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Multiple problems -slow boot, keyboard failure, etc


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#1 smegly

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Posted 20 September 2011 - 09:47 PM

Greetings,

It all started five weeks ago. System crashed, not doing anything special. Gave a keyboard failure with suggestion to check for viruses(which I did using everything in the book, including combofix). Also warned to remove any newly installed drives or controlloers followed by a:

STOP: 0x0000007B(0xF78D2524,0xC0000034,(0x0000000,0x0000000)

The disconcerting part is that I couldn't access the Windows Recovery Console option when it appeared during reboot. Now when I attempt to enter the Recovery Console I just get a flashing cursor in the upper left-hand corner of a completely dark screen. Fortunately I had a XP Media Edition Reinstallation OS disk which I used to run CHKDSK /r. It was reported back that errors were found and files replaced(or something like that). That got me back to the point where I can reboot.

But!!! It now reboots terribly slow and I am still unable to use the Recovery Console during boot up despite having run Combofix again in order to have it re-installed.

I ran one pass of memtest86 and ran the manufacturer's diagnostic on the C drive, including the extended test. All passed(except the IDE PATA drive, but this is just a separate storage drive on a different channel than the C drive.

I've since taken the storage drive out in the bio, but that didn't improve the slowness of the boot up time.

Once I'm up and running the computer doesn't seem any different EXCEPT that now I can't hardly run Google Earth as it crashes so frequently. I uninstalled and reinstalled Google Earth and still have this problem. Also, it will occasionally hang when logging out a user. Often it will fail to boot and will give the 'keyboard failure' message(not a BSOD though), although it usually only does this once.

I'm guessing a motherboard problem or maybe some virus, although never had one act like this. Combofix did pick up something and eliminated whatever it was, but a problem still exits, and is getting worse.

Dell XPS 400
Dell MB 0FJ030
Build Date: July '06
C drive: WDC Model WD2500JS-75NCB2
3 gig RAM

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#2 jhayz

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Posted 20 September 2011 - 10:02 PM

Check your BIOS settings for your Hard drive operation mode - RAID/SATA to AHCI compatibility mode.

Tekken
 


#3 hamluis

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Posted 21 September 2011 - 08:35 AM

<<I did using everything in the book, including combofix).>>

Using Combofix...is not "in the book" for system issues. ComboFix is a powerful malware tool which should be used only under supervision of those trained to deal with malware.

ComboFix usage, Questions, Help - Look here - http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/topic273628.html

Louis

#4 smegly

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Posted 21 September 2011 - 09:14 AM

hamluis,

Thanks for getting back to me.

At the time I used Combofix, I could not determine whether this was a true system issue or whether it was a maleware attack designed to look like one. I also knew that Combofix was an 'easy' way to get the Recovery Console installed on the computer. Of course, I need not have continued past the Recovery Console installation, but given the long queue to get help here, I felt I couldn't wait.

If you guys weren't so good at what you do, the queues wouldn't be so long. :P

#5 hamluis

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Posted 21 September 2011 - 11:17 AM

Thanks, I know how good the malware (and other) personnel here are and I think that most members also know.

The problem with your approach...is that there are no "shortcuts" to removing malware and its effects, short of a clean install...and using malware tools unsupervised can also create issues on a system.

If you read the link I provided, you will see that there are many reasons for "slow computers". I suggest going through that link to see if the suggestions can assist you.

If you think that you have malware issues...then my advice would be to follow the website protocols for posting in one of the malware forums.

Am I infected What do I do - http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/forum103.html

Preparation Guide, Before Using Malware Removal Tools and Requesting Help - http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/topic34773.html

Louis

#6 smegly

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Posted 21 September 2011 - 01:29 PM

Hamluis,

Thanks for getting back to me....

I've looked back and don't see any link that you left having to do with slow computers. However, I believe I found it prior to my original post which is one reason I ran the OEM HDD diagnostic on the HDD and the memtest86. Also, I didn't intend to give the impression that the normal operation of the computer was slow, only that the start-up is much slower than usual.

So there are three major headaches/symptoms I'm dealing with:

1)Slow start-up and occasional 'Keyboard Failure' while doing same.

2)Unable to get the Recovery Console to load.

3)Google Earth crashes a lot. Barely usable.

I have no idea whether these symptoms are being caused by an old failing computer part or a virus. But this thread seemed a logical place to start since the queue in the malware section of bleepingcomputer is so much longer.

#7 hamluis

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Posted 21 September 2011 - 02:50 PM

My error...just another of today's battles with senility :)...the link I should have left, Slow Computer-browser Check Here First; It May Not Be Malware - http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/topic87058.html

Keyboard failure errors...seem self-explanatory to me, but these may also be caused by unusual circumstances (failing CMOS battery comes to mind).

