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Windows XP lock-up problem


justacruzr2
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Does anyone know of an app that can be used to step thru or step execute another app?  I'm trying to figure out what is causing an app to lock-up my computer.  When I start it, I get the "working in background" mouse pointer and about 10 seconds later it just locks-up the computer and the only way to clear it is to turn the computer off.  I've tried everything I can think of to eliminate this problem from uninstalling /re-installing to turning on/off services etc.   I would like to see the app's side of the story.  Specifically the last few instructions before it locks-up.  Maybe from that I can see what it's trying to do and solve this problem.  It might be a registry entry or a missing file or ?  Thanks.

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Did you try to just wait some time? It may be that the app suddenly started to rape your CPU and there wasn't enough resources left for anything else. 

Does the HDD light blink after it locks-up? 

What app is this anyways? 

 

You could also try running it in a VM. 

 

If you really want step by step execution, look up some debugger. Many programs detect this though, and they behave differently.

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9 hours ago, RainyShadow said:

Did you try to just wait some time? It may be that the app suddenly started to rape your CPU and there wasn't enough resources left for anything else. 

Does the HDD light blink after it locks-up? 

What app is this anyways? 

 

You could also try running it in a VM. 

 

If you really want step by step execution, look up some debugger. Many programs detect this though, and they behave differently.

Well I figured once everything froze there was nothing more to wait for.  Not  one key works and the mouse pointer just locks solid.  I did put up task manager to watch the beginning and it showed the app in the processes so it's getting that far.  Didn't notice the HDD light.  It's Norton System Doctor from NU2002.  I've been working on this problem for about a month and have tried at least 30 different things.  There was a mention in the release notes about upgrading from Millenium and to remove NU2001 before upgrading which I believe I did.  But I also installed NU2001 sometime afterwards as it was the only version of NU I had at the time and at that time I didn't know there was a compatiblilty issue.  During that install XP informed me that some of the apps of NU were being disabled because they are not compatible with XP.  OK....so I found NU2002 on eBay and got it and uninstalled NU2001 and then installed NU2002.  The thing I think may be the problem is that a registry key (one of those 25 digit long hex keys) is still in there and wasn't deleted by the uninstall.  Also Norton's System Info errors out when I click on the memory tab saying "can't find first module".  One of the things I did was uninstall NU2002 and then go thru the registry and delete every key, that was left, that had Symantec, Norton, Sysdoc32 and the names of all the other apps that come with NU001/2002.  That's why I think it's something hidden.  By the way, the NU2002 I got off eBay is also installed on my other computer running XP and it works fine.

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When you are sure it is Norton software causing the problems, why not remove everything Norton? Or prevent any of its services and auto-runs, like with msconfig and such? Optionally in safe mode (F8).

I also had some lockups on one of my XP systems recently. Hard locks like you described. It most often happened in the first 5 minutes after boot, especially when doing absolutely nothing. I figured it may have something to do with software trying to update. So I disabled all Windows Update / Windows Defender / Microsoft security essentials (MSE) related services and auto-runs there. I have not had a lockup since. (AFAIK it is not possible to keep MSE running, whilst preventing it from initiating useless update attempts. As visible in Eventvwr. Other systems with pretty similar setup somehow did not have any lockup problem.)

Edited by gerwin
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15 hours ago, gerwin said:

 (AFAIK it is not possible to keep MSE running, whilst preventing it from initiating useless update attempts. As visible in Eventvwr. Other systems with pretty similar setup somehow did not have any lockup problem.)

:

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Microsoft Antimalware\Signature Updates]
"FallbackOrder"="FileShares"
"DefinitionUpdateFileSharesSources"="C:\\MSE"

...redirects MSE to check for updates locally.

Ben.

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On 1/1/2022 at 12:25 PM, gerwin said:

When you are sure it is Norton software causing the problems, why not remove everything Norton? Or prevent any of its services and auto-runs, like with msconfig and such? Optionally in safe mode (F8).

