What else could it be?

By hoerster ยท 35 replies
Apr 8, 2009
  1. Problem:
    PC wil do random freezes for 5-10 minutes at a time. My music(if playing) will sound like a scratched CD, my mouse and keyboard will freeze and activity will hose for sometime. Then as random as it stopped it starts right back up. Music, mouse abd all. This has been going on for some time now, and thank God for this forum and you brains out there.

    Step I've done:
    I started the Forum in the General Hardware, ruled out memory problem(Test pass with no errors when I test my sticks seperate. One or more together error out)
    It still hoses up when just one stick is in.
    Completed all 8 steps in the malware and viruses (Logs were all clean)
    Updated all hardware devices and software apps.

    I am now in safe mode... It doesn't seem to freeze and I have all memory back in the system. I get no beeps, no minidump files, no errors anywhere that I can find.

    I bought the PC from my husband friend, ran fine for 2 1/2 months. I removed some Misc. programs and a week later it started freezing up. Formated and Installed OS. updated drivers..... Any here I am... HELP!!!
  2. mflynn

    mflynn TS Rookie Posts: 2,655

    Post a HJT log!

    Then do the below cleanups

    Run CCleaner http://www.ccleaner.com/download/builds (get SLIM at bottom no Yahoo toolbar)
    Run twice or more on Cleanup temps, then on left click Registry then Scan for issues also repeat till clean.

    Run ATF-Cleaner http://majorgeeks.com/ATF_Cleaner_d4949.html Temp and Registry, repeatedly until no more found.

    KCleaner ftp://ftp2.kcsoftwares.com/kcsoftwa/files/kcleaner.exe
    Fantastic cleaner. (When installing uncheck Relevant Knowledge do not install)
    The issues can and are likely found is in System Restore so do the below

    Start-Programs-Accessories-System Tools-Disk- System Restore and create a new Restore point. Name it "Cleanup at TechSpot".

    Then Start-Programs-Accessories-System Tools-Disk Cleanup
    Click OK to accept C:
    Select all Boxes
    Then click More Options
    Here click System Restore and OK to "Are you sure" and the OK to Run.

    As this runs it clears all but the most recent Restore Point but it does one other thing that can contain infested files and a huge amount of disk space.

    It clears what is known as Shadow copies which are used by specialized back up programs.

    This is if you have the Volume Shadow Copy running which is the default.


    D/L to Desktop: DDS by sUBs from one of these locations:


    double click DDS.scr to run

    When complete, DDS.txt will open.

    Click Yes for Optional Scan.
    Save both reports to your desktop.

    Attach the contents of both logs back here.

  3. Matthew

    Matthew TechSpot Staff Posts: 5,333   +101

    I would guess conflicting drivers or some form of software related issue if there is no sign of anything in Safe Mode.

    Here is a rough list of drivers, services and processes that are initialized in Safe Mode: http://windowshelp.microsoft.com/Windows/en-XM/Help/09a45f1f-c30c-4014-ba19-3818bfb2ebd91033.mspx

    That might be a great starting point to narrowing down what the issue is. If that list is not sufficient, simply check for yourself what is running in Safe Mode, and begin by weeding out the most likely suspects while in the normal Windows environment.
  4. hoerster

    hoerster TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Mflynn - A few questions... :eek:
    1.Do I want to create the restor point before the clean up?
    2."Registry then Scan for issues also repeat till clean" do I want to backup changes to the reg?

    I run the cleaner everyday now. I will do al the steps suggested and get back with you on the results. Thank you for such a quick response.

    Zenosincks - I thought is was the sound card... The guy I bought it from built it so it was crazy finding drivers and stuff after the format. I have done some small something that has caused this. I just can't figure it out..
  5. mflynn

    mflynn TS Rookie Posts: 2,655

    yes backup!

  6. Matthew

    Matthew TechSpot Staff Posts: 5,333   +101

    If it is a Creative card, your suspicions aren't poorly placed. They're rather notorious for having crap drivers.

    Regardless, your situation screams driver/software-conflict and not so much malware/virus-infection.

    :) I would certainly begin by attempting to operate in a normal Windows environment without your sound drivers, and then move on accordingly until you've discovered your culprit.

    I would also consider removing all additional devices attached to your PC that are not required for basic functionality (ie, a printer, camera etc.).
  7. hoerster

    hoerster TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Here is todays HJ log. I will post the rest when they complete. I did not fix anything after the report ran... so if you see something that looks off let me know.

    I removed the sound card earlier (it is creative) Started in Norm. Mode and it still Hosed Up?? Would I need to unistall the drivers to fully test that... I am running the clean ups... just to know I'm doing all suggestions and using all the brain power being provided to me.
  8. Matthew

    Matthew TechSpot Staff Posts: 5,333   +101

    I would not consider it eliminated as a suspect unless the drivers along with any software associated with the sound card were uninstalled. Removing the sound card altogether would not be a bad idea in conjunction with uninstalling its software, though.
  9. mflynn

    mflynn TS Rookie Posts: 2,655

    Keep going on Zenosincks tract I agree with that but see below.

