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My ISP told me to find out if I have a hacker? too many errors and connection problems, How do I find out if it really is a hacker?

I have 4 computers, a brand new HP elite media center , a new Sony Vaio Laptop, a 6 month old Hp media center PC and an old Hp small form factor XP. They all are getting the same errors and running very slowly. I am getting errors about losing my internet connection every few minutes, I can turn on a brand new PC and the first thing it does is "Internet Explorer has stopped responding and needs to close", "settings in internet options keep changing,services are disabled,"Internet Explorer cannot display this webpage" programs that I know the passwords wont let me sign in , they tell me I have the wrong email address or password, computer freezes up,addons will be disabled,DEP will close down computer, errors that either the file is not installed or it is corrupted, my registry will have 100's of invalid paths,or empty registry keys. Computer thinks it is running Mozilla,windows updates wont go in, windows updates is suddenly not installed, windows installer is not installed,application crashes, application crashes, It seems like at times every site I go to or program I open is not responding. The list goes on and on. These are Windows Vista Home Premium, except for the XP which is the one that ran the best even though it is 4 years old, but just recently it crashed completely on me.This seems to happen to my new PC's and they are corrupted within the first week. When I send them in for repair they come back with a new hard drive or CPU or a motherboard and reformatted . The only thing they tell me is that all the drivers and the operating system was corrupted. Then it starts all over again. I get new and different errors all the time . But they all seem to be the same in all the computers at the same time. No one can help me, there are no viruses,spyware or anything anyone can find.I have security and run scans maybe 3 times a day on each one that I am working on. They never have more than a tracking cookie. So After a long year of this I have been trying to get my ISP to help me with the connectivity issue and they now think that I may have a hacker. So they told me to find out. They cant help me, They said they just don't have the resources to check these things out.
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4 Solutions
Wow that seems a bit of a mess.

Firstly, how do you connect to the internet? If you use a router does it have a Firewall as this is the critical thing to check.
Go to the following site:

And run a scan on "All Service Ports".
This will tell you if there is an open port that a hacker can get into.
If so, you need a firewall!

Also, do you run an Antivirus solution? You should install one on a computer that has not been networked first, and then perform a full scan of one of the other computers to be safe.
suzannegrgryAuthor Commented:
Hi  OK I went to that site and I failed alot of the tests  I dont understand how to fix them especially if it is my ISP that is letting these things through I have an antivirus and spyware on all computers and rtun tests frequently.
Except for my Sony Vaio which I have just recieved back from repair and I had only had it a few weeks and the DVD player started making alot of noise and wouldn't play or do anything really. Now I have had to do 2 recoveries on it because it would not download 3 certain updates and neither I nor the Sony tech could get it to and then after the first recovery, windows update was not installed and I couldn't get it installed. Now after getting it installed and the 42 updates it needed and took 3 hours to do ( which doesn't seem right to me)It wont put the security in until I uninstall my spy sweeper. I have never had any program ask me to uninstall another so I haven't done it yet. Now I must get security on this one but I know after talking to Sony yesterday that they are either going to have me send it in for repair again or replace it. I have had that done so many times I am sick of getting a new computer. What can I do now?
Firstly before you do anything else, what method do you use to connect to the Internet?
If you have a router then this should really have a firewall built in, but some do not.
Your ISP is not responsible for this, you will have to implement it.

If you just use a router with NO firewall or a modem to connect each computer to the Internet, then you will need to make sure Windows firewall is turned on for EVERY machine that connects.

Secondly, most of your problems seem hardware related and unlikely to be the result of a hacker and just may be poor quality machines and "bad luck".
Really they should be completely formatted and reinstalled, although it is a lot of work.

