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Computer locks up intermittently


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#1
publishingcoach

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This issue has been a problem since last November, and I have not found an answer.

Issue: after I open maybe 2 or 3 programs upon bootup (doesn't seem to matter which ones), computer acts up. Sometimes it's as if the ctrl key is stuck. Things may stay highlighted that I did not highlight. Or I can't click and open a program.

The only way I can proceed is to do C-A-D and open up Task Manager. Sometimes I have to C-A-D again to engage it. Then, if TM is engaged as it were, I am able to double click and open a program from a desktop icon. Or swiitch to a running program.

I have tried: degragging (says it doesn't need it), malaware and spybot, I run AVG anti-virus daily.Did checkdisk.

I uninstalled any program I don't need.

Those things helped a little--for a while even crazier things were happening. Like when I'd hit ctrl-something, the whole screen image would go sideways. That has stopped, at least.

It's as if something takes control of my computer "behind the scenes" and locks me up for a time. Eats up memory. I check the processes and nothing looks like it's gobbling up memory.

I have 1.99GB of RAM.

I wonder if it's a Windows update I might have installed. I have a LInsys wired router, I do not have the Windows Firewall turned on.

I could not System Restore to a point in October. Tried, didn't work.

Around the same time, something happened with my ATT email account. It was hijacked or something, and I can no longer use that email account. They gave me a new password but I have not received any email since the incident. I don't know if it could be related, just thought I'd mention it. I have not had the whatever in me to possibly sit on the phone for hours with them, so I just don't use that email account. (One time I was on the phone for 8 hours straight with India--just can't do that again!)

I have a Windows wireless keyboard and mouse that uses a USB port. Tested the ports, seem to be ok. Changed batteries, etc. Don't think it's this device, but could be related?

Oh, I elevated my Dell tower to make sure it’s not overheating.

Hope all this info helps you figure out my issue, bc I've tried everything I know! Every few days I check something new online to see if I can get help. Hope you're my answer!

Thanks so much, in advance
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#2
Broni

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Download, and install SpeedFan: http://www.almico.com/sfdownload.php
Post your computer temperatures:

Posted Image

Provide processor info (hold Windows logo key, and hit Pause/Break key to find out).
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#3
publishingcoach

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Okay, here's the info:

temperative readout

If hope you can read this. I just learned how to use Jing to get a screen capture and so am not sure what I'm doing!

Here's processor info:
http://www.screencas...90-5f776797fb47

(If you can't see these, let me know! Or tell me how to get screen capture to show up.)

Thanks!
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#4
publishingcoach

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I should also add (because it makes me think it's a software, not hardware problem): strange things seem to happen with Word programs. Such as, my files when I browse sometimes are in "most recent" order, sometimes alphabetical. I never changed anything and indeed, don't know what to change.
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#5
Broni

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Temperatures look normal.

Download Autoruns for Windows: http://technet.micro...s/bb963902.aspx
No installation required.
Simply unzip Autoruns.zip file, and double click on autoruns.exe file to run the program.
Go File>Save, and save it as AutoRuns.txt file to know location.
You must select Text from drop-down menu as a file type:

Posted Image

Attach the file to your next reply.
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#6
The Skeptic

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Please boot to "safe mode with networking" and report if the problems are the same.

Regarding the firewall, you should have one. Microsoft's is the bare minimum (I use it).

According to your story a malware is definitely a possibility.
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#7
publishingcoach

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Broni: Attached file as requested.

Skeptic, when I booted in safe mode with networking, the problems still occurred. Also, my display was so much larger I really couldn't work with some of my programs. (For example I couldn't use a cursor slider to get to places in a program, and I couldn't even open some because I couldn't see them on my desktop or in the Program start window.)

I have Malaware and Spybot Search and Destroy and ran those multiple times--no infection. Is there another better malware program to try?

Thanks again!

Attached Files


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#8
publishingcoach

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One more thing just occurred to me. My daughter's computer is having similar issues (we are networked), so to me, that rules out my particular machine and makes me wonder if it's either something both our computers picked up (through the network?) or that it's a Windows update that is affecting us similarly.

