Solved: PC hangs randomly since Avast quarantined then repaired bootstat.dat

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trentemon

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I've been having random crashes where the computer hangs (as in the cursor stops being moveable and ctrl+alt+del does nothing) ever since Avast repaired the 3-4 files in the quarantine chest. I don't remember the other files but they were Temp junk, the only one that stood out was bootstat.dat which seemed to be a system file but I figured "repair" wouldn't cause an issue, especially if it had been quarantined already. Is there a way to get my original bootstat.dat back? Is it perhaps stored somewhere or available online? I don't even know if this is the problem or solution but this didn't happen prior to this. Thanks in advance
 
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Try running the System File Checker to see if that helps.

Run the system file checker as follows.
Click on Start > Run > Type cmd in the Run box and hit Enter.
At the Command Prompt type sfc /scannow (you must include the gap before the /) and hit Enter.
Let the process run to completion.
You will be asked to insert the XP disc, please do so.

Let me know if this fixes the problem.
 

trentemon

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Nov 12, 2011
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Update: I can make the computer freeze (no cursor movement or ctrl+alt+del response) or completely restart by starting a game.

Thank you both for all the help, unfortunately I'm still having the problem. I have a bit more to report now.

I've noticed the crashes happen mainly (only?) with 3d games, flash games, and video. I updated flash and java but it didn't help. I've both updated AND reverted to old video drivers for my radeon 4600 but nothing helps.

I ran SFC /scannow, it seemed to find things it wanted to fix (it wanted XP Pro CD so I assume it did something) although it never displayed what it was doing, the command prompt stayed on C documents and settings the whole time and never seemed to change. It didn't help.

The computer has been usable for hours at a time on Ebay, WLM chat, Steam (chat only) but the second I do anything video related, (I first noticed it when launching DC Universe Online) the computer stops, the cursor never moves again. I was sent a Bing video, it froze. I was playing a simple flash game with a friend, it froze.

I'm confident it will not freeze while I'm posting this or googling for help or anything EXCEPT watching a video or starting a game.

Aside from the total freeze with unmoveable cursor, upon startup recently I had these problems:
- Active Desktop had a problem and was disabled (I didn't know it was enabled in the first place, but apparently my wallpaper picture from firefox had a problem?),
- Windows Explorer had an error and closed,
- DrWatsons Postmortem Debugger had an error and closed,
- blue screen error, "STOP: 0x0000001A (0x00041284, 0xDAEA2001, 0x0000C55A, 0xC0E00000)"

I'll try googling this but maybe someone here knows what some of that could mean. Again, none of this happened before Avast quarantined and repaired bootstat.dat, but now I'm thinking that could be unrelated and just a coincidence.

Is there a Windows XP error or crash log? Maybe knowing what is happening directly before the freeze would help?

and sub123, thanks for the advice but my system restore has been disabled since a virus got me over a year ago. I've disabled Avast but it hasn't helped.
 
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An error code of 1A is often related to faulty RAM. Run the tests below and report back with the results.

Preliminary checks
You should first check the model of RAM stick that you have on the manufacturers site for the recommended voltage setting and then make sure it is set correctly in the PC's Bios. An incorrect voltage setting may be the reason for your problems so test the PC's performance again if the voltage was incorrect.
Errors can also be caused by dirty contacts, mismatched sticks or using them in the wrong slots. Check all sticks are the same make and specification, check the motherboard manual for the correct slots to use. Remove all the sticks and clean the contacts with a soft pencil eraser and blow out the slots with a can of compressed air.
Download Memtest86+ from here
When the download is complete right click the file and select Extract Here and burn the image to a CD.
In windows 7 right click the extracted file, select Open With, then select Windows Disc Image Burning Tool then follow the prompts. For all other versions of windows (if you do not have an ISO burner) download this free software. ImgBurn
Install the program and start the application. Select the top left hand option to burn image file to disk and then on the next window click on the small yellow folder icon and browse to the ISO file you have downloaded. Then click on the two grey discs with the arrow in between (bottom left) and leave it to complete the operation.
Testing
Boot the PC into the Bios setup and set the CD/DVD drive to 1st in the boot sequence. Insert the disk in the drive then reboot and the disc will load into dos. Leave the test to run through at least 8 cycles or until it is showing some errors. If errors show in the test, remove all but one of your RAM sticks and repeat the test on each stick until you find the one that is faulty. This is a long slow test and should ideally be run overnight.
The memtest will not be 100% accurate but should easily detect any major faults.
IMPORTANT
Always disconnect your PC from the mains supply when removing Ram sticks and earth your hands to discharge any static electricity to avoid damage to sensitive components. If performing this test on a laptop PC you should also remove the battery before removing or replacing the RAM sticks.
 

trentemon

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Nov 12, 2011
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I downloaded the memory testing ISO, but before I could burn it my computer froze after I clicked a google image result to see which part of Nero to use to burn it. The image was a blank placeholder and the computer froze, no cursor movement no ctrl+alt+del, just like video and games have caused.

