Screen Freezes & Related Stuff

Discussion in 'other security issues & news' started by ArthurLee, Jan 3, 2005.

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  1. ArthurLee

    ArthurLee Registered Member

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    I have this annoying problem that I can’t get rid of. My OS is Windows XP (Home). Symptoms are :

    1. Every so often, (around twice every hour) for no apparent reason, I get a screen freeze. Nothing works at all except when I press Ctrl + Al t +Delete (Task Manager), things start moving again. This happens at any time and not just when I’m using a particular application.

    2. About once on every five start-ups, I cannot connect to the internet. I have broadband and my modem connects fine every time. The dial-up facility doesn’t respond when I right click and clicking on any of my applications doesn’t launch any of them. No ‘hourglass’. I have to reboot when this happens.

    I’ve done a thorough check on my system, including A.V. Scan (Norton), Adaware, Spybot, Spywareguard (hasn’t picked anything up), Tune Up (Diagnostic), checked registry (Hijack This), cleaned out all unnecessary stuff with Windows Wash and generally manually checked every application I have running.

    My hard drive is only 30% full but I have noticed that (and this might be co-oincidental) before a screen freeze, the ‘hourglass’ appears very briefly on screen as if some application is trying to start up or something is trying to contact my PC. I run ZoneAlarm and I’m very careful as to what applications I allow to contact the Internet.

    I’ve tried a system restore from 2 weeks ago (when things were OK) but no joy.

    Can anyone suggest what it might be and anything else I can do? Help is much appreciated. Thanks.

    :(
     
  2. Blackspear

    Blackspear Global Moderator

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    Hi ArthurLee, just to be absolutely certain that your system is clean, you could try following the comprehensive steps found in General Cleaning, you will notice all of the steps are completed while in "Safe Mode", as the results are far better.

    The steps mentioned in General Cleaning use software that ought to be part of your security, as an absolute minimum. Once your system is clean, please don’t hesitate to ask further about using these and other security software to protect your computer.

    If you find Windows system files affected, you can place your Windows CD in the drive, click start> run type in CMD, when the black window opens type in "sfc /scannow" SFC (System File Checker, a part of Windows File Protection) will replace any changed/damaged system files with a clean copy. SFC may not solve every problem, but it's a good start that anyone can do.

    Hope this helps...

    Let us know how you go.

    Cheers :D
     
  3. ArthurLee

    ArthurLee Registered Member

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    Thanks Blackspear

    I'm going to give my system a 'General Clean' as per your kind suggestions.

    The only problem I have is that I don't have a Windows CD to run the SFC. My PC (Compaq) came 'out of the box' with XP already installed and no back up discs. Is there any way around this?

    Thanks.
     
  4. Blackspear

    Blackspear Global Moderator

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    You will have to contact Compaq regarding this, with some Compaq's you can make a recovery CD (make sure you back up your data before going down this track), and with others you will have to purchase Recovery CD's from Compaq or Microsoft.

    Cheers :D
     
  5. ArthurLee

    ArthurLee Registered Member

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    Thanks. I’m reporting back accordingly. I followed the ‘General Cleaning’ instructions and couldn’t believe how many Trojans, Cool Web Searches, Adware, Spyware, Malaware, Worms etc. were lurking in my PC system!.

    However, before I ran the various corrective applications, I ran ‘Hijack This’ in safe mode and discovered two items I thought looked suspect. It was really strange because I ran ‘Hijack This’ about 10 minutes before, but in normal mode and it didn’t pick up the two suspect items? I’m curious (for future possible infection) as to why? Both items had been ‘installed’ within the last week or so. They were ‘Sysdown’ (a folder containing four exe applications and found in my Documents & Settings/Application Data folder and ‘Logon.exe’, found in my Windows/System32 folder. I deleted the suspect items in safe mode and rebooted. Almost immediately, my system began running faster and there were no noticeable screen freezes.

    I’ve re-enabled my System Restore and created a restore point so I’m hoping that I’ve now got a clean machine! I’ll certainly know the steps to take in the event of future potential threats.

    Thanks again.
     
  6. Blackspear

    Blackspear Global Moderator

    Joined:
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    Posts:
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    Location:
    Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia
    Good to see ArthurLee, however, I would run through the entire General Cleaning at least another 2 times, again in "Safe Mode", doing so 3 times you can be fairly certain your system is clean.

    Once your system is clean I would suggest taking a look here for further discussion on security and how to make your system that much stronger and here for more.

    Let us know how you go…

    Cheers :D
     
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