Avgidseh.sys error when starting Windows

avgidsehSince I wrote the original avgidseh.sys fix article, there have been lots of other affected PCs that have passed through our workshop. This is not a rogue update fault now as it was back in late 2010, rather an issue that is, as yet, untrackable to a single problem. AVG are getting the blame for many bad startup errors as the users only see the last driver to load which is often AVGIDSEH.SYS. I have, however, noted that applying an AVG-specific fix works in many cases.

To resolve issues that are AVG related, follow the steps below.

Boot your PC with a boot CD. I recommend UBCD4WIN which is an excellent tool to have in your armoury for PC repair. Download the program and install onto your computer. Build an image from your Windows XP CD (required). If you don’t have a Windows XP disc then you can download the AVG boot disc from here. Please make reference to my original avgidseh.sys fix article for creation and method. Use my updated folder renaming fix listed below in both cases.

What we shall be doing is renaming the AVG folders so they are not loaded on startup. For UBCD4Win, start the computer with the disc inserted and boot from it. This may involve changing the boot order that your PC or laptop uses. Once we have a new ‘environment’ – that is the computer is running from the CD – then we can start a file explorer such as A43, Agent Ransack, Xplorer2 or Free Commander. This will give us access to the files on the hard drive. Folders to rename are as follows:

Windows XP and 2000 (Note: AVG2011 does not run on Windows 2000 so forget a reinstall afterwards!)

  1. C:\Program Files\AVG  –  This is also named C:\Program files(x86)\AVG  when you have a 64bit operating system
  2. C:\Documents and settings\All users\Application data\AVG8
  3. C:\Documents and settings\All users\Application data\AVG9
  4. C:\Documents and settings\All users\Application data\AVG10

Windows Vista, 7, 8 and 10

  1. C:\Program Files\AVG  –  This is also named C:\Program files(x86)\AVG  when you have a 64bit operating system
  2. C:\ProgramData\AVG8
  3. C:\ProgramData\AVG9
  4. C:\ProgramData\AVG10
  5. C:\Users\<user>\AppData\Roaming\AVG8
  6. C:\Users\<user>\AppData\Roaming\AVG9
  7. C:\Users\<user>\AppData\Roaming\AVG10

Example:

rename C:\Program Files\AVG to C:\Program Files\OLDAVG

Once renamed, they will no longer load on startup.

 

Avgidseh.sys is not the only possible cause…

Now I like to run a CHKDSK while still in this ‘running from cd’ environment as it fixes any errors on the hard drive. These are often caused by the PC being shut down while writing to the drive and can also be the main reason the computer failed to start, don’t always blame AVG because the avgidseh.sys driver was the last thing to load! In UBCD4Win we would run Disk Check which does a full scan and repair of the sectors on the hard drive. Just fire it up, tell it your target drive (usually c:) and let it run. Have a cuppa as this takes a while.

The professional method

If you want to do a complete scan and repair of your disk using a professional repair tool that we use in our workshop and lab, you should investigate HDD Regenerator. We have carried out a full review of HDD Regenerator here. It has fixed the majority of the faulty drives we see that cause constant ‘looping’ of the Windows boot procedure and it’s in daily use in our workshop. It’s not too expensive and is a better solution than the free methods we list above for many people as it is much easier to use. It also blows CHKDSK into the weeds for being able to recover data and salvage your hard drive. Where CHKDSK marks the sector as bad, HDDRegenerator actually recovers the data from it and moves it to a new, good sector. As mentioned, this tool isn’t free (it does give you a free trial) but you can buy it once and fix as many drives as you want with it. It also creates a simple to use bootable USB drive or CD/DVD disk for you. Any self-respecting PC geek or computer repair shop shouldn’t be without it in the toolkit.

Check out HDDRegen here

As mentioned in other articles, despite AVG being a capable free antivirus, I heartily recommend the brilliant Kaspersky Pure as a set and forget internet security solution. Here is my method to get the cheapest Kaspersky Pure and be fully protected against viruses and malware.

Finally, let me know by commenting below if this avgidseh.sys fix works for you and please leave any other information you can share with the community.


How to unzip files contained in a zip archive

Many people struggle when faced with a zip file and don’t understand what to do with it. I’ll try to explain and look at options for different devices.

Why use zip and what is it?