The problems seem mostly down to a Virus, but you said you have taken care of this?
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suzannegrgryAuthor Commented:
I use a 2 wire gateway modem . I have AT&T for a internet service provider and I have DSL. All computer are connected directly to  the modem ,wired except for the Sony Vaio it is wireless. I do have the 802.11 on all HP  Desktops too. So I could go either way with all PC's.The two that I have been working with are the two with the most trouble at the moment.They are both brand new. The HP m9200T elite media center PC is a replacement computer for my other brand new media center PC. And the Sony is directly back from repair where it got a new hard drive and a new CD/DVD installed. They reformatted it there. So it was suppose to be just like a new PC. I just turned them both on this week. And I have done 2 destructive recoveries on both and the problems do not go away. What could it possibly be if it wasn't a hacker or hardware? If it is a hardware issue and I have bad luck it has to be the longest run of bad luck anyone has ever had. This has been going on for over a year now. I have had 0ver 15 brand new computers from HP. And they all could not have had bad hardware.? Could they?
I have mentioned this to all he techs that I have worked with at Sony,HP and microsoft. And they seem to think that none of this problem I had last year has anything to do with it. Last year when I noticed this starting was when I got my first Vista Computer. So to make you understand the first 9 or 10 computers have a perfectly good excuse for going bad. I had a loose neutral which was making the voltage go to 180V and then it would drop down to 70V giving me problems both ways. It was happening so fast that my lights didn't even flicker And it was happening from 50 to 100 times an hour. I figured it out from the cursor blinking. It would stop for just a sec. Then it took me around 13 electricians and alot of time and money and they all said they knew exactly what it was. None of them knew what it was or even found it.  .So after 10,000 dollars replacing everything in this house ,getting a new subpanel, (which was not the problem) and every outlet replaced, dedicated lines and battery back up with surge protection(  I have the Belkin 1500 small form factor tower) enough power to keep 3 computers running it says. I only have one . Each computer I have has its own battery backup.This was on Jan 1,2008 and the problem was supposed to be fixed, SDG&E finally came  out after I called for 6 months in a row. They do not come out for computer related  problems , They said that 99.9% of the time it is user error  and not a surge that ruins computers. So they had to put this monitor on my meter and come back in 4 days it was terrible and the guy reset it and said it must be a mistake. (He blamed it on the Southern California fires) But the second reading was just as bad. He couldn't even believe we had any electricity at all. So to find out where the problem was (this must be a very odd place to look, since not one of the electricians even asked about it) he took off the cover to my pedistal right where the gas company meets my side.right there at the meter. Now it has been a battle with them over whos side it was  on. 15 electricians say it was on SDG&E's side and SDG&E says it is on my side. That I should have a pedistal tune up every year and then I would have known.!
Now the latest electrician that was here says that I am getting not enough power from them . Something about I am getting 2 ott and should be getting 3 to 4 ott??? I am not sure what that means. But with my battery back ups I should be having no problems with any power.at all. Could the surges and sags that I was getting have any effect on my phone or data lines ? they are still the original ones and I was figuring that because I was losing my connection to the internet  rather regular, That maybe that was what was corrupting my PC's ? But everyone assures me that losing internet connections would do no harm.. I am having alot of phone disconnects right along with the internet connectivity problems. But AT&T says that I am at 100% and perfect. They dont see any problems(.I was hoping that maybe all the lnes got electrified with the surges and ruined them) So I started out in 1/1/08 with all new dedicated lines, new computers,new cables,everything. and the same thing happens, just different errors. But I have been reading up on everything I can find and Someone else is getting one of the same errors I have been getting for a long time.and that is DHCP client my computer was unable to renew its IP address" I was getting that every 15 min. Then it changed to your IP address was "denied" But AT&T says that has nothing to do with them. My registry is all corrupted also my last scan said I have 648 errors and 478 of them are empty or invalid  registry keys. How can a newly reformatted computer have that many registry errors? And these destructive recoveries that they all promise me will fix my problems never really put my computer back to factory. I always have some settings still in there that wouldn't be there if it was really brand new. Please  can you make anything out of what I have said this time
I do have a firewall built in to the 2 wire and I have the firewall enabled in all of my computers. Yes I did question them about having 2 firewalls and AT&T said it was OK. I can send chart from electrical panel showing the surges if you like. I have tried to find this answer for along time I really need help.

I just like to support previous comments about checking the internet connection etc. Also, this may be a virus, but a new one that your AV software hasn't picked up.

Even a very simple Home/Office style router will provide protection, as it doesn't do port forwarding for incoming connections by default, whereas a windows machine that sits unprotected on the internet will have many services (ports) open to attacks and will get toasted within a very short time.

The noisy DVD player sounds like a hardware problem.

Spyware protection software will often interfere with other programs you want to install, so the conflict you mention doesn't sound impossible. I suppose you don't really have to ununstall it, but you may have to disable it for the duration of the install of the conflicting update (or whatever it was).
suzannegrgryAuthor Commented:
I just got disconnected from the internet and the whole response that I sent was lost. So I will start again. I installed a different antivirus and then I ran scans on it and my spy sweeper and they both found nothing, not even a tracking cookie. I went for 4 or 5 hours without any protection and I thought that I would be infested . So either it is something sneaky or I have really bad security. Or maybe I dont really have any kind of infection. So back to the hacker thing do you still think that it is possible? Do you want me to send my results?
On the other end about the IP address not getting renewed It says "Dhcp Client-your computer was unable to renew its address from the network(from Dhcp server) for the network card with network address 001FC66F2218. The following error  occurred. The operation was cancelled by the user. Your computer will continue to try and  obtain an address on its own from the network address (DHCP) server.
I looked into it and it said to see if your PC is getting an IP address to go to command prompt and run as admin type ipconfig/all That didn't work so I read alittle further and I tried ipconfig/release Thjis is the whole thing that I got. It also said that I should get either an IPV4 or IPV6 address marked prefered. But I didn't get that . Can you see if this would be doing something to my computer? I also am getting alot of errors from Windows firewall in my event viewer that says"Windows Firewall was unable to notify the user that it blocked an application from accepting incoming connections on the network.
I'm starting to get the picture now. I certainly sympathise with you, thats a really pain you've had.
If most of the issues were power related then this makes sense, I have never experienced such amount of damage from power (only a few blown hard drives and power supplies).
The main thing I would say is to ensure the power supplies in the computers are all good, as even if the other components have been replaced this would still cause them to malfunction and may have been permanently damaged by the bad electrical supply.
You now have a UPS backup power supply for all computers as far as I gather, which is very good so there is far less chance any can be damaged in the future.
Does your Gateway/modem have a backup power supply/protection? It should certainly have something in place as it needs power also and a bad supply would affect its connection.
The telephone lines should be ok, as they take power from elsewhere.
I would have AT&T (your internet company?) replace the Gateway/modem as this appears like it could be faulty, and then make sure it is protected, along with EVERY piece of IT hardware in the house.
Also, did the electricians finally FIX  the fault? I couldn't quite gather this from your post (quite long!)
Whats a pedistal by the way ? :-)
Just to add, with all Windows Firewalls turned on and also the firewall on the router/gateway on, you should be able to rule out hackers (certainly if the problem occurs even when disconnected from the Internet).

