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catfish
12-04-2011, 08:06 AM
For the last 2 weeks, my PC has become slow as molasses and locks up frequently. When I check Windows Task Manager, it always says CPU usage is at least 60% and it often spikes up to 100%. I ran a virus scan and no viruses were detected. I also ran Ad-aware, and it did detect and remove several items. But that has not helped. I have Windows Vista and I use Google chrome as my web browser. Does anyone have any ideas as to what could be causing this? I've done some Google searches and have not come up with anything of value.

sphinx780
12-04-2011, 08:27 AM
Here's what I'd do: find out what process in your task manager is eating up the CPU. Click on the processes tab, and then click on CPU to bring the highest values to the top.

Then do a google search for that process eating up the cpu, it should get you in the right direction.

One more item to run that may help would be malware bytes. Each program will catch some items that others won't, so I'd run it just in case it helps but I wouldn't count on it being the fix.

catfish
12-04-2011, 08:37 AM
The highest usage is Windows Desktop Manager and whatever browser I'm using at the time. Chrome or Firefox. I think something is running in the background and I don't know how to tell what it is. It seems like google searches always lead to a Registry Cleaner, or some other PC cleaner and I don't trust them. I don't know how you can tell which ones to trust and which ones not to.

sphinx780
12-04-2011, 08:57 AM
It's been ages since I've used either of those browsers, I remember FF used to have huge memory drain issues with multiple tabs but I'd assume they've fixed that by now.

I'm no IT dude and am on win7 so I can only help so much. Does the issue pop up when you're running Internet Explorer (or Opera if you have it). I'd just try to rule out that it's not a consistent issue with both Chrome and FF that way.

The programs I'd download and run if you don't have them to try and clear any malware would be the previously mentioned Malware bytes (http://download.cnet.com/Malwarebytes-Anti-Malware/3000-8022_4-10804572.html) and Microsoft Security Essentials (http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows/products/security-essentials). Both free and safe to download.

My guess would be that it's malware related and not browser related so hopefully those two would help. I don't see it being a registry issue but if you have never cleaned it before, another program I've been runnign for years does a decent job for free CCleaner (http://www.piriform.com/ccleaner) but that one is a little more advanced so you may want to shy away from it as there is a slight chance it could remove something important (I'd say 5% at most).

Gtech
12-04-2011, 08:59 AM
More than likely your machine still has viruses on it. The best free scanner/cleaner by far is the Microsoft Safety Scanner which you can get from: http://www.microsoft.com/security/scanner/en-us/default.aspx

And by they way NEVER EVER use any registry cleaner. There is absolutely no reason to do this, most of those programs are absolute garbage and will create more damage. There is no performance whatesover to be gained by any of these registry cleaners. Most are scams to get you to pay $20 bucks to them for crappy software.

Any good virus remover will take out whatever it needs out of the registry to kill a virus.

Forgot to add, another thing you may want to do is run a Microsoft utility called AutoRuns from http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb963902

This will show you every program that you have configured to start a boot up time, plus all the browser ADD-INS that are loading when you fire up a browser. You may have installed some software recently that may be killing your performance and you may be unaware of their background add-ins. AutoRuns is safe if you turn off stuff from starting (and you will find tons and tons of legitimate software that fires up all kinds of background services whether you use them or not) and it gives you problems, just run Autoruns again and re-enable it.

Make sure you are not using IE6 or IE 7, download and use IE9. There are massive security improvements in security in IE9 compared to previous versions and current FireFox.

Finally, if you are paying for antivirus or it is expired, just use Microsoft Security Essentials from http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows/products/security-essentials. Really no need to pay for 3rd party anti virus subscriptions.

I am not a shill for MSFT, but they have made significant improvements with their free security tools and IE9 that people sometimes are reluctant to give them credit for.

Kam2010
12-04-2011, 09:09 AM
Try it in safe mode

sphinx780
12-04-2011, 09:10 AM
^Listen to Gtech. I'm definitely not an expert.

catfish
12-04-2011, 09:26 AM
Thanks everyone for the info.

Gtech, I have McAfee thru my internet provider. I assume I need to disable that to run MS Safety Scanner?

tenn23
12-04-2011, 10:50 AM
Backup your important data then do a reformat/clean reinstall of the operating system.

athiker
12-04-2011, 10:58 AM
Backup your important data then do a reformat/clean reinstall of the operating system.

I would do all the things Gtech said (since you have not found anything easily solved by checking CPU usage) and then if still no improvement move on to tenn23's suggestion. It is downright amazing what this does to your computer performance...sometimes it runs better than when you first got it b/c non-of the pre-loaded garbage is installed!

catfish
12-04-2011, 11:17 AM
So far, nothing has helped. I ran MS Safety Scanner Quickscan and nothing was detected. I'm now running a complete scan. I may have to re-format/reinstall. I guess I can save all my documents to a jump drive, but I would have to re-install any software (like Taxcut.).

