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Vista laptop freezing /crashing

  1. Hi,
    I am checking out my daughters Dell Inspiron 1545 laptop, 2.2Ghz, 3GB mem, running Vista Home Basic.
    It is experiencing frequent freezes, occasional Blue Screen.
    Can hang at any time - not consistent.
    Has Norton Internet Security running. A scan ran with no errors
    I installed MBAM and it found various issues /trojan.bho /etc.
    Cleared these - MBAM now runs clean, but still freezes.
    Have to often force a power off which sometimes results in CHKDSK finding and repairing various issues.
    Cleared various junk - lots of unnecessary toolbars.
    I have run Hijackthis - and have logfile if this helps.
    Any advice appreciated.
    Thanks
    William
     
  2. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 20,934   +167

    Most likely this is caused by a failing hard drive, especially if Chkdsk runs often. You could try restoring the laptop to factory condition if this option still exists
     
  3. NineMilesHigh

    NineMilesHigh TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 56

    If the laptop runs ok for a while and I do a normal shutdown I don't get chkdsk running on reboot and everything seems fine. It is only if it freezes and I force a power off that I get the chkdsk issues on reboot. If I restore factory seetings, I will lose everything, will I not? I'd rather not do this and try to root out the problem if possible.
    W
     
  4. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 20,934   +167

    Try to back up the stuff you don't want to loose. You can use a CD, DVD or flash drive. From what you have described, the laptop was full of spyware and serious malware. It could still be suffering from the malware damage. You really need to attempt to install Windows fresh. Doing so, will help expose any hardware issues
     
  5. NineMilesHigh

    NineMilesHigh TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 56

    Thanks for advice.
    At this moment, we are unable to locate the Windows Vista CD's that were originally installed.
    So, I am kind of stuck.
    I am sure you are right about possible corruption.
    I have run sfc /scannow and it found 'corrupt files but was unable to fix some of them...'
    I looked in the CBS log file and the only file it says it 'cannot repair' is tcpmon.ini - hash mismatch.
    W.
     
  6. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 20,934   +167

    How about upgrading to Windows 7?
     
  7. Wrench97

    Wrench97 TS Rookie

    Hit Start in the search box type cmd.exe, from the results list above right click on cmd.exe and select "Run as Administrator" from the list, at the C: prompt type sfc /scannow hit enter, the system file checker tool may need to run up to 3 times in some cases.

    On a Dell to test the hard drive, reboot tapping F12 from the boot menu select Diagnostics, run the extended(long) test on the hard drive.
     
  8. NineMilesHigh

    NineMilesHigh TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 56

    Hi. Ran cmd as Admin. Ran sfc /scannow 3 times - same result with tcpmon.ini
    Went into the boot menu. Ran the Diagnostics. On DST Short Test got:-
    Error Code 2000-0146. Hard Drive 0 - self test log contains previous errors.
    Continued with tests. During SATA disk confidence test it hung while testing block 118970102 of 309455982.
    I could run that again and see if it stops at the same block or whether it was just random.

    Windows 7 is not really an option at the moment.
     
  9. NineMilesHigh

    NineMilesHigh TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 56

    Ran the same procedure again and the SATA disk confidence test hung at the same block - 118970102.
    Any way to attempt a repair of the file at that location?
    Any utilities that could do that?
    I could replace the drive, but I am concerned that the malware caused the problem and it could be fixable.

    Thinking of installing Vista SP2 - perhaps that could fix the broken file(s).
     
  10. Wrench97

    Wrench97 TS Rookie

    That's not a result of malware, it's physical drive damage probably from a jolt or drop.
    The tcpmon.ini should be printer related, reinstalling the print drivers may cure it.
    If not try resetting your TCP/IP stack
    Start,type cmd, as before right click run as admim Type/paste the following one at a time, press enter after each one
    1. ipconfig /flushdns
    2. nbtstat -R
    3. nbtstat -RR
    4. netsh int reset all
    5. netsh int ip reset
    6. netsh winsock reset
    reboot
     
  11. NineMilesHigh

    NineMilesHigh TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 56

    Followed the above. Problem persists.
    Backing up everything I can from the drive. It only lasts about 10 mins before freezing, so it is a bit painful, having to do continuous reboots (when it does freeze, I cannot even to ctrl-alt-del).
    However, if I can get everything off, I can consider:-
    a) Installing Service Pack SP2, or...
    b) Reinstalling Vista if I can find disks, or....
    c) Installing Windows 7, or....
    d) Replacing disk.
     
     
  12. Wrench97

    Wrench97 TS Rookie

    Sounding more and more like you need to replace the drive as it's failing.
     
  13. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 20,934   +167

    Yes, I agree with Wrench97. Be sure to back up those important files. Something that you should do regularly anyway :)
     
  14. NineMilesHigh

    NineMilesHigh TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 56

    Hi. Just to give you what I hope is a final update:-
    I installed SP2 and the problem persisted.
    I installed Windows7. During the install it said certain .Net files were corrupt and it re-installed them.
    After completion of Windows7 install, I re-ran chkdsk and sfc/scannow and both were running with no errors.
    So the laptop is now working fine.

    I will continue to let it run and see how it goes.
    Thanks for you help.

    Regards
    W
     
  15. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 20,934   +167

    Good work, glad we could help
     


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