February 17th, 2003, 14:46 PM
IE 6 SP1 with NT 4.0 SP 6a freezing
I had been experiencing increasingly frequent, spontaneous, system freezes while browsing. When I encountered some web sites my system would freeze so solidly it won't respond to anything - not mouse, not keyboard, not even the on/off switch on the front of the computer. I had to toggle the on/off switch at the back of the computer to get it to turn off. The only thing that I could notice was that another IE window would be in the process of opening at the time of the freeze.
From web searches and technical forum posts I got clues that I pursued. Here's what I've done:
updated my video card drivers to current (they were 3 years out of date).
downloaded Ad-aware; scanned system and removed data miner cookies
downloaded most recent NAV signature file & did system scan; did supplementary scan with HouseCall
At that stage a number of problems went away. I was able to view all but one of the web sites that induced the systems freeze. The site that is consistently able to induce a systems freeze is www.giga-byte.com . Whenever I click on the Products or Company tab the system freezes while trying to open another IE window. (I'm planning to have a Gigabyte motherboard in my next computer.)
When I first went on that site it said I needed Macromedia Flash player installed. Whenever I've encountered that in the past I've declined, to keep the amount of software on my system down to a minimum (fewer things to go wrong). I gave in and installed the Flash player. Got a confirmation message that 22.214.171.124 was successfully installed.
The only application that I've had open while trying use the Gigabyte site has been Internet Explorer. Because I was using IE 5.5 I thought the problem might be nature's way of telling me to move to IE 6 SP1. I went to the Microsoft site and learned that I would first need to move from Win NT 4.0 SP5 to Win NT 4.0 SP6a, which I did. I updated the new versions of NT and IE with all the available security patches.
The problem persists! I still, consistently, get the dreaded systems freeze on www.giga-byte.com
An (unlikely) clue I came across during my web searches:
In March, 2000 there was a "DOS Device in Path Name," bug in Win 95 & Win 98.
"If a read or write operation is attempted to a path whose name contains multiple DOS device names, it will cause Windows 95 and 98 to attempt to access invalid resources," according to the Microsoft security alert. "In some cases, the effect of this invalid access would be to cause the application that supplied the path to hang up, but the more likely effect is that the machine would present a blue debug screen and crash. For example, a Web page often instructs the computer to access a certain image file to use as the background for the page. If that image file contains DOS file names, Windows could fail attempting to load the page."
I think this is an unlikely clue because I'm using NT and anything similar in NT would surely have been fixed in the security patches I've applied. Nevertheless, the description bears some similarity to my problem.
Another seemingly unrelated clue:
Intermittently I hear my disk drive chugging away when nothing else is going on - just the screen saver. Using Task Manager I caught the activity in flight and noted that FindFast was using up to 32% of the CPU. What would trigger FindFast to activate??!
At this point the good news is that the previous web sites that used to freeze the system don't cause any problems. They show full content, including the pop-under advertising windows. The Gigabyte site is consistent in freezing the system.
The bad news is that I don't have a clue what to try next!
Help will be very much appreciated!
February 17th, 2003, 15:29 PM
Findfast I guess is the predecessor of "indexing" in Windows XP. If you leave that feature on it'll also cause a lot of disk activity. With all your problems, have you considered moving up to Windows 2000?
February 17th, 2003, 15:37 PM
FindFast is installed with Office and is enabled by default,normally on start up.
Go to control panel,double-click the FindFast icon.
In FindFast, click an entry and choose Index, Delete Index. Repeat the process for each of your index listings. After you have deleted all the index listings, choose Index, Close, Stop.
Then delete FindFast from the "startup" folder in the programs menu.
Restart your machine.
Last edited by Reverend; February 17th, 2003 at 15:47 PM.
February 17th, 2003, 18:15 PM
I'm going to Win XP Pro on the computer I'm in the process of getting. Don't think I want to invest in Win 2000 for this one.
What happens if I turn of FindFast? What functionality do I give up?
February 17th, 2003, 18:39 PM
Here's an overview of FindFast