Posts Tagged ‘computer repair’

Blue Screen error stop 0x50 FIXED – aka the “Blue Screen Of Death”

Wednesday, August 10th, 2011

I did a computer repair in Lakewood Ranch today where it was crashing on startup with a Blue Screen (BSOD) error: STOP 0x00000050 PAGE FAULT IN NON-PAGED AREA. The page fault error told me that it was most likely a memory issue. Memory errors can be caused by either bad RAM modules or hard disk errors, I would have to check both and since RAM is easiest to diagnose I began there.

I booted the PC using a diagnostic boot CD and ran memtest to check the RAM for errors. The RAM was error-free after the first 4 tests run under memtest so I went on to the next step of the repair process which is to attempt to get to the Repair Console (aka Recovery Options) so I can run chkdsk to check for file system disk errors.

Click Here For A Step-By-Step Recovery Console How-To

First I attempted to access the Windows Recovery Options by starting the computer and hitting the F8 key then selecting “repair your computer” but it froze up with a Blue Screen error. I next attempted to access the recovery Options by booting off the Windows DVD and that too gave me a Blue Screen error. At this point I wanted to see if the computer could run any Windows at all. I booted off a bartPE bootdisk and that too crashed immediately so this laptop was not going to start with any variation of Windows.

I next booted the computer using my diagnostic boot CD and ran a disk diagnostic which discovered a bad block at the beginning of the drive. I then processed the disk using a program which reconditions the disk by detecting and repairing all bad blocks. After the disk was reconditioned I rebooted the computer and Windows automatically launched chkdsk which repaired multiple disk errors in the file system. I then rebooted off of the Windows installation DVD and launched startup repair in Recovery Options. Once startup repair finished I was able to start Windows successfully multiple times and I then ran an aggressive disk defragmentation (defrag) to optimize the disk and test the fix.

The computer was running and starting up with no problems. The client was pleased with my work and that made me happy.

I’m a geek, I love fixing computers.

Call Manasota Geeks at 941-518-3079 if you need a computer geek in Sarasota, Bradenton, or Lakewood Ranch FL.


Top 10 Computer Tune-Up Tips

Saturday, October 9th, 2010

1. Keep Your PC Up-To-Date.
It is recommended to have Windows update download and install updates automatically.

Access Windows Automatic Update Settings by clicking:
Start -> Control Panel -> Windows Updates

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2. Keep Your Computer Free from Viruses (and other unwanted software).
It is very highly recommended that you have an anti-virus suite installed. AVG Free Anti-Virus is a highly rated anti-virus suite and best of all it is free!

AVG Anti-Virus Suite Website -> http://free.avg.com/

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3. De-fragment Your Hard Disk Regularly.
De-fragmenting your hard drive will speed program load times and help your computer run smoother.

Access Windows Disk Defragmenter by clicking:
Start – > Programs – > Accessories – > System Tools – > Disk Defragmenter

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4. Backup Your Computer.
Whether you decide to backup your important files to an external hard drive or to an online backup provider, it is highly recommended to perform regular backups to protect your precious data.

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5. Keep Your Desktop and Hard Disk Tidy.
Windows includes a simple tool to keep your computer’s desktop and hard drive clean from unnecessary files.

Access Windows Disk Cleanup by clicking:
Start – > All Programs – > Accessories – > System Tools – > Disk Cleanup

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6. Be Cautious Opening Suspicious Links or Email Attachments.
Many viruses are spread through web links and email attachments. Always exercise caution when clicking on unknown links online or opening suspicious email attachments.

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7. Uninstall Programs That You Don’t Use.
Many programs will actually slow your computer down by loading themselves every time you turn on your computer. If you don’t use a program, uninstall it.

Access Windows Install/Uninstall Programs Tool by clicking:
Start -> Control Panel -> Add/Remove Programs (Windows XP) OR Programs and Features (Windows Vista and Windows 7)

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8. Scan Your Hard Disk for Errors.
Your hard drive may have hidden errors that are causing you computer to crash or run slower than it should. It is recommended to scan your hard drive for errors monthly.

Access Windows Disk Check Tool by clicking:
My Computer -> C Drive (Right-Click and choose “Properties”) -> Tools -> Check Now

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9. Avoid Using Internet Explorer Whenever Possible.
Internet Explorer web browser is the most vulnerable and least efficient browser on the market. Consider using an alternative web browser for a better, more secure web browsing experience.

Use Firefox, Google Chrome, Opera, or Safari instead.

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10. Use A Firewall
A firewall is a program that puts a protective barrier between your computer and the internet. Windows includes a robust firewall that can help protect your computer if it is enabled.

Access Windows Firewall by clicking:
Start -> Control Panel -> Windows Firewall

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If you are having computer problems that the tips above can’t solve then maybe you need professional service from Manasota Geeks computer repair. “Computer Problems? We Come To You!” Manasota Geeks offers expert service at great rates. We also offer remote computer support. Call now for fast, friendly service: 941-518-3079


Fake Anti-Virus Popups – This Is A Virus

Sunday, September 26th, 2010

I get a lot of experience removing computer viruses as a computer repair technician but rarely do I get to see a virus actually infect a computer “in the wild”. Two days ago my main computer, which is a fully updated Windows 7 PC with up-to-date antivirus, was infected by a drive-by virus (specifically the very nasty TDSS rootkit virus). The following is how the virus infected the computer and how I removed it.

I was downloading a file from Megaupload and another browser window popped open and started playing a video. The popup browser windows looked innocent enough but when I went to close it a warning dialog telling me to install up-to-date antivirus software immediately showed up in my system tray.

The best thing is that the warning misspelled the word Unauthorized as Unauthosrized:
fake anti-virus warning popup

Then I started getting a fake Windows Security Center window warning me that my computer had no anti-virus software installed:
fake security center popup

The virus begins with a trojan virus that installs itself into the c:\Users\Username\AppData\Local\Temp directory. The trojan then downloads many more infected files including a rootkit that is set to install itself as soon as you reboot your computer.

Here is the actual trojan file that installed itself:
popup virus identified

I immediately ran a full scan using Malwarebyte’s Anti-Malware which detected quite a few infected files (including the persistent TDSS rootkit) that the trojan attempted to install onto the computer.

This is what Malwarebytes detected and removed:
anti-virus popup virus removed

After I ran Malwarebytes I rebooted the computer, ran Malwarebytes again (it caught a few more infected files that tried to re-install themselves) and then I ran a full scan using AVG Free Anti-virus.

If you follow the above steps immediately after an infection you should be able to remove this virus with no problems.

Good luck!