Really slow computer + black screens

By quickener ยท 13 replies
Jul 8, 2010
  1. I am trying to fix my sister's computer which runs insanely slow and the screen will sometimes go black as if it's turned off or running a screen saver; however, nothing (besides manually turning off the computer) will get you back to where you can do anything. I've only been able to run the diagnostics in safe mode because in normal mode, the black screen is encountered. I'm trying to be sure windows, java, and adobe are all up to date - it is a very slow process.

    I have checked and the monitor works and so does the cable because once I manually restart the computer, the monitor works just fine.

    Attached Files:

  2. Bobbye

    Bobbye Helper on the Fringe Posts: 16,321   +36

    Please tell me what the system status is at this point. Things I need to know:

    1. Has any maintenance been done on the system?
    2. When does the black screen come up? What is written on it?
    3. How much RAM is on the system?
    4. I notice Network Magic is on the system. Are there other computers on the network? How are they running.
    5. Regarding "slow"> Slow to start up? Slow to connect? Slow to surf?
    6. Has an antivirus scan been done recently> Results?

    What you are describing isn't necessarily malware related so you need to give me some info about the system other than slow and black screen.
  3. quickener

    quickener TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 49

    1. No maintenance has been done other than the steps outlined in the 8 steps post.

    2. The black screen comes up at different times - usually when I run a scan or try and download items from the internet, e.g windows update. The screen has nothing on it - it is completely black. It seems like it's a screen saver, but it's not - the computer gets locked up and the only way out is to restart it. When I run it in safe mode, the black screen never appears.

    3. 512 MB RAM

    4. There is one other comp on the network and it's running just fine.

    5. It is really slow in starting up. Once it starts up and IE starts, surfing isn't really slow. I guess it's mainly the startup. The startup can take up to 30 min.

    6. I ran the McAfee scan and nothing was found. I cannot figure out how to copy and paste the log from Mcafee. There is no Save Log. Let me know if you need the log and I'll have to either do a screen capture or figure out another way.

    Sorry for not posting more information. Let me know what other info you need.
  4. Bobbye

    Bobbye Helper on the Fringe Posts: 16,321   +36

    Let's explore further:
    1. You have not done any disc cleanups, deleted temporary internet files, history and Cookies, run the Error Check or defragged- ever???
    2. Diagnosing a problem using Safe Mode> give this a try:
    Boot into Safe Mode
    • Restart your computer and start pressing the F8 key on your keyboard.
    • Select the Safe Mode option when the Windows Advanced Options menu appears, and then press ENTER.

    If a symptom does not reappear when you start in safe mode, you can eliminate the default settings and minimum device drivers as possible causes. If a newly added device or a changed driver is causing problems, you can use safe mode to remove the device or reverse the change.

    Using Safe Mode to determine a basic source of a problem:The choices:
    • Safe Mode: Loads the minimum set of device drivers (serial or PS/2 mouse devices, standard keyboards, hard disks, CD-ROM drives, and standard VGA devices)and system services required to start Windows XP/2000/2003.(Event Log, Plug and Play, remote procedure calls (RPCs), and Logical Disk Manager.) User specific startup programs do not run. This is helpful in determining whether problems are due to specific programs.
    • Safe Mode with Networking: Includes the services and drivers needed for network connectivity. Safe mode with networking enables logging on to the network, logon scripts, security, and Group Policy settings. Nonessential services and startup programs not related to networking do not run. Helpful if needed but should be used with caution as the security programs don't load in this mode.
    • Safe Mode with Command Prompt: Starts the computer in safe mode, but displays the command prompt rather than the Windows GUI interface.
    • Last Known Good Configuration, which starts your computer using the registry information that was saved at the last shutdown.

    So by using the different options of Safe Mode, you can sometimes determine what the area of problem is- and isn't

    5. Slow/better after IE loads: try removing the add-on in IE and see what difference it makes in the loading time. (Tools> Manage add-ons)

    Let me know if this troubleshooting give you information to work with.
  5. quickener

    quickener TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 49

    I was able to run TFC in safe mode, so I thought that would clean up the temp files. However, I don't think it's been defragged. And I'm not sure what you mean by Error Checked - is there an app I should use to do this?

