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Computer "freezes" in Safe Mode

This is a discussion on Computer "freezes" in Safe Mode within the Windows XP Support forums, part of the Tech Support Forum category. Hi I have been redirected here from the Security Centre Hijackthis log help forum. I have been cleared of malware

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Old 05-20-2008, 05:29 AM   #1
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Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 20
OS: Windows XP Pro, Version 5.01.2600 Service Pack 3

My System


I have been redirected here from the Security Centre Hijackthis log help forum. I have been cleared of malware which was initially the problem.

Here is the link to that thread


The problem is that at the moment I can't complete an anti-virus or malware scan with Avast and Spybot programs, because my system "freezes" halfway through these scans.

More information can be found about my freezes in the original thread, much of it starts from post 11.

Don't know if I'm missing certain files that causes my system to freeze.
Thanks for the assistance.
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Old 05-21-2008, 02:53 PM   #2
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OS: Windows XP Pro, Version 5.01.2600 Service Pack 3

My System


I am adding some more information that might be of use.

Recently my computer froze and send me the "blue screen" error report.
It went along the lines off...
System log error report

Windows has been shut down to prevent damage


If this is the first time error screen appears, restart.... etc.

Check hard & software properly installed

If problem continue, disable or remove newly installed hardware or disable BIOS memory options such as caching or shawoding.

Technical Information:

STOP: 0X000000FE (0x00000005, 0X869A40E0, 0X10330035, 0X865F05E8)

Beginning dump of physical memory
Physical memory dump completed
Contact system adminastrator or technical support group for further assistance.

My system freezes in safemode? I do not have traces of SmitFraud as cleared by the previous thread.
Also I havn't recently installed hardware.

Thanks so long.
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Old 05-21-2008, 10:09 PM   #3
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Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 31
OS: xp

HI skylinker ,


Windows freezes or stops responding frequently.

This issue could be caused by any of the below possibilities.

Software related issue.
Driver related issue.
Operating system related issue.
Heat related issue.
Hardware issue.
Serious issue with Windows
Hardware failure.
This document contains recommendations on what to do if the computer frequently freezes or completely halts. An easy way to determine if your computer is in this situation is by pressing the Num Lock button on the keyboard and watching the Num Lock led to see if it turns off and/or on.

If you're able to get the light to turn off an on, press CTRL + ALT + DEL and attempt to end task the program. Additional information about this can be found on document CHTSR. Otherwise continue reading this document.

Software related issue
A computer locking up or freezing is often is caused by a software related issue. If you're encountering lockups when the computer is opening a particular program, make sure you have all the latest updates for that program. You can find the latest updates for your software through the software developer or publisher.

Driver related issue
A computer lock up can also be caused by drivers. For example, if there is an issue that exists with your video drivers a computer could lock up while playing a game or displaying any other type of video. Make sure you have the latest drivers for all major devices in your computer (video, sound, modem, and network). A listing of driver related pages as well as driver related help can be found on our drivers page.

Operating system related issue
Make sure your operating system has all of the latest updates installed on it. Additional information about updating Windows can be found on document CH000545.

Heat related issue
If the computer processor is getting too hot it can cause the computer to freeze. If you have heard any abnormal noises coming from your computer recently such as a high squealing, this could indicate a fan may be failing in your computer.

You can first start by verifying the fan on the power supply is working by examining the back of the computer and seeing if the fan is moving and moving smoothly. For all other fans in the computer you will need to either open the computer and make sure the fan are working (processor fan and case fan) and/or if your BIOS monitors the RPM of the fans, enter BIOS and make sure the BIOS does not report any errors.

Users may also be able to determine how hot their computer is by onboard thermal sensors. If your computer comes equipped with these sensors, make sure your CPU is not running too hot. Additional information about how hot your CPU should be running can be found on document CH000687.

Hardware issue
In addition to software, hardware can also cause a computer to lock. If you have recently added any new hardware into the computer, try temporarily removing it to make sure it is not the cause of your issue.

Before attempting to remove any hardware, make sure you are not encountering this issue because of hardware conflicts by viewing Device Manager for errors. Additional information about Device Manager can be found on our Device Manager page.

If you have not recently installed any new hardware into the computer, the next best solution to determining if this is a hardware issue would be remove any hardware on the computer that is not needed. For example, remove your modem, network card, sound card, and any other expansion cards that are not needed for the computer to operate. Run the computer without these cards to see if they are the cause of your issue.

Note: When opening the computer, make sure you are aware of ESD and its potential dangers. See our ESD page for additional information.

