System Crash

By rseni ·
I have a windows XP based P||| 128 MB RAM system. It is a standalone machine not conectd to the internet & mainly used for accounting purpose (critical data).

For some important task I connected it to the internet however after 4 to 5 hours it crashed giving the following error
"This system is shutting down. Please save all work in progress and log off. Any unsaved changes will be lost. This shutdown was initiated by NT Authority\system.Windows must now restart because Remote Procedure Call (RPC) Service terminated unexpectedly."
The system then shuts down after 60 sec. I did not understand the problem however the next day my WinXP crashed and giving me a message that
"Windows cannot load your profile because it may be corrupted. You may be logged in using a temporary User Profile. "
Windows was not able to load my actual profile but instead loaded the default TEMP profile which will not save your work once u reboot. However all my data in My Document of original profile were deleted when I tried to search for my original profile while logged in with the TEMP (default) profile. The original user profile folder appears as squares or other unusual characters in the folder name. All the other folders inside this folder also had unusual character names as well as the files contained in those folders. In My Document folder (somehow guessed the name) most of the files were deleted.

I installed a new WinXP on my third partition (E:), installed Avira Antivirus, scanned and found the following:
1."isass.exe" virus in my systems folder.
2. "winzip_tmp.exe"
3. "Temp.Htt" virus on all my drives (C,D,E).

I quarantined all of their instances. WinXP is now installed on E: drive. Thinking my system is safe and sound once again. I began work and again connected it to the internet.
But now it rebooted automatically ( no error this time, no blue screen etc) so I had to disconnect it from the internet.

However the system keeps rebooting automatically in a matter of 5 or 10 minutes. Sometime the system failed to recognize the hard drive and gives message "system disk error" message. If I power off completely then it recognizes the hard disk and again boots up but wont recognise E: drive but instead recognizes C: drive (remember I installed another winXP on E:, did not format C:).

So i proceeded to install another fresh copy of XP on C: by formatting it with FAT32, installed F-Secure anti-virus and scanned the whole system but it did not find any virus or anything however the rebooting problem still remains.

The system does not recognize WinXP installed on E: but directly boots to C:

The system would reboot unexpectedly within a space of 5 - 30 mins automatically with no error msg. The reason I have detailed my problem is because I have all my accounting data on drive.

Are there any viruses, spyware still on the system. Is there a problem with the registry which automatically reboots the system.

Please help me resolve the issue as soon as possible as all my work is held up due to continous rebooting of the system.

Thanks very much for your help.

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All Answers

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Remove the drive:

by 1bn0 In reply to System Crash

Slave it to another machine or use a USB external adapter / case to connect it.

Retrieve your data files and scan them.

Stop screwing around with the windows installations. You WILL lose your data before you know it.

Save the data. Verify it can be read on another machine and then wipe your computer and install from scratch. Its a mess made worse by your attempts to recover windows.

If you are not techically adept enoughtto do this take it to someone who is.

"Critical data" is worth the expense. Or it's not critical data.

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by patb071 In reply to System Crash

You need more Ram to run Xp Most recommend using 512mb. I also agree to the post above about reinstalling xp. Your better off getting a new machine and coping over your data.

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Ok... where to start...

by Brenton Keegan In reply to System Crash

Ok, where to start? Ok, problem #1

You had an isolated workstation, you said "not connected to the internet", does that also mean it was not connected to any internal network? If so, this workstation would have never received any OS patches, other application patches and virus definitions (if it even had any sort of A/V)

So, when you connected it to the internet, it was pretty vulnerable and it probably got affected by malicious code which caused the crash.

Problem #2

Secondly, if you just slap an OS on a different drive or partition, it's not going to know what to do with it. It will default to the OS installed on C: so you need to edit the boot.ini on the primary system partition (C:) and make an entry for the OS install on E: To be honest, I've never actually had a need to use dual boot so I've never actually done it. Maybe if you install it on a separate partition and it already detects an XP install it will edit it for you.

Anyway, when you formatted C: and did a fresh install it would have wiped the boot.ini and thus it wouldn't give you a choice to boot to a different OS; it would just boot to whatever is on the C: drive.

This might be helpful to you: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/289022

Side Notes:
Why are you using FAT32? The only reason you'd want to use FAT32 if you were dual booting to a Windows 9x install.

I'm not going to recommend an exact procedure, because I don't know all the information.

Firstly, do you have backup copies of all this "critical financial data"? I'd consider it a bad idea to be formatting drives while the only copy of that data present. It's easy to mistakenly format the wrong drive.

If you're not backing it up regularly, I suggest you do so.... even a simple vbscript that copies to an external drive is better than nothing (obviously not the best solution though).

Secondly, I wouldn't want to eliminate the possibility of it being hardware related. Although from your description, the origin sounds software related, the symptoms you describe could easily be caused by hardware.

Inconsistent and sporadic rebooting is often caused by bad memory modules. They aren't completely unrecognized by the system but depending on the address that processes hit, it may generate an error. Basically some of the physical address space is damaged. What happens is that the system writes data to the RAM and when the processor goes to fetch it, it gets corrupted data and the process crashes. This would cause whatever process needs that data to crash instantly. If it's an operating system process, it will BSOD or just reboot.

Memtest86 is a good tool for testing RAM:

Hard-drive is another good candidate. Many hard-drive manufacturers provide utilities to test HDs. These utilities are often rather generic and will work on any number of HDs.

Ultimate Boot CD has a bunch of utilities (including memtest and a number of HD testers)

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