    Regarding Safe Mode, it seems to not have any issues in safe mode at all. I've yet to come across much of a slow down and haven't encountered any black screens. I don't know if it's possible that the video card (which is integrated into the motherboard) is failing? It runs excellent in safe mode but always goes to a black screen in normal mode after 5-30 minutes of running. I now realize now this may not be a malware/virus issue, but with the computer slowing down so much, I'm not sure. I don't know if a failing video card could cause the slow down as well? I'm just not sure.

    I will look into the Add-ons and see how they do.
  6. Bobbye

    Bobbye Helper on the Fringe Posts: 16,321   +36

    Error Check is also known as Chkdsk:

    Click on My Computer> Right click on Local Drive (usually C)> Properties> Tools tab> check both boxes in the top section for Error Check> OK> Apply> OK.

    Close the message that comes up and Reboot. The Error checking will begin in few seconds. Let it finish- it will take a while- the system will reboot when through.

    Not doing any maintenance on a computer system is like never doing your laundry. Sooner or later, it will affect the system- it's carrying around a lot of 'dirt' and buttons need to be sewn back on!

    Install Date: 9/14/2009
    C: is FIXED (NTFS) - 149 GiB total, 131.692 GiB free.> pretty clean hard drive. Have you added a new drive?

    There is an Error indicating possible problem with video card:
    7/5/2010 7:21:09 PM, error: viagfx [108] - The driver vtdisp for the display device \Device\Video0 got stuck in an infinite loop. This usually indicates a problem with the device itself or with the device driver programming the hardware incorrectly. Please check with your hardware device vendor for any driver updates

    This error is likely related:
    Error code 100000ea = "THREAD_STUCK_IN_DEVICE_DRIVER_M" - This indicates that a thread in a device driver is endlessly spinning.

    There are also several outdated versions of Java on the system which should be uninstalled as they are vulnerabilities:
    Update to v6u20 here: Java Updates
    Then uninstall other versions in Add/remove Programs in Control Panel.

    Let me know when the above is completed. I have 2 scans I'd like you to run- if possible, better in Normal Mode.
  7. quickener

    quickener TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 49

    Ran Error Check and nothing showed up.

    I installed the latest video driver.

    I have also installed the latest versions of Java and Adobe.

    What scans are next?
  8. Bobbye

    Bobbye Helper on the Fringe Posts: 16,321   +36

    Please download ComboFix from Here and save to your Desktop.

    • [1]. Do NOT rename Combofix unless instructed.
      [2].Close/disable all anti virus and anti malware programs so they do not interfere with the running of ComboFix.
      [3].Close any open browsers.
      [4]. Double click combofix.exe & follow the prompts to run.
    • NOTE: Combofix will disconnect your machine from the Internet as soon as it starts. The connection is automatically restored before CF completes its run. If it does not, restart your computer to restore your connection.
      [5]. If Combofix asks you to install Recovery Console, please allow it.
      [6]. If Combofix asks you to update the program, always allow.
    • Please do not attempt to re-connect your machine back to the Internet until Combofix has completely finished.
      [7]. A report will be generated after the scan. Please paste the C:\ComboFix.txt in next reply.
    Note: Do not mouseclick combofix's window while it's running. That may cause it to stall.
    Note: Make sure you re-enable your security programs, when you're done with Combofix..
    Re-enable your Antivirus software.

    Run Eset NOD32 Online AntiVirus scan HERE
    1. Tick the box next to YES, I accept the Terms of Use.
    2. Click Start
    3. When asked, allow the Active X control to install
    4. Disable your current Antivirus software. You can usually do this with its Notification Tray icon near the clock.
    5. Click Start
    6. Make sure that the option "Remove found threats" is Unchecked, and the option "Scan unwanted applications" is checked
    7. Click Scan
    8. Wait for the scan to finish
    9. Re-enable your Antivirus software.
    10. A logfile is created and located at C:\Program Files\EsetOnlineScanner\log.txt. Please include this on your post.

    Are you still getting a black screen? Please be sure to uninstall the old versions of both Java and Adobe in Add/Remove Programs. The outdated versions are vulnerabilities.
  9. quickener

    quickener TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 49

    Attached are the logs.

    I've haven't had the black screen lately, so whatever we are doing is helping. The computer seems a bit more stable and steady, speed-wise. It still is slow starting up, but not as bad as it was.

