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Applications wont start after Switching User Accounts

Posted on 2008-10-16
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Last Modified: 2012-06-21
Problem: When I switch users in Win XP, the switch appears normal, until I try to run an application such as IE, Acrobat, and nothing happens, cursor moves but is hourglass as though waiting for app to start, but it doesnt, and nothing else can be done.  If application launch is attempted from Start Menu, the Start Menu remains displayed no matter what. Only solution is to crash computer and restart, logging directly into the desired user account.  Its a single user machine effectively (unless use log-off instead of switching).  Does not matter whether its a limited or admin account, or which order they are approached.
The problem is recent (few weeks), and I cant attribute to any event I can think of.

Background: Possibly relevant inforamtion may be in the following history:
In July I clean reinstalled Windows XP (onto newly formatted HDD), plus applications I wished to continue with. Worked fine, two other apps were installed recently but no problems noticed at that time (other than a WinRAR program changed the icons of zipped folders which I detested.).
Then, recently:.
1.      I uninstalled Nero 8 using Program Add/Remove.
2.      Nortons AntiVirus 2007 (NAV) would not work (ZoneAlarm Pro warned me that there was no virus protection).  Im really unsure if this was associated with the Nero uninstall.  
3.      I could not get NAV to work, neither could I reinstall without getting the remaining bits out, nor could I uninstall using Programs Change/Remove: module could not be found said Windows Program Remove 
4.      While doing this, XP locked up on the account login page, cursor frozen. Did this on successive reboots.  I fixed this by rebooting in safe mode and using system restore to go to a previously OK date.  That got me running again.
5.      NAV still did not work.
6.      Next noticed that when switching users it started OK, but froze (cursor went to hour-glass) when any application was started either from a desktop shortcut, or the Start Menu (lower left, which froze up), or double clicking a file icon. Crashing computer and restarting into desired account got that account to work, i.e. reboot or log-off to change accounts. (this is the problem I am consulting on)
7.      System restored fully back to the date of completing the clean reinstall of XP and applications.
8.      NAV still did not work (it did on the date of the actual install and for some time afterwards, suggesting System Restore is not perfect?).  
9.      Obtained Dave Taylors procedure to uninstall; (http://www.askdavetaylor.com/how_to_fully_remove_norton_from_my_pc.html ), Got rid of all of Norton/Symantec following these instructions.  Still cannot switch between accounts without restarting (does not seem to matter whether its an admin account or a restricted account).  
10.      Computer does not close down reliably either, often needing crashing fro somewhere in the closedown procedure.  
11.      This may be an escalation of a long standing problem I have got used to, which is that shutdown is interrupted by a message from the Scheduled Agent:  Access violation at address 00403310 in module Scheduled.exe. Read of address FFFFFFFC., by clicking OK it continues and completes shutdown.  This irritation remained even after the clean install of XP.  I add here in case it is relevant.

Any help please?
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Question by:Geoff1000
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by:orangutang
ID: 22737977
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by:morsun
morsun earned 50 total points
ID: 22738148
Do you have 2 antivirus programs installed? ZoneAlarm and NAV? Please try to remove NAV with Norton Removal Tool http://service1.symantec.com/Support/tsgeninfo.nsf/docid/2005033108162039 then send here your AutoRuns and list of processes from Windows Task Manager.
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by:Geoff1000
ID: 22738483
No, dont believe I have NAV running, I spent a lot of time painstakingly removing that as per Dave Taylor, ref in original info. I am using the ZoneAlarm anti-virus until i figure out what might be better.  I did run the Norton removal tool you suggested morsun, as I suspect despite best endeavours there would be bits left.  The switching problem remains.
Attached a .jpeg picture of the processes (did not know how to export to a file), these immediately after starting in the admin account (called Owner).  Also attached the Autoruns as text file, and as the .arn file (extension edited to an acceptable extension,  .doc to upload.  Edit back to .arn if this is a more useful format.  Hope that works).

