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Consumer Products => Avast Free Antivirus / Premium Security (legacy Pro Antivirus, Internet Security, Premier) => Topic started by: gib on October 28, 2008, 08:48:42 PM

Title: Windows 2000 boot looping
Post by: gib on October 28, 2008, 08:48:42 PM
After installing Avast I can't boot my W2K SP4 box normally.  It gets stuck in a boot - disk check loop.  I have to boot "Enable VGA mode", which cripples the video display.  Uninstalling Avast solves the problem.

My previous antiviral software was AVG 7.5, which I upgraded to AVG 8.0, which didn't work at all (wouldn't scan).  I uninstalled AVG 8.0 via Control Panel > Add/Remove Programs, no other antiviral or firewall software has been installed.

Any suggestions?
Title: Re: Windows 2000 boot looping
Post by: DavidR on October 28, 2008, 09:17:15 PM
We seem to be seeing more issues with AVG possibly not fully uninstalling.

AVG Remover, download tool from here, http://www.grisoft.com/ww.download-tools (http://www.grisoft.com/ww.download-tools) there is a 32bit and 64 bit windows version, ensure you use the correct one.

You could boot into safe mode and uninstall avast, then reboot and see if that at least gets you into the boot. Run the avg uninstall tool reboot and install avast.
Title: Re: Windows 2000 boot looping
Post by: gib on October 29, 2008, 08:37:52 PM
Thanks David.  I downloaded and ran the AVG remover.  It isn't clear that it found anything to remove.  In any case it didn't change anything.  I reinstalled Avast, rebooted and was stuck in the boot loop again.  The only way to escape is via "Enable VGA mode", which allowed me to boot up and uninstall Avast.

A "Safe mode" startup halts for ever at the point where the last line displayed is about starting the service for agp440.sys.  A google search on agp440.sys problems yields a confusing range of causes, implying that the failure may have no connection with this file.  It might be worth mentioning that the video card is an nVidia GeForce 4, Ti 4400, and the first time I installed Avast and booted (in VGA mode) the Hardware Manager told me that the display driver was not installed.  I had to reinstall from the CD.  Since then this odd loss of the driver has not occurred.

Another little thing that caught my attention in the bootup process is that there is a noticeable pause on the first screen at the last drive detection point "Detecting Secondary Slave"  (there is none).  Normally this goes in a fraction of a second, but with Avast installed it lingers for several seconds.  Could this be a clue?

By the way, the single drive in this machine is formatted (for historical reasons) as FAT32.  Could this be a problem?
Title: Re: Windows 2000 boot looping
Post by: DavidR on October 29, 2008, 10:31:34 PM
Well on my last system (XP Pro) I had two HDDs both formatted as FAT32 and no problems, so I doubt this was the problem.

I was more looking at elimination by using the avg uninstall tool.

As you say having to enable VGA mode would kill your graphics card driver and strange as it may seem the driver issue may have been co-incidental as if your driver went down that may have been why you got the enable VGA mode. Your re-installation of the driver seems to have got past that particular issue.

avast doesn't actually run in safe mode, so if you boot into safe mode avast shouldn't play any part in the other issues, re HDD, etc.

You say you only have one HDD, but do you have an optical drive sharing the same IDE cable as the HDD ?
Title: Re: Windows 2000 boot looping
Post by: gib on October 29, 2008, 10:58:32 PM
The Safe mode issue might be a red herring.  I can't remember whether I've ever tried to boot in safe mode before.
I'm at work now (the problem is on a home box) so I can't check the IDE cable issue (memory no use on things like this).  Come to think of it, I also need to check ability to boot in safe mode without Avast installed.  Currently the system is unprotected, except by the ADSL modem.

The video driver problem could be coincidental, but it seems to be a pretty big coincidence.  My main problem is not having much of a clue about what Windows 2000 does on bootup.  Linux is so transparent by comparison.
Title: Re: Windows 2000 boot looping
Post by: DavidR on October 30, 2008, 12:05:12 AM
You're not alone in not knowing much about win2k, well your practical knowledge is greater than mine, I have never used it at all.
Title: Re: Windows 2000 boot looping
Post by: essexboy on October 30, 2008, 12:54:33 AM
Read this http://support.microsoft.com/kb/324764
Title: Re: Windows 2000 boot looping
Post by: gib on October 30, 2008, 10:43:36 PM
Yes, I saw that.  It doesn't seem to be relevant, not in any obvious way, anyway.  I can boot successfully except when Avast is installed.  I have established that this is completely repeatable.

