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Massive Slow-Down in XP

Posted on 2006-06-07
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Last Modified: 2008-01-09
Hello,

My computer has recently suffered massive slow-down which has rendered it useless.

The deal is this: I was on my computer last night, merely going about my business. It was fine. I didn't install any programs. The only thing I did do was a Microsoft Update for Windows Defender. I then read some e-mails (none containing any .exe files or anything like that before you ask), and finally a mucked about with some music files, that's it.

Then i shutdown my computer. Just as it did, I realised that I needed to do something, so I turned it back on. When it came back on, it was fine - until I tried to do anything.

To begin with, when I opened IE, it was fine, until I right-clicked, then the whole thing froze. Nothing. Couldn't even Ctrl+Alt+Del. No mouse movement - totally frozen. So I restarted, and tried again, and the same thing happened. So I restarted again, and this time as soon as I clicked the Start button, the whole thing froze.

Some of my icons had lost their colouring and some of the pixels on my rather rubbish 15" TFT had started looiking like they were dead, which was very strange. I thought I was having graphical issues or the monitor was struggling or dying, so I decided to chop down my res from 1024 x 768 to the next one, which is 960 x 680 or something, I can't remember. When I selected apply, the new resolution never showed. The screen was just black. I restarted again, and the pixel problem went away, and it started up in the new, lower res, but some of the icons were still discoloured. As I thought it was graphical, I ran a video to see how it was, but as soon as you double-click a folder, the whole thing dies.

I decided to see if it was a driver issue by starting up in Safe Mode. In SM, the computer was fine. Everything seemed to work as normal. I tried to open a video and the video worked, although it was choppy. I decided to do a system restore back to when I knew the PC worked fine. I did this, changed the res back to 1024 and restarted.

When it booted up again, where the desktop should appear, I get nothing - just black - as if the monitor can no longer handle the res. It's very weird. That's as far as I got yesterday as it was very late.

So I'm wondering if you guys have any clues on what to do? My plan is once I get home, to boot in Safe Mode, uninstall/reinstall graphics drivers, run anti-virus, ad-aware, spyware and MS defender and all that jazz and see what it picks up. I don't know if the problem was due to heat - it's not THAT hot in the UK at the moment and my ThermaTake HSF is more than capable. I was going to open Motherboard Monitor 5 to check the temps, but as it was so slow, I didn't get the chance.

Any clues guys? I'm stumped on this one.

[cookie]
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Question by:Cookie295
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20 Comments
 
LVL 30

Assisted Solution

by:Irwin Santos
Irwin Santos earned 400 total points
ID: 16850464
suspect malware
----------------------
Download and Install.
http://www.majorgeeks.com/HijackThis_d3155.html

Copy and paste your log to:
http://www.hijackthis.de/index.php?langselect=english
Click ANALYZE

Look for NASTIES and post your Analyze log link here
-------------------
Download Ewido, http://www.ewido.net/en/download/, install, open program, check for updates, restart computer, press F8 before windows logo appears, select safe mode, open Ewido, run full system scan. let Ewido delete all it finds, if anything is called serious by Ewido, disable Norton's Goback, and run Ewido again.
0
 
LVL 9

Expert Comment

by:dooleydog
ID: 16851279
you may have corrupted one or more system files, that had been updated with the defender, and if you did not let it shut down properly and completely, you may be experiencing the results.

I would attempt to uninstall the defender, and reinstall it. This may fix the suspected file problem.

If this doesn't work, i would suggest to backup your data, and reformat and reinstall.

Good Luck,

0
 
LVL 15

Expert Comment

by:venom96737
ID: 16851310
sounds like a video driver issue as you stated just uninstall it and reinstall it and should return to normal.
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LVL 23

Accepted Solution

by:
phototropic earned 400 total points
ID: 16851361
Boot to safe-mode-with-command-prompt. Run chkdsk /r
Let it run - it will take awhile.
Reboot. Any change?
Try a system restore to the most recent restore point.
Any change now?

A similar problem is currently under discussion here:

http://www.experts-exchange.com/Operating_Systems/Q_21874652.html

Good luck!
0
 

Author Comment

by:Cookie295
ID: 16852900
Okay, differing views and recommendations. I won't try a format and reinstall. I will do that at some point anyway, just for housekeeping reasons, but not because of this. I've already got HJT and Ewido downloaded because of previous issues. I'll try the HJT & ewido thing. Then I'll try the video drivers and may try uninstalling windows defender.

I'll try phototropic's idea too. Hell, I'll try them all, and get back to you with the results.

Cheers,

[cookie]
0
 

Author Comment

by:Cookie295
ID: 16857550
Okay guys, I basically tried the recommendations from irwinpks and phototropic.

