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Problems On The Desktop Now


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#1 Lily Livered

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Posted 13 November 2005 - 09:31 PM

Not sure if this should be here or elsewhere.

My desktop is Windows ME, 128MB, HP (Walmart special), about 4 years old, rarely used since I've gotten the new laptop. The fan is about to go out on it I believe and it's probably using whatever it is (can't remember) that it uses when all your space is taken up over and over. Know what I mean? However, I don't know that for SURE.

Not sure what else you need to know about the pc, just let me know and tell me how to find it.

It has CCleaner, Ad-Aware SE (which won't update: Error retrieving update--yes even after I went and redownloaded it), Spybot S&D, AVG, ZoneAlarm--all of which are updated (except the Ad-Aware).

I ran a Panda Scan online and the results were:

Virus= detected-1, disinfected-1
Spyware= detected-7, disinfected-0
Hacking tools= detected-1, disinfected-0
Dialers= detected-0, disinfected-0
Security risks= detected-0, disinfected-0
Suspicious files= detected-1, disinfected-0


note: the suspicious file is probably my 2wire which is my SBC/DSL...that's the only thing it ever finds on my laptop.

So.....then I tried to boot into Safe Mode to run all my malware programs, but couldn't get the F8 method to work. Can't figure out the other method either.

So I just ran them all in regular mode and the results were:

CWShredder--nothing found.
CCleaner--21.1MB to be removed/19.2 removed
Disk Cleanup--nothing to remove there
Ad-Aware--showed 2 and took care of them
Spybot--showed 0
AVG--no virus found BUT, at the end of it, it showed a red X on the icon beside Boot sector of disk C: and said 'reading error' under Result and 'Error' under Status. I clicked on Test results and it shows: 0 viruses, 0 Errors.

Then I ran Panda scan again. Results:

0 viruses
7 spyware
1 hacking tools
1 suspicious files


Am running a Trend Micro Housecall scan right now.....37% finished.


What should I do next? Hijack This??

Hope I haven't forgotten anything....

I appreciate the time you may offer to help me.

PS: What happened to the virus that Panda found--which program took care of it?

Edited by Lily Livered, 13 November 2005 - 09:34 PM.

Dell Inspiron 6000--Mobile Intel Pentium M 730J/1.60GHz--512MB--60 or 80GB HD, can't remember for sure--wireless--XP Home SP2
AVG--ZoneAlarm--Ad-Aware SE--Spybot S&D--SpywareBlaster--SpywareGuard--Ewido--a-squared--CCleaner--HJT--IE and Firefox

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#2 Rimmer

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Posted 13 November 2005 - 10:51 PM

I'm not sure if this is the case for you but sometimes anti-malware programs pickup things in other anti-malware programs and think they are viruses. This is called a "False Positive". The only way to be sure though is to let the experts in the HJT forum take a look. Please read the pinned instructions in that forum before you post there.

The problem you're seeing with AVG could be due to disk problems.

Safe Mode problem - try this:

To start Windows Me in Safe mode, press and hold down the CTRL key while you restart your computer, and then choose Safe Mode on the Windows Me Startup menu.


Do some basic maintenance before you go to the HJT forum :
(These instructions apply to Windows ME and XP, other versions may not have the functions described)
  • Clean your internet cache and temporary files:
    Click Start and Run then type in cleanmgr this will start the windows disk cleanup tool.
    Tick the boxes beside Temporary internet Files, Recycle Bin and Temporary Files then click OK

  • Schedule an Error Check (Scandisk).
    How to find scandisk: Start>My Computer. Right click the C: drive then Properties>Tools tab, click on Check Now. In the window that opens tick 'Automatically fix file system errors' and 'Scan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors'. When you click 'Start' Windows will say the error checker cannot run now and do you want it to run at the next boot? Click 'yes' and then reboot.

  • When that's finished reboot in Safe Mode and do a defrag.
    If you are not sure how to boot in Safe Mode there is a tutorial here: Safe Mode
    Start > Programs > Accessories > System Tools > Disk Defragmenter
    They will take some time but at least you will know your hard drive is working correctly and tidied up.

