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something seems to be running in the background


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#1 cianne

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Posted 07 December 2009 - 12:34 AM

I have two "symptoms" that have been going on for a few weeks now.

1) My screensaver is being interrupted.

2) Windows in IE and MSWord randomly deactivate, even when I'm in the middle of typing or moving the mouse. They reactivate easily when clicked, but eventually it happens again.

There isn't really a pattern to it, time-wise. Sometimes it's every few minutes; sometimes I can go an hour without trouble.

Avast and AVG (both free editions, both updated) are not finding anything. There's nothing in my Task Manager that strikes me as extremely strange, but I could be missing it. As far as I can tell, there's nothing different listed before/after a problem occurs. Other than these two things, my computer is running fine. I've tried googling around and prowling forums like this one for ideas, but no one seems to share my problem. =)

I have WindowsXP Home with a 144GB hard drive (largely empty!) and I'm using IE8. Everything is updated via Automatic Updates. I do a small amount of downloading (via sites like MediaShare and SendSpace), but I always scan the files before I open them.

The only odd thing I can relate to the time period when the problem started is that I twice started up my computer and found that a bar was in the desktop tray for my Wii WiFi USB Connector. (The connector had been installed and last used months ago.) I couldn't maximize it or close it; it didn't seem to do anything or want anything. I eventually figured out (by scouring my computer and matching up the icon it was showing) that it was the Registration Tool and it was selected to run at startup. It never had shown up before, and when I removed it from the list of programs to run at startup, it went away. It seemed awfully strange, but maybe it was just a coincidence.

So folks, do you have any ideas for me? Can I give you more information? Is there something I should try? Anything?

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#2 boopme

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Posted 07 December 2009 - 03:39 PM

Hello let's do another check for malware.

Please download TFC by Old Timer and save it to your desktop.
alternate download link
Save any unsaved work. TFC will close ALL open programs including your browser!
Double-click on TFC.exe to run it. If you are using Vista, right-click on the file and choose Run As Administrator.
Click the Start button to begin the cleaning process and let it run uninterrupted to completion.
Important! If TFC prompts you to reboot, please do so immediately. If not prompted, manually reboot the machine anyway to ensure a complete clean.

Next run MBAM (MalwareBytes):

NOTE: Before saving MBAM please rename it to zztoy.exe....now save it to your desktop.

Please download Malwarebytes Anti-Malware and save it to your desktop.

alternate download link

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. Temporarily disable such programs or permit them to allow the changes.
  • 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 definition updates, manually download them from here and just double-click on mbam-rules.exe to install.
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. Be sure to post the complete log to include the top portion which shows MBAM's database version and your operating system.
  • Exit MBAM when done.
Note: If MBAM encounters a file that is difficult to remove, you will be asked to reboot your computer so MBAM can proceed with the disinfection process. If asked to restart the computer, please do so immediately. Failure to reboot normally (not into safe mode) will prevent MBAM from removing all the malware.
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#3 cianne

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Posted 08 December 2009 - 12:31 AM

Thanks, boopme. I will go through these steps tomorrow and post back when I'm done.

#4 AustrAlien

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Posted 08 December 2009 - 12:57 AM

Avast and AVG (both free editions, both updated) are not finding anything.

You MUST NOT have more than one antivirus installed and running at the same time. If this is the case, you should uninstall all but one antivirus application.

Having more than one antivirus application running can create many problems, not least of which is to compromise the overall security of the system.
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