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Windows 7 programs refuse to open (100k problem)

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March 30, 2011 12:38:19 AM

Most programs I try to run do not start. Further task manager inspection reveals that they consume 100k-112k of memory and do not increase. It's like it can't initialize or something. This has happened with chrome, firefox teamviewer and word so far I have tested. Mostly, a reboot seems to solve it. sorta. Any ideas?

Additional details:
-seems windows built in programs work fine like ie and paint.
March 30, 2011 3:09:55 AM

I just reformatted and reinstalled again. Same thing.
March 30, 2011 3:13:41 AM

scans found nothing. even tried the tdsskiller.
Related resources
March 31, 2011 8:21:36 PM

Thanks guys but nothing there worked. I reinstalled windows again and it immediately started doing this again after the first reboot.

I can't figure out why, but removing the pagefile or moving the page file to a drive other than my C: (vertex 2) solves the issue.
March 31, 2011 8:37:24 PM

Cool
I am glad it is ok
but I cant figure out why that worked
I know it is an SSD and I dont think that should make a difference
though I have never had a SSD to know for sure
the pagefile kicks in when you run short of ram
I know that you can actually disable pagefile completely
and if you have 4gb or more ram will probably be ok
I tried that and Windows seemed a little quicker
but I noticed that my commit charge was drasitically
lower and when I basically opened every program on
computer to test it out (including about 30-40 IE8 windows)
that I for the first time actually reached my commit charge
which I have never came close to before

that really doesnt apply here
I am just brainstorming trying to figure your problem out
March 31, 2011 8:42:11 PM

Wait!
It seems like Windows basis its allocation of program memory
from the commit charge
as you open programs it looks at the commit charge to see if it has
the address space to open the program
It seems like that since the pagefile wasnt functional and maybe the commit charge was so low that when you opened a program Windows couldnt allocate it any memory due to your commit charge being wrong
even though you have plenty of ram windows didnt know that so
that explains you opening the program and the memory usage not increasing
It basically couldnt "promise" the program the memory it needs to run
a b $ Windows 7
April 1, 2011 2:42:23 PM

What OS? I ran into this problem a LOT in XP, when it would occasionally take a good 2-3 minues to get around to starting a program...

Wouldn't go the no-pagefile route though; too many long-term problems to deal with [especially if you use sleep or hibernate instead of shutting down...].
April 3, 2011 12:44:27 AM

enzo matrix said:
Thanks guys but nothing there worked. I reinstalled windows again and it immediately started doing this again after the first reboot.

As per the title of this thread windows 7.

gamerk316 said:
Wouldn't go the no-pagefile route though; too many long-term problems to deal with [especially if you use sleep or hibernate instead of shutting down...].


enzo matrix said:
I can't figure out why, but removing the pagefile or moving the page file to a drive other than my C: (vertex 2) solves the issue.
April 3, 2011 12:47:38 AM

king smp said:
Wait!
It seems like Windows basis its allocation of program memory
from the commit charge
as you open programs it looks at the commit charge to see if it has
the address space to open the program
It seems like that since the pagefile wasnt functional and maybe the commit charge was so low that when you opened a program Windows couldnt allocate it any memory due to your commit charge being wrong
even though you have plenty of ram windows didnt know that so
that explains you opening the program and the memory usage not increasing
It basically couldnt "promise" the program the memory it needs to run

Interesting theory. I am curious as to if the problem will reoccur if I move the pagefile back to my SSD. I'll try that some time.
April 3, 2011 6:15:22 AM

I am still learning and memory allocation is tough for me so please check all my work :) 
I did find this article yesterday and I am about halfway thru it
SSD info link:
http://www.anandtech.com/show/2738/1
SSDs are finally getting to the price point that I can afford to think about one.

a b $ Windows 7
April 3, 2011 1:19:33 PM

Just a couple of question, Did you set your min/max size to the same value? How much free space do you have on the SSD? You did disable hybernation and delete its .sys file?