I have to correct one statement that I made previously.  I thought that the bootup was getting stuck at agp440.sys when booting in safe mode with Avast installed.  This was my mistake.  It takes a long time, but if I wait long enough the boot progresses beyond that point.  The boot loop problem is still there though - near the end of the boot sequence it reboots into the disk check stage again.

Without a doubt Avast is preventing my system from booting.
Title: Re: Windows 2000 boot looping
Post by: gib on October 30, 2008, 11:20:36 PM
Well on my last system (XP Pro) I had two HDDs both formatted as FAT32 and no problems, so I doubt this was the problem.

I was more looking at elimination by using the avg uninstall tool.

As you say having to enable VGA mode would kill your graphics card driver and strange as it may seem the driver issue may have been co-incidental as if your driver went down that may have been why you got the enable VGA mode. Your re-installation of the driver seems to have got past that particular issue.

avast doesn't actually run in safe mode, so if you boot into safe mode avast shouldn't play any part in the other issues, re HDD, etc.

You say you only have one HDD, but do you have an optical drive sharing the same IDE cable as the HDD ?

I have now found that contrary to my previous statement the boot process doesn't get stuck at agp440.sys, it just spends a long time there.  The boot still loops though, with Avast installed.
My CD drive and HDD are on separate cables.

Title: Re: Windows 2000 boot looping
Post by: DavidR on October 31, 2008, 12:10:35 AM
I'm not entirely sure I understand what this "The boot still loops though," or your original post "It gets stuck in a boot - disk check loop."

If you are talking about checking for hard disk errors, which is typically an indication of improper shutdown or actual errors on the HDD. Are you getting any hang-up when you shutdown ?

You could try Windows Start, Run, type cmd, this will give a command prompt window. Type chkdsk /f the /f is if an error is found to fix it if possible.
Title: Re: Windows 2000 boot looping
Post by: gib on October 31, 2008, 01:19:03 AM
<quote>I'm not entirely sure I understand what this "The boot still loops though," or your original post "It gets stuck in a boot - disk check loop."</quote>

Sorry, I'm not sure of the correct language to use.

The sequence is something like this, for a normal boot:

1. Disk detection screen
2. Screen with 'hit enter to start W2k or hit F8 to choose another boot mode'
3. A b&w screen with ASCII graphics progress bar
4. A colour screen with Windows banner display and a blue progress bar
5. Popup messages about loading personal settings etc
6. Popup login screen

For a normal boot with Avast installed, it goes:

1 2 3 4
7. (Sounds I associate with a reboot) Disk check screen  with 'hit any key to skip checking'
1 2 3 4 7
1 2 3 4 7
....

It doesn't make any difference whether disk checking is done or skipped.  I've let it check many times, there are no disk errors.  In every other respect the system is behaving perfectly, no hang-up on shutdown.  The disk check request is triggered somehow by Avast, presumably because of the way it jumps from 4 to a reboot.  I've never seen this happen except with Avast installed.
Title: Re: Windows 2000 boot looping
Post by: DavidR on October 31, 2008, 02:12:14 AM
I have never used win2k so I don't have any practical experience to call on, but the disk check is usually associated with an abnormal shut down of some sort, which means the OS notes that and will initiate the disk check on the next boot to avoid data loss, etc.

Now why this might happen with avast installed is a little beyond me, but if something was still running at shutdown avast might well still be scanning and memory may still be in use, this might cause something like this.

So what other security application do you have installed ?
Before you shutdown, check task manager (or whatever might be the win2k equivalent) and see what processes are running ?

Other than that I'm at a loss as to what else to suggest, that is me for tonight, a little after 1:10a.m. here.
Title: Re: Windows 2000 boot looping
Post by: gib on October 31, 2008, 03:39:26 AM
Win2k is effectively the same as XP, if that helps.
Nothing is running at shutdown, as far as I am aware.  I do not shut down while Avast is running any checks.
No other security software installed.
I have checked out the running processes by eye, with Task Manager, and also with HiJack This.  No anomalies that I can see.
The boot failure occurs in the phase when services and drivers are being started. 
I have the impression that a service that is being started causes the reboot, which then requires a disk check.  If I let the disk check execute, it still wants to do the check again when it loops around.
When I get home I'll check to see if the Avast service can be configured to start manually.  Then I'll be able to test a reboot without the service being started automatically.

