Win7 explorer freezing and weird behavior, as well as other issues

apav

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Hello everyone,

These problems started happening maybe several months ago. I don't really use this laptop that often, so I have no idea what could of caused this. I'm running Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit. Here are a list of the problems that are occuring.


1. If I press computer in the start menu, it “freezes.” It continually searches for drives but the blue wheel keeps spinning and nothing shows up even after 10 minutes. So far I've only noticed this with Computer, I can just press Documents from the start menu, and it instantly loads, and then click on the drive and go to where I want to go.

2. Sometimes a window will freeze for no reason. If I right click a file or folder in that window, it will always freeze that window. I have tried to right click a folder in 5 separate windows and it froze every one of them. Doesn't matter where the file location is, it can happen to any window. By freeze I mean the same spinning blue wheel, and the window cannot be moved or won’t respond ever again (I've left the window for hours and it never unfreezes).The only way to fix this is to end explorer.exe in the task manager and restart it, but that doesn't prevent it from happening again.

3. Some icons like text documents will look like a blank page with its upper right corner folded. Resetting the icon cache fixed this. On my desktop, currently my text documents and VLC player are missing their normal icons, replaced by this blank page.

4. In the column in the far left of the explorer window (the one that lists your library, and your drives), when I right click one of the libraries (like Documents or Pictures) the window will freeze. If I right click one of my drives (like C: ), the right click menu will come up, but when I click properties, the properties window won't come up ever.

5. Probably unrelated, but I just wanted to post this anyway. I'm also having an issue with Chrome. If I open a new Chrome window or a new tab and search something in the omnibox, sometimes the tab will never load. It’s just not that website. Anything I type into the particular tab will not load. Some tabs will load, others will not load (the circle in the tab will keep spinning and the page will be forever blank). So for instance, if I open 3 tabs and make them all go to the same site (for instance youtube.com) usually one of them will not load YouTube while the other load the site right away. If I go to the tab that isn't load YouTube, and type another site or search in the omnibox, it won't load that either. I know this isn’t an issue with my network because the same thing happens sometimes if I try to open settings or extensions in a new tab (which doesn't require internet to open). I’ve uninstalled and reinstalled Chrome twice and the issue persists.


Thanks for the help!
 

dgingeri

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First off, look at the Windows Event Log. (Right click the Computer icon or entry in the start menu, select "Manage." Click the triangle next to Event Viewer in the left pane, then the same for Windows Logs, Select System.) Look to see if there are hard drive or network errors in the system log. Those will be your two main suspects. If those are not present, look for anything else that shows up repeatedly with either a red or yellow icon next to it.
 

apav

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Checked Event Viewer and found a few under System and Application:

Level: Source: Description

Error: Application error: Faulting application name: DllHost.exe, version: 6.1.7600.16385, time stamp: 0x4a5bc6b7
Faulting module name: RPCRT4.dll, version: 6.1.7601.18205, time stamp: 0x51db9710
Exception code: 0xc0020043
Fault offset: 0x0005cf69
Faulting process id: 0x1fa0
Faulting application start time: 0x01cf0b27b1a53987
Faulting application path: C:\Windows\SysWOW64\DllHost.exe
Faulting module path: C:\Windows\syswow64\RPCRT4.dll
Report Id: f08835bb-771a-11e3-a4ff-b888e370089f

Error: volsnap: The shadow copies of volume C: were aborted because the shadow copy storage could not grow due to a user imposed limit.

Error: disk: The driver detected a controller error on \Device\Harddisk3\DR4. Repeats 5 times in event viewer.

Warning: Disk: An error was detected on device \Device\Harddisk3\DR6 during a paging operation. Repeats 30+ times in event viewer.

Warning: Ntfs: The system failed to flush data to the transaction log. Corruption may occur. Repeats twice in event viewer.

Warning: Gatherer: The content source <csc://{S-1-5-21-4101250725-296594027-3050616062-1000}/> cannot be accessed. Context: Application, SystemIndex Catalog Details: The object was not found. (HRESULT : 0x80041201) (0x80041201). Repeats twice in event viewer.

