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Performance Issues, Possible Malware


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#1
Grondsrevenge

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Hello,

After following all of your new user instructions, I am still experiencing a reduction in performance (overall speed) during desktop operations, Windows Explorer Operations and internet explorer operations. The reduction increases relative to the amount of time between PC restarts. Firefox seems to be immune to this but I use IE(optimized for Yahoo) for my Yahoo accounts. Programs seem to function normally as well. Also the cursors in all input windows blink rapidly(more like vibration than standard blinking). This seems to indicate that something unnecessary (or malicious) is running in the background but I can't find anything unusual in the Task Manager. Also, A firewall warning now appears in my system tray during startup just prior to Norton AutoProtect's appearance. Once Norton appears the warning dissappears and the firewall is indeed on. I also have a firewall in my router.

Changes I made to my computer prior to noticing these symptoms include:

1. Reducing the number of unnecessary windows options (text shadows, window fades, etc.)
2. An attempt to test my internet vulnerability-This particular website attempted to put a test file on my desktop but Norton antivirus stopped it and deleted the file. However, each return to the website prompted the same test without pressing the test button. I am fairly sure of all my current cookies because I deleted everything I didn't recognize or didn't need. Now I can't find the website to tell you what it was. My history was deleted by ATF.

SpybotSD reports nothing unusual as does MalwareBytes (reports attached). Windows Defender reports No unwanted or harmful software detected. No viruses are reported by NortonAV. Norton Systemworks reports no errors. While ATF-Cleaner and Old Timer ATF did not generate reports, I included one from CCleaner. A report from Windows XP Autoruns is included as well as one from Hijackthis. I encountered problems uploading the hijackthis logfile so I scanned it with Norton and Spybot. I ended up changing the name to New Text Document. I also had difficulty with the Autoruns log so I had to convert it to a text document. After viewing the Autoruns log from the Post download, I realized that important spacing had been deleted during upload. I tried to fix that but was unsuccessful. Each plus sign (+) indicates the start of a new line.

Normally I can fix these little problems but this time I'm stumped. Let me know when you get time to look at this.

Thank you,
Grondsrevenge

Attached Files


Edited by Grondsrevenge, 11 June 2009 - 03:41 PM.

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#2
Ectech

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can you list the specs of the machine?

From my expieriance Norton System Works is not a good product to use. It's monitoring mechanism will dramaticlly reduce performance.
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#3
Grondsrevenge

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Yes,

Dell XPS genII
Intel Pentium IV 3.2 ghz + Math
2 gb Ram + 4gb page file
killer peripherals with no probs in Device Manager

Thanks for the tip on NAV but it has never caused probs before...actually, I only use the AV monitor, not all of the other bells and whistles.

Edited by Grondsrevenge, 11 June 2009 - 03:57 PM.

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#4
Ectech

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well, i suggest removing Norton System Works.

The same results can be achived by running similar programs like CCleaner & Auslgics Disk Defrag.

Links are in my sig.

Because the machine has a single core processor any additional processes interuppting its normal operation with slow the machine down. since you already use NAV there is no need for anything else to be consuming resources from a performance prespective.

Edited by Ectech, 11 June 2009 - 04:16 PM.

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#5
Grondsrevenge

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Thank you again, but please note that performance issues are only experienced during desktop operations (a windows explorer), windows explorer operations and internet explorer operations.
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#6
Ectech

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Do you use Terminal Services?
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#7
Grondsrevenge

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No, no indexing services either...
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#8
rshaffer61

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Lets take a look at the hard drive and see what you have.

Go to
1: Start
2: My Computer
3: Right Click on "C" drive
4: Click on Properties
5: In this field it will tell you total drive space and also free space


Please include results in your next reply
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#9
Grondsrevenge

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Oops, indexing service is on...

Disk info:

Maxtor 6Y120M0
Local Disk
NTFS file system
Single Partition (primary)
120gb capacity (111gb showing)
70.1gb used
40.6gb free
8mb unpartitioned
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#10
rshaffer61

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Open Autoruns, click on "Logon" tab, and UN-check:
+ WinampAgent
+ SpybotSD TeaTimer

When done restart computer and then:


Download Temp File Cleaner (TFC)
Double click on TFC.exe to run the program.
Click on Start button to begin cleaning process.
TFC will close all running programs, and it may ask you to restart computer.

Download Auslogics Defrag from the link in my signature below. Auslogics Defrag in my opinion is better because:

It does a more comprehensive job at Defragging
It will actually show you what it is doing
At the end of working it will show you how much speed you picked up
You can view a online log of the files that Auslogics defragged
Run the program and do your main drive

Reboot and let me know how system is running now
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#11
Grondsrevenge

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OK, file downloaded, winamp agent and teatimer are disabled. After restart I will defrag. That will take time, so I wont be back for a while. While I do that, could you think about the firewall issue mentioned in my first post?
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#12
rshaffer61

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Thank you for the update and we will research the firewall issue for you.
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#13
Grondsrevenge

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I am beginning to see what you mean about Norton. Speed Disk is set to autorun once a week at night but the disk was over 50% fragmented anyway. Also, Auslogics Defrag is kicking Norton's butt on speed. It's 45% complete already. Also, has anyone ever encountered the vibrating cursor symptom I mentioned? Here are the highlights of the defrag report:


Disk: Local Disk (C:), NTFS

Disk Defragmentation Summary



Disk Size 111.75 GB
Free Space Size 41.70 GB
Clusters 29294519
Sectors per cluster 8
Bytes per sector 512
Started defragmentation at 6/11/2009 4:09:47 PM
Completed defragmentation at 6/11/2009 4:55:53 PM
Elapsed time 00:46:05
Total Files 59909
Total Directories 6547
Fragmented Files 9460
Defragmented Files 9448
Skipped Files 12
Fragmentation Before 43.94% ||||||||||||||||||||||
Fragmentation After 0.03% |

Edited by Grondsrevenge, 11 June 2009 - 05:59 PM.

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#14
rshaffer61

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How is your system running now?
Norton is historically a resource hog. It alone can slow your system down.
I like Auslogics much better then any other Defrag program. If you are using Norton as your AV you might think about getting Avast as it is free and you can register it for a year. It updates at least once a day and is alot easier on your system resources. After the first year just simply reregister it and you have another year for free.
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#15
Grondsrevenge

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I removed all Symantec/Norton products and replaced them with the programs suggested above and Man! what a difference. All performance problems are solved. Avast found a virus missed by NortonAV. Even the vibrating cursor problem is gone.

The only problem I have left is the afore mentioned firewall mystery:

A firewall warning now appears in my system tray during startup but immediately dissappears. When I check, the firewall is indeed on. I also have a firewall in my router.


Thanks Guys!!

Edited by Grondsrevenge, 11 June 2009 - 08:10 PM.

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