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100% Cpu, Ie Blocked


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#1 rweil

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Posted 15 June 2007 - 08:47 PM

Firefox is very slow, runs at 100% CPU much of the time, as does Eudora. GUI becomes unresponsive without warning. IE launches ok but when a site is displayed, no links work (site not available error message) and graphics are not displayed, just a blank box with an X box in the upper left corner. The problem began with the May security download by MS. Shutting down windows defender made the system useable (CPU sometimed below 100%), but when I saw that IE is broken, I decided it looks like malware. I will be grateful for any help.

I ran Adaware SE, Spybot S&D, but was unable to run Housecall. Housecall says it can't find Java. I ran McAfee Stinger with System Restore disabled. My regular anti-virus is NOD32 by Eset. My XP firewall is disabled, I'm using the hardware firewall in my 2Wire DSL router. My Hijack This log follows.

Logfile of HijackThis v1.99.1
Scan saved at 6:07:07 PM, on 6/15/2007
Platform: Windows XP SP2 (WinNT 5.01.2600)
MSIE: Internet Explorer v6.00 SP2 (6.00.2900.2180)

Running processes:
C:\WINDOWS\System32\smss.exe
C:\WINDOWS\system32\winlogon.exe
C:\WINDOWS\system32\services.exe
C:\WINDOWS\system32\lsass.exe
C:\WINDOWS\system32\svchost.exe
C:\WINDOWS\System32\svchost.exe
C:\WINDOWS\system32\spoolsv.exe
C:\WINDOWS\Explorer.EXE
C:\Program Files\Grisoft\AVG Anti-Spyware 7.5\guard.exe
C:\Program Files\Eset\nod32krn.exe
C:\WINDOWS\system32\svchost.exe
C:\WiRNS\WiRNS.exe
C:\Program Files\Eset\nod32kui.exe
C:\WiRNS\WiRNSMon.exe
C:\WINDOWS\SOUNDMAN.EXE
C:\Program Files\SlySoft\AnyDVD\AnyDVD.exe
C:\WINDOWS\system32\wscntfy.exe
C:\WINDOWS\system32\taskmgr.exe
C:\Program Files\Windows NT\Accessories\wordpad.exe
C:\Program Files\HijackThis\HijackThis.exe

