Nikilet

Emsisoft will not open and run

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I filed a previous post under the topic "Emsisoft icon not appearing in my notification area" but after the initial response have heard no more. Now my problem is more serious. Emsisoft does not run on startup and when I open it manually it freezes and affects everything I try to do on my computer. I couldn't even get to sites on the Internet. I restarted and that cleared things so I can use my computer, but according to the notification area, Emsisoft is not running. 

When I went to "Services App" before restarting, intending to stop and restart the program, it was froze there also and I could make no selections. It appeared that it was running but I couldn't stop it.

I am enclosing screenshot of a window that appeared a few days ago on reboot regarding a glitch.

Also a screenshot of what appeared when I manually started the program. There was no action when I selected to "Fix" and after that it froze and I had to restart to get rid of the window. I went into the various tabs and all protections seemed to be "ON."

I don't know what caused things to become such a mess. Dell worked on my computer by remote access to fix their "Support Assist" app and it seems like it was after that when all this started. 

Please help.

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Go ahead and attach your diag log here instead of the other topic, and if you could also get me log from FRST then that would be great. You can find instructions for downloading and running FRST at the following link:
https://help.emsisoft.com/en/1738/how-do-i-run-a-scan-with-frst/

Note: When FRST checks the Windows Firewall settings, Emsisoft Anti-Malware's Behavior Blocker will quarantine it automatically. This can be avoided by clicking "Wait, I think this is safe" in the notification that is displayed while FRST is scanning, however if a2guard.exe (which draws the System Tray/Notification area icon) then you will not see notifications. In this instance, if EAM just quarantines FRST without warning, then attach the logs it saved to a reply as they'll contain most of what I need to see.

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Are you able to configure Malwarebytes Anti-Malware so that it doesn't run when Windows starts, and then restart your computer? I'm curious to see if you still have the same issue without Malwarebytes Anti-Malware running.

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I have MBAM so that it does not run on startup. I thought I had my Emsisoft working but have been in the hospital for 18 days and discover now that Emsisoft was once again not in the notification area and I had to manually start it. Please help. I need to get this fixed.

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I would believe we had a bug that was fixed early in February where Emsisoft Anti-Malware's UI (a2guard.exe and a2start.exe) were not running on startup. If you do the following, does that help?

  1. Open Emsisoft Anti-Malware.
  2. Click on Settings.
  3. Select Advanced from the menu at the top.
  4. Enable the option Start on Windows startup. If it is already enabled, then turn it off and then turn it back on.

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12 hours ago, GT500 said:

I would believe we had a bug that was fixed early in February where Emsisoft Anti-Malware's UI (a2guard.exe and a2start.exe) were not running on startup. If you do the following, does that help?

  1. Open Emsisoft Anti-Malware.
  2. Click on Settings.
  3. Select Advanced from the menu at the top.
  4. Enable the option Start on Windows startup. If it is already enabled, then turn it off and then turn it back on.

I've tried this several times and again just now. Emsisoft does not start with Windows and does not run unless I manually open it. 

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12 hours ago, Nikilet said:

I've tried this several times and again just now. Emsisoft does not start with Windows and does not run unless I manually open it. 

Are you still seeing the "Application error" dialog? If so, was it able to send the error report when you clicked the "Send" button?

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Did the error report send OK? Did you enter your e-mail address before sending the report? I can ask if the error report was received if you did enter your e-mail address.

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On 3/5/2020 at 11:31 PM, GT500 said:

Did the error report send OK? Did you enter your e-mail address before sending the report? I can ask if the error report was received if you did enter your e-mail address.

I answered this once but somehow it never registered. I did enter my email address when sending the report and it appeared to send ok. But I have heard nothing. This has been going on for quite a long time now. I'd sure like to get this program fixed so that I can feel it is protecting me.

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I've asked if we received your crash report and if we need any further debug info.

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@Nikilet would it be possible to follow the instructions at the link below to enable automatic application crash dumps, and then send us the crash dump?
https://help.emsisoft.com/en/1772/how-do-i-configure-automatic-crash-dumps-in-case-of-application-failures/

The crash dump file will be named something like a2guard.exe.dmp and will and will be in a folder such as the following:

  • C:\Users\Public\CrashDumps

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First of all, I did not receive email notification of your March 11 post, so I don't know what the problem is there. 

