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CCleaner Freezes / Locks Up (SOLVED)


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Posted 24 October 2010 - 09:22 PM

PROBLEM: After long time, trouble free use of CCleaner, just within the last couple of weeks every time I would run a secure delete with CCleaner the PC would freeze up completely (Crash) and was non-responsive to any input thus requiring the dreaded and cringe-worthy "full power on to full power off reboot" (hard-reset). You know, the kind where you wonder how much damage it just did in the way of corrupted files, surges to sensitive electronics, etc. This may just be an old fear that dates back to the old days of PC's where anytime you did a hard-reset, you risked a complete system reinstall or fried components, but I still hate doing it. But when it freezes up, there is no choice. That's why we all back up religiously and maintain regular image copies of our hard drive(s) like we are supposed to, right?... :unsure:


This freeze up problem happened right when I updated to v2.36.


So, obviously that tells us that the problem is with the latest version of CC described above, right?



  • Not so fast. That doesnít appear to be it at all.




SYSTEM:Vista Home Premium 32-bit SP2 Intel Core 2 CPU 2.12 GZ, 4 GB RAM, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460 Graphics



ANALYTICAL WORK-THROUGH: When running a secure delete in any of the modes, CC would lock up and the system would enter a crash-freeze state (unstable). This occured about 2 or three seconds in and would seem to kick in right as CC was running the secure delete in the TemporaryInternetFiles\Low\Content.IE5\ etcetera\ etcetera\ .js file (Java Script). After trying several suggestions listed in the forum, uninstalling, reinstalling, lite-installing, installing prior versions the problem remained. The only way CC would perform secure delete was in the safe mode.



SOLUTION: Shut down PC Tools Spyware Doctor (Full Version) before running secure delete. After thinking it through, I remembered the only thing that I had significantly changed was the addition of PC Tools Spyware Doctor. Prior to that, CCleaner ran fine. Bear in mind, this is NOT a criticism of either PC Tools Spyware Doctor (excellent program) nor is it a criticism of CCleaner (also an excellent program, perhaps best in class - it's free, whaddaya want?).



ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: I run both Kaspersky and PC Tools Spyware Doctor (full version). While you will hear some people claim "never run two AV programs" - this is not an absolute rule in every case. It depends on a whole lot of variables. Sure, in some cases it's a disaster to run two AV programs that don't get along well together. But some manage to work fine together and after experimentation I found that Kaspersky and Spyware Doctor run just fine together on my particular system. Individual experience may differ.



The only program I have come across to date that caused an issue while both AV programs were running was running CCleaner on secure delete mode. Note that this is not in any way a criticism of CCleaner and itís a fine program. All it did is prove that in fact there are some instances where running two AV programs may cause a problem. Itís just been a few weeks of testing so itís possible in the future I could run across another proggie that causes an issue with both AV's running but so far running a large variety of programs and intense gaming with both AVís running Ė no problem. Of course in some instances I have taken to switching them into the gaming mode to free up resources or disconnect from the internet and turn them off while gaming if needed for the most resource intensive games / programs. After all, I'm only runing 4 MB RAM. It's all relative, our PC's now contain far more computing power than early computers that used to weigh many tons and took up entire rooms and consumed a tremendous amount of energy just doing rudimentary number crunching.



ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ON PC TOOLS SPYWARE DOCTOR: I have tested a whole slew of malware detection programs including the much-vaunted "Malwarebytes", Prevex, Viper, ESET, and too many to list.



Every single one of the "top recommended", including Malwarebytes and Kaspersky missed a keylogger I had installed as a test.




EXCEPT for PC Tools Spyware Doctor. :)




It nailed it and has an extremely low rate of false positives compared with many other often recommended anti-malware programs. So, I can give Spyware Doctor a solid recommendation. Kaspersky of course is also a solid performer. Using the two together, along with occasional use of some of the others, I feel offers me a fairly comprehensive "net" of malware detection. One other AV I have tested that is in my top tested three is surprisingly Panda Cloud Ė freeware. Light on resources, few on features and a bit clunky, but a solid hit rate & very low false positive. I would trust my AV handling to it alone along with a good firewall. In fact I tested running all three AV programs together - Kaspersky, Spyware Doctor, and Panda Cloud. While they did run, eventually Panda ended up being the one that didn't like working with the other two AV programs as much so I uninstalled it. But it's a good AV program and free. It does go deep into your system though so like any program - use a good uninstaller if you know how to use it and always visually scan the results.



ADDITIONAL FINDINGS: While this report is early, and I may follow up if I have any other findings, so far this seemed to have solved the issue. Obviously in this case, because CC was doing an extensive overwrite of files, it is likely both AV programs kicked into overdrive or something and that caused the problem. I have not tested this issue just with the full version of Spyware Doctor alone (shut down Kaspersky and just run SPD) to see if I can duplicate the problem.



UNUSUAL MALWARE DETECTION TOOL? Another good program I have found that potentially yields detection and perhaps signs of other problems that many if not any other malware program MISSED detecting remnants of malware and many other uninstalled programs (to the extent you wouldn't believe unless you tried it) - is Final Uninstaller.



Yes, I know there will be those who start chirping about "Revo!". Way ahead of you there. Revo is an old standard and one of the best free uninstallers around. And I always use it in the MAX uninstall mode.


But it doesn't hold a candle to Final Uninstaller.
As always, you get what you pay for.


Having just tested it and some other uninstallers, I have not found anything better than Final Uninstaller - yet. Not to say there isn't but I just have not seen it in my particular case to date. I just tested Final Uninstaller and it again found a keylogger remnant that everything else missed or did not install completely. Along with a massive amount of other junk left behind from old uninstalls that even Revo didn't get. I was seeing stuff that was long ago uninstalled and saying to myself; ďTHAT junk is STILL on my system?Ē Some of these programs bury stuff deep in our hard drives, obviously.



FINAL CONSIDERATION: Even after all this, itís still possible I have or had a malware problem that was kicking in and contributing to the lock up issue and getting the two AV programs to go hyper. But if thatís the case, then CCleaner contributed to possibly helping by happenstance to find it (mostly luck there). Still following up all this with full system scans (hours).