Solved

error message

Posted on 2000-04-27
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Last Modified: 2013-12-28
When I log on or off the net I get a small grey box in the middle of the screen.  It has a red X and a OK.  The logon-off process stops until I click on the OK.  I have a emachines 400i2, factory installed HSP modem,W98(no disk) and MSN 5.1.  All of the tech people want me to re-format the hard drive and restore the computer.  This is not something I want to do.  Any solutions?
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Question by:jkl10
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by:tjoiner
ID: 2758072
Sounds like some program is monitoring your internet connection. Hit Ctrl-Alt-Del and this will show you a list of all programs running on your system. Post the list here and we can try to figure which one is the culprit. Or... try "end task" on them one at a time as you connect and disconnect from the net, till the message goes away. The last thing you "ended task" for was the culprit.

Also check Control-Panel, look for the HSP Micromodem icon, double click it, and set the country to USA. I've heard of this causing problems for people too.

Good luck

Tim
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by:tjoiner
ID: 2758153
Sounds like some program is monitoring your internet connection. Hit Ctrl-Alt-Del and this will show you a list of all programs running on your system. Post the list here and we can try to figure which one is the culprit. Or... try "end task" on them one at a time as you connect and disconnect from the net, till the message goes away. The last thing you "ended task" for was the culprit.

Also check Control-Panel, look for the HSP Micromodem icon, double click it, and set the country to USA. I've heard of this causing problems for people too.

Good luck

Tim
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Author Comment

by:jkl10
ID: 2758310
I have shut down all programs, no luck.  All that has done is made a mess out of my computer.  Any other suggestions.
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by:tjoiner
ID: 2758336
Do you have Yahoo Instant Messenger installed? I've seen it exhibit that kind of behavior.

Other than that, what you're going to have to do is not for the weak-hearted. Click on Start, Run, then type MSCONFIG and hit Enter. Click on the tab at the top that says "Startup" and look over the list of things it presents you. These are all the programs that get loaded when your system starts each time. For some of them, it will be obvious what they do. For others you won't have a clue. One by one you can disable one, reboot, then see what happens. If it's not fixed, go back and re-enable the one you disabled, and pick another one to disable. It may take a while, but you should be able to discover which program is causing you the trouble.

Not fun, but better than reformatting and re-installing everything.

Good luck

Tim
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Author Comment

by:jkl10
ID: 2758376
I think I have tried all of that. I have tried so many things I have lost count.  I will try again.  I do not have Yahoo, just MSN.  Msn is giving me a lot of trouble tonight, will try tomprrow.  Bill
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by:Awmytie
ID: 2759725
May  or may not solve the problems, rather furnish a clue:  Start > Run > type in MSCONFIG > Ok.  Take a good look at the Autoexec.bat and Config.sys tabbed items to see if either may be loading in stuff you don't want.  Then click the Start-up tab, and uncheck boxes that are starting things you don't particularly need or want.  Also, the Win.ini and System.ini tabs may be worth checking for any Load= or Run= entries.
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by:PCGuru
ID: 2759784
The phantom grey box. Haven't seen this one for a long time. Two possibles that I can recall -
1> A shareware program with a bad VB or VC++ process call in the code, '98 is more fussy than '95.

2> Less likely but possible, malicious macro code, haven't seen this since Word 6 though.

And a long shot is someone has dumped "BackOrifice" or similar on your PC and is attempting remote manipulation which is interfering with your logoff process. Couple of ways to check any or all of these, one is a shareware program called InfoSpy and the other is to install MDB - Machine DeBugger - hard to get though as it comes with O2000 I believe.

There are a few other process monitoring tools available and some good ones can be found at ZDNET or NoNag software.

Cheers,
Guru
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Author Comment

by:jkl10
ID: 2760242
Gee, a lot of stuff to try.  I spent about two hours with emachines tech support before I found this site.  The grey box is not there  all of the time, but when it starts @#%%#@&5.  It also makes it almost impossible to log off. Box, re-dial,OK,Box, re-dial,Ok, ect.  Thanks everybody, will try your suggestions tonight.  Bill
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by:1cell
ID: 2760782
And a long shot is someone has dumped "BackOrifice" or similar on your PC and is attempting remote manipulation which is interfering with your logoff process.