R0 - HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main,Local Page = F:\WINDOWS\system32\blank.htm
N3 - Netscape 7: user_pref("browser.startup.homepage", "http://home.netscape.com/bookmark/7_2/home.html"); (C:\Documents and Settings\rweil\Application Data\Mozilla\Profiles\default\9ukue41j.slt\prefs.js)
N3 - Netscape 7: user_pref("browser.search.defaultengine", "engine://C%3A%5CProgram%20Files%5CNetscape%5CNetscape%5Csearchplugins%5CSBWeb_01.src"); (C:\Documents and Settings\rweil\Application Data\Mozilla\Profiles\default\9ukue41j.slt\prefs.js)
O2 - BHO: (no name) - AutorunsDisabled - (no file)
O2 - BHO: (no name) - {53707962-6F74-2D53-2644-206D7942484F} - C:\Program Files\Spybot - Search & Destroy\SDHelper.dll
O2 - BHO: SSVHelper Class - {761497BB-D6F0-462C-B6EB-D4DAF1D92D43} - C:\Program Files\Java\jre1.5.0_11\bin\ssv.dll
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [nod32kui] "C:\Program Files\Eset\nod32kui.exe" /WAITSERVICE
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [WiRNSMon] C:\WiRNS\WiRNSMon.exe
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [SoundMan] SOUNDMAN.EXE
O4 - HKCU\..\Run: [AnyDVD] C:\Program Files\SlySoft\AnyDVD\AnyDVD.exe
O4 - Startup: Password Safe.lnk = H:\Password Safe\pwsafe.exe
O9 - Extra button: (no name) - {08B0E5C0-4FCB-11CF-AAA5-00401C608501} - C:\Program Files\Java\jre1.5.0_11\bin\ssv.dll
O9 - Extra 'Tools' menuitem: Sun Java Console - {08B0E5C0-4FCB-11CF-AAA5-00401C608501} - C:\Program Files\Java\jre1.5.0_11\bin\ssv.dll
O9 - Extra button: Print Using ClickBook - {180E1E16-F536-4B51-9723-6025D98AA375} - C:\Program Files\Blue Squirrel\ClickBook\macros\ieprint.htm
O9 - Extra button: Messenger - {FB5F1910-F110-11d2-BB9E-00C04F795683} - C:\Program Files\Messenger\msmsgs.exe
O9 - Extra 'Tools' menuitem: Windows Messenger - {FB5F1910-F110-11d2-BB9E-00C04F795683} - C:\Program Files\Messenger\msmsgs.exe
O16 - DPF: {6414512B-B978-451D-A0D8-FCFDF33E833C} (WUWebControl Class) - http://update.microsoft.com/windowsupdate/...b?1170896803968
O20 - Winlogon Notify: WgaLogon - C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\WgaLogon.dll
O23 - Service: AVG Anti-Spyware Guard - Anti-Malware Development a.s. - C:\Program Files\Grisoft\AVG Anti-Spyware 7.5\guard.exe
O23 - Service: InstallDriver Table Manager (IDriverT) - Macrovision Corporation - C:\Program Files\Common Files\InstallShield\Driver\1050\Intel 32\IDriverT.exe
O23 - Service: NetMeeting Remote Desktop Sharing (mnmsrvc) - Unknown owner - F:\WINDOWS\system32\mnmsrvc.exe (file missing)
O23 - Service: NOD32 Kernel Service (NOD32krn) - Eset - C:\Program Files\Eset\nod32krn.exe
O23 - Service: Remote Desktop Help Session Manager (RDSessMgr) - Unknown owner - F:\WINDOWS\system32\sessmgr.exe (file missing)
O23 - Service: WiRNS (WiRNS.exe) - rbolen70 - C:\WiRNS\WiRNS.exe

Attached is an Autoruns l.og as well.

Attached Files



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#2 DaveM59

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Posted 24 June 2007 - 02:34 PM

Hi rweil,

Sorry for the delay, this forum is very busy right now.

I don't see any signs of malware in either log. They are clean.

The problem began with the May security download by MS.


Have you tried uninstalling the May updates, one by one, to see whether the problem goes away?

Other than that suggestion, I can refer you to this article for one common cause of this malady. You should also read this Bleeping Computer tutorial:

http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/tutorials/list-services-running-under-svchost.exe-process/

Actually, you should read the BC tutorial first. It will explain how to download Process Explorer and use it to check your system performance. The key to getting this resolved is to figure out exactly which Windows process is eating all those CPU cycles.

For more assistance, I suggest you post in the Windows XP forum here at BC:

http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/f/56/windows-xp-home-and-professional/

There is an excellent pinned topic at the top of the forum page by jgweed, specifically about troubleshooting a slow computer.

The reason I recommend the XP forum, there are many experts there who can contribute answers. In this forum, it is basically one-on-one with a helper whose main job is to fix malware problems. Since malware is not your problem, you would be better off in the other forum.

Good luck,

Dave

#3 rweil

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Posted 28 June 2007 - 12:33 PM

Thanks for your help. I'll try the XP forum you suggested. For some reason, I can't view this topic in the forum. I found your reply only by looking at my own profile this morning.

#4 DaveM59

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Posted 28 June 2007 - 12:52 PM

Hi rweil,

Did you not get an e-mail notification of my reply?

If not please report this by posting in the comments and suggestions forum.

Anyway, good luck in your investigations.

Cheers,

Dave

#5 rweil

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Posted 29 June 2007 - 02:03 PM

No, I didn't get email notice of your reply, nor of your second reply. I just looked at the XP forum, and found the quality of the advice far, far below that of this malware forum. Apparently, anyone can chime in with advice, some of it bad. A small example:

"Well, on XP SP2 there should be the Windows Firewall turned ON by default. Experience shows that it does its main job of protecting against being hacked quite dependably.
An additional Firewall program like ZoneAlarm (NOT free anymore, correct?) is just additional ballast, IMHO at least."

