Free PC Support
PC Help Forums from the Experts at Technical-Assistance.co.uk
 
Google
 
Search The Web Search This Site
 RSS FeedRSS Feed   FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister   ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

Awkward problem restarting laptop due to 'infinite loop'

 
Reply to topic    Free PC Support Forum Home -> Helproom
Author Message
mshower1ng



Joined: 10 Apr 2009
Posts: 14

PostPosted: Fri Apr 10, 2009 5:08 pm    Post subject: Awkward problem restarting laptop due to 'infinite loop' Reply with quote

Just under a week ago I bought a 2nd-hand Acer Aspire 1300 laptop, pre-loaded with Windows XP Home and MS Office, which had been advertised on Gumtree.com - the bloke selling it works in IT and has just started building his own computer; I on the other hand am only very basically IT literate. He told me the battery was past its shelf life so the machine would have to run on AC power, but this wasn't a problem as I couldn't see myself needing to use the machine 'on the road.'

Within a week, however, a rather awkward problem materialised: if I shut the computer down and later switched it back on, it refused to start up again; that is, it would initialise, say it was loading but then stop short of opening Windows, and the screen would go blank; after leaving it for a minute & doing Ctrl+Alt+Del a few times I would turn the machine off, leave it for 10secs then turn it on again, and now I was offered the choice between starting Windows normally or in Safe mode - I chose the former, and it would load up & allow me to use my software, surf the web etc. without trouble; and if I put the machine on standby, I could get back into Windows with no grief.

I initially wondered if this might be something to do with the dead battery: I had kept it in the machine, and the power source icon would occasionally change from "Charging, 0%" to "AC power"; and wondered if the battery's presence was somehow confusing the machine - forgive my schoolboy terminology since, like I said, I am only very basically IT literate. So I took the battery out, but to no avail; and this time, rather than just press Ctrl+Alt+Del then switch off & on again, I left it a bit longer and finally a message came up, to the effect that:

* Windows had to shut down to prevent damage to the computer
* The device driver got stuck in an infinite loop
* The problem was caused by file s3gnb

Once I'd got back into Windows, I searched My Computer for s3gnb and it came up with about 20 files - some followed by .dll with coloured icons and some by .sys with 'unknown' icons, and some called s3gNB or s3gNBm. I scanned all of these files using Spybot Search & Destroy and AVG Anti-Virus Free, but no infections or malware were detected.

I've spoken to the guy who sold me the machine, and he says it could be a virus which has infected the machine since it changed hands - in which case both Windows XP Home and MS Office would need to be reinstalled, a long & possibly costly process. I can't for the life of me see how this could've happened though, since I haven't downloaded any new software and had never had any problems with the USB from which I copied over a number of files. After doing a bit of research he called me back and drew my attention to a page of another forum whereby somebody was having what could be a similar problem, and the solution seemed to be downloading the newest version of s3gn, but I'm loathe to try anything unless I can get to the heart of the problem, which I have thus far failed to do. Even if a virus can be ruled out, I'm stuck with not being able to shut the machine down for fear that the problem could cause serious damage, thereby having to keep the thing on standby whenever I'm not using it.

Anyone got any ideas?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Cat-tranz



Joined: 10 Apr 2009
Posts: 195
Location: England UK

PostPosted: Fri Apr 10, 2009 5:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi mshower1ng

First if you can get in to Safe Mode (tapping F8 at Boot) try a system restore, any problems please post back Smile

further info > s3gnb is located at > c:\windows\system32\driverstore\filerepository\ps5333nu.inf_e0d01920\s3gnb.dll < , lets get your OS running first then we can look at any other problems your Laptop may have.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
mshower1ng



Joined: 10 Apr 2009
Posts: 14

PostPosted: Fri Apr 10, 2009 5:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi CatTranz. I followed your initial advice and got the following results:

* Was able to restart in Safe mode by pressing F8 at boot
* Just before Windows finished loading, it asked me to confirm if I wanted to run in Safe mode, saying something along the lines of "To run System Restore instead, click 'No' to Safe mode."
* Since you'd suggested System Restore, I cliked 'No' and the following message came up which I copied: "System Restore has been turned off and cannot be turned on in Safe Mode. To turn on System Restore, restart in Normal mode and then run System Restore again."
* I restarted without telling it to go into Safe mode, and windows loaded without trouble.

Does this mean the problem should be fixed, in which case I need to shut down and then switch back on shortly afterwards just to be sure, or do I still need to run System Restore - if so how?

Cheers,

Matt
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Cat-tranz



Joined: 10 Apr 2009
Posts: 195
Location: England UK

PostPosted: Fri Apr 10, 2009 5:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would turn on system restore > Click Start, right-click My Computer, and then click Properties. In the System Properties dialogue box, click the System Restore tab. and tick turn on system restore on all drives.

