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Issues with Windows 7, explorer lags, unable to launch programs or scan viruses


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#1 astorian

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Posted 02 March 2017 - 05:10 PM

Hi!
 
New here :) This is the first time ever I'm experiencing issues of this magnitude with any of my computers and I'm pretty clueless as to what to do. 
I found this forum a few hours ago and have made some progress with the tips I have found, but since I'm not coming any further to solving the problem by myself I figured I would create an account and try my luck. I'm crossing my fingers someone out there knows what to do.
 
(I run Windows 7 Professional 6.1.7601.23642 Service Pack 1 (64-bit), FYI)
 
Here's the story:
 
Everything began 3-4 days ago when I noticed that my music production software Abletone Live Suite 9 refused to launch when I tried to open it. 
 
The only thing I remember downloading and installing the days before the problem appeared was an open source music editing software called Audacity. 
I think that it's a pretty legit program though, so it would surprise me if it carried a virus.
 
First I thought it was just Ableton having the issue, but then I started noticing that my Dropbox folders didn't sync.
Then I tried to create some new folders and started noticing that something was wrong with that too.
The whole Explorer function of Windows seems to be affected.
When I try to delete, create or move files and folders I can't see the changes as they happen. 
However if I exit the folder in question and go back to it, the changes have been made. 
The same happens if I right click and hit "Refresh". Same when I restart the computer.
 
Navigating the explorer is sometimes slower than usual and sometimes it seems to be working like usual.
When I open "My Computer" I sometimes see no harddrives, just blank space, while the green loading indicator "behind" the file directory bar of the explorer window increases super slowly. (I hope that description made sense for you...)
 
Today I noticed a new thing. For the first time I realized that Ableton does in fact run, but it takes several minutes just to get to the loading screen.
Ordinarily the loading screen loads instantly and lasts just a couple of seconds. 
Now it took minutes for it to show and minutes until I got into the program.
I can run other types of programs, such as Spotify or web browsers, without experiencing any issues.
 
I use a paid version of Avast, "Avast Pro Antivirus". It says that I'm protected, but I have a hard time believing this. 
When I try to scan the computer with the function called "Smart Scan", it stops at 6% and won't move forward.
 
I have read up on some forums and have tried several programs that people seem to use to diagnose and alleviate issues like these.
Most of these programs stop in the middle of the process and crash.
 
I have tried tried to follow the following guide: https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/t/562715/my-avast-keeps-freezing/
 
Among all the programs "boopme" recommends in the thread, I could only get the program "ADW Cleaner" to finish its process. 
It found 63 dangerous files and removed them, from what I can tell. The computer is still infected though. I'm still experiencing the same issues as before. 
JRT worked too. It removed some stuff. I have the logs in case anyone's interested.
 
These programs crashed in the middle of their respective processes:
- MiniToolBox (stops on the step "List installed programs")
- TDSSKiller (when I start the scan the only thing that happens is that the duration the scan has lasted is showng. 
0 objects processed, no threats found. It doesn't get anywhere, basically. 
And further I can't close the program after it has crashed, not even by using the task manager.
- ESET (stops on 0%, error message 101)
- I tried running "tweaking.com Windows Repair" and it seemed to be working fine until the segment where it would start the repair processes, 
but when I pressed "Open Repairs" the program crashed and the window disappeared.
 
This is where I am right now in my research. Honestly I'm a bit out of my depth. 
If there is anybody out there who could take a look at my problem I would be so incredibly grateful. 
I do my work on this computer and as it is now I'm completely incapacitated.
 
I run Windows 7 Professional 6.1.7601.23642 Service Pack 1 (64-bit).
 
Please let me know if you need more information and I will provide it as best as I can.
 
