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XP Home Locking Up During Startup


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#1 Woodtroll

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Posted 22 July 2010 - 11:11 AM

Hello, folks!

I am barely computer literate at a basic level, so please be gentle :thumbsup: !

I have an older Dell 2400 with Windows XP home version, SP2.something. A couple days ago, it began locking up on startup; it would open up the screen that lets you select the user account, then begin to open up the user's page/desktop/account (not sure of the proper term), then would freeze in process after all the desktop, icons, etc. were displayed. The mouse cursor will move around, but that is about it. Nothing "highlights" when the mouse is over it, nothing can be selected, the Avast symbol stops turning, and the hard drive light quits flashing. It acts like it is trying to start a program that just jams the thing to a dead stop. It does this with all users on the computer. The task manager will not open at this point, either.

I started it back up in safe mode, and the accounts opened up fully (with limited programs, of course). I then ran several different virus scans (Adaware, Malwarebytes AW, Avast) and could find nothing.

Thinking it is something in the startup process, I went to run/msconfig/start, disabled everything there with "select all", restarted in normal mode, and it still locked up on the user desktop. Interestingly, the Webroot Spysweeper program that has been on there forever still flashed up; I thought it would have been disabled. But, since it has been on my computer from the start, I do not think it is the problem. No new programs except a Blackberry desktop manager have been added recently (about two weeks ago; when I tried to delete that Blackberry program today through the "add/remove program" feature, it said something like "this option only applies to programs that are installed", but it shows it as installed, with quite a bit of memory used- not sure what is going on here...)

I went back through run/msconfig, and selected the "diagnostic startup" mode, started it up normally, and the account/ desktop loads up without locking up!

So, how do I figure out what is causing the problem? Since I eliminated all of the visible start-up programs and it still locked up, it must be something "behind the scenes", but I have no idea how to find it.

Any ideas would be greatly appreciated!

Take care,
Regan

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#2 Woodtroll

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Posted 24 July 2010 - 09:16 PM

No ideas from anyone?

Could anyone point me to another resource that could help, please?

Thanks,
Regan

#3 Baltboy

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Posted 24 July 2010 - 10:21 PM

I would do a system restore for the first step. You can access it by going to start-help and support- undo changes to your system with system restore. Then follow the instructions to roll back your computer to a time before the lock ups were occuring. Note this will only affect windows system files all of your data and saved information will be unaffected.
Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please.
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#4 Woodtroll

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Posted 25 July 2010 - 03:27 PM

Baltboy,

Thanks for the suggestion. Unfortunately, the system restore has never worked on this computer, and toggling it on/ off doesn't make any difference. I never have been able to figure that one out, either.

Still hping someone might know something specific to try... I sure appreciate your help!

#5 Baltboy

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Posted 25 July 2010 - 09:09 PM

Basically if it is starting in diagnostic mode either a driver or a non-critical windows file is causing the computer to lockup. Did you add any programs, hardware, or update any drivers before it started acting up? Also check the event viewer to see if there are any recorded errors that may point us to the offending file.
Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please.
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#6 Woodtroll

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Posted 26 July 2010 - 04:00 AM

Thanks, Baltboy! Nothing was updated or added immediately before I started having the problems, but as noted in my original post, Blackberry Desktop Manager was added about two weeks ago, but now cannot be deleted in the "add/ delete programs" function, as it says it is not installed (?). That was the only thing to be added in recent memory, unless the Avast or some other program did an automatic update.

I am not familiar with the event viewer, but will research it and post the findings. Thanks again for your help!!

#7 abauw

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Posted 26 July 2010 - 04:18 AM

I have an older Dell 2400 with Windows XP home version, SP2.something. A couple days ago, it began locking up on startup; it would open up the screen that lets you select the user account, then begin to open up the user's page/desktop/account (not sure of the proper term), then would freeze in process after all the desktop, icons, etc. were displayed. The mouse cursor will move around, but that is about it. Nothing "highlights" when the mouse is over it, nothing can be selected, the Avast symbol stops turning, and the hard drive light quits flashing. It acts like it is trying to start a program that just jams the thing to a dead stop. It does this with all users on the computer. The task manager will not open at this point, either.


while it freeze...
do you cant open task manager (press ctrl + alt + del at same time)
if you can open task manager...see on processes tab...is there explorer.exe on that processes list...
if not...click file - new task (run)...on the box type explorer.exe and please tell what happen...
if yes...click file - new task (run)...on the box type explorer.exe...still freeze...go to processes list...find explorer.exe...right click on it...and select End Process Tree... find all explorer.exe and kill it like that...if no explorer.exe on the processes list...click file - new task (run)...on the box type explorer.exe and please tell what happen...

:guitar: Take me to a place where time is frozen
You don't have to close your eyes to dream :busy:
You can find escape inside this moment :smash:
And I will follow  :whistle:


#8 Woodtroll

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Posted 26 July 2010 - 12:41 PM

Okay, folks, a little update. I found the event viewer, but when I try to open any section of it, such as "Application", I get an error popup that reads, "Event Viewer; Unable to read the operation on 'Application'. Interface is unknown."

abauw, I cannot open the task manager when the screen is frozen; the computer doesn't respond to key strokes either at that point.

Thanks very much for your efforts to help!

#9 Woodtroll

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Posted 26 July 2010 - 06:58 PM

Another update:

After wrangling with the startup settings, and multiple restarts, Avast has twice alerted to a malware in my C:\windows\system32\ntdll.dll file. It identifies the malware as "Win32:Rootkit-gen(RTK)". It lists a VPS Version 100719-1, 07-19-2010. I do not know what the first part means, but the date seems about right for the onset of my troubles. When the virus alert comes up, I have tried every option available- moving the file to the vault, deleting it, etc., but Avast seems to be unable to do anything with it; I get a failure (read-only) pop-up, and then the screen locks up again. I have gone into safe mode, and tried to delete the file manually, but Windows will not let me do that either.

I find it odd that none of the programs I tried (multiple times) hit on this, even when I isolated this file out in safe mode and scanned it specifically.

I still need to figure out how to delete or repair this file, or otherwise eliminate the malware. Any help would be greatly appreciated!!

I will be posting this in the Malware section, so please make any responses there. I do not want to have two threads on the same topic open at once. THANKS!!!

Edited by Woodtroll, 26 July 2010 - 07:05 PM.





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