Agent Orynge
12-04-2011, 11:20 AM
Here's a tip for all of you: use Deep Freeze. Whenever I build a new computer, I freeze my primary partition right after I install my OS (or after I'm done updating it). Everything else I want to install goes on my other partitions/drives, and my computer will last me years without any noticeable slow down. All I have to do is restart every so often, and it's like a fresh install.

Talker
12-04-2011, 11:43 AM
The highest usage is Windows Desktop Manager and whatever browser I'm using at the time. Chrome or Firefox. I think something is running in the background and I don't know how to tell what it is. It seems like google searches always lead to a Registry Cleaner, or some other PC cleaner and I don't trust them. I don't know how you can tell which ones to trust and which ones not to.

I use Ccleaner, it's free.
I have windows 7 64 bit and run ie9.

Some of these above suggestions are very good but if you still have problems go to:

http://www.sevenforums.com/

You can search for your problem or just register and post a thread with your problem, they have excellent people there that will help in detail.
If you have any other problems in the future just post another thread for that, good luck!

KenC
12-04-2011, 11:32 PM
If it is some type of malware you could download and install Malwarebytes (http://www.malwarebytes.org/) and Hitman Pro (http://www.surfright.nl/en/hitmanpro). First run Malwarebytes and then Hitman Pro.

It may not be malware. Sometimes Windows related stuff does this, like Index Searching. If not malware you could backup all your personal data and favorite program settings and then just reformat and reinstall the OS. If you reinstall you should then consider using the built in disk imaging utility and periodically make an image of your system drive. Next time you are infected or the computer slows to a crawl just revert back to the last image of a clean system instead of having to reformat and reinstall and start from scratch.

edit: oops, I see you have Vista. You can download ******* Backup and Recovery free or Macrium Reflect for disk imaging Vista. Keriver is another as well as Easeus Todo. Having current disk images is an easy way to avoid problems in the future.

Fearsome Forehand
12-05-2011, 07:00 AM
Could be a virus, malware, etc that was not detected by your AV programs. Could be you have too many programs running in the background.

A good free utility that finds most problems is Glary Utilities.

You could do a system restore back a couple of weeks before you were having the problem.

Going forward if you use FF, I would install the NoScript plug in. It blocks most malware and viruses from installing in your computer.

catfish
12-05-2011, 09:30 AM
More than likely your machine still has viruses on it. The best free scanner/cleaner by far is the Microsoft Safety Scanner which you can get from: http://www.microsoft.com/security/scanner/en-us/default.aspx

And by they way NEVER EVER use any registry cleaner. There is absolutely no reason to do this, most of those programs are absolute garbage and will create more damage. There is no performance whatesover to be gained by any of these registry cleaners. Most are scams to get you to pay $20 bucks to them for crappy software.

Any good virus remover will take out whatever it needs out of the registry to kill a virus.

Forgot to add, another thing you may want to do is run a Microsoft utility called AutoRuns from http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb963902

This will show you every program that you have configured to start a boot up time, plus all the browser ADD-INS that are loading when you fire up a browser. You may have installed some software recently that may be killing your performance and you may be unaware of their background add-ins. AutoRuns is safe if you turn off stuff from starting (and you will find tons and tons of legitimate software that fires up all kinds of background services whether you use them or not) and it gives you problems, just run Autoruns again and re-enable it.

Make sure you are not using IE6 or IE 7, download and use IE9. There are massive security improvements in security in IE9 compared to previous versions and current FireFox.

Finally, if you are paying for antivirus or it is expired, just use Microsoft Security Essentials from http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows/products/security-essentials. Really no need to pay for 3rd party anti virus subscriptions.

I am not a shill for MSFT, but they have made significant improvements with their free security tools and IE9 that people sometimes are reluctant to give them credit for.

Gtech, I ran MS Safety Scanner complete scan and it froze on exactly the same file 3 times. It froze after 1 hr 8 minutes and it said 2 files were infected. I did a google search on MS Safety Scanner freezing and found suggestions to do a cold boot. I followed the directions for a cold boot, and re-ran MS Safety Scanner. It froze again on the same file. I went back into msconfig.exe, went back to normal start, and now my PC won’t connect to the internet. Any ideas on what to do now?