When I started back up, Active Desktop Recovery was on my desktop again.

I burned the memory test ISO to a cdrw dvd and changed boot order in BIOS to boot from CDROM, but like every time I've tried to boot from CD (including Windows XP Recovery CD) it says "BOOT DISK FAILURE" "INSERT SYSTEM DISK AND PRESS ENTER"

Is there a way to run this from XP? I'd almost bet it would freeze though.

Can anyone rename my thread "PC freezes any time video, games, some images load" ?

I swear it's totally stable if I just hang out in the browser or MSN chat or even Steam chat. I don't understand why I can use eBay and this forum 100% safe, but the second I open a google image search and click a picture, or the second I start a game, the cursor never moves again. Or it shuts down, followed by Active Desktop Recovery. :(

Edit: I don't even use a wallpaper from my browser, I use the standard XP coffee background tiled. Why would it keep showing Active Desktop errors? :(
 

trentemon

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The computer now crashes when a Youtube video starts after sitting unattended running stable for 2+ hours, freeze with no cursor movement, this time with repeating sound. No idea what to make of it :(
 
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If you have a USB memory stick you can put Memtest86+ onto that and see if that will boot. http://www.memtest.org/ you have to scroll down the page just below the three blue screenshots. It's marked "Auto-installer for USB key" NEW.

I am wondering if there is a problem with the CD drive as it would appear that it is not reading the XP Recovery disc or the Memtest disc.

Something you could try is to remove all but one of your RAM sticks, then run the PC and see what happens when you play any kind of video. If the problem persists then swap the sticks so you try it out with each stick one at a time.

Does the motherboard have onboard graphics that you can use and remove the graphics card?

Also, try running in Safe Mode and see if that will allow you to play videos.
 

trentemon

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Thanks Mark1956, I don't have a USB memory stick right now, and had no luck with booting from CD, but I found people referring to http://hcidesign.com/memtest/ it runs under Windows. I figured it'd either run, or failing that I'd try removing each RAM stick independently like you said.

MemTest for Windows suggested I run 2 instances and split the ram into 1386 MB for each. Both ran for 600%+ (I lost track of how many hours it ran) with 0 errors. I hope this is comparable to the boot cd/usb key test, I don't know how to fix my boot disk error. The drive reads/writes cds and dvds perfectly from Windows so idk :(

I don't have onboard graphics that I'm aware of, but I do have my old (year+ ago) graphics card, I think its nvidia geforce 9500 GT. should I uninstall/remove this card, and put the old one in and install its latest drivers, then see if the PC crashes? or remove each RAM stick even though they passed MemTest within Windows?

If the issue is RAM wouldn't I expect to crash while using this forum or WLM, instead of being positive it won't?

Edit: I'm in safe mode and a video played twice without incident, but can't launch any games that've caused freezing, they detect the safe mode default graphics drivers and notify me that I can't handle the game, and won't start.

Thank you for all the help so far
 
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When you are in safe mode the graphics runs at a lower resolution which won't allow the high resolution games to run. Is the inside of your PC completely clean as dust build up can cause overheating which would result in freezes.

I would try that other card but be sure your PSU is adequate, if you used that card in the same PC before then it should be fine.

Your tests on the RAM look encouraging but I've seen RAM pass with flying colours using Memtest and then found it was faulty. When you use high resolution graphics it uses the RAM so that could still be a culprit.

Lets see how it goes with that other graphics card.

I am at a bit of a loss with your CD drive.
 

trentemon

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Oddly the old card doesn't seem to fit slots on this PC, maybe I'm mistaken about it being in this machine.

I ordered a Radeon HD 6450 to replace this card, it's not here yet but I hope that will fix my issue.

It now crashes during videos in safe mode; latest crash happened when friend sent link to a random funny picture, firefox opened and it froze.

I can use this forum, WLM, and some other programs always without issues.

Active Desktop Recovery comes up after every crash (although I don't use anything set from firefox or IE as wallpaper in the first place).

Latest blue screen was "STOP: 0x0000008E (0xC0000005, 0x8054B968, 0xA82EA708, 0x00000000)"

I'll report what happens after I get the new card, if you have any more thoughts or suggestions in the meantime let me know.

Thanks
 

trentemon

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Decided to try CHKDSK again at startup, lo and behold its saying "Windows replaced bad clusters in file 2846 of name \WINDOWS\bootstat.dat. 18 percent completed."

posting this from my phone, haven't heard from this file since the start of the problem. any hope for this really being the issue and being fixed so easily?
 
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You may be on to something.

Are you running chkdsk with /r or /f. You could benefit from trying both, one at a time. Be sure to leave a space before the / when typing the command.

chkdsk /r
chkdsk /f

You could also try running sfc /scannow again.

