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A message about locked computer when resuming Windows

By FastQuestion ยท 11 replies
Aug 4, 2010
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  1. Hello there,

    I'm not sure if any can diagnose this issue, or how seriously I should take the advice, but I will try my best to describe the topic's incident. On last Thursday, when I woke up the laptop to resume Windows (it had powered down due to
    my being away for a while), a message was on the screen saying that the computer was locked by the user. It asked for an id and password. I did not fill anything in and just clicked OK. The computer then seemed to go back to normal, and brought everything back up. But in truth it started to act very strange. For example, the Start menu would only bring up a black box. A video I had had open played very choppily.

    Also, words would not type properly in a Document. A message kept popping up when I tried to save it, saying something about there not being sufficient memory! A similar message came up when I tried hitting Ctrl/Alt/Del. The last but not least thing is that a document I was writing in, when it wouldn't save, I just closed it; and now I can't find it at all. I only see a strange coded file conversion-like thing in place of the document. Is there a reason that all of this happened?

    As a last seperate question, does anyone know what Behavior Shield is in avast antivirus internet security?

    I hope that this was adequate. Thank you in advance.
  2. Sharam

    Sharam TS Rookie Posts: 509

    Can you shut down the system, turn it back ON and before Windows start loading, press the power button and hold it till it turns OFF and start it again one ;last time?

    Hibernation and Suspend to RAM behave strangely at times depending on the configuration and setup.

    As for Avast I have no clue :)
  3. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 10,432   +801

    power off and reboot into Safe Mode (ie: tap F8 every second until you get the VGA B/W screen) choose the Safe Mode.

    now determine if system is sane or not.

    Assuming it's ok, REBOOT, Boot into Safe Mode again and this time choose Last Known Good Configuration.

    So then; what's the status?
  4. ruready2

    ruready2 TS Enthusiast Posts: 202

    What is your operating system? If last known good config doesn't solve the issue you can try a system restore. I would first check event viewer to see if there are any related errors.

    As for the Behavior Shield in Avast, it is designed to monitor your system for unusual behavior.
  5. FastQuestion

    FastQuestion TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 33

    I need to clarify, that everything about the computer other than that missing document is back to normal since then. Also, by documents, I meant Word Documents.

    (A last note about the strange behavior Thursday: there were 'arrow'/pen symbols preceding document names; but when I started the computer up the next day, they were gone, replaced by the usual Word icons. I don't know if that was even an important observation or not.)

    Where is System Restore located? Does it return the computer to an earlier state, and if so,
    can it be undone if it doesn't prove useful? The computer has Windows XP; but an occurrence like this has never happened before.

    Last once again, I looked at the avast Behavior Shield section, and a graphing showed a few 'infected items' around the day of the strange behavior.
  6. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 10,432   +801

    You access it from an Admin Login and the Help section.
    Manually, you can always invoke it from a command prompt
    Yes, it is reversible.

    Technically the data is in a hidden folder System Volume Information but you can't use that data w/o the program noted

    If you were carefull enough to be using a Limited account and not the Admin login for your day-to-day activities,
    then a first course of action is to REBOOT the system. A great many times goofy symptoms just blow away.
    If not, then using your A/V product on your %userprofile% will be sufficient, as the Limited user can't alter \Windows :wave:

    However, misuse of Admin allows alteration of anything anywhere and that's when things get difficult.
  7. ruready2

    ruready2 TS Enthusiast Posts: 202

    If the behavior shield is showing potential infections on or about the date of the strange behavior of your computer you need to perform a scan with Avast boot-time scan.

    Also, I would not recommend system restore until you have scanned for infections. Malware is the most likely cause of the issues. This is evidenced by your observation of the behavior shield.
  8. FastQuestion

    FastQuestion TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 33

    Would the 'system restore' get that document that is currently missing? If not, I will likely rethink using it.

    If malware is the reason behind this, how could it appear so suddenly on that day? I am still very unsure of how that strange behavior even could come about.

    Forgive the lack-of familiarity with these things, but is there a way I can tell if I am using a Limited account, and not the Admin login? Though I have a feeling I am not using Admin. I will be away on the coming week end, so please bear with me! Thank you for the replies
  9. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 10,432   +801

    System Restore is: SYSTEM oriented, not documents. You need a BACKUP to recover documents.
  10. FastQuestion

    FastQuestion TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 33

    Okay, I see Boot-Time Scan. Is there a specific time I should have it 'scheduled', or an area that should be focused on? Should 'unpack archive files' be checked off?

    Am I correct in that the computer automatically logs on as a Limited Account, and not Admin?

    My last question for the time being is, does anyone have a clue as to why this happened in the first place??
  11. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 10,432   +801

    User data backups depend upon how you use your system.
    a) Most users will save documents in the My Documents folder - - guess where you point for User Data Backups?
    b) Another reasonable choice is what is called the %userprofile% area:
    • on XP: \Documents and settings\yourLoginId
    • on Vista or Win/7: \Users\yourLoginId
    The latter choice will then also include in the backup, your application settings, bookmarks, email, ....

    c) There are also reasons to create user folders in the root directory, like C:\Perl
    If you've done that, then you migh consider also including those folders
    NO. you should have a password at least on the Admin account to protect it, This will place the user-ids on the splash screen and you click to select which one you need at this time
  12. FastQuestion

    FastQuestion TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 33

    I am going to be very honest and say that I do not understand what you are saying (I'm not quite on your level) in response to my Question:
    "I see Boot-Time Scan. Is there a specific time I should have it 'scheduled', or an area that should be focused on? Should 'unpack archive files' be checked off?"; about User Data Backups, userprofiles, or user folders in the root directory.

    I am pretty busy and figuring out the directions given here is a little stressful. Do not take me wrong, I appreciate all the time/help given.

    Now Concerning the computer's Login Accounts, I see only one when the computer boots up (called Owner), no other options. I have been using this 'account' for a couple of years now on the laptop.

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