Thanks for your help.

catfish
12-05-2011, 09:44 AM
More than likely your machine still has viruses on it. The best free scanner/cleaner by far is the Microsoft Safety Scanner which you can get from: http://www.microsoft.com/security/scanner/en-us/default.aspx

And by they way NEVER EVER use any registry cleaner. There is absolutely no reason to do this, most of those programs are absolute garbage and will create more damage. There is no performance whatesover to be gained by any of these registry cleaners. Most are scams to get you to pay $20 bucks to them for crappy software.

Any good virus remover will take out whatever it needs out of the registry to kill a virus.

Forgot to add, another thing you may want to do is run a Microsoft utility called AutoRuns from http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb963902

This will show you every program that you have configured to start a boot up time, plus all the browser ADD-INS that are loading when you fire up a browser. You may have installed some software recently that may be killing your performance and you may be unaware of their background add-ins. AutoRuns is safe if you turn off stuff from starting (and you will find tons and tons of legitimate software that fires up all kinds of background services whether you use them or not) and it gives you problems, just run Autoruns again and re-enable it.

Make sure you are not using IE6 or IE 7, download and use IE9. There are massive security improvements in security in IE9 compared to previous versions and current FireFox.

Finally, if you are paying for antivirus or it is expired, just use Microsoft Security Essentials from http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows/products/security-essentials. Really no need to pay for 3rd party anti virus subscriptions.

I am not a shill for MSFT, but they have made significant improvements with their free security tools and IE9 that people sometimes are reluctant to give them credit for.

Oops. duplicate post deleted.

Leelord337
12-07-2011, 10:23 PM
did you run a virus scan using antivirus 2011 or another malware program posing as an antivirus program? that could be eating up all your system resources and causing those processes to spike like that.

i do recommend getting malwarebytes as it has worked fairly well in the past for me.

also, from my experiences, AVG antivirus and McAfee Antivirus programs will Dramatically slow your computer down. make sure you don't have these installed.

AM95
12-08-2011, 02:26 AM
get more RAM.

catfish
12-10-2011, 07:18 AM
Thanks to everyone for your suggestions. I have tried just about everything except a full system restore. Here's where things stand:

I did a system restore to 2 months ago. The performance is a lot better, but the MS Safety Scanner is still finding 2 infected files and then freezing.
Windows Explorer is not working. I'm trying to clean up and get rid of old documents and windows explorer shuts down everytime I try to do anything with a file.

I'm thinking my best bet is to backup my computer and do a full system restore back to original condition. Will that get rid of this virus?

I have most of my important documents saved to dropbox. BUt in the future, I'd like to do regular daily back-ups. What is the best way to do daily scheduled back-ups? To a Flash-drive? A portable hard drive? I'm really not sure.

If anyone has suggestions, please let me know. Again, thanks for the suggestions everyone has given so far.

Power Player
12-10-2011, 07:43 AM
Backup everything and format your hard drive. Make sure you have your OS disks and you are set. Sounds like it is time to start fresh.

catfish
12-10-2011, 07:53 AM
Backup everything and format your hard drive. Make sure you have your OS disks and you are set. Sounds like it is time to start fresh.

Everyone says this like it's really simple. But, I ordered my computer and it came with everything loaded except my MS office. So if I re-format my computer, I guess I have to buy Windows 7 or Vista? Also, if I back-up everything to a flash drive, will the virus get backed up too?

Talker
12-10-2011, 08:37 AM
Everyone says this like it's really simple. But, I ordered my computer and it came with everything loaded except my MS office. So if I re-format my computer, I guess I have to buy Windows 7 or Vista? Also, if I back-up everything to a flash drive, will the virus get backed up too?

Did you go to the windows 7 forums? They can help with Vista too and have people coming in daily with these kind of problems.

What are your system specs BTW, ram, video cards etc.

Did you run SFC /scannow?

When you find these files that the system freezes on do a search on them, you may find others with a solution.

Are all your drivers updated? Some legitimate drivers that are old can cause problems.

Fearsome Forehand
12-10-2011, 09:09 AM
Before you resort to reformatting, do a restore as far back as possible. (You may have already done that as you said you did one that went 2 months back.)

Would give a couple of the free AV/malware programs a shot. AVG is pretty good as is Malwarebytes.

