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ctfmon.exe malfunctioning


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#1
garaden

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Limited user accounts, upon logging on, are confronted with the message that "ctfmon.exe failed to initialize". This doesn't seem to be doing anything, but the laptop is running slow in general... I suspect this is a small part of a bigger problem with stray registry entries, but I'm not sure what to do about either issue.

I don't think this is a malware problem; Kaspersky came up relatively clean (I have WeatherBug voluntarily installed) and a HijackThis analyzer on the other forum seemed to agree. At that time I wasn't able to run any long scans because the intakes were clogged and the piece of junk was overheating every half an hour :P Nevertheless, HijackThis reported back then about the same things Kaspersky just did, so no problem.

In summary, what we have here is a laptop that's had many many things installed onto it and is probably getting bogged down pretty good. There aren't any stray processes running around that I know of (rootkits, anyone?), but I'm willing to bet the registry is looking pretty ugly. Unfortunately, optimizers cost money and they make people nervous anyway. I'm not sure if I want an algorithm, even a professional one, messing around with the innards of my system.

Speaking of which, specs:

Win XP SP 2
Manufacturer: Toshiba
Model: Satellite P25-S526
CPU: Intel Pentium 4 3.2 GHz w/ Hyperthreading
RAM: 512 MB
HDD: Total: 74.5 GB Free: 12.3 GB

Network: Wireless LAN
Firewall: COMODO
Antivirus: Symantec Corporate

That reminds me, all these overheats may have corrupted some of the hard drive as well... haven't run into anything explicitly corrupted yet. Defrag worked, at any rate.

Anyone have any suggestions?
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#2
The Skeptic

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If I understand correctly then you get an error message that cause no harm but the computer is slow and overheating. You also mentioned that your account is limited. How many accounts do you have on your computer and do they have the same problems. I am particularly interested with the administrator's account.

There are a number of things which you can do but you must have administrator's previllage to install a number of utilities.

As far as heating is concerned, blow compressed air into the air inlets to remove dust. Either blow with your mouth and be prepared for a dust cloud or buy a can of compressed air. Do not use industrial compressor. Also place the laptop on something that will create some space below it. Make sure not to block inlets. Another option is to buy a cooling pad, or whatever it's called. This has fans that blow cool air to the bottom of the laptop.
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#3
garaden

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Actually, we did just that with the overheating; just took a while to get around to it. The fans work great now, but I don't know how much corruption was wreaked by the random unexpected shutoffs.

We have six accounts on this computer, with four administrative accounts and two limited accounts. Only the limited accounts are affected by the error message.

Ja, the laptop is fully functional as of now; it just runs slowly for no apparent reason.
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#4
The Skeptic

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I wouldn't do anything with the error message if the computer runs reasonably well. Six user accounts are quite a lot, meaning a loaded windows explorer. I have seen such computers and many are in less-then-top condition due to the number of different users, each with his own taste and preferences. Usually I try co convince people to avoid multiple accounts but that's up for them to decide, of course.
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#5
garaden

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Wouldn't that just take up hard drive space? The vast majority of the used capacity comes from music files, so storing the preferences is not really an issue. But if they're using memory or CPU... I thought you could have an indefinite number of users and only the ones logged on at the time would use resources, with the other profiles just sitting on the HDD. Oh well. I'll just go through the tweak list here and see if I can speed things up some. Any more advice?
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#6
The Skeptic

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In theory it's true that you can have many user accounts but things are not that simple. First, you have no control about what other users install or download, especially when kids are involved. Second, the registry must accommodate all this complexity. Third, there is always a waste of disk space.

In general, things do not always work according to theory. When you install a program or open a user account it's not like you added some dormant load waiting to be called upon. Every installation or account are having links to the operating system, this way or the other. This makes control by the operating system more difficult, increasing the chance for problems. I do not suggest to avoid this, just be aware of the point.
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