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1  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Is there a task scheduler fixer on: October 30, 2014, 04:46:46 PM
As I had problems with tasks on my PC, too, here are some questions:

  • Can you see any tasks in Control Panel > Scheduled Tasks?
  • If not, do all the tasks disappear for good, or do they re-appear after restart?
  • Do you have access to the %SystemRoot%\Tasks folder, or the system refuses access?
  • What does display the command "schtasks /query", run from the command line?
  • And finally, don't you have Bitdefender Free Edition installed? — That was the culprit in my case.

(I'm using WinXP, so some locations or names might be different.)
2  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Ad Muncher 5 will be free on: October 28, 2014, 03:08:52 PM
I have to admit that I never tried Ad Muncher before, because of the price and because I was afraid that I might like it. — True. I do.

So far I'm amazed with the amount of garbage this app is capable to block. Also, I've never realized before how much the AdBlock plugin slows down the browser.
3  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: "Delayed Write Failed" — on FIVE computers at a time? on: October 15, 2014, 02:37:43 AM
Thanks, nice find!

Well, this just confirms what I suspected. So the culprit was really Bitdefender Free. Good to know and avoid.
4  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: "Delayed Write Failed" — on FIVE computers at a time? on: October 13, 2014, 12:23:32 PM
Well, in fact, besides the OS itself, and TeamViewer, which I consider completely innocent in this regard, the Bitdefender was the only similarity between the machines, which suddenly started to exhibit almost identical symptoms. So it should have been evident from the beginning. I just hesitated too long...

But I can tell you, installing and then properly removing different AV products is a real challenge, especially time-wise. But that would deserve a stand-alone thread.
5  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: "Delayed Write Failed" — on FIVE computers at a time? on: October 13, 2014, 06:06:27 AM
I'm back again, still alive, and my computers, too. It was not a discourtesy, I just wanted to test everything thoroughly before posting, and it all takes so much time...

So, my first step was a workaround: I automatically restart all the computers automatically overnight. This solved a lot of problems, but not all and I'm aware that it is not a solution. However, rebooting Windows machines often proved to be generally a good idea.

Now, I'm almost 100 % sure that the culprit was the Bitdefender Free Edition. I experimented with some other AV solution, and ended-up at AVG Free. To make it short, since I replaced Bitdefender with AVG, the following symptoms never appeared again:

  • Delayed write fail error
  • Disconnecting USB and network cards
  • Occasional blocked access to Scheduled Tasks
  • Repeatedly erased cookies
  • Random crashes of browser (using Opera 12)

This all now stopped appearing. I left the automatic rebooting in effect, just to be sure. So, I'm not sure I really found the culprit, but I suspect that I did. So far, so good, and thanks to you all for your support.
6  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: "Delayed Write Failed" — on FIVE computers at a time? on: September 09, 2014, 10:39:52 AM
Czech Republic. Cursing someone is quite rare here nowadays. But one never knows.  Wink
7  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: "Delayed Write Failed" — on FIVE computers at a time? on: September 09, 2014, 07:08:09 AM
Unfortunately no. It died overnight, even without being switched off. Nor the POST message is shown now. Just the dead display. External monitor or TeamViewer work fine.
8  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: "Delayed Write Failed" — on FIVE computers at a time? on: September 09, 2014, 05:54:11 AM
Thanks to all.

Let me summarize in brief:

I suppose that any hardware cause is off now. Temperatures are okay, cable replaced, the disks repeatedly tested on other machines, some replaced too (with a cloned contents).

As I mentioned LogMeIn, please forget it. I meant TeamViewer, sorry, I mixed the two.

And as for the PerfDisk warning: it appeared only on one machine. On others there were different problems reported, like unreachable paging file, and so on.

As for the HD Sentinel, I don't have anything like this in all the registry.

Now, some news: On one PC I replaced the Bitdefender with a trial version of Malwarebytes. The behavior changed dramatically: now it doesn't report anything, just crashes to hard reboot. The reboot always fails, as no HD is found, even in BIOS. Reset doesn't help, after switching off the power and restarting the system starts normally. Other change is that it now happens every couple of minutes regardless of being idle or not.