Other good ones that are free include Avast, spybotsearchanddestroy, and adaware. Most of these programs will not catch every problem but if you run separate sweeps with each, you will catch almost every problem. After you sweep, uninstall most of them or you will have too many programs running at once.

http://download.cnet.com/windows/spyware-removers/?filter=licenseName%3D%22Free%22|os%3D52|&filterName=licenseName%3DFree|os%3DWindows+Vista|&tag=narrow (http://download.cnet.com/windows/spyware-removers/?filter=licenseName%3D%22Free%22%7Cos%3D52%7C&filterName=licenseName%3DFree%7Cos%3DWindows+Vista %7C&tag=narrow)

http://download.cnet.com/windows/antivirus-software/?filter=licenseName%3D%22Free%22|os%3D52|&filterName=licenseName%3DFree|os%3DWindows+Vista|&tag=narrow (http://download.cnet.com/windows/antivirus-software/?filter=licenseName%3D%22Free%22%7Cos%3D52%7C&filterName=licenseName%3DFree%7Cos%3DWindows+Vista %7C&tag=narrow)

Would also recommend downloading the free Glary Utilities program and running that. I would do that first; it is a fast download and a rather fast full system scan. Might find and fix the culprit files.

Do not use Explorer. Use Firefox or another browser. Almost all viruses exploit openings in (and are targeted at) Explorer. And use the noscript add on for FF. It is great for blocking viruses.

These sorts of problems really point out the negative effects of monopolies. MS has a virtual monopoly on OS and this is why we have to continually deal with this crap.

All else fails, you can do a reformat since you have your stuff backed up but that should be your last resort. Reformatting will take down your original OS so be careful. And yes, if you backup everything, you will likely back up the viruses too. If you call, the customer service of your manufacturer, they should be able to tell you have to make some restore discs of the OS. Or, at least sell you some at a discount versus what MS will charge you.

Another culprit for slow performance is inadequate RAM for what you are running. How much RAM do you have, 1GB, 2GB? 2GB should be okay for normal use unless you have ten windows open at once or are using a memory hog program like Adobe CS. Vista is enough of a memory hog all by itself.

After a point, I recommend just finding a good laptop on sale. If you shop around you can get one for around $350 that will have Windows 7, 4GB Ram, a huge hard drive and a fast(er) processor. You can sell the one you have as is, for $100+ and have a brand new problem free machine that runs better for $250 or less net.

Good luck.

KenC
12-10-2011, 11:50 AM
You can go to the remove-malware.com forums (http://remove-malware.com/forums/viewforum.php?f=23) and get help from specialists for free. They are a great bunch of guys and really know their stuff.

catfish
12-11-2011, 06:56 AM
I did searches on the files where the MS Safety Scan stopped and got no results. I ran MalwareBytes and nothing found. I tried to install AVG and it wouldn't finish installation. I ran Ccleaner and nothing found.

Yesterday, I ran Glary Utilities and it cleaned up several things. I noticed immediately that the performance was better and the CPU usage had dropped quite a bit. HOwever, Windows Explorer is still not working. I can't access any docs through Explorer. I can open them through MS Word or Excel though. So I ran another MS Safety Scan. This time, the scan completed and said I had 2 infections: Exploit:Java/CVE-2010.0840.CF and .FE. I thought everything was fine. I re-started my PC and it ran some windows updates. Windows Explorer still does not work. I ran the MS Safety Scan again to see what happens and it froze again. Sigh. This is very frustrating. I did searches on getting rid of the Exploit virus, and I got the same answers to run free Malware. Seems like I'm going in circles now.

Fearsome Forehand
12-11-2011, 08:47 AM
You may not be able to get rid of every issue. Sounds like it works better now. Glad you finally listened to my advise about Glary. :)

More good advice. Lose Explorer. Use FF, Chrome, or any other browser. Explorer is the worst of the browser lot and is subject to myriad viruses. I still recommend FF with the noscript add on but whatever non-Explorer browser that you like is a better choice than IE.

If you must use IE for some reason, uninstall the copy you have and reinstall a fresh copy.

I am assuming you ran the MS Malware Tool already?

Very weird the AVG failed to install. You might want to give it another shot.

If you work off the cnet links in my previous post, you will see the most popular free AV and malware programs. If you are determined to rid yourself of every issue on your machine, you can try downloading several, running full sweeps, and then uninstalling them. Spybotsearchandestroy is pretty good as is Adaware. Avast is another good one. Not usual for one of these programs to miss something another one finds. Not usual to have to run several of these to get rid of all your machine's issues.

catfish
12-11-2011, 08:58 AM
You may not be able to get rid of every issue. Sounds like it works better now. Glad you finally listened to my advise about Glary. :)

More good advice. Lose Explorer. Use FF, Chrome, or any other browser. Explorer is the worst of the browser lot and is subject to myriad viruses. I still recommend FF with the noscript add on but whatever non-Explorer browser that you like is a better choice than IE.

If you must use IE for some reason, uninstall the copy you have and reinstall a fresh copy.

I am assuming you ran the MS Malware Tool already?

Very weird the AVG failed to download. You might want to give it another shot.

