Is Ascentive Performance Center a "legitimate" diagnoistic program?

Hi Everyone,

          I am trying to help a friend resolve the issue of sluggish overall performance with his laptop which includes about a 5 minute delay in the loading of the Windows desktop environment, choppy audio output, very slow loading of Internet Explorer, and very slow loading of iTunes just to name a few.  While I have tried a variety of troubleshooting strategies, these symptoms still remain.  Of possible troubleshooting interest, I am wondering if this laptop might be infected with some sort of malware.  The reason I inquire about this possibility is based upon the fact that software can possibly disguise itself as legitimate applications or tools but in fact be actual malware like a virus.  For instance, I did notice my friend's laptop does have a few popups making reference to Ascentive.  There is a window with the title of Ascentive Performance Center and Ascentive Finally Fast.  It gives the appearance of a diagnoistic suite which scans and fixes registry errors, speeds of pc performance, speeds up internet performance, and so forth.  There is a toll free number, 1-800-658-2813 which is given as well.  While it certainly gives the appearance of a legitimate program, there is a certain part of me which is skeptical at the same time given the sluggish performance of this laptop.  

               In closing, if someone could provide some feedback about Ascentive Performance Center, it will be greatly appreciated.  Even if it is a legitimate program, perhaps it needs to be uinstalled because of the excessive resources it takes up.  

               Thanks in advance for any attention given to this question.

               George
GMartinAsked:
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Rob MinersConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Ascentive Performance Center is spyware George

http://www.systemlookup.com/Startup/18254-ApcMain_exe.html

Download Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Free

http://www.malwarebytes.org/products/malwarebytes_free/

When the installation has finished, make sure you leave both of these checked:
Update Malwarebytes Anti-Malware
Launch Malwarebytes Anti-Malware
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Vijay Pratap SinghConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Hi,

Its because with times lots of registries got damaged or incorrect, lots of unwanted files cluterred, disk files becomes fragmanted, So system becomes slow to make it fast we need to clear unwanted and corrupted registries and do system maintainance so use any registry cleaner best is Tuneup Utilities download its 30 days trials and do it it will correct all issues.
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GMartinAuthor Commented:
Hi Everyone,

           Thanks so much for the feedback given.  At least I have a better idea of the real problems which need to be addressed in order to resolve the sluggish performance after reading over the suggestions.  By the way, could someone provide a direct download link for Tuneup Utilities?

           Thanks

          George
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GMartinAuthor Commented:
Hi Everyone,

           I carried out a Quick Scan using Malwarebytes; it came back clean.  I will now do a Full Scan and seen what results I get from that procedure.

          Thanks

         George
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Sudeep SharmaTechnical DesignerCommented:
@George,

MBAM Full scan is good idea after the quick scan. Hopefully it would find it. Please post the logs from MBAM once it is finished and infections removed.

Sudeep
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Rob MinersConnect With a Mentor Commented:
See if Revo Uninstaller Freeware will remove Ascentive Performance Center for you

http://www.revouninstaller.com/revo_uninstaller_free_download.html
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GMartinAuthor Commented:
Hello and Good Evening Everyone

          I want to take a moment and provide some updates to the problem described within this post.  First, I downloaded, installed, and updated Malwarebytes and ran it in both, Quick Scan and Full Scan.  The results of the test carried out by this program failed to find any malicious threats on this laptop.  Since Ascentive Performance Center was indicated to be spyware within the link http://www.systemlookup.com/Startup/18254-ApcMain_exe.html, I decided to go ahead and uninstall it within Add/Remove Programs of Control Panel.  I did not have any difficulty uninstalling it.  Following the removal of this program, I do have a new problem though.  For instance, whenever the laptop is started up from a cold boot or restarted from a warm boot, I get a black screen with a menu list of options like Safe Mode, Safe Mode with Networking, Command Prompt Only, Normal Mode, etc.  No matter what option is selected within this menu, the laptop gives the appearance of attempting to carry out the selected option, but, suddenly powers itself off.  
Perhaps the sudden powering down of the laptop is coincidental and indicative of an entirely different problem.  However, this issue was not noticed until Ascentive Performance Center was removed.  

             I must confess that this problem really has me stumped.  If anywone could provide or share some further insights to this situation, it will be greatly appreciated.  Again, I am sorry this issue is becoming so complicated and unresponsive to our efforts.  

             Thanks again everyone for the continued interest in resolving this problem.  

             George
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Rob MinersConnect With a Mentor Commented:
You can run an offline AntiVirus and then see if you have access to your System.

Download create and run Defender Offline

To use Windows Defender Offline, you need to follow four basic steps:


1.
Download Windows Defender Offline and create a CD, DVD, or USB flash drive.

2.
Restart your PC using the Windows Defender Offline media.

3.
Scan your PC for malicious and other potentially unwanted software.

4.
Remove any malware that is found from your PC.
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Sudeep SharmaConnect With a Mentor Technical DesignerCommented:
System getting off on its own could indicate the hardware issue rather than software issue. I would recommend you to tun hard disk diagnostics and also memory diagnostics to check if HDD and RAM are ok.

I would recommend UBCD to perform these and various other tasks.

http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/

Sudeep
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GMartinAuthor Commented:
Hi Everyone,

       Thanks so much for the download link for Ultimate Boot CD.  At this point, I am needing instructions on how to obtain the ISO file for it so I can create a bootable CD with the utilities offered.  Each time I click the download link, I am only able to get the .exe file instead of the .iso file.

         George
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Sudeep SharmaConnect With a Mentor Technical DesignerCommented:
Try Ultimate Boot CD for Windows and yes you would get exe. After executing it you would get the ISO. Please see the screenshot below for details.

http://www.ubcd4win.com/howto.htm

Download:
http://www.ubcd4win.com/downloads.htm

Homepage:
http://www.ubcd4win.com/index.htm

Sudeep
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GMartinAuthor Commented:
Hello Everyone,

            Thanks so much for the suggestions and resourceful links given to various utilities to be used in identifying and possibly correcting the cause of the sluggish performance experienced from this laptop.  Unfortunately, I never could exactly isolate the cause of this problem despite of the use of the tools given within this post.  Therefore, I have decided to go ahead and backup all end user files and carry out a wipe and reload of the system.  At this point, I do not think there is any other option.  

            Thanks once again for the insightful feedback shared within this post.

            George
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Rob MinersCommented:
Your welcome George :) Good luck
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