By the way, I appreciate your help.
Title: Re: Windows 2000 boot looping
Post by: DavidR on October 31, 2008, 03:30:10 PM
Whilst win2k is an NT OS as is XP, I think there are many differences to XP in the interface, etc.

The problem is you may not know if avast is scanning (but the avast icon should be rotating) on shutdown if there is other activity. HJT wouldn't show what is actually running when you shutdown, only what starts on boot, etc.

My best guess is that the disk scan doesn't come from a service being started, but from the shutdown. The avast self-defence will make manual starting somewhat difficult, you would need to disable it, Program Settings, Troubleshooting. You might try something else from that section and that it to Delay loading of avast services after other system services and see if that makes any difference.

Other than that I'm out of ideas, we need someone from the Alwil team with a greater understanding of avast and hopefully win2k.
Title: Re: Windows 2000 boot looping
Post by: gib on October 31, 2008, 08:33:17 PM
Hi David,

I experimented with making the Avast services manually started.  No effect.  I activated boot logging, but didn't know enough to interpret the logs, which didn't show any obvious error messages.

With rather low expectations, I downloaded and installed the latest nVidia driver for my video card.

Problem solved.  I can now boot normally with Avast installed, services started automatically.

I'm afraid this will have to remain an ugly mystery.

Sorry to have taken so much of your time.

Regards
Gib
Title: Re: Windows 2000 boot looping
Post by: DavidR on October 31, 2008, 08:44:15 PM
Now I would never have though this to be a graphics driver issue, most strange an ugly mystery as you say.
Title: Re: Windows 2000 boot looping
Post by: Gugus on November 09, 2008, 01:25:21 AM
Hi,
On my PC (Motherboard ASUS P4GE-VM, Graphic ASUS V9180 v31.40G) I have the same symptome.
When I install Avast 4.7 it works fine.
I tried all the tips I've found on the forum (aswclear, remove reboot.txt and the registry the PendingFileRenameOpertion, update graphic driver)...hope less.
Efectively the boot in VGA mode works good. But that's not a solution!
I tried to install the newest Beta Version 4.8.1263 but I get a failure (bluescreen with the message:
{Driver entry Point not found.
\SystempRoot\Sysem32\Drivers\aswSP.sys could not locate the entrypoint PsGetProcessPeb in driver ntoskrnl.exe. --> should it work with win2k?}
What is the link between AVAST and the Graphic driver?
Thanks for your reply.

Gugus
Title: Re: Windows 2000 boot looping
Post by: igor on November 09, 2008, 01:34:27 AM
This particular problem (Drive entry point not found), occurring on Win2k, was fixed on Friday in the internal avast! build - i.e. it will be fixed in the next beta refresh or final release.
Title: Re: Windows 2000 boot looping
Post by: ellishk97 on November 15, 2008, 10:10:49 AM
<quote>I'm not entirely sure I understand what this "The boot still loops though," or your original post "It gets stuck in a boot - disk check loop."</quote>

Sorry, I'm not sure of the correct language to use.

The sequence is something like this, for a normal boot:

1. Disk detection screen
2. Screen with 'hit enter to start W2k or hit F8 to choose another boot mode'
3. A b&w screen with ASCII graphics progress bar
4. A colour screen with Windows banner display and a blue progress bar
5. Popup messages about loading personal settings etc
6. Popup login screen

For a normal boot with Avast installed, it goes:

1 2 3 4
7. (Sounds I associate with a reboot) Disk check screen  with 'hit any key to skip checking'
1 2 3 4 7
1 2 3 4 7
....

It doesn't make any difference whether disk checking is done or skipped.  I've let it check many times, there are no disk errors.  In every other respect the system is behaving perfectly, no hang-up on shutdown.  The disk check request is triggered somehow by Avast, presumably because of the way it jumps from 4 to a reboot.  I've never seen this happen except with Avast installed.


