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Missing System Files (and other problems?)


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#1 RussellJB

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Posted 08 September 2010 - 07:59 PM

Hi, I originally posted in the "Virus, Trojan, Spyware, and Malware Removal Logs" section of the board a couple of weeks ago because I had located and deleted a virus from my comp, and had re-formatted my C drive, and I wanted to make sure the virus was completely gone. Here is the thread:

http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/topic341808.html

Malware Response Team member M0le walked me through everything and was a huge help. Things were going fairly smoothly until yesterday (Sept 7th) when IE8 froze and then when I tried to reboot I had a very difficult time of it. I'll refer you to my original thread to spare you reading about it twice. Perhaps the meat of the matter is the last 4-5 posts but you might want to read all of it.

I don't think I said this too clearly in the original thread but for several months, maybe more, I've been getting an "Error ! USB device failed to initialize !!!" on initialization but the boot would continue without a hiccup. In fact, to see it I really had to be looking.

All the things I've done to fix this are also listed in the original thread. Nornally I would follow a forum's rules and would use the Windows XP Recovery Console and other things listed in the "XP Boot Fixes" thread before posting but M0le didn't say anything about using it so I think I'll wait until I get the green light from someone.

Thanks!

- Russell

Edited by RussellJB, 08 September 2010 - 08:03 PM.


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#2 hamluis

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Posted 08 September 2010 - 08:08 PM

<<There's no trace of malware on this log but there does appear to be a large amount of system files missing.>>

System manufacturer and model?

Do you have a Microsoft Genuine XP install CD?

Do you have a recovery/restore partition...or recovery/restore CDs?

FWIW: The XP Recovery Console won't help you restore missing system files.

Louis

#3 RussellJB

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Posted 08 September 2010 - 08:18 PM

Sorry, Louis. Not thinking there.

Dell Dimension 4500 Pentium 4, 2.0 GHz

XP Pro -- yes, I have the install CD

"Do you have a recovery/restore partition...or recovery/restore CDs?" -- I'm not sure what you mean by that. I only have some CDs for drivers so I'll say "no."

#4 hamluis

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Posted 09 September 2010 - 06:50 AM

http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/syst...ced.htm#1207158

See Reinstalling Windows XP section of above.

"If your computer already has Windows XP installed and you want to recover your current Windows XP data, type r to select the repair option, and then go to step 16."

It appears to me that your "install CD" is, in fact, a recovery/restore solution...meaning that it's not the same thing as MS Genuine XP CD, but is designed to give the user/owner the capability to restore the system to the factory defaults when purchased.

What this means is that you cannot perform a repair install of XP with that CD.

Read the following and see if it works on your system, SFC on Dell Systems.

Louis

#5 RussellJB

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Posted 09 September 2010 - 10:27 AM

It worked! Thank you, Maestro! The comp re-booted, and it did it much faster than it has in awhile. I still have to give it a test run but right now the only thing I notice is that on the re-boot the "Error ! USB device failed to initialize !!!" still appeared on the screen for a second right before the Dell screenshot. At the moment I'm happy just to have a working comp again but should this be a concern?

Thanks again!

#6 hamluis

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Posted 09 September 2010 - 10:41 AM

Well done :thumbsup:!

What USB devices do you have installed on this system?

I would take a look in Event Viewer and see if there are any errors noted which might provide clues...then I would try uninstalling that device and reinstalling it.

How To Use Event Viewer - http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/topic40108.html

You can also take a look in Device Manager and see if there are any red, yellow or black markings by any device...indicating a problem of some sort. Start/Run...type devmgmt.msc and hit Enter.

Louis

#7 RussellJB

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Posted 09 September 2010 - 11:33 AM

Geez, I've just had the same thing happen to me that (I think) caused the comp to fail to re-boot -- my IE8 froze. It happened just like it had been doing since I reformatted and started using IE8 again: I had 2 windows open, one with 4 tabs, the other just the 1. I closed the single tab window. Then I closed 3 of the tabs on the other window. When I went to close the actual window it stopped responding. I gave the comp about 2 minutes to catch up and hopefully start working again, then I closeed the window via Task Manager.

The time it happened and it failed to re-boot without a major hassle the window stayed on the screen even after IE8 closed. This time it went away and everything seems to be normal (I don't know if that matters).

This is an 8 year old comp that has been on for many, many hours but I don't think this should be happening since I just did a fresh XP re-install about 10 days ago. I'd prefer to resolve it now, but should I do some more tinkering to find the cause or just say it's an old comp and I need to get used to doing these sorts of repairs until I can afford a new one?

