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Pc Slow, Freezes, Restarts Randomly


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#1 penta

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Posted 19 May 2006 - 12:08 PM

Thank you in advance for any help you can provide.

My computer has been running really slow for about a month.
The mouse is often non-responsive
and/or there are long time delays between clicking and executing.
It seems as if the OS is sleeping
and it takes a while to wake up
or that it is busy doing something else.
Or possibly there is not enough memory available
and the OS is swapping between RAM and the hard drive
and it takes it a while to catch up.
Eventually it seems to get over loaded
and freezes or just shuts down and restarts itself.
When it freezes I reboot
then often the monitor is not displaying properly
and I go to the control panel and reset it
and it works fine until another restart.
Often after a restart
the icons on the desktop are moved around.

Frequently I get an error message that says
a serious system error has occurred.
Sometimes the computer restarts after the error message
sometimes it does not.
It often takes as much as 3 -5 minutes for programs to load
and 10 - 20 minutes for it to restart.
Which makes me wonder
if there isn't something loading in the startup that
is taking up memory and causing these problems??
I thought it might be a virus.
I used to use Norton but I have been using
California Associates EZ trust anti virus the last few months.

Scanning for virus' seems to initiate some of these restarts.
In the past few weeks I have tried to run a complete system virus scan
but it never completes before the computer restarts itself.
I tried running the scan in safe mode but it never finishes.
The antivirus software often does not load at start up.
The antivirus software initiates scans
when it is not scheduled to do so
whihc ALWAYS result in restarts.
And occasionlly the av software
is turned off without any apparent command to do so.

I have turned off system restore
and gotten it to run fairly smoothly for up to two days.
But then it does the restarting all over again.

Is this a virus?
If so which one?
Or how do I find out which one
without being able to complete a system scan?
OR is it something else?
Is this a problem with the OS?
I have heard that Windows XP Home Edition is squirrely
and that the Pro version is much more stable.
Or is it something in the start up procedures?
Or a memory problem?
I haven't changed any hardware lately.
But maybe it is a hardware problem?
I think because I can get it to run for 2 days just fine
that it is probably not hardware.

But how to diagnose and figure out.
Is there some software that will help me do this?
Many thanks for any info that you can offer.

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#2 ThorXP

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Posted 19 May 2006 - 02:17 PM

At the top of the thread you are in is an article:


Pinned: Slow Computer?
Use this troubleshooting checklist

It might help if you went thru it.

To answer some of your questions

Is this a virus?
If so which one?
Or how do I find out which one
without being able to complete a system scan?

Yes I think it is. Do not know, how do you find out - just follow the instructions below to the letter and we will be able to let you know all.

Please read this guide before actually doing the procedure
And it has all of the links for downloads you need.

Preparation Guide for use before posting a HijackThis Log
http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/t/34773/preparation-guide-for-use-before-using-malware-removal-tools-and-requesting-help/

Go to the following to post your log file and it will be analyzed by a qualified tech

HijackThis Logs and Analysis
http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/f/22/virus-trojan-spyware-and-malware-removal-logs/

Have a good day.

#3 Albert Frankenstein

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Posted 20 May 2006 - 09:09 AM

Just curious how much RAM does your computer have?

Start > right click on My Computer > Properties

Oh, and welcome to BC! :thumbsup:
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I'M SO SMART IT'S SCARY!


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#4 acklan

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Posted 20 May 2006 - 10:21 AM

Are you running your antivirus and antispyware from safe mode? It makes a big difference.
"2007 & 2008 Windows Shell/User Award"

#5 penta

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Posted 05 June 2006 - 07:44 PM

Thank you for all the info.

I have 256MB of RAM

I have tried running spy ware and antivirus from normal mode and safe mode.
I have tried to complete your list from the preparation guide for use before posting a hijackthis log.
and not been very successful.
Mostly I am frustrated.

#3 I could not get Adware to complete a scan and clean before my computer restarted itself
I tried 3 times to run it.

#4 I could not get Spybot to complete its work so that I can delete what it finds before my computer restarted itself
I tried to run it 3 or 4 times unsuccessfully.

#5 I could not get Housecall Antivirus or Panda Antivirus or Bit Defender to complete a scan before my computer restarted itself. I tried each of these 2 times unsuccessfully.