If you work off the cnet links in my previous post, you will see the most popular free AV and malware programs. If you are determined to rid yourself of every issue on your machine, you can try downloading several, running full sweeps, and then uninstalling them. Spybotsearchandestroy is pretty good as is Adaware. Avast is another good one. Not usual for one of these programs to miss something another one finds. Not usual to have to run several of these to get rid of all your machine's issues.

Thanks for the help. I do appreciate it. I use Google Chrome most of the time. I use FF at work, so I may download that and use it at home too. It's my Windows Explorer that's not working. Not sure what's going on with that.

I've tried Ad-aware and it has not found anything. I've downloaded several virus/spyware/malware detectors and the only one that has found anything was MS Safety Scan. IT seemed to get rid of that Exploit:Java virus but after I re-started and ran it again to be sure, the Safety Scan froze again.

Fearsome Forehand
12-11-2011, 09:05 AM
Not a big fan of MS products in general. Most seem to have problems. I gave up on IE long ago. Not only is it f'uped, by using it, one invites a plague of viruses/malware upon one's computer. Use FF with noscript, it will change your life.

Make sure your Java is up to date.

Make sure your machine is properly firewalled.

This is good sensible advise. My advise to MS is make a browser with better security built in and then you don't have to deal with this nonsense in the first place.

http://www.microsoft.com/security/portal/Threat/Encyclopedia/Entry.aspx?Name=Exploit%3AJava%2FCVE-2010-0840.A

Since exploit is apparently malware, try updating your Java, and then run a few of the malware programs, like spybotsearchanddestroy, as see it you can get rid of exploit.

If I find something else, I will post. I'm still working the problem. :)

Running this is also worth a shot. Make sure it updates because the dare on this link is 2007. That's MS.

http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?id=17

soyizgood
12-11-2011, 09:20 AM
MacAfee is a resource hog. That and Norton Antivirus make ANY PC run slow.

Run "chkdsk c: /f /r" so it can correct file system, disk space, file cluster errors. Oh and defrag your c: drive.

Checking for malware (i.e.m Malwarebytes, Super Antispyware) is a good idea too. Likely you have a few items in startup that you don't need. Run msconfig to see what's running.

Fearsome Forehand
12-11-2011, 09:24 AM
OK. Do this for laughs.

Go in your Vista Security Center. Find Defender, update it and run it.
Worth a shot. Apparently Defender is not part of the Security Essentials thing which makes no sense but that is MS.
I am doing this as I write. For some reason, Defender was turned off on my machine. No idea why. Just updated (had to do this twice because the first update failed midstream, now running the updated Defender. Will be curious to see if it finds anything.

Also make sure your Java is updated and you have a firewall set up.

And lose Explorer forever. :)

catfish
12-11-2011, 09:24 AM
Not a big fan of MS products in general. Most seem to have problems. I gave up on IE long ago. Not only is it f'uped, by using it, one invites a plague of viruses/malware upon one's computer. Use FF with noscript, it will change your life.

Make sure your Java is up to date.

Make sure your machine is properly firewalled.

This is good sensible advise. My advise to MS is make a browser with better security built in and then you don't have to deal with this nonsense in the first place.

http://www.microsoft.com/security/portal/Threat/Encyclopedia/Entry.aspx?Name=Exploit%3AJava%2FCVE-2010-0840.A

Since exploit is apparently malware, try updating your Java, and then run a few of the malware programs, like spybotsearchanddestroy, as see it you can get rid of exploit.

If I find something else, I will post. I'm still working the problem. :)

Running this is also worth a shot. Make sure it updates because the dare on this link is 2007. That's MS.

http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?id=17

Thanks. I only have time to work on this problem sporadically. I'm playing tennis today at 3. After that I will update Java.

As an FYI, I use Verizon as my ISP and they automatically installed McAfee as my Firewall and Virus protection. Do you think I should uninstall McAfee and install one of the Freeware options?

Also, my husband uses IE most of the time. I will have to break him from using it and make him use the Chrome or FF. I think he uses it because he is used to it, but also because TEnnisLink says it may not work with Chrome or FF.

catfish
12-11-2011, 09:32 AM
OK. Do this for laughs.

Go in your Vista Security Center. Find Defender, update it and run it.
Worth a shot. Apparently Defender is not part of the Security Essentials thing which makes no sense but that is MS.
I am doing this as I write. For some reason, Defender was turned off on my machine. No idea why. Just updated (had to do this twice because the first update failed midstream, now running the updated Defender. Will be curious to see if it finds anything.

Also make sure your Java is updated and you have a firewall set up.

And lose Explorer forever. :)

I noticed yesterday that my Windows Defender was also turned off. I don't know why. I turned it back on yesterday.

