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Computer Virus


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9 replies to this topic

#1 Chris4835

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Posted 16 June 2008 - 02:44 PM

The topic title is the simple question.
Now more details. I gave my nice, in 2003, my Windows XP computer. It had Norton anti virus, but she never bothered to pay the renewal fee. So I assume she has no anti virus program.

For several weeks now, every time she goes on AOL, and after she's on for a few minutes, the computer completely shuts down, she told me. Last month this happened well over 100 times.

At first I assumed it must be a fan or power supply problem. The computer gets too hot and it just shuts down. For example last Friday she got on AOL at 5:57 AM and was on for only 5 minutes when it shut down. Then she tried again at 6:07 and 6:11, 6:15, these times it was on only 4 minutes each time. And the last time at 6:19 Am it stayed on only 2 minutes.

Clearly, at least to me, looks like an overheating problem. BUT, today she told me that it only happens when she's on the Internet, with AOL (dial up). If she does other work on the computer it does not shut down. So what could turn off the whole computer? But only when she's on the INTERNET.

Unfortunately she lives 250 miles from here. So I have no way to see the computer.

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#2 hamluis

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Posted 16 June 2008 - 03:52 PM

Well...a system with no AV...is open to all sorts of malware.

Malware doesn't have to directly disable a system, just damaging a few key files would do that.

There are many forms of malware that result in damaged system files, which is why anti-malware programs often refer to "healing" various files.

Louis

#3 Chris4835

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Posted 17 June 2008 - 05:19 AM

Thanks for your reply Louis. Point well taken. But, has a Virus/malware ever shut down a computer?

Today again, she was on AOL at 2:22 am for 5 minutes. Then again at 2:27, 2:31, 2:35 for 4 minutes each time and at 2:39 for 1 minute. And each time the whole computer shut down and she had to reboot it, (turn it on with the power button).

Is it possible that AOL might be causing this?

#4 david28

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Posted 17 June 2008 - 05:30 AM

AOL would be your IP and there isn't a way for an IP to shut off your computer (not to my knowledge anyway).

What browser do you use - the AOL software or a third party browser?

Also, if this is malware - have you read our guides on checkign for and removing malware/spyware? If not, then I do suggest doing that :thumbsup:

Edited by david28, 17 June 2008 - 05:31 AM.


#5 CarbonX

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Posted 17 June 2008 - 10:01 AM

Tell her not to use AOL's browser and use another browser.

#6 garmanma

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Posted 17 June 2008 - 02:11 PM

Thanks for your reply Louis. Point well taken. But, has a Virus/malware ever shut down a computer?

Today again, she was on AOL at 2:22 am for 5 minutes. Then again at 2:27, 2:31, 2:35 for 4 minutes each time and at 2:39 for 1 minute. And each time the whole computer shut down and she had to reboot it, (turn it on with the power button).

Is it possible that AOL might be causing this?

Back in the day, a boot sector virus could cripple a computer, but you don't see that this often nowadays.
A computer randomly shutting down is more than likely a indication of overheating. Have you ever had the side off of the computer? You might want to look for dust and lint buildup around the heatsink and fans
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#7 Chris4835

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Posted 17 June 2008 - 04:55 PM

Thanks david28, carbonx and gramanma.
She uses the AOL browser, which is IE adapted for AOL. Now she can use IE, after she logs on to AOL. I was thinking about suggesting that too. I'll let her know tomorrow.

Dust, could be. Especially since she uses the computer in her bedroom. I suggested her brother open it up and clean it out. Maybe I'll find out tomorrow if he did anything.

#8 ohfer

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Posted 18 June 2008 - 12:05 AM

Also, depending on the age of her computer, the processor chip could be overheating.
I had a similar occurance about 9 years ago when I was on AOL. I had an old Cyrus 200 mhz, and after being on AOL about 15 minutes, the computer would shut down. This was due to overheating of the processor.
Good luck.

#9 david28

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Posted 18 June 2008 - 01:35 AM

Your welcome :thumbsup:

I recommend using Mozilla Firefox instead of Internet Explorer as it is far more protected from online threats (not immune, but far more protected than IE)

And whatever you do...never use the vacuum cleaner to clear dust from the internals of your computer :flowers:

#10 Chris4835

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Posted 18 June 2008 - 09:51 AM

Thanks ohfer. Now that I know that a processor overheating can cause that problem, I'll let her know as soon as possible.

I just studied her log on record with AOL. Since this problem started on 5-4-08 she had over 197 unwanted shutdowns.




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