#6 I was able to run McAfee Stinger and it found nachiltftpd.virus and I believe it deleted it.

#7 I subscribed to and downloaded McAfee Virusscan and Personal Firewall

I have run McAfee virus scan in normal mode and in safe mode about 3 times each.
At some point in there McAfee Antivirus told me I had a back door trojan - CMQ.
I don't know what it did with it -- quarantined it or or deleted or cleaned it or what??
And since then McAfee Antivirus scan is constantly automatically disabled.
No matter how many times I manually enable it - it is disabled with in a few minutes.
I downloaded a dat file for backdoor CMQ and tried to run that unsuccessfully in safe and normal mode.

#8 I haven't updated Windows

#9 I haven't Downloaded Hijackthis and created a log

I have been wrestling with this on and off now for weeks.
I just want my computer to work smoothly again.
Should I start all over again and run all these steps again to see if I can get any where??
Do I need to look in the start up registry and turn something off there
that is turning McAfee Antivirus Scan off???

Again many thanks.

#6 Elendil

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Posted 05 June 2006 - 08:33 PM

This seems like a combined problem.

A -256 MB on a modern Windows OS (XP for instance) will strain your system resources and could be the cause for crashes, restarts, and such.
B - You might have a malware infection and should post a HJT Log for professional analysis, but if Windows is not updated I can gurantee you that the HJT Team member will mandate that you have an updated computer. If you're using XP a fully updated Service Pack 1 is the minimum requirement.

Edited by Elendil, 05 June 2006 - 08:34 PM.

Stanford '14
B.S. Candidate | Computer Science

#7 acklan

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Posted 05 June 2006 - 09:31 PM

When was the last time you cleaned the inside of your computer and the processor fan\heatsink? Heat related problem are known for this type of behavior.
Also run a memory scan with one of these programs...

Memtest86 "A Stand-alone Memory Diagnostic"
MicroSoft's Memory Test

Bad memory modules also are known to make a computer very unstable. I am not saying this it the problem but before you spend hours on malware, let's take a few minutes to try a few hardware solution, yes?
"2007 & 2008 Windows Shell/User Award"

#8 Enthusiast

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Posted 05 June 2006 - 09:40 PM

First of all. SP2 cannot be loaded on an infected computer - so wait now until your infection is addressed before you turn System Restore back on and do all the Windows Updates.

Did you completely remove the previous AV program when you changed to a new one? AV programs will conflict and only one may be running at a time. All remnants of the old AV aps bneed to be uninstalled when you change.

Post a HJT log!

Run both Adaware and Spybot Search and Destroy from safe mode, updating each program’s malware definitions before you scan and allowing both to fix what they find.

If you do not already have these freeware aps installed on your computer, you can get them at the following sites:

*AdAware SE: http://www.majorgeeks.com/download506.html

*Spybot S&D: http://www.safer-networking.org/en/index.html

Following that that I suggest you post a “HijackThis” log for expert assistance with your malware infection.

Read the pinned post in our “HijackThis” forum,
here
http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/t/34773/preparation-guide-for-use-before-using-malware-removal-tools-and-requesting-help/
Carefully read and follow all directions explicitly.

Following instructions create a HJT log, and POST THE HJT LOG YOU CREATED IN OUR HJT FORUM – not in this forum,
at this link.
http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/posthjtlog.html
Include the specs for your computer (ie, processor, amount of RAM, brand or motherboard, etc, and briefly describe the problem you are experiencing.)

Unless you are expert at editing the registry, Do not use the Hijack This program to try to fix anything by yourself as even what may seem to be a small mistake can render your operating system inoperable.
Some files when in the correct folder for them may be fine while in another may be malware hiding.


A member of our expert HJT Team will analyze your log, make recommendations and offer assistance, walking you through the complete repair process.

It may take a period of time to get a response to the log you posted because the members of our HJT Team are kept very busy.
Please be patient as this team is manned by volunteers. They will help you in order received as soon as possible.

NOTE
Once you have posted your HJT log, please DO NOT make any additional posts in the HJT forum thread you created until you get a response from a member of our HJT expert team, and do not make any changes to your system (changes, including any attempted repairs, will make your computer to be different than displayed in the log you posted and therefore make your log inaccurate).

