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  1. #1
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    Computer won't start

    Fairly new Dell Inspiron 660 desktop, running w8, installed 17th November, has stopped working.

    It starts normally, I enter the password, the little circle rotates for 20 – 30 seconds, then a permanent black screen. Ctrl/Alt/Delete opens when selected, but clicking Task Manager reverts to the black screen. The icon at bottom right shuts down as normal, and Lock has an arrow, which I think was always there, placing the cursor over the which brings a popup with Cancel. I’ve clicked that a few times, in case the PC had become locked, may have locked it myself by now.

    PROBABLE CAUSE Last night, after midnight Online Armor firewall was downloaded and installed. Shortly afterwards a warning reported something suspicious in App.data, did I want to allow or block it. I was under the impression the software was supposed to tell me what was unsafe, not vice versa, but, acting in the belief that they know more than me about computer technology, I blocked it.

    As the computer continued working for the few tasks completed before going to bed, but not now, it presumably means the object blocked is vital to start up.

    Unless somebody can think of another solution, it looks as though my rescue disk and image will be put to the test sooner than anticipated, and it will be necessary to try to remember all the data added in the last few weeks. Must remember not to install software beyond my area of competence!

    George.

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  3. #2
    Silver Lounger mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    Try to boot into Safe mode: http://www.howtogeek.com/107511/

    If you can successfully boot into Safe Mode, try disabling the Online Armor firewall.

    It sounds like Online Armor might have disabled something that was essential to Windows.

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  5. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by georgelee View Post
    Fairly new Dell Inspiron 660 desktop, running w8, installed 17th November, has stopped working.

    It starts normally, I enter the password, the little circle rotates for 20 – 30 seconds, then a permanent black screen. Ctrl/Alt/Delete opens when selected, but clicking Task Manager reverts to the black screen. The icon at bottom right shuts down as normal, and Lock has an arrow, which I think was always there, placing the cursor over the which brings a popup with Cancel. I’ve clicked that a few times, in case the PC had become locked, may have locked it myself by now.

    PROBABLE CAUSE Last night, after midnight Online Armor firewall was downloaded and installed. Shortly afterwards a warning reported something suspicious in App.data, did I want to allow or block it. I was under the impression the software was supposed to tell me what was unsafe, not vice versa, but, acting in the belief that they know more than me about computer technology, I blocked it.

    As the computer continued working for the few tasks completed before going to bed, but not now, it presumably means the object blocked is vital to start up.

    Unless somebody can think of another solution, it looks as though my rescue disk and image will be put to the test sooner than anticipated, and it will be necessary to try to remember all the data added in the last few weeks. Must remember not to install software beyond my area of competence!

    George.
    I would try Safe mode, but I am not sure OA starts in safe mode. I will have a look and get back to you.
    Rui
    -------
    R4

  6. #4
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    OA won't load in safe mode. So I suggest that you try to boot in safe mode and then, in safe mode, uninstall Online Armor.

    If you are interested in using it, I can help you configure it so that it requests input from you as little as possible, but on same cases, you will still need to provide input. A HIPS is not meant to block just rogue programs or components - the whole idea is for you to determine what you want running or not. This does require some attention to what is asked and what you provide. On known malware, it will be clear it's a threat, otherwise, depending on the configuration, it will also request input from you.

    This, presuming it was OA blocking this, but we will know it nonetheless, if you can uninstall it from safe mode.

    Before restoring the image, you can take a new image, so that your data is kept safe in that image and you can recover from it afterwards.
    Rui
    -------
    R4

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  8. #5
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    While you are in Safe Mode see if using a restore point prior to the alert will resolve and if you then get the same alert, you can then opt to Allow it.

    Rather than use OA, why not use an AV program that has its own HIPS.

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  10. #6
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    There appears to be no safe mode with UEFI.

    After reading the replies I returned to the PC and tried Ctrl/Alt/Delete in order to shut down without pulling out the plug, but Ctrl/Alt/Delete no longer worked. However, after several attempts the PC did close.

    Shift+F8 brought a screen with a graph bar, then F12 for boot appeared in top corner. Deciding to stick with the bar, when completed the start screen appeared, and after entering the password, back to the black screen. On the following attempt F12 was selected, but there is no advanced option, so I selected Diagnostics.

    Not much happening at present, after a lot of activity. Of the 10 tests, only Hard Drive remains unticked. Quite a while ago a message said nothing found so far, did I wish to continue (recommended), which would take c 30 mins. In the 20 or so minutes since nothing has happened, except 94% at the bottom has moved on to 96%, and there is still an hour glass showing.

    The CPU internal thermal sensor has caught my eye, showing 43C current, 39C low and 60C high.
    60 is well outside the range of all three thermal sensors. Is it something to worry about?

    Still waiting.

  11. #7
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    Safe mode is a Windows thing, doesn't depend on UEFI.

    http://www.howtogeek.com/107511/
    Rui
    -------
    R4

  12. #8
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    Result of Diagnostic Test - no errors.

