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Can not start some windows based applications

Except some programs like command promt, regedit,Symmantec Anti-Virus and Windows xp games, I can not start applications including windows explorer, my computer, control panel, System Restore, iexplorer, office etc. The problem started 15th of October on three computers at the same day. One of them is an Acer laptop, other are Dell Desktops. The desktops are connected through LAN but the laptop was at a totally different place where a connection could not be established. The other computers on the LAN are clean (around 15 computers).
Here's the thing; The desktops give an error message at the windows startup saying that "the instruction 0x000.. at memory address 0x00.. could not be read" but there is no such message on the laptop. I have checked the computers for viruses with both Symmantec AV and F-Prot (both updated) but that was negative. I ran "sfc /scannow" and "sfc /scanonce" from command prompt and also "FIXMBR" through recovery console which did not solve the problem and I fixed the registry using "exefix.reg". I tried repairing Windows with the CD but that ended up with a new installation because the Windows Setup stopped responding for a very long time and I could not step back. Now two of the computers work fine after the re-installation, but I had to format the hard drive. There is still one desktop to fix and I really don't want to re-install the OS, so I am awaiting comments.
By the way, I can run process explorer (using command prompt) so I can see which processes are running. There is nothing unusual except I can see that when I start an application, "dwwin" is attached to that application and both are shut down in 1-2 seconds.
Thanks in advance,
M. Taylan Oztek
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taytek
Asked:
taytek
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2 Solutions
 
nobusCommented:
run the following in SAFE Mode : (i recommend running them in that order )

and disable system restore :

      STINGER   http://www.chip.de/downloads/c_downloads_11105456.html      
      Spybot :       http://www.download.com/3000-8022-10122137.html
      adaware :  http://www.lavasoftusa.com/
http://housecall.trendmicro.com/                       online scan for trojans
http://www.ravantivirus.com/scan/

http://www.spychecker.com/program/hijackthis.html            download
http://www.hijackthis.de/index.php?langselect=english            check the log

If it is a memory problem, you can test it with memtest86+ :

http://www.memtest.org/      
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DrWarezzCommented:
Create a shortcut on your desktop to the c:
Then R-click it, and select Properties. Then, select the "Tools" tab, and click "check now". And go from there.

This will scan the hard drive for errors. As it sounds like a memory error.. :o\

Give it a go, best of luck,
[r.D]
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DrWarezzCommented:
Ah, nobus, your comment wasn't added until after I started typing -- so, i didn't see yours, soz.

Author, you may as well ignore my comment, nobus suggestions are much better.

gL,
[r.D]
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nobusCommented:
No problems, Dr
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taytekAuthor Commented:
Thanks for your comments, here's what I did; I ran nobus' reccommendations except the online scanners, as I can't launch IE. Stinger found nothing.
Spybot found some spyware, I removed them.
I also removed everything good/bad Hijackthis listed. Still no change on the computer.
Memory test is clean with memtest 86+.
Although I already performed a disk scan with "chkdsk c:" before first post, I tried Dr's recomendation which also didn't help.

The error message at the beginning is titled "svchost.exe" and whenever I try running "My Computer" at safe mode, I receive the same error message and also the computer acts as I restart in safe mode; I mean I also get the message saying that I started in safe mode.
One more thing, when I run IExplorer, it consumes 100% of CPU but can't load.

Windows seems to start normally, but some background applications like Windows update come up after some time. I guess something occupies the RAM but not the CPU.

Also remember that this thing happened to 3 different computers at the same time, so it should be some kind of a virus. But why can I not find any?

OK, still looking for the solution. I want to spend some more time trying, then I will have to re-install Windows XP after formatting the disk.
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DrWarezzCommented:
Could you give the exact Error message?
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taytekAuthor Commented:
Title: svchost.exe - Application Error
Body: The instruction at "0x77e61d24" referenced memory at "0x00000007". The memory could not be "read".
         Click on OK to terminate program
         Click on CANCEL to debug the program

Nothing different happens when I click CANCEL.
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nobusCommented:
Did you run adaware's latest version also?
and memtest (i gave the link)
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DrWarezzCommented:
Here -- have a look here:
http://www.forumoc.com/t-77542.html

I hope that helps
[r.D]
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taytekAuthor Commented:
Adaware stops for a long time while scanning browser cache. Until then it found and removed 11 Alexa's (whatever it is). Still no good.
Memtest is clean.
:(
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nobusCommented:
You tried running the tools in safe mode, with system restore disabled and the latest version?
Then, when it finds 10 bad ones, stop it and remove those; obviously there is something down that alley

Maybe you tried it already, but since i did not mention it before :

http://www.spychecker.com/program/coolwebshredder.html                          CoolWeb Shredder

Good luck !
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taytekAuthor Commented:
OK, thanks to both. The guy in http://www.forumoc.com/t-77542.html complains with the same problem but ended up with a re-installation. However I understood that the problem is related with Service Pack 2. So I uninstalled it and now the computer is back. I will re-install SP2 now and see if it works.
Thanks again, I will post here if something goes wrong..
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DrWarezzCommented:
Thanks :)

I trust that you'll make a restore point before attempting to reinstall SP2..?

[r.D]
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taytekAuthor Commented:
I re-installed SP2 and the computer is quite fine.. Whatever it was, I hope this wont happen again. :))
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DrWarezzCommented:
:-) good luck with it!
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