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System slow down and halt


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5 replies to this topic

#1 gregtayl

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Posted 25 March 2009 - 01:08 AM

My Dell XPS running Windows Vista Ultimate recently started slowing down and now completely locks up - especially when under load (large file-operations, opening large applications, etc.). It appears as though the explorer.exe process is continually consuming more and more memory until it completely halts all file operations, and forces all applications and open windows into a 'Not Responding' state. I've let the computer sit in this state for a number of hours - it never seems to correct itself, and I've been forced to power-off everytime.

I've checked the system error logs and no errors are being logged. I've scanned my computer using AVG and nothing is being detected. I've cleaned up the System Startup Configuration, and uninstalled all unused applications to no avail. Vista is fully up to date.

I'm not sure whether this is a virus - or potentially failing hardware (perhaps a failing HD?).

Computer Specs:
Dell XPS M1530
Windows Vista Ultimate 32bit
4GB RAM
220GB HD (110GB free)

Please help! :thumbsup:

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#2 DaChew

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Posted 25 March 2009 - 06:47 AM

Please download ATF Cleaner by Atribune & save it to your desktop.
  • Double-click ATF-Cleaner.exe to run the program.
  • Under Main "Select Files to Delete" choose: Select All.
  • Click the Empty Selected button.
  • If you use Firefox browser click Firefox at the top and choose: Select All
  • Click the Empty Selected button.
    If you would like to keep your saved passwords, please click No at the prompt.
  • If you use Opera browser click Opera at the top and choose: Select All
  • Click the Empty Selected button.
    If you would like to keep your saved passwords, please click No at the prompt.
  • Click Exit on the Main menu to close the program.
Note: On Vista, "Windows Temp" is disabled. To empty "Windows Temp" ATF-Cleaner must be "Run as an Administrator".

Please download Malwarebytes Anti-Malware (v1.34) and save it to your desktop.
alternate download link 1
alternate download link 2
If you have a previous version of MBAM, remove it via Add/Remove Programs and download a fresh copy.
  • Make sure you are connected to the Internet.
  • Double-click on mbam-setup.exe to install the application.
  • When the installation begins, follow the prompts and do not make any changes to default settings.
  • When installation has finished, make sure you leave both of these checked:
    • Update Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware
    • Launch Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware
  • Then click Finish.
MBAM will automatically start and you will be asked to update the program before performing a scan.
  • If an update is found, the program will automatically update itself.
  • Press the OK button to close that box and continue.
  • If you encounter any problems while downloading the updates, manually download them from here and just double-click on mbam-rules.exe to install. Alternatively, you can update through MBAM's interface from a clean computer, copy the definitions (rules.ref) located in C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Malwarebytes\Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware from that system to a usb stick or CD and then copy it to the infected machine.
On the Scanner tab:
  • Make sure the "Perform Quick Scan" option is selected.
  • Then click on the Scan button.
  • If asked to select the drives to scan, leave all the drives selected and click on the Start Scan button.
  • The scan will begin and "Scan in progress" will show at the top. It may take some time to complete so please be patient.
  • When the scan is finished, a message box will say "The scan completed successfully. Click 'Show Results' to display all objects found".
  • Click OK to close the message box and continue with the removal process.
Back at the main Scanner screen:
  • Click on the Show Results button to see a list of any malware that was found.
  • Make sure that everything is checked, and click Remove Selected.
  • When removal is completed, a log report will open in Notepad.
  • The log is automatically saved and can be viewed by clicking the Logs tab in MBAM.
  • Copy and paste the contents of that report in your next reply and exit MBAM.
Note: If MBAM encounters a file that is difficult to remove, you may be asked to reboot your computer so it can proceed with the disinfection process. Regardless if prompted to restart the computer or not, please do so immediately. Failure to reboot normally (not into safe mode) will prevent MBAM from removing all the malware. MBAM may "make changes to your registry" as part of its disinfection routine. If using other security programs that detect registry changes (ie Spybot's Teatimer), they may interfere or alert you after scanning with MBAM. Please temporarily disable such programs or permit them to allow the changes.

http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/t/114351/how-to-temporarily-disable-your-anti-virus-firewall-and-anti-malware-programs/
Chewy

No. Try not. Do... or do not. There is no try.

#3 freelancer88

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Posted 25 March 2009 - 06:52 AM

Try System restore if you can find a restore point

I know you're out there, I can feel you now. I know that you're afraid. You're afraid of us. You're afraid of change. I don't know the future. I didn't come here to tell you how this is going to end. I came here to tell you how it's going to begin. I'm going to hang up this phone, and then I'm going to show these people what you don't want them to see. I'm going to show them a world ... without you. A world without rules and controls, without borders or boundaries. A world where anything is possible. Where we go from there is a choice I leave to you.


#4 gregtayl

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Posted 25 March 2009 - 12:28 PM

Thank you for the quick reply! I've followed your instructions to the word. ATF Cleaner deleted approximately 19MB of files. Malwarebytes Anti-Malware quick scan didn't find any malicious items, the log is posted below.

Please let me know if there's anything else I can do :thumbsup:


Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware 1.34
Database version: 1897
Windows 6.0.6001 Service Pack 1

25/03/2009 11:20:04 AM
mbam-log-2009-03-25 (11-20-04).txt

Scan type: Quick Scan
Objects scanned: 143375
Time elapsed: 31 minute(s), 49 second(s)

Memory Processes Infected: 0
Memory Modules Infected: 0
Registry Keys Infected: 0
Registry Values Infected: 0
Registry Data Items Infected: 0
Folders Infected: 0
Files Infected: 0

Memory Processes Infected:
(No malicious items detected)

Memory Modules Infected:
(No malicious items detected)

Registry Keys Infected:
(No malicious items detected)

Registry Values Infected:
(No malicious items detected)

Registry Data Items Infected:
(No malicious items detected)

Folders Infected:
(No malicious items detected)

Files Infected:
(No malicious items detected)

#5 DaChew

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Posted 25 March 2009 - 01:56 PM

Let's do one more check for malware, you could start a thread in the hardware subforum also. I am thinking that might be the problem. Vista is a can of worms tho and that would be my next guess if malware and hardware don't yield some clues.

One note tho, try to eliminate heat as the culprit

Please do an online scan with Kaspersky WebScanner

Click on Kaspersky Online Scanner

You will be prompted to install an ActiveX component from Kaspersky, Click Yes.
  • The program will launch and then begin downloading the latest definition files:
  • Once the files have been downloaded click on NEXT
  • Now click on Scan Settings
  • In the scan settings make that the following are selected:
    • Scan using the following Anti-Virus database:
    Extended (if available otherwise Standard)
    • Scan Options:
    Scan Archives
    Scan Mail Bases
  • Click OK
  • Now under select a target to scan:Select My Computer
  • This will program will start and scan your system.
  • The scan will take a while so be patient and let it run.
  • Once the scan is complete it will display if your system has been infected.
    • Now click on the Save as Text button:
  • Save the file to your desktop.
  • Copy and paste that information in your next post.

Chewy

No. Try not. Do... or do not. There is no try.

#6 gregtayl

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Posted 12 April 2009 - 03:41 PM

Thanks for all the help - it turns out the hard-drive was the culprit. Got a new one from Dell...after a bit of a painful process.

Thanks again for your time!




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