    Returning to the boot options:
    UEFI Boot > enter password > black screen

    Bios Setup > various options including advanced, but no Safe Mode

    Diagnostics > 1.5 hour test found nothing wrong

    Change Boot Mode > Legacy Boot Mode or UEFI Boot without Secure Boot. Both of these brought up a message about abandoning Secure Boot, which was sufficient to deter me from venturing further into territory I do not understand.

    My conclusion, there is no safe mode in Win8. The How to Geek article was referring to Win 8 Preview and it seems that MS decided to omit it from the final release. If this is not correct, there is something seriously wrong with my PC.

  13. #9
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    See if this one gets you into Safe Mode
    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2809468

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  15. #10
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    George,

    You can get to the login screen, right? If so, there should be a power icon at the bottom right (it's the rightmost icon). Press SHIFT and without releasing it, choose restart from the menu that shows up when you click the power icon. Don't release SHIFT until the computer restarts.

    This method works with my laptop running 8.1, have just tried it.

    Some more methods are available here: http://pcsupport.about.com/od/window...-windows-8.htm
    Rui
    -------
    R4

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  17. #11
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    Rui, once again I must offer my heartfelt thanks. This, combined with Jim’s link for the follow on steps, did the trick, though not without a few frights along the way. I must bookmark both these posts, as Safe Mode from boot is well hidden in Win 8.

    After clicking the power icon whilst holding down the shift key until Windows started, I was distracted by the cat, who wanted to be fed. When I returned Dell Support had opened up, found nothing wrong and wanted to reset to the original state. I was not having that, so shut down and started again.

    This time I stayed in Windows, and it asked me to sign in. I must have entered my password at least 10 times, always being told it was incorrect. I often have to enter it a 2 or 3 times, as it is easy to forget parts of it, but not when I’m being careful. I began to think that something had changed the password – which may be the case (see below) – then I really would be up the creek. That might explain the black screen I was getting earlier when signing in.

    Amazingly, clicking the back button took me out of all this and back to the usual sign on page. I am unable to explain it, but then everything started up as usual. To avoid further complication I restored the system to the 11th December, when finally able to find it.

    Whilst searching for System Restore I noticed Atheros Smart Net had been added, and was not marked New, as customary with XP. It was one of two items detected by Emsisoft Antimalware or OA after I’d blocked something else, and I allowed them, as blocking everything is bound to lead to trouble. Clearly I chose the wrong one to block.
    Last edited by georgelee; 2013-12-13 at 15:36.

  18. #12
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    George,

    I am glad you have your computer back. Take a deep breath, use it to do something useful and relax .

    If, in the future, you would like to use Online Armor, I can provide some guidance on how to configure it and use it. For now, I would advise you to not worry about it.

    You seem to be using EAM. EAM is much simpler to use out of the box, but if you have any doubts at any time, just post or PM and I will help.

    I have learned from your experience, as well. Indeed, Safe Mode is much harder to boot into than ever before and that is not a welcome change. It's better to have a Windows 8 rescue disc (or flash, in my case), to be able to boot into Safe Mode when needed, if Windows 8 is not booting normally (which would allow you to reboot into safe mode). I will get that ready here, too.
    Rui
    -------
    R4

  19. #13
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    Perhaps this article on how to Refresh your Win 8.0 without losing your files will help should you need it in future http://www.7tutorials.com/how-refres...sing-your-data
    Last edited by Sudo15; 2013-12-13 at 15:59.

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  21. #14
    Silver Lounger mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by georgelee View Post
    This time I stayed in Windows, and it asked me to sign in. I must have entered my password at least 10 times, always being told it was incorrect. I often have to enter it a 2 or 3 times, as it is easy to forget parts of it, but not when I’m being careful. I began to think that something had changed the password – which may be the case (see below) – then I really would be up the creek. That might explain the black screen I was getting earlier when signing in.

    Amazingly, clicking the back button took me out of all this and back to the usual sign on page. I am unable to explain it, but then everything started up as usual.
    I'm not surprised about Windows password inconsistencies. I deal with lots of users on a daily basis, and I have for many years. There are always lots of password issues. Micky-mouse kind of stuff that shouldn't be there in well-written programs.

    The fact that simply backing out and trying again allowed you to log in confirms this for me.

    In my opinion, Windows was designed from the ground up to be client-centric rather than server-centric. That client-centric legacy continues to this day in much of Windows and other Microsoft products, because that's the approach Microsoft apparently continues to take.
    Last edited by mrjimphelps; 2013-12-13 at 16:19.

  22. #15
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    George,

    I am one of those that had OA for a year, at Rui's recommendation, then abandoned it when they changed their system and went with AVG AV Pro and never looked back. In fact I was glad I did. AVG seems much more user friendly IMO. Plus, you can use AVG AV without the suite if you prefer, and AVG AV 2014 free uses the same engine as the Pro version. The pro version just has a few more bells and whistles. I got a great price on a 3 license Pro version and went for it, but I would easily recommend the free version as well.
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
    Have a Great Day! Ted


    Sony Vaio Laptop, 2.53 GHz Duo Core Intel CPU, 8 GB RAM, 320 GB HD
    Win 8 Pro (64 Bit), IE 10 (64 Bit)


    Complete PC Specs: By Speccy

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