WinMe errors: exception errors, shut down errors, .exe caused an error and etc.

I have been trying to isolate this problem for over a month and it is like trying to pop a water balloon with one hand.  I have had numerous problems with the BCOD, hangs, shut down errors and the like.  This is an older IBM Thinkpad, P3 on WinMe.  I added ram so it's at about 386mb with
a 14gb HD.  BTW, I also have Norton SystemWorks 2005 on the machine.

One of the most often recurring errors occurs when trying to open other applications.  I get a blue screen with the error message:  "An error has occured.  To continue....press enter, etc. and then the Error code is 0E : 018F : BFF6C172.  Press any key and screen goes to black.  At this point I have to shut the machine off manually.

I tried various things including reinstalling the OS, running virus scans. scans for adware, spyware and etc.  I would try to restart the computer and would get the scan disk to show up showing an improper shut down, even though the shut down was normal.  Yes, I have the patch that adds the 2 sec delay.  Even on the thorough mode, I never got any error on the disk.  If I tried to defrag, I get an error that says there is a problem with the disk and to run scan disk to correct the problem.

I was able to run one-check on Systemworks and fix a number of errors and even get systemworks to defrag the disk.  What I get now though is one error when using one-check which points to a problem in c:/windows/temp.  It's a TMP file that changes every time I view the folder.  I've tried to delete it manually, I've tried to use systemworks, I've tried to use hijack_this to delete at start up and nothing deletes it.

Systemworks is unable to delete and if I go into the folder itself and try to delete it, it tells me "Access is denied.  The source file may be in use."

Regardless, I am unable to use the windows defrag, I can't open other apps like spybot, windowwasher or a number of other programs without getting a blue screen.

I am at the point where Billy Crystal said to De Niro, "Hit that pillow".  I've been trying everything I can find thru forums like this one and am at my end.  Your expert advise is much appreciated.
wgrogersAsked:
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JonveeCommented:
You appear to have tried several tests, but wonder if there's something here that will help.
The symptoms you're experiencing on your PC may be similar to these:

                                       http://www.btinternet.com/~winnoel/quackfix.htm

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JonveeCommented:
Have you tried temporarily disabling your antivirus software,and any other Norton product?  Now if you can access the internet, you could try downloading the 'Stinger' and a Trojan scanner [you may still have a virus!].
 The 'Stinger' is a utility that cleans the system of virii, that block anti virus software. You can download the 'Stinger' from here.    Run it to make sure that 'disabling viruses' are not present.
           http://download.nai.com/products/mcafee-avert/stinger.exe

Then update and run a full system scan, using at least two of these free, recommended virus scanners:                                                
           http://www.grisoft.com/us/us_dwnl_free.php
           http://housecall.trendmicro.com
           http://www.pandasoftware.com/activescan/com/activescan_principal.htm

    You could also scan with GFI's online 'Trojan' scanner:
             http://www.trojanscan.com

If you STILL can't access the internet, you could try a DOS Based Virus scan.    Information included here:                      
                    http://www.f-prot.com/products/home_use/dos/
     and >>   http://www.f-prot.com/download/download_fpdos.html
Before you begin scanning with this DOS scanner, you should disable your System Restore.
For more information, see here:
                   http://www.f-prot.com/support/windows/I_have_virus_me.html
                   http://www.f-prot.com/support/disable_sr_me.html
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wgrogersAuthor Commented:
Jonvee:

I checked out your first post and looked for the OEM*.INF in c: but there were none.
I can access the 'net with the computer, just can't run applications outside of IE and OE.

I'm really wondering what the .TMP file is in the c:windows/temp folder.  I have tried to delete it but it's being read as a system file.  And, it changes its name everytime I reboot.  Hijack-This can't delete it and if I boot to safe mode, it doesn't appear.  

FYI, I have disabled NAV and other components, uninstalled systemworks and still the problem persists.  

I'll give your utilities a try.  I should be able to access these from the computer in question.  I will let you know what happens when I do.

Greg
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blue_zeeCommented:

Greg,

Save the data you need to CD/DVD.

Format and reinstall Windows.

You will spend hours (days...) trying to solve the problem without total success.

Format and reinstall will save you time and patience.

Zee
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JonveeCommented:
Greg:

Have you managed to make any sense of the virus situation, or have you decided to go for (Zee's) Format and Me reinstall?
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JonveeCommented:
              >>   what the .TMP file is in the c:windows/temp folder  <<

When trying to delete the file, you received a message that it's being read as a system file.  Maybe if you
select Safe Mode, then check the task manager to see if a process relating to it is running.   If so, you could try
and end that process.
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wgrogersAuthor Commented:
Sorry...been away from the desk for awhile.  

When I go to safe mode the .TMP file doesn't show up.  I have all the folders set to show hidden files as well.

I did not want to reformat but it looks like I'm going to have to bite the bullet and do it.  Besides that .TMP file there are so many things that have caused the system to become unstable, I doubt that I can ever get it working correctly.
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blue_zeeCommented:

Thank you and good luck.

Wise decision, IMO.

Zee
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JonveeCommented:
Greg:
                  >>    so many things that have caused the system to become unstable  <<
Then as Zee has said, you have made a wise decision.   But on numerous occasions we receive requests to 'recover important documents', and i guess the philosophy is to try all we can, to avoid an immediate reformat.  
                                                                                                       .. thank you.                
Jonvee
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