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Windows 7: Programs have stopped running

26 Jun 2010   #1

Windows 7
 
 
Programs have stopped running

Before I start, my handle says it all. I am a retired computer programmer/engineer/network engineer/maintenance instructor/etc. I've been using Windows since it was a pimple on DOS. So, the obvious questions should be eliminated. What I need is some serious help to avoid a total wipe-out of my system.

I've been running Win 7 since beta. I have a clean install of Ultimate (many moons ago) that recently began having problems with IE deciding not to run, and requiring a reboot to clear it up. The situation has escalated until now most programs won't run (amazingly enough IE does run) but the most obvious symptom is that a command prompt is simply a blank window. There is a serious delay between trying to close the cmd window and when it actually closes - in excess of 5 seconds. It should be almost instantaneous.

My initial thought was a root-kit. So I downloaded Sophos on another computer and installed it on a lockable USB so it wouldn't get corrupted when I ran it on the failed computer. It came up clean. I also ran an anti-virus from the USB with zero results.

My system is always protected by Avast and ThreatFire and I basically don't get viruses, but I did a thorough scan, again with zero results. I've been online with MS service, created a new user account which seemed to help for awhile then quit, and I'm at the point of doing the infamous format C:. I don't want to do that because my wife is a Korean user and I don't want to have to go through the hassle of reinstalling her programs.

I have tried several programs, including the Spotmau Power Suite to try to find the problem, but have no clue. So, here are the major symptoms.

I will try to run a program, including some of the internal Windows utilities, the wait icon will run for a few seconds, then nothing. If I look at task manager, I can find the program as a process, but not an application. Running the program again results in a second process, but again no program. Everything works fine in Safe Mode. In fact, that is how I've run some of the utilities. Sometimes a program like mmc will run, but most of the time not.

I tried reinstalling Ultimate from the CD doing an upgrade install, hoping it would write over any faulty windows programs, but no luck. I've disabled all the services that I think I safely can, but it still won't work.

Something is missing or I've got a bug I can't find. Not sure which. My system is an el-cheap-o Compaq with 2 G AMD dual, 4 G RAM running Ultimate.

Any ideas?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

26 Jun 2010   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Retired Geek View Post
Before I start, my handle says it all. I am a retired computer programmer/engineer/network engineer/maintenance instructor/etc. I've been using Windows since it was a pimple on DOS. So, the obvious questions should be eliminated. What I need is some serious help to avoid a total wipe-out of my system.

I've been running Win 7 since beta. I have a clean install of Ultimate (many moons ago) that recently began having problems with IE deciding not to run, and requiring a reboot to clear it up. The situation has escalated until now most programs won't run (amazingly enough IE does run) but the most obvious symptom is that a command prompt is simply a blank window. There is a serious delay between trying to close the cmd window and when it actually closes - in excess of 5 seconds. It should be almost instantaneous.

My initial thought was a root-kit. So I downloaded Sophos on another computer and installed it on a lockable USB so it wouldn't get corrupted when I ran it on the failed computer. It came up clean. I also ran an anti-virus from the USB with zero results.

My system is always protected by Avast and ThreatFire and I basically don't get viruses, but I did a thorough scan, again with zero results. I've been online with MS service, created a new user account which seemed to help for awhile then quit, and I'm at the point of doing the infamous format C:. I don't want to do that because my wife is a Korean user and I don't want to have to go through the hassle of reinstalling her programs.

I have tried several programs, including the Spotmau Power Suite to try to find the problem, but have no clue. So, here are the major symptoms.

I will try to run a program, including some of the internal Windows utilities, the wait icon will run for a few seconds, then nothing. If I look at task manager, I can find the program as a process, but not an application. Running the program again results in a second process, but again no program. Everything works fine in Safe Mode. In fact, that is how I've run some of the utilities. Sometimes a program like mmc will run, but most of the time not.

I tried reinstalling Ultimate from the CD doing an upgrade install, hoping it would write over any faulty windows programs, but no luck. I've disabled all the services that I think I safely can, but it still won't work.

Something is missing or I've got a bug I can't find. Not sure which. My system is an el-cheap-o Compaq with 2 G AMD dual, 4 G RAM running Ultimate.

Any ideas?
Have you checked the hard disk for problems? Corrupted NTFS volumes can sometimes cause this issue.

Also, if you open Task Manager, what is your reported CPU usage? If it is a high number, try to find the process and/or service that is using up so much CPU time and attempt to eliminate it...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Jun 2010   #3
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ultimate 32bit SP1
 
 

Have you tried a 'repair' install?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


26 Jun 2010   #4

Vista 64 Ultimate, Windows 7 64 Ultimate, Ubuntu 9.10
 
 

Run sfc/ scannow and see if it finds any issues, I agree that you may need to do a repair installation if you have found your data and hard drive are sound.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Jun 2010   #5

 

I'd be thinking hardware, especially as the problems are recent and progressive and you confess to the comuter being el cheapo! Safe mode working doesn't necessarily mean anything. It's designed to run with minimum stress on resources. How many moons has the computer been in existence?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Jun 2010   #6

Windows 7
 
 

I seriously doubt that it's hardware, because safe mode does not change the hardware except for not loading some drivers, such as the printer. I did, however, remove my video card just in case. No difference. The computer is only about a year old. I have run all the built in diagnostics with zero results.

My cpu is running at about 1% with memory running at about 30% I'm not stressing the system, it's stressing me...

The next to last paragraph indicates that I did a "repair" install, although Win 7 doesn't call it that. It's the upgrade install.

I used BlackViper to turn off all services that were not used in safe mode. I then booted and checked for running services and disabled all those that had not been running in safe mode. I again rebooted, but it wouldn't work. So I rebooted again, and this time I can get into services.msc. What I'm trying to do is to get as close to safe mode as I can, then I can restart the services and see what, if anything, is the problem.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Jun 2010   #7

windows 7 ultimate 64 bit
 
 

Had the same problem...very annoying....download and run a registry repair utility...run...rinse lather repeat...cured my system...up time at 10 plus days
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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