On the swap file - about a year ago there were a number of threads dealing with "put it on SSD, or put it on a HDD?" No clear winner.
..Higher performance, but this is dependent on number of swaps in and out of HDD. With enough Ram this should be rather low. As to deleting, I have 16 gigs ram and still keep a small swapfile with min/max set to same value. Higher writes - but should not really make a big dent in life of SSD. Myself I opted to move it to the HDD. Recently I re-installed my 80 gig intel G2 as a storage/scratch drive. I moved my swap file to it - have not noticed any performance diff.
April 3, 2011 3:42:06 PM

As I said, this was a fresh install. I had made no alterations to pagefile size nor had I added any files to decrease the space on disk. Also, for some reason, hibernation was disabled by default.
April 13, 2011 2:14:55 AM

Enzo, I'm having the same problem. I built a new machine, and was working fine until about a week ago and then programs wouldn't start. Task manager showed 100k. I'm at loss as to what to do, i re-set the ram in its socket, wiped and reset the pagefile, but to no avail. I'm running a test of my ram right now. We'll see what happens.
-David
btw the machine also doesnt have hibernation
a b $ Windows 7
April 13, 2011 12:01:32 PM

Quote:
as you open programs it looks at the commit charge to see if it has
the address space to open the program


That would be true, except that every program gets its own unique 2GB Virtual Address space when a process is created. So its NOT an Address Space problem. Well...maybe if the pagefile is too small...[try setting a VERY large pagefile, just for kicks. Very little reason to ever turn it from System Managed though...]

I've seen this happen in XP, and never really found out why. First I've heard of it occuring in 7 though. Could be something as simple as process priorities getting messed up. [Windows is priority based; the thread with teh highest priority ALWAYS runs. If the OS kernal is doing something in the background, it could preempt everything, evne program start up, and wouldn't show in Task Manager to boot. Problem is, I have no idea what could cause that behavior in the first place if thats indeed the case...]
April 14, 2011 12:33:31 AM

Pagefile can't be the problem. I have 4 gb of ram and my system doesn't even touch the pagefile.

I tested my ram, one stick at a time, then together, using memtest. Then i put them back and made sure they were sitting firmly. Everything works now. I'm rebooting multiple times to see if the problem reoccurs.
April 14, 2011 2:44:38 AM

Sorry i forgot to mention that i was having the same issue, and that i dont have an ssd. i have a 1 tb hd. this cannot be a trim problem.

My pc is still working, after testing the ram and resitting it (4 hrs ago). im keeping my fingers crossed though...
April 14, 2011 3:40:53 AM

gamerk316 said:
Quote:
as you open programs it looks at the commit charge to see if it has
the address space to open the program


That would be true, except that every program gets its own unique 2GB Virtual Address space when a process is created. So its NOT an Address Space problem. Well...maybe if the pagefile is too small...[try setting a VERY large pagefile, just for kicks. Very little reason to ever turn it from System Managed though...]

I've seen this happen in XP, and never really found out why. First I've heard of it occuring in 7 though. Could be something as simple as process priorities getting messed up. [Windows is priority based; the thread with teh highest priority ALWAYS runs. If the OS kernal is doing something in the background, it could preempt everything, evne program start up, and wouldn't show in Task Manager to boot. Problem is, I have no idea what could cause that behavior in the first place if thats indeed the case...]



ok bear with me I am still learning :) 
I will have to read this 3 times just to start to understand
sorry for the big post
this is cut from Wikipedia

Commit charge


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia




In computing, commit charge is a term used in Microsoft Windows operating systems to describe the total amount of pageable virtual address space for which no backing store is assigned other than the pagefile. On systems with a pagefile, it may be thought of as the maximum potential pagefile usage. On systems with no pagefile, it is still counted, but all such virtual address space must remain in physical memory (RAM) at all times.

[edit] Overview

The Windows Task Manager utility, in its Performance tab, shows three counters related to commit charge:
Total is the amount of pagefile-backed virtual address space in use, i.e., the current commit charge. This is composed of main memory (RAM) and disk (pagefiles). The corresponding performance counter is called "Committed Bytes".
Limit is the maximum possible value for Total; it is the sum of the current pagefile size plus the physical memory available for pageable contents (this excludes RAM that is assigned to non-pageable areas). The corresponding performance counter is called "Commit Limit".
Peak is the highest amount that the total commit charge has reached since the operating system was last started.