So, my question is: Could there be a virus so powerful that would be capable to disable the disk controller? I still think of some software collisions, but...

I could be cursed as well. Believe it or not, but since yesterday the only working machine in the house (notebook with Vista), shows just a pitch black screen. It's working normally, I can reach it using the TeamViewer, just its display died. Funny.
9  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: "Delayed Write Failed" — on FIVE computers at a time? on: September 08, 2014, 05:54:48 AM
Well, thanks for your support. Of course, I've ran chkdsk /f many times. The disks were verified also by DRevitalize. After the crash, some minor errors usually appear, but otherwise the disks are in an excellent shape.

So far I tried disabling the automatic system updates, but to no avail. The machine crashed the same way. So this is out of the game now.

I also tried to replace Bitdefender with a trial version of Malwarebytes, but it crashed again, despite a different way — it performed a reboot. This all takes so much time... I will continue anyway.

Besides, I just realized another similarity in all the involved system: they all use LogMeIn. Bit I suspect this could be a culprit.
10  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: "Delayed Write Failed" — on FIVE computers at a time? on: September 07, 2014, 12:41:36 AM
I've already read this article.

ATI video was one of my first culprit tips, as it always causes so many weird problems. But I have it fortunately only on one the computers.

LargeSystemCache is set to 0 on all systems.

I was also thinking about external HD connected using USB, but again, I have it only on one machine, so this is also a dead end. I'm at my wit's end.
11  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: "Delayed Write Failed" — on FIVE computers at a time? on: September 06, 2014, 03:45:12 PM
@IainB:
I just can't believe that exactly the same error would appear on seven disks in the span of two or three weeks. I replaced two of them, one is brand new. Exactly the same behavior. All the disks were throughly tortured on another machines. No errors, top performance. This must be something in software, I swear. As for the power, all the machines have UPS, and none of them reported any failures recently.

@MilesAhead:
This was one the first things I verified, despite I'd never use the sleep feature on any device, let alone on WinXP. None of the disks or network cards is set this way. (I even don't use any screen saver.)

Thanks anyway!
12  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: "Delayed Write Failed" — on FIVE computers at a time? on: September 06, 2014, 06:51:26 AM
Thanks for your reply.

Of course I looked already into the event viewer. The only suspect messages I found there, related to HD, were repeated warnings from PerfDisk: Unable to read the disk performance information from the system (Event ID: 2001). After a series of these follow assorted crashes of random apps and disk-related errors.

These errors occur solely after some hours of inactivity. So far they never appeared while working on the machines. Even the machine left idle for a couple of days doesn't crash every night, though. So far I was unable to track down any pattern.

As this happened just recently, and as the symptoms are always the same (I mean the same files, disabling USB and network inteface), I don't believe it is hardware related. On one of the affected PC I replaced successively motherboard, power supply, cables, RAM, and finally the hard disk. So, just the CPU remained, but the results are the same. Hard to believe that CPU causes this, and on other machines almost simultaneously, too.

As for the system settings, I've experimented with tweaking things like LargeSystemCache values, as suggested throughout some forums, but without any change whatsoever.

Well, this is going to take some time. At the moment I'm experimenting with disabling automatic updates. So far, so good, but it's too early. Next, the substitution of the antivirus will follow. I'll post the result after a few days of experimenting here.

Would be grateful for any idea.
13  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / "Delayed Write Failed" — on FIVE computers at a time? on: September 05, 2014, 12:40:38 AM
After a while I'm here again, this time with an urgent plea for help. On some of my computers and on my friends', too, began appearing the following problem these days:

After a long period of idle (usually overnight) the system crashes with several error messages "Delayed write failed..." The files involved are usually $Mft and C:\Windows\system32\config, but random others as well.

In this situation always stop working USB and the network card. Sometimes there's possible to perform a standard restart, sometimes a hard reset is necessary. The disk can be repaired using chkdsk with relatively no harm.

The computers are quite different, hardware-wise and software-wise, one of them even has an SSD. Needless to say the disks are in a perfect state, I even replaced two of them, but to no avail. This happened last night on three computers again. Some are in the same LAN, one is completely away.