When you want to download large or small files to your Windows or Mac PC or tablet computer, the standard format is a compressed file such as zip. There are other compressed file formats such as rar, gzip, 7-zip and many others, but they are all effectively a ‘container’ for the files that you ultimately want to download.

how to unzip 7zipWe use zip to reduce the overall file size and make the transfer over the internet much quicker. The files can then be extracted from their container (the zip file) by ‘unzipping’. This is also known as extracting or decompressing. To do this, we use a utility program such as 7Zip.  There is also built-in unzipping in Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8, although it is not as competent as the 7zip program. 7zip is completely free, it’s stable and reliable and it can be installed on any Windows computer. Download it here:

http://www.7-zip.org/  (opens in a new window for you).

Make sure you get the correct version for your computer, there are 2 versions – 32 and 64 bit. If in doubt, get the 32 bit.

Using 7Zip to compress and extract files

Look at this video that explains both in detail:

How do I unpack zipped or compressed files on my Android device?

The Android operating system does not come with an unzipping program but you can download them from Google Play. Look at WinZip, AndroZip File Manager or WinRAR. As usual, note that some applications on Google Play are free but many carry advertising or a hidden price.

To download and install them, visit Play Store from your Android device’s home screen. Check user reviews if you are unsure which to go for.

Personally, I like to unzip the files on my desktop PC and send them to the tablet using a file sharing and syncing utility such as Dropbox (free) or the excellent Livedrive (Free trial). This type of seamless file sharing is such an aid to moving files around devices you own and also backs up these files in ‘the cloud’.

Using WinZip to create a zip archive

WinZip is proprietary software that has an evaluation period. This allows you to use the program for free for a limited time, after which you should purchase a licence.

For Windows 7, Windows 8 or Vista

Tip – hold down Ctrl and left click to select multiple files at once.

  • Open WinZip and select Add files
  • Choose the first file you want to add and click Zip
  • Choose a name and where to save your zip archive then click Create
  • Click Add files to choose another file Zip to add it to the archive
  • Repeat until all of your files have been added

For Windows XP

  • Open WinZip and select New
  • Choose a name and where to save your zip archive then click Ok
  • Choose the first file you want to add and click Add
  • To add more files, click the Add button in WinZip and choose another file

Using 7-Zip to create an archive

7-Zip is free software that allows you to create and view many types of archive formats including zip.

Tip – hold down Ctrl and click to select multiple files at once.

  • Select the files on your computer
  • Right click on the highlighted files and choose 7-Zip then Add to archive
  • Under Archive choose a name for your file and where you want to save it
  • Change the archive format to zip, everything else can be left as the default values
  • Click Ok

 

Hope this helps you to understand and use zip files.


Use linux boot disk to repair a Windows NTFS disk fault

Yes, you can use a Linux boot CD to repair a Windows NTFS disk fault. Linux ships with a utility called badblocks. Badblocks is a Linux command in its own right that has several different modes to be able to detect bad sectors on our hard disk. Once found, it saves the references to these bad sectors in a text file so we can tell the operating system to avoid storing data on them.

For the explanation below though, I’ll be using the fsck command. Why’s that? Well fsck is a really powerful command that actually runs those relatively complicated badblocks commands for you, checking or repairing errors in your filesystem and doing all the leg work for you.

Geek fact – fsck stands for “File System Consistency checK” which you can amaze your friends down the pub with. Or not…

Let’s open a terminal window and fire up this bad boy then. You’ll need superuser/root permission to run each of these commands so I’ll add ‘sudo’ into them all. I like to start by running the parted command to list my drives:

This should output the installed drives to the screen so you can note down which one you want to work with.

Now let’s run fsck on the disk. Please note that this can take several hours depending on the speed of your system, the size and speed of your disk. If no filesystems are specified on the command line, and the -A option is not specified, fsck will default to checking filesystems in /etc/fstab serially.

IMPORTANT – We must unmount the disk first or data corruption may happen. To do this, open a terminal window and type:

Replace “sda1” with the disk you need to repair. Now we can run the fsck command safely against the drive:

This fsck command forces automatic bad block checking and it automatically marks all known bad sectors as bad too.

The switch options I often use are:

-m  I use this for safety because if the drive is mounted you won’t be able to scan (and corrupt) it this way.

-c   Displays completion/progress bars

-f   Force a check even if it is clean

-v  Verbose, because I like to see words!

