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BSOD even in safe mode


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#1 cur7is

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Posted 19 June 2010 - 06:14 PM

Hi guys, I'm really hoping you can help. I've been getting the blue screen crash so I tried running malwarebytes in safe mode...it detected something called "ctfmon.exe" and asked to restart. I did, and now I get the blue screen in safe mode and can't run anything. So I tried to delete ctfmon.exe manually by running safe mode with command prompt, but it says "access denied". The blue screen crash says something different every time.

Windows tried doing a "startup repair", but it crashed during that too. HELP!!! I don't want to reformat!!! (but i guess i will if i have to)... Thanks!

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#2 keyboardNinja

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Posted 19 June 2010 - 06:51 PM

Frequently asked questions about Ctfmon.exe

Download BlueScreenView
No installation required.
Double click on BlueScreenView.exe file to run the program.
When scanning is done, go Edit>Select All.
Go File>Save Selected Items, and save the report as BSOD.txt.
Open BSOD.txt in Notepad, copy all content, and paste it into your next reply.
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#3 cur7is

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Posted 19 June 2010 - 07:06 PM

Thanks for the quick response! But windows explorer keeps crashing (even in safe mode) before I get the blue screen of death... I tried running bluescreenview.exe from a flash drive, but I can't when it keeps crashing. Could this be a hardware problem?

#4 keyboardNinja

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Posted 19 June 2010 - 07:26 PM

That's a definite possibility....but it's hard to know when we can't see what's causing the crashing (that's what BlueScreenView is for).

Crashing in Safe Mode hints strongly at hardware...or severe OS corruption.

I would recommend you save your data and do a clean install with a full format. Clean Install Windows 7

If you still get crashing after, then it's hardware.

If you're not willing to do a clean install yet, we can go the hardware route first...but the clean install will tell you more than one hardware test, if you ask me.

And since MBAM starting trying to delete OS files...I'd say some system files are screwed up. So a clean install is recommended.
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#5 keyboardNinja

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Posted 19 June 2010 - 07:38 PM

Okay, after talking with a colleague, perhaps a clean install is a little hasty. You could be infected with malware (which is why I assume you ran MBAM). A clean install would certainly take care of it, but if you want, we can try to check for malware first.

Let me know which you'd rather do.
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#6 cur7is

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Posted 19 June 2010 - 07:50 PM

Yeah, I'd much rather avoid a clean install if possible, but I'm not sure if I can avoid it if I'm being super crippled by blue screens even in safe mode. I only have one hard drive right now and there have been some great deals on hard drives on slickdeals lately. So I think I'm going to buy another hard drive, install windows 7 on that one, and then see what I can recover on the old one. But more and more I'm thinking this is a hardware (probably memory? even though they are pretty good Corsair) because it's crashing even in safe mode with command prompt now. If you have any other suggestions please let me know, otherwise a clean install on a new hard drive looks to be the only option if i want to keep my stuff and fix this prob. Thanks for all the help!

#7 keyboardNinja

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Posted 19 June 2010 - 08:01 PM

Okay, that post was all over the place...

Your three options are:
clean install
hardware
malware

Take your pick.

We can do a Memtest right now and rule your RAM out (or in, as it were). A new hard drive/clean install or checking for malware will take considerably longer.

Do you want to check your RAM?
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#8 cur7is

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Posted 19 June 2010 - 08:02 PM

Yeah, let's check RAM

#9 keyboardNinja

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Posted 19 June 2010 - 08:02 PM

***** A. If you have more than one RAM module installed, try starting computer with one RAM stick at a time.

NOTE Keep in mind, the manual check listed above is always superior to the software check, listed below. DO NOT proceed with memtest, if you can go with option A

B. If you have only one RAM stick installed...
...run memtest...

1. Download - Pre-Compiled Bootable ISO (.zip)
2. Unzip downloaded memtest86+-....iso.zip file.
3. Inside, you'll find memtest86+-....iso file.
4. Download, and install ImgBurn: http://www.imgburn.com/
5. Insert blank CD into your CD drive.
6. Open ImgBurn, and click on Write image file to disc
7. Click on Browse for a file... icon:

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8. Locate memtest86+-....iso file, and click Open button.
9. Click on ImgBurn green arrow to start burning bootable memtest86 CD:

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10. Once the CD is created, boot from it, and memtest will automatically start to run.

The running program will look something like this depending on the size and number of ram modules installed:


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It's recommended to run 5-6 passes. Each pass contains very same 8 tests.

This will show the progress of the test. It can take a while. Be patient, or leave it running overnight.

Posted Image

The following image is the test results area:

Posted Image

The most important item here is the “errors” line. If you see ANY errors, even one, most likely, you have bad RAM.
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#10 cur7is

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Posted 19 June 2010 - 08:23 PM

Whoa... it's not done yet, but memtest reads a whole lot of errors... like in the six figures (and going up fast) ... is it safe to say i have bad memory?

#11 keyboardNinja

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Posted 19 June 2010 - 08:35 PM

I think so...

Are you positive that's the errors line?

You might try reseating your RAM stick(s). It could just be a bad connection. It seems unusual for a large hunk of the RAM to go bad all at once. But that's still possible.
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#12 cur7is

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Posted 19 June 2010 - 09:04 PM

Ok, reset RAM sticks, then switched them around for good measure. Same result. Loads of errors on the error line (between the "pass" and "ECC errs" lines) and lots of red on the bottom half of the screen. Is new RAM the solution? Hope I still have the receipt...

#13 keyboardNinja

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Posted 20 June 2010 - 10:48 AM

Yep, looks like you're due for some new RAM. :huh:
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#14 cryptodan

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Posted 21 June 2010 - 09:30 AM

KeyboardNinja,

Sorry for jumping in on this topic, but sometimes albeit rare a bad memory slots on the motherboard can produce false positives with memory testing utilities.

I would recommend testing that RAM in another system if at all possible.

#15 keyboardNinja

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Posted 21 June 2010 - 12:23 PM

No, thanks for the input. I knew it seemed REALLY unusual for tons of errors on a single stick. :huh: But at least we know where the general problem is.

Yeah cur7is, try the stick(s) in another machine if you can.

Edited by keyboardNinja, 21 June 2010 - 12:24 PM.

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