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Windows Explorer causing IPF/GPF errors


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#1
Yavo Lem

Yavo Lem

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OK, here are some other hare-brained questions, following the explanations below:

1. My computer's problem is obviously in drive C, which contains the operating system.

2. More than once I have wiped out the entire drive using GW Scan, which came with the Gateway "System Recovery" disk. This program writes "zeros" to whatever drive you select, and believe me, it takes a long time with a 40 GB drive.

3. Once the wiping is finished, I run fdisk and then format, hoping to wind up with a "clean" drive. But, this may be like pouring boiling water on an anthill, as you never get rid of all of them.

4. Then I do what I think is a "clean" install of Windows 98 SE using the original OEM disk provided by Gateway.

5. Finally, I reinstall a minimum amount of software to allow me to carry out my project work, have anti-virus protection, E-mail protection, and a few games for my breaks. I only have 512 Meg of memory, so I have to keep the "overhead" low. In fact, at this moment, I only have 37% system resources available, but then, I have been opening and closing windows and apps., so I guess I should chalk it up to "memory leakage". But it is so tedious to close everything down and reboot, only to go through the whole process of opening everything up again. I know, I know, and I am looking into the possibility of adding more memory, but that still doesn't help with my computer's error problems.

6. OK, that brings me to my question(s): Given the steps outlined above, is there any reason for a "virus" or "malware", or any other piece of malicious code to have survived, only to reinfect my system?? Does "writing zeros" to a drive and reformatting it destroy the registry, or does that survive the process?? If the registry is overwritten, and I have a blank, clean drive (tabla rasa), could something still survive at a lower level, say in MS-DOS, which I know underlies Windows, or could I be dealing with something that invades or resides in the MBR, or is a "rootkit" (which I don't understand)?? I ask this primarily because when I got everything reinstalled and updated during my last two occasions, when I ran my Norton SystemWorks 2001 (Professional Edition), it reported that it could not read the MBR of either drive, which it then identified as drive 0, 1, C & D, making me click "Ignore" at each point, and then it went on to read through the files on both drives and reported them both clean. No other AV software I have acts in this fashion, and in fact, they all report the MBRs as clean, so I wonder if I actually do have something hiding in the MBR of both drives, or is this is just something peculiar to Norton, or if there is something hiding, how can I clean them? Does anyone have any suggestions, or answers to these questions??

Thank you in advance.

YL
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#2
wannabe1

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Hi Yavo Lem...

After writing the drive to 0's and then performing partitioning and formatting operations, there will be no malicious codes left on the machine. It wouldn't be the first time Norton gave a false positive.

wannabe1
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#3
Yavo Lem

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Progress report:


Well, since I tried the few suggestions I received with no change, I decided to do what I was trying to avoid, namely to wipe, reformat and reinstall Windows 98SE. But this time I used a different product than GW Scan.

I was able to download a 30-day trial of Webroot's Window Washer, and found that they had a feature that allowed me to create a bootable disk with at least 4 increasingly strong levels of erasure for hard drives, so I tried it, and used the equivalent level to what I had used with GW Scan. So, I am back, and I have to say that thus far, no problem with Windows Explorer :whistling: .

And, although the process took about three times longer than the program estimated, one hour as opposed to the estimate of 20 minutes, it was MUCH faster than what I had experienced with GW Scan, and it seemed to have been able to overcome whatever was causing the Windows Explorer, at least to this point. Formerly, I would have still had a problem as soon as I clicked on Start, right-clicked on My Computer to check Properties, but I've done both, a number of times without a problem.

I still have to reload my software and that may bring the problem back, so I am not declaring victory yet. To quote Sir Winston Churchill out of context, "Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning." I hope so.


YL
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