Maybe you should get your own generator or power station ?
suzannegrgryAuthor Commented:
Everything starting from Jan 1 ,2008 was brand new including a modem and the computers,battery back ups, dedicated lines, all new cables and surge protectors, ehternet cables, Phones, faxes, cell phones , speaker systems , you name it it was replaced . Even all the jacks in the house,and new sub-panel. So the power problems should not have any effect what so ever when I started out with a clean slate. That was what I was up to computer #14 sent from HP. So I dont know why everytime there is corruption and now the sony has corrupted files and folders and the SFC test seems is always trying to fix things but there are some corrupted files it could nto fix. And the errors I get from update and the registry parmrineters. And all those DHCP errors they are all so odd like I was a businss and that my domain  name is incorrect Or Kernel General Reg hIve recovered it was corrupted, drivers and OS are corrupted or it jsut freezes up and tells me nothing and I have to guess or look in the event viewer. The tech at sony was trying to tell me never look into the event viewer it is only for computer experts and it would not make sense to the regular perosn. Do they really think that someone is going to believe that and never go into anything again?
 So I guess that I dont have a hacker and I dont have any spyware or viruses. These are all new computers that have plenty of memory and hard drive. Maybe they are just not comapatible with the Internet explorer. Because everytime I re-install the computer's factory settings  it gets rid of some of the old errors and just replaces them with new. I was hoping that it was a virus or hacker then maybe I could get it taken care of and have a computer run like I have seen so many of my friends before. It also could be a Vista thing. Everytime I turn around I am heaing about someone elses PC problems. that is running Vista..All I knowis that somthing is wrong and there is corruption envolved and no one else can figure it out either. Maybe it is a new virus who knows.
 Thank you for all your help at least I know that it isnt a hacker. and sooner or later it iwll be revealed. what the causes were. I still think that it has to do somehow with the connectivity problems. Wouldn't you start acting up if you were trying to do something and some idiot got in your way 20 times a day?
About the loose neutral getting repaired , SDG&E told me they couldn't touch it because it was on my side and I was going to call an electrician the next morning but when I went back down to the pediatal by some miricle it was all cleaned up and fixed. Maybe they felt bad for telling me not to send a claim in . Because they would not pay. And they knew it really was their fault. Becaus eif I would of kept my mouth shut and didn't say anything to them when they came back to retest then the girl would of still been paying me and. She had left the claim open and as I ran into things that I remembered that were broken from a surges then I just had to call and she would send out another check right away. But I am still pursuing the claim and have had a attorney send them a letter to repair what is not broken and finish up paying for the rest of the electrical work that we had done over, before we new we even had a problem with electricity.
For some reason it is stuck in my head that the surges had to of fried the data line somewhere underground and it is what is wrecking all of my Internet  and phone lines. But every one says no way that would happen.They say that surges will not hurt my lines because they are incased in rubber .I guess that I am on my own until I find the reason for all this corruption.Sony is replacing the PC anyway  since I have done 2 recoveries in 1 day and it didn't reinstlall windows update and it wont dowload some of the updates but mostly it wont install service pack 1 . The DVD still sound like it is grinding and we have tried everything  possible that i can think of. If you have any other suggestions I will be glad to try anything out.  thank you Suzanne
All this file corruption and problems with internet explorer and such can't reasonably be a power issue; it's something else in my opinion.

What might be interesting to know here, for further work on the situation, is this:

What exactly does your internet access consist of. A modem, of course, but what does it do? Is it just a modem and a switch and you have public IP addresses, or is it a router also and you are on a private IP range (like 192.168.1.aaa or something)?

Is there any one computer on your network that doesn't act up?

What do you use for antivirus? Please note, that if more than one AV software is involved, you're likely to get all sorts of problems.

The problems you have could be consistent with a recurring virus infection that is perhaps repaired by your AV, but system files getting damaged in the process. If you don't take down all your computers and do a virus scan + repair of them one at a time -before they get online again!-  there may be a risk of the machines contaminating each other over the network, before they're all clean.

In a case as severe as this, severe measures must be taken. Work systematically, restoring one machine at a time and don't get them on the network until they're all clean. Leave the problem machines off the network until you have restored them,  installed AV and set up the windows firewall correctly.

Verify that you DO connect to the internet through a firewall (router) and that no port forwarding is set up on this router.