Just one post, wrong on at least two counts. I really like this forum's practice of limiting who can reply to those people who have answers, not speculation.

Anyway, thanks for looking at my HJT and Autoruns logs. I suspected malware mainly because IE is utterly destroyed. I didn't notice that fact for more than a week, because I never use IE. I did uninstall, or actually disable, Windows Defender. Only after doing that was it possible to use the computer. I'm not sure how to uninstall MS updates. Before I suspected malware, I tried procmon, but I'm not smart enough to see the problem in the logs. I checked for rootkits; there were none.
-Robert

#6 DaveM59

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Posted 29 June 2007 - 08:19 PM

Hi Robert,

I'm going to report the e-mail notification problem. This website went through an upgrade recently, and apparently things aren't completely sorted out yet. I also am not getting notifications about replies on this forum. All the other forums, yes, but for some reason not this one.

I know the quality of responses is uneven in the XP forum and some others. That one you quoted is about as bad as they get. You're right, any member can post a reply on just about any of the public forums, except for this one. My advice is to pay attention especially to the BC Advisors. The administration does not hand out this designation indiscriminately or just as a reward for quantity. Most of the people who have it are professionals with years of hands-on experience.

Have you run through the diagnostics outlined in the "Ask Leo" column I linked to?

If that does not pinpoint your problem, then could you please post an Uninstall List. Here's how to get it:

Visit this site: http://billsway.com/vbspage/
Scroll down to the section that says "List Installed Programs" and download it, by using this icon: Posted Image
Save it to your Desktop, then right-click and select Extract all.
A folder should open, double click on the file inside called InstalledPrograms.vbs.
Press OK at the prompt, then Yes to view the results.
A text file will open, copy and paste this in your next reply.

The list will give the dates when all your updates were installed, and we can use this to see which updates were installed at the time your problem started.


I am not suggesting you uninstall any updates right now, I think we should do some research before we resort to the old process-of-elimination method. However, just for your information, you remove updates the same way you remove programs, from Add/Remove Programs in Control Panel. You have to put a check in the Show Updates box at the top of the window in order for Updates to be shown on the list. But once you can see them they uninstall just about like any other piece of software.

Please let me know what you find, and post that uninstall list if it turns out that the Windows Update service is not the problem.

Dave

#7 Grinler

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Posted 06 July 2007 - 01:29 PM

Testing email notifications. Please ignore.

#8 Grinler

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Posted 06 July 2007 - 01:48 PM

Second reply after changing notification to immediate.

#9 rweil

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Posted 07 July 2007 - 01:50 PM

Hi Dave-
It looks like the email notification is fixed as of yesterday thanks to Grinler.

I've been working on this problem since late May, and along the way read Leo's article. I did not have the svchost problem, but on his advice I disabled Automatic Updates, and it remains disabled. I have an extensive diary on what I've tried, if you're interested.

I downloadad InstalledPrograms and ran it, but it crashes. The error is as shown in the attached .doc file.

Robert

Attached Files



#10 rweil

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Posted 08 July 2007 - 05:10 PM

Hi Dave-
In the interest of furnishing the info you requested without being able to use InstalledPrograms, I displayed theWindows Update info using Add/Remove Programs and am attaching the list in a .doc file containing a series of screen dumps. Will this do? Sorry for the bulk.

FYI, the problem started on 5/24 when I shut down to install 1 GB additional memory, and allowed the waiting Windows Update download to install.

Robert

Attached Files



#11 DaveM59

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Posted 09 July 2007 - 11:31 AM

Hi Robert,

Notification was fixed by Grinler. He changed the setting to "immediate notification" rather than "delayed." Apparently this is the key to getting reliable notification. It's a quirk of the BBS software.

Yes I would like to see your diary. No guarantees that I'll be able to suggest anything you haven't tried but at least I'll know what you have done.

One specific question. It's interesting that the problematic update coincided with a hardware modification. Did you test the RAM module before booting into Windows with it? (I mean Memtest86+ or the Windows memory test program). Doing an update with a bad stick of RAM is like installing Windows with a bad stick of RAM. Copy errors leading to all kinds of trouble.

