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My machine is stuck rebooting after displaying an error dialog stating that a critical error has occoured and that it will shutdown within a minute. This started happening right after MS Essentials found a trojan. The machine will reboot whether or not I login.

I'm guessing that this error will go away if I can update the AV software and remove the virus but 1 minute is too short a time frame to accomplish this in =)

So I have tried to prevent windows from booting, without success. What I have tried so far is

  1. F8 - Disable reboot on system failures
  2. shutdown /a (only gives me a nice 1115 err)
  3. Control Panel-> System-> Recovery-> Settings-> Untick reboot at system failure

Any pointers as to how to work around this?

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

"Critical" Windows executables include winlogon.exe, lsass.exe, and csrss.exe. I think you get this message if one of those crashes or terminates for some reason, which could happen if a trojan has modified them. Could also indicate an issue with a DLL imported by them (there are quite a few).

If you have a known working system, you may try booting your infected system off of a WinPE boot disk and replacing the files. However, honestly, you're probably looking at a reinstall.

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I did a recovery from a known working system as recommended. The forced reboot is gone. Virus is left but was now easy to remove. Added all WinUpdates and now running a full scan... so far so good, thx! – devghost Jul 11 '12 at 11:54

If it appears a shutdown dialogue try run this:

shutdown -a

Or try to boot in safe mode, from there you can install antivirus and scan your system.

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Tried that (see step 2 above) but it did not work. – devghost Jul 11 '12 at 11:35
Try safe mode then. – Hamed JML Jul 11 '12 at 11:39
Safe mode rebooted as well I'm afraid =/ – devghost Jul 11 '12 at 11:52
Ok! Maybe your windows really needs to be changed. Try reinstall it, if you can't maybe there is something with your hardware. – Hamed JML Jul 12 '12 at 3:48

I wouldn't be worrying too much, download this onto a cd or usb key and boot the machine and boot from usb or cd and run through the wizard to clean up the pc.


boot the Windows and do a Repair, once you have that done reboot into safe mode with network and get one of the many scanners from the web to check your system is tiptop.

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