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  1. #1
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    XP - Task Manager and other programs won't start

    Hi everyone

    I'd be interested to know if anyone has had a brush with a particular problem that's been bugging me the last fortnight.

    I'm running XP, SP3, Pentium 4 CPU 2.80Ghz, 100 Gb hard drive, 2Gb memory. A 7 year old machine which is normally slow but healthy.

    Stage 1
    I've been having trouble with various programs that won't start. This may happen straight away after booting. Or it might start misbehaving after say half an hour of normal operation.
    Programs affected: maybe the Netgear adapter, typically Firefox, IE, music programs, any program. Then things go slow and Task Manager won't open. Then when I shut down, the process pretends to begin shutting down but won't turn off properly.

    Stage 2
    So when I reconnect to the net I look at advice pages, viz: XP Programs won't start Up comes this one:
    http://en.kioskea.net/forum/affich-2...-in-windows-xp
    This then refers to a website run by Doug Knox who offers XP fixes.
    The en.kioskea.net page advice appears to be very well received - loads of people helped. Doug Knox has provided this fix:
    xp_exe_fix.zip which is 745 bytes, 3 kb deflated. (You can get it by following the link to Doug Knox' site.)

    Stage 3:
    I unzip the zip file, open it, and it adds itself to the registry. It says it has gone to Home User\Local Settings\Temp\Temporary Directory 1 although I can't find it there. Now everything works - programs, Task Manager, and a proper shutdown.

    Stage 4:
    Trouble is, when I restart, the same problems recur. So I ran this Fix again, and it relocated itself in the registry without pointing out that it was there already, because presumably as a temp file it had already disappeared.

    You'll gather that at this stage, I don't currently have a big problem. But I would like to understand, and I would like to fix this permanently so I don't have to redo this fix.

    It seems some files have been corrupted - how can I replace them?

    Would be most interested in what Lounge members have experienced.

    Russell

  2. #2
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    When that happens, do you have any abnormal CPU usage, or disk usage? I suggest that you keep Task Manager open so that when this starts, you can see if there is some app causing it - using the CPU, etc.
    Rui
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  3. #3
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    Thanks Rui
    C drive has 20Gb, free space usually around 5Gb. No abnormal disk space variation, but CPU usage shoots up.
    I hadn't thought of keeping Task Manager on, but it's on now, showing that eg Outlook Express causes a big hit.
    The problem isn't over - I've had a lock up and reboot once this session.

    Still on the case!

    Russell

  4. #4
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    Lockups are usually (but not always) sign of hardware issues. I would probably advise you to try a memory test. Do you run any hardware monitors, that allow you to check stuff like temperatures (CPU, board, etc)? Probably those could provide some clues to what may be happening.
    Rui
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  5. #5
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    Hi Rui

    I ran SpeedFan just now and it shows Temp 1 as 52 C (CPU?) and Temp 2 as 36 C. I have emergency shut down set at 60 C or 70 C, I don't remember which. It's hot, but not overheating, I think.

    I also tried Memtest just now but I think I must have picked up an ad. It changed my default browser to Aartemis with toolbar, and wanted me to download a Windows XP repair kit.

    Can you tell me if I've picked up the wrong download?

  6. #6
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    The downloads are in the page I linked, a little bit down the page. Did you download them from there?
    Rui
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  7. #7
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    No. Fooled again, I imagine. I'll try and get the right download. Task Manager is showing sometimes 100% usage.

    Almost certainly I've picked up crapware which is surprising as MemTest.org is an open source entity. It's just made the other problem worse!

  8. #8
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    Sorry, about that. Those adverts can be deceiving. Which process is causing 100% CPU usage?
    Rui
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  9. #9
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    So, I've got back to the memtest page, Rui, but I'm a bit lost. I've got rid of the other stuff for now - my fault for not being careful.

    There is a list of memtest86 variants and I downloaded one (tar.gz) which I unzipped but can't see how to use.

    I need to choose out of eg Bootable ISO, Bootable binary, EXE file for USB etc.
    If the gz variant is right, how do I get it going?

    Oh, and I've taken a screen clip of 34 processes observed in Task Manager - it's in a document now. I'll try and find out how to attach it.
    Last edited by RussellXPD; 2013-11-15 at 10:13. Reason: Left something out.

  10. #10
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    Maybe the FAQ can help with the installation: http://www.memtest.org/download/1.55...st86+-1.55/FAQ

    If you have a tool to burn ISO images, maybe that's the easiest way to go. Otherwise pick one from the FAQ.

    This means you will need to boot and let memtest run until it completes its tests. Probably leaving it overnight may be the best option.
    Rui
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  11. #11
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    Thanks Rui

    Right, I'll try the FAQ at Memtest. It's worth it to beat this bug.

    Well, I've converted the processes as 2 jpgs on my desktop. If you could see them, you'd be sure to see something wrong, I reckon!

    I can't upload them yet - not done this before.



    Russell
    Last edited by RussellXPD; 2013-11-15 at 10:26. Reason: More to add.

  12. #12
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    Maybe this can help with the attachments: http://windowssecrets.com/forums/sho...file-to-a-post
    Rui
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  13. #13
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    I hope now the jpgs are where they should be ....

    Not being a techie, I don't know whether these are duplicates that slow the system, and I don't which can be removed. Perhaps you know?
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by RussellXPD; 2013-11-15 at 12:20. Reason: Detail

  14. #14
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    svchost.exe appearing multiple times is normal, nothing weird there. I noticed cideamon.exe taking almost 50% of the CPU. That's the indexing service and it is known to cause slowdowns. Please check if when the systems slows down, this process is taking too much CPU. If it does, then you will have found one of your culprits.
    Rui
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  15. #15
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    Thanks, Rui

    Great attention to detail. cideamon.exe - I haven't heard of it, or even noticed it. 50% is a lot.

    About a week ago I had a trojan, which MSE found and rooted out. Then I put Trend Micro and Malware Bytes in on consecutive days and they told me there was no malware there. But I thought maybe this interference with .exe files had happened at that point.

    I would like to think there's nothing wrong with the two 1 Gb Crucial memory modules, but who knows at this point?

    Maybe it's going to be a long day. I'll be back. I note that you're in Portugal, so we're in the same time zone.

    Russell

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