The last BSOD with error code 8E can have these causes: Insufficient disk space, Device driver, Video card, BIOS, Hardware incompatibility, Faulty system service, 3rd party remote control, Memory.

If you could attach your last few minidumps it might help so I can analyse them, follow this guide.
First locate your minidump files, they are usually found by clicking on your C: drive, in Windows Explorer, then click on Windows to view the contents. If your operating system is installed under a different drive letter then look there. They should be stored under a file called minidump.The files will have a .dmp extension.
Zip up at least 6 of the most recent files into one zip folder and save on your desktop (if there are less then just zip up what you have).
NOTE To zip up a file in Windows (all versions). Right-click the file or folder, click on Send To, and then click Compressed (zipped) Folder and save it to your desktop.
Open Windows Explorer, click on Desktop in the left column so you can see the zip file. In the left column click on C: > Windows > Minidump and then drag & drop any additional .dmp files into the zip folder.


• Below the Message Box click on Go Advanced. Then scroll down until you see a button, Manage Attachments. Click on that and a new window opens.
• Click on the Browse button, find the zip folder you made earlier and doubleclick on it.
• Now click on the Upload button. When done, click on the Close this window button at the bottom of the page.
• Enter your message-text in the message box, then click on Submit Message/Reply.
 

trentemon

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I attached the only minidump file in the folder, not sure why there's only one. It's from a crash a couple days ago, I think caused by "aswSP.SYS" and google is saying that's something to do with Avast. That couldn't be causing all of this, could it? I've had Avast disabled while half the crashes have taken place, just in case.

I ran chkdsk with /f and it would ask me to restart, run before fully starting Windows, but chkdsk seems to always find another problem, ask to restart and fix it, then finds problems again. Should I keep doing it and hope it ends or is that pointless?

New card isn't here yet so I can't say what it's like with a different video card.

I got this and copied it, apparently when that minidump file was made:

Recovered from a serious error

Error signature
BCCode : 1000008e BCP1 : C0000005 BCP2 : 8054B968 BCP3 : A82EA708
BCP4 : 00000000 OSVer : 5_1_2600 SP : 3_0 Product : 256_1

C:\DOCUME~1\new\LOCALS~1\Temp\WERd443.dir00\Mini111511-01.dmp
C:\DOCUME~1\new\LOCALS~1\Temp\WERd443.dir00\sysdata.xml

Update:
Could this be related? http://forum.avast.com/index.php?topic=83994.0 I'll uninstall Avast, will that stop whatever aswSP.SYS has been doing (if it's actually the main problem)?
 

Attachments

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That minidump was from yesterday and has the cause "Memory Corruption" it also indicates a problem with Avast but that may be due to faulty memory giving a false result.

If you uninstall Avast you must use the uninstall tool to remove all the remnants
Avast removal tool. Then install this Microsoft Security Essentials

The next thing I would suggest is running on individual RAM sticks.

The chkdsk problem may also indicate a failing hard drive, try running chkdsk with no parameters added, it should then run without trying to fix anything and just show a report on what errors it finds.

Also follow this short guide to check the settings for saving minidumps, you will probably find it is set to overwrite the previous minidump which will explain why you only have one saved.
Click on Start > Control Panel > System > Advanced tab > Settings button for Startup and Recovery. In the System Failure box make these settings.
Check > Write an event to the system log.
Check > Automatically restart.
Select > 'Small Memory Dump' in the Write debugging information box.
Small Dump Directory should read %SystemRoot%\Minidump.
Check at the bottom of the box that "Overwrite any existing file" is not checked. If it is you will have to go back to the "Write debugging indformation" box, change "Small memory dump" to "Complete memory dump" then you can uncheck the "Overwrite any existing file" box. Then go back and reset "complete memory dump" back to "Small memory dump". Heaven knows why microsoft designed it that way.
Hit OK, OK again and close the System box.
 

trentemon

Thread Starter
Joined
Nov 12, 2011
Messages
42
fixed minidump settings, was set to over write.

having serious issues installing new graphics card. definitely doesn't seem like that wasthe problem. windows finds new hardware (if i don't freeze and crash before getting that far) but needs a file called ati2mtag.sys (i think, going by memory since i'm frozen and using a phone to post). it doesn't seem to be on card driver CD or xp cd or i386 folder.

if i skip that and install from cd (or downloaded drivers) it always has an error, "failed to load detection driver", in safe mode or normal windows.

I've also froze multiple times at various stages of both issues.

avast has been removed with that tool you linked, i've tried running on both sticks of ram individually. stick 1 loaded to windows then the screen went blue, darker than a blue screen error and with no info, just blank. i set that stick aside and stick 2 acts identical to the system with both sticks. i suspect stick 1s blue screen would be hard to duplicate and i could probably get into windows with it acting up the same.

any ideas? if its not video card, (maybe?) not ram, not avast (it can't affect me if it's gone right?) what could it be? any way it could be windows itself?
 
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