The program Process Explorer reports the same set of values, labeling the Total as Current, and additionally providing percentages of Peak and Current towards the Limit value.

The commit charge increases when any program is opened and used, and goes down when a program is closed. It will also change when already-running programs allocate or free private virtual memory; for example, with the VirtualAlloc and VirtualFree APIs.

In the Task Manager utility under Windows XP and Windows Server 2003, the graphical displays labeled "PF usage" and "Page File Usage History," despite their labels, reflect not the pagefile contents but the total (or current) commit charge. The height of the graph area corresponds to the commit limit. These do not show how much has actually been written to the pagefile, but only the maximum potential pagefile usage: The amount of pagefile that would be used if all current contents of RAM had to be removed. In Windows 2000 and Windows NT 4.0, these same displays are labeled "Mem usage" but again actually show the commit charge and commit limit. Similar displays in the Task Manager of Windows Vista and later have been changed to reflect usage of physical memory.

In Task Manager's "Processes" display, each process's contribution to the "total commit charge" is shown in the "VM size" column in Windows XP and Server 2003. The same value is labeled "Commit size" in Windows Vista and later. The total commit charge will always be larger than the sum of these values, as the total includes system-wide allocations such as the paged pool.

In the same display, the "Mem Usage" column in Windows XP and Server 2003, or the "Working Set (Memory)" column in Windows Vista and later, shows each process's current working set. This is a count of physical memory (RAM) rather than virtual address space. It represents the subset of the process's virtual address space that is valid, meaning that it can be referenced without incurring a page fault.

The commit charge for each process does not include other major contributions to the process's virtual address space, such as mapped files. For this reason, the process's working set (the portion of its address space that can be referenced without incurring a page fault) may be larger than its contribution to total commit charge, and the total commit charge is not inclusive of the total memory (physical or virtual) actually in use.

The commit limit may be increased by either creating additional pagefiles or, if pagefile expansion is enabled, by expanding an existing one. The operating system will expand the pagefile automatically, if possible, when the total commit charge approaches the limit. In such an event a popup window will be displayed stating that "The system is running low on virtual memory."

If the system ever runs completely out of commit charge (that is, if the total reaches the limit), a popup window will be displayed stating that "The system is out of virtual memory," and it may become extremely sluggish or even nonresponsive. Closing programs (if the user is still able to do so at this point) decreases the total commit charge and may thereby free up the system


for some Toms members this may be Memory Addressing 101 LOL

so if they can help explain it in ENGLISH :) 
that would be great

from what I can understand by not having a pagefile than you are limited to the the amount of ram you have
for your commit limit

if your commit limit is exceeded then you will have an out of virtual memory error
I have to research what a page fault is and what problems that causes

Of course the point is moot now since it sounds like a RAM error was possibly causing problem

though Enzo said this
I can't figure out why, but removing the pagefile or moving the page file to a drive other than my C: (vertex 2) solves the issue

the key to the problem lies in that statement
April 16, 2011 5:30:57 PM

Turns out the issue is still outstanding. I installed windows updates and it started again. After removing them all, it disappeared. But now it has returned. I forced shut down the computer and started up again, and it disappeared again.

I also believe network access to shared folders is not possible while the issue is there. From another computer to this one, that is.
a b $ Windows 7
April 18, 2011 1:33:42 AM

Thread seems locked to the top of the forum, for whatever reason (well to me it is :D  ). Trying to get it "unlocked".
April 18, 2011 2:13:44 AM

Quote:
As I have previously said, this occurs with every single non-windows program that does not start up automatically. Naught to do with browsers.
Actually though, I cannot recall if I could open word or not. I will test it out next time this problem occurs again. It might be that anything that hasn't started on bootup won't open.

Update:
The network access I mentioned above isn't true. Network access works fine as it should.
Ok so after rebooting and having it disappear, I reinstalled the updates and everything is fine... for now.

Thanks for the suggestions guys. Keep em coming.



