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Author Topic: PC Woes  (Read 501 times)
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Kestrel
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« on: July 12, 2012, 07:17:36 PM »

I have XP Home running and I'm able to access the internet through Firefox (Haven't tried another browser)

I noticed that I was not able to open one of my programs last week - Libronix.  I got the splash screen, then no activity.

At that point, I realized that I let windows update at about the time that this all started.

While I was talking with tech support for the program, I realized that I could not open Windows Explorer.  The window for explorer would open, but It had a flashlight icon searching for my drives and my documents.  It could not find any drives or documents for 30 minutes, and when I tried to close Explorer, I got an hourglass icon and nothing was responsive.  I did a hard shutdown.

Things started normally, and I tried to run windows Restore, a hard drive monitor (speedfan), Add/Remove hardware, and Microsoft Defender. Each time, the machine locked up as described above, and each time I had to do a hard shutdown.

I plugged in my backup HDD, but I have to use Windows Explorer to start it, and Explorer just ran the flashlight icon.

Today, I hit F2 and ran setup at startup.  There is a hard drive diagnostics tool there, and it reports the hard drive is OK.

Today I tried to install Norton Ghost, but it hung at the dialog box that says "preparing to install" for 30 min.  When I clicked cancel it became unresponsive, so I did another hard shutdown.

I AM able to run WinPatrol Plus, and the only recent change listed is MSMPENG.EXE on July 7. If I remember correctly, this file was a resource hog and gave me trouble before and I thought I got rid of it. The Windows update probably reinstalled it.  I know it turned real-time monitoring on, and I shut it off yesterday.

I plan to keep the computer on and connected to the internet until I know more about what is going on, in hopes that I can salvage files that are not backed up.

Anyone have any ideas about this situation?  Any help would be greatly appreciated!
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Kestrel
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« Reply #1 on: July 12, 2012, 07:35:56 PM »

PS - When I was having trouble starting Libronix, I did crtl-alt-del and opened task manager.  MSMPENG.EXE was not using any computer cycles and neither was anything else except System Idle Process at 99 percent.

I hesitate to look in task manager now, because it locks up on that, too.
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Hrothgar
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« Reply #2 on: July 13, 2012, 03:56:27 AM »

Did you try booting to safe mode and rolling back to a previous system restore point?

Did you try booting to your Windows XP disk and using the repair option?

You could always try booting to Linux on a stick/disk and mounting the drives to save data if all else fails.
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Kestrel
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« Reply #3 on: July 15, 2012, 12:07:22 AM »

Thanks for your response!

Yes, I did get into safe mode - it took forever - long story.  But in there I was able to run Malwarebytes three times.  It removed two threats and the computer runs better, but not back to normal yet.

At this point I have to suspend everything for a while while I am out of town.  When I get back, I'll work on backing up everything, using Linux if needed.  Then I'll try to finish cleaning up this apparent infection.  I've never had to use Windows repair. What has been your experience with it?  Is it usually effective?

This has been a big nuisance, but it is the first virus I've had in 20 years of computing.  If it is 20 years to the next one, I'm OK with that.

Saga to resume when I get back.
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