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CRITICAL_PROCESS_DIED? Help?!

Last response: in Windows 8
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November 8, 2012 8:14:05 AM

I am consulting this forum as a last ditch attempt to save my PC from what appears to be its death.

Last night, my monitor stopped working as I had accidentally unplugged the transformer. When I reconnected it, there was no signal to the monitor. I thought it was a computer issue so I forced my PC to turn off (turns out the monitor had switched itself to a VGA source instead of DVI). When it turned on again, I got several notifications urging me to do a Windows virus scan. I was then told Windows protection was out of date. I became concerned that my PC may have a virus so I ran a deep scan on Advanced System Care which includes privacy sweeping and disk defrag. I also told it to turn my PC off when it was finished. This is where the issues start. Now, when I start my PC up, it gets no further than the Windows 8 logo and spinning pixels. After this screen it instantly goes to the blue Windows 8 error with the ":( " sign and says "CRITICAL_PROCESS_DIED". It then collects information and restarts the PC only for the same thing to happen again.

After searching online I thought it may be something to do with my graphics card, as this seemed most feasible as the problem started with my monitor. So, I disconnected and removed my 560 Ti and switched to on-board graphics. The problem persisted. My next plan was to boot into Safe Mode to see if it was driver related, however this seems to be an issue. Apparently, Microsoft have now made it so Safe Mode can only be accessed from within Windows 8 through menus or it has to be automatically triggered by the PC. Basically meaning I have no way of getting into Safe Mode. F8 only brings up a "boot from" menu with no other options. Shift+f8 is completely ignored and doesn't do anything.

I'm really not sure what is wrong or what to do now. Should I accept that my PC may be gone for good? I feel like I should concentrate on just getting into Safe Mode so I can at least make copies of the files I need. (I know, I know I should have a backup, but I installed Windows 8 on release day and I was getting ready to create a new backup). My copy of Windows 8 was an upgrade version which I paid for and downloaded. Meaning I don't have a recovery disk.

I will add that I haven't added any new hardware in months, so it's not an issue with anything new being introduced.

What should I do?

PC Specs:
AMD FX-4100 @ 3.6Ghz
ASUS DIRECTCUII 560 TI @ 920Hz
16GB DDR3 RAM
180GB 7200rpm HDD
Windows 8 Pro 64bit
Asus M5A78L-M/USB3

More about : critical process died

a c 381 * Windows 8
November 8, 2012 9:36:33 AM

Try a few more times with Shift + F8, it worked for me eventually. Have you tried a hard shutdown, holding the Power button for 5 secs to see if that will generate an option screen? Do you see 'Other options' when you get to the blue Win 8 logo? (Other options would give you the opportunity to 'Refresh' your Windows without affecting files)
Failsafe is to use another machine to set up a Ubuntu boot disk/USB device and recover your files that way.
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a c 381 * Windows 8
November 8, 2012 10:10:52 AM

OK. Tried a few things on my 'Experimental' Laptop. If you power on and then power off by holding the pwr button for 5 secs as soon as you see the blue logo, after 2 or 3 attempts you will see 'Automatic Repair' appear at the botttom of the screen. Of course mine had nothing to repair so it just carried on, hope it does you some good...
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November 8, 2012 10:26:04 AM

dodger46 said:
OK. Tried a few things on my 'Experimental' Laptop. If you power on and then power off by holding the pwr button for 5 secs as soon as you see the blue logo, after 2 or 3 attempts you will see 'Automatic Repair' appear at the botttom of the screen. Of course mine had nothing to repair so it just carried on, hope it does you some good...


Thank you for your reply. I forgot to mention that ASC triggered a disk check which keeps trying to perform everytime I turn the PC on. It runs through then the same blue error screen comes up afterwards, so I don't think an automatic repair would be helpful but I won't rule it out. Your Ubtuntu idea seems like quite a good option if only just to recover my files. If I make it so I've got nothing to lose, I'll probably do a fresh install of Windows 8 somehow. But I had heard that if you purchased the £24.99 upgrade it could only be activated once, but I'm not sure on that.
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a c 381 * Windows 8
November 8, 2012 11:01:02 AM

jarrrp said:
Thank you for your reply. I forgot to mention that ASC triggered a disk check which keeps trying to perform everytime I turn the PC on. It runs through then the same blue error screen comes up afterwards, so I don't think an automatic repair would be helpful but I won't rule it out. Your Ubtuntu idea seems like quite a good option if only just to recover my files. If I make it so I've got nothing to lose, I'll probably do a fresh install of Windows 8 somehow. But I had heard that if you purchased the £24.99 upgrade it could only be activated once, but I'm not sure on that.

I tried to install the downloaded upgrade on a new machine, and as the XP OS was only 32bit and as I wanted 64 I transferred the upgrade to a laptop and used another (Disk) upgrade instead. I had to phone M'soft to activate the laptop, but it went through OK. If you're stuck for an install disk PM me and I'm sure we could sort something out...
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a b * Windows 8
November 8, 2012 4:10:30 PM

This is just a guess: Win8 begins to boot, uses bad information to configure your SATA controller, loads device drivers and transfers control to the device driver but it is the wrong one or a corrupt file. You loose access to your drive and the system later crashes because it needs to page in data.

- check the BIOS, turn of any secondary SATA controllers or your raid controller and reboot
- if that does not work: move your SATA drive data lines to another port or even a different SATA controller (from SATA 6 Gb to SATA 3 Gb) , or move your drives SATA connector to another port on the same controller.

Main thing is to get it off of any special RAID controller during the initial install
- try to use a low port number
there are other potential causes:
- you could have a corrupt driver file
- you could be getting file corruption on the file IO from the disk drive
- incorrect BIOS settings, bugs in BIOS, bugs in disk drive firmware, ...
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November 9, 2012 8:33:40 AM

I booted with Ubuntu on a USB drive so I could access and restore important files from the hard drive. I've now also replaced my OS with Ubuntu. I've got an old Windows 7 install disk which I'll use to install Windows 7. From there I'll decide whether I really want to put Windows 8 back on. With all these problems I've had it seems Microsoft forgot the desktop user and basic functionality needed on a desktop. You can't just slap an OS made for touch screens onto a desktop and expect everything to be fine. Thanks for your replies though, it's a shame I had to experience the short comings of Windows 8 the hard way.
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Best solution

a c 381 * Windows 8
November 10, 2012 8:55:06 AM

Agreed. It's fine on my non-essential touch screen laptops, but until they sort this Safe Mode access I'm not risking it on my desktop!
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November 16, 2012 10:58:45 PM

Best answer selected by jarrrp.
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