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Double XP problem - freezing, zone alarm online issues

By Katryania
Jan 19, 2009
  1. I am describing two seperate problems for two PCs:

    1. Laptop Compaq, circa 2004 running Win XP Pro using only Wireless internet cannot access said internet. Using Zone Alarm firewall/ virus/ spyware scanning, and have read that in the past (July 08) ZA has conflicted with internet usage. This computer can perform all functions EXCEPT acknowledging any wireless networks, which there are at least a dozen in my complex. I have tried updating ZA with no luck. About to try disabling ZA and getting a new free software; looking for suggestions on the best ones- perhaps AVG.

    2. Desktop hybrid running I believe 2 ghz processor, with at least 1 gig DDR2 ram running Win Xp Home. It's been awhile since we built it, and I cannot really access it to check system specs, or at least not well. This computer will freeze at a random time fairly soon after booting up, sometimes at the XP login screen, sometimes after logging in. The mouse remains able to move on screen, however even the time freezes. No applications can be open, not the start menu, and Ctrl-Alt-Delete proves useless. This seems to happen no matter how many times I reboot.

    It has been a long while since I did any kind of computer troubleshooting, and no longer know anyone who can do so. My gut tells me to boot into safe mode (but I can't remember how, and trying got me into the BIOS by accident) and attempt to reload an additional antivirus software. I have AVG installed (although it expired!) and a few "spybot" type antispyware programs. I am considering re-installing AVG (does the free year restart?) and scanning again for viruses. I do use torrents and suspect I caught something hanus, but fear the computer would freeze before the scan completed.


    Any help for either of these problems would be lovely, as I am going nuts trying to only use my work computer. I do believe these are both software issues only, but the time problem makes me consider the battery, even though that computer was only built in 2007 and is entirely too new to do so.

    Please advise!
  2. Route44

    Route44 TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 11,979   +71

    I can't answer all your issues but I would definitely uninstall ZA and see if that brings stability. If it is stable except wireless then maybe you need to uninstall and then reinstall your wireless. ZA does have active forums and they may be able to tell you how to rectify your issue

    * Also, have you gone to HP's website (they bought Compac) and see if they have updates for your laptop? yes, it is 4 years old but updating might be the answer.

    As for AVG, well its latest release has given a lot of people issues.

    Here are some good antivirus options:

    1. Kaspersky or NOD32 for $

    2. Good free versions Antivir and Advast (both have $ as well).

    Free Firewalls:

    1. Online Armor (also $ version which I have)

    2. Comodo

    * As for your other PC have you run Memtest? www.memtest.org
  3. Bobbye

    Bobbye Helper on the Fringe Posts: 16,335   +36

    Problem #1:
    You are using the Zone Alarm firewall. AVG is an antivirus program with a spyware/adware program bundles. You don't stop one of these for the other. You need:
    One antivirus program.
    One firewall
    Two or more spyware/adware programs.

    There was a conflict with a Microsoft update with people who also has ZoneAlarm installed. Possibly this is what you are referring to. The update was KB951748 and it was issued July of 2008.
    impact : Sudden loss of internet access
    Recommended Actions - http://download.zonealarm.com/bin/free/pressReleases/2008/LossOfInternetAccessIssue.html

    IF the loss of connection corresponded to when you got this update, you should apply one of the workarounds suggested.

    This might suggest that the wireless network is either no configured correctly or that the firewall is blocking a port.

    Problem #2:
    Check the Event Viewer for Error that corresponds to the time you get the 'freeze':

    Start> Run> type in eventvwr

    Do this on each the System and the Applications logs:
    Please ignore Warnings and Information Events. You are looking for Errors only. You do not need to include the lines of code-if any-in the box below the Description. Please do not paste the entire Event log.

    Let's explore your descriptions:

    This is not a description of a 'typical freeze'. Usually "everything" freezes, including the mouse cursor.
    Describe the "time" freeze.
    Then you have an almost useless antivirus program! An AV program is only as good as it's most recent update.
    There are numerous spyware/adware programs.
    There is only one legitimate "spybot" program and it is spybot Search & Destroy. There are rogue programs that use the name 'spybot', capitalizing the the Spybot S&D name.

    So I question what current, active security you actually have.
    Then the probability of malware on your system is 100%.

    Suggest you move to the Virus and Malware Removal Forum and follow this guide:
    Viruses/Spyware/Malware Preliminary Removal Instructions

    NOTE: Malware can cause the problems you have described on both machines.

    EDIT to add: How to get into Safe Mode:
    Reboot the computer> right after the logo loads, begin tapping the F8 key> continue tapping until the system comes up in Safe Mode.
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