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New To WinXP - Noob Questions


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As the title suggests, I am new to Windows XP, and have a couple of Noob questions.

 

1: Why is XP so reboot happy? Every time I think I have figured out the cause and it runs fine for a few days, then it starts doing it again and it will reboot four or five times a day. Can anyone shed any light on this? It is driving me batty...

 

2: There is a folder under C:\Windows named $hf_mig$ that has over 100 folders under it named KBxxxxxxx that all contain different copies of mostly the same files, with different date and time stamps. There is also over 100 folders under C:\Windows named $NtUninstallKBxxxxxx$ that each have a different file, most dated 7\7\2012, the day I set up the computer and installed Windows, but there are files that go back to 2005. All of these folders seem to be related to one file, named spuninst.exe. Are all these necessary?

 

That's all I can think of at the moment, but I'm sure I'll think of more... Since XP is new territory to me, and my memory ain't exactly what it used to be. (As in mostly mush, lately.) :geezer:

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Hey Ax, good to see you.

 

1) Is it just rebooting without a BSOD? Is this on a new computer or one that you've been using for a while? If there is no blue screen with a STOP code, it could be overheating. You can also take a look in the Windows Event Viewer (Start>Control Panel>Administrative Tools>Event Viewer) and there may be some clues in there:

 

http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/topic40108.html

 

2) $hf_mig$ is the actual Windows updates files. KBxxxxxxxxx is the Microsoft Knowledge Base number for that update. If you plug that number into Google it should take you right to the MS page with an explanation of what the update was for. $NtUninstallKBxxxxxx$ is the uninstallers for those updates. They can be safely deleted after 90 days or so. Any problems with an update should have shown up by then, and after a while later updates depend upon previous updates being installed, so uninstalling an older update can create issues.

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Geez ....

it'll only be about 1-1/4 yrs before XP is no longer supported. You might be better off learning windows 7. By the time you get everything about XP figured out you'll have to upgrade to another flavor

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Hey Ax, good to see you.

 

1) Is it just rebooting without a BSOD? Is this on a new computer or one that you've been using for a while? If there is no blue screen with a STOP code, it could be overheating. You can also take a look in the Windows Event Viewer (Start>Control Panel>Administrative Tools>Event Viewer) and there may be some clues in there:

 

http://www.bleepingc...topic40108.html

 

2) $hf_mig$ is the actual Windows updates files. KBxxxxxxxxx is the Microsoft Knowledge Base number for that update. If you plug that number into Google it should take you right to the MS page with an explanation of what the update was for. $NtUninstallKBxxxxxx$ is the uninstallers for those updates. They can be safely deleted after 90 days or so. Any problems with an update should have shown up by then, and after a while later updates depend upon previous updates being installed, so uninstalling an older update can create issues.

 

Nope, no BSODs. I don't think it's over heating because there is a fan on the CPU (with a vent built into the side of the case), one in the power supply, an 120mm in the back and an 80mm in the front side of the case. The reboots seem to be software related most of the time, but I don't know for sure. It would reboot after running fine for several hours after I started an older program. I fixed most of those with compatibility settings, either for Win95 or Win2k. But it does it a lot in Firefox, which is compatible with WinXP. (But I could upgrade it and see if that helps.) It could also be from poorly written code for websites. I go to CNN a lot and a lot of people complain about how their web pages are written. I've been to a few of them that have caused problems for me before.

 

This is the computer (I think) I told you about a few years back that I bought in 2005. There was some problem with my old computer that it didn't have any CD drives until Win2k loaded. So I bought this one thinking it was on it's way out. But I couldn't get it to connect to the Internet, so I decided to just put it away and wait for the old one to die. I'll say this for it though, after all the problems I had running Win2k, WinXP works great. When it isn't rebooting, that is... :)

 

 

Geez ....

it'll only be about 1-1/4 yrs before XP is no longer supported. You might be better off learning windows 7. By the time you get everything about XP figured out you'll have to upgrade to another flavor

 

I don't worry about whether Micro$oft is supporting it anymore, as long as it works ok. I'm pretty sure Win2k was obsolete long before I switched to WinXP. Besides, I tried Win7 and didn't like it. Maybe if I could find a 32bit version, but I couldn't get any of my older software to work in 64bit at all. That of course, does not mean it wasn't my fault, bein' a Noob and all, but I didn't like it in any case. It sure feels weird bein' a Noob after using computers since 1986. :geezer:
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WinXP works great. When it isn't rebooting, that is..

try this; Right Click on “My Computer” and go to “Properties”. Then go to the “Advanced” tab and under the headline “Start up and Recovery”, press the “Settings” button. Untick the “Automatically Restart” box and press Ok.
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AX, good to see you, I hope we can let bygones be bygones. All apologies.

But back on topic: You should either get the newer Window$ version, or come over to the Linux side.

You are many versions late in Gatesland. I see that you aren't worried about having the latest Win, but the virus tools are still around.