Her issue isn't quite as bad. She usually gets control back by just doing C-A-D. But, another strange thing on hers: I can't shut down Windows via the regular way. Haven't turned it off in a while.

I have turned off the Windows Firewall bc people have told me it can interfere with antivirus programs, and since I have a Linksys box, that's a better firewall. Are they wrong? Most people I know never did turn on Windows Firewall and never have problems.
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#9
Broni

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You have quite long startup list, so we'll eliminate unneeded items in a moment.
First, couple of suggestions.
1. I recommend, you unistall Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is a resource hog, and install FoxIt Reader: http://www.filehippo...download_foxit/, which is much smaller, and faster. It does very same thing.
Make sure, you run "custom" install, and opt out from installing any extra toolbars.
2. Uninstall Spybot, which is rather obsolete tool and sometimes causes problems. I suggest:
- Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware (trial version is fully functionable): http://www.malwarebytes.org/mbam.php
- SUPERAntiSpyware Free Edition: http://www.superanti...m/download.html
3. Uninstall Dell Support Center, which is known for causing issues.
4. I'd also consider switching from AVG to some less troublesome programs, like Avast, or Avira.

Now on to startups.
Re-run Autoruns, click on "Logon" tab and UN-check following items:

+ "Alcmtr"
+ "AppleSyncNotifier"
+ "ContentTransferWMDetector.exe"
+ "DellSupportCenter"
+ "dscactivate"
+ "HotKeysCmds" (you need this one, if you use some special keyboard "hotkeys")
+ "IgfxTray"
+ "iTunesHelper"
+ "Persistence"
+ "SunJavaUpdateSched"
+ "Kodak EasyShare software.lnk"
+ "WinZip Quick Pick.lnk"
+ "Logitech . Product Registration.lnk"
+ "DellAutomatedPCTuneUp"
+ "DellSupportCenter"
+ "WMPNSCFG"

Close Autoruns. Restart computer.

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.
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#10
The Skeptic

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The fact that the computer acts even in safe mode indicates to a problem deeper then a non-generic hardware driver.

If you have two firewalls, one in the router and one in the computer, they will not interfere with each other. It's highly recommended to install one in your computer. There is some mixing of facts here: 1) You can have two firewalls running in series but must not have two installed on the computer itself 2)A firewall will not interfere with AV programs. I recommend Microsoft's, fully aware that it is not the most powerful one, because it's the simplest of all. In fact, very seldom you have to interfere with it's operation, if at all.

The fact that your daughter's computer also have the same type of problems strongly indicate to malware. The programs that you ran are not enough for severe infections. PLease follow Broni's instructions but if that doesn't help then I think that your next step should be to post in the malware forum. You can use the link in my signature below.
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#11
publishingcoach

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I did everything Broni said and everything runs much better--THANK YOU!

I'm running the MalawareBytes scan and SuperAntiSpyware scans now. Turned on Window Firewall.

I did have trouble still at one point, clicking on a program icon to start it, so I'm not sure the problem is totally solved.

Question: SuperAntispyware is detecting Ad-aware tracking cookies. Is this a true threat? Is Ad-Aware something I should keep, is it superceded by the other two programs above, or what?

Thanks again.
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#12
The Skeptic

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You can delete evrything that SuperAntispyware find. During normal use of new cookies will be installed if security and privacy settings of your browser remain unchanged.
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#13
Broni

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I'm glad your computer feels better :)
You can uninstall Ad-aware as well.
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#14
publishingcoach

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I'm not sure it's 100% yet. It seemed like I still had trouble clicking on an icon without Windows Task Manager, but overall, there is vast improvement so far. I wasn't on much today, and almost never am on the computer on Sundays, so I don't have a Sunday to compare it with. However, I know it's much improved, and I'm very grateful.

Will report back in a day or two of "normal" computer usage.

I passed on your suggestions to the people who have been helping me try to figure this thing out, and they learned some things and are grateful, too.

You're the best! :)
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#15
Broni

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You're welcome :)
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