Bizarre PC Behavior at first Bootup Today

My pc specs are in my signature. For the record, I’ve been running the free Avast5 antivirus alongside CIS on a brand new Win7x64 machine since AV5’s first release. Have had absolutely none of the problems many experienced with the new version of Avast5. Both CIS and Avast5 have been running like clockwork.

But when I turned on the pc this morning, Windows began to load, brought up the user logon screen, when I attempted to logon, the cursor just sat there forever and ever spinning and never loaded my user desktop. Had to hard boot the pc off with the power button. Happened exactly the same way a second time, but this time I tried to log on to the admin account, to rule out maybe just my personal user account or section of the registry was corrupt or something. Still no go and had to hard power off the pc. So I then booted into safe mode to run a malware scan with MBAM. Nothing suspicious was found. Did an SFC /scannow and no Win7 system files integrity issues found. So my next thought, try System Restore while still in Safe Mode. Restored back back a week, but this fixed nothing, other than it DID let me boot into Normal Mode just long enough for me just long enough to discover the Start button and all things on the start menu would not respond to mouse clicking. Odd thing is other desktop icons responded, but those pinned to my taskbar would not respond. Then the system would freeze up again. Avast5 was now reporting it was off/unsecured. Have since learned System Restore is messing up some Avast5 setup folder files, according to Avast forums, leading to an unacceptable file inconsistency within the program. So System Restoing made whatever my problem was even WORSE! all this had me totally baffled.

Next reboot into Normal Mode brought up just a black screen, again causing me to have to power off the pc. I KNOW this is NOT good for the operating system! So then I tried booting into Safe Mode and Last Known Good Configuration did not help. In desperation, I rebooted to Safe Mode to attempt a “Repair your system”, selected Startup Repair. But that, too, found no issues so it did no repair.

By this time, I’m getting pretty frustrated, because while in Normal Mode, Avast now said it was off/unsecured and I could not get the Start menu to respond to mouse clicks, there I could not invoke Services to attempt to turn AvastSvc back on! Unable to turn it on, I couldn’t invoke an Avast Repair either.

Then, all of a sudden, out of the clear blue, several icons I had tried to click moments earlier started opening and their windows flashed repeatedly. All of a sudden the system seemed to be coming back to life and responding to mouse clicks. I immediately (and this time successfully) opened Services and restarted the Avast Service. All appeared OK. My heart was beginning to stop racing. But at this juncture, nearly an hour later, I was honestly afraid to reboot to see if the system was OK or not. But it has rebooted 3-4 times OK since, one attempt resulted in the blank black screen. But next attempt worked fine. Will continue to monitor this.

I have no EARTHLY idea what was going on this morning! But what I do know is that throughout all of this crisis, Comodo (with D+ enabled) said it was running just fine; avast5 said it was not running after my System Restore. Services properties kept saying Avast Service was “starting” (rather than “started”). This odd comment of “Starting” made me realize Avast never quite booted up properly for some reason…not only locked itself up…but locked up Windows as well, and BIG TIME! I tell you, I was about ready to get out my “Return to Out-of-Box (as shipped) HP Repair Disks” to fix this problem, because despite all my feeble efforts, the pc was in fact becoming less and less responsive each attempt I made to restore stability. But as you might expect, I REALLY didn’t want to have to take such drastic measures. Such a pain to reinstall stuff and re-tweak programs. So I’m certainly glad whatever was locked up finally unlocked itself, as nothing I had tried up to that point had worked. Forgot to mention CHKDSK found no issues with my HDD either.

I’m no pc expert, but when security programs ■■■■ heads at boot up, rebooting resolves. But it didn’t this morning, repeatedly. So I’m beginning to think something more serious was conflicting at boot up (Avast and CIS are the only things that boot up on this pc, reallly). The Sandbox feature of Avast (which I had enabled a week or so ago) may somehow be “butted heads” with Comodo’s internal “sandbox” technology at boot up and they both just won’t “back down”! :wink: Wonder if Comodo and Avast5 (which now has a sandbox feature I have enabled in the last week) were effectively trying to sandbox each other! ;D Would make a great cartoon, non? :slight_smile:
I can smile about that notion now, but it sure wasn’t funny this morning.

Who knows! Anyway, in the meantime, I’ve turned off the sandbox feature of Avast5, as I don’t want to EVER go through that stress again. Hopefully that is all that is causing this and turning off Avast’s sandbox will prevent a repeat of this scenario. I like having my pc back. Smiley

But I’d sure appreciate any input/thoughts of what happened to my system today. I’ve posted a similar inquiry on the Avast forum as well.

Hmmmm. Nobody has any thoughts ???

I know when i first installed CAV & rebooted, I pretty much had the same problem…but not as bad as you did.
I found out that the Boot Scan was conflicting with Trojan Removers Boot Scan. Once I turned of CAV’s Boot Scan…everything was fine. After about a week I dropped CAV & re-installed AVG…I still use the Firewall.

I was only testing the AV anyway…it’s been over a year since I tried it last.

I think two sandboxes fighting like cat and dog is a credible hypothesis.

The only way to test it would be to switch the Avast sandbox back on… 88)
Somethings tells me you would righteously deny this as you have been through enough hell as is.

Or may be the Defense + logs, if they are still around after System Restore, could shine a light on this.

CAV doesn’t have a boot scan…

Additionally, there might be a clue in Windows Event Viewer.

Well I just checked Event Viewer and this is weird…this crash occurred the morning of the 17th early in the morning right after breakfast. But there is nothing in the Event Log after 3/16 until 3/17 at 10:30am, when the problem finally resolved itself. And the entries are what I always see at startup. Nothing unusual.

And Eric, I had a senior moment when I posted my original post. I said I enabled my Avast Sandbox a week ago. But what I meant to say I enabled the Comodo Sandbox a week ago. My free version of Avast doesn’t have the sandbox at all. I thought it had some sandbox aspects even in the free version, but it in fact does not. So that shoots my theory right out of the water.

Maybe my pc resides in the Twilight Zone. :slight_smile: The problem hasn’t recurred since the 17th, so I’m just glad the pc is now running OK. My thanks to all who replied with their thoughts. I’m going to assume this was just some fluke on the part of either Windows, Comodo or Avast5 and leave well enough alone.