Possible corruption - VPN related?

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  1. AWC
    Posts : 5
    Windows 10
       #1

    Possible corruption - VPN related?


    Some backstory - I purchased a new laptop at the end of April. After about two or so months, it became corrupted...tiles not working, no Microsoft/Windows programs would load, and so on. I had the OS reinstalled but I was never able to find out the cause of the corruption. I just assumed it was some sort of update issue (which had happened in a similar way on my previous laptop) and figured it was settled for good.

    Flash forward to Wednesday. I was having some issues with my VPN (Private Internet Access) - it was having difficulty in connecting to the server for whatever reason. I switched servers and figured that was the end of it. However, when I shut down at the end of the night a task host window was preventing me from automatically shutting down. I cancelled the shutdown, poked around for a bit to see what was going on...and lo and behold, I was party to the same problems from the last corruption. I've run the sfc scan (claimed to not find any integrity violations) and DISM (gets stuck at 88.2%, which I'm pretty sure it did the last time my OS got corrupted too).

    The issues I'm having are the same as the ones I've had before. Microsoft/Windows apps aren't working, the tiles aren't working, I can't check for updates (which seems a waste considering it apparently last checked for updates at around 5:30-ish the day things started going downhill), TeamViewer has issues connecting, and my VPN's on the fritz - I can connect but when I'm connected I have no internet access and can only achieve a connection when I disable it.

    So, I'm basically stumped here. I realize the endgame is likely to reinstall Windows 10 and while that shouldn't be an issue, I want to find out just what's going on. My theory is that the VPN is somehow involved (God only knows how) because that seems to be the common denominator...but I don't even know that for certain and I wouldn't know the first thing about finding that out. Even then, that's just a shot-in-the-dark theory...in both corruption instances my VPN had been installed for about 1-2 months each time and it makes virtually zero sense that I can think of that it would just start messing with things out of the blue like that. It's really the only thing off the top of my head that I can think of. I don't want to uninstall/reinstall the VPN - that didn't solve anything the prior time and I want to keep it going as "evidence" in case I can't solve this and have to hand it off for repairs.

    Thanks for whatever help can be provided. This is probably a bit rambling, and I suppose I apologize for that. I'll be glad to fill in whatever other relevant info is needed.

    Windows 10 Home Version 1703 64-bit
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  2. ArazelEternal's Avatar
    Posts : 351
    Windows 10 Pro x64
       #2

    One thing you can try is:

    Open a admin command prompt and type: chkdsk C: /scan

    This will do an online scan of the OS drive. It wont repair anything, but will tell you if there is corruption of the filesystem and if there are files in bad parts of the drive (if there are any).

    If it comes back with errors, run chkdsk C: /F /R. It will ask you to schedule the scan for the next restart. Say yes, then reboot and let it scan and repair.

    Do you have any antivirus installed? If so, have you run any scans with it? If not, download Malwarebytes and run a scan with that. After that, try SuperAntiSpyware. See if either one comes up with any results.
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  3. AWC
    Posts : 5
    Windows 10
    Thread Starter
       #3

    ArazelEternal said:
    One thing you can try is:

    Open a admin command prompt and type: chkdsk C: /scan

    This will do an online scan of the OS drive. It wont repair anything, but will tell you if there is corruption of the filesystem and if there are files in bad parts of the drive (if there are any).

    If it comes back with errors, run chkdsk C: /F /R. It will ask you to schedule the scan for the next restart. Say yes, then reboot and let it scan and repair.

    Do you have any antivirus installed? If so, have you run any scans with it? If not, download Malwarebytes and run a scan with that. After that, try SuperAntiSpyware. See if either one comes up with any results.
    I ran chkdsk C: /scan and it came up with no problems.

    After that I ran a Windows Defender scan - same thing, no problems. Then I ran Malwarebytes, where it detected something called 'HackTool.AutoKMS'. Apparently that's something that might come up as a false positive? Whatever it is I removed it. Then after that I downloaded SuperAntiSpyware but for whatever reason it completely seized Firefox up when I tried to open the file. That was an interesting twist....
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  4. ArazelEternal's Avatar
    Posts : 351
    Windows 10 Pro x64
       #4

    Try opening SuperAntiSpyware outside of Firefox. Ive had FF lock up on random files before without explanation.

    About the HackTool.AutoKMS, where did you get this computer? Did it come with Windows 10, or was it installed later? If it was installed later, what OS did it come with?

    I ask this because AutoKMS is often a part of KMSPico which is used to pirate Windows and Microsoft Office products.
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  6. AWC
    Posts : 5
    Windows 10
    Thread Starter
       #6

    ArazelEternal said:
    Try opening SuperAntiSpyware outside of Firefox. Ive had FF lock up on random files before without explanation. About the HackTool.AutoKMS, where did you get this computer? Did it come with Windows 10, or was it installed later? If it was installed later, what OS did it come with? I ask this because AutoKMS is often a part of KMSPico which is used to pirate Windows and Microsoft Office products.
    I got the laptop from a local place...guy who runs it out of his home, always judged him as reputable. It was new and came with Windows 10.
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  7. ArazelEternal's Avatar
    Posts : 351
    Windows 10 Pro x64
       #7

    I have to wonder about this "new." Either way, I am willing to bet that this is not a legitimate copy of Windows 10. The only reason that AutoKMS would be on there would be to patch Windows to use it for free. As per forum rules, we cant help you when you are using illegitimate software. Not only is it wrong, but it can make diagnosis almost impossible as we have no idea what has or hasnt been changed.
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  8. simrick's Avatar
    Posts : 16,108
    W10Prox64
       #8

    ArazelEternal said:
    I have to wonder about this "new." Either way, I am willing to bet that this is not a legitimate copy of Windows 10. The only reason that AutoKMS would be on there would be to patch Windows to use it for free. As per forum rules, we cant help you when you are using illegitimate software. Not only is it wrong, but it can make diagnosis almost impossible as we have no idea what has or hasnt been changed.
    Agreed.
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  9. dencal's Avatar
    Posts : 3,027
    W10 Pro + W10 Preview
       #9

    Try the following.....open Malwarebytes....click on Settings....then Malware Exclusions....click on Add File, then type path ie- drive etc.
    Now scan with Malwarebytes....to see if rectified.

    One other thing you could try.....open Powershell (Admin) and copy paste the following....then press enter.

    netsh winsock reset
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  10. AWC
    Posts : 5
    Windows 10
    Thread Starter
       #10

    ArazelEternal said:
    I have to wonder about this "new." Either way, I am willing to bet that this is not a legitimate copy of Windows 10. The only reason that AutoKMS would be on there would be to patch Windows to use it for free. As per forum rules, we cant help you when you are using illegitimate software. Not only is it wrong, but it can make diagnosis almost impossible as we have no idea what has or hasnt been changed.
    I suppose that's fair.

    It's interesting, to say the least...I'd been given no impression whatsoever (not that I'd know straightaway) that this might be an illegitimate version of Windows. It's not something I'd pirate anyway, if I'm going to grab an OS I'm going to go for the official version for obvious reasons.
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