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Weird startup issue I've never encountered before

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#1 brujaja


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Posted 02 November 2010 - 02:27 AM

Hello, I'm running XP Pro SP3 on a homebuild that pretty much always runs fine.

Today, apparently out of a clear blue sky, my pc began to do this:

It boots normally, no delay. Once the GUI is loaded, my wallpap;er comes up, but no icons. The start button is inactive, to both KB and mouse.

I have a shortcut on my taskbar to "my computer" (new toolbar, not quick-launch) which is also inactive.

I can use the keyboard to get task manager, and then go new task and click browse, but it will not let me go up the tree out of "my documents' to select the system or another hard drive. I get the flashlight, apparently indefinitely. I can type in the name of a known app and it will run.

After ten minutes or so, my icons suddenly reappear, and the buttons are active -- but I can only select one application; after that, everything is inaccessible again. Anything else I try to click or select with the KB will open up maybe fifteen minutes later. Once that app starts running, everything else is inactive again including whatever app was already running.

Fortunately, my browser seems to be the exception; it remains accessible.

The only unusual event, immediately before the issues started, was that I reinstalled the drivers for my HP printer. However I have run this printer on this box before with no problem. (I do usually uninstall it between my infrequent uses because it's a resource hog.) I had downloaded the drivers freshly from HP. Can't be sure, but I can't see how the install could have done this.

Still, after more than a decade, XP still amazes me with its ability to produce completely new idiosyncracies. (new to me anyway.)

It is unlikely that this is a malware issue; I run things pretty tight.

I ran the system file checker with the scannow switch and it completed, with many stops but no delays.


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#2 cryptodan


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Posted 02 November 2010 - 12:40 PM

Have you dusted out the computer yet?

#3 ejames82


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Posted 02 November 2010 - 06:21 PM

It is unlikely that this is a malware issue; I run things pretty tight.

i run things pretty tight too, but occasionally get nailed. from what you describe, it sounds like malware.

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