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Trouble of the Day

  • About that Windows boot situation, it "behaves" practically every time now. Unless I boot back very soon after shut-down.

    There was a "Samsung" screen offering "Recovery". Well, I tried - did not proceed, because it said I must lose my C.
    I switched off-on a time or two - as I hoped a Windows black screen with booting options: last two times I chose "normal" - it was o'k! :dunno:

  • Mostly browsing with Firefox, I've got a couple of occurrences of this thing in these couple of days. Haven't noticed if it happened only when I use certain sites or do something special or not.

    In the Windows task bar, a task thing appears, with title "Daily News".
    Both times I got it, I tried clicking on it to see WTF was that. But nothing went up. Right-clicking to close it worked.
    The icon in this task thing was not a Firefox one, nor any other I recently used.

    What is that? A virus? Or some "recent feature" of Firefox?
    Or can it be an extension causing it?
    Should I make a screenshot next time? Should I check certain tools in order to find out what's going on before I close it?

  • If it doesn't have a Firefox icon, then it can't be an extension. Extensions do not run outside the browser.

  • ...
    In the Windows task bar, a task thing appears, with title "Daily News".
    Both times I got it, I tried clicking on it to see WTF was that. But nothing went up. Right-clicking to close it worked.
    The icon in this task thing was not a Firefox one, nor any other I recently used.
    ...

    The next time it appears, try right clicking the taskbar icon and selecting Properties, then look at the Target and Start-in boxes that appear in the pop-up. Note: in some Windows versions, you may have to right click the taskbar icon and again right click on the program's name within the taskbar pop-up to get the Properties option to appear. There may be some path information in that Target or Start-in data that gives a clue as to what is originating the taskbar icon.

  • @blackbird71
    Sorry for the delay. I was sick flat and didn't give poop about anything.
    The thing seems to be generated daily by my AV 360. I guess it's all right. Thank you, little bird;)

  • @joshl said in Trouble of the Day:

    ...
    The thing seems to be generated daily by my AV 360. I guess it's all right. ...

    I'm glad you're back! Hopefully, you're feeling better at last.

    Is your identification of 360 as the source of the 'daily news' pop-up based on right-clicking the taskbar icon's Properties? The "target" entry should show you the path to the originating file and what folder it's coming from.

  • @blackbird71 said in Trouble of the Day:

    @joshl said in Trouble of the Day:

    ...
    The thing seems to be generated daily by my AV 360. I guess it's all right. ...

    Is your identification of 360 as the source of the 'daily news' pop-up based on right-clicking the taskbar icon's Properties? The "target" entry should show you the path to the originating file and what folder it's coming from.

    No:) It says "360" etc. in the title bar:lol:

  • @joshl said in Trouble of the Day:

    No:) It says "360" etc. in the title bar:lol:

    Ahh... OK. I don't use 360, so I wasn't aware if they did a 'daily news' thing. However, many AVs indeed do put up an occasional message pop-up with either virus news or weekly/monthly track record of attacks upon the system, so it may simply be in that class of message. Depending on the AV, sometimes a user can suppress such messages if desired, but not all AVs that perform the messaging give a user that option.

  • @blackbird71 The thing doesn't seem very aggressive, however it offers an upgrade to be able to lose ads etc. But it does not appear that annoying as some, so I gratefully decline:)

  • Free AV software will display stuff asking you to upgrade - Avira does that also.

  • Hi there!
    Yesterday several files of mine here wouldn't open. They show in the folder, no different icon (video), they show their file size and file name, and last edit; but they have appeared to lack their Properties - you know, file's "metadata" on right click and then some. When I tried to have them open - as usual - the player opens then says "file not found".
    The files in question had recently been moved into a new folder in a larger folder having been itself moved from Disk C to Disk D.
    Also I regularly clean junk with my AV's clean-up plugin with no problem so far, and I had just done defragmentation on Disk C - after moving the larger folder to D.
    Well, refreshing the folder with the files didn't make any difference, haven't tried rebooting the computer yet.
    In that folder, like many files were like that, while some others looked fine and played fine. Forgot to mention: tried deleting such a file - the system says "error" and doesn't it seems.
    I tried to figure out what action(s) of mine could trigger such a thing, but couldn't find any pattern: some files had been moved one way, some others another way, perhaps even there are some with a third way. Like moving with the mouse, or using the folder menu on the left...
    File system shouldn't differentiate of those, right?
    Why "not found" when the files shown and their sizes shown? Some fragments missing? How? Defragmentation? Cleanup? Moving error?

