Category: Windows Vista


Recently I had someone call me up and asked if I could help her install Vista Service Pack 1. She explained that the normal way of using Windows Update did not work. I was trying to be helpful, so I suggested she try the standalone installer. She did and it didn’t work. But there were two problems. The failure of the standalone installer left the computer unable to get back into Windows. That wasn’t the biggest problem.

The biggest problem was Dell, in their infinite stupidity, decided it was not a good idea to installer the standard Vista recovery console. The problem is fixable with the Vista DVD. But why didn’t Dell give the computer a way to repair automatically like Vista allows?

Anyway, this person called me late Friday, I couldn’t get to her until Monday. In the meantime, she called Dell. Big mistake. All over-the-phone tech support people know how to do is read down a list. The problem was with Vista and its quirk and with Dell and their stupidity at the time. But, in my experience with tech supports, if their list doesn’t know how to fix the problem, it must be your fault or someone else’s fault. A common trait in too many businesses now.

Dell put the blame on me. I have the Vista DVD. I could have fixed the problem. Granted, it will take a very long time, but it is fixable. Dell made out like it wasn’t fixable. A lie or an act of ignorance. Either way, this person bought a new computer from Dell and then fussed me out.

Okay, now that the story is over, here is the lesson. If a Service Pack does not install with Windows Update, do not use the standalone installer. Instead, do an in-place upgrade first. An in-place upgrade is Microsoft way of saying a repair installation where Windows is rebuilt from scratch. The process works like you are upgrading Windows. In other words, in this instance you are upgrading Vista to Vista. The in-place upgrade must be for the same version and service pack of Windows. You cannot use an in-place upgrade to go Vista SP1 to Vista SP2. After the in-place upgrade finishes, then you can install the service packs.

Another lesson, don’t ever give advice on what to do with Windows Vista over the phone.

So here is a problem I encountered. A computer would not connect to the internet. The first thing I do is, of course, run the ipconfig command. This showed that it wasn’t getting an IP address from the router. So I tried to open the command prompt as an administrator, but all I got was a message saying “The specified service does not exist as an installed service” along with something else below it related to the action I was trying to perform. Whenever I tried to run anything as an administrator, I got this same message: “The specified service does not exist as an installed service“. Continue reading

Recently I encountered a computer that would not let me turn on the file and printer sharing in Vista. When attempting to turn on printer sharing, there was a message. Everytime I tried, I was giving a message that said something I can no longer remember. If I do, I will update this post.

Through a little work, I discovered that the Base Filtering Engine service was deleted. This was done by malware. The fix was easy enough. I just followed the instructions at the link below. It has registry files to repair the BFE service for Vista and Windows 7.

http://www.hageltech.com/blog/2012/02/07/base-filtering-engine-problems.html

This would be a good place to also provide two other commands that can fix network problems. Both must be run as an Administrator.

  • netsh int ip reset resetlog.log
  • netsh winsock reset

Also be sure to use Kaspersky’s TDSSKiller because if BFE is missing, chances are good the computer has a rootkit or an infected MBR.

 

A Windows Vista laptop is currently not booting. System Restore did not work. The customer said the blue screen of death appeared but I never saw it. The system file checker in the recovery console did not work, even though it said it found corrupt files but was unable to fix them. I tried chkdsk and bootrec /fixboot and bootrec /fixmbr from the recovery console already on the computer. When I was attempting to boot in safe mode, the boot process stops after loading hal.dll.

Because bootrec did not work and because safe mode stopped after hal.dll, I thought it was a virus infecting one of the Windows files. That is why I ran the system file checker. So I decided to scan the hard drive for viruses.

I pulled the hard drive and scanned with Eset on my computer. Eset discovered a boot sector rootkit and several other rootkit files on the computer, but didn’t clean any of them. (If I copied some of the files to my hard drive, Eset removed the file of my hard drive. Eset tends to be better for keeping things off rather than getting things off.) I found this interesting because I ran bootrec already which should have cleared and recreated the Master Boot Record and boot sector. Since Eset didn’t clean the boot sector, I ran Kaspersky’s TDSSKiller and that cleaned the boot sector.

I didn’t try to run the bootrec or bootsect commands from the Windows 7 disc. I wonder if these new rootkits alter the built-in recovery console so that the bootrec command does not clear the boot sector rootkit. From now on, if I suspect there is a rootkit I will boot using the Windows DVD and then try to fix the boot sector.

These are malware types Eset identified: (Eset tends to use their own name and not an industry standard name.)

  • Kryptik.AGVE trojan
  • Kryptik.AHVU trojan
  • Olmarik.AXY trojan – This is Eset’s name for the TDSS rootkit