(And lastly, another piece of info. I had to upgrade to a 512 GB SSD from a 128 GB a couple of months ago since I ran out of space on the Windows disk.
I now run Windows from the new 512 SSD. I followed the instructions that came with the Samsung SSD in order to do this.
However, ever since then the computer has made beeping sounds now and then. 
When it happens, the computer freezes for a second or so until the beep recedes.
The beeps come out of the speaker and not the computer itself. 
The beeps last for about half a second and most of the time occurs "one by one", but sometimes at some times the beep occur quite frequently, 
and in those cases they sort of "stack" on top of eachother (if that makes sense), causing the computer to lag for several seconds, 
and in some rare cases forcing me to restart the computer. Often the computer works better after a restart.
I don't know if this is related to the new problems, but I just thought I'd mention it.)
 
Regards
Robert

Edited by hamluis, 08 March 2017 - 06:20 AM.
Moved from Win 7 to Am I Infected - Hamluis.


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#2 ranchhand_

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Posted 02 March 2017 - 06:03 PM

Hello, and Welcome to BC!

Let's check out that new SSD first; please follow these instructions:

 

Go here and download Seatools For DOS (free)
http://www.seagate.com/support/downloads/seatools/#

> Accept the EULA and download the ISO file.
> When download is complete burn the ISO to a CD or DVD.
> Disconnect any other hard drives in your computer (not optical drives) leaving only your problem drive connected.
> Make sure your BIOS is set to:   1st Boot Device = CD drive, 2nd Boot Device = Hard Drive.
> Insert the CD in your optical drive and reboot.
> When the program opens, click the upper left corner for the Long Test.
> Note: if you get a pop-up window telling you that SMART has tripped and asking if you want to continue, choose Yes. Be sure to post that in your next reply along with the result of the test.
At the end of the test, you will get either a Pass or Fail notice. Post the result in your next reply.
Be sure to have your hard drive directly installed internally to the motherboard, not in an external case.

 I have chosen Seatools for DOS, which needs to be downloaded and burned to a CD or DVD; that means that most likely you will have to use another computer if yours will not do this. Also, you must enter your BIOS and set the DVD drive to First Boot Device. If you don't know how to do this post back. I chose the DOS version because it runs independent of Windows, so problems with Windows will not stop it.

Now.....if your computer simply will not cooperate, then download and install the alternate option, Seatools for WIndows. Then install it to your computer.

Following is the tutorial for Seatools for Windows:

 

Run Seatools for Windows hard drive tester. Download per the link below, install and run the program (free).

http://www.seagate.com/support/downloads/seatools/#

> The opening screen lists all the HDD disks in your computer.

> In the header, "Basic Tests" you will run two (2) tests, S.M.A.R.T. Check, and Short Generic. Simply click first on SMART Check and let it complete, then click on Short Generic and let it complete. Do not run any other tests or features.

> When each test completes, you will get either "Pass" or "Fail". Post back with the results of each of those two tests.
Be sure to have your hard drive directly installed internally to the motherboard, not in an external case. Also, please disconnect/remove any other installed HDDs or flash drives, leaving only the target drive that has Windows installed connected.

Hopefully, one of these should run. If you have any questions post back.

 

[EDIT]:  Just FYI...Audacity music editor is one great program, I use it extensively, and it is highly respected. I doubt any viruses were loaded with it.


Edited by ranchhand_, 02 March 2017 - 06:14 PM.

Help Requests: If there is no reply after 3 days I remove the thread from my answer list. For further help PM me.


#3 astorian

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Posted 04 March 2017 - 07:31 AM

Hi!

 

Thank you for your reply. I tried Seatools for Windows, but the installer gets stuck at about 3/4.

I will try the Dos-version. I just have to go out and buy CD-R's before. I'll keep you posted.

 

Robert



#4 ranchhand_

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Posted 04 March 2017 - 08:16 AM

That is why I usually try the DOS version first; if Windows is already having problems it can interfere with the scanning process. BTW....the long test will take a long time, so please be patient. You can do other things while it is scanning, not necessary to sit and monitor it.


Edited by ranchhand_, 04 March 2017 - 08:19 AM.

