Yesterday we received a trouble-call from an anxious customer telling us that they could not boot their XPHome computer as it was stuck in a boot-loop. It was continually showing a BSOD (Blue Screen of Death) and then rebooting.
Upon arrival at the customer’s home, we witnessed the same action. On inspection of the BSOD, we saw that the culprit was a Windows “System” file called “fssfltr_tdi.sys”. This file is from the “Windows Essential Family Safety” feature.
The only way to get the computer to boot normally, was first to firstly boot it into “Safe Mode” by tapping the f8 key. Once in Safe Mode, we found the file in the C:windows\system32\Drivers folder. We then renamed the file to fssfltr_tdi.bak
After crossing our fingers, we tried booting the computer and low and behold it booted up as normal.
We asked if the customer had added any software recently. She exclaimed that she had just upgraded her Avast anti-malware sofware to the 2014 version.
After doing some research on the Internet, it was apparent that this was not an isolated case. Many people had experienced the same issue. Unfortunately, Avast has not released a patch to the problem to date.
Despite this being the subscription version of Avast, we advised the customer to uninstall Avast and replace it with the free Microsoft Security Essentials. After completing this task, this we renamed the file back to fssfltr_tdi.sys to restore normal functionality.
We are happy to report that the computer has been restored to its good-old-self.