I also had some lockups on one of my XP systems recently. Hard locks like you described. It most often happened in the first 5 minutes after boot, especially when doing absolutely nothing. I figured it may have something to do with software trying to update. So I disabled all Windows Update / Windows Defender / Microsoft security essentials (MSE) related services and auto-runs there. I have not had a lockup since. (AFAIK it is not possible to keep MSE running, whilst preventing it from initiating useless update attempts. As visible in Eventvwr. Other systems with pretty similar setup somehow did not have any lockup problem.)

Well I use Nrton Utilities for certain things and I especially like System Doctor to able to monitor the background.  The confusing part of this is that on my other computer running the same XP Pro it works fine.

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2 hours ago, justacruzr2 said:

Well I use Nrton Utilities for certain things and I especially like System Doctor to able to monitor the background.  The confusing part of this is that on my other computer running the same XP Pro it works fine.

Yeah, my fault, I mistakenly understood that the lock-up occurred when starting your computer, but it occurs only when you start that particular program. So my advise did not really apply.

I suppose the Nirsoft monitoring tools, which were advised by jumper, are the first way to go. If those do not suffice maybe try OllyDbg 1.10. It can hide its presence with plugins.

 

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19 hours ago, gerwin said:

Yeah, my fault, I mistakenly understood that the lock-up occurred when starting your computer, but it occurs only when you start that particular program. So my advise did not really apply.

I suppose the Nirsoft monitoring tools, which were advised by jumper, are the first way to go. If those do not suffice maybe try OllyDbg 1.10. It can hide its presence with plugins.

 

That app helped find where the problem is.  The very last line of output is as follows:

Event      Thread   Memory Address    Filename

Load Dll    2924     0x77920000       "blank"


My guess would be that either there is a problem with that memory address, such as a bad spot on the ram card, or the dll is missing or blocked.  And I lean towards it being blocked.  I already compared all the Symantec/Norton folders between both computers and there's nothing missing.  I'm also assuming that Windows SFC would have found and replaced any missing Windows files.  Like I said before, I had installed NU2001 before I got NU2002 and Windows did block some files with a message that they were known to cause instability.  My guess would be that the uninstall of NU2001, or Windows, failed to remove the block.  I did a search in the registry for a key, value or data that says blocked and there were a few but none of them had a Symantec or Norton filename.  That's why I think it might be a sneaky key that's hard coded into a Windows system file.  Maybe I should try re-installing NU2001 and take a look at the registry again.  Wish there was an install tracker that didn't require .NET to work.  I'd rather not install .NET Framework just to find this.

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1 hour ago, justacruzr2 said:

Wish there was an install tracker that didn't require .NET to work.  I'd rather not install .NET Framework just to find this.

Any of these fine for you?

Or check here.

 

Did you try running the LiveUpdate thingy that usually comes with Norton/Symantec stuff? Maybe it could offer a fix.

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21 minutes ago, RainyShadow said:

Any of these fine for you?

Or check here.

 

Did you try running the LiveUpdate thingy that usually comes with Norton/Symantec stuff? Maybe it could offer a fix.

After I wrote that last reply I did a Google search and found one that didn't require .NET to run.  As for Symantec Live Update I saw that Symantec discontinued support for Norton Utilities only a few months ago.  Timing is everything.  I'll try reinstalling NU2001 with the registry/file tracker going and maybe that will show me where that hidden block is.  Uninstalls are notorious for leaving garbage behind.  And what I can't understand about that is they use something like an INF file for all the files and registry entries they make and all they would have to do is reverse the order on an uninstall and they would get everything.  Appreciate your assistance.  Thanks.  I'll post the results here when I'm done.

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sounds like a harddrive problem they often have this kind of look (even if scandisk/chkdsk find nothing)

do you maybe have a different hdd you can try ? they kinda cheap today maybe a ssd

i would try that first, put your old hdd outside and install windows (if you no longer want to do this just put your old hdd drive inside the computer again)

to debug other applications you need a debugger, to debug the operating system you need a os debugger 

windbg cant debug the entire os so directly 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well still unable to find the problem.  Both systems produce the same process list except for the fact that the computer that hangs seems to go one step (process) further and hangs on the load dll instruction.  I do have one unused drive on my system and just for curiosity sake I'm going to install XP on it and then NU2002 and see what happens.  I bet it will work.  I'm thinking that the upgrade install, from ME to XP might be the problem.  I'll post results next week.

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