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Unable to launch restart.exe

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bizzybody    4

This does not appear to be any of the common malwares that cause Windows to constantly reboot. Everything works fine on this Pavilion a1129n except for periodically a small dialog box with Unable to launch restart.exe pops up. The taskbar button has the Hewlett Packard logo on it.

That leads me to believe this thing is a remnant of an HP software update that failed to clean up after itself. I've run full scans with Malware Bytes, MSE and others. All come up clean. The system exhibits no signs at all typical of having malware. I've installed driver and utility program updates from HP, cleaned up the registry with CCleaner and NTREGOPT. There's no antivirus on it other than MSE. What is sort of curious is it wasn't cluttered up with a load of software installs so I haven't had to uninstall anything, there weren't any presonal files from a previous owner in My Documents. It's one of the cleanest secondhand PCs I've ever seen.

I can't find any reference to restart.exe in the Registry. Must be something else, most likely HP's software updater, attempting to launch it. The hard part is finding what/where that's happening and how to stop it.

One good thing is the previous owner had not made the recovery DVDs so I did. I *could* nuke and pave it but this is such a small issue that should be simple to fix, would save a ton of time over wiping it and starting over. What would be quite annoying would be to do all that and have the exact same problem crop up. That could be why it went unused for so long, HP's software went *erk* and nobody could fix it.

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submix8c    89

Something installed later on? RESTART.EXE can be "called" from any number of other places - within a CMD, amother EXE, etc. Those may be "kcicked off" from a Registry entry. You assumed too much.

Nuke And Pave shouldn't cause a (the) problem. Simply turn off Auto Updates, disconnect from the Internet, Use Add/remove to remove the HP Junkware (e.g. their version of "AutoUpdates") and any Trialware that they may have installed (Office, Norton, etc), reconnect to Internet and proceed to MS-Update your Installation, THEN install any "Additional" software. I've done this procedure a number of times and had absolutely no problems. BE AWARE that you don't want to DESTROY the "Recovery Partitions" - leave them alone! They are the SOURCE of the DVD's to be created AND provide a Method of "Re-Nuke And Pave" from HDD (find manual and read).

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jaclaz    943

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