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Flash Playback such as Youtube heavily pixelated.

Posted on 2010-11-11
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Last Modified: 2012-08-13
We have a clients PC which is heavily pixelated when running flash video.

The PC was initially infected with some malware infections.  However the client has noticed this issue for some time.

We have removed all the malware using ComboFix, Malwarebytes, HijackThis, Kaspersky etc.. However the fault still persists.

We have also re-installed the latest graphics card driver, fitted a different graphics card and performed a Windows XP repair install.

The effect looks as if someone is pouring molten lava over the picture.  We also noticed that the ActiveX yellow security bar that appears when installing something like Flash, causes IE to freeze.  Finally we also tried a different Web Browser and the effect is still the same

Any help would be greatfully appreciated.
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Question by:kp7
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by:EvilPostIt
ID: 34109971
This will probably be in the base install of flash. What i would recomend would be to uninstall and re-install flash.
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by:kp7
ID: 34110104
Thanks for the quick response EvilPostlt.  I should have mentioned, this was the first thing I tried.  But It's also odd that the ActiveX security bar causes IE to hang.  I had to install a redistributable version of flash after removing the original install.  I have also deleted all add-ons and personal settings in IE hoping to solve the hang problem.  But all to no avail.
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Dr. Klahn earned 500 total points
ID: 34110208
My first thought is to grab an empty drive and load the operating system from scratch.  Once it is in a runnable state, check the video performance.  If the performance is still bad, it's a hardware problem.

If the problem goes away, which is likely, it's a software problem, and you can either proceed with the known clean new system (probably simpler) or go ahead with troubleshooting the old system.  It will probably cost the customer about the same in either case, but in one case he gets a clean, up-to-date copy of everything, preferably with a backup on DVD, and in the other case he gets the old system back complete with any other hidden problems.

If he chooses to troubleshoot the old system, point out carefully that success is not guaranteed and he pays whether the problem ends up solved or not.

Boot the machine, bring up Task Manager and see what the loading is like in the Performance tab.  An unloaded system should be well under 10% CPU utilization.  If it is over this, then either the CPU is too slow (unlikely) or something is loading the system (much more likely).  If this is the case, find out what it is and eliminate it.

While in Task Manager, check available memory and pagefile usage.  Pagefile usage is not necessarily bad.  However, if the system is paging because of insufficient memory, it is a problem.  If this is the case, add memory.  Memory is a cheap fix for many problems.

Get a copy of Microsoft's Autoruns tool.  There is always more running in the system than is indicated by the Task Manager processes tab.

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb963902.aspx

Consider what antivirus is installed.  McAfee and Symantec are problematic, in my experience.
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Expert Comment

by:Dr. Klahn
ID: 34110334
Also check the Flash settings using the Flash Settings Manager.  There's usually something set wrong or non-optimally:

http://www.macromedia.com/support/documentation/en/flashplayer/help/settings_manager.html

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Author Comment

by:kp7
ID: 34146337
Thanks for all the posts everyone.  I just thought I would post a progress report.
I opted to perform a full system reload on a spare hard disk as suggested by DrKlahn.

However the fault still persists so I am investigating the hadware further.  Any more suggestions would be gratfully apprecieted.

Up till now I have checked the RAM (replaced), Graphics (Fitted a dedicated card), reset BIOS.  Could it be a northbridge problem if so a new Main board mau be required I guess.
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Author Closing Comment

by:kp7
ID: 34155677
Once a reload on a spare hard disk drive was performed as reccomended by DrKlahn this proved the issue was a hardware fault.  Either CPU or Motherboard.

The fault unbelievably was caused by the CPU.  Once the Intel Pentium Dual Core processor (775) was replaced with a Intel Core 2 Duo 2.6GHz the fault was rectified.

Thanks to everyone who posted a reccomendation.
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