Succeeding Without Google Handing You The Answer

Computer Repair What my friends think I do

It never fails that the weirdest problems always happen where we can’t afford to have them happen. In this case it was a 64bit Windows 7 Acer laptop belonging to my wife. She has her computer configured just how she likes it and is always unhappy when that configuration gets tampered with. I find this just as bad, or worse, than when it is “The Boss’s computer”. They say, “Happy wife, happy life”. Well the opposite definitely does hold true as well.

Her computer stopped being able to access any network shares. It could access the internet. It could access TCP/IP printers. It just could not access network shares. So first thing I tried was system restore. I ended up trying every restore on the laptop until I got to the oldest one. No Dice. No Joy.

I tried using Combo Fix, and Malware Bytes to scan for any sort of infections. Some stuff was cleaned, but it was still not working. So now I started chasing error messages.

When trying to access a network share the message I would get was that the network was unavailable. More research leads me to the fact that the Workstation service was not starting.

When I tried to manually start the workstation service I got the following messages:

Log Name:      System
Source:        Service Control Manager
Date:          18/03/2012 11:49:51 PM
Event ID:      7001
Task Category: None
Level:         Error
Keywords:      Classic
User:          N/A
Computer:      Wifey-PC
Description:
The Workstation service depends on the SMB 1.x MiniRedirector service which failed to start because of the following error:
Windows cannot verify the digital signature for this file. A recent hardware or software change might have installed a file that is signed incorrectly or damaged, or that might be malicious software from an unknown source.

Log Name:      System
Source:        Service Control Manager
Date:          18/03/2012 11:49:51 PM
Event ID:      7000
Task Category: None
Level:         Error
Keywords:      Classic
User:          N/A
Computer:      Wifey-PC
Description:
The SMB 1.x MiniRedirector service failed to start due to the following error:
Windows cannot verify the digital signature for this file. A recent hardware or software change might have installed a file that is signed incorrectly or damaged, or that might be malicious software from an unknown source.

Log Name:      System
Source:        Application Popup
Date:          18/03/2012 11:49:51 PM
Event ID:      26
Task Category: None
Level:         Information
Keywords:      Classic
User:          N/A
Computer:      Wifey-PC
Description:
Application popup:  : \SystemRoot\system32\DRIVERS\mrxsmb10.sys failed to load

They indicated a problem with the mrxsmb10.sys file. Some people had luck by manually replacing the file after booting from the OS install disk. Not me. All the Google searching I could do told me to either do a system restore back to an earlier version or reinstall. Please refer to the first paragraph.

I gave up for a half hour or so. I went to bed but was still nagged by this problem. So I went back to Google and just searched fix mrxsmb10.sys and came upon a site listing various Microsoft network hotfixes. There was one on there to fix a memory leak. It said it replaces most of the SMB files.

AT THIS TIME, PLEASE NOTE THAT WHAT FOLLOWS IS AN UNINTENDED USE OF A HOTFIX.

I figured it will fix it or not, and I would likely not be any further behind. So I ran it. It replaced a bunch of files. And when the computer rebooted, Wifey had access to the network shares with the family photos. Happy Wife, happy life.

Something that needs pointing out is, while most of the time Google searches lead to a fix, sometimes they don’t. Usually when they don’t, the only choice is to start over, format and reinstall, or restore from backup. I am tooting my own horn for fixing a problem that did not have a solution I could find on Google. I often say that we as computer people don’t know everything, but Google does. In this case, Google didn’t know, and it was years of experience and a deep understanding about how Windows works that lead to a good solution to a strange problem.
 

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