    Attached Files:

  10. Bobbye

    Bobbye Helper on the Fringe Posts: 16,321   +36

    Looks good. Just a couple of entries to move:

    Custom CFScript

    • [1]. Close any open browsers.
      [2]. Close/disable all anti virus and anti malware programs so they do not interfere with the running of ComboFix.
      [3]. Open notepad and copy/paste the text in the code below into it:
    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\software\microsoft\security center\Monitoring\McAfeeAntiVirus]
    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\software\microsoft\security center\Monitoring\McAfeeFirewall]
    Save this as CFScript.txt, in the same location as ComboFix.exe

    Referring to the picture above, drag CFScript into ComboFix.exe

    When finished, it will produce a log for you at C:\ComboFix.txt . Please attach to your next reply.
    And run thi to make sure there are no bad entries:

    Download the HijackThis Installer HERE and save to the desktop:
    1. Double-click on HJTInstall.exe to run the program.
    2. By default it will install to C:\Program Files\Trend Micro\HijackThis.
    3. Accept the license agreement by clicking the "I Accept" button.
    4. Click on the "Do a system scan and save a log file" button. It will scan and then ask you to save the log.
    5. Click "Save log" to save the log file and then the log will open in notepad.
    6. Click on "Edit > Select All" then click on "Edit > Copy" to copy the entire contents of the log.
    7. Come back here to this thread and paste (Ctrl+V) the log in your next reply.

    NOTE: Do NOT have HijackThis fix anything yet! Most of what it finds will be harmless or even required.

  11. quickener

    quickener TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 49

    Alrighty - everything going smoothly, and by the way, had computer up for a few days and no black screen or insanely slow operations. Seems like things are getting cleaned up very well.

    Attached Files:

  12. Bobbye

    Bobbye Helper on the Fringe Posts: 16,321   +36

    Logs look very good! Ready to clean up?

    Removing all of the tools we used and the files and folders they created
    • Uninstall ComboFix and all Backups of the files it deleted
    • Click START> then RUN
    • Now type Combofix /Uninstall in the runbox and click OK. Note the space between the X and the U, it needs to be there.
    • Download OTCleanIt by OldTimer and save it to your Desktop.
    • Double click OTCleanIt.exe.
    • Click the CleanUp! button.
    • If you are prompted to Reboot during the cleanup, select Yes.
    • The tool will delete itself once it finishes.

    Note: If you receive a warning from your firewall or other security programs regarding OTC attempting to contact the internet, please allow it to do so.
    • You should now set a new Restore Point and remove the old restore points to prevent infection from any previous Restore Points.
    • Go to Start > All Programs > Accessories > System Tools
    • Click "System Restore".
    • Choose "Create a Restore Point" on the first screen then click "Next".
    • Give the Restore Point a name> click "Create".
    • Go back and follow the path to > System Tools.
      [*]Choose Disc Cleanup
      [*]Click "OK" to select the partition or drive you want.
      [*]Click the "More Options" Tab.
      [*]Click "Clean Up" in the System Restore section to remove all previous Restore Points except the newly created one.

    Empty the Recycle Bin

    Please follow these simple steps to keep your computer clean and secure:

    Stay current on updates:
    • Visit the Microsoft Download Sitefrequently. You should get All updates marked Critical and the current SP updates.
    • Visit this Adobe Reader site often and make sure you have the most current update. Uninstall any earlier updates as they are vulnerabilities.
    • Check this site often.Java Updates Stay current as most updates are for security. Uninstall any earlier versions in Add/Remove Programs.

    Make Internet Explorer safer. Follow the suggestions HERE This Tutorial will help guide you through Configuring Security Settings, Managing Active X Controls and other safety features.

    Do regular Maintenance
    • Remove Temporary Internet Files regularly:
      [o]ATF Cleaner by Atribune
    • Disable and Enable System Restore:
      [o]See System Restore Guide This will help you understand what this is, why you need to clean and set restore points and what information is in them.

