Windows 7 Forums
Welcome to Windows 7 Forums. Our forum is dedicated to helping you find support and solutions for any problems regarding your Windows 7 PC be it Dell, HP, Acer, Asus or a custom build. We also provide an extensive Windows 7 tutorial section that covers a wide range of tips and tricks.

Windows 7: Odd Problem (Possibly smss.exe Related)

25 Dec 2012   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
Odd Problem (Possibly smss.exe Related)


This is going to be a bit of a long post but I have followed the instructions so please see the attached zip file for my information if this post seems too lengthy.

I have Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit operating system. I had a major virus on my computer that I couldn't get rid of using different antivirus softwares. So, I used some special software I got that does a full 7-layer Department of Defense wipe with an additional layer of just 0's. Normally (I've done this a few times with different computers) this just wipes everything but there is something left (by something I mean not the virus but a few basics) and then I install the operating system, anti-virus software, and other necessary applications. With my Asus G73SW-BST6, when I did this wipe, my computer was 100% wiped clean. There was NOTHING on my computer.

Well, after installing everything, now I'm having this problem where (most of the time it's when I'm watching videos on different websites using Mozilla Firefox & Internet Explorer but I'm assuming it'll happen with any browser and I know it's not just the videos but also when I have many tabs open). Of course, it also happens when I run a few too many softwares. Oh, by the way, what usually happens when I'm watching videos is that everything freezes, I hear an annoying noise, then I am not able to do anything (can't click on restart or do anything), and then one of 2 things happens: either the computer restarts by itself or I get the Blue Screen and THEN it restarts. The thing is, if I don't press the power button for 4 seconds & then click on "Start Windows Normally" (basically, if I just allow the computer to go ahead with the restart on its own), I get a black screen with a message telling me to enter a boot devise and then press any button to continue.

So, I installed Registry Mechanic and when I click on "Optimize Your System" it shows me a list of applications running "Normal" except for 1..."smss.exe". I did Alt+Ctrl+Del and I noticed that smss.exe is not running. In Registry Mechanic it lists smss.exe as "idle". I right clicked on smss.exe in Registry Mechanic & then tried to get it to run "Normal" like everything else but I don't know if something is wrong or if this is normal for Registry Mechanic but the list of running programs refreshes automatically every 1 or 2 seconds. Anyhow, I moved fast and clicked on the option to run it normal fast and I got this error message from Windows:

The C:\Windows\system32\smss.exe application cannot be run in Win32 mode.

I went to Alt+Ctrl+Del and clicked on File menu option, then Run, and then typed smss.exe but I got the same message. I went into the system32 folder & tried to open the smss.exe file from there but I got the same message.

I'm sorry for the long post but I wanted to be as detailed as possible. I don't know if my problem is related with my smss.exe problem but that's what's going on & I really don't know what's wrong. PLEASE HELP ME, ANYBODY!

Thank you in advance,

Attached Files
File Type: zip (1.46 MB, 0 views)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Dec 2012   #2

Windows 10x64 Build 1709

First, and before I even start on anything else I would get rid of Registry Mechanic. Those so called "optimizers" are just so much snake oil imho. We see more problems here from those things than I can even count. Do yourself a favor and uninstall it yesterday. The smss you are probably talking about is vital to your system. After you get rid rid of Registry Mechanic run a sfc /scannow to try and repair the damage. Run it 3 times in a row.

SFC /SCANNOW : Run in Command Prompt at Boot

After that check to make sure all your graphics/video drivers are up to date and working right, which I suspect was the problem in the first place.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Dec 2012   #3

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

Thank you for your quick reply. I purchased an OEM copy of Windows that's the exact version that matches the serial number at the bottom of my laptop so I'm using that one as a boot device. I haven't followed your steps yet but I just wanted to reply quickly & let you know that I've done most (if not all) of the things in the list of steps/instructions. I also have double checked my drivers and I think they're all good to go (mainly the drivers for what I think are relevant: like the CPU, graphics/video, sound...etc). Altogether I've installed 13 drivers & made sure they're regularly updated. Is there some software that you can recommend to check my drivers? Windows operating system is 100% useless because it ALWAYS says that my drivers are up-to-date, even when I know they're not. I used to use some other methods but it's been a while so I don't remember how to do it properly. As far as what drivers I needed. I just went to Asus's website and got a list of drivers for an Asus G73sw but I know that there are multiple variations of that laptop (mine being an Asus G73sw-BST6 from Best Buy). If you can give me another quick reply just to confirm that I should do these things, that would be great. In the mean time. I'll get my Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) disk out & go through the boot process just to try all the things that are on that list you gave me a link to & I'll let you know what I see. If you know of a way I can save my tests/maintenance efforts like I did with the zip file in my initial post (using the program that I was told to use), please let me know that too. Otherwise, I'll just do my best to be as detailed & useful in helping you to help me.

Thanks in advance!
My System SpecsSystem Spec


 Odd Problem (Possibly smss.exe Related)

Thread Tools

Similar help and support threads
Thread Forum
Possibly CPU failure related BSODs
Hello everyone, A week ago I have had reinstalled the OS; since then I got random BSODs, around 4; one related to a failure with system update - I got it fixed. Then, one related with Ethernet drivers, I got it fixed too by installing original drivers from CDs instead of downloading them from the...
BSOD Help and Support
BSOD - possibly related to dota 2
Sorry about the vagueness of the title, dota 2 had been open in at least 2 of the last 3 incidences (all happened within two days). Thank you for taking the time to read this.
BSOD Help and Support
BSOD Possibly LoL Related; ntkrnlmp.exe
Hey All, My brother recently talked me into downloading League of Legends, and ever since then my computer has been giving me BSODs like crazy. The first few were only while the LoL download was running, then more came when the installer was going. I decided to give up on it, but he talked me...
BSOD Help and Support
Wifi and lan problem possibly homgroup related
hi this has been bugging me for months i can transfer and copy things stream etc from my tower to my laptop but i have to use ethernet leads i have a tenda ws480 v2.0 wireless router my tower is connected to the router all day long just wish i could stream access stuff from it wirelessly to my...
Network & Sharing
Random BSOD - possibly related to SSD
Hi, I'm receiving a random BSOD in Windows 7. It has occurred twice this morning already. I believe it may be related to the SSD (OCZ Vertex 2) because on one occasion the SSD was not detected upon the first reboot, but it was detected on the second reboot. I have attached the contents of my...
BSOD Help and Support

Our Sites

Site Links

About Us

Find Us

Windows 7 Forums is an independent web site and has not been authorized, sponsored, or otherwise approved by Microsoft Corporation. "Windows 7" and related materials are trademarks of Microsoft Corp.

Designer Media Ltd

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 18:23.
Twitter Facebook Google+