The update you installed on 5/24/07 is Microsoft's fix for the problem described in Leo's article. Unfortunate that it ended up causing you the very problem it was supposed to fix.

Regarding the VBScript problem, I found an aricle here: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/q194801/. Only problem is you have to be able to read VBScripts to use it. Also, I think we need to stick to the main problem and not get sidetracked with this, just thought I would link to it in case at any time you want to investigate or you have problems running other VB Scripts.

This makes me think though that you may have some corrupted system files. However, first tell me whether your RAM has been tested. If not I think that should be done first. Let me know how much help you need with this, you seem like a pretty knowledgeable computer person but I can give you links and instructions if you need them. If you are familiar with memory testing, I will just tell you that the new memory module needs to be tested by itself, remove all other memory sticks from the system before you start up the machine with the test program boot disk inserted.

Dave

#12 rweil

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Posted 09 July 2007 - 06:20 PM

Hi Dave-
You were right. I had not tested the new memory except by POST, where it passed. I just downloaded Memtest86+ v.1.70 and ran it. After 4 hrs 15 mins, the answer is that it's ok - no errors. I would have felt dumb if it failed, but the problem would have been solved. Oh well.

All my computer knowledge is obsolete. I built my first system before DOS, even before CP/M, and before disk drives. My Z80 used audio cassettes for bulk storage. I kept up with internals through CP/M and up to about DOS 5, then became just a user. I'm a very late adopter. I replaced 98SE with XP only last fall. BTW, I had a disk crash in February, 2007. That's why the cluster of Windows updates in Feb.

Here's the diary:

5/24/07 Allowed installation of automatically downloaded Microsoft update. While shut down, installed 1gb additional memory. Reboot took more than 15 minutes. Firefox took 50 seconds to launch. All apps seem to be very slow. Idling CPU usage before update was 2-3%, now at least 10%, jumping to 100% at any activity including mouse action. Taskmgr and explorer are hogging CPU.

5/25/07 Subsequent reboots are faster but still abnormally slow. Windows Defender using up to 100% CPU. Disabled Windows Defender and Windows Automatic Update [after reading Leo]. Now CPU usage is 2-3% as before download, but jumps to 100% when some things are done, not everything as before. Add/remove programs list takes several minutes to populate with rundll32 running at 100%. Ran Spybot S&D. It took 1 1/2 hours at 100% CPU. Firefox still takes nearly 1 minute to launch, takes up to 1 1/2 minutes to exit using X button.

5/29/07 No progress. I've been running Ad-Aware, Spybot Search & Destroy and AVG Anti-Spyware weekly for months. I'm using NOD32 anti-virus, whose definitions are updated daily. The symptoms I'm experiencing definitely date from the MS update that installed itself on 5/24. I'm not sure of the download date, but my auto update was set for Sundays at 3 am. I shut down to install a 1GB memory module. During the shutdown, the update was installed. When I restarted, it took a very long time to reboot, and the 100% CPU usage began. I shut down Auto Update because Microsoft first said that Update was hanging when inventorying files. After that, it turned out that Windows Defender was taking up most of the resources. Since I have anti-spyware and anti-virus from others, shutting down Defender didn't seem risky.

Now, the resting CPU usage is normal, but it is very high during browser use. I can also hit 100% with vigorous mouse motion, but I don't have any pre-update data on this. NOD32 update runs at 100% CPU. I also note high usage by my WiRNS .net server when it is running, which was definitely not the case before. The server uses a lot of RAM, which is why I added RAM. I learned that XP doesn't support interrupts for LPT, so I expect that I'll have to reinstall my printer as USB. I'm to the point where I want to try system restore, but I'm reluctant to do so until I completely rule out malware. I ran Hijack This! and didn't see anything awful in the log, but I'm obviously no expert.

5/30/07 When running Firefox, I have been seeing a couple of script-related errors: "unresponsive script" asking to be stopped manually, and
"Adobe Flash Player:
A script in this movie is causing Adobe Flash Player 9 to run slowly. If it continues to run, your computer may become unresponsive. Do you want to abort the script?" (No movie was running.) Also, I'm getting some tcpip and redbook notices in the event log (No optical drives in use.) Curiouser and curiouser.

