XP - Bluescreens, reboots & crashes

By Mbopo
Oct 1, 2008
  1. Hi
    I work from home on my computer in music programming/ recording. The problem i'm having with blue screens, crashes etc is not entirely predictable but occurs with increasing frequency when i'm using Sonar or a VST instrument or when im goofing off in Second Life.
    In an effort to eradicate the problem i've defragged, reduced the space on my C drive, and kept my anti virus/adware programs up to date. Unfortunately this has had little effect.
    On previous encounters with the same issue - which, incidentally, seemed to clear itself up for a while - i tried to run memtest but was not tutored or patient enough to be able to figure out the results.
    If someone could be so kind as to have a look at the minidumps ive attached i'd be enormously grateful. My system specs are attached to my profile and yes - its an older system. I'll supply any additonal info you need.

    Thanks very much in anticipation
  2. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,233   +234

    Hi Mbopo,
    you are a musician, of course you can't afford a new PC :) I provide free computer repair for all my musician friends.

    What antivirus program(s) are you using now? Any registry cleaners? Minidumps are very subjective at best. "Old" computers can benefit from a format and clean install of the OS
  3. Mbopo

    Mbopo TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Hey T
    Im using AVG 8.. Obviously because its a freebie :) And as far as registry cleaners go I gave RegScrubXP a shot yesterday and it found a lot of errors. One thing i didnt mention in my first post was that - most times when i crash and i check the Event Viewer - i always get these three messages:
    The HID Input Service service terminated with the following error:
    The system cannot find the file specified.

    The SAA7134 TV Card service failed to start due to the following error:
    The service cannot be started, either because it is disabled or because it has no enabled devices associated with it. (this was a card i installed and then uninstalled about three OS reinstallations ago.. Dont know why it should come up still)

    The Penmaclq service failed to start due to the following error:
    The system cannot find the file specified. (Don't ask me what Penmaclq is - it doesnt even show up on a Google search)

    I must confess that the idea of a reformat and reinstall chills me to the bone having had to do it after several massive losses of crucial data on previous occcasions. If I can avoid that for a little while- at least till can afford a stand alone drive to dump onto - i'd be much happier..

    Thanks for your help thus far
  4. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,233   +234

    Your protection looks good. Is there any software updates for the TV card? Penmaclq may be a sign malware infection. If you could back up your important files, a fresh OS install may be best. I see that you have installed XP, SP3. Was the system crashing before SP3?
  5. gbhall

    gbhall TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,423   +77

    You should go through the whole list of malware recovery published on this site.

    When your are up and running again, please, please do something about backing up, taking drive images, and aquire an external hard drive for same. They dont cost much, especially considering they can save your 'life' !
  6. Mbopo

    Mbopo TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Hey Everyone

    Apologies for the delay in answering. I'm in Australia so ive had a sleep since we last spoke!

    T - I dont know about software updates for the TV Card; it's no longer in the system as it was a bit of a dud and I removed it a long time back with what i thought was a proper uninstall. Evidentally the Registry thinks otherwise. It is not listed anywhere in the Device Manager.
    The crashes were ocurring before i installed SP3, yes.

    GB - Thanks for that link. I'll go there right now and work my way through the malware recoveries. Yes, I will acquire an external hard as soon as I'm able. Ive been telling myself that for months but Life in all it's subtle shades of financial interruption has been getting in the way. I'm backing up as much as i can as i go - dumping to dvds, duplicating important files etc - but theres a huge amount of data from past & present projects. It gets daunting. NONETHELESS! - i will go looking for a drive on ebay today.

    Thanks for all your help so far guys. You're good Samaritans :)

  7. Mbopo

    Mbopo TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Hey guys
    I followed all the instructions on the link GB posted regarding malware; no joy unfortunately. I'm still crashing.
    I was wondering though - where might i look in the registry for something that is attempting to start the SAA7134 TV Card & Penmaclq services?
    Being a dolt when it comes to the registry i wouldnt attempt to edit it myself but i thought it might provide an answer as to where to look.