I'm being continuously left without protection because every time a restart is necessary, Emsisoft does not automatically run after reboot and I changed my settings on Malwarebytes so that it would not start with Windows. I changed that setting today so that at least I have some protection when Emsisoft shuts down and I forget to restart it manually.

Unless I'm missing something, all I have to do is download the Crash Dump Registry Script. Then do I just open and run it and look for the dump file you indicate above? Do I have to restart so that Emsisoft will shut down before I sent this file to you?

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@Nikilet - you download the files and run the one that enables crash dumps.  When, /after that/, EAM crashes, the changes made in the registry should force Windows to create a dump file as described on that page.    There won't be any dump files until EAM crashes.   You won't need to restart to send the dump to Emsisoft, but you will want to restart to restart EAM.

You say that EAM /never/ runs after reboot? 

Which version of Windows is this?   Is it W8[.1] or W10 where reboots are sometimes somewhat like a wake-up after putting the machine to sleep?

If so, it would be worth doing a full/cold shutdown of the machine each time you need to reboot, so the OS restarts from nothing at all, rather than partly based on its pre-reboot status.  With W8.1, I do that by logging out of my userid then on the user-selection screen where there's a little menu at the bottom right of the screen click that menu which then shows options including "Shutdown".  If one just clicks that you don't get a full shutdown; you get the faster option.  Instead by shift-clicking it you do get a full shutdown.  There will be some equivalent for W10.  

 

It would be useful to find out why EAM doesn't start.  That is, does it try to start and that fail, or does whatever is meant to start it fail to issue the start command?  

 

You mention MBAM.  Do you have any other security software, or any of the programs that let people tweak start-up settings?

 

If you totally disable MBAM, then full/cold shutdown your machine, then reboot it from scratch... does EAM start sometimes or never? 

 

Do you know your way around the Eventlog logs?    If EAM fails to start, and you do know your way around the Eventlogs, can you look through the logs to see if there's any log appearing to show an attempted start of any part of EAM?

 

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I have Windows 10.

I don't know if you'd call this a crash situation. EAM runs just fine until I restart/reboot. But when Windows restarts EAM does not. I have shut down my computer with the power button and then restarted with the power button and it makes no difference. EAM does not start after the boot up or reboot.

I do not have any other security software; just MNAM and EAM/Windows Firewall.

The entries in that event log are so much gibberish to me. 

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Right at the start of this topic you described a "glitch" - a C0000005 program error.   That WAS a crash from which a dump might have been useful.

Are you saying that there's been no more "glitches"?

WIth most laptops, and possibly also desktop machines, you can configure what happens when the power button is pressed.  It's not necessarily fully shutting down Windows.  Even (with laptops etc) where in theory one can just close the lid and 'sleep' the machine it's not a fantastically good idea always to do that.  It's better to do a full shutdown occasionally.

If you have EAM running, then log out of your userid, then log back in again (so that Windows itself is not being restarted), which bits of EAM are then running?  In task manager you would expect normally (in the Details tab - at least that's what it's called in W8.1) to see a2service, a2guard and a2start running.  Maybe you should make sure you can find those before you try logging out and back in.  Here, with W8.1, there's often quite a delay (a minute?) before a2start starts.

@GT500 - might usefully (I think) explain to you how to export some of the contents of the Eventlogs covering a reboot, and send them to him. 

 

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The only thing running is a2service.exe.

I ran the file: enable_mini_crash_dumps.reg 

After rebooting (above) EAM was not running.  I looked under C/Users/Public/Crash Dumps and there is nothing in there referring to a2.

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13 hours ago, Nikilet said:

First of all, I did not receive email notification of your March 11 post, so I don't know what the problem is there.

Some mail providers block the service we use to send e-mails. We've been trying to get that resolved, but I'm not certain what the status is on that.

 

8 hours ago, Nikilet said:

I don't know if you'd call this a crash situation.

On March 5th you posted a screenshot of a crash notification. This is why i asked for crash dumps (I didn't realize the link I posted didn't have real instructions), and if this isn't happening anymore then there's no need for crash dumps and you can disable crash dumps.

Turn off the option in Emsisoft Anti-Malware's Advanced settings that's labeled Start on Windows startup and then run another scan with FRST. Here's the link to the instructions for FRST if you need them or the download link:
https://help.emsisoft.com/en/1738/how-do-i-run-a-scan-with-frst/

I want to see if the startup item for a2guard.exe is really being removed when that option is turned off. Please don't turn the "Start on Windows startup" option back on until I tell you, just in case I need FRST to delete that registry entry first.

