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Kudos0

Solved! Norton causing Explorer.exe to freeze in Win XP

I write this in case anyone else has similar problems. I am aware that XP is out of date and not sure if the problem exists in other operating systems. Also, so that perhaps someone at Norton becomes aware of the cause (or what I have found to be the cause) of an extremely annoying system problem which has occurred consistently on two of my pc's which are running different programs and different versions of Norton anti Virus.

Symptoms: For well over the last year and possibly two years both of my pc's systems would just freeze explorer (not IE but explorer.exe) although some programs continued to work, the ability to shut down the system, run the task manager and many other functions became unusable. I noticed this as they manifested a problem in my email program display every time. These hangs would occur on both pcs about twice a week and usually within an hour of each other. I assumed that it was caused by some program which was installed on both pc's which had a scheduling of some sort which I could not track down.

Finally I stumbled upon the fact that Norton had installed in its directory four files which belonged to Microsoft Visual Studio 2015. The four files were msvcp140.dll, vccorlib140.dll, vcruntime140.dll and concrt140.dll. The versions of these file (in my case were  14.0.24123.0. as it happened, I compared these file versions to those in my system32 directory and found them to be older then those installed in my os. My latest files were vesion 14.0.24215.1. In other words the files being provided by Norton were not the latest files from the vcredit.exe file. By turning off self protection and disabling NAV for a minute I was able to replace the older files in the Norton directory with copies of my files from the system directory, turned back on self protection and re started the computer.

While I can not be sure the problem will not re-occur, so far it has not and I am hopeful. I need to assume that Symantec has a schedule for certain updates which may have been causing the problem and that the schedule was fairly consistent as most of my problems occurred every Tuesday and Thursday usually in the afternoon.

Hopefully if anyone else has the same weird occurrences this information may help.

Replies

Kudos0

Re: Solved! Norton causing Explorer.exe to freeze in Win XP

Let us know if things continue to work correctly.

Thanks for posting.

Things happen. Export/Backup your Norton Password Manager data.
Kudos0

Re: Solved! Norton causing Explorer.exe to freeze in Win XP

I did not post this until I was pretty certain the solution has worked. It has been two weeks without a freeze. I believe this was the problem. I iwll post if the problem re occurs.

Kudos0

Re: Solved! Norton causing Explorer.exe to freeze in Win XP

Good news. 

You had not mentioned the time line in your OP.

Things happen. Export/Backup your Norton Password Manager data.
Kudos0

Re: Solved! Norton causing Explorer.exe to freeze in Win XP

bcrown:

Symptoms: For well over the last year and possibly two years both of my pc's systems would just freeze explorer (not IE but explorer.exe) although some programs continued to work, the ability to shut down the system, run the task manager and many other functions became unusable....

...I need to assume that Symantec has a schedule for certain updates which may have been causing the problem and that the schedule was fairly consistent as most of my problems occurred every Tuesday and Thursday usually in the afternoon.

Hopefully if anyone else has the same weird occurrences this information may help.

Hi bcrown:

I appear to be having a similar issue with explorer.exe hangs caused by Norton on my 32-bit vista SP2 machine, although I have no idea if the problem is related to out-of-date Microsoft Visual Studio files.  These hangs are intermittent and can be temporarily solved by a re-boot, but my system becomes so unstable that I sometimes have to Alt-Ctrl-Del and re-boot from that menu if the Start button on my Windows desktop becomes non-functional.  I've only noticed the problem on my machine in the past week or so.

My system was constantly freezing  on 02-Apr-2017 and 04-Apr-2017 due to these repeated hangs by Windows Explorer. Every report in the Problem Reports and Solutions for explorer.exe has the Event Name: AppHangXProcB1 and Waiting on Application Name: nis.exe (see attached .txt file for full information).

My Event Viewer shows dozens of errors for Event ID 7011 for the Service Control Manager Eventlog Provider for 02-Apr-2017 and 04-Apr-2017 this week, and in every case the details say "A timeout (30000 milliseconds) was reached while waiting for a transaction response from the NIS service."  It's probably not a coincidence that Automatic LiveUpdates did not run on either of those days.

