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laptop freezes shortly after startup, in safe mode, unable to run security tools


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#1 JayDee14

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Posted 15 February 2011 - 10:20 PM

Hi

Running Windows Vista Home Premium 6.0.6001 Service Pack 1 Build 6001 on a Compaq Presario A900 Notebook PC

My laptop began freezing this morning. Shortly after it is up and running (couple of minutes) it freezes. I maybe able to connect to the internet and load a webpage or two but then it freezes. I may be able to start an antivirus scan but then it freezes. After it freezes the mouse is able to move the cursor around the screen but unable to activate anything. Unable to run Task Manager.

At this point the only option is to hold the power button to force shutdown.

Ran the System Check on initial power on and everything checks out OK, no memory errors, hard drive errors etc.

Went into safe mode, tried a couple system restores......problem continues
Cleaned up hard drive, deleted unneeded files, uninstalled programs no longer needed....problem continues
Defragged the hard drive......problem continues
Unable to fully complete Malwarebytes Anti-Malware scan
Unable to fully complete AVAST Antivirus scan

Initially I was able to work in safe mode for up to 20 minutes or so but that has diminished with each forced reboot/shutdown, now safe mode only stays active/available/working for a few minutes at a time.

Any thoughts on what to try next?

Thank you,
JD

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#2 Bill253

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Posted 15 February 2011 - 10:31 PM

My first thought would be to post this in the 'Am I infected?' forum on this site. Maybe someone else here has a better idea.

One potential way to prove it's a Windows based infection would be to try a Live Linux distribution and see if that runs.

When you get a chance, get Service Pack 2 installed.

#3 JayDee14

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Posted 15 February 2011 - 10:58 PM

Thanks for the info/suggestions Bill, I will repost over in the other forum and get SP2 downloaded and installed.

Can you tell me more about a "live linux distribution"? Not sure what you mean by that.

Thanks,
JD

#4 Bill253

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Posted 16 February 2011 - 12:37 AM

Hi JD,

This is getting off the Vista path, but since you asked... The concept is that malware written for Windows operating systems doesn't effect other operating systems like Linux. So while your Windows OS may not work properly (due to malware, misconfiguration, etc.), a Linux OS on the same machine can run with no problems. Of course if the problem is due to hardware issues, then neither will likely work.

Live Linux distributions (there are many) are packages which include enough of the Linux operating system to boot from a single disc (usually either a CD or DVD) You can pick them up in a number of places - some are included in magazines, available in bookstores, etc., for the price of the magazine. Many are available for free online. You download the disc image and burn it to your own CD/DVD.

Stick the disc in your optical drive (with boot order set to CD/DVD drive first), hit the power button, and a few minutes later (usually much quicker than Windows loads) you are faced with configuration screens (time zone, video display, etc) and then get a functioning desktop with web browser, media player, word processor, spreadsheet.... Different distributions vary with what's included, but I hope this is enough for you to get the picture.

Much more than this should probably be discussed over in the Operating Systems - Forums - Linux & Unix area. I will give you this much...

The distribution I am currently using is called Puppy Linux. Designed to support 'older' hardware and run completely from a CD which is loaded into RAM. You can save settings and personal info on your hard drive or say a USB drive, but if you choose not to you exit and there is no trace of it on the machine (good for public access machines or 'just to see what it's like'). If you're interested, click here, Wary 5.0 is the current 'stable' release (Linux systems are continually going through development). As I said, Puppy Linux is just one of many 'distros' available.

#5 hamluis

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Posted 16 February 2011 - 09:33 AM

FWIW: New post in Am I Infected forum, http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/topic379822.html/page__p__2136044#entry2136044 .

Louis




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