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Windows 7: Seems Like Cascading Failure - Is Reinstall The Only Option?

19 Jan 2014   #1
boweasel

Windows 7 home premium 64 bit
 
 
Seems Like Cascading Failure - Is Reinstall The Only Option?

Apologies to gregrocker about not getting back to him about the HP All-In-One thread I started. If I get time I'll get back to it.

I've been putting off my daughter's laptop for a while (ASUS 64 bit - 7 Home Premium, SP1) problem for about a week. It started with itunes - saying 'itunes has detected a problem with your audio configuration.' A day or so later she complained that she couln't watch youtube videos.

I began with youtube which actually worked fine on IE9, just not on Firefox and Chrome. I uninstalled Flash then couln't get it to reinstall - I'd download the executable, click on it to install and the icon would disappear. I finally downloaded a Flash uninstaller, two seperate Flash installers - 1 for IE and 1 for other browsers. Using those I was able to get Flash up and running again on IE. However trying to play the same youtube video on Firefox gives me a box about Shockwave not responding, cancel or continue, and continuing gives me 'An error occurred. Please try again later'. Chrome never gives the Shockwave error, but always yhe try again later.

I have done a Firefox repair. No improvement. Have tried to start all over with Chrome, but attempting to remove it through the Control Panel told me that it had already been removed, and would I like to remove it from the list. Clicking yes did not only not remove it from the list, but Chrome was in fact still usable. I used Revo uninstaller to get rid of Chrome, but trying to reinstall gives me a msg taht some Windows updates need to happen before I can install Chrome. I cannot get any page to display when I try to access Windows Updates. Even doing a Google search for Windows Updates and clicking on windowsupdate.microsoft.com only takes me to a MS page that wants me to use the Start Menu to get to the updates page. That is what does not work.

I have run a full MSE scan that found no errors, have run a chkdsk /r /f that detected nothing, have run sfc /scannow that found no integrity violations, used F8 on boot, selected Repair your computer, but it found no problems.

One of the other 'funny' wrinkles is that although IE9 works fine, it's the 64 bit version. If I go to the program files (x86) folder, open Internet Explorer and click on iexplore it does nothing. No error and no access.

I'm out of ideas. Again.

***** Update

Was able to access Windows Updates through the Control Panel. One important Update and 1 optional. A Net Framework 4.5.1 update (important) failed with an unknown error - 00000001 and although IE10 installed correctly, it was unusable both in 64 and 32 bit. Unfortunately uninstalling IE10 and going back to IE9 did nothing, so at this point even IE9 is useless.

And I see in taskmgr that I have a slew of dllhost.exe applications with a description of COM Surrogate. Everything I seem to do to improve things only serves to exacerbate the problems.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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19 Jan 2014   #2
Mellon Head

Win 7 Pro x64/Win 10 Pro x64 dual boot
 
 

Try downloading and running MalwareBytes. The free version is great for scanning, and is quite thorough, and it's a good second opinion to MSE. I use it to scan once every few days in addition to MSE.

Malwarebytes : Malwarebytes Anti-Malware FREE

Run a scan with that and let us know how it goes. Once we're sure there's no malware on the laptop, we can go from there.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Jan 2014   #3
boweasel

Windows 7 home premium 64 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Mellon Head View Post
Try downloading and running MalwareBytes. The free version is great for scanning, and is quite thorough, and it's a good second opinion to MSE. I use it to scan once every few days in addition to MSE.

Malwarebytes : Malwarebytes Anti-Malware FREE

Run a scan with that and let us know how it goes. Once we're sure there's no malware on the laptop, we can go from there.
Well, I'm down from 3 browsers earlier today to just Firefox and I can't seem to download Malwarebytes from your link, and cannot download it from CNET either. I used another PC to put it on a flash drive, and copied the mbam installer onto the laptop. It goes through all the proper steps - selecting language, putting a desktop icon, etc. But it errors on the installation step, just as the green area is at the end of the horizontal indicator. Then the green turns to red and a box displays CoCreateInstance failed; code 0x80040154. Class not registered.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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19 Jan 2014   #4
Mellon Head

Win 7 Pro x64/Win 10 Pro x64 dual boot
 
 

Well, I have to admit that I'm baffled by that one. Did you run the installer as Administrator?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Jan 2014   #5
gregrocker

 

Possible infection blocking solutions may have taken over your browsers. If you are following the practices in Clean Reinstall - Factory OEM Windows 7 should already know to monitor Browser Add-ons to disable all but Flash Player and Google search service. If you see anything suspicious in there you should immediately uninstall it in Control Panel>Programs.

Then run the scans suggested already, followed by SUPERAntiSpyware , declining the Trial and turning off at Startup in Preferences.

In addition establish a Clean Boot, run System File Checker, cull the logs for clues and check System Resources for Problems from the Troubleshooting Steps for Windows 7 .

If this PC doesn't already have a Clean Reinstall - Factory OEM Windows 7 then I would back up the data to do it now instead of wasting time with the worst possible install one can have even when it's running "correctly." Be sure to scan the data for infection.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Jan 2014   #6
boweasel

Windows 7 home premium 64 bit
 
 

So you're telling me to reinstall?