About the USB error -- I didn't see anything in the Event Viewer that happened at the time I re-booted but when I was desperately trying to get my comp to boot two days ago I looked in BIOS at Event Log Configuration > View Event Log and the log said "Keyboard not functional." I just uninstalled and reinstalled the keyboard driver but I'm still getting the message (the keyboard isn't a USB device anyway, it's a PS2). Before we get any further into it tho' (that is if it's important enough to need resolving) I think the above problem needs taking care of. That is, if they aren't two symtoms of the same problem. :thumbsup:

#8 hamluis

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Posted 09 September 2010 - 12:24 PM

Well...you never answered my question.

What USB devices are installed?

Louis

#9 RussellJB

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Posted 09 September 2010 - 12:37 PM

That would help!

Lexmark X73 printer
Logitech XL7 (wireless) mouse

The printer drivers are on 2 discs. My 2nd disc is broken so I only installed the 1st disc when I did the XP re-install (but the USB error has been going on for at least several months, long before the re-install).

I also have 2 WD external HDDs and 2 thumb drives of different makes. Usually they're not plugged in but I have the wires plugged in the comp. If you like I can give the exact models.

#10 hamluis

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Posted 09 September 2010 - 01:16 PM

No...you can track whatever it is down later.

Drivers for most USB devices...are available for download at the respective manufacturer's website, you don't have rely upon CDs previously furnished.

As for freezing symptoms...could be many things...overheating, PSU, bad program, damaged Windows files. With an 8-year-old system, my noney would go on overheating or the PSU.

Louis

#11 RussellJB

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Posted 09 September 2010 - 02:14 PM

Oh boy, that was the kind of response I was fearing and expecting. I already have the "SFC on Dell Systems" link saved.

I ran chkdsc a couple of days ago (it didn't find anything -- maybe this isn't in its jurisdiction) and while I cleaned the comp half-arsed several months ago I'm going to buy some more compressed air and give it a good cleaning. But do you know of any software and/or diagnostic tools that would help me narrow down the freezing problem? Thanks.

#12 hamluis

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Posted 09 September 2010 - 03:00 PM

Freezes occur for any number of reasons/circumstances...with heat, the PSU, and other hardware or malware problems...among the chief causes, IMO.

Louis

#13 RussellJB

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Posted 09 September 2010 - 03:51 PM

LOL, I guess I did ask a "why is the sky blue?" kinda question.

While I'm waiting for it to bite the big one I'll start looking to see if it's worth upgrading it vs. just getting a new comp when I can afford it.

Well, my comp is much better for me having come to bleepingcomputer.com. Now I know my comp is clean of viruses and it's booting faster, and more importantly, booting at all. lol. If I hadn't come here after the Windows re-install to make sure my comp was clean I would have torn my hair out when my comp stopped booting.

Thanks a million, Louis!

#14 hamluis

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Posted 09 September 2010 - 03:55 PM

Easily...and gladly...done. The volunteers here enjoy trying to help, although we realize we can't ever be as successful as we would like to be :thumbsup:.

You've been very patient as we suggest this and that...I'm glad that we had some success with your situation.

Happy computing :flowers:.

Louis

#15 RussellJB

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Posted 11 September 2010 - 02:12 PM

A couple of hours after I posted my comp died. :thumbsup: I had a WD MyBook plugged in and a couple of programs running when the comp suddenly restarted. I thought it was just a momentary power failure (my area gets that often) but after I logged on again and began starting my programs (which took about 5 minutes) my comp restarted a 2nd time. This time neither the keyboard or mouse would work and I was stuck at the Windows User Login page on bootup. So I tried restarting.

I got a black screen. The DVD-RW, CD-RW, and floppy disc lights will flash and the keyboard lights will flash for a sec and it seems like the HDDs start spinning but there's nothing on the screen. The light on the motherboard also lghts. But nothing I do makes a difference. I tried putting in the XP disc, and the disc I made with M0le but nothing happens. Right now I'm on a comp at the library.

The obvious answer is to buy a new comp but I simply don't have the money right now. The 2nd thing is to bring it to Comp USA and have them fix it but I'm not too thrilled about spending 100s of dollars on an 8 year old comp. I could possibly replace the broken part(s) myself but I don't know how to give it a diagnosis.

So I have a 2 part queston:

1) is there anyway I can get my comp running again, even temporarily -- maybe by DLing something from this library comp (BIOS or something?)?

2) how can I find out what's wrong with it without taking it to Comp USA?

Hopefully I could do both -- get it running for a few weeks and use the time to do a diagnosis. Then I could use the time I gain to save for a new comp.

Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated! Thanks.




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