  8. gbhall

    gbhall TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,423   +77

    click start - run and type 'regedit' and press enter. Registry edit opens and you are at 'my computer' highlighted. Click the menu 'edit' and then 'find'. In the box find what, type your strange application name SAA7134 and press enter. After a while, it will find the registry edits of any sort containing that character string. If you would like to write the entries down, we can comment on them. To find further entries, press key F3.

    Often you will see the complete location of the thing you are searching for, such as c:\windows\system\.... and so on. Mostly, it will give you clues as to what application placed the exe or dll or whatever it is there, because the developers name is often part of the path.

    We need the registry key location of the object found in the left-hand panel, and I suspect it will crop up in HKEY_CURRENT_USER\software\Microsoft\windows\currentversion\run (or services).

    You need not actually edit anything, and are unlikely to harm the registry. If the thing occurs where I mention above, or other similar places, you can disable it very simply without editing anything, by running - instead of regedit - msconfig. try that too, and look on the services and startup tabs, which are just another way of looking at the registry entry I mentioned above, 'services' is services tab, and 'run' is startup tab.

    You need adminstrator rights to do the above, but few people are not running Windows with adminstrator rights anyway, more's the pity.
  9. Mbopo

    Mbopo TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Hey Everyone

    GB - Ive attached a txt file with every reference to the Penmaclq & SAA7134 TV Card services in the Registry. I didnt enter every parameter just the key names so if any alert you and you need more info let me know & i'll post another entry.

    Crashes have been ocurring more regularly the past 24 hours though i havent changed anything. Why this should be is beyond me.

  10. gbhall

    gbhall TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,423   +77

    Well, if you go start - run and type msconfig, go to the services tab and unclick all lines with 'Penmaclq' in them or SAA7134 and click ok, it will certainly stop the bootup references.

    On the other hand, your crashes may have nothing to do with those services running. They may be down to a hardware problem or a seriously screwed-up system. I have no faith in 'registry scrubbers'. Some are no more than malware, and deliberately screw up your PC and charge a fee to 'repair it'. Buyer beware.

    See how it goes without the sevices. Please come back if you still get crashes, and we will do hardware testing and possibly right up to system repair of the OS if necessary. Please indicate if you have access to, or can bowwor, an actual install CD of your OS.

    Good luck
  11. Mbopo

    Mbopo TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Hey BG
    Ive opened msconfig/services are there are no references at all to either Penmaclq or the SAA7134 TV Card. Could it be another service that calls these up?
    I'm very grateful for your help mate so any advice you can offer me I'll take so consider my system in your hands if youre up for it.

  12. Mbopo

    Mbopo TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Oh - and i do have an installation disk for XP Pro.

  13. gbhall

    gbhall TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,423   +77

    There are indeed other places where system services can be called, but they are so old-fashioned I must doubt whether they are possible in XP-pro. Again, launch msconfig and see if the two problematic service appear in win.ini or system.ini. Click on each of the boxes to expand the sub-sections to fully check.

    Assuming no such entries are found, you might be having these load as part of the driver set, and possibly the best way to sort that out would be to do a system repair. See here In theory this replaces all the start-up configuration just as happens at an initial install of Windows, but without destoying all your installed settings and applications. It is, however, a bit if a second-last resort, before the final resort of a full re-install, so it is up to you, and depends upon how unusable your PC is at present. Having said that, plenty of people have had excellent results from it. I have never has to do it (touch wood) so cannot comment from personal experience.

    Another thing about msconfig is the ability (on the general tab) to set Windows to boot up in various modes which enable you to see and check (even approve or deny) where all the various things start from. It is a bit of a power-user thing, but can help if you can understand it.

    It seems a lttile odd that you are already on the 11th iteration of the system startup configuration ('HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\ControlSet011'), and many people might suggest a full re-install is due at this point.....

    BTW I see you have had a reinstall several times....why ? Were those fully reformatting reinstalls? Why are there apparently 11 'repairs' or similar? The true answer to this might be pointing strongly towards a possibly intermittent hardware gliche....can you post the latest HiJackThis log?
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