Why is it that XP would let you plop in a CD for your specific OS type and do a repair install, but that sort of functionality doesn't exist in W7 & 8? Aren't these newer operating supposed to be improvements on what what MS already had? All I can do is a Startup Repair, and there ain't no problem with the laptop starting.

I think she's got 40 GB worth of music and movies.

Please tell me me you're not suggesting a reinstall.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Jan 2014   #7
gregrocker

 

If you cannot perform the steps given from the top of the thread to disinfect and then repair System files, see if you can check for infection from boot using a FREE Bootable AntiVirus Rescue CDs Download List.

Then run SFC /SCANNOW Command, if necessary SFC /SCANNOW Run in Command Prompt at Boot.

Let us know how this goes. If you regain enough functionality there are other steps given which we don't even know if you tried because for some reason you only responded to the last resort given to do a Clean Reinstall. Are you able to do the work? if not take it to a shop.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Jan 2014   #8
boweasel

Windows 7 home premium 64 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by gregrocker View Post
If you cannot perform the steps given from the top of the thread to disinfect and then repair System files, see if you can check for infection from boot using a FREE Bootable AntiVirus Rescue CDs Download List.

Then run SFC /SCANNOW Command, if necessary SFC /SCANNOW Run in Command Prompt at Boot.
From my original post
'I have run a full MSE scan that found no errors, have run a chkdsk /r /f that detected nothing, have run sfc /scannow that found no integrity violations, used F8 on boot, selected Repair your computer, but it found no problems.'

I repeated the system file checker and still found no integrity violations. I have installed and run mbar - funny that I could install that but not malwarebytes itself. It found no errors. I have run Microsoft Security Scan - a full scan - and found no errors.
Downloading and trying to install Super AntiSpyware gave me the msg Error creating shortcuts, aborting installation. I'll try a clean boot, but I'm not confident. It does not seem to be malware related to me. Rather it appears to be some basic OS problem, but AIAS sfc (run as an admin) found nothing. Ditto for Startup Repair.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Jan 2014   #9
gregrocker

 

Those errors happen in a corrupt OS.

Has it ever had a Clean Reinstall - Factory OEM Windows 7 or are you still running a Factory Preinstall which is the worst install one can have and which no tech enthusiast would consider running? If so then Win7 has never even been experienced on that laptop in its native perfect form.

Until then I would Clean Up Factory Bloatware to see if it relieves the problem enough to be able to install programs normally. If not work through the Troubleshooting Steps for Windows 7. Just turning off all of the crap at Startup by establishing a Clean Boot as shown may relieve it greatly.

You can also run one of the FREE Bootable AntiVirus Rescue CDs Download List like Bitdefender or Kapersky which are very good.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Jan 2014   #10
boweasel

Windows 7 home premium 64 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by gregrocker View Post
Those errors happen in a corrupt OS.
That's EXACTLY how it seems to me GR, which makes me revisit my earlier rant - when XP was corrupt you'd plop in your XP Home SP3 CD, boot from it and do a repair install. No fuss, no muss. I have no such capability in W7 beyond the system file checker. I've run it twice in the past 2 days, it takes about 20 minutes and finds no system integrity violations. If SFC scannow finds nothing, doesn't that mean my OS is not corrupt? Am I being too simplistic? And given that Start Up Repair finds no problems, doesn't that 'put a cherry' on Microsoft's software telling me I'm clean?
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by gregrocker View Post
Has it ever had a Clean Reinstall - Factory OEM Windows 7 or are you still running a Factory Preinstall which is the worst install one can have and which no tech enthusiast would consider running? If so then Win7 has never even been experienced on that laptop in its native perfect form.
Still running the OS as pre-installed by ASUS. But if I go out and buy a printer, a television set, a clothes dryer, I don't have to strip it down and rebuild it for it to work properly, and given that ASUS supplies no installation disks (and if they did, wouldn't that simply be reinstalling that same flawed OS? Why would they supply disks that had something different from what was already installed when we bought it?)....
No ASUS install disks also means that after reinstalling the OS I'll have no drivers, which means using another PC to go to the ASUS website to download the Chipset, Network Adapters (wireless and wired), Audio, Video, etc. drivers onto a flash drive and more etceteras... What exactly would be different from the OS as originally configured, and the one I'd have by using a Microsoft W7 64 bit disk (which I do have), and ASUS' downloaded drivers? The only thing I can think of is the bloatware that every manufacturer slaps in their PCs. And the bloatware is gone. It's starting with a clean boot now, the only add-on in the only browser I currently can use is the Shockwave Flash for Firefox. And since I cannot play videos in Firefox I might as well disable that as well.
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by gregrocker View Post
Until then I would Clean Up Factory Bloatware to see if it relieves the problem enough to be able to install programs normally. If not work through the Troubleshooting Steps for Windows 7. Just turning off all of the crap at Startup by establishing a Clean Boot as shown may relieve it greatly.

You can also run one of the FREE Bootable AntiVirus Rescue CDs Download List like Bitdefender or Kapersky which are very good.
As I said, bloatware is gone, I can't install SuperAntiSpyware, I also can't install Tweaking.com's Windows All In One Repair Tool - I get a similar error to SAS's install - can't create uninstall shortcut. Seemed like it would be a good tool since I'm convinced there's no malware on this puppy
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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