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A problem with XP. After random times things stop working


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#1
kc0eks

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Hey all,

I am the computer guy of the family and also run a PC repair business however I have run across an interesting problem on my own PC. No doubt due to the amount of programs I test and such.
However I have been unable to fix it no matter what I do.

Here is what happens as best as I can describe it:
Right click on MOST applications will stop functioning, right click on any explorer windows or taskbar does nothing.

Applications wont launch- Nothing happens, no noise, errors, or anything. They dont even show up in the task or process list.

Start menu (sometimes) mostly disappears. Only the top links whatever they are called remain (shutdown, programs, documents, control panel are all gone)

Generally I cant launch taskmanager to restart explorer.exe.

Clicking on certain objects generates only a system beep type noise and nothing else. Whatever I click on fails to do what it should do.

I havent been able to find any consistent messages in event viewer that seem to relate to the times I have these problems.

Basically I am unable to run any programs, use most programs that are running, or do much of anything.

Ctrl-alt-del responds perfect, but wont launch task manager. This is also my only way to restart.
Rebooting also sometimes fails, or takes forever.

-Now what I have done so far is:
Virus scan with several programs
Spyware scan with all the common programs
Hijack this log analyzer online
I have also gone through tasks manually and through autoruns to get rid of anything that seemed odd, or that I didnt need.
I have run scandisk
And run through a few registry programs.

None of these seems to fix the problem. It seems to start happening at random times with no regard to software I have running. Sometimes it happens a few hours after bootup, sometimes a few days.

I would really appreciate any guidance on where to go from here. I dont know what else to try short of a reinstall (which I would like to avoid). I try to learn from these experiences and a reinstall doesnt teach much :whistling:

I am running an AMD64 dual core processor. 2 gigs of ram. WinXP sp2 with the majority of updates.

If I forgot to mention anything let me know! I appreciate everyones help :blink:

Justin
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#2
Retired Tech

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Start with this

Items in blue which are underlined are clickable to give more information about the process

Click start then run, type prefetch then press enter, click edit then select all, right click any file then click delete, confirm delete

Click start, all programmes, accessories, system tools to run disc clean up, then from system tools, run disc defragmenter.

Click start then run, type sfc /scannow then press enter, you need the XP CD

Windows File Protection will show a blue onscreen progress bar, when the bar goes, reboot

If you do not have an XP CD you can borrow a same version as was originally installed XP CD, if you downloaded SP2 then you need an SP1 XP CD

If you do not have an XP CD and are unable to borrow one, run the scan, click skip if it asks for the CD, if it keeps asking, click cancel.

If it kept asking for the XP CD then system files are missing


Click start then run, type chkdsk /f /r then press enter, type Y to confirm for next boot, press enter then reboot.

Windows will appear to load normally then either the monitor will show progress or the screen will go blank, do not disturb this.

This will take an hour or so before it gets to the desktop.

Download and install Tune Up 2007 Trial

Run Tune Up Disc Clean Up

Run Tune Up Registry Clean Up

Click Optimize and Improve to run Reg Defrag, which will take a few minutes and need a reboot. You should disable the antivirus programme to run this and check it is running after the reboot

After the reboot, click optimize then system optimizer to optimize the computer, select computer with an internet connection from the drop down menu, this also requires a reboot

After the reboot, click optimize then system optimizer to accelerate downloads, select the speed just above your actual connection speed, this requires a reboot

After the reboot, click optimize then system optimizer to run system advisor

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#3
deathninja

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good advice but i have to play devils advocate, the above does little for the posters desire to "learn" , and if we are to dismiss the "learning" factor a reinstall would be more effective and would likely be more expedient /shrug
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#4
Retired Tech

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At which point would the poster not learn from running through that?
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#5
deathninja

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fair enough

ill let him answer that

my assumption would be that if you fix computers for money that things of the above nature (or like tasks) would be common knowledge
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#6
kc0eks

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Hello and thanks :blink:
I have done all of the above at some point already, except for the prefetch. I have read so many conflicting reports about this that I quite honestly just leave it alone.
But time to play I suppose... :whistling:
So I have deleted prefetch and will reboot now and see how long things run along for.

I am curious if anyone has any idea what may be the cause of this? I will flat out say I have no idea, short of corruption or something along those lines.
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#7
Retired Tech

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Click this for a guide to using Memtest



Click this to download Memtest

Run it overnight if possible
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#8
kc0eks

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let me add another symptom:
Firefox displays blank pages on every site. Reload seems to actually reload, but the page is blank...

I love this little problem...and how totally odd it behaves. I am off to bed for a while and memtest is going to begin its day.
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#9
kc0eks

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ok ran memtest overnight with zero errors....
I was kind of hoping, maybe, that would give me some answers..oh well :whistling:

So let me state what I have done as per suggestions:
1. Cleared out all of the prefetch files
2. Ran memtest for 11 hours with no errors

#1 Did not seem to fix the problem as it occurred again afterward.

Edited by kc0eks, 13 January 2007 - 12:43 PM.

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