Windows 7 Windows has encountered a critical problem + other issues


New Member
May 5, 2018
Since I'm not getting help on BleepingComputer, I'm trying this forum instead...

Windows 7 2009 Home Premium 32bit
ASUS Essentio desktop PC
1TB HD (replaced the old one a few years ago)


I don't know how long it's been going on for now, but I've been dealing with this incredibly annoying issue where I'll be running my computer just fine, but at certain times (Opening task manager, trying to download a file, watching videos, browsing websites (it actually happened just now when I tried to click open an old forum post I'd made here after coming back to my account since 2014), or really anything else maybe triggers it, I don't know for sure, it'll show a "WINDOWS HAS ENCOUNTERED A CRITICAL PROBLEM AND WILL RESTART IN ONE MINUTE. SAVE YOUR WORK NOW."

Aside from this, my computer runs slower than it should, browser too. Most of my programs do, overall. And randomly, my browser (I use Chrome and Firefox) and Discord instant messenger will just... close. No errors, no nothing. Just close out. And sometimes trying to reopen them, they'll just close out before they can load back up.

I've tried MULTIPLE scans, and even 5 different Windows techs (using that Remote support thing where they take over my PC and try and do things to fix it). Malwarebytes, Avast, Adw (Malwarebytes extra?), MalwareFox, HijackThis, Security Essentials, Spybot, CCCleaner... And none of them found anything that fixed these problems. I've tried running defrag too and it just doesn't open/work for some reason. I've tried sfc /scannow and chkdsk as well. I've also tried F9 to see the mysterious "Repair computer" or whatever option that's supposed to be there, but I never found it. Also my system restore points are all gone. I had one from the 14th, but when I tried restoring it to that point, it ended up failing "due to a file."

Another [unrelated hopefully?] issue that's been around for much, much longer than this one (a year or two now?), is that whenever my computer starts up after I sign in, a blank untitled Notepad opens up with the error box that reads "access denied". I close it out and my computer seems to work fine regardless, but still it worries me that somehow it could be related to all this happening now.

UPDATE 1: I tried to start the Windows Eventlog service and the "Windows encountered a critical problem" message came up. I tried again in Safe Mode, and it didn't work. "Error 3" or something like that...
UPDATE 2: So I just learned that the "critical problem" thing also happens when my computer comes out of sleep mode, and occasionally when I open the Recycle Bin.
UPDATE 3: I tried using MiniToolBox as a person on that other forum suggested. Couldn't get anywhere because it couldn't start the Windows Event Log service.
UPDATE 4: Still nothing when I scanned for issues using Malwarebytes. I scanned with Avast Free as well, and it found some things but nothing about viruses, malware, or anything like that. Mostly just some registry clutter I'm going to try clearing with CCleaner in a minute, and the fact that I should improve performance on my machine by changing settings in my UAC, Network Access, and a "Certificate Warn", which I don't think are too big a deal.
With multiple problems on a system almost 10 years old your system must be well clogged with junk and outdated system files etc. I'd get all data backed up, make a full backup of the system drive using someting like Macrium Reflect the give your system a clean start by wiping it and doing a full Windos recovery, then updates of Windows from Microsoft and drivers from the manufacturer's website.
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