Upon closer examination of the event log, I see at least one seven-minute interval of DCOM errors every day for several weeks at around 9:00 am. Is it an attack? There is a new DCOM exploit, not yet fully reported, so I disabled DCOM to see what happened. Result: no more long-term 100% CPU utilization while running Firefox or Eudora.

It remains to be seen whether I broke some app that uses DCOM. Also, I have no understanding of how the symptoms relate to DCOM. There's probably some more stuff to be found, but performance seems pretty much back to normal.

5/31/07 Well, one thing that's broken is w32time.dll. It can't find anyone to give it the time. Strangely, I still get seven minutes of timeouts (at 30-second intervals) in the morning, though system performance is much improved.

6/4/07 Still plugging away. Firefox grew back to 100%. I uninstalled it and temporarily used Netscape. It's less user-friendly so after a few days I reinstalled Firefox. Somewhere in the middle of this I noticed that the graphics in some, but not all, emails are missing, displaying an X in a box at the upper left of the graphics location. This was definitely not the case before the 5/24 fiasco.

My .NET program guide server seems to be failing to update the DVR. I tried re-enabling DCOM just in case, and it seems to be working again. However, I understand virtually nothing about the server, so I can't be sure.

I just ran Autorun and disabled a number of "file not found" items. Firefox at first runs much faster, but the script errors are back. It seems that there is a connection between the script problem, whatever it is, and the 100% cpu. I'm going to try Procmon to see if it will show me what's going on with Flash, or Java, or whatever.

6/5/07 While the program add/delete list is being populated, taskmgr and rundll32 between them take 100%.

Today (6/6) there seems to be a denial of service attack going. Can't get much over the internet, so troubleshooting is impossible. This afternoon, received a pop-up notice from Eset that my free trial of Nod32 has ended. Actually, I paid for Nod32 in March, tho I never received my backup CD. Later today, I received a form email from them welcoming my purchase and issuing a username and password to activate Nod32. When I opened the Control Center, Nod32 downloaded and installed itself. I wonder if this unsolicited download is in response to a problem uncovered by the 2/24 MS download.

6/7 The script problem remains. Cadillac is distributing a flash ad on the Political Mavins site. I get frequent errors requiring stopping a script that I have not started.

Found an internet reference to the script error problem. It seems Firefox displays it when a page takes overlong to load. I didn't fix it, because it helps to quantify slow performance.

6/8 Spybot now hangs in two places. First, after it checks for all signatures, it hangs checking Firefox's bookmarks. Second, when I stop the check and tell it to fix the 11 cookies it found, it hangs again.

6/10/07 WiRNS, my PVR guide server, is now hogging CPU. It used to hog memory, but not CPU. Ran procmon and saved a log, but I can't make head or tail of it.

6/11/07 Both Firefox and Netscape are slow to near unusability. The big discovery today is that IE, though NOT slow to launch, is even worse! Since I NEVER use IE, I only discovered this morning that 1) IE displays NO graphics, only frames with boxes containing X. Both Firefox and Netscape display graphics normally. Only Eudora exhibits this graphics display problem. 2) Using IE, looking at the Drudge Report site, which is all links, NONE of the links work. Suddenly, it looks like malware.

BTW, I just changed one of Eudora's options to not use Microsoft's viewer. Now I get graphics in Eudora, though with some positioning errors, which is why I was using Microsoft's viewer.

6/12/07 Still can't find a recognizable sign of malware. Microsoft just sent a massive update, including a "malicious software removal tool." No mention of it in the Security Center. Maybe it's automatic? With this update, it now takes two full minutes to launch Eudora. Firefox varies from 35 sec to 2 1/2 minutes. Seems like it's faster when launched by a link, such as in an email. Firefox remains at 100% whenever it is displaying a site. IE is still totally unusable - no graphics, no links followed.