Now you need to make a restore point > Click Start . Programs . Accessories > System Tools . System Restore > Click create a restore point, type something like Restore point 1 . Click create

If your Laptop is running OK i would leave well alone but i would suggest looking at some Backup Software (you can PM me on this if you like)

Cindy
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
mshower1ng



Joined: 10 Apr 2009
Posts: 14

PostPosted: Fri Apr 10, 2009 6:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry Cindy, I'm afraid you've confused me a little. First you say I should run System Restore, and explain how to do that, but then you say if laptop is running OK I should leave well alone. Should I or should I not try System Restore now? Ultimately, the only way I'm going to know if the problem's fixed is if I shut the machine down then turn it on again, and see if Windows opens.

Cheers,

Matt
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Cat-tranz



Joined: 10 Apr 2009
Posts: 195
Location: England UK

PostPosted: Fri Apr 10, 2009 6:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry i mean if your Laptop is running OK now you wont need to restore to an earlier date (yes do reboot and see if all is well) if it is then make a restore point honey - turn on system restore after reboot.

Cindy
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
mshower1ng



Joined: 10 Apr 2009
Posts: 14

PostPosted: Sat Apr 11, 2009 9:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi again Cindy

I appeared to have the problem fixed, but some people in another forum said that in order to prevent it happening again I should reinstall or update my video driver. They gave me this link,

http://www.s3graphics.com/en/resources/drivers/index.jsp

and said that if I could establish what driver I've currently got then it'd be clear how to proceed. What I've got is S3 Graphics Twister K, but alas that did not make anything clear: there appears to be a list of drivers available for download, I've no idea which one I should go for; and I've tried reinstalling the current driver via Device Manager, but was told that Windows couldn't find anything better than what I've already got.

Then, just to make matters worse, the original problem rematerialised - having to take the 'scenic route' into Windows. Some guy in the other forum accused me of not making the effort - after I spent all of yesterday trying to fix the problem!

You or anyone else got any thoughts? I've done a system restore, but it would seem that unless I can nail this problem with the video driver then I'm not going to get anywhere.

Cheers,

Matt
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Cat-tranz



Joined: 10 Apr 2009
Posts: 195
Location: England UK

PostPosted: Sat Apr 11, 2009 2:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Matt

The easy way to match your driver with the driver at S3 Graphics is first look at your driver version (see fig 1) then click on each driver in S3 Graphics list and match the version number (see fig 2), i would advise that you go to your video cards web site and look for the procedure for installing the driver as many need to be installed as manufactures instructions.

As for the Ape @ the other forum just don't bother going there again, I'm a Super Mod at a Computer Tech Forum and that guy at my forum would be in for a very to the point PM from me.

Fig 1



Fig 2



Cindy
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
mshower1ng



Joined: 10 Apr 2009
Posts: 14

PostPosted: Sun Apr 12, 2009 8:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi again

I actually tried responding to your latest message twice yesterday evening, but each time my wireless connection cut out just before I clicked 'Submit'!

Thankfully, the main problem with the computer appears well and truly sorted: I was able to sort out the video driver with help from my housemate, and have since been able to shut the machine down, leaving it off first for an hour and then overnight, switch it back on and get taken straight into Windows.

One very minor annoyance, however, remains: the clock keeps reverting to 01 January 2000, almost vaguely reminiscent of the fabled Millennium Bug! This only seems to happen when I shut down, not when I restart, and obviously it's nothing compared to the original problem; but it would still be nice not to have to adjust the clock every time I switch on! I've updated the synchronization with time.windows.com and left it to automatically synch up every week, but I'm not sure if that'll be effective. Any thoughts?

Cheers

Matt
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Cat-tranz



Joined: 10 Apr 2009
Posts: 195
Location: England UK

PostPosted: Sun Apr 12, 2009 4:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The only thing that springs to mind is if maybe the CMOS battery on the motherboard is going flat, does this also happen in Safe Mode ?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
mshower1ng



Joined: 10 Apr 2009
Posts: 14

PostPosted: Tue Apr 14, 2009 9:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi again Cindy

I decided to leave it for a few days in order to catch up on the work that was delayed by the original problem. Now I've had a little play around with the time issue:

* Still reverting to 01 Jan 00 if shut down but not if restarted
* Did not revert when shut down then switched on in Safe mode
* Did not revert when restarting in Normal mode after that

Does this confirm your suspiction about the CMOS battery?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Steve



Joined: 07 Feb 2006
Posts: 184
Location: Bangalore, India

PostPosted: Wed Apr 15, 2009 4:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It sounds to me like the CMOS battery needs replacing. This could also maybe the cause of the problem at the beginning of this thread as if the battery is flat the CMOS settings may not be correct and this can give all sorts of probs.

I would look at replacing the CMOS battery and taking it from there.
Mr. Green
_________________
My Photo Gallery
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Display posts from previous:   
Reply to topic    Free PC Support Forum Home -> Helproom All times are GMT
Page 1 of 1

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum

 



Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group

2005 - 2017 All Rights Reserved www.technical-assistance.co.uk
Terms and Conditions