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32-bit Vista Home Premium SP2 * Firefox ESR v52.0.2 * NIS v22.9.1.12 * MBAM Premium v2.2.1
HP Pavilion dv6835ca, Intel Core2Duo T5550 @ 1.83 GHz, 3 GB RAM, NVIDIA GeForce 8400M GS

Kudos0

Re: Solved! Norton causing Explorer.exe to freeze in Win XP

bcrown:

Finally I stumbled upon the fact that Norton had installed in its directory four files which belonged to Microsoft Visual Studio 2015. The four files were msvcp140.dll, vccorlib140.dll, vcruntime140.dll and concrt140.dll. The versions of these file (in my case were  14.0.24123.0. as it happened, I compared these file versions to those in my system32 directory and found them to be older then those installed in my os. My latest files were vesion 14.0.24215.1. In other words the files being provided by Norton were not the latest files from the vcredit.exe file. By turning off self protection and disabling NAV for a minute I was able to replace the older files in the Norton directory with copies of my files from the system directory, turned back on self protection and re started the computer.

HI bcrown:

I confirmed that the *140.dll files associated with the Microsoft C Runtime Library in my C:\Program Files\Norton Internet Security\Engine\22.9.1.12 folder are all v14.0.24123.0 (last modified 07-Feb-2017, created 21-Mar-2017).  There are no .DLL files by that name in my C:\Windows folder (including hidden and system files in C:\Windows\System32) so I can't test your theory that newer versions of these dynamic link libraries would solve the explorer.exe AppHangXProcB1 hangs caused by nis.exe on my system.

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32-bit Vista Home Premium SP2 * Firefox ESR v52.0.2 * NIS v22.9.1.12 * MBAM Premium v2.2.1
HP Pavilion dv6835ca, Intel Core2Duo T5550 @ 1.83 GHz, 3 GB RAM, NVIDIA GeForce 8400M GS

Kudos0

Re: Solved! Norton causing Explorer.exe to freeze in Win XP

I do not know if the version supplied by Symantec was the problem or the potential conflict caused by different versions being in use at the same time. If you want the latest versions you need to search microsoft for the "visual studio 2015 redistributable update 3". I found it located at https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=53840

Good luck.

Kudos0

Re: Solved! Norton causing Explorer.exe to freeze in Win XP

Hi bcrown:

Just an update that I contacted Norton Customer Support today via Live Chat and was told that these explorer.exe hangs are not a known issue.  I directed them to this thread and suggested that there might be a bug in v22.9.1.12 that causes some older Win XP SP3 and Vista SP2 computers to hang but they don't believe that Norton is the cause.  They wanted to connect to my computer via remote access and run the Norton Power Eraser (NPE) to scan for malware, but I declined (I've had my system files corrupted in the past during one of these remote access sessions by Norton) and just ended the Live Chat session.
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32-bit Vista Home Premium SP2 * Firefox ESR v52.0.2 * NIS v22.9.1.12 * MBAM Premium v2.2.1
HP Pavilion dv6835ca, Intel Core2Duo T5550 @ 1.83 GHz, 3 GB RAM, NVIDIA GeForce 8400M GS

Kudos0

Re: Solved! Norton causing Explorer.exe to freeze in Win XP

I'm not certain, but my system freezes might be related to the Symantec Shared Component CltLmh.exe v15.9.1.7 file installed 21-Mar-2017 in C:\Program Files\Norton Internet Security\Engine\22.9.1.12 as part of the NIS v21.9.1.12 engine update.

I booted up my machine yesterday at around 6:54 AM and noticed that my Norton icon was missing from my system tray.  I couldn't launch NIS from my desktop shortcut or Start menu, although uistub.exe would appear in my list of running processes. Process Explorer showed there was only one instance of nis.exe running under SYSTEM (i.e., there was no second instance running under my Windows user account for the GUI and background tasks) and about 5 min after boot-up the CltLmh.exe process was suspended (image 1).  After a few minutes Norton AutoFix tried to automatically fix a 3048, 3 error (Waiting for Norton Internet Security to initialize... / Checking System Configuration / Running LiveUpdate Repair - image 2) which never finished and eventually had to be cancelled. My Firefox browser, iTunes and other programs became very sluggish and eventually stopped responding and I had to restart about an hour after my initial boot-up to get everything working again.

I again observed that there were multiple errors in my Event Viewer for Event ID 7011 for the Service Control Manager Eventlog Provider stating "A timeout (30000 milliseconds) was reached while waiting for a transaction response from the NIS service" after the problematic boot-up at 6:54 AM (image 3).  I was able to open my NIS GUI after restarting my computer and there was nothing logged in my Norton security history between the initial boot-up at 6:54 AM and the system restart around 7:55 AM (image 4).  That would imply that Norton's real-time protection was not functioning after my first (problematic) boot-up or that real-time protection was working but nothing was being logged in my Norton security history.