Fearsome Forehand
12-11-2011, 09:37 AM
Thanks. I only have time to work on this problem sporadically. I'm playing tennis today at 3. After that I will update Java.

As an FYI, I use Verizon as my ISP and they automatically installed McAfee as my Firewall and Virus protection. Do you think I should uninstall McAfee and install one of the Freeware options?

Also, my husband uses IE most of the time. I will have to break him from using it and make him use the Chrome or FF. I think he uses it because he is used to it, but also because TEnnisLink says it may not work with Chrome or FF.

Mcafee is fine. Sounds like you get it for free so why get rid of it?

Definitely do the Windows Defender thing (see my previous post). I think that will remove exploit. Update it and then do a scan.

Defender tells me I'm clean so I feel much better about myself. :)

Tell hubby not to use IE anymore when he is looking at porn. :)

IE is a terrible product. No need to use it unless a site you like doesn't jive with one of the other browsers out there. Your virus/malware problems are likely due to using IE. Also never open attachments, etc. Use FF with NoScript Add On. Say it with me, FF with NoScript Add On. Blocks almost all of this crap from installing on your machine. Run Glary once a week or so and you are good.

It sounds like you are getting there in increments. Better than reformatting. :)

catfish
12-11-2011, 09:59 AM
Mcafee is fine. Sounds like you get it for free so why get rid of it?

Definitely do the Windows Defender thing (see my previous post). I think that will remove exploit. Update it and then do a scan.

Defender tells me I'm clean so I feel much better about myself. :)

Tell hubby not to use IE anymore when he is looking at porn. :)

IE is a terrible product. No need to use it unless a site you like doesn't jive with one of the other browsers out there. Your virus/malware problems are likely due to using IE. Also never open attachments, etc. Use FF with NoScript Add On. Say it with me, FF with NoScript Add On. Blocks almost all of this crap from installing on your machine. Run Glary once a week or so and you are good.

It sounds like you are getting there in increments. Better than reformatting. :)

FF with NoScipt Add On. OK. I'm listening.

To Do list:

1.) Re-install FF with NoScript Add On.
2.) Will make sure Defender & Java are updated.
3.) Will run Glary weekly.
4.) Will talk to husband about IE and IE porn. (I'm certain he will ask about porn on FF with NoScript Add On.)
5.) Still need to figure out why I can't access my documents through Windows Exporer.

Fearsome Forehand
12-11-2011, 11:01 AM
FF with NoScipt Add On. OK. I'm listening.

To Do list:

1.) Re-install FF with NoScript Add On.
2.) Will make sure Defender & Java are updated.
3.) Will run Glary weekly.
4.) Will talk to husband about IE and IE porn. (I'm certain he will ask about porn on FF with NoScript Add On.)
5.) Still need to figure out why I can't access my documents through Windows Exporer.

After updating Defender, actually Run a Scan. It should remove Exploit (hopefully).

Not sure you have to reinstall FF if the version you have is running okay. Just make sure you are running the current version. NoScript is a plugin/addon, if you google it you should find how to install it/add it to your existing FF. It blocks a lot of java script and flash so you often have to give a page permission to load in its entirety. Takes a little getting used to but I have found that since I started using FF with noscript, I hardly ever get malware or viruses. It seems to work rather well.

http://noscript.net/

Glary doesn't update on its own so check for updates before running. Does not seem to update very often by the way.

If Defender doesn't remove Exploit, you could try this (version 11):

http://www.kaspersky.com/antivirus-removal-tool?form=1#

If you google around about your WE docs problem, I am sure you will stumble upon some thread that points you in the right direction. The problem may not be resolvable depending on the versions you are dealing with. MS works in mysterious ways sometimes and you may be stuck with opening the app program to get to a certain doc. Not a big deal.

Full disclosure. I am not an IT person, strictly a layman who has a working understanding of these sorts of problems because I have had a PC forever and am used to dealing with this sort of crap. There are some people here who are IT people that I would consider experts (Dire Desire for one but he is more of a hardware guy, I think. Very knowledgeable though.) Sometimes computer experts seem to suggest overkill solutions or are unable to communicate effectively with laymen. For instance, most people aren't going to want to edit a registry file, etc. Your problems seemed pretty simple and before going to the extreme solution of reformatting, it made more sense to address the obvious things. Of course, old machines often die suddenly, so now that it is working again be prepared for that solemn day when your hard drive crashes permanently; it is coming.

The real fun malware and viruses totally screw up your computer and then inhibit your ability to fix it. The Blaster Worm that one got simply by being on the internet and using IE was my personal favorite. You would get a box in the middle of your screen saying your computer will shut down in 60 seconds, and a countdown would begin. 60, 59, etc to 0 and shutdown. Over and over and over.
MS had no immediate fix for this problem. Within a day or two, they had a patch but once you turned your computer on it became a comical race against time; could you download the patch before Blaster shut off your computer? This was around 2002, I still had dial up so it took a while to beat the clock. Fun Fun Fun.

