Reformatted and clean install of Vista 2 months ago. Afterward, everything worked perfectly until a couple of weeks ago. After automatic updates installed Vista SP2, suddenly Windows Media Center (which I've never used and am not at all familiar with and have no plans to learn it and use it in the future) began opening by itself over and over.
Also, a little window popped up on boot up that said something to the effect that my new hardware needed intalled; however, I have not added any new hardware. Have no idea what it was trying to install.
Also, intermittently, programs I'm using just exit out even though I have not pressed exit. And, the mouse intermittently jumps around by itself or won't respond to the touchpad - - it opens programs, opens the start menu, types gibberish into the 'Start Search' line, closes programs, opens browsers or browser tabs, closes browser tabs, etc, etc, etc.
Also, sometimes an odd looking exit menu appears top left screen in a different resolution than the screen is set at. AND, sometimes, when I'm working, all of a sudden the keys won't type but the computer issues a loud beep every time a key is pressed.
When problems first started, I immediately ran system restore. No change.
Tried another date in system restore. Still no change.
Went through all restore points and each time I got the message that the restore was successful; however no change.
Ran AVG (paid subscription); found nothing.
Ran SuperAntiSpyware (paid subscription); found nothing.
Ran MalwaryBytes Anti-Malware (paid subscription); found nothing.
Ran Panda Online Scanner (paid subscription); it found a file that it said it couldn't disinfect; the file name was \Downloads\HC82_VistaLogo_Drv_...E Encoder x86 V62 Setup Silent.exe - - tried to find it and delete it but couldn't locate it; however similar file names were in the AverMedia folder. Don't use AverMedia even though it came with the computer, so I uninstalled it.
Ran Panda scan again and it found nothing this time.
Started googling and stopped all WMC services and removed every instance of it from startup.
Ran Trend Micro Housecall; found nothing.
Problems kept escalating.
At times, the computer started beeping very fast and refusing to respond to any commands.
Suddenly two or three browsers open very quickly all by themselves.
Periodically, the start menu opens and the computer types gibberish that looks like computer speak into the start search command line.
When WMC opens by itself, it preempts everything else so that nothing else works until it's closed out, and often after closing it out, other programs will not respond to any keyboard or touchpad commands until the unit is restarted.
Twice, the computer has refused to disconnect from the wireless connection when I tried to disconnect.
Sometimes the space bar has to be pressed several times to work.
Shortcuts have to be right clicked, then click 'open' because when a shortcut is pressed, the properties dialog opens instead of the program.
Once on reboot, instead of Vista opening, it went to a black screen and "Vista" had to be chosen from a list before it would open and a couple of times the computer froze at that screen and wouldn't boot up - had to shut down manually and press F12 and chose the HDD option to get it to open.
THEN I uninstalled AVG 8 and purchased AVG 9 and installed and ran it - it's supposed to be better. It found and removed several 'tracking cookies'.
Then I backed up up all my personal files onto a portable harddrive, just in case.
Finally, thinking things can't get any worse, I ran the CCleaner registry fix - - it didn't change anything either
I've been using computers for more than 20 years and have never seen or heard of such weirdness!
The computer was still under warranty when I reformatted 2 months ago and a Dell tech walked me through that and then he took remote access and installed a codec pack which fixed the problems with audio/video (had reformatted because the computer suddenly began to crash to a blue screen every time audio or video was played). After reformatting, the computer worked great until two weeks ago.
Could all these problems have been caused by the Vista SP2 update? My computer is used almost exclusively by ME and no shady internet sites are visited, so doesn't that mean that nothing 'BAD' can come off the internet? Sometimes, it almost seems that something or someone else has taken over control of my computer - - but that's not possible, is it?
Anyway, Garmanma said to post and get help and do another reformat (as the computer is now out of warranty and I can't get free help from Dell help anymore) - - he believes there are just too many problems to track down and fix.
I have backups of all my personal and business files, and I also have all of my software discs.
The system came with a Dell CD that says, "Operating System" - - the Dell tech let me use that simply because I didn't want to put all the trial software and stuff that came preinstalled - just wanted a clean OS install so I didn't have to do a lot of uninstalling before I got going with my own software. If I use the recovery partition, I get all that stuff back; however, the recovery partition is still in tact and can be used if necessary. With a clean install of course, I have to install all the drivers - I have them on the removable backup HD and have the proper install order written down. The codec pack was K-Lite Codec Pack. The unit was still under warranty when I redid it 2 months ago, and the Dell tech was there to take control and/or walk me through each step - - but the warranty has run out and I'm a bit afraid to try it all by myself.
By the way, when the tech redid things, he just had me put the OS CD in and install Vista - - there didn't seem to be an actual reformat (you know, the C: drive reformatting before loading Vista). If redo is my best option, I really want to make sure the HD is wiped clean before installing Vista in case there may be something lurking on the drive, don't you think? I'm not very 'techy,' but with help and good instructions I can do just about anything. One thing I'm really not sure how to do is the actual reformat part - - I think I can let the OS CD install, let it update; install the drivers; install the codec pack; and then go from there - - just not too sure how to actually wipe the disc clean first. I can google and find out how to customize Vista - - that's what I did before.
Also, one more question: Does anyone know why the rootkit scanner in AVG9 is greyed out and therefore won't work - - I have the paid version and it's supposed to have a rootkit scan as I understand it? AVG8 had a rootkit scanner.
VERY GRATEFUL for the time anyone has to give detailed instructions!
Thanks again for any help forthcoming!
Edited by HomesickInTexas, 31 October 2009 - 09:24 PM.