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* Baffled by "useless" TPM *


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#1 ValR

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Posted 03 February 2018 - 06:46 AM

Sorry to be a nuisance, but I'd be really grateful if anyone here can shed some light on what's happening with my desktop PC.

 

Now 4 years old, it nevertheless works just fine. .. or has been doing so until a month or so ago, when suddenly it began shutting down without warning: no BSOD, no freeze, nothing.

 

First time it happened, I thought there'd been a power outage in our home, but no: everything else was working fine. So-oo . . . I booted in Safe Mode, tried to figure out what might be the cause (but failed to do so) and then ran scannow to find / fix any system errors. Scannow reported that yes, it had found some and yes, it had fixed 'em, but, but . . .

 

My computer continued to suddenly shut down without any apparent reason. Some days it would do so at least twice. Some days it would work reliably as always. Shut downs occurred regardless of whatever I might be doing at the time: editing a Word doc, or writing an email, or post-processing some pictures, or even, simply browsing (Firefox.)

 

I'm a complete novice where computers are concerned and so I wondered if, perhaps, the cause of the shutdown was an AV conflict, seeing as how I have Avast Free and Malwarebytes Premium installed. I then belatedly discovered that Malwarebytes said, last year, that the latest Premium (paid-for) version which I have means there's no necessity for a separate AV on the same computer. So . . . I disabled Avast -- but it made no difference: random shutdowns continued. I then enabled Avast and disabled Malwarebytes: again, it made no difference.

 

Wondering if a hardware problem was the cause, I decided to use Kerish Doctor 2018. I'm very, very wary of any software 'magic cures'. I don't believe one-size-fits-all. Don't believe 'registry cleaners' are anything more than snake oil. And don't trust any so-called 'computer optimization' software to make my machine perform faster / better. The only reason for letting Kerish Doctor run was because I wanted real-time monitoring of video card / disks temperature and memory usage (which at a steady 28C and 29C respectively for the drives and 43C for the video card seemed fine.)

 

Arbitrary shutdowns continued though, any time, any day. Or some days, not at all. I decided to allow Kerish Doctor to monitor "errors" in real time. It found -- apart from usual trivia about out-dated user history files -- that this keeps happening:

 

System Service Failure (1 object). Some system services contain errors in the settings.
This can result in a failure during startup, or when such services are accessed.
Action: Service TPM has no settings and is useless.

 

I have allowed Kerish Doctor to run in real time for the past 10 days. During this period, it has reported as per above on five separate occasions. Significantly though -- or, well it seems so to me -- this computer hasn't  shut down even once.

 

I appreciate, diagnosing computer problems is waaaaaay beyond me, and too many novices (like me) can easily rush to judgment and get it wrong. But, but, but  . . . This computer is working perfectly again, yet appears to be causing Kerish Doctor to deal with some kind of error on an irregular basis. I'm therefore posting here to ask the following:

 

(1) What IS this 'Service TPM'? I can find no trace at all of it on my computer -- worse, the only reference I can actually understand in online research is all about it being something relating to Intel . . . but my computer's processor is AMD. Not Intel.

 

(2) If Kerish Doctor seems to keep spotting a "useless service", then how I can get rid of it if I can't even find it?

 

Apologies again for troubling folks here, but I really am baffled. Help appreciated: thanks.


Windows 7 Home Premium / custom build PC / AMD FX4100 Quad Core / AsusTek 200 MHz / 8GB RAM / Crucial SSD 256 / Western Digital 1000 / NVIDIA GeForce GTX 570


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#2 SleepyDude

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Posted 03 February 2018 - 10:16 AM

Hi,
 
I think it would be useful to post the brand and exact model of the motherboard you have, maybe I'm blind but I don't see this on you signature...
 
Also this:

  • download Speccy Portable save the file to some place
  • extract the Zip file spsetupxxx.zip to an empty folder
  • run Speccy/Speccy64 according to the Operating System you have

.
To publish a Speccy profile to the Web:

  • In Speccy, click File, and then click Publish Snapshot.
  • In the Publish Snapshot dialog box, click Yes to enable Speccy to proceed.
  • Speccy publishes the profile and displays a second Publish Snapshot. You can open the URL in your default browser, copy it to the clipboard, or close the dialog box

Please post the resulting URL.


