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Strange Shutdown Problem, Fixed

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This was a weirdo problem.  I would have never guessed the cause, although a pro may have recognized it right away.  Eventually it got fixed by accident.  There is no substitute for sheer dumb luck, at least for me.  

Two or three weeks ago, this win xp system started having several problems at about the same time.
- Going in to power saving mode became glitchy, seemed like the system didn't shut down completely.
- Shutting down computer became glitchy, sometimes it asked to logoff, sometimes it would hang & require the  power switch.  
- Disconnecting from the 'net was slow, and would not allow to reconnect without restarting the OS.
- Disconnecting usb devices would hang or not respond, although rundll32 would start.  

I had visions of rootkits or keyloggers transmitting all my top secret data to some hostile foreign government.   :P

Before cryptolocker arrived, I pretty much left my 500 gb USB HDD connected all the time.  After cryptolocker, I began to disconnect it except when needed.  When disconnecting it became iffy, I would just unplug it after the computer shut down.  Therefore it was never connected when the computer POSTed up.

This time I left it connected during startup (by accident) and chkdsk ran automatically.  Chkdsk found and fixed a number of problems, nicely described in the event viewer.  Now everything seems OK.  So the problems seem to have been caused by a removable USB HDD.

I have no idea what caused the issues with that drive.  Afaik, I had not run anything that would have caused them.   But something like this might help explain why some posters think CCleaner trashed something that it didn't.  If I had just run CCLeaner for the first time I would be inclined to blame it on that.  

For sure my knowledge is limited, but I have never read of such a thing, that is, shutdown or powersaver problems being caused by a removable USB HDD.  

Anybody seen this before?

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What do you mean by that?

 

When I would click on the tray icon to "Safely Remove Hardware", the process would not complete. 

The first popup would, errr, pop up, but the second popup, where you select the drive to remove, would just freeze. 

Process Explorer would show rundll32 running, but the drive would not disconnect.

No amount of process killing would free up the USB drive so that it would allow safe disconnection. 

 

So I would just shut off the computer, and when the light on the USB drive went out, then disconnect it. 

So it was never connected when the computer POSTed next time. 

 

edit:  Now I remember that unlocker showed some problem with the recycle bin on the USB drive.  Maybe that was what had the drive locked, not sure.

 

I can post the results from the event viewer entry if it would be helpful. 

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I think that, as you have found, Windows in its own 'strange' way was trying to tell you that something wasn't well with the drive.

 

Perhaps a small issue then got joined by other smaller issues until it showed up as the drive wouldn't safely remove etc.

 

Corrupt recycle bins are a common issue as you know.

 

I think that what happened has added to your knowledge (and mine!)  :)

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I regularly run ChkDsk on my removable media (only flash drives here though) only because if I leave them plugged into my Sony PS3 and turn it off with them still plugged into it that will sometimes causes errors that ChkDsk can fix.

 

Windows in its own 'strange' way was trying to tell you that something wasn't well with the drive.

 

If only Windows (any version) would be much more specific about problems, and Event Viewer can be a fountain of no useful information sometimes.

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Quite so.  Though I have not had a corrupt recycle bin before, as far as i remember. 

The event viewer report is attached, I recognize the reference to AVI_Joiner.zip, but not much else.

Must check to see if that file is still on the drive, not just now though.  Too late.

 

 

 

 

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More.  :o

 

After the chkdsk-ing, two processes were still iffy, may be fixed now. 

Going into power saving mode didn't work properly, neither did trying to reconnect to the 'net after once disconnecting.

 

Process explorer showed that wuauclt.exe was running, so I ran it from Start > All Programs > Windows Update and the little shield appeared in the systray. 

It downloaded the malicious software removal tool and ran it, and everything seems OK now. 

Have successfully let the computer sleep then reconnected twice so far.

Not ready to relax just yet, have no idea why it happened or why it quit. 

 

Sort of getting used to that.  :P

 

Edit 20 Jan 15: 

This problem seems to be fixed now. 

It actually was not at the time of the first post, but things have been back to normal for several days now. 

It seems to have been caused by the USB drive problem, and also because windows update was failing to run. 

Quoting Hazelnut:  "Perhaps a small issue then got joined by other smaller issues . . .". 

Edited by login123

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Just yesterday got this update for win xp, along with links to several reminders that support for win xp is discontinued.  :P

Probably unrelated to the original issue, but interesting. 

https://technet.microsoft.com/library/security/ms13-090

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