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"Setup is starting windows" freeze


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#1
captain casanova

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Yesterday, trend micro notified me of a executable file (smss.exe) which was trying to change things on my computer. A few weeks before something similar happened and i went into my temporary files and deleted the executable file that was causing trend micro to alert me. This time with smss.exe, i thought i could do the same thing. trend micro said that the file was located in my system32 folder so i went and deleted the smss file. After a scan and a restart, my computer said that it was unstable and had to shut down. it kept doing this while telling me to insert the xp professional cd to reapair important files that had been altered. Unfortunatley i did not have the cd at the time and could not repair the files. When I managed to get the forced shut down to stop, i scanned the computer again for viruses and left. Naturally, the screen saver went on.

When I came back to check up on the scan, the computer had froze and i restarted. This time when i restarted it, windows did not boot up and froze at a black screen; when i restarted again it did the same thing. I ended up finding the XP professional cd and tried to use it to repair the files that were screwed up; however, the blue screen keeps freezing at the "setup is starting windows" step.

Because of this I cannot get to the menu to repair the files, and I no longer know what to do.

If someone could help me or give me some insight, i would be forever thankful.


If you need any other info let me know.
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#2
OpenOutcome

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Hello,

This may have worked the first time, but smss.exe is a legitimate system file, as long as it's located in the system32 folder :)

It's been a few days, but if you are still there, do this:

First, restart your computer tapping F8 repeatedly until the Advanced Options menu appears.

Try "Last Known Good Configuration".

As this may not work, try this.

(You will have to do this on another computer)

You will need a blank CD-r, from any local department store. Maybe you have one already.
Download Windows Recovery Console here.
Download, and install Imgburn from my sig.
Install Imgburn onto your computer. You can choose No when it asks to check for a new version, the older one will work fine.
Using Imgburn, Choose "Write Image file to disk". Choose the folder Icon with a magnifying glass to choose your windows recovery console ISO. When ready, burn the ISO to the disk, choosing the large "Iso file to cd" button on the bottom.
When complete, close Imgburn and all other applications.

Restart your computer(with problems). Open the CD-Rom Drive and insert your newly burned disk. Restart the computer again.

Boot to the CD...let it finish loading.

To boot the Cd:

When you start windows, choose Boot Device Menu - the Hotkey is probably F12 or C. Try pressing F12 repeatedly, until the boot menu appears.
Choose your CD-Rom Drive.

When the "Welcome to Setup" screen appears, press R to start the Recovery Console.

Hope this helps.

-Jason :)
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#3
captain casanova

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Sorry it took a while. I had to find a cd.

I got to the Recovery Console succesfully!

But now, it is asking me to type in some commands like chkdsk, bootcfg, etc.

Which one do I do to fix the files I deleted?

Also, this won't delete all my documents on my c hardrive right?


Thanks for the help so far, OpenOutcome.
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#4
captain casanova

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After some trial and error, I typed in some commands to see whether or not i could fix it myself. I ran bootcfg /rebuild and it told me that there were some errors that didnt allow me to rebuild the boot.ini file. Then I ran chkdsk /p and it said that "the volume appears to contain one or more unrecoverable problems".

Is this a bad thing?

Edited by captain casanova, 21 July 2009 - 04:37 PM.

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#5
rshaffer61

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At the Recovery Console command prompt, type the following then press Enter:

chkdsk /r


Allow this to run UNDISTURBED until completed (45 min or so)
Report any errors

Edited by rshaffer61, 21 July 2009 - 04:45 PM.

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#6
captain casanova

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When did "chkdsk /r", I received the same message: the volume appears to contain one or more unrecoverable problems without even trying to scan. As soon as i type in the command it gives me that message.

It also gives me the date the volume was created and how much space is available.
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#7
OpenOutcome

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Hi there,

Try this:

Press R after booting the disk to get to the Recovery Console again.
When you reach the prompt, very carefully, type this in exactly:

expand d:\i386\smss.ex_ c:\windows\system32\smss.exe


(Notice the first smss only has ".ex" and the space between the "ex_" and the "c:\")


Also, if your Cd-rom drive isn't "d:\" replace the drive letter with the correct one.

What happens when you try that?

-Jason
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#8
captain casanova

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I did what you said and it said "the file could not be expanded".
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#9
happyrock

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When did "chkdsk /r", I received the same message: the volume appears to contain one or more unrecoverable problems without even trying to scan. As soon as i type in the command it gives me that message.

It also gives me the date the volume was created and how much space is available.

then you have a hard drive funeral to attend... :)
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#10
captain casanova

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:) :)

Oh well. If it has to be done, then i have no choice; however, is there any possible way in which I can save the files on my c harddrive? Also, I have another hardrive (D) for storage which has most of my files, but that won't be affected right? It is just for storage.
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#11
happyrock

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Also, I have another harddrive (D) for storage which has most of my files, but that won't be affected right? It is just for storage.

yep..... your data on that drive is safe...

if you want to try I can give you instructions on using puppy linux to see if you can get any data off the failing drive...but there are no guarantees...it would involve burning a .iso image to a blank cd and booting from the cd drive...puppy runs totally in ram ...so its not affected by the bad drive....
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#12
OpenOutcome

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To get your files backed up, download a Linux Live Cd. A live Cd is like using an operating system, with the bare minimum of drivers and such, without having to install the whole OS.

Get Puppy Linux from here, and burn it to a blank cd-r. If you don't have a burning program that will burn .ISO files, download IMGBURN from my signature below.

After you've downloaded the Linux Live CD(ISO file) and IMGBURN:

  • Install Imgburn onto your computer. You can choose No when it asks to check for a new version, the older one will work fine.
  • Using Imgburn, Choose "Write Image file to disk". Choose the Folder Icon with a magnifying glass to choose your Linux ISO. When ready, burn the ISO to the disk, choosing the large "Iso file to cd" button on the bottom.
  • When complete, close Imgburn and all other applications.
  • Restart your computer(with problems). Open the CD-Rom Drive and insert your newly burned disk. Restart the computer again.
  • Boot to the CD...let it finish loading.
Puppy will boot and run totally in ram. If your hardware is in good working order you will know. After you get it running and your at the desktop, you take the puppy linux cd out and then you can use the burner to copy all yor data to cd/dvds, or back it up on a flash drive. You can also use it to backup your data to a external usb harddrive.. You must have it hooked to the computer when you boot up with puppy.

Sorry about the HD death... I find it wierd that just deleting smss.exe would cause all this.. Does rshaffer61 know if downloading it, and replacing the file, though Puppy would do any good? I'm not sure - never had this kind of problem. I don't know where you could download it from, and it'd be difficult to find a downloadable smss.exe that isn't malware...

Anyhow - Goodluck!

-Jason :)

Edited by OpenOutcome, 22 July 2009 - 06:51 PM.

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#13
rshaffer61

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I agree with Happyrock that the drive itself is toast and the deletion of the file and the problem with the drive are just coincidental now.
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#14
captain casanova

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So I ran puppylinux, which worked great (and rather interesting), and was able to save the files from my C hard drive onto my external HD. Since my storage drive D wasn't going to be affected, I did not bother to save those.

When I went to reformat, my computer froze at the blue screen with the same message at the bottom "Setup is starting Windows" after its done loading other files.

Could the CD be faulty, or do I just have bad hardware? Should I just upgrade my OS?

Thanks for the help so far guys, I wouldn't have been able to get this far otherwise.

Edited by captain casanova, 23 July 2009 - 02:20 AM.

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#15
happyrock

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its not the OS thats causing the problem ...its the hard drive itself...replace it...
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