Skip to main content

To Hell and Back

 

Yesterday I had a frightening experience settling disputes between Avast Antivirus Free 6.0.0.24 and Daemon Tools Lite 4.40. In the end I admit, it was horrible experience for me. The problem remained.

I had Daemon Tools Lite installed on my machine. I was using Avast Antivirus Free 5.x. I had no problems. Avast released their latest upgrade as 6 series and I downloaded it and installed it. An additional bonus in this was the Sandbox and Auto Sandbox mode which isolates programs to prevent the spread of infection to the rest of the machine. Expecting rock solid integration of Avast I installed it, updated it and restarted it. The problems I faced were as follows: -

  • Blue Screen of Death – Just before the logon screen is displayed, the BSOD popped. The error code was 00000x7f( in hexadecimal). On the BSOD it said some problem with the ahcix86.sys file. I was speptical. If that indeed was the case, safe mode would not work either
  • So first I restarted it and logged into my second operating system, Linux Mint(Helena) to   check for any hard disk errors relating to bad sectors. No errors were found. Then I run a memcheck on the RAM modules. No errors were detected. After a little more effort including encoding and decoding in Mint I was convinced it was NOT a hardware problem but a software one. Probably a corrupt ahcix86.sys file. I read a dump file with this software - http://www.nirsoft.net/utils/blue_screen_view.html
  • Accordingly I restarted the machine, this time booting into Windows with F8 function key pressed to access the advanced boot options, then selected the ‘Safe Mode’ option. Surprisingly in this case the ahcix86.sys file loaded perfectly. So it was obvious that it was not the culprit but the error or exception was thrown by it to denote some conflict with other drivers which were loading in Normal booting into Windows.
  • I restarted the machine and found the BSOD disappeared. I was very happy. To double check I restarted and found it was back and never went off. After a few restarts I tried repairing it, but no errors were found by the Windows Recovery Tool.
  • I finally decided to reinstall Windows :(
  • After reinstalling Windows I again installed the Avast Antivirus Free 6.0.0.24 and Daemon Tools Lite. After restarting the same problem arised.
  • I realized their was some conflict between Avast and Daemon Tools.
  • Went into Safe Mode, and uninstalled the Virtual DVD Driver from Device Manager and restarted.image
  • It booted correctly but sensing any further trouble I uninstalled Avast and reinstalled Daemon Tools
  • The problem disappeared, and did not recur. I was Saved. :)

In this particular case after some research I came up with the following : -

  • Avast Antivirus 6.x is not the culprit
  • Daemon Tools is not the culprit
  • The problem was with SPTD.sys – a device driver for emulation used by Drive emulation software. But Avast Antivirus 6.x has some issues with SPTD because before I had Daemon Tools installed and faced no problems with Avast 5.x, Comodo, PC Tools etc. Avast 6.x being a new release will probably take some time to address the issues concerned.

Now I am feeling better.

Sarthak Ganguly

imgre2s imgres

The Daemon Tools Logo and the Avast Logo are registered trademarks of their respective companies.

Popular posts from this blog

Burhan Wani – The man and his mission

Burhan Wani – The man and his mission The death of a young ‘hero’? On the 8th of July, Burhan Muzaffar Wani died in the Valley of Kashmir. Thousands poured out on the streets to commemorate his services to the movement that he had come to symbolize of late. The relative calm of the region was shattered with curfews, killings and allegations of human rights abuses. His father was proud for the services his son had offered in the name of their faith, convinced that he would go to Heaven. Amidst all this, the romantic ideals of a young boy, just off his teens began to shake up the youth of the entire country, both in and beyond India. There is a lot of unrest in the Kashmir Valley recently, especially in the aftermath of the death, nay execution of Burhan. All of this is not unexpected in any way. In fact, this was foreseen. Even his glorification, his elevation to the status of a martyr in the service of Islam does not come as a surprise to me.
There is a section of the media and a sig…

Indian Partition - The Forgotten Question

The Partition of India was a terrible catastrophe. There is no doubt about that. Millions were killed, displaced, thousands were raped, orphaned etc. All this was done in a space of a few months. Mobs frantically killed each other for life, religion, property, identity, revenge and any other reason they could then think of. Even since the call for Direct Action, there was no doubt about a serious religious conflict. What followed was an eventual ethnic cleansing of parts of India of non Muslims and Muslims. How it happened, what happened, how trains full of dead bodies piled up on each side of new borders is well known. Hundreds of books have been written, research over decades have been published. We know all that.

The basic idea of it all was simple - Jinnah believed Hindus and Muslims are two separate nations and the latter should have a distinct political entity for themselves, based on Islam, their faith. To identify this they had to prove one thing. That the All India Muslim Le…

The postman, Megha and I

This is a story that goes way back to 2001 or 2002. I was in the sixth standard. Yes, I do remember it quite vividly. It was funny, painful and a bit out of the ordinary – basically it had all the ingredients that allows a memory to stick a great while longer than others. In the process of my recollection, I may miss out a few pieces here and there, but it will be pretty accurate. Of course, the intention of this exercise is in no way to humiliate anyone else or point out the flaws about others’ actions. I now find it hilarious and I think so would you.
I studied in the Vivekananda Mission School, a private English medium school in Joka, on the outskirts of Kolkata. If you know the location of the Indian Institute of Management, Kolkata, you know the location of my school. I studied there till the twelfth standard. We had many students in our class (sixth). We were divided into several sections, ranging from A to F (not sure if it was F or G). But anyway, I was in section B, the sect…