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Computer crashes during virus scan

Posted on 2005-05-05
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Last Modified: 2013-12-04
I have a Toshiba A10 notebook with Windows XP installed. Recently, I have experienced a lot of crashes - the computer just shuts down with no notice at all. I have tried anti-virus scans from Norton, AVG, NOD32, and now McAfee. None of the scans that I run are completed before the computer crashes.
Is there some direction I can be pointed in to start looking for a solution to this problem?
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Question by:BiggerAl
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LVL 32

Expert Comment

by:r-k
ID: 13933540
(1) Does it shut down even if you not doing a scan?

(2) You might try booting in safe mode and see if the anti-virus scans can complete then.

(3) Is this XP Pro or Home Edition?
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Expert Comment

by:blue_zee
ID: 13933545

Try running them in Safe Mode.

Try also the Stinger, a tool that targets specific malware, including AV disabling pests:

http://download.nai.com/products/mcafee-avert/s-t-i-n-g-e-r.exe

Good luck,

Zee
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Author Comment

by:BiggerAl
ID: 13936261
I have the XP Pro Edition, and I did download the XP2 service pack.
I have been working with McAfee Help. They have had me run a scan in safe mode and in DOS, which is where they had me download a DATS file.
Both times the system crashed.
The system does crash even when I am not scanning, ie when I am just playing music or downloading a file.
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LVL 18

Expert Comment

by:JConchie
ID: 13936512
Hardware failure going on here....most likely ram.....get a stick of known good and replace your ram and see if the problem goes away.
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Expert Comment

by:Yancey Landrum
ID: 13937625
Some things to try/look at:

Turn off auto-reboot on error so you can get a good bluescreen message about the problem. (System Properties, Advanced, Starup and Recovery, Settings. Uncheck "Automatically restart")

Make sure you have latest video drivers; in my experience, system-wide crashes that are not tied to a particular software are very often video driver-related.

Unplug/remove any USB or PCMCIA devices and see if you still crash.

As JConchie said, bad RAM.

Run chkdsk /r to scan and recover bad sectors on the hard drive.

Delete and re-create paging file.

Good luck.
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Expert Comment

by:kind4me
ID: 13939211
SOunds like it could be over heating as well, make sure all of your fans are running and the cover is closed.  Also may be a power issue, do you have a UPS to plug into to test.  Scans take alot of CPU (increase power requirment) with the increased power requirement comes excess heat.  

If not the I agree with Jconchie, might be ram
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Author Comment

by:BiggerAl
ID: 13944325
OK, one of the first things I thought of doing was increasing the ram, so now its double what it was when I bought the computer.
I did try that Stinger, and it went along well for an hour, and then it crashed.
I don't think it's over-heating, because sometimes it crashes after half an hour, and sometimes its hours later.
I am going to try and update my video drivers, and I wonder if ylandrum could amplify on the last two suggestions that were given.
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by:Yancey Landrum
ID: 13945364
Sure.

"Run chkdsk /r..."

Open a command window and type the following commands:

C:
chkdsk /r

You'll get a message saying it can't scan right now, and asking if you want to schedule the scan for the next reboot. Answer Y, and reboot. As it's coming back up, it'll tell you that a disk check was scheduled and that you can hit a key to skip it. Don't touch any keys; just let it run. **CAUTION** It may take several hours to run (or it may take 20 minutes); make sure you have ample time to let it run and that you are on AC not battery.

"Delete and re-create paging file."

1. Right-click My Computer and choose Properties.
2. Click the Advanced tab, then the Settings button under Performance. That brings up the Performance Options window.
3. Click the Advanced tab there, then the Change button under Virtual memory.
4. Select the "No paging file" radio button, click the Set button, then OK out of the three windows that are open.
5. Reboot. When it comes back up, check C: drive for pagefile.sys. If it's still there, delete it.
6. Follow steps 1 through 3 again, this time setting the paging file to "System managed size." OK out of everything again.
7. Reboot again.

Something else just occurred to me; do you have hibernation enabled? If so, try turning that off and deleting the hibernation file; it may be storing a corrupt memory page and reloading it each time you reboot:

1. Control Panel
2. Power Options
3. Hibernate tab.
4. Uncheck "Enable hibernation."
5. Delete C:\hiberfil.sys.
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by:JConchie
ID: 13945885
What was the timing of increasing the ram?  Just prior to these problems showing up?  Is the new ram exactly the same type and size as the old?  If so, try taking the new ram out and see if the problem persists....if it does, then take the old ram out and just run with the new....if the problem still persists then, you have at least eliminated the most common cause of hardware problems...bad ram.  If the problem goes away with either ram install....you've found your culpirt.
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by:cpc2004
ID: 13951419
When Windows crashes with blue screen, it writes a system event 1001 and a minidump to the folder \windows\minidump. Check system event 1001 and it has the content of the blue screen

