Corrupt Files Again


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After years of trouble with my computer, I finally purchased a new AMD computer. But shortly after I got it I started having random errors, from programs not launching from their shortcuts (though the properties sheets looked fully normal), to losing the functionality of the Control Panel, to losing the ability to print. These were exactly the same problems that afflicted my old computer; and every antivirus, antimalware, and rootkit program has come back with a clean scan result save for one (TDSSKiller; the program it found {360Amigo} has been eradicated from all my computers).

I have tried both a Repair Install using a Windows DVD through Windows Explorer, and a full install from scratch (though I was never given the opportunity to reformat the C:\ drive, which is a hybrid SSD drive). After the OS was reinstalled, I started loading programs back in, and by the time I was finished the sporadic program and system errors started to show up again. A repeat of SFC again came back with corrupted files, unable to fix them.

I don't know either the cause or the fix to 'found corrupt files that can't be fixed', and would appreciate help in dealing with the problem.

Regards,
BearPup
 
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Shintaro

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I was thinking about your problem and then realised that you are saying that you had problems with your old PC.
I am wondering if the power where you live is bad. For example not a consistent voltage. You might see the light dim then go back to normal.

Do you have any power filtering between the PC and the house power?
Do you have a UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply)? If you do, how old is it?

Also do you know the Make and Model number of your Hard Disk?

I hope someone else has some ideas.

Link HERE to the fist thread.
 

TrainableMan

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I was thinking it may be some piece of software that you are installing. A program doesn't have to be a virus to damage your computer; perfectly legitimate software that aggressively changes the registry can corrupt your system.

You mentioned reinstalling programs after the OS, could you post a list of them?
 
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@Shintaro: Thanks for responding. To answer your questions.
  • There is no power filtering that goes on in this building. No one has ever reported the problem.
  • There are no known power issues.
  • I do not have / use an UPS.
  • My hard drive is a Seagate Hybrid Model ST500.
@TrainableMan: Thanks for your response. The list is an ever-shrinking list, now about 75 programs when all are loaded. The list that's attached is my very basic list - i.e., no imaging programs, minimal security apps, no utilities etc.

I'm still at the early re-building stage after my last reinstall had the same problem with corrupt files. So far, and with just these programs installed (see the list), the computer passed its first SFC check. At this point I'm just trying to load the programs I use on a daily / weekly basis, with 'extra apps' not being loaded till all the basic apps load without causing an SFC meltdown.

If there are any other ways to do this, I'm certainly open to them.

Regards,
BearPup
 

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TrainableMan

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These are just possibilities. Lots of software can cause problems if you aren't careful ...

The IOBit Uninstaller jumps out at me right away as a high probability. If you actually used it to uninstall things it could easily have removed a bit too much from your registry.

And I'm not familiar with Hekasoft Backup & Restore 0.50 but if you actually have restored using that software there is always the possibility it did something wrong with the registry.

Of course if you accidentally delete system files, for example with xplorer2 or minibin, that would also cause problems.
 
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Thanks for taking a look TrainableMan. IObit Uninstaller is a program I've used for several years and neither I nor the folks at DotTech.org who tested it found any overt problems with it being too aggressive. And when using it I actually take the time and eyesight to look at every file it wants to delete; when in doubt, leave it be. As for Minibin, its no different than the Recycle Bin, I just like it off the desktop space is all.

Hekasoft Backup & Restore has become a special project of mine for that last 6 - 9 months. I use PaleMoon and FossaMail since I prefer to run 64 Bit programs on my desktop. I'm also forced to use Internet Explorer in certain situations and wanted a convenient easy backup for the "Internet Programs" on my machine; the other piece that was key to me, I wanted one program to do it all. Enter HB&R from Italy, who I stumbled across during a Dogpile search. When I first tried using it, there were some problems that arose that I offered to help them with; they accepted and we were able to solve the issues that came up. Since then I've become a Beta tester for them, and had the good fortune to stumble upon another bug that was quickly fixed. We're now up to RC4 and hope to release version .50 in the near future. And while Beta software always involves some risk, doing file-to-file comparisons have not revealed any more flaws than the two I found that were fixed. It would also be very weird to have it only be on my two machines and none of the other Beta testers.
 
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Shintaro

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You have the right idea, although it's a long process, of running SFC after each install. Just remember to run SFC prior to starting the install as well, when you first start the computer.