  • Reboot normally and see if there's any improvement.

  • Check how much free space you have on your hard drive.
    Start>My Computer click once on your C: drive and look in the Details box on the left.
hth :thumbsup:

Edited by Rimmer, 13 November 2005 - 10:58 PM.


Soltek QBIC, Pentium 4 3.0GHz, 512MB RAM, 200GB SATA HDD, ATI Radeon 9600XT 256MB, Netgear 54Mb/s WAP, ridiculously expensive Satellite Broadband
Windows XP Home SP2, Trend Micro Internet Security, Firefox, Thunderbird, AdAwareSE, Spybot S&D, SpywareBlaster, A-squared Free, Ewido Security Suite.

#3 acklan

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Posted 13 November 2005 - 10:55 PM

Yes post a HJT log would be the next step. It is not were I would go. Bump you RAm as high as you system will allow and install W2k or XP Pro. I prefer W2k for systems withless than 1ghz processor and less than 256 RAM. But that is just me. Get a legal copy of W2k for less than $60 on Ebay.
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#4 Lily Livered

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Posted 13 November 2005 - 11:31 PM

Yes post a HJT log would be the next step. It is not were I would go. Bump you RAm as high as you system will allow and install W2k or XP Pro. I prefer W2k for systems withless than 1ghz processor and less than 256 RAM. But that is just me. Get a legal copy of W2k for less than $60 on Ebay.


Acklan:
:thumbsup: and :flowers:

And thanks for the recommendation!!

Rimmer: I was just coming back to add the following info when I found you two had responded already:

The Trend Micro results were excellent. I did the full scan (virus, trojan/worm, spyware, and microsoft vulnerabilities). All showed 0.

Then I did get into Safe Mode with the msconfig method and ran Ad-Aware=0, Spybot=0, AVG=0 but still had the same result on Boot sector of disk C:.
Then I tried to defrag and it got to 4% and said "Cannot defragment this drive because it contains errors that must first be repaired. To repair, click Scandisk then try defragment again."
I stopped there, not knowing whether to proceed. Only because I didn't know if it would mess things up further if I went through with it while there still may be malware present.

Okay now I'm going to go do the things you suggested. I'll be back (said in my best Schwarzensmegger voice! LOL!)


Little bit later: Okay, Rimmer, here's what I've got. Did the cleanmgr and removed 7.03 from Temp Int Files. The other two showed 0 to remove.
Then I went to the Scandisk just as you instructed. I checkmarked the box to Automatically fix errors but there was nothing that said "scan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors" so I just tickmarked THOROUGH and then START, but it didn't say we needed to reboot; just started doing it's thing. BUT here's what it is doing: going back and forth, back and forth between checking file allocation tables and checking folders. The checking folders progresses about a third of the way through then switches to checking file allocation tables and only progresses one or two tiny boxes through then switches back to checking folders over and over.

Free space:

Capacity-- 18.6 GB
Used-- 6.05GB
Free-- 12.5GB

Now what oh great and mighty "Ace"? :trumpet:

PS: Now the Scandisk says:

ScanDisk has restarted 10 times because Windows or another program has been writing to this drive. Quitting some running programs may enable ScanDisk to finish sooner. Do you want to continue receiving this warning?

I have no idea how or what running programs should be stopped.

Edited by Lily Livered, 14 November 2005 - 12:09 AM.

Dell Inspiron 6000--Mobile Intel Pentium M 730J/1.60GHz--512MB--60 or 80GB HD, can't remember for sure--wireless--XP Home SP2
AVG--ZoneAlarm--Ad-Aware SE--Spybot S&D--SpywareBlaster--SpywareGuard--Ewido--a-squared--CCleaner--HJT--IE and Firefox

#5 Rimmer

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Posted 14 November 2005 - 01:55 AM

Sorry, I reworded that blurb for XP a few days ago and it looks like it doesn't mesh with WinME anymore... :thumbsup:
"scan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors" is the choice I was trying to indicate.