 

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I'm starting to wonder about this FRST scan. It said it would take between 1-5 minutes. Mine has been running a good 20 minutes and still going. There is no text at all above that green bar. I think something has gone wrong here.

 

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It kept stopping and every time it did, it stopped everything else too. I was trying to place cards while waiting for it to finish. After it came out of the last freeze I opened task manager and ended the process. Will wait for further instructions. Could the file I downloaded have been corrupted?

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@Nikilet   What do you mean by "place cards"?

You said "it kept stopping".   What did?   How did you know it had stopped?

And also you said "it stopped everything else too".   What do you mean?

When you're not trying to run FRST, does your machine behave normally?   Do you have any other programs that are not behaving properly?

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a2start is the UI? a2guard is the rtp? Can you check if eam will still block eicar when only a2service is running? Perhaps the BB is blocking frst and no prompt is being shown because a2start isnt running?

Check the eam logs if frst is being blocked.

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3 hours ago, Nikilet said:

Ok, here are the files GT500 asked for.

Please download the following fixlist.txt file and save it to the Desktop:

https://www.gt500.org/emsisoft/frst/fixlist/2020-04-19/Nikilet/fixlist.txt

NOTE: It's important that both files, the FRST download from earlier and the fixlist file, are in the same location or the fix will not work. If you need to, please copy the files from your Downloads folder to your desktop.

  1. Run the FRST download from earlier, and press the Fix button just once and wait.
  2. If for some reason the tool needs to restart your computer, please make sure you let the computer restart normally. After that let the tool complete anything it still needs to do.
  3. When finished FRST will generate a log on the Desktop (Fixlog). Please attach it to a reply.

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Sorry but I'm confused. How can I "download" that file above (fixlist.txt) and save it to my desktop? When I click on your link there is no actual file. It just opens to a white page with this on it:

HKLM\...\StartupApproved\Run: => "Emsisoft Anti-Malware"
Reboot:

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6 hours ago, Nikilet said:

When I click on your link there is no actual file. It just opens to a white page with this on it:

What you're viewing is the contents of a text file. You can save that file the same way you'd save any web page you're viewing in your web browser.

Here's a link to instructions on how to save a web page in Google Chrome:
https://support.google.com/chrome/answer/7343019

Here's a link to instructions for doing the same in Firefox:
https://support.mozilla.org/kb/how-save-web-page

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I forgot to mention that once you've run the fixlist in FRST and your computer has restarted, you can re-enable the option to run Emsisoft Anti-Malware when Windows starts.

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Happy to report that Emsisoft started with Windows. Attaching that Fixlog.

When I sign in here I always get an error page that says "Oops! Something went wrong." All I have to do is hit the back arrow and then I'm on the post page and signed in. Just wondering why that happens.

And, btw, thanks for your help! And, thanks also to the other posters who offered advice and help.

Fixlog.txt

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> "When I sign in here I always get an error page"...

Do you sign in here by finding your own way to the forum, or are you clicking a link in an email that you were sent by the forum software?

There's a problem (at least I see this) with the "plain text" version of the forum mails; the links in those don't work properly.  The links in the html view do work properly.

 

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13 hours ago, Nikilet said:

Happy to report that Emsisoft started with Windows.

Awesome. I'm glad to hear that worked. 👍

From the logs it looked like Emsisoft Anti-Malware's startup item had been disabled in MSConfig, however I think "approved startup items" (or something like that) was also a function of Windows Defender at some point. Anyway, having FRST remove Emsisoft Anti-Malware's startup item from the approved startup items list was what fixed it. I'll make a note that this should be added to the diag tool to make identifying such issues easier in the future.

 

13 hours ago, Nikilet said:

When I sign in here I always get an error page that says "Oops! Something went wrong." All I have to do is hit the back arrow and then I'm on the post page and signed in. Just wondering why that happens.

Try updating your bookmark to use the following address:

https://support.emsisoft.com/

 

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Dell monkeyed around with my security programs when they were trying to get their Support Assist program to work. I'd bet that's where things got started. 

What about your instructions to download, run, enable automatic application crash dumps. I did that. Do I need to do something to reverse it? To get rid of FRST do I just delete it?

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You might as well leave the dump-enabling thing in place, so that if something goes wrong in future a dump will be created, and you can send it to Emsisoft (or some other program's vendor).  It's /far/ better to have a dump when something goes wrong, than to wish you had one afterwards, when you don't know how to recreate the problem.

