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Author Topic: Truly bizzare; need help urgently  (Read 3155 times)
gunnerj
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Truly bizzare; need help urgently
« on: May 27, 2005, 07:18:00 am »

This is, in a lot of ways, my fuck up, but I was hoping that someone would be able to tell me just what the hell is going on. I understand that this isn't the place fo bug reports. This is not a bug report. I simply fear that in the process of trying to install this game I may have irrevocably messed up my computer, somehow.

The big mistake I made occured on the download page. The link for the Windows installer I took to be an actual link to the executable that installs the game, raher than a link to a site of mirrors from which the installer could be downloaded. Maybe someone could see their way through to changing the link so it says "Click here to go to a list of mirrors" instead of the name of the installer so no one else makes the same mistake I did.

Anyway, I right clicked on the link (maybe this would be a good time to mention that I'm using Windows XP Pro and my browser is Mozilla Firefox) and clicked "Save target as". This saved a file to my desktop that was called "uqm-0.4.0-win32-installer.exe" So I double click on it, and am told that the NTVDM CPU has encountered an illegal instruction and needs to close. This is odd, I figure there's a bug in the "installer." I try to delete the file, but can't because it's apparently being used by another process. I can't see any abnormal processes running in the task manager, so I wait a while and try it again. It's still in use and can't be deleted.

Here's where the weird shit starts: I restart my machine. After I log in to Windows again, I try to delete the file, where it's still on my desktop. It's still in use. I shut my computer down and pull the plug, then plug it back in, and start it back up. After being shut down, deprived of power, and rebooted, there is still some process using the "uqm-0.4.0-win32-installer.exe" file shich is not the actual installer and won't let me delete it.

Honestly, I would rather not be have that file sitting on my desktop for the remainder of the time I own this computer. Nor do I feel like re-installing Windows. And the fact that this is such a persistant... thing... makes me think something deeper and more dangerous is going on that I can't see. I have never, ever encountered anyhting like this. I just figured, since all someone would have to do is assume that the link on the downloads page which reads "uqm-0.4.0-win32-installer.exe" is the instalation program for the game, surely someone else must have had this problem.

(BTW, I later just clicked the link and went to the mirror page and downloaded the actual installer, so that's not a problem really. It's jsut that the old file is still there, and I can't get rid of it. Which is really disturbing.)
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Re: Truly bizzare; need help urgently
« Reply #1 on: May 27, 2005, 07:53:39 am »

Strange story. I've never heard of anything like this happening before.
I doubt the file is really in use by a process (that would mean some process would be automatically starting and opening your file). So it may be some administration error on Windows side.
I'd try running scandisk and see if it find something.
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Re: Truly bizzare; need help urgently
« Reply #2 on: May 27, 2005, 09:18:25 pm »

Here's a few ideas that I would probably try...

- Scan for uqm-0.4.0-win32-installer.exe in the registry.  That might clue you in on whatever process or whatnot may be locking down the file.
- Or use a DOS boot disk, find your way to the desktop, and delete the file that way.
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Re: Truly bizzare; need help urgently
« Reply #3 on: May 28, 2005, 12:46:22 am »

I've seen this before -- your filesystem is corrupted.  Irrepairably so, at least with Microsoft's toolset; third-party repair programs may or may not find/fix the trouble.  If I recall correctly, everything I threw at the disk said it was working fine, but the files just refused to unlink with a bogus "file in use" error, so this appears to be something that NTFS "just does every so often".  But my analysis could be very wrong, I could never find anything to back up my hypothesis on Google, but it smelled like it from where I was sitting.

If it is corruption, there is an upside: it doesn't appear to affect anything but the amount of free blocks you have, so it's relatively harmless, albeit annoying.  The only way I was able to "fix" it was to reformat the drive in question, but the machine ran fine for years with the problem, and the only reason I nuked the filesystem was because I was giving the computer away and wanted to clean it up a little.  Smiley

In my experience, the files can be renamed/moved around the filesystem, so if you'd prefer to not have to look at them, you can safely shunt them off somewhere like a hidden folder.  I had a folder on my filesystem called "c:\broken" which is where all my "unlinkables" lived,   I think I had six or seven of them appear one day, so I kept them as pets.  Wink
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Re: Truly bizzare; need help urgently
« Reply #4 on: May 28, 2005, 01:57:09 am »

The truly bizzare thing is that when you right-click the link and save, you save an HTML file (even if Firefox saves it with .exe extension). This HTML does not start with 'MZ' (not even by coincidence) and as such should never be recognized as a DOS EXE. But you are correct, NT does try executing it when it really should refuse to do so.

The NTVDM is the Win16 and DOS Virtual Machine for Windows NT (NT/2000/XP/2003). SInce the HTML file does not start with 'MZ' I can only guess that NTVDM attempts to execute it as a COM file (that has no headers at all).

*disasms the HTML* (never thought I would ever do something like this)

It's a miracle it even managed to get to address 214h. It should have puked an illegal opcode much sooner. At any rate, there are no coincidentally dangerous opcodes there so the file being "in use" must be something else.

See if maybe your anti-virus has quaranteened this supposed EXE.
« Last Edit: May 28, 2005, 02:00:36 am by fossil » Logged
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Re: Truly bizzare; need help urgently
« Reply #5 on: May 29, 2005, 12:49:00 pm »

Perhaps you can rename the file: replace the .exe extension with e.g. ".txt". Or can't you do even that ? In any case, if the file is really being executed by some program, restarting the computer after the rename could prevent it from being loaded.
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Re: Truly bizzare; need help urgently
« Reply #6 on: May 29, 2005, 05:02:21 pm »

Have you checked if Mozilla/Firefox has finished the Download?
If not, the file is there and in use (as Firefox downloads and adds to the file). And presumably, Firefox is not one the "abnormal processes" you've been looking for.

Enjoy!
Krulle
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Re: Truly bizzare; need help urgently
« Reply #7 on: May 29, 2005, 05:13:12 pm »

Quote
Have you checked if Mozilla/Firefox has finished the Download?
If not, the file is there and in use (as Firefox downloads and adds to the file). And presumably, Firefox is not one the "abnormal processes" you've been looking for.

Enjoy!
Krulle

It sounds like he was just downloading the sourceforge page, not the actual EXE- that operation takes less than a second.

I tried to replicate what he did on my XP machine- I got the error, but was able to delete the file just fine. Most likely, it's the filesystem corruption mentioned earlier.
« Last Edit: May 29, 2005, 05:13:57 pm by Halleck » Logged


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