Don't know what the drive errors are about. I have a Crucial m4 mSATA as my OS drive, a 2nd OCZ Vertex 4 SSD and a 750GB WD Scorpio Black drive. I don't know what the first error means, I don't have any shadow copies. I was going to start up HDTune Pro to check for any errors on my HDD disk and check its health, but when I open the program it tells me "No disks found." Very strange.
 

dgingeri

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oooo... a controller error. Sounds like a bad motherboard. I hope it's still under warranty. If so, contact their support immediately, If not, save your data as soon as you can and start looking for a replacement.
 

apav

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It's a Lenovo Y580 laptop, that I bought in 2012. My warranty is most likely finished. What are my options then? =/

From seeing this are you absolutely sure it's a bad motherboard and not a Windows installation error or a hard disk error?

EDIT:
I went to Disk management and noticed that I don't have a Disk 3. C: is Disk 0, and Disks 1 and 2 are my Vertex 4 and WD Scorpio drives. Then I rememberd I plugged in my external to a usb 3.0 port today. I just plugged it in, and it shows up as disk 3.

If that's the case, then it's a USB controller error? Don't see how an external hard drive error could be affecting Windows Explorer.

Also, a new warning came up in the event viewer, I posted it in my post above with the other errors.

Also, please look back at my post above your last one. There are two new events I found that are worth a look. Thanks!
 

apav

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Well, it seems too good to be true, but so far without the external HDD plugged in windows explorer hasnt been freezing, I can open My Computer, I can right click things, even HDTunePro opens. But these problems are intermittent, so they might start happening again.

But for now I guess it's safe to assume that the USB controller is causing this. How can that controller mess up windows explorer? And is there any way to fix it? Is the error in the drivers, or does this sound more like a hardware issue?
 

dgingeri

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That's definitely a hardware problem. Windows goes out and checks all the attached drives, including any network drives, when doing the things you list in your first post here. So, and problems with any drives will cause all the problems you list. In 17 years of doing professional support, I've only seen this behavior from a bad drive or controller. You may be able to pull the drive out of the enclosure and access it directly with SATA, if it is the right type of drive.
 

apav

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First off, thank you for getting this far with me.

Well, unfortunately I have to report that I haven't had my external drive plugged in since yesterday, and I've been using my computer today without it. Just now though, explorer froze again when I clicked Computer (just the wheel spinning and not listing the drives). Also right click is freezing again. The only drive error that was recorded in the event viewer was for my external drive. But it isn't even plugged in and I'm still having issues with explorer. So I don't think that it's a faulty drive controller that's causing this anymore.

The only two errors I got today were:

The server {995C996E-D918-4A8C-A302-45719A6F4EA7} did not register with DCOM within the required timeout.

and this warning:

The content source <csc://{S-1-5-21-4101250725-296594027-3050616062-1000}/> cannot be accessed.

Context: Application, SystemIndex Catalog

Details:
The object was not found. (HRESULT : 0x80041201) (0x80041201)

A restart will temporarily fix this issue with explorer, but I still don't know what is causing it. The only drive error that was recorded in the event viewer was for my external drive. So I don't think that it's a faulty drive controller that's causing this anymore. So, this is possibly related. Someone told me to look at the Raw Read Error Rate and the Ultra DMA CRC Error Rate on my drives. My mSATA and my HDD all report raw values of 000000000000, but my Vertex 4 SSD reports this:



Don't know what that 000000000006 means for a drives Raw Read Error Rate. Also, the Vertex 4 is missing a lot of readings and even it's temperature compared to another one of my drives:



I know that it doesn't have a sensor so that's why it can't read temps, but not sure why it has so little readings too. Despite what it says, I have never run into a problem with my Vertex 4. I have games and some non-vital programs on the drive, and I haven't ever had the slightest hiccup.

Now that our first guess has been proven false, I'm not really sure where to go with this. Any ideas? Thanks again for all the help.
 

dgingeri

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Yeah, I have several OCZ Vertex drives, and they all have much of the SMART data missing. That's just and OCZ thing. Seagate is similar. That isn't your problem. The raw read error rate is reported differently for each manufacturer. A raw read error could still be the result of a controller error. The SMART data is interpreted differently by each manufacturer. They usually have programs that can interpret this.

Try this and see what kind of result you get: run command prompt as administrator. at the command prompt type the command "chkdsk c: /r" and hit return. It will say something about the dick being in use and ask if you want to schedule it for the next reboot. Say yes, and then reboot the machine. It will take a while to complete, depending on the size and speed of the drive. If your mSATA drive is your C: drive, then it will probably only take about 15-20 minutes. Try this with each drive letter one at a time until you have run it on all the drives in the machine.

