About a week ago, my laptop just froze completely. Reboot successfully but froze again after a minute or so during startup (desktop screen). But whenever I click at the taskbar for connecting to WLAN or volume control it would freeze right away. Tried again many times and the same thing happened.
Tried safe boot, everything is okay, did AVG virus scan nothing was detected, so I thought it's one of the start up programs or services. Tried turning them off and manually enable them one by one, still the same actually, but somehow after a few tries the freezing didn't occur anymore... until 3 days ago.
It froze again, exactly the same problem. Tried system restore, it still froze during start up. I thought maybe this is due to fragmented files (because I had cleaned the registry with CCleaner). I used Auslogics Disk Defragmenter in Safe Mode. It froze at a certain point during defragmentation but after a Normal boot, it did not freeze anymore during start up. So I tried to complete the defragmenting, and it froze at a certain point. Restarted the computer, tried again, and it froze at the same file: C:\Windows\tracing\IpHlpSvc.OLD
I don't know about that file, but I thought maybe that's a malicious file or something. Maybe it's safe to delete also since it's a .OLD file. So I deleted it (sent to the recycle bin). However, the recycle bin was still empty. And the button 'Empty Recycle Bin' couldn't be clicked. Then I tried scanning the Recycle Bin with AVG and it froze. Tried disk defragmenting again, and it always froze at C:\$Recycle.Bin\S-1-5-21-13732829...\$$R7MC9UP.OLD. So it seems that whenever this file is detected, the system will freeze.
Downloaded and updated Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware. Performed the scan and while scanning C:\Windows\system32\vdmbg.dll the MAM was not responding and had to close the program (but it didn't freeze). Tried again in Safe Mode and it stopped responding at C:\Windows\system32\vdmredir.dll
Tried Safe Mode AVG command line scan, and the system froze at a certain file (it was C:\xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx; x=some numbers)
I have HiJackThis installed. Please help me guys, I almost thought this is a hardware failure (because the harddisk activity light just went off when it freezes), but since I found that .OLD file it seems that it is a virus or something. And the problem now is I can't detect it, can't do anything to it. Your response is very much appreciated.