    Have layered Security:
    • Antivirus Software(only one): Both of the following programs are free and known to be good:
      [o]Avira Free
      [o]Avast Home
    • Firewall (only one): Use bi-directional firewall. Both of the following programs are free and known to be good:
      [o] Zone Alarm
    • Antispyware: I recommend all of the following:
      [o]Spywareblaster: SpywareBlaster protects against bad ActiveX. It places kill bits to stop bad Active X controls from being installed. Remember to update it regularly.
      [o]IE/Spyad This places over 4000 websites and domains in the IE Restricted list which will severely impair attempts to infect your system. It basically prevents any downloads (Cookies etc) from the sites listed, although you will still be able to connect to the sites.
      [o]MVPS Hosts files This replaces your current HOSTS file with one containing well know ad sites etc. Basically, this prevents your computer from connecting to those sites by redirecting them to which is your local computer.
      [o]Google Toolbar Get the free google toolbar to help stop pop up windows.

    Set up a maintenance schedule for yourself. Follow it. Don't let the 'laundry' pile up and slow you down.
    Let me know if you need more help.
  13. quickener

    quickener TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 49

    Everything was working well it seemed. However, after uninstalling combofix and running OTCleanIt, I noticed loading up programs seemed to be slower and startup became really slow. Whenever I try to turn on System Restore, the screen goes black and I'm at the same place I was when I started this thread. So, I'm pretty sure the problem must the video driver because we have cleaned out the system and the problems are back somehow. I downloaded and installed the most up-to-date graphics driver I could find. But, there must still be an issue. You had said there was an infinite loop running associated with the video device from one of the logs. Do you any advice as to where to get additional assistance on this issue?
  14. Bobbye

    Bobbye Helper on the Fringe Posts: 16,321   +36

    What I posted in Post 6 should be helpful to you to use support on the manufacturer's site for your video card. I am not a hardware person.

    As for the very slow startup: you have control over that by limiting what starts on boot. Technically, the only processes you need to start on boot are the antivirus program, firewall if you have a 3rd party firewall, the process for the touchpad if on a laptop and the processes for Pure Network. That's all! anything else, including the printer can be started in All Programs when you need it.