The first criteria the HJT Team has when looking for logs that need replies are posts showing 0 replies. If you make an additional post, it will show as having 1 reply.
A team member, looking for a new log that requires help might well assume another HJT Team member is already assisting you and might not open the thread to respond.

So, post your HJT Log in our HJT Forum (not here in this forum) and wait for a response from a HJT team member.

#9 penta

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Posted 06 June 2006 - 08:50 AM

Thanks for all the replies and info.

I am not clear about what I should do first
and how I should proceed through the suggestions you all have offered.


My computer ran fine with 256K RAM and Windows XP Home Edition until a couple months ago.
Nothing significant has changed between now and then,
other than the change from Norton to CA EZAntivirus.

"Did you completely remove the previous AV program when you changed to a new one? AV programs will conflict and only one may be running at a time. All remnants of the old AV aps bneed to be uninstalled when you change."

Reply: Seems like this could be a contributing problem
as I was unaware that everything has to be deleted from the old before the other will work.
I think CA was uninstalled by McAfee.
But how do I check this as I used to use Norton before I used CA.
I think CA uninstalled Norton but I am not sure??
How do I check this?


"When was the last time you cleaned the inside of your computer and the processor fan\heatsink? Heat related problem are known for this type of behavior. "
Reply: I don't know how to do this. Do I need to open up the computer to do this?

"Also run a memory scan with one of these programs... "
Reply: I will run the memory test.

"Run both Adaware and Spybot Search and Destroy from safe mode, updating each program’s malware definitions before you scan and allowing both to fix what they find."

Reply: I have tried to do this but I have not been able to successfully complete.
I will try and do it again.

I am a bit confused about updating Windows
when and how to do correctly??
and how it relates to posting a Highjack this log?
McAfee seems to do this Windows update automatically when it is running
do I need to do this manually??


"Post a HJT log!"

Reply: I have been trying to get to where I can post an HJT log by first following the preparation guide.
As I was not able to complete everything in the prep guide I didn't want to post a HJT log until
I completed those tasks. And that is why I posted again to this forum to try and get help in how to complete those tasks in the prearation guide. Can I post to HJT without having finished everything in the prep guide??

"if Windows is not updated I can guarantee you that the HJT Team member will mandate that you have an updated computer. If you're using XP a fully updated Service Pack 1 is the minimum requirement."

"First of all. SP2 cannot be loaded on an infected computer - so wait now until your infection is addressed before you turn System Restore back on and do all the Windows Updates."

Here is what I am planning to do --

1. Learn to clean the inside of my computer and do it.
2. Run the memory tests.
3. Figure out how to check if all the old antivirus software has been uninstalled and uninstall/delete whatever is necessary, if any.
4. Update and Run Adware and Spybot in safe mode again.
5. Run McAfee Stinger in safe mode again.
6. Update Windows.
7. Download HJT and create and post a log.

Am I missing something or doing it in the wrong order??

Again many many thanks.

#10 Uraiser

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Posted 06 June 2006 - 12:43 PM

Cleaning the inside of your computer is very simple. You really dont need any guides to do it, but you do have to be careful. Unplug every cord in the back, and take the PC outside, or somewhere where the dust will not stay in the same room as you. unscrew whatever screws maybe holding the side of the case on, or if its a dell pc, there should be 2 buttons on the top and bottom of the case, and you press those at the same time to open the case like a book. Now, When you have the case open, dont go poking and prodding just yet, either have a grounding strap, which are kind of difficult to attain.. or touch the PC chasis, the metal part of the pc that isnt touching the motherboard. Have a can of compressed air and carefuly blow dust out of every corner you can find. DONT SPRAY THE CPU FAN/HEATSINK YET! Make sure you have a pencil or something similar placed in the fan to stop it from spinning, over rotation could cause the fan to wear down and thus no more proper cooling for you cpu. So place a pencil in there, and spray away, make sure you get every piece out of there. Do the same for your power supply unit, dont take it out of the case, just place the pencil through the vents on the back of the case. Make sure all the dust is removed from the case, and place the siding back on, or if its dell, close it back up.




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