  • @joshl The way a file system works is that the files themselves are stored on a storage drive (hard disk, flash, SSD, etc), but the primary metadata regarding them is created and stored in a special area of the file system itself and acts as an index to the files on the storage medium. Windows file explorer contains functionality to view the metadata in the file system index when you right-click a file name and select "Properties". When an app or user tries to open a file, the system uses the file system's indexed metadata for the file name to retrieve it into RAM from the correct storage location. If the metadata in the file system index becomes corrupted or parts of it get deleted, the file system may become unable to determine and connect to the file in its actual storage starting location, though the index may still contain some readable metadata regarding certain of the file's details. A variety of things can corrupt the file system index: a failing drive, a crashed or interrupted file copy/move operation, corrupted file defragmentation, a malware attack, an erratic drive controller, and so on.

    An analogy is that the metadata file index is like a book's topical index. If the book's page index has become corrupted or had some information deleted, you can't use it to locate the pages where certain sought information is still located. The affected files (or perhaps parts of them) are likely still in existence on either the original or the secondary drive, but the system index has lost track of them.

    There are disk recovery tools that can sometimes scan through a storage drive and reassemble missing/broken files from their scattered and unindexed pieces, but the results will sometimes be incomplete or spotty if the disk has sustained a lot of write activity from usage or from defragmentation after the index corruption occurred. Depending on the nature of the original failure, the drive sectors may be marked as 'available' and get over-written and incorporated into unrelated files.

    In any case, you face two issues: determining what caused the failures in the first place (since if it's failing hardware, it will only get worse), and trying to recover the affected files (if necessary). From your original description, it seems quite possible that the original attempt to copy the files into a new drive/folder may have been incomplete/defective and corrupted the metadata for those files.

  • @blackbird71 said in Trouble of the Day:

    From your original description, it seems quite possible that the original attempt to copy the files into a new drive/folder may have been incomplete/defective and corrupted the metadata for those files.

    Then how to proceed in this case?
    If it's an occasion corruption of these few files, like due to your said copy error, the problem is to either recover the files or delete them.
    If it's possible to recover them, what would the method be? Well, only if it gives a good chance with minimal side effects, because I'd rather clear the mess altogether by deleting them.

    So, what would cause this copy error? Some system/hardware malfunction?
    Will it get worse? Can I deal with it?

  • @joshl If it were me, I'd first check Windows Event Viewer to see if there were any reported errors that have occurred (particularly around the time when the copying was performed) which point toward the file system and/or hard drive(s) on my computer. If I had any drive-checking or file-checking tools, I'd also use them to make sure the drive(s) is not failing sporadically. Either a failing drive or a corrupted system file can make any subsequent recovery effort pointless. System File Checker may be able to repair corrupted system files; failing drives should be replaced.

    Then I'd try to recover the lost files from both drives using a free tool like Piriform Recuva ( https://www.piriform.com/recuva ) or
    IObit Undelete ( https://www.iobit.com/en/iobitundelete.php ). Note: a risk exists in that the more files you write to the drive that actually contains the file pieces in question, the greater the chances of over-writing any file portions that may have been marked by the os as 'available', but there's little way to avoid the risk if you need a place to install the recovery tool(s). Most recovery tools methodically "walk" through a drive itself and try to piece together files whose portions they find, regardless of what (if anything) is listed in the file system index. (This is possible since a file stored on a drive typically is broken up into myriad small pieces, the last few bytes of each of which are a vector pointing to where on the drive the next file piece can be found). If all the pieces are still valid and in place, the file can then be recovered... if some pieces are missing, the recovery will either fail or the result will be incomplete/corrupted.

    'File errors' can occur for a lot of reasons. If the file system index is messed up, the operating system may not be able to find the requested file in storage for the name in the listing, and depending on what information is missing/wrong, the error message may vary. If the index metadata is correct, but the file itself is hopelessly corrupted or pieces of it missing, various error messages may also be issued. Much depends on the specific error message issued for a particular action that was attempted.

  • @blackbird71 said in Trouble of the Day:

    I'd first check Windows Event Viewer to see if there were any reported errors that have occurred (particularly around the time when the copying was performed) which point toward the file system and/or hard drive(s) on my computer.

    Is this it?0_1520673844007_IfWEV.JPG
    How do I make it show me something??

  • @blackbird71 said in Trouble of the Day:

    If I had any drive-checking or file-checking tools...