So the only things that are common between your old PC and the new PC are:
  • RAM (which you said that you tested).
  • software.
  • power.
Even though nobody has reported any power problems does not indicate that there are power fluctuations. I just helped another person, although it was a crash problem, that turned out to be power. Quite a difficult problem to find.

I would suggest that you not use any general cleaning utilities, well not until you get your PC at a good state. Then when you need to remove something:
  • create a System Restore Point.
  • run SFC.
  • run the remove / cleaning utility.
  • run SFC to see if it corrupted Windows.

If you still cannot pin down the source of the corruption, I would suggest that you borrow a UPS. Of course you will need to start the process all over again to see if the UPS makes a difference.

Sorry I can't be of more help.
 
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@Shintaro: No apologies needed, I very much appreciate the help and sounding board. I've posted this problem on 3 different sites, and the general consensus is that it is a rogue or bad or something program. I'm not planning on using any general utilities until I'm secure in a good system without them, then I'll take a look at what they have to say.
 
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I am pleased to announce that I have reinstalled my now slim-down system (just core programs in each section), and made a clone of it, and before and after all that the SFC program ran 100% fine - Windows integrity check found no violations of any system files. SFC finally passed with all programs installed. Except of course 360Amigo. Interestingly enough, going to the 360Amigo site gets a message from Avira, who has bought 360Amigo and plans to distribute its own version of 360Amigo. I've written to them asking them what my "status" is under the new regime.

I especially want to thank all who responded from the forum. That support was especially appreciated.
 

Shintaro

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That's great, but we really still don't know what caused the corruption.
Perhaps you can run SFC every now and then to see if the problems appear again.

If you haven't done anything and you have corruption, I still suggest looking at a line filter or UPS.
 
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Hi Shintaro,
The only thing that was different this time was my excluding 360Amigo; and given that two scanners had flagged it as a potential problem (1 was advisory in nature, but the second was an outright warning not to use the program). And notwithstanding the apparent 'cure', I intend to keep regularly running SFC /scannow; its not that I don't have faith, its just that I don't!
 
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UPDATE: After successful installing my core programs, I started to add 'other' programs back in. One of those was a system optimizer, Wise Care 365. After installing it, carefully limiting it to 'junk' files and program monitoring, I ran SFC again. Yep, corrupt files. Feeling that of all the various items I had loaded, my imaging and utility programs were probably safe, and the most likely culprit was the one system cleaner & optimization program I used, Wise Care 365.

I restored the computer using the clone I had made of the clean system, and then restored it to its known good state with everything loaded except for the Wise Care Product. After doing some mild file tweaking to stress the system, I ran SFC again; perfectly clean, no integrity violations. I then made System Clone II, and again ran SFC; no integrity violations again!

So have my last two systems been more prone to these types of programs? Its like I've developed an allergy to SyOp programs - and I'm only partially joking! Any comments or suggestions are welcomed.

Regards,
BearPup
 

TrainableMan

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The only registry cleaner I trust is CCleaner and that's simply from years of it working fine for me. Even so, every time I allow it to change the registry I tell it to back-up the entries first so I can restore the registry if something does go wrong.

I think a lot of the optimizer/registry cleaners out there are just too aggressive at deleting things.

You've had some bad luck for sure but I blame the programs and their lack of testing rather than your machines. But I will say you seem to enjoy testing programs and that is a dangerous thing to do on a production machine. Consider making your old machine a test platform, or use a virtual machine, or at least use a product like SandBoxie.
 
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Just to be clear I was using Wise Care for those two selected areas - removing junk files, and program monitoring, i.e., startup files and program updates. I specifically shut off any registry cleaning or defragging modules.

And you are certainly right in that I like to try new programs, and up until the last year or so I would only have the occasional problem that would be easily corrected by laying down the last clone of the system drive. As for my machine being a production model, it isn't. It was built to my specification, and I spec'd each component down to the brand name and model number for each part.As for my old machine, its already been cannibalized; but using a virtual machine as opposed to my clone machine might be a better approach. Any recommendations along those lines?
 
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TrainableMan

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When I say production machine I mean it is your main computer where you do all your work and it is quite inconvenient when it is having issues, not as to who made it.

The only virtual machine I use is Virtual PC with XP mode, whereas you would probably want a virtual W7. There are several applications listed in our Freeware DB near the bottom in the Virtualization section that you might try.
 

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