 If you’re booting back into Linux, make sure that smartmontools is installed and enabled:

Enable “SMART” in your BIOS if it isn’t already and run an extended offline test with:

To see a nice overall view of system health, type:

Have a look at the relevant manpages for more info:

 

In my repair shop I only use HDD Regenerator these days.  It’s a bootable software that can fix errors on all types of disk, formatted in all manner of filesystems as used by Linux, Mac, Windows and more. We have this loaded on our drive test rig and repair hard drives daily with it.

If you want to make it easy and have a USB/CD/DVD bootable tool that will work safely on all the drives it comes up against I’d suggest you look at my hdd regenerator review here or buy it direct from their website here

  
 


Outlook emails stay in Outbox after Windows 10 upgrade

email-settings-pop-imap-btconnect-outlookAre you getting your Outlook emails stuck in your Outbox after upgrading to Windows 10? I’ve seen this happen on several machines and it really seems to be a problem where Windows corrupts the Outlook database and/or profile on many versions of Microsoft Office (2007, 2010 and 2013). The easiest fix and one that I’d recommend here is to delete or move the stuck emails then close all programs that are open such as Outlook.

Now we can use the in-built Windows “System File Checker” that will scan your PC and repair any corrupt files that it finds. To do this:

  • Click Start
  • Type cmd in the Search box
  • Right-click Command Prompt and then click ‘Run as administrator’. If you are prompted for an administrator password or for a confirmation then type the password or click ‘Allow’
  • In this black window (the command prompt) that appears, type in sfc /scannow noting the space before the forward slash
  • Press enter and go and grab a delicious cup of coffee because this will take a while

Note: Do not close this Command Prompt window until the verification is 100% complete. The scan results will be shown after this process is finished.

Technical information for nerds
The sfc /scannow command will scan all protected system files, and replace corrupted files with a cached copy that is located in a compressed folder at %WinDir%\System32\dllcache.
The %WinDir% placeholder represents the Windows operating system folder. For example, C:\Windows.

The time taken to complete this scan is different on every PC but usually can range from 20 minutes to an hour or more. If it solves your problem (which it has on over 50 client PCs to date) then please take a minute to drop a comment below or maybe buy something through our shop to say thanks.

 


Reset Windows Server 2012 Administrator password

server 2012 password resetTo reset the Administrator password on your Windows server 2012 installation, you’ll need to do the following:

Boot from the Microsoft Windows Server 2012 DVD

  1. From the Windows setup menu, click “Next”
  2. Select “Repair your computer”
  3. Click on “Troubleshoot”
  4. Under Advanced options, click “Command Prompt”
  5. Type “diskpart” and hit Enter
  6. Type “list volume” and hit Enter. This will show you your (current) drive letter allocated to the drive where Windows is installed. Note  – if you don’t see any volumes listed and this is the first boot cycle for a new Server 2012 installation, then I have seen this on a few HP servers and you’ll need to go and run the setup again from within the Intelligent Provisioning area.
  7. Make a note of the drive letter and type “exit” then press enter to leave diskpart (but stay in the command prompt window)
  8. Presuming the letter is d, then type “d:” and press enter to change to this drive
  9. Now type  “cd Windows\system32” and press enter which will take you into the system32 folder
  10. Type “ren Utilman.exe Utilman.bak” and press enter
  11. Type “copy cmd.exe Utilman.exe” and press enter
  12. Close the command prompt and then click “Continue”
  13. The server should now reboot to the logon screen. Press the Windows key + u to open a command prompt
  14. At the prompt you can change the password by typing “net user administrator xyz” where xyz is your new super-secure password!
  15. Now, for security we must do one last thing. Once we are back in Windows, open Explorer, navigate to Windows\system32 and rename Utilman.bak to Utilman.exe

 

Hopefully this gets you out of a sticky situation, leave me a comment if it has helped.

 


Slow Windows 8 update speeds fixed

Slow update speeds in Windows 8 (and slow network speeds in general) are often because of the ‘poisoned’ DNS cache. This is because it can contain invalid or expired DNS records. Symptoms may be difficulty in opening websites or even problems with Windows updates. What we’ll do here to attempt to rectify this is to clear the DNS cache by simply flushing the invalid or expired DNS entries.