But, if you do want to disable dumps,  run the "disable_all_crash_dumps.reg" file (which should be in the set of files you downloaded before).  If you deleted them, grab them again from the link given earlier.

For FRST, yes, you can just delete it.  New versions of FRST are produced most days so if you need it again it would always be best to grab the newest one.  It will probably have created a "C:\FRST" folder with copies of the reports it produced and also backup copies of registry info.  You can delete those too.

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I'll keep the dump enabling.

I changed my link to this forum as per GT500, but still get the same thing. I guess it's no big deal. I just click the back button and I'm logged in and ready to go, but here's the page that opens.

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8 hours ago, Nikilet said:

I'll keep the dump enabling.

If you leave it enabled, then check the crash dumps folder periodically. They can waste a lot of disk space, especially if a game crashes.

 

8 hours ago, Nikilet said:

I just click the back button and I'm logged in and ready to go, but here's the page that opens.

I'd need to know the full address (that's in your address bar) it forwards you to after you log in. You can send it to me in a private message in case there's a session ID in it.

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20 minutes ago, Nikilet said:

Where do I find this crash dumps folder? 

 

Usually C\ Users\Public\CrashDumps

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@GT500 said: > If you leave it enabled, then check the crash dumps folder periodically. They can waste a lot of disk space, especially if a game crashes.

@Nikilet  did say earlier that they'd enabled only mini dumps, which are a good deal smaller than full ones.  I meant to ask: are mini dumps sufficiently useful to be worth having?

 

So far as checking folders in which dumps might accumulate goes, I do that weekly.       C\Users\Public\CrashDumps    doesn't seem to exist in W8.1.   I look in:

For each of my Windows users:
      C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Local\CrashDumps
      C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\Mozilla\Firefox\Crash Reports
      C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\<profilename>\minidumps

and for the whole system:  C:\Windows\Minidump\

When Firefox crashes it collects dump information but doesn't automatically submit that to Mozilla.  That's only done if the user goes to    about:crashes  and chooses which of the listed crashes they want to submit crash info for.   The folders under   C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\Mozilla\Firefox\Crash Reports   contain things waiting to be submitted as well as lists of what has been submitted.   I don't know where other browsers collect similar information, or even if they do.

 

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17 hours ago, JeremyNicoll said:

C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Local\CrashDumps

I've noticed crash dumps being saved here on Windows 10 as well, however I haven't used the batch files. Those are supposed to set the crash dumps directory to "C\Users\Public\CrashDumps".

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On 4/23/2020 at 9:43 PM, GT500 said:

I've noticed crash dumps being saved here on Windows 10 as well, however I haven't used the batch files. Those are supposed to set the crash dumps directory to "C\Users\Public\CrashDumps".

Everything has been working fine until this error greeted me this morning when I woke my computer up. I looked in that folder you link to above but the only reports in there are from 4/19. I filled out this window and sent it.

I opened Emsisoft and there are no errors showing, everything seems to be intact, but it doesn't appear to stay open when I close the window because it does not appear in my taskbar notification area. I'm going to restart now to see what happens and will get back to this after.

P.S. I'm back. I didn't have to restart. I opened Emsisoft and hit the Update button to see what would happen. It was up to date and then it appeared in my notification area so I'm going to assume it's running. Would sure like to get this problem fixed once and for all. 

I left that CrashDumps on my computer so why did it not create a file to go along with this supposed glitch?

1337578517_emsisofterror.JPG.d4012c23ab01e03c647604dbd9c9e6b9.JPG
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/I/ don't know the ins & outs of how the OS settings for dumps interact with (as must have happened here) an application's trapping of the problem.   Your screenshot shows that EAM itself knows that a2guard.exe has crashed (as indeed it did last time).  Maybe in this case EAM (rather than the OS) has dumped whatever the EAM programmers think is relevant, though I don't know where it would have put it.    Did you - as the pane tells you to - click "Send"?

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On 5/3/2020 at 11:15 AM, Nikilet said:

I left that CrashDumps on my computer so why did it not create a file to go along with this supposed glitch?

Those dumps are created by WER (Windows Error Reporting). It's possible it may not be able to create them while self-protection is turned on in Emsisoft Anti-Malware. It's in the settings, under Advanced, and should be the second option. Just uncheck the box to turn it off.

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