Either get the latest MS (is it 9 or 10, or maybe 11 next week), or check out Linux.

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try this; Right Click on “My Computer” and go to “Properties”. Then go to the “Advanced” tab and under the headline “Start up and Recovery”, press the “Settings” button. Untick the “Automatically Restart” box and press Ok.

 

I know about that, but that won't solve the problem. Whatever is causing the reboots would still be happening, I just wouldn't know about it. I would rather try and figure out why it's doing that in the first place. As I said before, I think it's software issues. A lot of the problems were solved by setting compatibility mode for various programs. I just haven't figured out all of them yet... Then again, it could be a simple matter of my having left this computer sitting in the box for far too long.

 

 

AX, good to see you, I hope we can let bygones be bygones. All apologies.

But back on topic: You should either get the newer Window$ version, or come over to the Linux side.

You are many versions late in Gatesland. I see that you aren't worried about having the latest Win, but the virus tools are still around.

Either get the latest MS (is it 9 or 10, or maybe 11 next week), or check out Linux.

 

I already admitted that my memory is mush, so I guess it's ok if I say that I have no clue what it is that you feel you feel the need to apologize for. But whatever it is, don't worry about it. Even if you were one of the people who were a pain in the petunias back when I was an Admin here, that was at least seven years ago, a lot has happened since then and I assure you it has long since been forgotten. (Assuming I ever remembered it in the first place...) One thing I can say with absolute certainty though, when I was an Admin here, I was never one to tell people to "stay on topic". I believe the topic is always whatever you want to talk about. If you do nothing but talk about computers all the time, people will know you're a computer geek... Or is it computer nerd? In almost 30 years I never quite figured out the difference. (IF there is one.) :rofl3:

 

As far as the rest goes, I'll pass on any newer version of Windows until I am forced to upgrade, which is pretty much where I was about two months ago... And I'll pass on the Linux as well. As the old saying goes, "Been there, done that". It's great for Internet servers, but I wasn't all that impressed with it for home use. You are not the first to suggest that route, but it isn't for me.

 

However, I have been to Graceland, if that means anything... Thank ya, thank ya very much... :geezer:

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Hi there Ax :ax:

 

Good to see ya.

Have you run that rig through the latest "Pit Test"?

 

It's set up now so that once it's completed, all that you have to do is copy/paste the last URL into a thread here and we can help you to go through the results.

http://www.pcpitstop.com/betapit/

 

If nothing else, be sure that you have SP3 (service pack 3) installed on the rig as it does bring quite a bit more stability as well as security to an XP install.

 

:) Y

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I know about that, but that won't solve the problem. Whatever is causing the reboots would still be happening, I just wouldn't know about it. I would rather try and figure out why it's doing that in the first place. As I said before, I think it's software issues.

It won't solve your problem, but your pc is set to restart instead of giving you a bsod. when you uncheck that box, your pc may give you a bsod which will tell why your getting an error.

If you feel that that want to figure this out for yourself, then I will not make any more attempts to assist you

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Hi there Ax :ax:

 

Good to see ya.

Have you run that rig through the latest "Pit Test"?

 

It's set up now so that once it's completed, all that you have to do is copy/paste the last URL into a thread here and we can help you to go through the results.

http://www.pcpitstop.com/betapit/

 

If nothing else, be sure that you have SP3 (service pack 3) installed on the rig as it does bring quite a bit more stability as well as security to an XP install.

 

:) Y

 

I haven't run a pit test on it yet. I'm not real big on beta programs, having had some pretty bad luck with them in the past.

 

I do have SP3 though, and it is fully updated. In fact, an update is installing as I type this.

 

 

It won't solve your problem, but your pc is set to restart instead of giving you a bsod. when you uncheck that box, your pc may give you a bsod which will tell why your getting an error.

If you feel that that want to figure this out for yourself, then I will not make any more attempts to assist you

 

Oh, I didn't know that it would do that. So in that case, let me rephrase my previous statement. I would like to try to figure this out, but I didn't say I wanted to (or could) do it alone. If I could do it myself, then I probably wouldn't have started this thread and asked these questions... Because as I said before, I don't know much about WinXP. So please forgive my ignorance in these matters. And thank you for that bit of information, Joe. That was most helpful. Edited by Ax Slinger
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Another thing you can do is to run your pc in safe mode, if you do not get any crashes or shut downs then you can look for a driver/ software issue. If it does crash/shutdown while you are in safemode, then you need to start checking your hardware

 

Edit: 2005 was a horrible year for bad capacitors, that includes the caps on the motherboard, in your power supply and the video card if you have one. you might want to pop open your case and check those too, use extreme caution if you open your power supply

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_qXgGaISUk9I/R1M5Jv8F3dI/AAAAAAAAAOI/3_JKxHril9k/s800/bad-caps-december-06.jpg

 

notice the tops protruding up and leaking. capacitors are supposed to have very flat tops

Edited by Joe C
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I heard about that and checked the mainboard, power supply, and all the cards. All were ok, thankfully. I think most of the hardware was actually made in 2004 or earlier as well. I know the mainboard was, but the rest I am not 100% sure about.