I started with irwinpks' suggestion of using HJT and ewido. I remember why I hate ewido now - because it takes 3 hours to scan your PC! Anyway, here is my ewido log:---------------------------------------------------------
 ewido anti-malware - Scan report
---------------------------------------------------------

 + Created on:                  10:41:36 PM, 07/06/06
 + Report-Checksum:            A3F2BB7A

 + Scan result:

      C:\Documents and Settings\Simon\Cookies\simon@com[1].txt -> TrackingCookie.Com : Cleaned with backup
      C:\Program Files\Bhelpuri\Trixie\Scripts\HotmailEnhanced.user.js -> Adware.MediaMotor : Cleaned with backup
      C:\WINDOWS\Downloaded Program Files\btmailcontrol.dll -> Dialer.BT.g : Cleaned with backup


::Report End

And here is my link to my HJT log: http://www.hijackthis.de/logfiles/e0b296e4f99b0a2ff3f0a4719bc06c0f.html

However, before I did this, I loaded up my PC and it was fine. It had restored back to before I updated Windows Defender yesterday, and it was fine. However, I thought my PC could do with a clean-up so I did the HJT and ewido anyway. After doing these two things and rebooting into normal XP it was still fine. Then I reinstalled the update for Windows Defender, which for your interest, is 'Definition Update 1.14.1475.5 for BETA Windows Defender (KB915597)'. I then restarted into safe mode with command prompt as per phototropic's recommendations, and ran check desk. It wouldn't run because the volume was in use, but did so upon restart.

However, once I was back in Windows, ithe whole problem was starting all over again! Which leads me to believe that it must be the definition file I'm updating my Windows Defender with?

I can't see it being anything else. Acting on my assumption, I've now restored again to before I downloaded the update, and my PC seems to be fine. I have the yellow icon of death in my systray asking me to update. I think I may just uninstall the whole program. It's not as if Spyware Guard and Ad-Aware don't cover my back.

What do you guys think? Is Windows Defender (or more specifically, the definition file) the culprit, or is it something else?

[cookie]
0
 
LVL 23

Expert Comment

by:phototropic
ID: 16859170
Lots of reaction to the Defender update in the forums:

http://www.betanews.com/article/Windows_Defender_Beta_2_Refreshed/1144956600

I have not heard of anyone with your specific problem, but the Defender software IS Beta (ie. untested). Microsoft are using you as an unpaid R&D assistant!
It is always a good idea to be cautious of installing beta software on your main computer.

Your best bet is to lose Defender for awhile and see if the problem disappears completely.
0
 

Author Comment

by:Cookie295
ID: 16859813
Yeah, I'm definitely going to do that when I get home!

Cheers, phototropic. If the problem is solved by this, I think I'll share the points between you and irwinpks, as your suggestions were the most pertinent and useful.

[cookie]
0
 
LVL 30

Expert Comment

by:Irwin Santos
ID: 16861536
hey cookie, how many of these adware programs you got running in the background? Multiple apps are highly likely to "choke" each other.  Granted, not all can prevent everything...just gotta pick the best one.
0
 

Author Comment

by:Cookie295
ID: 16862039
irwinpks, I have:

- Grisoft's AVG Anti-Virus
- Lavasoft's Ad-Aware Personal SE
- Javacool's Spyware Guard and Spyware Buster, I think it's called?
- Windows Firewall, and now,
- Windows Defender

I plan on restoring back to before I installed M$ Defender. If I can't (it wouldn't let me yesterday) then I'll just uninstall and see how things go.

Is that my best chance of getting my system back up and running? I will do a format/reinstall in the next month or so anyway.

[cookie]
0
 
LVL 30

Expert Comment

by:Irwin Santos
ID: 16867410
I'm only running Windows Defender....so far so good.. machine runs like a champ.... if the master plan is to reinstall..then keep only Windows Defender.
0
 
LVL 23

Expert Comment

by:phototropic
ID: 16868006
Plus some a/v software.
If you are happy with AVG, stick with that. Other free av downloads are:

http://www.bitdefender.com/PRODUCT-14-en--BitDefender-8-Free-Edition.html
http://www.avast.com/eng/download-avast-home.html
http://www.clamwin.com/

To be able to relax about security, you need a firewall, some a/v software, and some anti-spyware. (But only one each of the first two!)
0
 

Author Comment

by:Cookie295
ID: 16869477
Okay, well I've uninstalled Defender anyway. The other combos of programs seemed to drastically reduce anyway spy/ad/malware I got to virtually nada. And if any did get in, I could get rid of it easily. Defender's causing me grief, so I uninstalled it.

I'll see if that works over the weekend.... if it does I'll award points accordingly.

Cheers for the help and advice guys.

[cookie]
0
 

Author Comment

by:Cookie295
ID: 16882242
Things seem to be okay after uninstalling Windows Defender. It may be a problem with the program, but more likely, it probably just clashes with one or more of my current 'safe computing' programs. I can't be bothered to find out which so I just won't install or it - or wait until the official version is released.

Thanks for the time, effort and help.

Point allocated as stated before.

[cookie]
0
 

Author Comment

by:Cookie295
ID: 16882249
Um, $hit.

I seem to have just allocated all the points to irwinpks I think. How do I go about getting them shared between irwinpks and Phototropic?

Sorry!!!! - n00bism!

[cookie]
0
 
LVL 23

Expert Comment

by:phototropic
ID: 16883377
Cookie295,
This explains how to split points:

 http://www.experts-exchange.com/help.jsp#hi69

Ask to reopen the question and follow the link.

Cheers!
0
 

Author Comment

by:Cookie295
ID: 16884042
Sorry... again... but who do I ask to get the question re-opened, and how?

[cookie]
0
 
LVL 30

Expert Comment

by:Irwin Santos
ID: 16885217
go to support link..

enter another question... "please reopen question t split points"
put in the body
http://www.experts-exchange.com/Operating_Systems/WinXP/Q_21877491.html#16850464
0
 
LVL 30

Expert Comment

by:Irwin Santos
ID: 16889139
cool. thank you!
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LVL 23

Expert Comment

by:phototropic
ID: 16889394
Thanks Cookie !
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