Found the malicious software removal tool log at \windows\debug\mrt.log. Lots of scan errors may 9 and today June 12, but no infection found. Oh well.

6/13/07 Ran procmon during 1) Firefox launch, 2) FF seeking a site, and 3) FF when unresponsive. Saved logs.

6/15 Uploaded a HJT log to bleepingcomputer.com and attached the Autorun log.
----------------------------------------------

#13 DaveM59

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Posted 10 July 2007 - 08:11 PM

Hi again Robert,

Sorry for the delay in answering. I have been busy with work and other non-computer aspects of my life lately. Thanks for the diary, it is a testament to your patience and determination.

A Z80? Wow you are an old timer! To computers that is. My first box was a PC-XT clone with two 5-1/4 inch floppy drives and two pieces of software: MS-DOS 3.3 and WordPerfect 4.2. When I upgraded it with a 10 meg hard drive, I was blown away by the blazing speed.

Late adoption: I'm about a year and a half ahead of you. I built a new computer and upgraded from Win98 to Windows XP in the autumn of 2005.

Okay enough reminiscing. What I think of your computer skills is this -- if you once had a handle on this stuff, you can again. It's up to you how much you want to learn about the inner workings of XP. For sure there is a lot more to learn than there was back in the days when we got started.

Unfortunately, that scripting error that turned up when you tried to run the uninstall list program is apparently not isolated. You are having a lot of different malfunctions, which most likely indicates that your system has either mislaid or corrupted some key system files. This is why I judge that the specific troubleshooting procedure I linked to in post #11 is not worth pursuing.

I was not blowing smoke when I referred you to the XP forum. I have been trained in diagnosing and eradicating malware. My knowledge of other areas of Windows troubleshooting is spotty. So in what follows, I may have overlooked some simple and obvious measure that would pinpoint your problem and lead straight to a quick solution.

Anyway, based on my limited experience and knowledge of XP, if you brought this computer to me to be fixed, here's the way I would attack the problem, based on what I have seen in your logs and your diary:

First, uninstall the problematic Windows update of May 24 (KB927821). Reboot. Check performance and see how the machine is behaving.

If that did not work, I would try, if possible, to restore the system to a point prior to that fateful update of May 24. Grinler has written an excellent tutorial on the System Restore which you can find here.

If still unsatisfactory, or no restore point prior to May 24 is available, the next step would be to try the Windows System File Checker. Here's a tutorial describing this utility and how to use it. Note that you must have your Windows XP install disk and that install disk must at a minimum be the same flavor of Windows (Home or Pro). The tutorial explains most of the other problems you may run into pretty well. It also describes some workarounds that may help if you don't have an XP install disk. Read it through carefully before you run the sfc /scannow command.

Next up would be a repair install of Windows. There's an excellent tutorial on this procedure here. This leaves your programs intact and registered, and does not wipe out data (unless something goes wrong). Again, read the whole article before you begin.

After that, as a last resort, there's the old data backup -- reformat C:\ -- clean install. Even more of a pain that the repair install and therefore the last resort.

Sorry I don't have anything more to offer you. If you have any questions about these suggestions, just ask.

Dave

#14 rweil

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Posted 09 September 2007 - 11:00 PM

Well, Dave, at last I have solved the problem. I got some advice from someone in the XP forum, but nothing worked out. I did several reformats/clean installs. In each case, things started out promising, but grew worse and worse as I installed the apps I had before. I went down a number of blind alleys trying to identify the offender. Finally, I was forced to consider the motherboard. I replaced it a couple of weeks ago, reformatted again, installed XP and all my apps, and everything is working fine. I guess that something MS downloaded in May added just enough CPU loading that it exposed a previous failure affecting motherboard performance. Thanks again for your help.
-Robert

#15 DaveM59

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Posted 10 September 2007 - 05:52 AM

Hi Robert,

Thanks for letting me know the outcome. And congratulations on tracking down the culprit! :thumbsup:

Best wishes for trouble free computing in the future.

Dave

Since the issue is resolved, this topic is now closed. If you need it re-opened, please PM me and put the URL in your message.

This applies to the original poster only. Everyone else start a new topic.




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