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strange shutdowns


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#1 godzilla1347

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Posted 08 March 2016 - 03:17 AM

I am running Windows Vista on a Dell XPS 410 desktop. I came back to the computer this morning and noticed it was off. I moved the mouse to get it out of sleep mode and it stayed off. I then restarted but it wouldn't open Windows so I started it in safe mode. It did start and when I went to reboot in normal mode it started, but then, about 20 minutes later, it crashed.  This had happened a number of times so I tried to do a system restore and it wouldn't let me with very recent restore points. It did let me with a restore point that was about 2 months old.

 

Nonetheless, it keeps crashing. I get a blue error screen that shuts down very quickly and before I can read the whole thing, and the system reboots. I then noticed that my McAfee antivirus software had picked up a questionable item and asked me to quarantine it, which I did.  Afterwards, the crashing had happened less frequently but still happens.

 

I had noticed that there are a number of ghosted system files in my document folders that weren't there before. Many are .tmp files. Windows says I shouldn't delete them because they are system files and could cause instability but they appear to be ghosted duplicates of files that work.

 

One other thing, when rebooting the first time, it sounded like the hard drive was running too fast. That never happened again.

 

It appears that my Windows operating system has destabilized. My question is I don't want to lose everything on the system. I did save all the document files I need. If I were to use the Dell recovery disk, wouldn't that wipe out my whole hard drive?  I don't want to do that. Is there some way of restoring Windows Vista without wiping the drive clean?

 

I think the computer gods are telling me it's about time I go out and buy an new system but this works fine . . .  when it works. Not sure what is the best way to bring this system back to stability.

 



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#2 jcgriff2

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Posted 08 March 2016 - 04:45 AM

Hi. . .
 
What is a "ghosted system file"?
 
System files don't ever reside in Documents. I don't know what these files are exactly, but they're not system files.
 
Since you have all of the files you want backed up, I suggest that you go ahead and reinstall Windows.
 
Using the Dell Recovery disc would restore the system to factory default settings, i.e., the system would be just like it was when brand new, prior to the first boot-up. You will have to reinstall all apps; copy your personal files to the new system, etc...
 
The first thing to do after reaching Desktop after the reinstall is to remove Norton, McAfee or whatever Internet Security Suite came preinstalled on the system. This is a must.
 
Use the appropriate Removal Tool - http://support.eset.com/kb146/?locale=en_US
 
Reboot upon completion to allow the removal of boot and kernel mode drivers.
 
The next step is to allow all Windows Updates to install. This will take quite a bit of time and several reboots as there are literally hundreds of updates.
 
Then you can install your apps, etc...
 
Good luck to you.
 
Regards. . .
 
jcgriff2


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#3 godzilla1347

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Posted 08 March 2016 - 11:08 AM

What I had meant by ghosted system files are files that show up in my document folders that are greyed out and can't open directly. They weren't there before. When trying to delete them, I get requester box that comes up and states that they are system files and could cause some programs not to work if I were to delete them.  Upon trying to upon some of them with Wordpad, I see that they are document files so I assume that Windows simply puts that warning there as a general precaution.

 

I would assume from what you have said that using a Dell recovery disc doesn't provide an option to simply re-install the operating system without removing everything on the hard drive in the process. I would have liked to have kept my Microsoft programs resident on the system because the Office software was installed by Dell when the system was purchased and I don't have a CD. I do have the license codes, however.

 

I leave the computer on when not using it and let it go into sleep mode. I notice that it shut down again late last night as I got a message that there was an unexpected shutdown but my display drivers and windows had recovered. Once the system reboots, it actually works better than it did before the crashes.



#4 godzilla1347

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Posted 09 March 2016 - 02:31 PM

I think the problem may have something to do with a firefox corruption. I notice that Firefox keeps rebooting and the system doesn't shut down when this happens. I checked and used the reset Firefox tool that had brought it back to orginal but that didn't stop the shutdowns. I was just in my webmail with Optimum and went to the address book and then the whole system shut down. I have the most recent version of Firefox.

 

Before I reinstall windows and lose all the programs and drivers, I want to see if there is a simpler solution. If it's a question of uninstalling Firefox then reinstalling it, I'm not sure



#5 jcgriff2

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Posted 09 March 2016 - 04:35 PM

You can try the Firefox uninstall/reinstall, but do believe in the end that you'll likely end up reinstalling Windows.

 

Regards. . .

 

jcgriff2


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#6 godzilla1347

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Posted 09 March 2016 - 09:10 PM

I keep getting the message "windows has recovered from an unexpected shutdown. I'm getting the feeling that the virus that Macafee had discovered has damaged Windows. It has been quarantined and after running a thorough scan, I have no infections but the system doesn't work the same anymore. When it works, it's fine but then it crashes and recovers.

 

My concern is if there is a way of saving the programs and driver files if I have to reinstall windows.  I suspect that I can save the driver files but don't know where they are on Vista.

't



#7 jcgriff2

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Posted 09 March 2016 - 11:31 PM

You'll have to reinstall any 3rd party drivers that reinstalling Windows or Windows Updates doesn't install. 

 

You'll need to go to the system manufacturer's support site for them or the device manufacturer's support site.

 

Regards. . .

 

jcgriff2


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