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#3 ValR

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Posted 03 February 2018 - 12:53 PM

Hello Sleepydude: thanks for responding, and I hope I'm not being too much of a pest.

 

Here's the Speccy analysis results URL:

 

 

http://speccy.piriform.com/results/TwzNa1LgM0rY557hTrH81qp


Windows 7 Home Premium / custom build PC / AMD FX4100 Quad Core / AsusTek 200 MHz / 8GB RAM / Crucial SSD 256 / Western Digital 1000 / NVIDIA GeForce GTX 570


#4 SleepyDude

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Posted 03 February 2018 - 01:27 PM

Hi,

 

- download InSpectre from https://www.grc.com/inspectre.htm and save the file to the Desktop

- execute the program by right clicking the file InSpectre.exe and selecting Run as Administrator

- post a screenshot showing the Window of the program please.


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#5 ValR

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Posted 03 February 2018 - 02:34 PM

Hi SD:

 

Have done as you suggested, DL'd InSpectre and ran it as Administrator. The only screenshot I could take (of a small window) didn't seem to me to be especially useful where you were concerned so I've copied / pasted the full content:

 

Spectre & Meltdown Vulnerability

and Performance Status

 

System is Meltdown protected: YES

System is Spectre protected: NO!

Performance: GOOD

(full details below)

 

In early 2018 the PC industry was rocked by the revelation that common processor design features, widely used to increase the performance of modern PCs, could be abused to create critical security vulnerabilities. The industry quickly responded, and is responding, to these Meltdown and Spectre threats by updating operating systems, motherboard BIOSes and CPU firmware.

 

Protection from these two significant vulnerabilities requires updates to every system's hardware-its BIOS which reloads updated processor firmware-and its operating system-to use the new processor features. To further complicate matters, newer processors contain features to minimize the performance impact of these important security improvements. But older processors, lacking these newer features, will be significantly burdened and system performance will suffer under some workloads.

 

This InSpectre utility was designed to clarify every system's current situation so that appropriate measures can be taken to update the system's hardware and software for maximum security and performance.

 

This system's present situation:

 

·     This 64-bit version of Windows has been updated for full awareness of both the Spectre and the Meltdown vulnerabilities. If the system's hardware (see below) has also been updated, this system will not be vulnerable to these attacks.

 

·     This system's AMD processor is not affected by the Meltdown vulnerability, but it has not been updated with the new features required to allow its operating system to eliminate the Spectre vulnerabilities and/or to minimize their impact upon the system's performance.

 

Due to the potential performance impact of these vulnerability protections, which may be particularly burdensome on older hardware and operating systems that cannot be updated, either one or both of these protections may be disabled with Windows registry settings. This system's "protection disable" is currently set as follows:

 

·     The system's registry is configured to enable both of the Spectre and Meltdown protections. Within the bounds of any limitations described above, Windows will work with the system's processor to prevent the exploitation of these vulnerabilities.

 

Guidance & Observations

 

Unfortunately, this system will be open to exploitation of the Spectre vulnerability until and unless its BIOS and CPU microcode firmware are updated. You should contact the system's vender and work to obtain an updated BIOS for this system, which will bring updated firmware along as part of the process. If future solutions to the Spectre vulnerability are found, this InSpectre utility will be updated to reflect them.

 

This system's AMD processor is naturally immune to Meltdown attacks but not from Spectre attacks. When enabled and active, protection from Spectre will come at some cost in system performance. If this system's performance is more important than security, the Spectre vulnerability protection can be disabled to obtain somewhat improved performance.

 

When InSpectre is run with elevated administrative privilege, each button below toggles its respective protection on or off. Any changes will take effect after the system is restarted. Each button will be disabled if its protection is not available to be changed.

 

 For more information see GRC's InSpectre web page

 

Copyright © 2018 by Gibson Research Corporation

 

 

Hope this is of some help?? Thanks: Val.


Windows 7 Home Premium / custom build PC / AMD FX4100 Quad Core / AsusTek 200 MHz / 8GB RAM / Crucial SSD 256 / Western Digital 1000 / NVIDIA GeForce GTX 570


#6 SleepyDude

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Posted 03 February 2018 - 02:47 PM

Hi,

 

When you execute the tool as Administrator is the button Disable Meltdown Protection available? if you have disable the protection and restart the computer.