The last bad malware/virus (trojan.fakealert) I had was before I started using no script, maybe two years ago. It was something that tried to force you to buy a solution for the virus. It blocked access to all Vista security functions and all your AV and malware programs. You could not use them at all. I finally found a removal tool online but that was a fun couple of days. No problems lately, he said with fingers tightly crossed.

Bottom line: if none of the usual suspect AV/malware programs remove those xploit files, I would not worry about it. The may well be relatively harmless java applets. You may be able to go into java and remove them manually if none of the AV programs will.

Also, after you have updated all the various security programs, make sure you restart because often they don't install until you do.

JohnnyCracker
12-11-2011, 02:41 PM
.
..Apparently Defender is not part of the Security Essentials thing which makes no sense but that is MS.
... For some reason, Defender was turned off on my machine. No idea why. ...

Windows Defender is antispyware only. MS Security Essentials is antivirus and antispyware. If MS Security Essentials is installed, Windows Defender would be automatically disabled. Redundancy.

esgee48
12-11-2011, 03:10 PM
If you can't run Windows Explorer, then your shortcut to the exe file is broken? Right click your shortcut, click on properties and see where/which program it is pointing to. It should be pointing to %SystemRoot%\explorer.exe /n,/e,

If it isn't pointing there, then you need to 'Find Target' and rebuild the pointer.

If it is pointing to the right program, but it does not load, then you need to run SFC and reload explorer.exe from the CD/DVD.

catfish
12-11-2011, 03:34 PM
If you can't run Windows Explorer, then your shortcut to the exe file is broken? Right click your shortcut, click on properties and see where/which program it is pointing to. It should be pointing to %SystemRoot%\explorer.exe /n,/e,

If it isn't pointing there, then you need to 'Find Target' and rebuild the pointer.

If it is pointing to the right program, but it does not load, then you need to run SFC and reload explorer.exe from the CD/DVD.

There's no icon in Vista, I've always hated that about Vista. You click on Documents and you go into Windows Explorer.

Fearsome Forehand
12-11-2011, 03:55 PM
Windows Defender is antispyware only. MS Security Essentials is antivirus and antispyware. If MS Security Essentials is installed, Windows Defender would be automatically disabled. Redundancy.

Yes, but the only reference to the xploit file on MS' site pertained to Defender. She ran Essentials and it did not clear the problem so I still think it is worth a shot to update and run Defender to see if it will remove exploit. Not like MS programs make a lot of sense.

You are correct that Essentials disables Defender.

http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/protect/forum/protect_start/windows-defender-and-microsoft-security-essentials/5309cb8d-02e1-40e8-974f-0dcedb9ab9fd

esgee48
12-11-2011, 04:17 PM
OKay, no shortcut. That's weird because my aunt uses Vista and she has one. To make such an icon/shortcut, go to START and SEARCH for explorer.exe. When that program is found, right click the program and select 'Create Shortcut'. This will create a shortcut in the same directory as explorer.exe, but labeled as shortcut to. Drag this shortcut to your desktop or to your 'Programs' directory. BTW, the /n,/e, entry in my shortcut is a specialized way to open explorer.

HTH.

JohnnyCracker
12-11-2011, 05:08 PM
Yes, but the only reference to the xploit file on MS' site pertained to Defender. She ran Essentials and it did not clear the problem so I still think it is worth a shot to update and run Defender to see if it will remove exploit. Not like MS programs make a lot of sense.

You are correct that Essentials disables Defender.

http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/protect/forum/protect_start/windows-defender-and-microsoft-security-essentials/5309cb8d-02e1-40e8-974f-0dcedb9ab9fd

You had no idea why Defender was turned off and I explained to you why it is turned off. That's all.
It makes sense when you really understand what's going on and know what you're doing.

catfish
12-11-2011, 05:20 PM
OKay, no shortcut. That's weird because my aunt uses Vista and she has one. To make such an icon/shortcut, go to START and SEARCH for explorer.exe. When that program is found, right click the program and select 'Create Shortcut'. This will create a shortcut in the same directory as explorer.exe, but labeled as shortcut to. Drag this shortcut to your desktop or to your 'Programs' directory. BTW, the /n,/e, entry in my shortcut is a specialized way to open explorer.

HTH.