    Like what?

    If I open "My computer", then right-click on a disk, then "service", there are a few options. Is it like that? "CHKDSK"? Done a few times, each time it just bored me for more than an hour then nothing other than usual. Should I get my laptop X-rayed or something? 🙂

  • @joshl said in Trouble of the Day:

    If I open "My computer", then right-click on a disk, then "service", there are a few options. Is it like that? "CHKDSK"?

    Had already scheduled and just did that. Full for C and "halfway" for D.
    I do not exactly get it. If something's wrong, will a "warning screen" of sorts be lingering just a little longer than that couple of seconds?
    For the latter checking of Disk D, it kinda did it as it seemed, then a little window said "Check finished" and that was it. The little window was kinda blue and with no warnings in it...

    Well, if I may a couple of relevant questions...

    1. When I went to reboot, there was a "can't close" warning window there talking about some rundl.exe if I cite correctly. It said "data could be lost", I proceeded anyway. What was that? Could it be relevant to my recent problem here?
    2. After the reboot etc., I used my AV's clean-up plugin to like "sterilise" the space. Yes, it found some "Windows junk" there! After the reboot with full CHKDSK and checking Disk D.
      Well, the question is: there was some 9MB in "Windows prefetch files". I had had it unchecked previously - because I didn't know what it is and the name sounded like it mattered... Did it? I did check it this cleaning time, in case it mattered. Is it important?

    (Haven't checked those troubled files yet, after the reboot and co. Am going to.)

  • @joshl Assuming you're still on XP (?), there typically will be three categories of data in the event viewer: Application, Security, and System. The last (System) is probably the best place for error messages related to your original problem. Since my Russian-fu is weak, your equivalent term may be the third item in your posted image, above the Internet Explorer entry. Highlight that one and you should be able to scroll through a chronological list of all the events recorded for the 'system' category... you're looking for yellow warning or especially red error icons and entries at or just prior to the file-copying date/time when you tried to initially copy your now-problematic files. You may otherwise find a scattering of irrelevant errors across the log... a lot of Windows installations toss up a few unimportant errors from time to time.

    Chkdsk should be adequate for a drive/file-checking tool. Ordinarily, you should get a 'results' message after completion which reports at least an exit code, if not a textual 'results' message (0=no errors, 1-errors were found and fixed, 2=disk cleanup performed, 3=could not check the disk or errors could not be fixed because fixing was not specified). In running chkdsk, what did you select regarding possibly fixing errors or whether to recover bad disk sectors?

    Prefetch is a Windows folder containing files that each refer to an application program on the system and which store a variety of app usage information used to speed up the loading of the program in future operations. Normally, users should leave them intact to get maximum system performance, but in cases where uninstalled programs left pieces behind, there may be some unneeded files that accumulate there and can be weeded out. Routinely cleaning prefetch is not considered wise by many gurus, since some applications may have very slow startups without prompting from prefetch data. If you're not going to use prefetch, it's far better to simply turn it off in Windows than continually clean out the files.

  • @blackbird71 said in Trouble of the Day:

    @joshl Assuming you're still on XP (?), there typically will be three categories of data in the event viewer: Application, Security, and System. The last (System) is probably the best place for error messages related to your original problem. Since my Russian-fu is weak, your equivalent term may be the third item in your posted image, above the Internet Explorer entry. Highlight that one and you should be able to scroll through a chronological list of all the events recorded for the 'system' category... you're looking for yellow warning or especially red error icons and entries at or just prior to the file-copying date/time when you tried to initially copy your now-problematic files. You may otherwise find a scattering of irrelevant errors across the log... a lot of Windows installations toss up a few unimportant errors from time to time.

    Yes, I am still on XP.
    "Open 'System'"-- yes, I did that. I remember having already tried to use that thing looking for errors. There are two problems: 1) the general problem is that there's no meaningful data in those lines (yes, there are errors), 2) I do not remember even approximately the date of the moving -- between a week and two months, sorry.

  • @blackbird71 said in Trouble of the Day:

    Chkdsk should be adequate for a drive/file-checking tool. Ordinarily, you should get a 'results' message after completion which reports at least an exit code, if not a textual 'results' message (0=no errors, 1-errors were found and fixed, 2=disk cleanup performed, 3=could not check the disk or errors could not be fixed because fixing was not specified). In running chkdsk, what did you select regarding possibly fixing errors or whether to recover bad disk sectors?

    For D -- only box 1, for C -- both.