I had the same problem as you. Firefox didn't work, my invioce program didn't work, but IE did. Also the problem randomly occurred. Sometimes a reboot fixed it, sometimes not. Last week I took out both sticks of ram. I put one back in, booted to memtest and ran it for an hour. Then I did it with the second stick. Then with both in there. The computer has been running fine for the past 5 days now.
April 18, 2011 3:20:11 PM

David 617 said:
I had the same problem as you. Firefox didn't work, my invioce program didn't work, but IE did. Also the problem randomly occurred. Sometimes a reboot fixed it, sometimes not. Last week I took out both sticks of ram. I put one back in, booted to memtest and ran it for an hour. Then I did it with the second stick. Then with both in there. The computer has been running fine for the past 5 days now.

That very well describes my situation as of current. I rarely reboot so it took me a while to figure that part out.

I intend to upgrade my motherboard and ram this summer as part of my upgrading. What is your current system setup? Perhaps we have something in common in that regard.
a b $ Windows 7
April 18, 2011 5:38:12 PM

Out of curiosity, I assume if you look in Task Manager, "System Idle Process" is probably hanging at 99% CPU usage while you are waiting for the programs to go, right? That would indicate you DON'T have a RAM problem, and that instead, the OS is busy doing something else within the system kernal that is pre-empting the process startup. If thats the case, the only windows API's with that high priority are:
1: IO interrupts
2: Sound [Sound has REALLY high priority in windows]
3: User Input [mouse, keyboard, etc]

Update drivers, and if you have any unique USB devices, try unplugging some. A shoddy driver could potentially cause this type of behavior...
April 18, 2011 9:16:24 PM

??? I have a standard mouse and keyboard. Regarding the sound, I use the driver that windows 7 installed. If the problem is in the kernel, how come windows programs work fine? (i was browsing with ie when firefox didn't work.) Furthermore, how come whenever I play with the ram it works after?


My setup is:
Asus M4A88T -M AM3 Micro ATX
AMD Phenom II x4 840 3.2ghz
G.Skill Ripjaws 4GB (2x2GB) DDR3 1600mhz
Seagate Barracuda 1TB

gamerk316 said:
Out of curiosity, I assume if you look in Task Manager, "System Idle Process" is probably hanging at 99% CPU usage while you are waiting for the programs to go, right? That would indicate you DON'T have a RAM problem, and that instead, the OS is busy doing something else within the system kernal that is pre-empting the process startup. If thats the case, the only windows API's with that high priority are:
1: IO interrupts
2: Sound [Sound has REALLY high priority in windows]
3: User Input [mouse, keyboard, etc]

Update drivers, and if you have any unique USB devices, try unplugging some. A shoddy driver could potentially cause this type of behavior...

April 18, 2011 9:22:39 PM

Microsoft tech ed has a great video lesson about memory.
http://www.msteched.com/2010/NorthAmerica/WCL402
It's pretty simple to understand
(download sysinternal's process manager before watching to follow what he's saying)

king smp said:
ok bear with me I am still learning :) 
I will have to read this 3 times just to start to understand
sorry for the big post
this is cut from Wikipedia

Commit charge


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

(
)
for some Toms members this may be Memory Addressing 101 LOL

so if they can help explain it in ENGLISH :) 
that would be great

from what I can understand by not having a pagefile than you are limited to the the amount of ram you have
for your commit limit

if your commit limit is exceeded then you will have an out of virtual memory error
I have to research what a page fault is and what problems that causes

Of course the point is moot now since it sounds like a RAM error was possibly causing problem

though Enzo said this
I can't figure out why, but removing the pagefile or moving the page file to a drive other than my C: (vertex 2) solves the issue

the key to the problem lies in that statement

April 19, 2011 3:49:33 AM

Well, we both have asus M4A series motherboards and phenom II processors but that's it.

Gamerk316, your reasoning makes no sense since the "system idle process" is the idle CPU. That time is not doing any processing for the system at all.