For the same reason the reboot instruction is wrong - what I want you to do is to run Scandisk in Safe Mode with 'Automatically fix' and "scan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors" both checked. Running it in safe mode gets away from all those infernal restarts which can go on forever.

Free space on your hard drive looks good, and since you've got 128MB of RAM that should be fine for WinME. So what are you saying is used up? And which fan do you think i going? Cpu fans can be replaced fairly easily.

I agree with Acklan that changing to Windows 2000 would be an advance from WindowsME which was imho the worst Windows ever released.

hth :flowers:

Soltek QBIC, Pentium 4 3.0GHz, 512MB RAM, 200GB SATA HDD, ATI Radeon 9600XT 256MB, Netgear 54Mb/s WAP, ridiculously expensive Satellite Broadband
Windows XP Home SP2, Trend Micro Internet Security, Firefox, Thunderbird, AdAwareSE, Spybot S&D, SpywareBlaster, A-squared Free, Ewido Security Suite.

#6 Lily Livered

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Posted 14 November 2005 - 02:51 AM

But there isn't anything that says "scan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors". So I just checkmarked THOROUGH and "Automatically fix errors" then clicked START. Is that okay? It seems to be working so far....it's at 95,000-some of 1,222,000-some in Scanning disk surface (data area) so it's going to take awhile, huh?!

So what about that Hacking tool that the Panda scan found? I'm kind of worried about that.

As far as the space I feel is used up.....I can't remember what it's called though, but I've read it somewhere (maybe it was called Page file??).....something where stuff is put once you've used up all your other space....I know I'm not making it very easy on you...I just keep hoping maybe someone will know what I'm referring to and enlighten us. I've redone (don't know the proper term for this either) this computer several times where I've put in the disks and took it back to like it was brand new.

Even though it looks like I have plenty of room, I feel like it's all used up realistically/technically or something like that and is just pretending it has plenty of room BECAUSE of redoing it so many times with the disks.

Some of the problems it is having, I thought may be because of a space problem or because of the fan?? Not sure which fan it is; have to ask hubby tomorrow which one he thought it might be when he looked inside. And believe me, he is no techy at all (but he DOES know about the static electricity thing--no worries there), so his opinion may not even be correct.

Problems: it's slowed way down. It seems to get hung up for a minute or two sometimes, where I think it has frozen up, but if I sit there long enough it usually continues whatever it was supposed to be doing. It DOES freeze up on Shut down a LOT!!

That's all I can think of at the moment.

Oh yeah, what should I do about the Ad-Aware not updating??

ETA: Probably wouldn't really be feasible to upgrade since it isn't used for much of anything anymore except to take the pics off of the digital camera and ??? It's used very little but I would like it to work correctly when it IS used. Maybe I should sell it to a beginner. I just am so used to having it, I might feel lost without a desktop too!
As for the very common opinion of WindowsME being the worst version of Windows....really, what is meant by that, technically, but in simple terms for this simple mind??? LOL! I loved it for the last four years and dreaded having to get used to XP with the new laptop, but it was wasted time dreading it because XP hasn't been hard to get used to at all.

Edited by Lily Livered, 14 November 2005 - 03:04 AM.

Dell Inspiron 6000--Mobile Intel Pentium M 730J/1.60GHz--512MB--60 or 80GB HD, can't remember for sure--wireless--XP Home SP2
AVG--ZoneAlarm--Ad-Aware SE--Spybot S&D--SpywareBlaster--SpywareGuard--Ewido--a-squared--CCleaner--HJT--IE and Firefox

#7 Rimmer

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Posted 14 November 2005 - 04:27 AM

I just checkmarked THOROUGH and "Automatically fix errors" then clicked START. Is that okay?


That is absolutely correct and what i meant to say but didn't. :thumbsup:

what about that Hacking tool that the Panda scan found?