    Are you using both Comodo and Avira AntiVirus's?

    If so both are very good but in this case since you are using the Comodo Suite that includes the Firewall. I would not breakup the Suite so keep it and uninstall the Avira?

    Having two online Active Virus scanners is a no no slows your computer down gives less protection if they fight each other to do the same thing and can cause issues like you now have.

  10. hoerster

    hoerster TS Rookie Topic Starter

    It was freezing up before I ever installed that AV. I had the McAfee, and I was told it wasn't good. So. The comodo freeware is also AV procetion? Also I can not create a restore point... Is this a safe mode issue.
    One more question...
    Why out of the blue would it (whatever the problem is) start happening? When I bought the PC, I was playing games, jammin on tunes. Would a format resolve it?
  11. Matthew

    Matthew TechSpot Staff Posts: 5,333   +101

    Nearly impossible to speculate why "it" just happened out of the blue until "it" is defined.

    Comodo does offer an anti-virus but it is more likely that if you have any Comodo software installed - it is only the firewall.

    However, mflynn is correct in stating that having more than one anti-virus could cause the issue you are having - and that's not to say even just the Comodo firewall or single anti-virus you have isn't causing the issue. Point being: you have a computer problem which has manifested in a way that would appear to be software-related. The remedy is not definite and will probably only present itself after traveling down the path of trial and error.

    Software such as drivers and malware protection are often the cause of issues related to freezing (among other problems, like BSOD's), so, by eliminating them one by one you should eventually find the culprit. You've already solidified the theory by running your system successfully in Safe Mode.

    Have you been presented with any errors at all? Taken a look in your event log at all?

    Reinstalling your OS might resolve your issue, and it might not. You see, if it's caused by something you've done (installed drivers that for whatever reason are presenting an issue) and then you reinstall the drivers after formatting - odds are, your troubles will return. It is more of a gamble than anything, and it's not for me to say whether or not the gamble is worth it in your situation. :) If it seems like a good idea to you and you're willing to take the 1-3 hour loss of reinstalling your OS, go for it, can't hurt anything.
  12. mflynn

    mflynn TS Rookie Posts: 2,655

    You show to have the Suite which usually includes the AntiVirus and Firewall. Is there not an Icon in the System tray that tells if you have the Comodo Antivirus? or look in Add/remove programs!

    Also did you run the Mcafee removal tool to clean out the Mcafee that gets left behind and have you ever had Norton?

    Mcafee removal tool http://download.mcafee.com/products/licensed/cust_support_patches/MCPR.exe

    To check system restore hit the Microsoft Flag key (Windows Key) and tap the Pause break key to get system properties see if SR is enabled?

  13. hoerster

    hoerster TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I think I will do an install and instead of rushing through the install of device drivers.... I'll do one at a time and run it for a while to see if it freezes. I may be going about it bass'akwards but I think I'll see it comeing before i add something else...
    Also... to make sure I do a complete format..:dead: format c: (blonde moment)

    Okay guys... I am sitting here jammin' I was givin my PC "last rights".... I don't want to go through all the crap... So I am ready to do it the hard way and learn somethings along the way. If you guys are willing...
    So I am plugged into the mobo sound and have removed the creative software.
    Will run the above tool for mcafee
    At this point are we waiting to see if I get the system freeze?

  14. mflynn

    mflynn TS Rookie Posts: 2,655

    Lisa don't format over something like this.

    While waiting for the device driver do the mcafee removal.

    Also do you have the Comodo Suite with Firewall and Antivirus or not.

    And have you ever had Norton/Symantec on this computer?

  15. hoerster

    hoerster TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I got the mcafee removed...

    It is Comodo Internet Security & SafeSurf... It has VirusScanning, so I believe so.

    I have never had Norton on this PC the mcafee was from my ISP.
    (I have alrady removed the Avira)

    It hosed up again just now. All the creative sw and sound card removed. There are two items in device manager.
    ATI T200 Unified AVStream Driver
    Realtek High Definition Audio
    I just now disabled them and have no sound but I will try to re-creat the freeze.

    In safe mode are the above not loaded? I know I don't have sound in safe mode... Just brain storming...:suspiciou
    I also just got a 5 sec. screen freeze (mouse&kb worked) and a quick mobo(sounded like) beep. (this has never happened)
  16. mflynn

    mflynn TS Rookie Posts: 2,655

    Hi Lisa

    Sorry I thought I had read the last post here.

    I was hoping to see the results of my post #2 as dds will give me an in depth look at your system.

  17. hoerster

    hoerster TS Rookie Topic Starter

    give me a few and I'll get that for you.