I am now pretty sure it is not a hardware failure. As for the software, the only common things are that they all use Windows XP SP3 (but different language versions), and they all use BitDefender Free Edition. There are no others substantial similarities.

I spent a lot of time reading different forums, but the only outcome of this was that I'm not alone. No solution whatsoever, though. I read about some virus, but could that be true? I used MalwareBytes and Kaspersky's TDSSkiller for additional scanning, but they found nothing. I also heard rumors that MS put something in theirs latest updates to force XP users to upgrade, but I'm very skeptic regarding such conspiracy theories.

Anyone? This forum is my last resort. Please...
14  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Everything Search Engine: tips, tricks, ideas and code for poweruse on: August 12, 2014, 08:25:21 AM
@Nod5:

Flexible Renamer is capable to use IPTC tags and place them in filenames.
15  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Filter and order folders by the date of original creation time on: July 17, 2014, 03:44:04 AM
You're right, I concentrated on the expression "to obtain a list". If this should be interactive, then the command line is of no use. However, adding "/s" would list the subdirectories.
16  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Filter and order folders by the date of original creation time on: July 17, 2014, 02:20:44 AM
Wouldn't this suffice?

[copy or print]
dir /od /t:c /ad

You can add any wildcards you like.
17  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: 4 (Maybe more) Absolute top go-to programs on: May 05, 2014, 08:02:18 AM
Almost can't live without these (in the following order):

ZTreeWin — file manager
HotkeyP — keyboard shortcuts
Ditto — clipboard manager
Everything — finding files

To feel better I also need (but not that urgently):
Dropbox
Evernote
18  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Google Chrome + DoCo on: March 10, 2013, 01:29:03 PM
Confirmed here, appears "randomly" on most posts, but only when the page zoom is different from 100 %. Must be a Chrome bug. Opera works fine.
19  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Everything is back -- with 1.3 beta on: January 06, 2013, 05:28:48 AM
Thanks for the heads-up, too! Today there's a new version.

I appreciate especially the new "match diacritics" feature, and indication of active search options on the status bar. Great tool as always!
20  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Ten-Story Building In 48 Hours on: December 03, 2012, 12:43:18 PM
This is not new, only slower.

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ujRE2IkEIo" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ujRE2IkEIo</a>

Sorry, I couldn't resist.
21  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Keyboard shortcut of the day on: November 26, 2012, 12:49:23 PM
I'm always amazed that so few people know these:

- Ctrl-Shift-Esc to launch Task Manager
- Win-Break to open System Properties
and much more Win related shortcuts,

and (not really a keyboard shortcut, though)
- double-click on titlebar to maximize/restore an app
22  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Best Anti-spyware. on: November 19, 2012, 02:17:16 AM
Any experiences here with the new Ad-Aware 10? It comes now with the anti-virus. Using it on one of my machines for a couple of weeks and so far so good, except one false positive (StartClock, by the way). At least my PC is more responsive after I got rid of MSSE.
23  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: SkyDrive: Apple iCloud : Google Drive: Dropbox - comparison (FREE versions) on: November 06, 2012, 06:19:39 AM
  • Dropbox offers a "Packrat" unlimited undo history for $39 pa.

Just a small addendum: Dropbox also has undo history for free, but only for last 30 days. Details are here.
24  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Go dark for IE - October 26, 2012 on: August 21, 2012, 12:51:02 PM
I was thinking more about all the poor public schools—at least in our country—that can’t afford anything new and are desperately grateful for some rich bank donating them a couple of PCs freshly recovered from a trash bin. So they are condemned to WinXP, thus IE8, as usually there’s no one capable or willing to install something more “civilized” on all the school machines.

Well, s**t happens on that day, just hundreds of upset children.

In the end, it might be a good lesson for the pupils. At least they would see for themselves that Internet is the same as the real society—full of hatred, bigots, and freaks of all kind. Definitely not the intended outcome, but if that helps them to get more careful in cyberspace, then well done.
25  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Ripping My DVD Collection on: July 29, 2012, 01:17:48 AM
If you want a plain copy (not ISO, just the plain file structure) and without any recoding/transcoding, you can use the good old DVD Shrink. It removes the encryption and UOP as well. Re-authoring is also possible (extracting just the main movie).
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