Control Panel -> Adminstrative Tools -> Event Viewer -> System -> Event 1001. Copy the content and paste it back here

Zip 3 to 4 minidumps and attach the zip files at any webspace. I will study the dump and find out the culprit.
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Author Comment

by:BiggerAl
ID: 13953541
The next thing I'm going to try is that "chkdsk" thing, and after that the two other suggestions from ylandrum.
To Jconchie: The computer was already crashing, and one of the solutions I thought I would try was to increase the memory. It wasn't as successful as I had hoped.
To cpc2004: I tried and was unable to find any Event 1001's. Any other suggestions?
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by:cpc2004
ID: 13953567
Do you find any minidump at the folder \windows\minidump and the folllowing Dr Watson's log and dump.
C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Documents\DrWatson\user.dmp
C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Documents\DrWatson\drwtsn32.log
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Expert Comment

by:JConchie
ID: 13956257
Yes, I understand that the computer was crashing before....so you doubled the ram....what you didn't do was take the old ram out and try running the machine just on the new ram....may well solve your problem.
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Author Comment

by:BiggerAl
ID: 13958938
OK, to ylandrum: I did the chkdsk, and it ran OK until the last 1%, and then it crashed. It came right back up again and showed a screen that I didn't quite have time to read. I hope the whole thing was done.
I can't find "pagefile.sys."
The "Hibernate enabled" box is unchecked in Control Panel and Toshiba's Power Management.
To Jconchie: Can I take out the rams by myself, or should I get a pro to handle it?
To cpc2004: I couldn't find any of those files at all. Windows says they are not valid and might be moved or renamed.
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Expert Comment

by:Yancey Landrum
ID: 13959370
Open a Windows Explorer window and go to the Tools menu. Choose Folder Options, then click on the View tab. Under Hidden files and folders select "Show hidden files and folders", and uncheck "Hide protected operating system files (Recommended)", then Yes on the Warning dialog. You should be able to see all the files you couldn't see before.

If you have your XP cd you could try booting from that into the Recovery Console (you'll need your admin password) and running "chkdsk /r" from there.
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Expert Comment

by:JConchie
ID: 13959866
Yes, it is easy to take the ram out, but if you didn't put it in yourself, you will not know which is the new ram and which is the old....take it back to whoever put the extra ram in for you and ask them to pull the old ram and test the box just with the new ram in it.   I would almost bet that your problem will be fixed.
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Author Comment

by:BiggerAl
ID: 13995087
OK, I took my 'puter to the guy who installed the memory, and he ran a virus scan (AdFree 1.2.1) which he said would clear up the problem. What do you think happened the first time I tried to run a scan myself?
So, I will have to try again to get him to remove the old memory .
I'm sorry this is taking so long to resolve, but I am an English teacher living in the South Korean city of Pohang. The language barriers are a problem sometimes.
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Author Comment

by:BiggerAl
ID: 14302884
This is taking a long time, I know. The serviceman who I have asked to try and help me with my memory has turned out to be a real dud. Twice now he has made appointments to come to my house, and then failed to show up.
I am going to ask my supervisor at school to come with mr to his place of business to see if this cannot be resolved. maybe it is just a translation problem.
The serviceman did seem to be saying that this is a software problem, having nothing to do with the memory cards. He beleived that the memory cards were incompatible with McAfee. Can that be right?
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by:blue_zee
ID: 14303962

>>He beleived that the memory cards were incompatible with McAfee. Can that be right?<<

No.
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Expert Comment

by:JConchie
ID: 14305378
Not only "no"  I would state catagorically that this guy obviously doen't really know anything about computers....find another tech....a real one this time....and check the memory.
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Author Comment

by:BiggerAl
ID: 14369558
Just wanted to let you know that I finally got another memory card from that guy, and the computer crashes when either of them are in it.
I went back and did some things that ylandrum suggested:
running a chkdsk
deleting "pagefile.sys"
looked for hiberfile.sys (to delete) but could not find.
A friend suggested I format the hard drive and reinstall the software. Do you think this is worth trying?
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LVL 29

Expert Comment

by:blue_zee
ID: 14369624

Of couse, formatting and reinstall usually cures everything, but it's the last thing you want to do.

Anyway, if you're left with no other options...

Good luck,

Zee
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Accepted Solution

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JConchie earned 1500 total points
ID: 14369629
You can try it, but I still think this is a hardware based problem.....I would find a competent repair shop and take it in to them.....the guy you are dealing with does not know what he is doing.
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