Processes.jpg
AutoRuns.txt
AutoRuns.doc
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by:Geoff1000
ID: 22793918
Do you need any more information?
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by:orangutang
ID: 22794134
Can you run applications after switching user accounts in safe mode?
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by:orangutang
ID: 22794207
Also, the scheduled.exe error seems to be coming from:
+ PVR Agent                  c:\program files\kworld multimedia\pvr plus\tvr\scheduled.exe
I don't really see anything else that really stands out. You should also be able to disable this since it's part of Nero:
+ BgMonitor_{79662E04-7C6C-4d9f-84C7-88D8A56B10AA}      Nero Home      Nero AG      c:\program files\common files\nero\lib\nmbgmonitor.exe
 The next step I would take is open msconfig, click the "Startup" tab, click "Disable All", click "OK", restart and see if you still have the problem. If the problem goes away, use the process of elimination by reenabling each item one by one until you get the problem again. Repeat that with everything in the "Services" tab of msconfig but check "Hide All Microsoft Services" before.
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by:Geoff1000
ID: 22802351
Thanks.  Could not determine if appliactions ran after switching user accounts in safe mode as it would only let me see Admin privileged accounts, mine as Owner, and one as "Administrator", usually hidden from me. I found I could not switch accounts easliy in safe mode and got into mess trying to switch by keyboard command (needed adminstator password which fortunately I had never set).  I gave up too soon maybe, but pressed on with the next suggestion.  
I followed the msconfig suggestion, found that the problem went away after click the "Startup" tab on Sytem Ultility, "Disable All", "OK", restart.  The tedious process of elimination then revealed the offending startup as: zlclient  "C:\Program Files\Zone Labs\ZoneAlarm\zclient.exe".  This surprised me as I had never had a problem with my ZoneAlarm Security Suite.  All other startups I have left on, and have disabled this one meantime.
A further observation is that I can start ZoneAlam Security Suite from the Program Start menu in one user account, run apps, then switch to another user account (after which ZoneAlarm would not be running, presumably becasue it's startup is disabled), then manully start ZomeAlarm again in the user account switched to, and applications run normally.  To me this suggests ZoneAlarm is OK, it's some tangle caused by the startup file?
Regarding  the + PVR Agent   c:\program files\kworld multimedia\pvr plus\tvr\scheduled.exe    possibly causing the scheduled.exe  error, I have yet to disable and test, but sounds plausible as this problem might have started to appear about when I might have installed that program ages ago.  I occasionally use this to convert video formats but have no need for it to schedule anything, so may look at disabling that aspect permamently. I always wondered what the "Scheduled Recording Agent"  icon was in the task bar.
I have left Nero alone so far, dont want to change too many things at once. Your comment alerted me though as this problem may have all started from  uninstalling it, see step 1 of my original question information  (Nero would only see my DVD drive as a CD drive).  Nero 8 is back again now because of my System Restore, but  one problem at a time.