    IF you still have the HijackThis log, open it to 'do system scan only.' Check each of the following if present:
    C:\Program Files\iTunes\iTunesHelper.exe
    C:\Program Files\Common Files\Java\Java Update\jusched.exe
    C:\Program Files\Common Files\ArcSoft\Connection Service\Bin\ACService.exe
    C:\Program Files\Common Files\Apple\Mobile Device Support\AppleMobileDeviceService.exe
    C:\Program Files\Bonjour\mDNSResponder.exe
    C:\Program Files\Common Files\Intuit\Update Service\IntuitUpdateService.exe
    C:\Program Files\Java\jre6\bin\jqs.exe
    C:\Program Files\Kodak\AiO\center\KodakSvc.exe
    C:\Program Files\Microsoft\Search Enhancement Pack\SeaPort\SeaPort.exe
    C:\Program Files\Kodak\AiO\Center\EKDiscovery.exe
    C:\Program Files\iPod\bin\iPodService.exe
    C:\Program Files\Google\GoogleToolbarNotifier\GoogleToolbarNotifier.exe
    O2 - BHO: AcroIEHelperStub - {18DF081C-E8AD-4283-A596-FA578C2EBDC3} - C:\Program Files\Common Files\Adobe\Acrobat\ActiveX\AcroIEHelperShim.dll
    O2 - BHO: Spybot-S&D IE Protection - {53707962-6F74-2D53-2644-206D7942484F} - C:\PROGRA~1\SPYBOT~1\SDHelper.dll
    O2 - BHO: Search Helper - {6EBF7485-159F-4bff-A14F-B9E3AAC4465B} - C:\Program Files\Microsoft\Search Enhancement Pack\Search Helper\SEPsearchhelperie.dll
    O2 - BHO: Google Toolbar Helper - {AA58ED58-01DD-4d91-8333-CF10577473F7} - C:\Program Files\Google\Google Toolbar\GoogleToolbar_32.dll
    O2 - BHO: Google Toolbar Notifier BHO - {AF69DE43-7D58-4638-B6FA-CE66B5AD205D} - C:\Program Files\Google\GoogleToolbarNotifier\5.5.5126.1836\swg.dll
    O2 - BHO: Java(tm) Plug-In 2 SSV Helper - {DBC80044-A445-435b-BC74-9C25C1C588A9} - C:\Program Files\Java\jre6\bin\jp2ssv.dll
    O2 - BHO: JQSIEStartDetectorImpl - {E7E6F031-17CE-4C07-BC86-EABFE594F69C} - C:\Program Files\Java\jre6\lib\deploy\jqs\ie\jqs_plugin.dll
    O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [Microsoft Default Manager] "C:\Program Files\Microsoft\Search Enhancement Pack\Default Manager\DefMgr.exe" -resume
    O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [EKIJ5000StatusMonitor] C:\WINDOWS\System32\spool\DRIVERS\W32X86\3\EKIJ5000MUI.exe
    O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [ArcSoft Connection Service] C:\Program Files\Common Files\ArcSoft\Connection Service\Bin\ACDaemon.exe
    O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [AppleSyncNotifier] C:\Program Files\Common Files\Apple\Mobile Device Support\AppleSyncNotifier.exe
    O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [QuickTime Task] "C:\Program Files\QuickTime\qttask.exe" -atboottime
    O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [iTunesHelper] "C:\Program Files\iTunes\iTunesHelper.exe"
    O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [Adobe Reader Speed Launcher] "C:\Program Files\Adobe\Reader 9.0\Reader\Reader_sl.exe"
    O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [Adobe ARM] "C:\Program Files\Common Files\Adobe\ARM\1.0\AdobeARM.exe"
    O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [SunJavaUpdateSched] "C:\Program Files\Common Files\Java\Java Update\jusched.exe"
    O4 - HKCU\..\Run: [SpybotSD TeaTimer] C:\Program Files\Spybot - Search & Destroy\TeaTimer.exe
    O4 - HKCU\..\Run: [swg] "C:\Program Files\Google\GoogleToolbarNotifier\GoogleToolbarNotifier.exe"
    O4 - Global Startup: Kodak EasyShare software.lnk = C:\Program Files\Kodak\Kodak EasyShare software\bin\EasyShare.exe
    O4 - Global Startup: Microsoft Office.lnk = C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office\OSA9.EXE
    O9 - Extra button: (no name) - {DFB852A3-47F8-48C4-A200-58CAB36FD2A2} - C:\PROGRA~1\SPYBOT~1\SDHelper.dll
    O9 - Extra 'Tools' menuitem: Spybot - Search & Destroy Configuration - {DFB852A3-47F8-48C4-A200-58CAB36FD2A2} - C:\PROGRA~1\SPYBOT~1\SDHelper.dll
    O23 - Service: ArcSoft Connect Daemon (ACDaemon) - ArcSoft Inc. - C:\Program Files\Common Files\ArcSoft\Connection Service\Bin\ACService.exe
    O23 - Service: Apple Mobile Device - Apple Inc. - C:\Program Files\Common Files\Apple\Mobile Device Support\AppleMobileDeviceService.exe
    O23 - Service: Bonjour Service - Apple Inc. - C:\Program Files\Bonjour\mDNSResponder.exe
    O23 - Service: Google Update Service (gupdate) (gupdate) - Google Inc. - C:\Program Files\Google\Update\GoogleUpdate.exe
    O23 - Service: Google Software Updater (gusvc) - Google - C:\Program Files\Google\Common\Google Updater\GoogleUpdaterService.exe
    O23 - Service: Intuit Update Service (IntuitUpdateService) - Intuit Inc. - C:\Program Files\Common Files\Intuit\Update Service\IntuitUpdateService.exe
    O23 - Service: iPod Service - Apple Inc. - C:\Program Files\iPod\bin\iPodService.exe
    O23 - Service: Java Quick Starter (JavaQuickStarterService) - Sun Microsystems, Inc. - C:\Program Files\Java\jre6\bin\jqs.exe
    O23 - Service: Kodak AiO Network Discovery Service - Eastman Kodak Company - C:\Program Files\Kodak\AiO\Center\EKDiscovery.exe
    O23 - Service: Kodak AiO Device Service (KodakSvc) - Eastman Kodak Company - C:\Program Files\Kodak\AiO\center\KodakSvc.exe

    Close all Widnows except HijackThis and click on "Fix Checked

    If you print out the HJT removals above, you can use it to uncheck the Startups using the msconfig utility.
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