Anyway, a little addition is that regular tasks in windows explorer can occasionally trigger the issue and force me to reboot. Explorer stops responding when browsing or right clicking or attempting to access a directory. Forces me to restart explorer but then the issue is there. This includes network shares so that might discount a sata driver or something similar.
April 19, 2011 7:10:47 AM

David 617 said:
Microsoft tech ed has a great video lesson about memory.
http://www.msteched.com/2010/NorthAmerica/WCL402
It's pretty simple to understand
(download sysinternal's process manager before watching to follow what he's saying)



I watched for a second
I plan to watch whole thing when I have no daughter,wife and dog to distract
thank you very much for link
While I am sure it is simple for YOU to understand
I will have to rewind and rewatch and have wikipedia available for definitons and have
to plan about two hours of time to actually grasp it LOL :) 

I am just a simple hardware "google tech"
a b $ Windows 7
April 19, 2011 1:37:57 PM

Quote:
Gamerk316, your reasoning makes no sense since the "system idle process" is the idle CPU. That time is not doing any processing for the system at all.


No, the "System Idle Process" is any task that is performed by any Windows service, or rather, any processing not within any of the other Processes listed in Task Manager, which includes Kernal calls, IO interactions, memory management, etc. The OS is ALWAYS doing something in the background; there is NEVER in instance of no work being done within Windows.

The point being: If System Idle Process is at 99% usage and other programs are not starting, that means their threads are not getting run. As Windows is a Priority based OS [The thread with the highest priority ALWAYS run, unless blocked by an IO operation], the only logical conslusion is they are being pre-empted by the OS or some other high priority item.
a b $ Windows 7
April 19, 2011 1:50:10 PM

Quote:
from what I can understand by not having a pagefile than you are limited to the the amount of ram you have
for your commit limit

if your commit limit is exceeded then you will have an out of virtual memory error
I have to research what a page fault is and what problems that causes

Of course the point is moot now since it sounds like a RAM error was possibly causing problem


If you do not have a pagefile, then every Virtual Address [remember: All memory within windows is allocated first to Virtual Memory, even with the PF disabled] is mapped to exactly one physical address in RAM. That is, you are limited by how much free RAM is avaliable. It is important to note: As you have lesss RAM avaliable for use, finding enoguh consecutive memory addresses to hold large amounts of data becomes difficult, which can kill performance.

With a page file, memory is allocated to a Virtual Address, then loaded into physical memory when needed [via the paging mechanism]. The only requirement on the maximum size of the page file, in theory, is hard drive space. Assuming unlimited space, all processes can allocate their maximum amount of Address Space. This is why you can have multiple processes allocate Gigabytes of RAM, despite only having [for example] 2GB of physical RAM installed, because only the processes[es] that is/are running need access to that RAM at any one time [and then, only a small portion]. Without paging, EVERY PROCESS would need to have all their resources loaded in physical memory, all the time [which requires large amounts of RAM].

Also worth noting Address Space limitations for processes:
32-bit application compiled without Large Address Aware switch: 2GB
32-bit application compiled with Large Address Aware switch: 4GB
64-bit application compiled without Large Address Aware Switch: 2GB
64-bit application compiled with Large Address Aware Switch: 8TB

In Task Manager, the "Commit Charge" is basically the total amount of Address Space in use, and the "Limit" is the CURRENT maximum size of the page file [though if left to "System Managed" can grow automatically as needed; hence why its rare to need to manually set the size of the pagefile]. It should be noted: Task Manger does NOT tell you how much system RAM is actually in use, just the current size of each processes Address Space.
April 19, 2011 3:55:18 PM

Enzo I am not sure this will help
run msconfig
look under processes
is Thread Orderer running?
also if that is the case
try enabling all processes
restart and then see if it stll happens
if it stll does
then go back into msconfig
and go step by step googling each process to
see what they are and if they are needed or not
if not needed then turn off process
April 20, 2011 4:10:05 PM

I have an interesting addition to this - I also have the same 100k problem, however, I've discovered an interesting twist.

The progs won't open by using the start menu, but if I open an email and click a link in the email, it launches Firefox, no problem!

Still no solution, but if it's this way with you guys too, it may point us in another direction?
a b $ Windows 7
April 20, 2011 7:03:16 PM

...again, I think something is pre-empting the program threads at startup, but I'm unsure what could do this...

Anti-Virus maybe? Indexing?

