you specify the chkdsk command without arguments, the command checks the current drive with no options in effect.

The Recovery Console command paramters are explained here. For additional command SYNTAX, to include the Windows GUI, see here.
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#6 fabjr

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Posted 19 June 2010 - 02:07 AM

1. Did you try using the User Profile Hive Cleanup Service? Yes. I just installed it.

When I scanned my system with Avast, I did it using Boot-time scan. It scans on boot-up prior to launcing Windows OS. So it was the only thing running when it scans.
2. Chkdsk... Thanks for the tutorial. I try to use chkdsk/f from time to time. I run it from boot up on the system drive as required by XP. I use it from a "cmd" window on my other drives.
3. ...not unusual for an anti-virus or anti-malware scanner to be suspicious of some compressed, archived, .cab and packed files
Good tip. Thanks. Makes sense to me.
4. Bleeping Computer DOES NOT recommend the use of registry cleaners/optimizers Thanks. That's good to know. I am admonished.

5. The Recovery Console command paramters are explained here. The link took me to command line syntax for chkdsk. I've never understood what I have to have done so I can use Recovery Console, nor do I understand what I would have to do when I do try to use it, assuming I've properly setup for its use in the first place.

6. Is Windows XP7 particulary better than the XPpro I'm using now?
  • Is it worth walking away from XP and starting over with XP7? ... or do you think we can lick these problems?
  • Can I install XP 7 over XP and not lose any of my own files?
  • I already have My Documents isolated on its own disk. I always presumed that would help in the case of having to reinstall XP.
7. Shutdown hangs are still plaguing me. Boot up and windows launch still frequently hosed. I have to attempt booting 2-3 times, typically.

what next??

Again thanks for your effort and time. I hope we can beat this problem. I don't look forward to the time and risk of an OS install wrt my other software. I have a lot of pricey apps that I use. They would all have to be reinstalled, right?

fabjr

Edited by fabjr, 19 June 2010 - 02:12 AM.


#7 quietman7

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Posted 21 June 2010 - 06:08 AM

Lets see if we can eliminate malware as a possible cause.

Please read the pinned topic titled "Preparation Guide For Use Before Using Malware Removal Tools and Requesting Help". If you cannot complete a step, then skip it and continue with the next. In Step 7 there are instructions for downloading and running DDS which will create a Pseudo HJT Report as part of its log.

When you have done that, post your log in the Virus, Trojan, Spyware, and Malware Removal Logs forum, NOT here, for assistance by the Malware Response Team Experts. A member of the Team will walk you through, step by step, on how to clean your computer. If you post your log back in this thread, the response from the Malware Response Team will be delayed because your post will have to be moved. This means it will fall in line behind any others posted that same day.

Start a new topic, give it a relevant title and post your log along with a brief description of your problem, a summary of any anti-malware tools you have used and a summary of any steps that you have performed on your own. An expert will analyze your log and reply with instructions advising you what to fix. After doing this, we would appreciate if you post a link to your log back here so we know that your getting help from the Malware Response Team.

Please be patient. It may take a while to get a response because the Malware Response Team members are very busy working logs posted before yours. They are volunteers who will help you out as soon as possible. Once you have posted your log and are waiting, please DO NOT "bump" your post or make another reply until it has been responded to by a member of the Malware Response Team. Generally the staff checks the forum for postings that have 0 replies as this makes it easier for them to identify those who have not been helped. If you post another response there will be 1 reply. A team member, looking for a new log to work may assume another Malware Response Team member is already assisting you and not open the thread to respond.
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