suzannegrgryAuthor Commented:
I am using a 2 wire gateway modem and router in one. I do connect to the internet through a firewall in the router/modem and no port forwarding is enabled.I have Norton Internet Security (not the free version) And while I have a private network with an IP address that is 192.168......I also have a apartment connected to my house that I rent out to a couple. The renters use my connection wirelessly. I have asked them if they have any probems with their computers and they said they didn't see anything wrong , but I know that the girl told me she didn't have any protection and she used to get alot of errors that popped up on her screen she just clicked them off and ignored them. But the PC was really slow and didn't run well and she doesn't remember if it was that way or not before she moved here. But she has since gotten rid of it and bought a Mac, because she said they didn't need any security protection and they are very safe. The guy has a Levano Laptop and he said he did have security I really can't say if they are telling the truth or not. I do know that they are not on the internet very much and he pretty much only goes to porn sites. The thing about this is that I was right in the middle of the power and surge problem when they moved in. So after that was fixed they had been on my internet connection for about 5 months. Could the problem of been that I was taking care of one problem and just getting another all at the same time? I am sure she must of had every kind of infection out there . But if she did ,then could everyone in my house get it from the 2wire gateway modem and no AV could detect it and then she gets a new Mac and it stays in the rest of the home Network? I did call AT&T about this and they told me that there is no way that I could get anything from her ,if I was not sharing files or media or anything with them.I always made it a point to not share with anyone and so I didn't check it out until they were here for over 6 months.Because I had everything set to not share anything.But I have had my settings change alot in the network and sharing center . I was always checking to see if I was sharing anything ,and it was always changed to sharing .and after a while I gave up and figured that it must change from not sharing files or music when you had a home network and there were 7 computers all hooked up to the one modem/router by default, because I would change it to not sharing and when ever I would check it ,it was back to being marked share and the network discovery was back on. I had my computers connected directly to the modem in another room with a long ethernet cable until I got tired of changing them back and forth and I bought a 5 port switch and had all four of them connected until 2 weeks ago when I got my new connection hooked up. I did however when I set up my 2 new computers on my new internet and phone line,last week also bring my 2 PC's that were connected on the old home network with me . There was someone else that lived here right in the middle of the power problem and They moved out just as the new renters moved in.I do know that they had a bad virus right before they moved out. But I wasn't sharing anything with them either.(or I thought I wasn't)  .
.Are you telling me that there could be a problem with one computer having more than one AV installed or are you saying that everyone in my home network should all have the same AV or there will be problems? I am sure it has to be the first, but I am just checking. I have never had more than one AV installed on my PC's but I dont know about the others.
Now you have me wondering about all of this being connected. I have asked and checked for all these problems separately but I havent ever thought that it could be a recurring virus tthat kept reinfecting  each computer.I have ran every scan that I was told about  And Microsoft was even working with me for a while to try to figure this out and never found anything. But I never even thought about all the people moving in and out during the power surges. How many people could have these problems all at the same time? And espically someone knew to all of this? But this means that all of the scans I've ran and that MS ran couldn't find it? I have only had one trojan that Norton caught before and then nothing else in this whole last year but a tracking cookie. And then they said they were low risk ones anyway.

I am verifying that my modem has a firewall and there is no port forwarding enabled. I do know that having more than one firewall on my PC would create problems , but then again ATT told me that it was perfectly fine to have Windows firewall and 2wire firewall.I have never taken all of the computers in this home network off at one time and cleaned them all. It hasn't even been suggested to me. And I dont know whether or not the couple who rents would do it or just lie to me and tell me they did, But i have heard somewhere that in order to get everything infected in your PC id to run the scans in safe mode. Is that right?
When I was checking my modem for the details that you requested I was trying to click on one of the pages and I got this error twice. It is in the attached file below. I do believe that I was either cut off the internet once again. The other info is some info I found on my modem. I dont knowwhether it will be useful or not.
I will tell you that I have learned more about computers and electricity in the last year then I would of liked in such a short time .
One more question ,If I had a virus and I have had almost 15 new computers just from HP wouldn't they have noticed it when I sent them in for repair and then again when they replaced them? I wouldn't think that anyone would keep replacing something that they knew that I could of prevented .And I have never heard one thing about a virus from them and everytime they replaced it they upgraded me in some way and added either the Norton Internet Security 15 month (I have enough product keys to last me a life time) or the sound systems ,personal media bays,extra memory, bigger hard drive and a 4 year in house warranty.because they felt so bad for all the inconvience I have had to go through??

  Site Map Help Home Summary Details Diagnostics  Statistics Advanced Settings   
View Broadband Link Statistics Transmit and Receive Data
IP Bytes  Packets  Errors 
Transmit: 18676564  59172  0 
Receive: 37967221  60032  0 
 Data Errors
Collected for 8:29:52
 Since Reset Current 24-Hour Interval Current 15-Minute Interval Time Since Last Event 
ATM Cell Header Errors: 0 0 0 0:00:00 
ATM Loss of Cell Delineation: 0 0 0 0:00:00 
DSL Link Retrains: 1 1 0 1:04:42 
DSL Training Errors: 2 2 0 8:29:03 
DSL Training Timeouts: 0 0 0 0:00:00 
DSL Loss of Framing Failures: 0 0 0 0:00:00 
DSL Loss of Signal Failures: 0 0 0 0:00:00 
DSL Loss of Power Failures: 0 0 0 0:00:00 
DSL Loss of Margin Failures: 0 0 0 0:00:00 
DSL Cumulative Errored Seconds: 0 0 0 0:00:00 
DSL Severely Errored Seconds: 0 0 0 0:00:00 
DSL Corrected Blocks: 0 0 0 0:00:00 
DSL Uncorrected Blocks: 0 0 0 0:00:00 
ISP Connection Establishment: 2 2 2 7:25:51 

Open in new window

I am afraid I will not be able to address all your queries, but I will try to give you some leads to what can be done at your end.

1. Virus infection can happen even if there is no "sharing" taking place. One machine may be infected and running a (virus) program that connects to other machines on the local network and tries to infect them, too. Or a machine may be "taken over" through a trojan or similar and doing the same thing - attacking other local computers. As you say you have guests on your LAN, through your wireless, I can only suggest you block them out until you have sorted this out. Macs are inherently much safer, because they do not (normally) run Windows; the Mac OS X is a lot more difficult to infect and not many viruses etc are made for Mac OS (or Linux, for that matter).

2. Having a router with a firewall and combining with windows firewall is normally not a problem.

3. Running different AV softwares on different computers on a LAN isn't a problem; the problem appears if more than one AV software is active in one computer.

4. I have no experience with sending computers back to the manufacturer to have them cured. I wouldn't be too surprised if they just wiped them and reinstalled the O/S and never bothered with any sort of forensics, not unless you specifically asked for an analysis of the problem.