Might sound like a long shot but it's my first guess!

Seen it like this a few times.

Go to ftp://ftp.datafellows.com/anti-virus/free and download the latest revision of F-Prot on ZIP. You will need winzip ( www.winzip.com ) to extract it.  It is the most thorough virus/trojan protection around.

Let me know if you need help with the installation, it can be a bit cryptic.


1cell
members.home.com/liquitech
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Author Comment

by:jkl10
ID: 2762996
Well I have tried everything all of you have suggested except the process call in a shareware program with a bad VB or VC++.  I do not understand what this is or if I can see if this is what wrong, and if it is how to fix. Help??
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by:PCGuru
ID: 2763120
Sorry, the "process call in a shareware program with a bad VB or  VC++" refers to programming. Some shareware programs are not thoroughly tested before release or can develope problems some time after they are installed due to system updates etc. I was referring to Visual Basic and Visual C++, but not limiting my response to these two programming languages.  One fix is to get hold of a program called "InfoSpy" this will enable you to track down the exact program or module (with patience) that is responsible for the bad call. Another way is to start from scratch with your system tho I don't like recommending this unless there is absolutely no other course available. It is possibly a program running "behind the scenes" which you don't actually see, you could try uninstalling ALL your shareware programs one by one until the problem disappears, again a lengthy process requiring patience.

All the best and let us know how you go.

Regards,
Guru
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Author Comment

by:jkl10
ID: 2763247
I am not sure if I have any shareware programs.  The only one I can think of is CShow, which did not work.  Where do you get the program "InfoSpy"? Is it something that you purchase?  Thanks,Bill
P.S. The "Phantom Grey Box" does not show up every time.
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by:PCGuru
ID: 2763258
jkl10: Try the following link - http://www.winutils.com/infospy.htm - sorry, didn't mean to imply that *shareware* was the only cause, but it is one of the main causes. You may also want to visit DataFellows for info on virus fixing - http://www.datafellows.com/ - they have some very good free DOS utils.

Guru
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Author Comment

by:jkl10
ID: 2767815
I believe my "greybox" is GONE!!!!!Thank all of you for your help, especially PCGuru. I am going to tell everybody I know about your site and the good work that you do.  Thanks again, Bill
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by:PCGuru
ID: 2767844
Bill, always glad to help, any chance of a reward? :-) The choice is up to you of course, you can always contact the site admin to arrange point splitting.

Cheers,
Guru
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Author Comment

by:jkl10
ID: 2768215
I will be glad to give you all of the points if you can tell me how to do it?  I do not understand about these "points". Thanks--Bill
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by:PCGuru
ID: 2768580
Ahh, gee, now unfortunately, I've never had to ask a question, I don't mean to sound pompous or anything, it's just that I always manage to source my own answers. I guess I'm just too stubborn to admit defeat when it comes to computers.  

Check out the 'help' or 'FAQ's' on site maybe?? In the meantime I will endeavour to find out for future reference.

Cheers,
Guru.

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Accepted Solution

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PCGuru earned 75 total points
ID: 2768599
am reposting one ofmy comments as answer, this should make it easier.

********************

jkl10: Try the following link - http://www.winutils.com/infospy.htm - sorry, didn't mean to imply that *shareware* was the only
                      cause, but it is one of the main causes. You may also want to visit DataFellows for info on virus fixing -
                      http://www.datafellows.com/ - they have some very good free DOS utils.

                      Guru


*****************

You should get the option to accept and grade the answer now.

Cheers,
Guru
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Author Comment

by:jkl10
ID: 2770457
I have talked to so many people, PCGuru is the only one who had seen my problem. I really appreciate him, and the rest of your experts helping me.--Bill
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