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Several Vista problems..ggrrrr...


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#1 jakkwb

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Posted 18 August 2010 - 04:55 PM

Hello. I am working on two different laptops - both have Vista on them.

The first is an Acer. It boots to a black screen with mouse cursor only. The cursor moves, but that is it. No Ctrl-Alt-Del or anything else. all Safe modes do the same thing, as well as last known good. There are no restore points, so I cannot go back. Repair says there is no problem. I ran a chkdsk on it, it found several errors but reportedly corrected all of them. Any suggestions?

2nd - Toshiba Satellite. Was brought in and told it would only boot in safe mode. Normal mode would hang on a "please wait" screen forever (until you turned it off. The busy circle mouse icon was still turning, mind you). To make a long story short, went back in to safe mode and disabled all services except microsoft ones (After trying MANY other options). The system will boot now into normal mode, but...it still is acting rather fishy. I have ran Malwarebytes full scan on it, not finding much (deleted all). When I try to run Combofix on it just to see what it finds, it stalls out on the screen where it says "...could easily double). It has set for over two hours on that screen.

I know the warnings on using combofix without being told. I have been removing viruses/spyware for years for folks around here. I am pretty comfy with it.

There is some software and/or a driver set that is bugging this laptop out. I have yet to back and re-enable services a few at a time to see what happens.

Thank you everyone.

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#2 Broni

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Posted 18 August 2010 - 06:23 PM

It's better, if your run separate topics regarding two different computers.
Let's address the first one....

Run hard drive diagnostics: http://www.tacktech.com/display.cfm?ttid=287 (or http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/ind...ive+diagnostic)
Make sure, you select tool, which is appropriate for the brand of your hard drive.
Depending on the program, it'll create bootable floppy, or bootable CD.
If downloaded file is of .iso type, use ImgBurn: http://www.imgburn.com/ to burn .iso file to a CD (select "Write image file to disc" option), and make the CD bootable.

NOTE. If your hard drive is made by Toshiba, unfortunately, you're out of luck, because Toshiba doesn't provide any diagnostic tool.

===============================================================================

A. If you have more than one RAM module installed, try starting/running 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:

Posted Image

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

Posted Image

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:


Posted Image

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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#3 tommy28

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Posted 18 August 2010 - 08:35 PM

Have you tried running System file checker?

#4 jakkwb

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Posted 18 August 2010 - 08:55 PM

Well, I just "assumed" (since it is Vista...) that is was a software problem. Yep, I should have run those tests first. Thats what I get for jumping to conclusions.

Yes, SFC did repair a few things. I ran it before I posted.

I'll run the mem and hd diagnostics tonight. It does have 2 mem sticks in it.

Thanks guys.

Oh yah, Broni, you don't have to give me the full tutorial on things to try (you're probably used to it though). Thanks for your help :huh:

Edited by jakkwb, 18 August 2010 - 08:58 PM.


#5 Broni

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Posted 18 August 2010 - 09:13 PM

Keep us posted :huh:

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#6 jakkwb

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Posted 19 August 2010 - 09:21 AM

Tried to boot pulling one of the chips. Same thing. Put it back in and pulled the other, same thing.

Hard drive test in process.

On the second PC, came in this morning and Combofix still on the opening screen after all night. Ran Chkdsk again just to see what would happen - get the same message as last time - "chkdsk discovered free space marked as allocated in the volume bitmap. windows has made corrections to the file system". This is a brand new WD hard drive. There were 0 bad sectors. One other message "Failed to transfer loggged messages to the event log with status 50".

Edited by jakkwb, 19 August 2010 - 09:24 AM.


#7 jakkwb

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Posted 19 August 2010 - 11:50 AM

No problems with the hard drive on the 1st laptop (Acer). Still black screen with mouse cursor...

#8 Broni

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Posted 19 August 2010 - 06:11 PM

If you have Vista DVD...

http://www.vistax64.com/tutorials/88236-re...tall-vista.html

If you don't have Vista DVD...

1. Create Vista Recovery Disc.

Option 1:
http://www.c4consulting.com.au/soluctions/...0SOLUCTIONS.htm

Option 2:
Download Vista Recovery Disc iso image: http://neosmart.net/blog/2008/windows-vist...-disc-download/
Burn it to CD, or DVD: http://neosmart.net/wiki/display/G/Burning...+to+a+CD+or+DVD

2. Boot from created disk.
At first screen click on Repair your computer:
Posted Image
This will bring you to a new screen where the repair process will look for all Windows Vista installations on your computer. When done you will be presented with the System Recovery Options dialog box:
Posted Image
After this, it will present you with a list of options including startup repair, system restore and command prompt:
Posted Image
Try System Restore, first.
If that doesn't work, try Startup Repair.

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#9 jakkwb

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Posted 20 August 2010 - 07:46 AM

OK, first laptop (acer) - customer opted to go back to Windows XP on it. Closed case.

2nd (Toshiba), still stops on Combofix screen. There are no system restore points on it. I'll try to repair again, but it always says there is nothing wrong with Windows. SFC says "Windows resource protection found corrupt files but was unable to fix some them". When I try to view the log for it, it gives me an access is denied box. This is with an account with admin rights. I think permissions and/or security is screwed on this system.

Edited by jakkwb, 20 August 2010 - 07:49 AM.


#10 Broni

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Posted 20 August 2010 - 04:14 PM

On the second PC, came in this morning and Combofix still on the opening screen after all night

All, I can say here, Combofix shouldn't be run on your own, since it's a very powerful tool.
I don't even have any authority on this forum to advice on Combofix issue and I suggest, you start new topic at malware forum.

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