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XP locking up for several minutes periodically. Have event viewer err


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#1
ZoneIII

ZoneIII

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For the last month or so, XP is locking up on me. Well, it's sort of locking up because any application that is running when it occurs continues to run but I can't start anything else and I can't get a response when I click on anything for several minutes before the system fires up again. I'm running XP Pro, SP3 (all up-to-date). My gut feeling tells me that this is not malware, etc., but, of course, there is always that possibility. My AV is Avast!. I also have Spypot S&D (with immunization on), Spyware Blaster, Ad-Aware, SuperAnti-Spyware, and I run Windows Live Online every couple of weeks. And to clean things up, I run CCleaner every day. I keep junk off my PC and only have necessary services running. Some of those programs are running in real-time and the others I run about once a week. They always come up clean except for a couple low-threat tracking cookies now and then. I also ran a couple free online scanners (Trend, Panda, etc.) two days ago to see if they might help. No luck. I also ran Cleanup, Defrag, and ChkDsk. (Note: I also did a System Restore to a point before the problem began with, also with no luck. I'm adding this note because Makai asked about it below). Oh... almost forgot! I can open Task Manager when the problem is occuring and no unusual CPU usuage or anything like that shows up.

Event View shows the following error: "The server {00024500-0000-0000-C000-000000000046} did not register with DCOM within the required timeout."

I have searched the Internet before coming here and didn't find anything that I could understand. I searched the registers and found that this apparently has something to do with Excel, an application that I have but almost never use. I don't understand some of the information I found because it was too complicated for this dummy. :) I would really appreciate any help anyone might offer but I would also appreciate it you keep it in plain English as much as possible. :) This problem is becoming an annoyance. (BTW, nobody at Annoyances.org had a suggestion.) The system usually pops back up after several minutes but, on some occasions, I have to re-boot. It happens, on average, several times a day. I haven't added any software lately except SpyderElite3. However, I believe I started experiencing the problem before I installed that software but I thought I would mention it anyway.

Thanks

Edited by ZoneIII, 22 March 2009 - 04:15 PM.

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#2
makai

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Whenever something like this happens, and there's nothing you did that may have caused it, like installing a new program, its just best to do a System Restore when you first notice it. To wait a month or so doesn't help the situation.

If you can remember when this started happening, try restoring your computer to a date before it happened. You may have to go back a ways, but if your SR files are not damaged, it'll allow it.
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#3
ZoneIII

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I should have mentioned it but I tried a System Restore when the problem first started and I restored it to a time that was definitely before the problem started. In fact, that was one of the very first things that I did for the reason that you mention and it is something I always do in situations like this. Unfortunately, it didn't help in this case. That brings this back to my original question. Do you have any suggestions? Thanks.

Edited by ZoneIII, 22 March 2009 - 03:31 PM.

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#4
makai

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Have you tried running chdksk /f?
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#5
ZoneIII

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Thank you very much, Makai! I hadn't heard of a chkdsk /f before or, if I had, it was so long ago that I had forgotten about it. I just ran it. I assume the "f" stands for "fix." I see that it is only three stages instead of the regular chkdsk 5 steps. Whenever I run chkdsk, I always check the two option boxes - one to find and fix sector errors and the other to automatically fix errors (or something like that.) In any case, it sure didn't take long to see if chkdsk /f worked! My stystem locked up immediately after re-booting after running it. :)

As I mentioned in my original question, it seems as if the problem has something to do with Excel because when I search my registers for the long string of digits that are in the Event Viewer, everything that's found relates to Excel. I never even use the program but my wife did use it briefly a couple months ago.

BTW, Makai, that's a beautiful profile picture! I'm a professional landscape photographer and I wish I had taken it!

Edited by ZoneIII, 22 March 2009 - 04:11 PM.

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#6
makai

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My stystem locked up immediately after re-booting after running it. :)

Well, I'm glad you can keep your sense of humor!

What version of Microsoft Office are you running. You may be able to repair it if Excel is messing up (I assume you're talking about MS Excel).

Also, if anything related to Excel is running in the background, it may be causing something. Go to Start>run... type in msconfig , click ok. Go to the Startup tab and if you see anything related to Excel, uncheck it. You'll be prompted to restart, so do so. After restart, you will get a message, just put a check mark in the box so msconfig doesn't start at every boot.
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#7
ZoneIII

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Yes, I am talking about MS Excel. I am running Office 2007.