When I right click on it I get the same error message. Windows Explorer has stopped working and is looking for a solution to the problem. Then the next message is Windows is restarting.

catfish
12-12-2011, 07:17 AM
I've had this PC for almost 3 years. It's a basic HP Pavilion desktop. Maybe it's time for a new PC.

esgee48
12-13-2011, 02:26 PM
Sounds like Windows explorer.exe is broken. You have several choices (1) run SFC /scannow to fix this file from the restore disk (2) find a working copy of the program and move to the working windows directory (3) I can send you via email a copy of FileMgr.exe from W2K (It's MS, but no longer supported because it does not look at NTFS security bits before doing its thing, so it is dangerous; should be OK for moving/copying files to backup.) Then you should rebuild your system from the restore disk/DVD.

My email option will be enabled for 48 hours.

catfish
12-13-2011, 04:29 PM
Sounds like Windows explorer.exe is broken. You have several choices (1) run SFC /scannow to fix this file from the restore disk (2) find a working copy of the program and move to the working windows directory (3) I can send you via email a copy of FileMgr.exe from W2K (It's MS, but no longer supported because it does not look at NTFS security bits before doing its thing, so it is dangerous; should be OK for moving/copying files to backup.) Then you should rebuild your system from the restore disk/DVD.

My email option will be enabled for 48 hours.

Esgee. Thanks for the offer. A friend at work said he has a disc with Windows Vista he will loan me so I can re-load it. I think I will try that route first.

esgee48
12-13-2011, 06:21 PM
OK, email option turned off. And good luck. BTW, I just received notice from my ISP that an infected email attempted access to my inbox. It was blocked/quarantined. If this was you, then your machine is still infected with a virus.

catfish
12-13-2011, 06:26 PM
OK, email option turned off. And good luck. BTW, I just received notice from my ISP that an infected email attempted access to my inbox. It was blocked/quarantined. If this was you, then your machine is still infected with a virus.

No, I didn't attempt to email you. I send a lot of emails, and no one has reported anything like this to me. So I think my computer is virus free now.

esgee48
12-15-2011, 01:54 PM
Sorry for the delayed response. Thinking over my past career, have you ever run CHKDSK and DEFRAG on the hard drive? You definitely need to do this before doing anything including your VISTA rebuild. If your hard drive is dying, then this (CHKDSK) will tell you to you have a dying HD. Then you can replace the HD or buy a new computer. CHKDSK may also remake explorer.exe back to its usable form from the mirrors (NTFS.) DEFRAG, if you've never run it before, will speed up your processes. It puts all your fragmented files back together so that they can be retrieved in one read rather than several. Virtual memory performance is also really improved.

catfish
12-15-2011, 05:36 PM
Esgee. I ran a chkdsk, but it took a long time so I left the room. It had finished when I got back. Is there a way to go back and see the results?

esgee48
12-15-2011, 05:57 PM
No. CHKDSK is runned in an environment outside of windows. You might check to see if there is a .log file, though I doubt it. I am assuming that CHKDSK finished and loaded Vista. While you were running it, did you see messages related to checking file/data space. Normally, when a disk starts to die, error messages start to crop up really quickly. I would now try running DEFRAG. But before doing so, run a disk cleanup to get rid of all the extra junk people accumulate on their machines.

addendum: If you can get to the event viewer, the log file results are stored there. I also forgot to mention that I hope you ran CHKDSK with the boxes checked to fix errors.

Start -> Run -> type "eventvwr.msc" (no quotes) -> ENTER. Click on Application and select the most recent winlogon entry.

catfish
12-15-2011, 06:07 PM
While I watched chkdsk, it did not find any errors. When I left it was on step 3 or 5. My PC runs MS Disk Defragmenter weekly. Is there any need to run it again?

esgee48
12-15-2011, 06:13 PM
You almost got to the data checking step, step 4. Step 5 is checking free space. But if there were no errors in steps 1-3, it means the file system is intact. And there is no need to run DEFRAG if you do it weekly (I do it monthly.)

See if explorer.exe runs now. If it doesn't then your copies of explorer are 'hosed.' But at least you now know that the hard drive is usable and a clean install is a viable option.

catfish
12-15-2011, 06:16 PM
Explorer still doesn't run. My co-worker friend says I should be able to re-load it off the disk he's loaning me.

My computer is running fine again except the Explorer issue.

Thanks for the help.

esgee48
12-15-2011, 06:20 PM
Use this link to get a copy of explorer.exe from the Vista DVD. You need another computer to offload the file since your explorer.exe isn't working.

http://www.ehow.com/how_6040337_replace-explorer_exe.html

or this link

http://www.webtlk.com/2011/01/20/how-to-download-explorer-exe-for-windows-7-windows-vista-and-xp/

catfish
12-15-2011, 06:24 PM
Thanks esgee. Will try this tomorrow.