    Files attached per request

    Sorry it took so long... between the freezes, kids & dog I get lost :haha:in the middle sometimes.
    I am going to call it for the night... :zzz: I'll be on bright and early to do any and all suggestions..
  18. mflynn

    mflynn TS Rookie Posts: 2,655

    Has it froze since these cleanups?

  19. hoerster

    hoerster TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Good Morning Glory:

    Yes, I just booted it up and it has froze 2x in the last 15 minutes.

    I can't remeber who... but someone sent a link that had all drivers that started up while in safe mode. I can't find it... I can use that to compare what is running. If you know where to get one (list) that would be awsome. If not I can boot in safemodeand get it for myself. I guess I'm wanting the easy way out.

    I found the list.. Can I just go through one by one disableing seeing what happens?
  20. mflynn

    mflynn TS Rookie Posts: 2,655

    Lisa there is no exact list. You found a list not exact list.

    It could be different for an Intel than an AMD processor, Or even by SP level or version of Windows. Win2000, XP, or Vista.

    Safe Mode is intended to run Windows with the absolute minimum of services and processes.

    It was designed to get everything out of the way. Say Windows will not boot to normal because of a Video driver so you can't get up to even uninstall it.

    Safe mode would run and allow to remove or use System restore etc to repair.

    Safe mode does not allow the normal Startups to run.

    Because of this Safe mode allows also some Malware and Virus's that load in Normal mode to be cleaned since they are not loaded and running via the autoruns startups.

    Windows tries to use only its core services. No hardware specific drivers. For example if you have a very generic Audio card you could have sound but mostly not.

    There are some Virus scanners using more complex alternative or you might say tricky startups that will still be running in Safe mode. And of course Malware can do this also!

    Back to your issue.

    I would put all drivers back (renable). This is usually caused by Video drivers.Then reboot F8 to the Advanced boot menu and chose Low Video mode. This boots with all other drivers loaded as normal. If all is well then it is a Video driver.

    Try that long enough find out, the screen will look like Safe mode but is full Mode.

    Additionally I advise to backup and install Vista SP2. It has fixed many issues like this.

    Now is a good time you feel you are malware free and my cleanups you ran are good prep for upgrading.

    SP2 for Vista has now moved from beta to a release candidate is the same package used for Server 2008 and has been very trouble free.


  21. hoerster

    hoerster TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Hey Mike

    Thanks for getting back with me. I am installing updates now and as soon as they are completed I will reinstall hardware and change the video. I will post with an update..:wave:

    The first attempt at SP2 failed. I restarted and changed the resolution to low :( It froze up for about 5 minutes. The second attempt at SP2 is installing now.
  22. mflynn

    mflynn TS Rookie Posts: 2,655

    OK return to normal video just reboot. Get SP2 installed and all winupdates then see what happens and we will proceed from there.

  23. hoerster

    hoerster TS Rookie Topic Starter

    SP2 will not Install

    Hey Mike:

    I've tried to install SP2 twice, once in safe and once in normal. Both failed. :( I remeber a while back, I had a hard time geting SP1 (6001) installed... Anyway it has froze up several times and recently rebooted itself. I am fixing to go into safe mode w/ net. and make sure it doesn't freeze. I have ran in it (SM) for two hours but have always switched back (I hate the view). So I'll stay there the rest of the night.
    After reboot, I checked minidump and it is still empty. I have errors in my eventlog but I have no idea what I'm looking at or where I would need to look for the issues I'm having. Any Way... I really apprechiate your help and suggestions. If you know of anythings else I can do, please let me know.

    Lisa :blackeye:
  24. mflynn

    mflynn TS Rookie Posts: 2,655

    Download Repair permissions from here


    Execute Repair Permissions.exe it will extract to a RepairPermissions Folder.

    Boot to Safe Mode Close all Apps and enter the folder and run rsp.bat.

    Reboot to normal.


    Download and install and run both of the below



    Reboot then try to do SP2 again.

  25. hoerster

    hoerster TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Steps completed - with errors

    Hey Mike,

    Thanks for getting back with me. I left my PC on all night and had it do scan after scan and even though I didn't have sound I had music playing as well. I had no freezes or reboots in safe mode. So, can you please explain to me what that usually means. In reguards to drivers and software.

    I ran the requested steps on your last post.

    Step One-
    Run the Repair Batch File in safe mode
    *** Done: 1, Modified 1, Failed 0, Syntax Errors 0
    Last Done: c:\Users\The Master\Downloads\RepairPermissions
    Invalid Path - C:\Windows\repair ***
    Step Two-
    Download and install http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/t...displayLang=en
    *** Windows Installer - Error opening installation log file.
    Verify that the specified log file location exists and is writable. ***
    Step Three-
    Download and install SP2 http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/d...displaylang=en
    *** Download works fine. I accept the terms of use and it starts to install...
    It gets all the way to the end and fails to install. Error 0x004f013 ***

    I just unfroze so I am going to search the error code but if you know off the top of your head , I'm all ears.
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