 

Let the system run for some days to see if the problem continues. Those updates related to Meltdown and Spectre are creating problems in some machines.

 

If this doesn't help, another source of the problem could be the Power Supply. How many years the PSU have? is it from a know and reputable brand? what is the PSU wattage?


• Please do not PM me asking for support. Post on the forums instead it will increases the chances of getting help for your problem by one of us.
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#7 ValR

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Posted 04 February 2018 - 03:59 AM

Morning, SD:

 

No: the Disable Meltdown Protection button isn't available. It's greyed out.

 

Meantime, I've had yet another error report from  Kerish Doctor. I've looked at Microsoft's Technet article:

 

https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ff404259.aspx

 

but am little the wiser, especially as after following the advice to type in tpm.msc to configure "Trusted Platform Module Management" the only result is a screen which says no "compatible" TPM can be found on this computer.

 

In other words:

 

Kerish Doctor's report seems to be accurate -- but that doesn't explain why something somewhere in this computer's system is repeatedly calling upon a service which isn't installed and is, accordingly, "useless". I'd love to be able to stop this TPM thing from happening without need to have Kerish Doctor running permanently.

 

Screenshots attached.  

 

Attached File  System error February 4.JPG   199.89KB   0 downloads

 

Attached File  TPM not on this computer.JPG   124.09KB   0 downloads

 


Windows 7 Home Premium / custom build PC / AMD FX4100 Quad Core / AsusTek 200 MHz / 8GB RAM / Crucial SSD 256 / Western Digital 1000 / NVIDIA GeForce GTX 570


#8 ValR

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Posted 04 February 2018 - 04:13 AM

Ooops: sorry, SD, meant to add to my reply to your post:

 

Unfortunately, I don't know anything about the PSU in this computer. It was a custom build by someone else and I purchased it from him via eBay in 2014.

 

As noted though, it has performed flawlessly until recently when those sudden inexplicable shut-downs kept occurring . . . but have never occurred again since Kerish Doctor began live monitoring and intercepting this mysterious TPM "system service failure" error.


Windows 7 Home Premium / custom build PC / AMD FX4100 Quad Core / AsusTek 200 MHz / 8GB RAM / Crucial SSD 256 / Western Digital 1000 / NVIDIA GeForce GTX 570


#9 SleepyDude

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Posted 04 February 2018 - 07:03 AM

Morning, SD:

 

No: the Disable Meltdown Protection button isn't available. It's greyed out.

 

Did you run the tool as Administrator (using right click)?

 

 

Your computer doesn't have TPM that is an hardware security feature, you can ignore, in fact it shows that Kerish Doctor isn't very good because its assuming that all machines have that feature!

 

You should open the computer case and try to get more information about the power supply... also try to monitor the zone occupied by the PSU to see if it gets hotter, in case it have a cooler that isn't working properly the PSU gets hotter depending on the power demands and usually cuts the power.


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#10 ValR

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Posted 04 February 2018 - 07:22 AM

Thanks SD. I'll have a look later on.

 

As to Kerish possibly mis-identifying something, would you not agree that it's quite a coincidence that prior to Kerish's diagnosis of a system service error, this computer was repeatedly and arbitrarily shutting down . . . whereas since Kerish began flagging up this error, this computer has worked perfectly.

 

Kerish is actually confirming that TPM doesn't exist on this computer -- exactly as you said -- and pointing out that because it doesn't exist, then system failure could be triggered by something somewhere that for reasons unknown keeps trying to access it.

 

No matter. I'll see how I get on. Meantime, all best and sincere thanks again.


Windows 7 Home Premium / custom build PC / AMD FX4100 Quad Core / AsusTek 200 MHz / 8GB RAM / Crucial SSD 256 / Western Digital 1000 / NVIDIA GeForce GTX 570


#11 SleepyDude

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Posted 04 February 2018 - 09:54 AM

Most likely a coincidence...

 

If there is some service error then usually Windows will report it on the logs.

 

Download MiniToolBox and save the file to the Desktop.
Run the tool and check the following options:

  • List last 10 Event Viewer log
  • List Devices (Only Problems)
  • List Minidump Files
  • List Restore Points

Click on Go.

Post the resulting log in your next reply.
 

 


• Please do not PM me asking for support. Post on the forums instead it will increases the chances of getting help for your problem by one of us.
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