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Computer Pausing from time to time


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#1 Admiralla

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Posted 15 July 2004 - 09:55 AM

I find that sometimes, while everthing is quiet and I'm typing... answering email... etc, my computer pauses... or freezes up. If I'm listening to music, the music will stop or even skip several times for about 10 seconds before everything is fine again. If I'm playing one of my computer games, it pauses or gets stuck for about 10 - 20 seconds then is fine again. Does this sound weird? Even as I'm typing this, I could have a line typed out but have to wait a few seconds before it actually appears.

It's been like it for a few weeks now and I thought it might be due to a hijacker bug that was plaguing my computer. I have since gotten rid of the bug (thanks to the help from here :thumbsup: ) and it's still doing it.

I know there aren't any viruses. Both online scans (from Symantec) and Norton scans show up clean. My Spysweeper scans come back clean so I know I'm not plauged by anything like that...

I'm wondering is it possible that the CWS has damaged some files? Perhaps I need to reload some things from my Windows XP disk? Is that okay to do?

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

Addie

Edited by Admiralla, 15 July 2004 - 09:58 AM.


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#2 Grinler

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Posted 15 July 2004 - 07:45 PM

That particular cws does not damage any files from what I know.

Try both of these online scans:
http://housecall.antivirus.com/

http://www.pandasoftware.com/activescan/

#3 Papakid

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Posted 16 July 2004 - 12:14 AM

Hi Addie,
If the online scans reveal nothing, then there could be any number of things going on. So I have some questions and a few suggestions for you.

1. How much memory (RAM) do you have installed? If you're not sure right click My Computer>Properties. Toward the bottom should be your basic system specs. Post back your CPU type and speed, and amount of RAM.

2. How long has it been since you've done basic maintenance?
Disk Cleanup
Check Disk or error checking
Defragmentation

All three of these are important, and Disk Cleanup will allow you to delete your browser cache & temp folders, which should be done after ridding yourself of the malware you just had. Some versions of that malware makes several index.dat files in your cache folder, and Disk Cleanup won't be able to clean those up. So I suggest that you download and install System Security Suite that does a good job of ridding you of index.dat's and some other junk that's a privacy concern besides. After installing, just open it and click the "Clear Selected Items" button and allow it to reboot. If you leave cookies checked tho, you will have to log in to any sites that you're a member of, so make sure you have your passwords handy (or uncheck the cookies box).

3. Have you checked your CPU usage when the PC pauses? Open Task Manager (Ctrl+Alt+Delete) then minimize it. You should have a graph in your System Tray. When the CPU is maxed out the graph will be solid green. Check for that the next time the PC pauses.

4. Looking at your HJT log, I see that you have a Logitech mouse and Desktop Messenger (backweb) installed. Is your keyboard Logitech as well? Do you commonly use any of the special functions of the mouse and/or keyboard?

There are a couple of other things to consider, but let us know about these first.

:thumbsup:
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Every love every ending
Or maybe there's no obligations now,
Maybe I've a reason to believe
We all will be received
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#4 Admiralla

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Posted 17 July 2004 - 06:36 PM

I think in the year I've had the computer I've only needed to do maintenance once... perhaps it's time to check it again as I believe you might be right. I will take the time to check on the things that you have suggested.

In the meantime, I have noticed that it's only on my desktop that this problem is happening... so I'm thinking that I have something running in the background that might be interfereing with my functions

I'll let you know what I come up with..

Thanks a bunch! :thumbsup:

#5 Admiralla

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Posted 18 July 2004 - 10:45 AM

Hello again!

I think I've found the culprit, Papa..

After taking your advice to bring up Windows Task Manager to watch what happens when my PC pauses, I kept it open to the "processing" window to watch which programs were maxing from time to time...

As I was working, I noticed that "Spysweeper" was the one that seemed to be making the most peaks and interrupting my computer's normal functions.

I turned it off just to see what happened and everything seemed to run smoothly with little interruption. When I turned it back on things started pausing again.

Thanks so much for the tips! Sometimes it's always the simplist little thing isn't it?? :flowers:

Thanks again! :thumbsup:

#6 Papakid

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Posted 18 July 2004 - 12:02 PM

Well, Admiralla, I'm glad you've made progress, but in my opinion, leaving SpySweeper disabled is not a good or complete solution. What you describe indicates a problem with resources, most probably the amount of RAM you have installed. XP is resource intensive, if you have less than 512 MB you will have problems similar to what you describe. Looking again at your HijackThis log and given that you have enough RAM, your startups aren't execessive--with the possible exception of Backweb.

