VIRUS: Windows encountered a critical problem and restarts?


I am not a computer geek but I am pretty sure that my laptop (E-machines E-727) has been infected with a virus that automatically restarts my computer after displaying the message - "Windows has encountered a critical problem and will restart your computer in a minute. Please save your work". I know it is a virus because MS security essentials keeps on detecting viruses before my system is restarted.

Now the problem is - this occurs within first 2 minutes of me starting the computer so I don't get enough time to scan my computer, install anything or even copy important data into my USB as clearly 2 minutes is not enough especially considering that my computer has become incredibly slow since the virus attack.

I have tried safe mode, R-kill I have also even tried disabling automatic restart on system crash. But nothing is changing - it still restarts within 2 minutes. MBAM's Rkill returns the message "Installation Failed".

I am new to cnet and I would really appreciate if someone's out there who can help me get rid of this virus.

Remember, I have to stop my computer from restarting in 2 minutes before I can install any new antiviruses or malwares like AVAST, malwarebytes or anything like that. It is not even working in safe mode.

Also, please remember that I am not a computer geek so please try to keep it as simple as possible for a layman.


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I doubt it is a virus

and I deleted a post that said you would probably be better changing your OS. It was a silly post.

This is what is happening. Some hardware fault, or a fault with a hardware driver, is causing your system to fail. I assume you are using Windows but you don't say which version; but Windows has a setting that tells it to "Automatically restart on system failure". This can be changed and doing that allows any error messages to be displayed.

The error message is likely a BSOD or Blue Screen of Death and it is this that holds important information on what caused the error. The message will have a STOP Error code, it will likely have a file name, and it will have important other information related to the error.

When you see this BSOD the whole system halts and you cannot escape from the blue screen. This gives you time to write down the full message.

The exit this screen you press and hold down the Power On button for between 5 to 10 seconds until the system shuts down. Wait another 10 seconds to allow any hard drive to spin down, then you can try rebooting.

How to change that setting. It depends which OS you have;

XP - Goto Control Panel, (switch to Classic View if you don't see icons), > System. In the System Propertiese window click on the Advanced tab. Find "Startup & Recovery" and remove the tick for "Automatically restart on system failure". Click Apply/OK/OK

Vista - see

Win 7 - see

This won't fix the issue. It will help you diagnose the issue.


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It still restarts.

Thank you for your reply Mark.

Since I have windows 7,I followed the instructions under the link -

I changed the settings and unchecked the box where it said "Restart automatically on system failures".

IT DID NOT WORK. My computer is still restarting after displaying "Windows encountered a critical problem and it will automtically restart. Please save your work."

Please note that there was no BSOD and MSE is still detecting viruses even after cleaning them again and again.

A small warning window is popping up just above the task bar where it shows the system time on the bottom right saying "Security Essentials detected a potential threat and suspended it." On clicking "Show details", it showed that there is a virus named "Trojan: Win64/sirefef.P" that needs to be removed. Even after removing it, nothing has changed and the computer is still doing the same thing over and over again - restaring and detecting the same virus.

Another thing that could be important is that a file named rk-proxy.reg has appeared on my desktop. Not sure how that appeared all by itself. Just thought you should know.

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Only ONE Question..

Only ONE question and admittedly a stab in the dark.........

MSE is known to display the error you referenced AND the behavior you describe, when more than one A/V is installed. Or when parts of a prior install still exist.

And the answer is..... ?

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Don't get your Question Carol

Excuse me Carol but I did not get what your question was.

Anyways, I did have other spywares installed with MSE. So, I suspect that could have been the problem.

And I am wondering wether other AVs like Avast and AVG perform better than MSE?

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3 Things here.

1.) Never run two resident (active real-time detection) antiviruses at the same time.

I think the above is what Carol was getting at.

Even if you uninstalled the old one before installing MSE, remnants left over from uninstalling the old can cause problems with the new antivirus program as the new will still see the old antivirus as still being present and running on your computer.

Ever have another antivirus program on your computer?

Vendor link to completely uninstall antivirus programs not used anymore here:

2.) Spyware programs are what? Do you mean to say Malwarebytes Anti-Malware or SUPERAntispyware? These and others like them are known as antispyware programs. Is this what you meant?

3.) Trojan: Win64/sirefef.P is a rootkit infection. However, if MSE is run alongside another antivirus program, it can detect the virus database signatures of the other antivirus program run in your computer memory as the real infection when it is not.

Remove the second antivirus in this case using the link provided above for singular labs, and the rootkit detection should disappear. If it does not, or you are not running a second antivirus, come back for the additional help you require here.

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Thanks, mchainmchain

Your interpretation was perfect! . Wink

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Re: Don't get your question Carol | the rk-proxy.reg file


I thought when I wrote "MSE is known to display the error you referenced AND the behavior you describe, when more than one A/V is installed. Or when parts of a prior install still exist", it would be understood as asking if you had more than one A/V installed or parts of an existing one installed. Sorry I wasn't clearer.

Had I been around yesterday to clear it up, I gladly would have. Thanks to mchainmchain, s/he understood precisely what I meant.

In regard to the rk-proxy.reg file on your desktop. I would think Rkill must have run, in order for you to have the file on your desktop. When Rkill runs it removes any proxy settings that are found. It saves a rk-proxy.reg file on your desktop, if a proxy was enabled. Check to see if you have an Rkill log (C:\rkill.log). If so, it will indicate if a proxy was detected. Double-clicking and importing the file will restore your proxy settings, if need be.

I'm unsure what you mean by 'MBAM's Rkill returns the message "Installation Failed".' Were your referring to Chameleon within Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware? Or Rkill by Grinler? Did you run Rkill according to these instructions?

As far as the your question about Avast or AVG being better than MSE. That's going to be up to you. I can tell you which one seems to be more popular at this present time, but it dosen't necessarily mean one is better than the other. I don't use any of the three. They all do a sufficient job, but I don't depend on my A/V to protect me. Or any security tools for that matter. I'm of the belief security is all about the user.


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Added Note

IF by saying you had other "spyware's" installed in addition to MSE, you meant anti-viruses (ie Avast, AVG) I would suggest first using the uninstall utilities mchainmchain provided.

IF you then want to try running Rkill again (immediately followed by MBAM), temporarily disable MSE before running Rkill. It may (or mnay not) eliminate some of the problems you're encountering.

Let us know if you run into any (or the same) problems along the way..

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It's a Miracle!

Hi everyone,

Last night I gave everything up and was shoring up my files in a USB in order to restore or format windows if needed be.

At the very last minute when I was about to save the very last file while the computer was restarting over and over again after each file was moved to the USB, windows just forgot to restart for some reason (just like a miracle) and I uninstalled MSE and installed Avast, which did the job for me. The computer is working since.

I am so very glad now that everythings fine now except that a new message "Intel RST service is not running" is being displayed in the bottom right corner of the screen. What does that mean?

Thank you for your help Carol, Mchainmchain and Markflax.

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About Intel RST service.

It's a helper app from If you google that message you find prior discussions and you can fix it when you feel like it.

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Miracle Indeed

What was the name, type, and location on your system of the last file you moved to the USB stick? And then after that, your system began to run normally?

Reason I ask is because this file may have triggered this mess you were in.

If it does turn out to be the cause, you may want to leave it on the USB. Scan it with Avast! and let us know the results.

You can also have it scanned for free at virus total dot com with 40 + online virus scanners here:

Just copy and paste the resulting scan results here (the url address in your address bar in your browser at virus total after it completes the scan) in your next reply.

Just a thought.

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