Hosed Machine: The Return of Reboot

So I was getting this IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL error in WinXP for a while.

This is not just a nice message box that pops up and says:

“Hey! IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL ok? Click OK to ignore.”

This is a fun blue-screen stop error.

So this was ocurring about twice a day for a while, then it was ocurring 10 times a day, then I changed around some drivers since the “knowledge” base said it was a problem with a device driver.

Then, it started happening really REALLY frequently, like every 10 minutes or so. That’s when I read that maybe it was Norton Internet Security.

So I uninstalled that. Then it stopped happening.

Great right? Well not really. Now my computer is proudly barebacking every website it meets in the electronic bathouse that is the internet. No firewall, no virus scanning, no nothing.

So I read an article on Symantec.com that insists that everything will be fine as long as I reinstall NIS after a “clean boot.” Namely, you go into MSConfig and disable some stuff at startup. Fine. Easy. No more unprotected surfing.

So I do that. Then the computer starts rebooting IMMEDIATELY upon restart.

It takes me 4 tries to find a way to boot around this problem. I uninstall again. Things are better, but the error is still happening.

I think I’m going to reinstall XP. Who knows what the hell is going on in the registry at this point.

Thanks Norton.

My suggestion: Dump Norton. Their stuff is notorious for doing odd, behind the scenes things.

Get a good router with a good firewall. Then get AVG antivirus (free.)

I second that, Jeff. I use a D-Link 614+ and AVG, and I’ve been very pleased. A wireless router/hub like the D-Link (you can get any brand really) can be had for about $100 or less if you poke around the sale flyers from the box stores on Sunday.

I third it. Norton applications introduce a staggering level of instability to the operating system nowadays. The only one I run any more is Antivirus. The others do too much low-level futzing with the operating system.

A router with a hardware firewall is the way to go.

Why not just turn on ICF? My mother had that turned on and totally avoided the whole Blaster Worm to my amazement.

I think you guys are paranoid :P

Hmm.

Well, my first problem is that my cable modem tends to fry any Ethernet port that it’s plugged into.

I fried my Linsys router, then my onboard ethernet port. Now I connect the damn cable modem using USB.

Of course, about two months ago Comcast sent me a new power adapter for the cable modem with a note saying “your current power adapter has problems that may make it underpowered”.

Right. And maybe it also fries things?

:evil:

Anyway, maybe I’ll just try AVG and ICF for a while.

Maybe you need a new cable modem. I’ve had my ancient RCA
attached to Linksys, D-link and Netgear routers, and they all
worked with no issues at all. I’m using a D-Link 802.11b
router with 4-port switch now.

Ah, but Loyd, my ancient RCA cable modem would not only lose signal periodically, but two routers (a D-Link and a Linksys) died while attached to it. Coincidence? Perhaps…

Got a Motorola Surfboard 5200 and my connection is now rock-stable and my router so far has survived, so swapping cable modems can indeed be a good thing. Plus I save $5.50/month on rental, so it’ll pay for itself by the end of the year.

It’s not paranoid to use a router, it’s necessary, if you have three machines connecting to the Internet through the cable modem and you want a little network going. I use WiFi for my wife’s machine and our laptop with my machine hardwired in to the box. The security aspect is just gravy really.

Just wanted to add that Symantec, i.e. the corporate entity that swallowed Peter Norton’s formerly fine products, is indeed vile junk that will actively destabilise your system and crash it at the first opportunity. Uninstall all software that says “Norton” and use competing products – any of them.

I’m pretty annoyed about all this.

Now that I know about the free version of AVG VirusScan at least I won’t have to pay the money for a new version of McAfee or something, and I guess the Windows XP firewall might be sufficient, but my PC is still crashing now despite using the Norton Internet Security “uninstall.”

Apparently, this doesn’t fully solve the problem. Next I’m going to go through deleting all the stupid NIS reg entries etc, which is what Symantec suggests.

Great.

I’m staying away from the Norton crap from now on.

I’m pretty annoyed about all this.

Now that I know about the free version of AVG VirusScan at least I won’t have to pay the money for a new version of McAfee or something, and I guess the Windows XP firewall might be sufficient, but my PC is still crashing now despite using the Norton Internet Security “uninstall.”

Apparently, this doesn’t fully solve the problem. Next I’m going to go through deleting all the stupid NIS reg entries etc, which is what Symantec suggests.

Great.

I’m staying away from the Norton crap from now on.

Our setup goes from the wall to the cable modem to a cheap-o celeron 400 PC running a firewall version of Linux to a 10/100 hub to everything in the house. Very simple setup, no router BS, no crappy firewall software, etc. The only problem so far was when GMicek opened up some e-mail virus attachment like a dumb doo-doo head.

Yeah, Norton stuff seems to attach itself like a virus and is difficult to remove, IME. I first realized this when I was reviewing a couple of games and they were both running much more slowly and with much more choppiness than others were reporting on a comparable system. Someone on a message board stated that he had seen the same problem and narrowed it down to NAV. It didn’t effect most games, but it did these two. I disabled NAV, but the problem didn’t go away, so logically assumed that NAV wasn’t the problem. To cut to the chase, it turned out that just turning NAV off wasn’t enough (even though a ctrl-alt-del showed no Norton stuff running;) I had to completely uninstall the damned thing, and suddenly both games were silky smooth. Others reported the same experience.

Why it only affected those two games (at least visibly) and not others is a mystery - but I figured that any program that could have that effect even when disabled wasn’t something I wanted to have on my machine. I asked Symantic why NAV would still effect my system when it was disabled and nothing showed up in the Ctrl-alt-del screen, and they told me it was related to “hidden background” gobbledy gook of some kind. (He may have been talking out his posterior, but SOMETHING was going on in the background.)

I uninstalled Norton AVG once, and my Internet connection died. Some helpful Googling indicated that uninstalling Norton flips a key that disables your DHCP in your registry. So I guess Symantec was trying to punish me for having the audacity to remove their software.

Since then, I actively avoid Symantec shit, and tell people to not use it.

Here is a removal tool to do all that registry stuff automatically.

Yeah…I’ll try that.

It’s amazing that this company has to put out a utility that “really” removes their software.

Ding-dongs.

Jeff, was one of those Games Age of Mythology? I ran into horrible slowness problems trying to play that game on my old machine, and could never isolate the cause.

Joe, no, once was an EA Tiger Woods golf game, and the other was…

(scratches head)

I don’t remember the other one, but I’m pretty sure it wasn’t AOM.

Yes - but looking at his setup didn’t indiciate he needed a hardware router, just something to protect his computer from h4x0rs. If you’ve got a cable modem you need to use a router if you’ve got multiple machines, but not everyone needs a router to connect multiple machines on the internet.

Telling someone to buy a router because they may or may not be the target of some script kiddie is being paranoid - espcially when WinXP comes with a good Firewall built into it. :P