Posted 05 April 2010 - 01:27 AM
I was to post about all of this late last night two nights ago. But it took so long for me to type it out I hade cut and paste the contents and copy them back in(Good thing I did since I got logged out automatically). This is the best that I can explain all of the weird behavior I've been observing.
I've heavily been going back and looking through my System Event Logs. And there are a list of errors going back from December of last year to the present day. It's a custom built computer, I had a man at a little mom&pop shop build it for me about nearly 3 years ago. No viruses, malware, rootkits, spyware or anything else of the sort. I have Avira Free 2010 and upgraded to the latest version of MalwareBytes. And done online scans provied by other vendors I see recommended in posts one here and other reputable self-help sites. Scans only and no malware or anything strange to be found found. ....which is, good...I suppose. While I never used it to disable or remove anything, I also installed the latest version of CCleaner, just to MERELY SCAN AND NOT REMOVE anything, but it is confusing as to what I'm looking at. All the while I've had this thing, I have never tampered with the registry, or any more critical things in the Windows folder myself. It seems the troubles I'm having are on the verge of crippling my computer. Over the last week or so I've been having as the thread title suggests, constantly slow restarts and shutdowns. It's the restarts that are most puzzling to me. Every time I restart the icons(which are only supposed to be four that I have set to always show are, Avira, Volume Control, Num Lock and Safe Hardware Removal) in the tasktray don't always show up, and when they do only some show up and then suddenly disappear. My Quick Launch icons are missing. And yesterday morning or the morning before my entire computer froze, while I was listening to some music. WMP11 didn't actually freeze,(the music was still playing but I couldn't maximize it). Other times when my computer operates otherwize normally, I have notepad and wordpad crash on me. There's so much to explain that I could just write a book about it. By what, I'm seeing in my System Event Logs, seem to be related to legitimate security software I had installed in the past(I'll list those below). I do need to make myself clearer.
My ISP is AT&T/SBC which I decided to make a switch to DSL service for this computer. Well one program that came bundled with was the worthless Self Support Tool(which the man that built this comp had to remove). For along time I used Yahoo's webmail instead of Outlook Express. Sometime during the first year(2007) that I used this computer I decided to rely on using this rather outdated version of Norton pushed by AT&T or Yahoo. Well it seems to be I still have Automatic LiveUpdate still automatically running as a service by what the Management Console stated, although I scrapped that for a boxed copy of Trend Micro Internet security which I used up untill I let it expired after one renwal this February(Trend never gave me any problems but it sure isn't what it was cracked up to be). I also had BrowserPlus which I have no idea what it's really for mysteriously get installed.
I decied to install a trial version of AVG Internet Security. It's also left several components installed after I uninstalled it that are possibly causing some grief. I was looking through my logs and one event that some remnants of it caused a bunch us errors with my drivers or other such for my motherboard, the netBIOS, the CPU, the hardrive and some other fairly critical components in a list longer than my arm. I check my hardware profiles and looked at my Network Card and found a LAN and WAN miniport driver, which seemed to be related to the firewall part. And I did make sure that Windows Firewall was turned off. Well a relative that's more intelligent about computers than I am downloaded a trial version of Network Magic to get some music files that seemed to make the miniports "disappear" it was more than likely it was more involved on account that he had to configure the network to allow file sharing that caused this. AVG's email scanner may possibly be having an effect on Outlook Express. Incoming mail seems to be getting backed up. When ever I expect a reply a bunch of other email will show up as well. I've also after doing some Googling that the dbx for email folders can get corrupted by email scanners. That's all I can explain for now as far as AVG is concerned. Edit: I need to clarify that both of my AT&T/SBC email addresses are moved to Outlook Express. I got tired of Yahoo!
So far Avira nor MalwareBytes gives no problems. Athough while I was doing a scan with Avira a couple of days ago it suddenly stopped when it found a problem with something to do with a System32 file called sptd.sys. System Logs had three items labled as SideBySide that having something to do with a related Windows file or subfolder called .sxs . Edit: I've since uninstalled Avira and downloaded Microsoft Security Essentials (much easier to use program).
I also had Quicktime installed. Which I think is sort of evil. It never seemed to work very well at all. And didn't much care for it having Bonjour, itunes, and other components that are seemingly worthless to me bundled with it. I'm old fashioned and still buy CDs for music. I still have Bonjour installed but can't find any relavent help for what good it's really for. CCleaner listed a bunch of problems with missing/shared dlls for ipod, which I've never owned an ipod. Event Viewer also lists problems with Bonjour. Edit: I've since uninstalled Bonjour.
The list could go on and on forever.
I'm begining to think I've may have become an all around victim of "dll hell" or the registry is slowly becoming corrupt. So far I'm surprised that through all of this I haven't experienced not even one Blue Screen. Something flakey is happening.
Another thing that concerns me that may be partially related is certificates. Over the past month. Every so often when I surf with IE8(my only browser) I keep getting hounded to install these a248 akamai certificates. What exactly are these for and should I install them? It seems to always disable the WOT toolbar when this certificate deal occurs. IE8 also runs slower than the seven years itch. I seemed to have found out what that one particular akamai certificate is for. Edit: Was doing some googling and found one https website listed in the few results that relates to some ATI Radeon video cards for Linux machines. I don't know why. the site was a248 DOT g DOT akamai DOT net. The same same website that was associated with these certificates. I haven't got any hardware or drivers on my system that are affiliated with such. My OS is Windows XP Pro 32 OEM and has an NVIDIA branded cards, controllers and drivers.
I can not believe I'm finding myself having to resort to asking for outside help. I've always managed to figure out solutions on my own or have the person that installed Network Magic to help me out. Trying to have the man that built this thing is probably a lost cause. He's old and not in that good of health. And besides the computer nor the work is under warranty. XP will no longer be supported in a few years anyway. All of Microsofts websites seem to be becoming more an more focused on Windows 7 and what ever is left for Vista. I even seen where Internet Explorer 9 is under development.
Anyway if nothing can be helped it doesn't matter too much. I'm about to get a namebrand laptop with 7 installed. I'll admit this XP machine served it's purpose, if it can't be saved, except by a registry backup and drive reformat. I wouldn't
I'd like to say that for some odd reason, my computer seemed to be running a little more stable. But I'm still having trouble with icons in the systemtray/notification area. I'd like to mention that automatic updates for applications and programs like for Java or Flash Player haven't run for sometime between now and last year. Presently I only have two icons in the systemtray. One for Network Magic and the other for Security Essentials.
I think my primary concern is getting rid of all the junk leftover from all the prior security software, and then Apple's various bloatware that Add/Remove or the uninstallers didn't clear out.
Sorry for the shoddy post. My brother is fairly smart about computers and he isn't entirely sure what the problem is. I know he isn't all that keen on asking for outside help unless he really has to or if it all, and quite frankly me neither but it looks like this forum might be my only hope or to get a good 3rd opinion. Just hope my brother doesn't find out. I'm scared if I might have to run all these different kinds of registry cleaners and analyzers. But I'm willing to use them IF I have to and it's not rougeware or have other hidden surprizes with it.
But I would like to save this machine even if I get a laptop. For one thing I could this for a backup computer. And at a close second I've been a dedicated guitarist for twenty years. So..why is being a guitarist have anything to do with this? Well I have a Line 6 ToneportUX2 and hope to succsessfully be able to transfer all the Gearbox files and the Line 6 Monkey updater and the license key to the laptop. At least I stil have the installation disc. But if this computer dies those files will be lost for good.
Anyway I'll make sure to subscribe to the thread and wait for any replies.
Peace and most importantly thanks in advance to any and all that help.