Also, quick question: USing either Process Explorer or Task manager [with the threads field enabled], how many threads are the programs using when they hang? [Trying to see if they even get to the point of creating their second threads or not...]
April 21, 2011 3:55:22 AM

king smp said:
Enzo I am not sure this will help
run msconfig
look under processes
is Thread Orderer running?
also if that is the case
try enabling all processes
restart and then see if it stll happens
if it stll does
then go back into msconfig
and go step by step googling each process to
see what they are and if they are needed or not
if not needed then turn off process


Nope.

chrisbitz said:
I have an interesting addition to this - I also have the same 100k problem, however, I've discovered an interesting twist.

The progs won't open by using the start menu, but if I open an email and click a link in the email, it launches Firefox, no problem!

Still no solution, but if it's this way with you guys too, it may point us in another direction?


Interesting. Next time this problem happens for me, I will try opening a file or something that will launch a program, like an mp3 file for vlc or something.

gamerk316 said:
...again, I think something is pre-empting the program threads at startup, but I'm unsure what could do this...

Anti-Virus maybe? Indexing?

Also, quick question: USing either Process Explorer or Task manager [with the threads field enabled], how many threads are the programs using when they hang? [Trying to see if they even get to the point of creating their second threads or not...]


Another thing I'll watch for next time it happens

Thanks guys maybe we'll eventually solve this. Seems like I'm not the only one with this problem but I seem to have been the first one to post something about it anywhere online (that I could find)
April 21, 2011 4:32:13 AM

I am not sure if you have done this
this post is getting a little long to read over LOL
but have you tried a newer/different set of chipset drivers?
April 21, 2011 5:35:59 AM

First of all, to gamerk316, your wrong about the idle cpu time. Idle cpu is exactly that, it's when your cpu is doing nothing. Its not running secret windows stuff in the background. A simple google search on the topic will confirm what I'm telling you. Here's a quote from CodingHorror.com "In other words, if the idle task is "chewing up 95 percent of the processor's cycles", that's normal: it simply means your CPU isn't working very hard on anything at the moment. "

To Enzo and Crisbitz,
This error has got to be a hardware issue. If you wipe your OS and the error persists, there is no other explanation. A fresh OS would cure any virus, kernel, or driver issues. That said, I think that the ram is at fault. Either a bad stick of ram or, in my case, not seated properly. When you load a program, the first thing it does is allocate ram space. If there is a problem with that the program will hang right there.
I solved the problem for myself by re-seating the ram, and stress testing it with memtest. Can you two try that and tell me if it works for you? Take both sticks out. Firmly seat the first one. Run memtest for at least 2 passes. Repeat with the second stick. Then do it with both sticks in there.
April 21, 2011 5:43:10 AM

king smp said:
I watched for a second
I plan to watch whole thing when I have no daughter,wife and dog to distract
thank you very much for link
While I am sure it is simple for YOU to understand
I will have to rewind and rewatch and have wikipedia available for definitons and have
to plan about two hours of time to actually grasp it LOL :) 

I am just a simple hardware "google tech"


Go Google!
If you have any questions, feel free to email me through my website www.SimpleTechSolutions.info
April 21, 2011 6:21:42 AM

David 617 said:
Go Google!
If you have any questions, feel free to email me through my website www.SimpleTechSolutions.info


Thank you
though I am leery of going outside of Toms community
Nothing personal I hope you understand
If you look in Applications multimedia
I posted a thread on Vegas Pro v 8.0 network rendering
Any advice would be greatly appreciated



Enzo
As David 617 said hardware specifically ram very well could be the problem
April 21, 2011 5:43:05 PM

king smp said:
Thank you
though I am leery of going outside of Toms community
Nothing personal I hope you understand
If you look in Applications multimedia
I posted a thread on Vegas Pro v 8.0 network rendering
Any advice would be greatly appreciated



Enzo
As David 617 said hardware specifically ram very well could be the problem


I started a thread in applications about sysinternals. we can talk there
April 24, 2011 7:11:02 AM

I had the same problem for a day, the programs seemed to launch from the task bar and showed the the processing timer via the mouse, but never loaded. checked task manager and they had 100-120k mem used. My solution was to take off a USB stick that I had left plugged in. I've tried it 3x with the stick and the problem happens, and 3x without in which the problem never occurs.

hope this helps.