How to Flush the DNS Cache to speed up Windows 8

  • Logon to your Windows 8 computer with an administrative account.
  • Click on the desktop tile from the Start screen to go to the desktop window.
  • Hover the mouse over the bottom right corner of the window.
  • From the displayed options, click “Search”.
  • On the opened Search pane at the top right, ensure that the Apps category is selected.
  • Type in “cmd” without the speech marks.
  • From the displayed results on the Apps window, right-click on Command Prompt.
  • From the displayed advanced options at the bottom of the window, left click on “Run as administrator”.
  • When you see the User Account Control box, click “Yes” to provide the administrator approval to open the command prompt with the elevated privileges.
  • At the black command prompt window, type “ipconfig /flushdns” and press enter. This will delete the DNS cache.
  • Close the command prompt window when done.
  • Restart the computer.

After flushing the DNS cache, the IP address of any website or network device is then automatically resolved by the DNS resolver using a DNS server.

 


Failure configuring windows updates reverting changes do not turn off your computer

This is quite a common fault on systems I have seen on PC systems ranging from XP through to Win 8. There are various ‘fixes’ mentioned out there, some of which are potentially damaging, so I thought I’d share my method of repair here. It has worked on 99% of computers we have had through the repair shop.

The fault often is triggered by a single downloaded update that does not want to apply itself. Subsequently, all the other downloaded updates fail too. If left, these updates will grow in quantity every week until they are difficult to diagnose, so do this sooner rather than later.

  • First off, check you are logged in as an administrator on the system.
  • Make sure that your clock set to the correct time, date, year and timezone. Don’t skip this, double check it!
  • In the following steps, make sure you download the correct version for your operating system, eg Windows 7 64-bit etc. If you are not sure which version you have, look in Control Panel, Select “View by small icons” then click on System. Here, you’ll see your Windows Edition and Sytem Type. While you are in here, check that you can see “Windows is activated”. If not, this is your problem and you need to activate Windows. To do this, click Start, type in “activate” then click on Activate Windows.
  • You can disable your antivirus temporarily but this is not necessary unless you try this method and it fails. Make sure if you do this that you are behind a firewall, either the Windows one or one in your router.
  • Open ‘Computer’ and navigate to C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution\Download then delete everything you find in this folder.
  • Now, go to Windows update history on the computer (Control Panel, Windows Updates and select View Update History). Look at the ones that failed and note the KB number. You can then go to Microsoft Download Center and download each one individually by searching on the KB number. Use Internet Explorer for this, not Firefox/Chrome etc. After manually downloading and installing each one, restart the computer and repeat the process until each update is applied. Don’t skip the restart, this is necessary to apply many updates.
  • Once the list of downloads is finished you can create a restore point and then try an automatic Windows Update again, it should work now.

 

You can also give this a try – Windows Update Troubleshooter.  While this is, in theory, an automatic fix to the ‘failure configuing Windows updates’ issue, it doesn’t always work so I prefer to use my method above first which can isolate the problem to a single download. Good luck!

 


Windows 7 dvd

The Windows 7 DVD can upgrade your PC to Win 7. Prices are a little keener than Windows 8 at the moment it seems. You can go the upgrade path, eg buy a Windows XP to Windows 7 upgrade disc, but I would always recommend backing up all your files and then doing a fresh installation as your PC will usually be quicker as a result. For this you will need to purchase a Windows 7 OEM or Retail DVD.

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Could not start the Task Scheduler service Error 1717: The interface is unknown

This error occurs when the event log service is turned off (set to manual or disabled).  To correct, do the following:

Start, Run and type in “services.msc”

Go to the “Event log” service and double click on it.

Set it to “Automatic” and click on OK.

Now you should be able to set the “Task Scheduler” service to automatic without error.  OK your way out of all boxes and close the services window.

 

 


Stop 0x0000007b loading recovery CD

Stop 0x0000007b while loading the Windows CD Rom or recovery disk

Wish I had a penny for every time I’ve seen this one. Quite common on Dell PCs when trying to load the Operating System again, this error can be easily solved.  Boot into the BIOS (press F2 on startup on most dells, other PCs may require Del, F1 etc).  Once in the BIOS, navigate to ‘Drives’ and change the SATA operation from “RAID Auto/AHCI” to “RAID Auto/ATA”.  Save and exit setup.  On reboot you should be able to load the installation disk.

I’m seeing more and more boot sector viruses these days.  The symptoms can be similar and give the exact same stop errors.  An MBR fix can repair these but sometimes it is easy enough to pull the drive out and mount it in our test rigs, giving it a full scan for Viruses, Trojans, Spyware, Rootkits etc.  Data recovery can be done at the same time so it can be quicker if you have a spare PC to do it this way.