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Old 09-08-2010, 02:14 PM
nibblesandbits nibblesandbits is offline
 
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Default windows explorer has stopped working / windows is restarting

So I have a client laptop, I've tried everything I know.

I've run SuperAntiSpyware in safe mode.
I've run Malwarebytes in safe mode.
I've tried system restore.
I've tried chkdsk /f (which didn't find much of anything)
I've tried sfc /scannow as administrator which found nothing.

Short of a nuke and pave, I'm not sure how to fix this problem. Is it possible to copy a file like explorer.ex_ off of windows vista installation media? I know if I could do a repair option like XP's CDs had, this would be a breeze. But I know of no way to do the same thing that I used to do on XP, on Vista.

Help? This client is wanting their computer back yesterday.

Seems I've been getting a lot more "harder" fixes in my office here lately. Maybe I need to brush up on my knowledge, although I don't know how I'd have ever forgotten anything I knew since I do this every day, day in and day out.
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Old 09-08-2010, 02:38 PM
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Check to see if service packs are installed this was a common vista problem before service pack 1
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Old 09-08-2010, 02:53 PM
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Just as an FYI - Malwarebytes was created to be ran in a normal windows start up, not safe mode. I, like you, used to run it in safe mode thinking that it was better to do so, but I have read from some Admin members of the MBAM forums that it was designed to run in normal mode because it finds virus better when its active. Only time I run in safe mode, is a full scan, whenever a virus may be blocking mbam after I have gone through the manual removal procedure, then I usually follow up with a quick scan once it works in windows.


On another note, have you tried to do a recovery installation of windows? Not a nuke and pave, but just a reinstall of windows? Not sure the word Im looking for here, drawing a blank.

Have you tried pulling the hard drive out and running scans on it as an external drive?

I would say a recovery install of vista would be your best option.
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Old 09-08-2010, 03:02 PM
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Surely running 5 automated apps isn't ALL you know?!

What do the logs say is happening?

What effect does a restricted startup have?

You can do a repair install with Vista but you have to be able to boot into it.
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Old 09-08-2010, 03:02 PM
nibblesandbits nibblesandbits is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dannyd View Post
Check to see if service packs are installed this was a common vista problem before service pack 1
Will check... but it's kind of hard when explorer keeps shutting down every 5 seconds, literally. I don't have enough time to hit start and right click cmd to run as administrator. I'll see if I can't get siw or something to run.

Quote:
Originally Posted by xxsilk109xx View Post
Just as an FYI - Malwarebytes was created to be ran in a normal windows start up, not safe mode. I, like you, used to run it in safe mode thinking that it was better to do so, but I have read from some Admin members of the MBAM forums that it was designed to run in normal mode because it finds virus better when its active. Only time I run in safe mode, is a full scan, whenever a virus may be blocking mbam after I have gone through the manual removal procedure, then I usually follow up with a quick scan once it works in windows.


On another note, have you tried to do a recovery installation of windows? Not a nuke and pave, but just a reinstall of windows? Not sure the word Im looking for here, drawing a blank.

Have you tried pulling the hard drive out and running scans on it as an external drive?

I would say a recovery install of vista would be your best option.
I'll have to retry the MBAM in normal mode. IF I can get into the CD I have it on. I'm trying to use iexplore as it's my only way of getting into anything because otherwise it's explorer - which keeps crashing. It seems to be in an infinite loop of crash.

Recovery install of windows would be possible if I knew how to do it from a CD. It's not like the "r" option that was on the Windows XP CD. Do I just choose "upgrade" like I've read in a few places? At any rate. I'm backing up the user profile right now to make sure she loses no important documents. I've already been on the phone with her since my first post and she said a n&p is fine. I explained to her that backing up her user profile would NOT back up any programs, and she said she has the discs for them so it's no big deal to her. Her pictures were the main thing.

Also - I'm thinking about that company that repairs installs on the internet. It scans your computer and fixes them. I can't think of what it's called, but I think we get a special deal with the ACRBO. Going to look into it as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MobileTechie View Post
Surely running 5 automated apps isn't ALL you know?!

What do the logs say is happening?

What effect does a restricted startup have?

You can do a repair install with Vista but you have to be able to boot into it.
Nope, it's not all I know. It's just 9/10 times all it takes. But let's not tell people that because that'd cut my business down to about 1/58792489123 of what it is. It's hard to check logs or anything when explorer.exe is in an infinite crash loop and crashing so quickly.

UPDATE: OR NOT... all it took was a ctrl shift esc to get taskman and then eventvwr.msc. lol Not that hard. So I'm looking at the log and EVERY explorer.exe crash is in there. Looks like all the errors pertain to MSVCR80.dll as the "faulting module". Still researching.

Last edited by nibblesandbits; 09-08-2010 at 03:08 PM.
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Old 09-08-2010, 03:08 PM
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I assume explorer functions correctly in safe mode, so I'd run Autoruns and check what .dll's are running when explorer is launched
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Old 09-08-2010, 03:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iisjman07 View Post
I assume explorer functions correctly in safe mode, so I'd run Autoruns and check what .dll's are running when explorer is launched
Nope. It crashes in the loop in safe mode as well.
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Old 09-08-2010, 03:11 PM
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That's the C runtime library.

What effect does a restricted startup have? Because if that library is implicated then maybe a startup app using it is the cause.

EDIT: just saw your latest post which negates that.
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Old 09-08-2010, 03:13 PM
nibblesandbits nibblesandbits is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MobileTechie View Post
That's the C runtime library.

What effect does a restricted startup have? Because if that library is implicated then maybe a startup app using it is the cause.

EDIT: just saw your latest post which negates that.
If by restricted startup, you mean "safe mode" or everything disabled in msconfig including services (not any ms services) then... it still does the same thing. Thinking about trying to reload the dll and see what happens.

Edit: Has anybody used (successfully) reimage.com? I'm thinking about it. Quite a lot of money to be out if it doesn't fix anything.

Last edited by nibblesandbits; 09-08-2010 at 03:29 PM.
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Old 09-08-2010, 04:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xxsilk109xx View Post
Just as an FYI - Malwarebytes was created to be ran in a normal windows start up, not safe mode.
That may be the case, but I've had better luck removing infections in safe mode. I've had infected machines that, in normal mode, MB wouldn't detect anything. Then ran again in safe mode, and found multiple infections. There was probably something resident in memory that was stealthing the infections, while in normal mode. In any case, when I clean a system, I always run a final scan in normal mode.
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