5. In your situation I would disconnect ALL computers (including anything on the wireless net!) from the network and do a thorough reinstall of one machine, taking care to install an AV program and activating the windows firewall (or Sygate personal FW or something) BEFORE hooking it up to the internet. See how that machine does for a day or so. Then go through other machines in the same way, perhaps not reinstalling if they can be checked OK for virus/malware, but having a good AV active AND a firewall running is essential. Your in-house guests will have to go through the same procedure. If you provide internet connectivity, you can set standards: Get AV protection and FW installed or go somewhere else. The Mac should be OK anyhow, I suppose.

6. If you really want to provide connectivity for your guests, you should perhaps consider routing them to a subnet of their own, minimizing the risk for unwanted interaction with your computers.

7. I strongly doubt the power issues have anything to do with your problems. Power losses, brownouts and unclean power can of course damage a computer, but I doubt that the symptoms you describe are related. The expected outcome of bad power is more on the line of restarts, burnt-out power supplies, non-booting and such. Laptops are almost never affected, as they have excellent power filtering in their AC adapters and also the battery power buffer to overcome black/brownouts.

suzannegrgryAuthor Commented:
OK I will get to work on this right away. If you can suggest the best anti-virus and anti-spyware programs I would certainly buy them. Unless you think that Norton is good enough. But it hasn't detected anything more than a tracking cookie on every scan I do. And then I have Spy Sweeper and when I run that it seems to catch alot of high risk cookies (or it is just telling me that ) When I take them down and clean them do I do a destructive recovery first or should I see if there was really anything in the PC first?Because if I do the recovery first then Iwont know if I ever really had a virus or spyware, Am I right? I could do a scan before and after, Then it would be for sure right?  I think that I will tell the guests that I am shutting them off if they dont do it and I will need to see proof.
So I will do one at a time and only add another if the first one runs fine for a couple of days. How do i run these scans? offline and in safe mode or just offline? What do I do about the modem? Can a virus or spyware live inside of them just waiting for the next PC to connect? Or is ther some kind of scan I can run on it too?

What happens if no viruses  or spyware is found?Then  I am in big trouble and some other suggestions that I have been given from HP and Microsoft are check and see if you have a lot of magnets in and outside that could be harming them , one guy said his uncle had this problem because his PC was sitting next to a aquarium and the humidity was ruining the hard drive and the best one yet I have been told that maybe this house is haunted
 Thanks I will get right on it and get back to you with the first results in a couple of days
Norton is fine, but takes a lot of resources. F-Secure is also OK. A good freeware one is Avast! antivirus. Use one! If you have Norton license(s), use that, but make sure you get proper updates.

I don't know SpySweeper. Spybot Search and Destroy is good (free).

Depending on the situation for your valuable data and so on, you can restore machines in several ways. Whichever you choose, backup data...

1. You can do a complete reinstall. Time consuming and tiresome, but should give you a clean setup in every case. Follow up with AV install, firewall setup, internet connect and then windows update (boring but necessary).

2. Repair install.

3. Do a thorough antivirus scan (safe mode and offline!) and then run SFC to have all damaged system files restored. Make sure AV and firewall is active, connect to internet and do a woindows update.

Never have an untreated machine on the network (including neighbours!).

Unfortunately, my experience with virus infections is that even if your AV can clean out the little buggers, some damage will be done to the system files and the unit may not run properly anyway. Repair install has failed for me several times, as it seems some files are not overwritten by new, healthy ones as they should be. Even a quick-format and a re-install will not help sometimes, so I have been forced to remove and recreate partitions, full format and then do a fresh install. This is not how it is supposed to be, I know, but it seems the AV manufacturers (and Microsoft) have a very optimistic view of their own systems and their capabilities. This has led to me never using windows on any machine that I do important stuff on; it's Linux all the way. Beside the point, sorry...

As for the possibility that you have NOT found any virus, well, if you can get one machine up and running and running well, chances are slim that you'll ever know what hit you. I can tell you that the stuff you mention about magnets is not to be taken seriously, unless you have processed your computer in a magneto-resonance camera or some such equipment. Inside the hard drive itself are a couple of magnets that will make any refridgerator door magnet blush with embarrasment; they're incredibly strong, but the HD is properly shielded and the construction makes it fairly resistant to external magnetic fields.

Humidity was a new one.... The HD has indeed a breather hole and if the humidity is very high, the off chance that condensation builds up inside it can't be ignored. I guess this is not a problem in areas with normal air humidity and temp, but perhaps in a Florida swamp you should take care and not have the computer next to your aquarium.

Well, hope you get things sorted!
From the broadband link statistics it looks like the DSL line retrained 2x in the 8 hrs that the 2wire gateway was up (longer its up the more information that page provides for trouble shooting)  I would check the dsl diagnostics screen in the MDC on the 2wire (http://gateway.2wire.net/mdc )and see if the bit loading is bad or if there is any impulse noise or uncanceled echo on the line. Usually this helps get down to directly where the issue is at if its the DSL modem. also in the firewall details will tell you every port that is open and what computer is using the port so that could be helpful also. then there is 2wire (not too helpfull but also can help at the same time) their support site has a ask a question section and you can ask their support agents questions about the modem (make sure you incude the serial # off the modem). on the ATT side most of their level one agents don't know much and are easily confused. the level 2 are more tenured agents and have more knowledge so if you do call att again ask for a level 2 right off the bat so you can get the issue resolved quicker (also they can remotely access your modem to check the MDC for you with your permission). other then that i really doubt that it was a hacker for say i would guess more of spyware and adware causing the issues and combination of the power caused it all. but now that its all new i think it could be something on ATT's end. also since they are Vista computers i would disable IPv6 because it likes to fight with everything to do this

#1 Go to Network Connections folder (click on Start button, then right click on Network, select Properties, then click on Manager network connections on Tasks pane).
#2 You should see various LAN, wireless, Bluetooth, high speed Internet, and other network connections available on the Vista computer with the network adapter description. Right click on the network connection that you want to disable the IPv6 interface and select Properties then Click Continue on User Access Control permission request prompt.