Duke

my specs:

AMD Phenom(tm) II X6 1090T Processor (6 CPUs), ~3.2GHz
8192MB RAM
AMD Radeon HD 6900 Series
Windows 7 Professional 64-bit Service Pack 1
HD: 2x Samsung 1TB
ASUS M4A88TD-V EVO/USB3 AM3 AMD 880G HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard
April 24, 2011 7:25:06 AM

if i read right that enzo and duke and david all of the SAME series motherboard
asus m4a
i would listen to duke
and I would email asus support
could be USB controller conflict
April 24, 2011 7:26:32 AM

haha +1 to king smp. and to think this guy thought i was a troll :p 

http://www.overclock.net/windows/994822-programs-wont-o...

if not i retract my statement :p 


I forgot to mention i did a virus scan w comodo which showed nada
did a spybot test with spybod S&D
and did an avast test.

hell i even checked for registry errors.
April 24, 2011 9:25:17 AM

Had exactly the same problem yesterday, it nearly drove me insane, i don't think it's USB related, at least with peripherals (maybe USB controllers...) since i reproduced the problem with nothing plugged in except the mouse.

What i noticed is that it's when you launch a program directly through the windows explorer (Taskbar, file manager...), try opening a program through a command line prompt, it will work.

64bits programs are fine, and very few 32bits apps will run too like IE (64bits awareness ?), but most 32bits programs show the problem (Firefox, Filezilla, aMSN, Skype, Steam...).

A lot of people seems to have AMD processors too, here's my system specs.

Phenom II 965BE
Gibabyte UD3H 890GX
8GB RAM

I think the problem is related to a Windows 7 update (POST SP1) of the 12/04/2011, here they are:

I proceeded by uninstalling them one by one until i got rid of the issue, i seem to have found a culprit, but maybe it's too soon to state that, no issue so far though...

(Only the important ones)

KB2497640
KB2508272
KB2446709
KB2491683
KB2503658
KB2506212
KB2506223
KB2507618
KB2508429
KB2509553 <--- the current culprit to be uninstalled
KB2510531
KB2511455
KB2506014
April 24, 2011 9:31:19 AM

maybe the 8xx chipset?
not an AMD guy so just guessing
April 25, 2011 1:50:52 AM

king smp said:
if i read right that enzo and duke and david all of the SAME series motherboard
asus m4a
i would listen to duke
and I would email asus support
could be USB controller conflict


I am having the same problem my specs are
AMD Phenom II X6 1090T 3.2 GHZ
2TB HD
8gb DDR3 Ram
Gigabyte GA-870A-UD3 motherboard.
Dual ATI Radeon HD 5450 Video Cards

Reboots sometimes, Sometimes Outlook opens and I can open other programs by launching them from within an email. If outlook does not open only IE9 works. Funny Skype always works. I just got the system from Cyberpower about 3 weeks ago. Its maddening.

April 25, 2011 2:12:09 AM

Hey AMD guys does GA-870a mean it is a 870a chipset?
because while some of the mobo are different makers
they all have the 8xx series in common
April 25, 2011 11:18:45 PM

king smp said:
Hey AMD guys does GA-870a mean it is a 870a chipset?
because while some of the mobo are different makers
they all have the 8xx series in common

Mine is a 7xx series chipset with DDR2 memory.
I've not had ram errors.
no usb devices besides mouse and keyboard.

I've personally determined that the updates don't seem to have to do with it. I found uninstalling them can solve the issue, but in my case it returned. I then reinstalled them and they haven't come back in a while.

I'll run memtest again. I'm wondering if there is some kind of controller or something that all these motherboards have in common since 3 of the 4 with issues have an asus m4a series motherboard.
April 25, 2011 11:24:12 PM

probably a driver issue

I am assuming you have the latest updates from mobo maker?
a b $ Windows 7
April 26, 2011 12:02:59 PM

Just for kicks, you could try removing the USB controller via device manager and rebooting [the necessary drivers should then be automatically reinstalled]; there was an issue with 7 SP1 and the USB controllers and bad drivers, so maybe thats the root cause? [epecially since one person already had a simmilar issue with a USB stick]
April 26, 2011 5:08:42 PM

^+1 good idea
April 26, 2011 5:15:28 PM

I had this exact same problem for a few days. Then the problem just... stopped for no apparent reason. Sweet... I guess
!