These problematic boot-ups and system freezes are becoming more and more frequent and I'm going to have to uninstall NIS if Symantec isn't going to look into this.

------------
32-bit Vista Home Premium SP2 * Firefox ESR v52.0.2 * NIS v22.9.1.12 * MBAM Premium v2.2.1
HP Pavilion dv6835ca, Intel Core2Duo T5550 @ 1.83 GHz, 3 GB RAM, NVIDIA GeForce 8400M GS

Kudos0

Re: Solved! Norton causing Explorer.exe to freeze in Win XP

A few more observations that point towards a problem with Exploit Prevention and/or the Intrusion Prevention System (IPS).

The symptoms I am experiencing with third-party program hangs and crashes are very similar to those described for Norton v22.5.4 in the thread Useful's October 2015 thread Norton stops programs from running.  In that case the problem was traced back to a conflict with Microsoft's Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit (EMET) exploit protection, and Symantec released an updated IPS driver IPSEng32.dll v15.0.2.19 that solved the application hangs for most users.

I disabled Exploit Prevention (Settings | Firewall | Intrusion and Browser Protection | Exploit Prevention | OFF) on 09-Apr-2017 and have not had a system freeze or application hang since then (Note:  I do not have EMET, Malwarebytes v3, HitmanPro Alert or any other third-party software that I know of with anti-exploit that might conflict with Norton's exploit prevention).

After reading Mehul Patel's 12-Apr-2017 thread IPSDefs not updating properly I realized that LiveUpdates have not been updating my IPS definitions for at least a week.  On 14-Apr-2017 my IPS driver IPSEng32.dll was downgraded from v16.1.0.253 to v16.0.0.1712 and my IPS definitions started updating again, so Symantec must have been aware that there is a issue with the IPS.

I contacted Norton Customer Support via Live Chat a second time and was told "We will completely remove all Norton remnants apart from running the Norton Removal Tool. ...If same issue persists even after we completely remove all Norton remnants, we can escalate the case to our Senior Technician."  I pointed out that completely removing Norton would leave my Vista SP2 computer unprotected unless I installed a competitor's AV but that appears to be my only option if I want my case escalated.  Since this is an intermittent problem I have no intention of leaving my computer running for several days without NIS installed, so I guess that's the end of the road as far as getting any support from Symantec.
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32-bit Vista Home Premium SP2 * Firefox ESR v52.0.2 * NIS v22.9.1.12 * MBAM Premium v2.2.1
HP Pavilion dv6835ca, Intel Core2Duo T5550 @ 1.83 GHz, 3 GB RAM, NVIDIA GeForce 8400M GS

Kudos0

Re: Solved! Norton causing Explorer.exe to freeze in Win XP

I re-enabled Exploit Protection on 14-Apr-2017 after the IPS driver and engine were rolled back by Symantec and my system seemed stable with the combination of  IPS driver v16.0.0.1712 / engine v8.0.0.512 / definition v20170414.001/.002.

My IPS definition set was updated from v20170414.002 to v20170417.001 via a manual LiveUpdate last night, and my issue with nis.exe not loading correctly at boot-up and Windows Explorer (explorer.exe) not responding returned as soon as my system was re-booted this morning.

Like before, the symptoms include:

  • No Norton icon in the system tray; the Norton GUI cannot be launched from my desktop shortcut or Windows Start menu.
  • Only one instance for nis.exe (under SYSTEM) loaded at boot-up; the second instance of nis.exe (under my Windows user account) that manages the Norton GUI never loads.
  • Symantec process CltLmh.exe process is suspended about 5 min after boot-up
  • Event Viewer logs multiple errors for Event ID 7011 for the Service Control Manager Eventlog Provider stating "A timeout (30000 milliseconds) was reached while waiting for a transaction response from the NIS service"
  • Windows Explorer process (explorer.exe) stops responding if I click on a file name and has to be killed in the Task Manager (I generated a dump file before killing  explorer.exe today)
  • A re-boot often fixes the problem (i.e., both nis.exe instances load, Windows Explorer works normally) but there is nothing logged in my Norton security history that would indicate that Norton was actually protecting my system after my initial "problem" boot-up of the day.

I don't know if this is relevant, but I believe my Firefox ESR browser was open when I took the above screenshot of my running processes so there should have been an instance of CoNatHst.exe running for my Norton Security Toolbar v2017.9.1.7.
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32-bit Vista Home Premium SP2 * Firefox ESR v52.0.2 * NIS v22.9.1.12 * MBAM Premium v2.2.1

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