There is nothing in startup that is related to Excel or any other Office application. In fact, I make sure that only the necessary stuff is in Startup.... AV, etc. Here are the only things showing up in Msconfig/Startup:

Avast! (AntiVirus)
Nividia display driver
TeaTimer (Spybot S&D)
Spyder3Utility (My monitor calibration software.)


I also keep all unnecessary services disabled and most others on manual pretty much as recommended by Black Viper and similar sites.

Edited by ZoneIII, 22 March 2009 - 05:59 PM.

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#8
makai

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MS Office 2003 has a "detect and repair" option under the Excel, Word, etc, Help menu... I would assume 2007 also has something similar. You might try that in case something is up with it. You could also remove only the Excel component from MS Office through Add/Remove Programs, eventhough you're not sure its even related. You may need the install disk to do this, or at least MSOCache has to be resident on your computer somewhere.

You might try disabling Teatimer. Maybe there's a confilct with it going on. I've been using Spybot for years too, and there was always something about Teatimer messing things up, so I stopped using it long ago. It may not be related since it appears you've been running it for a while, but at least you can isolate it out.

BTW, Makai, that's a beautiful profile picture! I'm a professional landscape photographer and I wish I had taken it!

I missed this the first time. Wouldn't you know it, I was messing with my avatar today just a short time ago, and just changed it from the sunset photo to the Makapuu photo, and now I don't know which one you're referring to! LOL!
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#9
ZoneIII

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Thanks! I'll try those things. I don't think it's TeaTimer but it wouldn't hurt to turn it off and see. I had a problem with it when I first started using SpyBot years ago but I finally got it working fine and it is so unobtrusive that I forget that it's even running. It was when I first turned it on and it would ask me if I wanted things in Startup that it was a pain. My error is saying that DCOM (which I don't totally understand) is timing out while trying to connect Excel with something. At least that's what it seems like it's saying. Thanks for letting me know about "detect and repair." I didn't know about that since about the only Office programs that I use are Outlook and Word.
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#10
ZoneIII

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Makai... OK, I ran diagnostics. It is called Office Diagnostics in Office 2007. It did find a problem in the last test (Setup) and it fixed it. Now to see if my problem is fixed! Whether it fixes it or not, I really appreciate your help and now I know about the diagnostics program which will be useful in the future. I'll come back here to post what happens as soon as I know if it worked.

Thanks Again!
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#11
makai

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DCOM is really for networking stuff. However, even if you're not on a network, you can't disable it or it may affect other things. I only know this from research into disabling Services. Like you, for years I've been reading BlackVipers website learning about what services can/cannot be disabled without error. Research indicates that DCOM does have connection to Excel. In fact there is a "realtime" connection, so it may be affecting something.

Since I run MS 2003, I can only give you info about what's there... you will have to look around in 2007 for something similar. All Office 2003 components have two places with options I normally change... one is in the HELP menu and called "Customer Feedback Options"... and the other is in Tools>Options>General tab... at the bottom there are Service Options, Web Options, and Email Options. I normally go into these option windows and make changes that make sense to me. Whether it'll help in your situation, I don't know, but again, something you can look at.
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#12
makai

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We must have been posting at the same time. Yes, let me know how it goes. I hope what you did fixed something... that would be great!
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#13
ZoneIII

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Unfortunately, my problem is still present. But I still go something out of this thread because I learned about MS Office Diagnostics and it did find a problem and fix it. I really appreciate your help, Makai. The search goes on! :)
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#14
makai

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Hmmm, not good... I was hoping something in Office would fix the problem. The only thing I can think of (short of a Windows Repair) would be sfc /scannow. If some Windows component is corrupted scannow might catch it. However you might/will need your WinXP install disk. If you don't have it, don't run this as it might hang in a loop.

Go to Start>run... type in sfc /scannow ,then click OK, then follow the directions.

Edited by makai, 23 March 2009 - 03:12 PM.

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#15
ZoneIII

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Great minds think alike! :) I ran sfc /scannow before I got your latest message. It did ask me to load my OS disk so apparently it found something corrupted or misssing but, unfortunately, it still didn't fix the problem.
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