#3 Clear the check box next to the Internet Protocol version 6 (TCP/IPv6) component in the list under This connection uses the following items box.

#4 Click OK when done.

Other then that i hope all your issues are resolved soon.
Mohammed HamadaSenior IT ConsultantCommented:
I guess that you are still affected by the electricity power issue....

Do you have any power monitoring tools installed along with your UPS backups ?  If so can you please take a screen shot and send it to us.
suzannegrgryAuthor Commented:
Yes I do have some reports I have been having DSL reports montor my computer for about 20 days. I can try to send it if it would help you. I did have the belkin software in and running for a while but HP and sony's tech suppot is mostly "lets do a recovery and that will fix everything ,I promise" "It will be just like back from factory, brand new" So I forgot to save all those and I got tired of re-installing it from the website I just get too many errors and access denied, not responding, or just the blue screen and it shuts down. I am getting some of the scan logs to send . Every scan seemed to find alot of stuff one even said I had 38 viruses,alot of spyware and everything else you could get .All this in 2 new less than 2 weeks old PC's? I will send DSL reports now and get to work on the other. It would be alot easier if you could just get on my PC.
                Nevermind every file I try to send says it is not the right kind of file. I think I need help t send them
Mohammed HamadaSenior IT ConsultantCommented:
It would help much more if you can send us a screen shot of your current electricity state,, coz I had a similar issue in my office, I had a bad internet connection and Computer shut down,,, my UPS Backup "Orange light" which refers to the battery alarm or that the UPS is no longer receiving electricity.

I had a program installed on my pc that came with the APC UPS, it's a monitoring software that would show you the Current Electricity Voltage,,, It was 160V instead of 220 and that was the cause of all the problems I had,,, once I fixed it all my problems were solved.

You will find that software in the same box with your UPS.
You can attach the DSL Report as well ....
suzannegrgryAuthor Commented:
I  Have just found out how to get the modem to not have a connection and the DSL light blinks red and I lose the connection for a really short time. ATT would not believe me after they have been out here over 20 times and can find nothing wrong with either my internet or the phone line. If I click on the test button in the BRoadband Link diagnosis window then the thing goes crazy. I could push the button while I was on the phone with Yahoo. And they saw it for the very first time. Now I have saved snips of all  the windows in the 2 wire gateway and I am doing it right now for the netopia.  There seems to be an awful lot of stuff disabled in the netopia. But that could mean nothing. They have alot more information then the 2 wire. I am going to send these reports  and if you want I can send all the errors that I have recieved today I have snipped some of them too. I have to send it from 2 different computers  The only thing I could send dyou about the current electricity state would be my little voltage tested I have hanging on the wall just to keep an eye on whats going on but I dont think that you could actually use it. one other thing I just thought of, The last electrician that was here told me that th surges and sags are gone now since the loose neutral has been fixed but he was taking a closer look at the pedistal (I dont know if this is right) and he said that I wasn't getting enough now. But he had put in the dedicated line for me and he said something about I am  supposed to be getting 3 to 4 ott?? from SDG&E and from what he could tell I was only getting 2. I dont know what that means  exactly but I am guessing that we are not getting enough power now. I am reallly trying to connect some kind of way that will explain why I am losing my internet 20+ times a day , New HP and Sony are both corrupted and 6 month old Hp desktop is also corrupted. I have been working with HP Microsoft and some software experts and no one can figure it out yet . IO have been going through this for over a year now and I really cant stay in business on ebay
Mohammed HamadaSenior IT ConsultantCommented:
As far as I can tell from all those screen shots, you have both problems with your telephone and your Electricity as well... The problem doesn't concern any hacker/software issues esp that you have changed/formatted the computers... Unless ATT Company is playing with you.

Can you check your telephone if there's like muddling sounds when you try to dial number using your phone line?
Below I'm attaching to you a screen-shot with my APC UPS Monitoring Software to let you have an idea how the software should let us see the useful info that we need.

If the input voltage goes below 180 the UPS will stop receiving power and will go on battery, I suggest that you try to focus more on the electricity issue...

But let us first have the information about the UPS backup power e.g. (Brand name, Model...etc).

