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Vista Laptop locks up after 5 minutes with no control- have to hold power button to shut off

Posted on 2011-10-25
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Last Modified: 2012-06-21
Have a Dell Inspiron laptop w/ Vista home premium. Machine locks up after a few mins. Has valid Norton 360 sw that shows no problems in safe mode. Ran super anti spyware to find 2 trojans after I removed the drive from that laptop and scanned it from my bench computer. Installed back in the laptop and works fine but after 5 minutes, machine locks up with nothing but mouse movement. No control alt delete or any control at all. Runs continuously in safe mode with no issues. Went back to previous restore point several times earlier. No luck. Any ideas of what I could try?
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Question by:canatechguy
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Expert Comment

by:bigmack333
ID: 37028928
Try running "msconfig.exe" from run command, or from command prompt.

Check the start-up tab and uncheck box of any application which you may not readily recognize. Be sure to expand columns, so you have a good idea of what you're looking at.

Let us know if it helps,

mc
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by:canatechguy
ID: 37029044
I have already cleared out everything in msconfig
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by:bigmack333
ID: 37029171
Did computer start locking up after it got infected or before? Have you already ruled out hardware/drivers?

Did you also try disabling all non-microsoft services?

Have you checked eventvwr.msc? Any error or warnings under Application or System?

If nothing else at all, I would try removing Norton, if you have the original install software, then move on to other 3rd party software to hopefully identify what's causing the problem.
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LVL 8

Expert Comment

by:sjl1986
ID: 37029219
Personally, I'd say try running Malwarebytes Antimalware, and if that doesn't find the left over virus files that may be there, try ComboFix. Combofix is a "last resort" type software that gives you warnings about the dangers of deleting important files, but I've never had any trouble using it dozens of times.

If you haven't already, go ahead and do a backup of all your information and files before you try these type things in case the machine crashes somehow during the process.
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by:nobus
ID: 37029557
any errors in event logs?
you can also try a repair : http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/tutorials/tutorial148.html      repair Vista
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by:edbedb
ID: 37029878
Mouse movement with no other control is usually caused by a failing hard drive. I would run a full diagnostic on it.
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Expert Comment

by:Dr. Klahn
ID: 37030082
I agree with bigmack333, and would start by removing Norton.  I've not yet seen a system with Symantec / Norton installed that ran correctly.

Get a copy of the freeware Revo Uninstaller and use it to uninstall all Norton / Symantec products using Revo's aggressive mode.  Once that is done, if the problem persists, other avenues can be investigated without wondering if the problem is due to Symantec.

Also get a copy of Microsoft Autoruns and check all startup entries.  Autoruns allows disabling suspicious entries on an individual basis.



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Author Comment

by:canatechguy
ID: 37031115
On the hardware front, I ran HDtune on the hard drive thinking that first, but drive tested fine. The issues were there originally before and after the infection removal scans that I ran. I had already ran Autoruns and cleared up a lot of items. I'm leaning toward removing Norton now at this point.
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Expert Comment

by:works4me
ID: 37036331
Malware will lock up a PC. Try these 3 progs in the EXACT order:
1- rkill.exe (kills the rogue process)
2- tdss killer (removes any unwanted rootkits)
3- Malwarebytes
Run a full scan and fix all it finds, DON'T reboot untill the last scan is done
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Expert Comment

by:works4me
ID: 37036335
If the above does not remedy the problem...try it in safe mode.
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Accepted Solution

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canatechguy earned 0 total points
ID: 37039723
I tried to remove norton and it would go through the entire process (either with Revo or normal uninstall) and look successful, but program is still there unaffected. Turns out that machine would freeze up and seemingly not complete the uninstall before I had to hold the power button. I have an AutoIT script that I use that kills rogue process but when I started it, it would freeze the system. I didn't try rkill or tdss killer, wish I had. I relented and backed up user data externally and re installed the OS at this point.
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by:nobus
ID: 37043185
did you try a repair yet? as i asked?
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by:Dr. Klahn
ID: 37164317
Recommend acceptance of 37039723 w/refund to asker.
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by:LeeTutor
ID: 37218548
This question has been classified as abandoned and is closed as part of the Cleanup Program. See the recommendation for more details.
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