What this does is scan the drive for any sectors that are hard to read. You will need to see the report at the end to find out how many bad sectors show up. If you miss the report, you can run the command "chkdsk c:" (or whatever drive letter you missed) at the command prompt to just get the report. If you get no bad sectors and still have this problem, it's likely the controller.

There is also a check that can be run on OCZ drives using their toolbox program. http://ocz.com/consumer/download/firmware It can tell you if there is an error on the drive or the controller much more easily than reading the SMART data. The chkdsk will be the most important, though, as it gives the final result that the OS is seeing.

Finally, once all these steps are done, run the command "sfc /scannow" at the run box. (Windows key-r will bring that up easily enough.) That checks all system files and replaces any damaged ones. If any were damaged by unreadable blocks, this will fix them. However, it will not fix the source of the bad sectors or read errors.
 

apav

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I wasn't able to take a picture on my camera right after the chkdsk c: /r ended, but it did say that the volume was clean. I took pictures after every other step go told me to do including chkdsk c:

M4:


Vertex 4:


HDD:


sfc /scannow:


So since all the drives are okay, you definitely think it's a controller error right? But the only controller error reported in Event Viewer was for my USB drive. If my SATA drive controller is having issues, wouldn't that get reported in Event Viewer too?
 

dgingeri

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OK, we go back to the beginning of troubleshooting. Search the event log one item at a time, looking for any warnings or errors at the time of any pauses/hangs. If you can't find anything new, I advise an OS reinstall. It's a pain, but that's about the only way to fix certain problems.
 

apav

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Nothing besides the DCOM, DLLHost.exe and Gatherer ones I posted above:

The server {995C996E-D918-4A8C-A302-45719A6F4EA7} did not register with DCOM within the required timeout.

and

Faulting application name: DllHost.exe, version: 6.1.7600.16385, time stamp: 0x4a5bc6b7
Faulting module name: RPCRT4.dll, version: 6.1.7601.18205, time stamp: 0x51db9710
Exception code: 0xc0020043
Fault offset: 0x0005cf69
Faulting process id: 0x1fa0
Faulting application start time: 0x01cf0b27b1a53987
Faulting application path: C:\Windows\SysWOW64\DllHost.exe
Faulting module path: C:\Windows\syswow64\RPCRT4.dll
Report Id: f08835bb-771a-11e3-a4ff-b888e370089f

and

Warning: Gatherer: The content source <csc://{S-1-5-21-4101250725-296594027-3050616062-1000}/> cannot be accessed. Context: Application, SystemIndex Catalog Details: The object was not found. (HRESULT : 0x80041201) (0x80041201).

The shadow copy one hasn't come back, that was for my C: drive. Wonder what that was about. Yea it's looking like a reinstall is the only way. But if it is a controller error, than the problem should resurface, then we'd know for sure that it's that right? I think this is the third or fourth time I've reinstalled Windows on this laptop over the course of two years. Blue screens, stock HDD with bad sectors, and other unrelated issues.
 

dgingeri

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Shadow copy is just a backup mechanism built into the OS and automatically turned on. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shadow_Copy It's not something to worry about, and has nothing to do with the problem here.

The DCOM problem may be related to the issue. It's not usually a problem unless a system file is damaged. I just realized something as I was typing this up: it could be malware, like adware or bot software, that has damaged your configuration. You might want to try running an anti-malware program, like Windows Defender or Ad-Aware, to scan your system and clean it up. It's a bit of a reach, but it might be it.

It also could be another program that has somehow damaged your config, causing a system component to no longer run correctly. The only way to fix that most of the time is an OS reinstall. However, that is unlikely as well.

I'll try a google search for " The content source <csc://{S-1-5-21-4101250725-296594027-3050616062-1000}/> cannot be accessed." to see if that might be something someone else has run into.
 

dgingeri

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I found this" http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/windows/en-US/a424b496-d135-4cbc-aa76-4293f80ce712/gatherer-error-event-id-3036?forum=w7itproperf

In particular, you may have an error in your indexing database. The procedure to fix this is this:
Based on my research, the issue can be caused by Windows Index feature. Please refer to the following steps to rebuild index database:

1. Click on the Start Button, type "Indexing Options" (without quotation marks) in the Start Search box and press Enter.
2. In the "Index these locations" section, remove all the Internet Explorer History items. Click the "Advanced" button.
3. Click on the "Index Settings" tab.
4. Under Troubleshooting, click the "Rebuild" button.

 

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