suzannegrgryAuthor Commented:
Ok ,I have a Belkin Battery Backup with tower or horizontal form factor. It regulates voltage for clean,stable power:protect your computer, broadband connection and data.
830 watts
free shutdown software with a USB,serial, and telephone cables
up to 120 minutes of backup time
Data recovery services
8 outlets all with battery backup and surge protection
network managealbe SNMP capable with optional card (Belkin Part Number F6C0220)
For high end computers and office equipment
easy fast, usb/serial/ethernet plug -and- play
undervoltage transfer to battery: 88-140VAC+-4VAC
EMI/RFI  noise filter:   FCC Class B
joule rating:  1000J
AVR  Voltage Detection Tolerance Range +- 4VAC
Avr smart boost:  Increases 12% of imput of voltage if input is 88-105VAC
AVR output voltage range:  Online operation for input between 88-140VAC, output will be 98-140VAC
AVR response time 150ms
frequency:  60Hz
Model # F6C1500-TW-RK
It didn't come with any manuals but I did download them to my computer ( I haven't read them yet) so it just has the default settings in it now. I have had it on for a few hours now , but I havent even had a chance to look at it. I have a litter of Golden Retrievers and they are 3 weeks old and they just discovered the big outside world.Alot of work.
I also have a belkin 550VA and a CyberPower 425VA and so now each computer has its own. The last electrician that was here told me that the battery backups that I had , did not have enough power to keep my computers safe. So I went out andbought the big one that can handle up to three high end computers and then I find out the other ones were just fine.
 I have believed all along that I was still having power problems , but when this first started up and my PC's were gone in a few days No one would believe me that it was power related.. There were no signs that we were having these surges and it didn't make it any better that it would go down so low either.We just thought that we were unlucky people on the to have so many electrical things die on us when they were still pretty new.
I will send you a graph that San Diego GAs and Electric had given me, when they were monitoring  my meter. And the DSL reports and if you have any questions aobut the battery back up just let me know. I am just using the 1500 with the HP M200T media center and the Sony laptop. Now the PC is doing the same thing it did before . When I am typing and the power would go out I would look up and the last 2 sentences wouldn't be there. Then about a minute later they would type in. But the most irrataitng thing is that if I need to backspace or delete a letter or word it does both and I will lose a word or two and it wont type right for a while. Last night I started getting errors on the two PC's about my Realtek High Defenition Audio "windows media player cannot play the file because there is a problem with your sound device. It may not be installed, in use with another program or it might not be functioning properly"
It is wierd that these two computers are getting the exact same errors at the exact same time. The other might be also I just haven't checked it. So the sound doesn't work on both of the PC's and it did yesterday.
AT&T will be here between 10:00-2:00 I dont know if you could tell me why that when i clicked on the test button for the 2wire gateway what exactly makes me lose my connection but it has to be the same thing that does it to me all day long.
If it is a power problem still I dont know what to do then I have tried to call SDG&E and the troubleshooter guy wont even take my calls anymore . He said the problem was fixed and he didn't want to have anything to do with me again. I think I mad him mad.
suzannegrgryAuthor Commented:
Now before i could even get the files in it freaked out on me and sent it and I landed  up on some other page I don't even know how. So if words are spelled wrong and sentences missing and a empty file , you will know why.
suzannegrgryAuthor Commented:
It is getting really bad now after I send this I am going to try on another PC. The screen is really flickering and it is really hard to push the keys. It isjust like before.
Mohammed HamadaSenior IT ConsultantCommented:
The dsl broadband graph looks ok esp that there's not any loss in the packet sent.

What are you connecting to your Backup Battery ? Monitor ? Case ? router ? ...etc

Can you mention all of them ..!

We will probably need to know the maximum watt that your UPS can handle...
If as you wrote above the watt is 830 watts, then we should calculate each machine on its own.

But I suggest that you give it a try and connect your case and router ONLY to the Backup Battery, turn the PC on and then see if all those problems still persists.

Also take in account that you would better use one computer until your issue is solved.

As well consider running hijackthis and attach a log here to see what's running on your computer.



Post the log here.
suzannegrgryAuthor Commented:
I am I have my HP desktop and the monitor and the netopia  all connedcted  and that is it and yes it is 830 watts , but what good can it do if no battery back up even comes on?
I will put the others aside and only work with the HP desktop and the sony is going to repair today. Thsi will make it easier on fixing the problem. I cant find my Hii-jack scan anywhere but I did see something that I didn't put in there it was called e-trust internet security. I jusat went through my programs and features and uninstalled all those scans from microsoft and Icouldn't  find that program in ther anywhere. That is not good news
 What do I do with it I cant seem to find it and I cant find my hijack this either?
Mohammed HamadaSenior IT ConsultantCommented:
If there's no battery backup is connected to your PCs while they are on and you don't have a constant electrical current, then all of your machines are exposed and can be damaged.

So the reason why i suggested to not load lots of things to your UPS is just to make it work and provide those machines with constant flow esp if the input voltage is not at it's proper value.

You can check for E-Trust inside program files folder if it's still there, properly they have just removed the shortcuts if it's not existed then you need to install a new Anti-virus, you can find free ones like avast and AVG personal edition.

Regarding the hijackthis you can download it from the link i provide it above, download it to your desktop then extract it and install it .
Then run from your desktop after a shortcut has appeared.
Click on scan and save log. post the log content here as snippet.
suzannegrgryAuthor Commented:
Hi I camt seem to get the snippet from my desktop to here . everytime I do it , it deletes everything in my message. I cant keep typing it over. yesterday when the electricity went out it was not all the way out . It was a brown out or a sag( is there a difference?) Most everything in the house was out except for a few light bulbs and they were a dark yellow orange color and then they started making a hissing noise. So I turned everything I could see off. But when it happened all the battery backups just turned off and started beeping. None of them went into battery mode. So does that mean that they must have been damaged from some other surge or something that I didn't know about? Like if it happened in the middle of the night and when I got up there was no indication that the power was out. It did that all the time when I was having my power problems before. The clock radios tiem was not ever blinking when this happened before too. Then sometimes it would Does this have to do with how long it is out or how high the voltage surged to? The power was on and off the rest of the day. So I just left the computers off for evening. I am trying to find one of those monitors that the SDG&E used when they were monitoring my computer before. I dont think that anything I wanted to send ever made it so I am going to try again.
And the e-trust antivirus is only a problem because I never installed it or even ever heard of it. I use Norton usually use Norton but I got this Bit Defender when I was at Fry's last month for my forth computer and my norton only gives me a subscription for 3 computers . So I thought I would try it out on the sony  and see if I liked it. Plus when I bought it there I got a free year .It might or might not be any better than Norton I don't know, I do know that I do not like to keep clicking on yes to accept everytime i try to do somthing it makes me OK it. That is a big pain. So as I said before the Sony is gone in yesterday to be repaired. So if they can fix it up to the factory and check the realtek gigabet ethernet nic problem. and I will get it back to good as new then I am going to let thiem do it for me.
Maybe I should just keep looking for problems and viruses and wait until I get the email notice from them that it is on its way home and then recover the other comptuer so that when I turn them both on on my "only me "network then I will know that there are no other users with anything else to gove back to me . There wouldn't be any kind of stuff in the actual lines are there?  No viruses ot spyware can hide and wait in the lines, modem/router or my battery backups, surge protectors or phonme lines can they? Or even a printer? could they? I am hoping that could of been a factor from the old DSL and using it again because the only actual things that were still on my network the last time I said that I started with everything new was right but I forgot about the 2wire modem, and printer and I didn't thing that they could hold somehting like that especially after I had not used it for a week or so. But I forgot about the renters they were on the internet the whole week that i didnt even think about telling them what I was doing  or ask them to unplug theirs. I am conmfused though some people are telling me that I can get a virus or spyware even if I am not sharting anything with them, and some people tell me no way. I will send some more stuff it it will come on over.