Let me put it like this--with 128 MB of RAM you have just enough to run XP. If you try to add any programs, especially those that are CPU intensive and/or run in the background, you'll have problems.
256 MB you can add a few things but that can get used up pretty quick too. Norton AV running in the background will take up a lot of that.

So that's why I was wondering how much RAM you had installed. If less than 512 you need to either install more RAM or look to managing your resources. SpySweeper is more needed than Backweb. So you were right to ask about startups and I'm sorry I didn't address that.

The best information on Startups and how to manage them is this page at Pacman's Portal:
http://www.pacs-portal.co.uk/startup_content.php

For first timers there is a relatively new startup manager that gives a description of each startup based on Pacman's database. Much easier to use--other startup managers just list the startup and leave it up to you to do the research on each item. Check out Startup Inspector for Windows.

Now if it's a matter of SpySweeper's monitor hogging all the resources--your CPU usage is below, say, 25% with SS turned off, I would look into getting that straightened out. It may have been damaged by the malware. Try reinstalling. If that doesn't help (and you've got enough RAM :thumbsup: ) you might want to contact SpySweeper's support.

I would also strongly suggest that you do that basic maintenance. You could also call it preventative maintenance. It's like changing the oil in a car--don't wait til problems occur before you do it--by then it could be too late. Defragging and Check Disk should be done at least once a month--more often sometimes if you do a lot of installing and uninstalling of programs. Deleting your browser's cache should be done often--some people have IE configured to delete cache every time it's closed. Again, with what you had on your system, I really think you should use System Security Suite.

Hope this helps some more and that you have a great weekend. :flowers:
And I may be obliged to defend
Every love every ending
Or maybe there's no obligations now,
Maybe I've a reason to believe
We all will be received
In Graceland--Paul Simon

#7 Admiralla

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Posted 19 July 2004 - 12:03 PM

Hi Papa,

Yes, as a matter of fact, I do have 512 Mb ram. My system is a PIII, 1 GHz (I think that's how you say it) with 112 Gb hard drive. My husband and I were thinking of getting more ram especially with that size drive.

From my task manager window, SS would kick in and peak at about 23 - 25%. I can't say it would max out the system, but it would be enough so that whatever I was doing would pause or get choppy. When I'm playing my computer games, that's about the only time I would turn off SS because it interferes. This would be a time when I'm not using the internet or email. It gets turned back on again when I'm done.

I'll be doing a defrag over the next day or so to help things get straightened out too. It's been months since my last one and it took a couple of hours to do so I'll be doing it at a time when I won't be using my computer very much.

While we're on the topic too, how do you do a check disk? Is it under System Tools?

I've tagged this forum to come back and check everything that you've suggested. I'll let you know how things work out.

Addie :thumbsup:

#8 Papakid

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Posted 19 July 2004 - 01:26 PM

OK, Addie that clears some things up for me. You should be OK with that much RAM. Something else is going on and you're right that it has to do with the SS monitor. It's performance should improve after you've done the defrag.

To answer your direct question--for some odd reason, given Redmond logic :flowers: , Check Disk (called Scan Disk in earlier OS's), isn't among the System Tools in the Start Menu. You have to go to My Computer>right click the Local Disk (hard drive) icon>propeties>Tools tab. And guess what? They call it Error Checking. :thumbsup: You'll notice the other basic maintenance tools in the Tools tab and Disk Cleanup under the General tab.

Of the three basic maintenance items I listed, I would suggest you do the defragmentation last. You might want to see our tutorial on that: The Importance of Disk Defragmentation. Here's a hint--run defrag in Safe Mode--will speed up the process somewhat and insure that all other programs stay shut down.

Also when you run the Error Check from Properties, I generally check both boxes. Be ready to reboot--it runs with Windows shut down--just before starting up again. My system takes about 40 minutes--yours will probably take longer.

And do please let us know if the SS monitor stops making the system drag after you've done all that. I haven't heard of SS being a problem like this, so if it doesn't improve I'll look into it further.

Oh, and don't worry about getting a bigger hard drive because you have so much Ram. That's not really related the way you put it. Unless your page file is too large--eh, I'll have to get out my notes to talk about that. :trumpet:
And I may be obliged to defend
Every love every ending
Or maybe there's no obligations now,
Maybe I've a reason to believe
We all will be received
In Graceland--Paul Simon

#9 Guest_brunt_*

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Posted 19 July 2004 - 02:16 PM

Here are to exellent disk defraggers.. The first will do a great job if you set it to boot up defrag and the second is just great so much better than windows defrag utility. And if you do get a bigger HD and it is formatted in NTFS lets say a hd of 250 gb's you dont need to worry about defragging again research has shown the big hard drives like that dont show any degradation from fragmentaion.




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