What do you suggest next, uninstall and reinstall ZoneAlarm??  It is a program I do want to load at startup.
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by:orangutang
ID: 22805466
I guess the only thing I could suggest would be to uninstall and reinstall ZoneAlarm as you said. Or I would recommend another firewall. There are other free firewalls to use such as:
PC Tools Firewall Plus (http://www.pctools.com/firewall/)
Ashampoo® FireWall FREE (http://www2.ashampoo.com/webcache/html/1/product_2_0050__.htm)
Comodo Internet Security (http://www.personalfirewall.comodo.com/download_cis.html)
Online Armor Free (http://www.tallemu.com/free-firewall-protection-software.html)
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by:Geoff1000
ID: 22810900
Thanks for the other firewall suggestions.  I didnt want to give up ZoneAlarm yet as I paid money for a licence!  Thus I uninstalled and reinstalled ZoneAlarm Security Suite, along with an update that came in a day ago, and the problem has gone. Thats great.  Thanks.
Following up on the scheduled.exe error which seemed to be coming from:
+ PVR Agent    c:\program files\kworld multimedia\pvr plus\tvr\scheduled.exe   ,  I unchecked this item in the STARTUP tab list in the System Configuration Utility, and checked the box to stop the Utility loading each time and giving a warning message, and that error on closedown has also gone away.  I am even happier.  I dont need this PVR application add-on running, its for programming my non-existent TV card to record!
Last question (I realize is almost an extra but it came up, I will add points for this), Is this the way to permanently stop it loading at startup, or would there be a better way?  The System Utility lists a Registry Key as location, which if I deleted (or exported so its reversible) would that stop it loading?  Loathe to change the registry, needs great care, but I suspect if I delete or edit the scheduled.exe application file to a different name I would get a complaint that it could not be found?   Modifying System Startup to correct some pesky application add-on caused problem does not seem the right way, concerned it might lead to other problems later.  But it works.
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by:orangutang
ID: 22828573
Sorry, so you want to remove the startup item because you don't have a TV card? Did you search your Add/Remove Programs for anything related to PVR and uninstall it?
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by:Geoff1000
ID: 22837055
Sorry, incomplete information.  I had checked the Add/Remove Programs list and there is only a single entry for PVR Plus, no separate scheduled.exe or similar is listed, so I assume the offending scheduled.exe application is "bundled" within the PVR Plus application entry.  I wish to retain the other "parts" which are useful for video format changes.  Hence thinking of some more devious way to just stop scheduled.exe running at startup. I am also assuming that since there is only PVR Plus listed in Add/Remove Programs, the installer would not have given me the option of a custom install, with opportunity to leave scheduled.exe out.  
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by:orangutang
ID: 22837143
Can you reinstall it? I searched online and I found:
http://driver.wareseeker.com/freeware/kworld-pvr-plus-v2.2.0.2/349313/pvr_patch_2.2.0.2_060216_english.zip
but I don't know if it applies to your PVR Plus
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Author Comment

by:Geoff1000
ID: 22847806
I tried uninstalling and reinstalling PVR Plus, found the scheduled.exe is integral to the PVR application (programming times like a videorecorder is a button on the PVR main menu page  hence needing scheduled.exe to run if that function is used). There is no opportunity given to not load it.  Trouble is, it causes a shut down error on my machine, as detailed earlier.  This problem returned after the reinstall.
Not sure what the URL you gave supplies, it just gives me a blank browser window, accompanied by Done.
At present PVR Plus is uninstalled, and I eventually got rid of the registry key which I believe causes scheduled.exe to run on startup, using CClean (the key was listed in the System Configuration Utility Startup page alongside the c:\program files\kworld multimedia\pvr plus\tvr\scheduled.exe   command we referred to earlier, and I assume when that line in the System Configuration Utility: Startup disappears, that key has been deleted from the registry as CClean indicates).
Thus, if I am correct in that that registry key is the command which causes scheduled.exe to run on startup, deleting it after PVR Plus is installed should fix the problem (until I poke the button on PVR Plus accidentally).
On the other hand, registry fiddling is dangerous, so an alternative is modify the PC startup permanently as I sought advice on, or only load PVR Plus when I need it (really not often I want to make  a DVD from an analogue  videotape), then uninstall.
I think this problem is now well understood, with your help, thanks, and a few solutions seem available for my choice.  Is that a fair assessment?  Any further comment?
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orangutang earned 450 total points
ID: 22847849
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by:Geoff1000
ID: 22874789
Thanks.  I reloaded PVR Plus and ran the patch downloaded from the site you suggested, but the problem on shutdown remained.  I think the problem did not occur shutting down from an administrators account, only from a limited account, but not 100% sure (PVR Plus only runs in an administrators account!!).  
Good news now (red face too), I ran up the scheduled.exe program for the first time (double clicked the icon in the task bar) to see that it was, and discovered a checkbox which controlled loading at startup.  I unchecked it, and scheduled.exe no longer runs at startup, problem solved.  A bit embarrassing, but without your help I would never have tracked that shutdown problem to this program.  Thank you, I am happy now.
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Author Closing Comment

by:Geoff1000
ID: 31507049
Thank you orangutang for going the extra mile with PVR Plus after providing that extra snippet of information at the beginning.  A long standing irritaion is now gone.
Morsun, thanks for the NAV cleaner, I suspect it cleaned out things that I had missed even with the apparently thorough but tedious process I went through (I only removed whole folders bearing the explicit Norton or Symantec names from the registry, probably some keys not in folders would have remained, I was too scared to risk removing those in case of mistaken identity)
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