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Ax are you not seeing anything in Event Viewer that would give an indication? I've ran into random reboots before with XP and it was throwing tons of errors and warnings in Event Viewer... I wound up reinstalling XP to solve the problem cause I couldn't narrow it down.

 

 

 

 

:geezer:

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I didn't know about the Event Viewer until IntelGuy mentioned it. I checked it out last night and it confirmed a lot of the problems being related to various programs as I had suspected. After setting the compatibility settings for those programs that seems to have fixed most crashes. Some of my old games were written for Win95, and after nearly 10 years of running Win2k and having a lot of programs simply not work properly (and compatibility mode not helping at all) it has been nice to be able to do some of the things Win2k would not. Only about 3 of 10 games I had would run at all in Win2k. Paint Shop Pro, which crashed on a regular basis in Win2k, hasn't crashed once since I installed it in WinXP and set the compatibility settings to Win95.

 

Overall, now that about 90% of the reboots have been resolved, and now that I am somewhat used to how WinXP works, I'm getting to where I like this new set up. Here's a comparison of the old and new computers, if you're interested...

 

Old computer:

Amptron K7 825LM Mainboard

AMD Athlon 1600+ 1.4Ghz

768Mb RAM (With 32Mb used for internal S3 Graphics ProSavage Video)

2 20Gb Maxtor Hard Drives

32x TDK CD Writer

 

New computer:

MSI K7N2-FSR 8x AGP Mainboard

AMD Athlon 2800+ 2.1Ghz

2.5Gb RAM

Nvidia GeForce4 MX4000 8x 64MB Video Card

1 120Gb Western Digital SATA Hard Drive (I may add in the 2 20Gb Maxtor Hard Drives later, as they still work fine.)

Sony 48x CD / 16x Dual Layer DVD ±R Writer (Which I know nothing about, and I don't have any DVD software at all.)

 

And yes, I am aware that this system was obsolete when I bought it seven years ago, so it stands to reason that it certainly is obsolete now... But it was cheap, and it's what I have to work with now. I don't think me Missus will let me buy another one after I left this one in the box for seven years... :rofl3:

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Oh, I forgot to add that the old computer had a Sylvania POS (I'm sure you know what that means) 17" monitor. I bought an LG 27" LED for the new one, which after about a week of having it, I look at 17" monitors and think "God, that's so small..." :)

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Sony 48x CD / 16x Dual Layer DVD ±R Writer (Which I know nothing about, and I don't have any DVD software at all.)

So much good free software these days--here's a good place to get it (I believe all of it will work with XP):

 

http://www.ninite.com

 

P.S. Link is for after you solve your issues--did you get an error message yet on your BSOD?

 

:)

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The first one after turning off automatic restarts happened a few minutes ago. I was reading an article on CNN's website at the time, which is what I was doing at the time prior to the last several restarts before I turned automatic restarts off. That's why I thought it had something to do with either Firefox or poorly written websites. The BSOD said PAGE_FAULT_IN_NONPAGED_AREA. I looked that up in the M$ database and it says this indicates that invalid system memory has been referenced, and it could have been caused by defective RAM, the installation of a faulty system service, antivirus software or a corrupted NTFS volume. I did not write down all of the information in the error code. Is there something in there that could identify the cause a little better? There's nothing I can see in the Event Viewer. Or at least that I can say is related to this. I am not really sure how to use that quite yet.

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You should test the ram over night to get an accurate test.

You can check the health status of the hard drive by going to the manufacture's support web site and getting an .iso diagnostic download program. You should be able to make a bootable diagnostic disk by burning the .iso with a third party program (Img Burn) and boot your pc with it to run the software to check the drive

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  • 4 weeks later...

Here's an update in case anyone is interested... It turned out to be a series of compatibility issues. Nearly all of the software I have was written before Windows XP was released, and as such it needed compatibility mode to be set properly for each program. Once that was done it eliminated 95% of the BSOD's. I still get one every now and then, but now they are a rarity instead of an two to five times a day occurrence.

 

I also found out that my old copy of Media Player Classic plays DVD's just fine, Img Burn is (for the most part) just a legal version of DVD Decrypter without the CSS decryption, and that the DVD rental store down the street has a DVD Resurfacing machine that breathes life into old DVD that the kid's got a hold of for $1.00 a pop.

 

Thanks again... :)

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Hey

compatibility mode eliminated 95% of the BSOD's. I still get one every now and then

You can use VEW by Vino Rosso http://images.malwar...om/vino/VEW.exe

Download and save it to your desktop. See if you can figure out what's going upside down. If not, we can probably help you.

 

*Double click to start it: Click the check boxes next to Application and System located under Select log to query on the upper left

*Under Number or date of events select Number of events and type 20 in the box next to 1 to 20 and click Run

*Once it finishes it will display a log file in notepad.

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