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Haunted Computer...


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#1 xhat

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Posted 06 August 2009 - 03:45 AM

Each night, at around 4:15 in the morning, my XP machine emits two sounds. The first sound is either the default Asterisk or Exclamation sound (it's always the same sound, but I'm not sure which one it is), and it is followed soon thereafter by the System Notification sound. Just this morning, I heard the sound, and trotted over to the computer to look for any pop up balloons, app dialog boxes, etc. Nothing. I've gone to the Event Viewer, and there is nothing in any of the log files being kept (Application, Security, System, Internet Explorer). I checked the log files of my Antivirus program (Nod32, which is up to date and active). Again, nothing. Obviously, I'm concerned by this, because it seems to be a "scheduled" event, occurring each night as it does, but can find nothing to document what is causing this to occur.

I should also say that my XP box is running inside of a virtual machine. Running on a Mac using VMWare's Fusion. I've checked for a VMWare log file, but cannot find one on my machine.

So, is this the proverbial "ghost in the machine...?"

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#2 xhat

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Posted 06 August 2009 - 09:10 AM

UPDATE

I have uncovered a wealth of log files on my Mac (yeah!), but none of those had any entries around the time of my "event" on my XP box (boo!). My thinking was that perhaps the Mac or VMWare Fusion were doing some routine maintenance/updating activities that were somehow causing the the .wav files to play. I checked VMWare's log files thorougkly, and there was nothing to indicate Fusion was up to anything at all at that time of the morning, or even today. The last log entry was for yesterday (8/5).

#3 Queen-Evie

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Posted 06 August 2009 - 10:04 AM

This is a long-shot, but something to check.
Go to Control Panel.
Open up Scheduled Tasks. Look to see if anything is set to run for the time you hear the sounds.
If there is anything, you can delete the task or change the time frame. To change it, RIGHT click the task name, choose Properties. Schedule tab. After making changes, click APPLY

#4 xhat

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Posted 06 August 2009 - 10:58 AM

Queen-Evie

Thanks for that suggestion, but I have already looked into that. Sorry, I should have made mention of it. I found a strange task for my HP printer, but it was unscheduled and as far as I could tell it never ran.

#5 Queen-Evie

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Posted 06 August 2009 - 11:40 AM

You may need to spend some time going through programs which have set times for scheduled tasks.
I wish I had some solid answers for you, but this is the best I can do.
Maybe someone else will have other suggestions.

#6 xhat

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Posted 06 August 2009 - 02:55 PM

Queen-Evie

I think you're right. I got "creative" earlier and tried to run a rootkit scanner on XP, wondering if a) maybe I had some virus that got past my AV, and I could find any hidden DLLs or processes running, and :thumbsup: would it even run inside a virtual machine? B was the outcome. Sigh. In any event, this one is goIng to require some patience and detective work. Thanks.

#7 Queen-Evie

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Posted 06 August 2009 - 10:55 PM

When/if you get it figured out, I'd like to know what is making the sounds. This is one of those intriguing problems that fascinate me.

#8 Mr LunchBox

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Posted 07 August 2009 - 01:06 AM

The Event Veiwer logs will not show you everything. It will only show what was set up to log. You can change the logs to capture everything.

If for some reason you find that still you can't pin point the noise (of course you can always getup 10 minutes before the issue comes up to look at the screen :thumbsup: ) or you can setup some sort of camera on a timer to capture the events on the screen (after the screen saver is turned off)

You can make a batch file that will dump the items running at the time. Make the batch file execute very second starting 5 to 10 or maybe 30 minutes before the time that sound is heard and make it stop about 10 minutes after the sound is heard.

Look at the logs and see what application started and ended during that time frame.

#9 Ricky Oh

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Posted 07 August 2009 - 01:57 AM

Could it just be a faulty keyboard? I have run into a similar problem (beep beep sound) but that is because of a faulty keyboard. Sometimes the LAN cable touches on one of the keys and if the keyboard keypad is spoilt it will produce the beep sounds. Try replacing with a new keyboard and see if the sounds persist. If this is the cause, the sounds wouldn't happen again. After you hook back the faulty keyboard the sounds may happen again. This is my gut feel of what could have happened.

#10 xhat

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Posted 08 August 2009 - 09:01 PM

Mr LunchBox

Thanks for the tip about the EventViewer logs. Was definitely not aware that all events were not being captured. I will look into that for sure. I may Google for more rbust logging tools, as well as how to set up that batch file you to which you referred.

Ricky Oh

Just bought a new Logitech wireless keyboard for the Mac. Think covered there.

#11 xhat

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Posted 09 August 2009 - 08:09 AM

Mr LunchBox

All events are being logged. That must be the default, because when I went in to check the props for each log, all available events were checked. So, I guess I'm going to Google to see if I can find something more "robust." There has to be an "event" that triggers these sounds, I just wonder how the event is classified....




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