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Booting Problems


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#1
SBrandy

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I am running a Dell 8400 from 2005 with memory increased to 3GB this year, a replaced powersupply, and a 1 year old hard drive. When the SATA hard drive was replaced, the computer wants a RAID setting to operate. I have 2 internal drives, both SATA. I may have a few problems so I will describe in order. It started with the computer not booting properly, repeats the boot up process until it completes and the system is running. This can take up to 32 attempts before actually running. I have stopped shutting down the computer to work around this. About 4 days ago I noticed Firefox and Chrome no longer work and my Norton Internet Security "disappeared". IE works but I have found that not all drop-down menus function properly. Right clicking My Computer > Properties results in an error code. All the error codes I have received are the same: "The application or dll c:\windows\system32\usp10.dll is not a valid windows image. Please check this against your installation diskette." In addition to this I have a MS shield indicating that I have updates waiting to be installed. I have attempted to install these a few times. I finally went to the MS update site and ran a history on my computer to find that this has been installed at least couple a times - KB981322. When researching this update, issues were discussed and I saw usp10.dll mentioned under issues with this update but I did not understand what I was looking at. I have not been able to get back to that page. I believe it was through the MS update site. I have tried to follow the procedures for checking your Malware and Spyware Cleaning Guide and have not been very successful. I had a previous problem running Malwarebytes Antimalware conflicting with my Norton Internet Security and Safety Minder. Through remote access Norton removed Malwarebytes Antimalware and needed to reinstall both Norton programs. This past Friday when my Norton Internet Security "disappeared" I again worked with Norton through Remote access to reinstall and upgrade my Norton Internet Security to 2011. Norton again stated that I should run only 1 security software "Your computer will be secure with NIS." During a full scan 8 risks were detected but they did not look at what they were, cookies or malware, I don't know. I'm hesitant to try running Malwarebytes only to make a bad situation worse. I ran TFC and ERUNT. In the last day or two the self booting issue has escalated to self booting while working on the system. It was all I could do to keep it running long enough to run TFC and ERUNT. I'm not sure if I have hardware issues, malware, or MS Update conflicts or a little of each. Any advise would be greatly appreciated.
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#2
The Skeptic

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The problems you describe could be the result of malware damaging programs, windows included. These problems should be addressed to the malware forum, for which there is a link in my list below.

You shouldn't have any problem running Malwarebytes and SuperAntispyware with Norton installed on your computer. Download both programs, install, update and run them one after the other. Run complete scan (not the quick one). If in doubt, disable Norton while running the scan. When finished, follow the rest of the instructions and then start a new topic in the malware forum. If the computer is so unstable that you cannot run any program, please post here again and we'll try to improve the situation to a level at which the helpers of the malware forum will be able to help you clean the computer.
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#3
SBrandy

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I ran Stinger, CWShredder with nothing found. SuperAntispyware found several tracking cookies which were removed. Malwarebytes showed no problems in both a quick and full scan. I have not run GMER or OTL since I'm not sure the system will run long enough to complete a scan. The system may run 10-15 minutes before rebooting. Someone told me they had rebooting issues with their computer and when the hard drive was replace the problem was fixed. I ran a SeaTools short DST test which initially showed Failed. SeaTools recommended running SeaTools for DOS. This showed the temp is 24-32 (on subsequent attempts), DST completed without error, short DST passed. I was not able to complete a long test, system kept rebooting. The test was run from a bootable CD. If windows was not running during the test this would eliminate a virus or malware problem.

I think XP is corrupt and I possibly have a bad hard drive. There are items I am not able to access that I should be able to do. I cannot access the system info through the control panel. When I click on System, nothing happens. I cannot access properties under My Computer which is where I thought System Restore could be accessed. I did access it through Programs>Accessories but when I click on settings to check if it was turned on, nothing happened. There were no restore points displayed. Drop down menus in IE are sometimes not available to select an item. This morning when I checked system restore there are restore points but all are the day after the problems began. Clicking on settings still resulted in nothing happening. I thought I would try an in-place xp upgrade to try to get the system stable again and run the SeaTools long test again. What are your thoughs or suggestions?
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#4
The Skeptic

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... SeaTools recommended running SeaTools for DOS. ... I was not able to complete a long test, system kept rebooting. The test was run from a bootable CD.

I think XP is corrupt ...


First, and before anything else, we must make sure that the hardware in your computer is OK, which I doubt. Please do the following:

To test the RAM in your computer download memtest (a link in my list below), create a bootable CD and boot the computer with the CD. Run at least one full pass. There shouldn't be any errors (red lines) for the duration of the test.

If memtest prove negative (no errors), reset the BIOS by disconnecting the power cord from the power supply and taking out the CMOS battery for 10-15 minutes. Reinstall, reboot, set time and date and report the results.
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