This system appears to be a desktop, so I would replace the CMOS battery even if it is not related to your problems.

Your problem re the Recovery Console...is definitely linked to your use of ComboFix, since you installed the RC via CF. I can't address anything about ComboFix, which is why I gave you the link re info concerning such.

Google Earth...quick answer is to uninstall it, reinstall it.

Of course...if all your problems are due to malware and you've deferred addressing such in the forum for five weeks...posting these issues in the XP forum isn't going to shorten the time you evade address of such.

<<I have no idea whether these symptoms are being caused by an old failing computer part or a virus.>>

I've never figured out...why people always assume that there is only one item...which needs address in their situations. You could have malware, software, and Windows problems, along with hardware issues. It's hard to tell at this point, IMO.

Anyway...you could have multiple issues.

Let's go back 5 weeks...what made you think that running ComboFix would help, not hurt? What provoked that?

Louis

#8 smegly

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Posted 21 September 2011 - 03:45 PM

Hamluis,

Five weeks ago is a long time ago but to the best of my recollection I ran combofix for two reasons. One, to get the Recovery Console re-installed, and two, to see if this might be related to a virus. I have used combofix on my own before to fix issues. I know it isn't recommended, but when you need your computer for a livelihood and it's going downhill fast, you do what you have to do.

Actually, the Recovery Console had already been installed from the last time I used bleepingcomputer and was instructed to use combofix for the problem I had then(false anti-virus alerts). Why the Recovery Console stopped working is beyond me. Also, now that I recall, there was a message that a file or something was missing from a folder called config_sys or some such. That lead me to use CHKDSK /r which got me going again - sort of.

Actually, it's not my computer. I'm helping my 83 year old mother while I'm in town visiting. She would be unable to follow instructions here so I'm her proxy. I'll be leaving in a week so I'd like to get this resolved for her, if possible.

As this may boil down to getting a new computer, can I get an opinion from you as to what major brand(s) you might advise one to avoid? I can't think of anyone better positioned to know that kind of stuff than someone who does what you do here.

Thanks...

#9 hamluis

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Posted 21 September 2011 - 04:18 PM

<<I can't think of anyone better positioned to know that kind of stuff than someone who does what you do here.>>

And I can't think of anyone less qualified to advise humans on how to spend their money :)...when it comes to computer systems :).

I don't buy brand-name computers, I build my own since my Win 98 days.

I'm not a computer "professiona" or "technician" of any sort...just a guy who likes the advantages that PCs provide.

I would never buy a laptop, unless I was just being bored.

I update my systems...out of nothing but whim...because the prices of components have steadily dropped since I bought my first system.

I try not to get in the habit of telling other persons...how they should spend their money on their systems...in the same mannner that I do.

OTOH...if I wanted to buy an easy-care system for someone, I would get a name-brand that comes with great customer support...for those moments when assistance is needed and knowledge may be absent. If that meant an extended warranty...so be it.

Long before I would consider just buying a new system...I find that clean installs on systems that have no hardware problems...are cheaper than buying a new system. That doesn't address the support issues for that system...but I do my own support :).

There are other members here who probably have ideas which are different than mine, let's give them a chance to respond.

Louis

Edited by hamluis, 21 September 2011 - 04:19 PM.


#10 jhayz

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Posted 21 September 2011 - 09:00 PM

If you are keen or thinking of buying a new computer, why not just reinstall the operating system? Backup important documents and the spent will only be your time. :wink:

Tekken
 


#11 smegly

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Posted 24 September 2011 - 03:23 PM

Thanks guys, I'll take your recommendations to the boss(my mother) and let her run with it. I hesitate to reinstall the OS since I'm pretty sure this is a hardware bug. If the thing is still alive and kicking but sick come the holiday season when I'm back up here I'll take it to the Virus Removal forum just to make sure that the machine isn't infected.

smegly

#12 hamluis

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Posted 24 September 2011 - 04:09 PM

There are O/S bugs...software bugs...malware bugs. Hardware either works or doesn't work properly.

A clean install will remove O/S, software, and malware impacts on a given system.

If you have a hardware problem that is impacting the system...it is not a bug.The goal should be to determine, if possible, which hardware item is the problem...and go forward from there. If you think that your system has a hardware situation which is responsible for the problems that you see...I suggest that you initiate a new topic in the Internal Hardware forum, http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/forum7.html .

Buying a new computer is the shotgun blast attempt to solve/eliminate system problems...it works because it's basically a non-address of the issues. I don't suggest such unless it's clear that the system is antiquated and the cost of repairing is more prohibitive than the cost of a new motherboard/CPU/RAM/PSU.

Louis




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