Mohammed HamadaSenior IT ConsultantCommented:
Hello Suzanne
As I expected your problem is not with softwares not hackers or anything related to it.
when the electricity goes sag that means you have a serious problem with your electricity and the current is not constant which will expose your machines to danger..

As well as the UPS backups started the beeping sound, This usually happens to me when my electricity voltage goes below 180 volt and the UPS can't even receive electricity ...!

Something else I had my doubts on is that there might be a magnet flow around the area you live in, which might also affect the computers and phone line.

The figures above are very old from the date shown on the right corner. but regardless still the surges and sags that you are having are effecting all the machines inside your house and surely the router as well and the UPs backups esp when you have sags.

I believe that you should call the SDGE or any other electrician experts to check well and give you an exact read for your electrician current.

Good luck
Mohammed HamadaSenior IT ConsultantCommented:
Your welcome, I hope you will be able to solve your problem and get rid of this headache ....
And thanks for the grade
Glad you have found a solution to this very long lasting problem!

Only comment I have is I think due to the time and effort put in by several other experts such as "Rid" and myself, we should have seen some assisted points...
I feel we all contributed to an overall solution.
Well,   it seems I wasn't relating to the accepted problem/solution complex and I don't feel that I have earned much credit, if, indeed, this is a power related problem. I still have difficulties believing that bad power can cause, more or less  consistently, file corruption, but at no time (if I read the thread correctly) a restart or just a plain halt, which is what I would expect.

The attached power (voltage) diagrams are not very clear, but the variation seems to be a bit on the severe side. However, as I said, I would have expected restarts and shutdowns rather than file corruption.

As for the function of an UPS, it seems a certain confusion is at large here. The size of the UPS is an ambiguous factor, inasmuch as you need to know if it means the MAX power output or the total energy storage (in its batteries). The output must, of course, be larger than what you expect your equipment to take, but the total energy only tells you how long they will remain on, after a power failure. ALL modern UPSs (worth the name...) will do power conditioning, meaning they will boost low incoming and attenuate high incoming, to produce stable output voltage. They will also take care of spikes and impurities. Unless you have a sustained brownout below the lowest acceptable input level of the UPS, it will do its work and protect your equipment.

Anyway, let's hope you do get things sorted out :)

suzannegrgryAuthor Commented:
I am sorry I didn't know .And I do still need help How can I reopen this question?                  
                                                      Suzanne Gregory
suzannegrgryAuthor Commented:
I am sorry.  I didn't know exactly how to give out points. But since I accepted the answer I have went out and bought a "Watts UP" . I have installed the software and plugged it in ,but so far the power has been pretty stable staying at mostly 115V to 117V. And I called out the power company and they sent someone over to check and they said my power was perfect at 119V. I really dont know what to do now. I have checked for spyware and Viruses. There are none. According to all scans, I have no infections of any kind. Now I am having all kinds of wierd things show up on my desktop. Nothing that I have put there myself  I have the blue screen from when I first started the scans and I am  including that along with the highjack this report I have taken tonight. Also it looks like new stuff is being added to my desktop all the time, they are mostly a page that I have just recently been on before. But nothing I have clicked to add a shortcut. My modem/router has been changed also from a 2wire gateway to a netopia because the tech that came to look at my internet connection couldn't get a cap on one of the settings in the 2wire and I lost my connection and the netopia won't let me sign in wireless. It is saying that i need to change the security permissionsand disable 802.1x  and my configuration of the network says that I have 3 devicies and a switch and on the map of it , it is saying that I enabled connection sharing with other people on my network. I have services that I dont think I should have running and my services keep changing. Alot of them have to do with this (ISS services) I dont want my computers to share anything. I thought that if I stareted out with no file , media or  anything sharing that it would stay that way. I will go back and check my settings and they are all turned on to share. The power problem idea is now not an option it seems to be ok Or that is what SDG&E says. Even if I did hve a lengthly brown out last wednesday. Now it is back to typing wrong if I try to go back and correct something it will only delete the next letter and keeps on doing it , the keyboard  has just started feeling wierd kind of like spongy and hard to press each key. It gets like this and after a few min. to a few days it stays that way
suzannegrgryAuthor Commented:
Thjank you all for helping me even though I am still experiencing problems . It is not power related I have had that checked out now and so I will still be looking around for a solution. But I am a little closer to an answer now.
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