Serious issue with Windows
If you have tried all the above recommendations and the computer continues to frequently lock up, its possible that Windows may be seriously corrupt. Try running through the basic troubleshooting steps for your version of Windows on our basic troubleshooting page. If these additional steps do not resolve your issue, we suggest you backup all information and erase and reinstall Windows on your computer. Additional information about how to do this can be found on document CH000186.

Hardware failure
If after reinstalling your operating system, or during the installation of your operating system, your computer turns off abnormally, it is very likely that other hardware is failing in the computer. Often this is RAM, CPU, Motherboard, and/or Power Supply (in that order).

If you have extra available parts or have a friend or co-worker with a similar configuration that is willing to allow you to test their hardware in your computer, try swapping these parts to determine if they are at fault. Otherwise, you will need to have the computer serviced.

Additional information:
See our frozen dictionary definition for additional information about this term as well as related terms.
See document CH000700 for additional information about what to do if the computer freezes.
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Old 05-21-2008, 10:40 PM   #4
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@ skylinker : please zip and send us the .dmp files that you'll find in the c:\windows\minidump folder. Use the manage attachments button (click on post reply or go advanced) to attach the zipped files.

Your computer was severely infected, a clean reinstall may be faster now that you can safely backup your files knowing that they're not infected anymore, but let's see what we can do. Btw you shouldn't have checked compress old files when running disk cleanup. Even if it may seem a good idea to free some space it can have a negative impact on your performances and some programs may not like it. It's always better to move files on external medias to free space. More on that later.

Make sure you've done the following :
Originally Posted by chemist
Delete SDFix.exe and SmitFraudFix.exe and the SmitFraudFix folder from your desktop if they still exist.

Delete the following Folder if it still exists:


Please re-enable your antivirus program and any other antispyware programs disabled earlier if you haven't already.

Go to Start>>Run>> and Copy/Paste the following single line command into the Run box and click OK
combofix /u
This will uninstall ComboFix and delete ComboFix's quarantine folder. It will also implement some cleanup procedures, remove old System Restore points which contain previous infections, and create a fresh, clean System Restore point.
Also, unless asked to, refrain from installing any new program while your freezing problem isn't solved.

Is this a retail installation (custom build, retail XP CD) or an OEM installation (preinstalled on the computer when you got it, OEM or recovery CD) ? Do you have SP2 on the install CD ? What's the brand and model of the computer ? If this is a custom build then follow the "posting system specs" link in my sig and post an hardware report from everest.

Freezes could be caused by other softwares running in the background, drivers conflicts or hardware problems.

Unplug all your USB devices, use a PS/2 mouse and keyboard (borrow some if needed) for the time of the troubleshooting. If you have another computer which you can use to connect to TSF I would also disconnect from the internet : unplug the ethernet cable if wired, if wireless turn the router off or deactivate your wireless network by right-clicking the system tray icon.

What antivirus, antispywares, firewall programs are currently installed ? You don't want to install more than one of each. If you already have Avast then don't try to install AVG. Each antivirus has a quarantined folder which will be detected by another antivirus and they will conflict with each other if they try to scan the same file at the same time.

Go to start => run and type chkdsk c: /R. You'll be prompted to restart the computer and XP will check the hard drive for errors.

If you haven't done so yet, once you know the hard drive is clean, make some free room on it and defrag it (start => all programs => accessories => system tools). You'll need at least 15% free to be able to defrag the drive.

Download and run Process explorer (use another computer and an external USB drive if you've disconnected your computer from the internet). Watch the running processes and see if some of them take some cpu usage. When the computer is idle the system idle process should use 99% of the cpu. Click on file => save as to create a .txt report and attach it to your next post.

What are your page file settings : on which drive(s) and what size ? Right-click my computer => properties => advanced => settings under performances => advanced => change.

Enter the BIOS at startup (look for some message telling you to "press xx to enter setup") and search for some hardware monitor or pc health status screen. Report your temps, fan speeds and voltages from there.

If this is a desktop open the computer case and make sure there's no dust on the fans and heatsinks. Check that all the fans (CPU, video card, power supply) are spinning properly.

Go to start => run and type devmgmt.msc. Click on view => show hidden devices. If there are any devices in the list with a red cross, yellow exclamation point or whatever in front of their name then report the name of the device, double-click the device and report what's written under device status.

Go to start => run and type eventvwr.msc. Search the different sections there (system, security, application) for errors that happened after you've cleaned the infection. Double-click the error message, click once on the third button on the right (this copies the info in the memory) then right-click => paste the info here.

@ revealer : that's good info but please cite your sources when you copy paste something you found on the internet (computerhope.com). I've added the link for you.
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