Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Booting from USB freezes?

  1. #1


    Posts : 7
    win 8

    Booting from USB freezes?


    Hi. My name is Sidney, I'm a technician for Staples.

    I have a customer with a pc that has an abundance of viruses, and to remove them, I boot into a program located on a flash drive.

    However, when I boot into the flash drive on this pc, it loads the program, and then freezes. Nothing moves, no key pressing will make a difference.

    I've ran SFC and CHKDSK, which had located some corrupted files, but failed to fix the issue.

    Any ideas would be appreciated; I'm running dry. :/

    I'll gladly provide any extra details on the machine that might help.

    Thanks in advanced,
    Sidney.

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    Posts : 2,191
    Windows 8.1


    a pc that has an abundance of viruses
    Hi Sidney,

    Quite honestly, your statement above tells me you are destined to spend more hours trying to remove these viruses, than the owner may be willing to pay. Moreover, since many of the nasty ones usually leave significant remnant damage behind, the repairs of same could take even longer than the virus removals themselves. Now, combined with the fact that you are also finding CHKDSK errors leads me to believe there are also hardware issues involved. I don't see a single fix point for all your issues here but I would definitely recommend a clean install to the customer immediately with the caveat that the hard drive may have issues as well. I hope Staples is not charging by the 1/2 hour because I don't think I could afford to pay that bill! Anyway, as my user names implies, that's just my2cents! Good luck.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Posts : 7
    win 8

    Noooot quite.


    Quote Originally Posted by my2cents View Post
    a pc that has an abundance of viruses
    Hi Sidney,

    Quite honestly, your statement above tells me you are destined to spend more hours trying to remove these viruses, than the owner may be willing to pay. Moreover, since many of the nasty ones usually leave significant remnant damage behind, the repairs of same could take even longer than the virus removals themselves..

    I should have left this information out of my initial post, perhaps. They have already paid for the virus removal, and I don't forsee it being difficult, it's a pretty common service for the store.

    The issue mainly is just that when booting from the USB, the pc freezes. It's a fairly new pc, so if avoidable, let's stray away from the clean install, since they did already pay for a different service.

    Does this help any?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    Sloe Deth, Californicatia
    Posts : 3,908
    Windows 8 Pro with Media Center/Windows 7


    It one of the Viruses is SIREFEF, it will prevent your AV suite from running. That's why it is called the "Zero-Access Trojan", it blocks all kinds of AV and it does it via Windows Defender. You cannot run the EXEs and you cannot install the programs.

    You can try Eset's Sirefef Removal tool first, it will bypass Sirefef:

    How do I remove Sirefef (ZeroAccess) trojan? - ESET Knowledgebase

    Run that, then try your Suite. Let me know what happens.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    Posts : 2,191
    Windows 8.1


    Does this help any?
    Yes, I guess so. Anyway, I'll leave you to work directly with the other forum member who responded.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    Sloe Deth, Californicatia
    Posts : 3,908
    Windows 8 Pro with Media Center/Windows 7


    Also, does the system Boot at all, I'd like to see the List of Startup Programs, this may also be blocked- Open a Command Prompt and try to run MSCONFIG. See if it runs. Also take a Screenshot of the Task Manager "Startup" row.

    Try CCleaner, see if you can get to the MSCONFIG stuff that way.

    M2C: He wants to avoid deleting everything on the Drive if he cam, I can understand that. But he also has to understand, that sometimes, it is virtually impossible to get it ALL out. If you can get the main Sirefef body out, then you can get the rest of the cack out of the system.

    Also, I would try to copy the files from the Flash Drive, onto a different Flash Drive. You may have to try several different flash drives until you can find one that works.

    Are these your personal AV proggies or what Staples gives you? If it is the latter, then you have to bring the USB drive to them, it's their dog. Otherwise, if this is your Suite, you will have to re-create it so it works on this system.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


    Posts : 7
    win 8


    Quote Originally Posted by XweAponX View Post
    It one of the Viruses is SIREFEF, it will prevent your AV suite from running. That's why it is called the "Zero-Access Trojan", it blocks all kinds of AV and it does it via Windows Defender. You cannot run the EXEs and you cannot install the programs.

    You can try Eset's Sirefef Removal tool first, it will bypass Sirefef:

    How do I remove Sirefef (ZeroAccess) trojan? - ESET Knowledgebase

    Run that, then try your Suite. Let me know what happens.
    I ran it, and it said there was no threat found, and that Win32/Sirefef.EV wasn't found in my system.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8


    Sloe Deth, Californicatia
    Posts : 3,908
    Windows 8 Pro with Media Center/Windows 7


    Well, that's good news. You have to run the tool from within the affected OS, you can't do it from another OS, like for instance Mini-XP or some other Boot device that will allow you access to the hard drive. It's because it has to read the registry.

    The Flash Drive may simply not work in this system, that's why I always keep a Flash Drive with the same Boot Loader on a couple of different Flash Drives. It sounds like yours is choking on initialization. one thing you may try is just leave it sit for about five to ten minutes, and see if it eventually continues. I've had to do that as well, on one of my laptops, it would eventually boot.

    You can also try disconnecting any Optical drives and extra HDD's and then see if it boots to the Flash Drive.

    Finally, even if it did not find Sirefef, download TDSSKILLER and Malwarebytes Anti-Rootkit and GMER, if all of those come up clean then you can run any good AV program on the machine and clear out the Virii.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #9


    Posts : 2,191
    Windows 8.1


    Run sfc /scannow again and, if failures, follow with this message:

    Dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth

    The above will attempt to clean up any inconsistencies found by the sfc /scannow message. Read more here:

    DISM - Fixing Component Store Corruption in Windows 8
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  10. #10


    Posts : 7
    win 8


    Is there any way to tell if it's a virus or a configuration issue? I don't want to install a ton of antivirus onto a customer's computer for it not to fix anything.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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