That's what I'm guessing is a false positive, Trend micro is pretty good and if it didn't find anything then your probably clean BUT if in doubt post an HJT log.

Fans - Get a can of compressed air from an electronics store, or maybe supermarket, take the covers off your PC and blow out all the dust and crud from around the fans and CPU heatsink. (Don't use air-compresor air because there is a moisture problem.)

what should I do about the Ad-Aware not updating??

Try it again - it may have had a problem due to disk corruptions which Scandisk has now fixed. If it still doesn't work then there are a number of suggested fixes on the lavasoft website under Ad-Aware personal (no direct link). Here's one:

The definition file on your system might be corrupted. To check, locate the directory “C:\program files\lavasoft\Ad-Aware SE\ folder”. Delete the files “defs.ref” and “def.ref.old” and try again.


Windows ME was the first windows which combined the stable Windows NT kernel with the user friendly plug and play bells and whistles of Windows 98SE. I think of it as a test version of XP. It worked, but imho only just. :flowers:

:trumpet:

Soltek QBIC, Pentium 4 3.0GHz, 512MB RAM, 200GB SATA HDD, ATI Radeon 9600XT 256MB, Netgear 54Mb/s WAP, ridiculously expensive Satellite Broadband
Windows XP Home SP2, Trend Micro Internet Security, Firefox, Thunderbird, AdAwareSE, Spybot S&D, SpywareBlaster, A-squared Free, Ewido Security Suite.

#8 acklan

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Posted 14 November 2005 - 07:24 AM

Windows ME was the first windows which combined the stable Windows NT kernel with the user friendly plug and play bells and whistles of Windows 98SE. I think of it as a test version of XP. It worked, but imho only just. :thumbsup:
:flowers:


That is why I like W2k (Windows 2000 Pro). I like to think of it a XP Lite. The plus is the interface is '98 so it is familar to those who make the switch.
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#9 Lily Livered

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Posted 14 November 2005 - 09:42 AM

Okay.....ScanDisk and Defrag were successful. Thank you! Posted Image

Tried removing the defs.ref but that didn't work. So went and read the other options. Shutdown ZoneAlarm and tried the update again....Success!! Thanks for pointing me in the right direction. Posted Image

We used the compressed air when we first noticed the change in the sound of the fan several months ago.

Now, about that Hacker tool. I was going to say that I'd take your word for it, but wonder if maybe I'd better do the HJT log just to make sure? Would you be offended? Will the HJT team be mad or bothered by it since you told me it's probably a false positive?

Rimmer, you ARE a god, just as I saw someone else on here say!! Thank you!!

acklan, I believe you are too from the help you've given me before. Thanks for your input on this topic too!
Dell Inspiron 6000--Mobile Intel Pentium M 730J/1.60GHz--512MB--60 or 80GB HD, can't remember for sure--wireless--XP Home SP2
AVG--ZoneAlarm--Ad-Aware SE--Spybot S&D--SpywareBlaster--SpywareGuard--Ewido--a-squared--CCleaner--HJT--IE and Firefox

#10 acklan

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Posted 14 November 2005 - 10:05 AM

Not merely a god, but a God :thumbsup: :flowers:
Thank you for the kind words.


(Sorry Rimmer I could not resist.) :trumpet:
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#11 Rimmer

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Posted 14 November 2005 - 04:22 PM

Yeah, the god of CPU lint, right? :thumbsup:

Lily Livered - posting an HJT log for confirmation is no problem at all. Just tell them what the Panda scan showed you, I'm sure they will be happy to help you.

Schwarzensmegger

- I only just spotted that. :flowers:

:trumpet:

Soltek QBIC, Pentium 4 3.0GHz, 512MB RAM, 200GB SATA HDD, ATI Radeon 9600XT 256MB, Netgear 54Mb/s WAP, ridiculously expensive Satellite Broadband
Windows XP Home SP2, Trend Micro Internet Security, Firefox, Thunderbird, AdAwareSE, Spybot S&D, SpywareBlaster, A-squared Free, Ewido Security Suite.




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