Help Requests: If there is no reply after 3 days I remove the thread from my answer list. For further help PM me.


#5 astorian

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Posted 04 March 2017 - 08:30 AM

Hello!

 

Here's what has happened now:

 

1. I tried Seatools for Windows and it failed to install (as I mentioned in the last post)

2. I then burned a DVD with Seatools for DOS and to my delight got it to launch. However, it didn't find the SSD. I had disconnected all the drives except for the SSD running Windows, and the DOS version of Seatools did not find it. I got the following message:
"No Hard Drives Found
If you believe this to be incorrect, check cables,

drive power connection and jumper settings.
And then try again."

3. I knew this to be incorrect since I just before had run Windows through the connected SSD. I obeyed the instructions anyway and checked the cable. The result was the same the next time I ran the DOS program. Afterwards I got to a black DOS-screen where it said I should type "DIR *.log" to see the log files. It didn't work.

4. I booted Windows again and tried installing Seatools for Windows again. This time it worked! I ran SMART-scan and short generic and they both completed to 100% and got the grade "Pass".

 

Do you have any recommendations on what to do next? From what I understand Seatools didn't recognize any issues, but still think something is weird with the drive... much grateful for any help :)

 

PS. I also remember now that I've forgot to mention one thing that could be important: since the worst of the problems started approx 4 days ago I have not been able to shut off the computer properly. The screen has frozen at the Windows "Shutting down..."-screen . Each time I have been forced to shut off the computer manually by pushing and holding the on/off-button. That is, each time up until just now, after I had run the DOS-program. Last time I shut off the computer it managed to power off by itself.

 

Robert



#6 ranchhand_

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Posted 04 March 2017 - 09:01 AM

Please replace the power and data cables connecting the SSD drive (you can just swap them with other connector cables you have) just to make certain that they are not dodgy. Then try to run Seatools for DOS again. That is very strange that it could not find a drive to test but the Windows version did on the 2nd try. I am not giving that drive a clean bill of health yet. Run the deep scan, not the quick scan.


Help Requests: If there is no reply after 3 days I remove the thread from my answer list. For further help PM me.


#7 astorian

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Posted 06 March 2017 - 04:23 PM

Hi ranchhand, 

 

I tried switching the cable. Still the SSD is not recognized through the DOS program. 

This time I had all three of my SSDs connected, and none of them were found through the DOS version.

All of the drives are visible through the Windows version.

I ran the long test and it passed.

I still have the beeps though :/

 

Robert



#8 ranchhand_

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Posted 06 March 2017 - 09:20 PM

Ok, for now let's assume that your drive is fine; it wanted to check that first because many of the symptoms you were experiencing are typical of a drive that is in the process of failing. For now at least your data is safe.

At this point I would usually continue testing other components; however, you may well be infected with a virus, and it would be better to let one of the virus/malware experts here check out your computer.

While you are waiting for a response, and IF you have valuable data, I suggest the you make a backup of your data. Don't transfer any of it onto a clean machine, but at least you still have your data even if possibly infected, which you can clean later if possible.

I will still monitor this thread until a malware expert logs in, so you will not be abandoned.


Help Requests: If there is no reply after 3 days I remove the thread from my answer list. For further help PM me.


#9 hamluis

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Posted 08 March 2017 - 10:18 AM

Added to 3-day no-response topic in this forum.

 

Please be patient...someone will assist you with malware checks :).

 

Louis



#10 boopme

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Posted 10 March 2017 - 02:51 PM

Try the ESET and what else did not scan in Safe Mode With Networking.

Or try Please run a BitDefender Online Scan
  • Click I Agree to agree to the EULA.
  • Allow the ActiveX control to install when prompted.
  • Click Click here to scan to begin the scan.
  • Please refrain from using the computer until the scan is finished. This might take a while to run, but it is important that nothing else is running while you scan.
  • When the scan is finished, click on Click here to export the scan results.
  • Save the report to your desktop so you can post it in your next reply.

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