I met this problem too  :'(
I wasted two days before I suspect Avast!  :o :'(
W2K boot up successfully after I uninstalled Avast!  :-X
Title: Re: Windows 2000 boot looping
Post by: DavidR on November 15, 2008, 03:01:05 PM
Well the 4.8.1282 program update recently released incorporates that fix that Igor mentioned.
Title: Re: Windows 2000 boot looping
Post by: igor on November 17, 2008, 04:38:14 PM
I don't think ellishk97's problem is the same; either he installed the betaversion - and then I doubt it would take him two days to figure out the cause if it started right afterwards, or he sticked with the official versions, and then this particular problem couldn't have manifested.
Title: Re: Windows 2000 boot looping
Post by: ellishk97 on November 18, 2008, 03:46:21 PM
I had installed Avast Home in 2006 and my system was fine until last week. It gets "stuck in a boot - disk check loop" suddently last week! I had tried to remove interface card one by one but it does "reboot-disk_check-reboot" infinitely. At last, the system boot win2k succesfully after Avast was uninstalled.

After I read this topoc, I download Avast Home 4.8.1282 (setupchs.exe  28528296 bytes). But the problem is STILL not solved !  :(
Title: Re: Windows 2000 boot looping
Post by: igor on November 18, 2008, 08:44:03 PM
Are there any corresponding minidump files in WinNT\Minidump folder?
They might tell us where the problem is.
Title: Re: Windows 2000 boot looping
Post by: ellishk97 on November 19, 2008, 03:52:24 PM
Is it safe to attach these files here ?
Do these files contain sensitive personal data ?
Title: Re: Windows 2000 boot looping
Post by: DavidR on November 19, 2008, 04:08:11 PM
No, not because it isn't safe, but because they are likely to be too big.

The file contains the contents of memory, etc. at the time of the crash, but I doubt they would have sensitive data.

You can use the ftp server to upload big files. Upload them to ftp://ftp.avast.com/incoming - Connect to the link and drag the file into the Right pane and drop it, that starts the upload, you don't have read access to this folder. Once you have done that post on the forums that you have uploaded them.

Before you do this make sure that the files have unique names so they can be identified as yours, e.g. ellishk97-filename (where filename is the existing file name, so you are just putting four forum name in front of it).
Title: Re: Windows 2000 boot looping
Post by: igor on November 19, 2008, 04:12:31 PM
Full dumps are big and may possibly contain sensitive data - but the minidumps are quite small (less than 100KB typically) and they hardly contain more than a small piece of code around the crash (i.e. I'd say you can safely attach them here, but you can also upload them to the FTP, of course).
Title: Re: Windows 2000 boot looping
Post by: DavidR on November 19, 2008, 04:41:35 PM
Thanks for the info Igor.
Title: Re: Windows 2000 boot looping
Post by: ellishk97 on November 19, 2008, 05:05:55 PM
To Igor and DavidR:

I have uploaded a minidump to ftp. Please take a look.
It is got after v4.8.1290 installed.
Title: Re: Windows 2000 boot looping
Post by: ellishk97 on November 21, 2008, 04:27:09 PM
 ??? ??? :-[
Title: Re: Windows 2000 boot looping
Post by: DavidR on November 21, 2008, 04:48:45 PM
I don't work for Alwil, just an avast user like yourself, so I don't have access to the ftp site.

Nor do I have the tools or experience to analyse the dump files. So we will have to wait for some input from Igor.
Title: Re: Windows 2000 boot looping
Post by: Vlk on November 21, 2008, 07:19:16 PM
It seems to be somehow related to the USB controlller. Either it's toast, or maybe there's some strange device attached to it (?)

Anyway, I could find any connection with avast whatsoever... :-\
Title: Re: Windows 2000 boot looping
Post by: ellishk97 on December 11, 2008, 08:10:19 AM
I was my fault to not uninstall avast. :-X
Title: Re: Windows 2000 boot looping
Post by: bankvip on December 11, 2008, 08:18:15 AM
ellishk97´╝îHello to ask you the question that we are all Chinese people
Title: Re: Windows 2000 boot looping
Post by: bankvip on December 11, 2008, 08:22:54 AM
I was my fault to not uninstall avast. :-X

and my email :seeu#msn.cn (#=@)  thx