Screen keeps freezing

By compused ยท 23 replies
Feb 10, 2009
  1. Our screen keeps on freezing or the mouse arrow disappears. I feel this is because we have installed Service Pack 3. Are there any patches we can download to fix this problem?

    Alternatively, can we go back to before Service Pack 3 was installed which was on 18/01/09 and, if so, how to I do that?

    Thank you for your help in advance.
  2. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    You can REMOVE service pack 3 in Add and Remove in the Control Panel
  3. mflynn

    mflynn TS Rookie Posts: 2,655

    Has this been doing this since 1/19/09?

    If all was well for a while it could be something else.

    You are better off with SP3.

    Do the below (if you have the issues while doing the below get the downloads then run from safe mode)

    Download CCleaner get SLIM at bottom.

    Run CCleaner again twice or more on Cleanup temps, then on left click Registry then Scan for issues also repeat till clean.

    Run ATF-Cleaner Temp and Registry, repeatedly until no more found.

    Fantastic cleaner.

    Once the above are finished!

    Do the TechSpot 8 steps:

    Skip no steps (do not install another virus scanner if you already have one, ask me before installing a Firewall).

    Most importantly update MalwareBytes and SuperAntiSptware!

  4. compused

    compused TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 124

    CCleaner - sorry I don't know what you mean by "Get SLIM" at bottom". I have all four programmes already downloaded from running your 8-steps virus removal. I will run the 8-steps plus what you have said here tomorrow in daylight. Please just let me know what SLIM means.

    Regarding firewall and antivirus programmes, we have the free AVG antivirus programme, which also shields against bad cookies and rely upon the Windows firewal as our firewall because the last technician who came and fixed our computer told us this. Mind you he downloaded Firefox and we uninstalled it because it took too long to run. We used to have Zonealarm as our firewall and we quite happy to go back to this.

    Regarding your question of has our screen been freezing since 18/01/09, yes it has but I had installed a Logitech webcam and had not checked it's RAM requirement (512 MB) and we only had 256 MB RAM so we thought all the problems was due to the webcam. I have since uninstalled it's programme and it is only after this that we noticed that we still had problems.

    Thank you for your assistance.
  5. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    But it is simple to also remove Service pack 3... an time consuming to reinstall it after you do these other things.
  6. mflynn

    mflynn TS Rookie Posts: 2,655

    It is simple but with Malware the uninstall could possibly fail!

    If there is the right (wrong) Malware and SP3 has to be uninstalled then reinstalled it will be safer with malware gone.

    And the system should be clean before reinstall of SP3 for the same reason.

    There is a good chance just the Temp and Registry cleanups will fix it

    I think it is worth the 8 Steps we will see when the logs come in. If you have the tools has the system been checked recently since SP3, or how long ago before the SP3 upgrade.

    Hopefully you did not install SP3 to fix and unknown issue.

    Don't worry about the SLIM I did not know you already had the tools.

    Be sure to update MBAM and SAS!


    EDIT: OK I see it has only been 6 days ago that you ran the 8 Steps so do Quick scans with MBAM and SAS!
  7. compused

    compused TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 124

    In reply to Raybay how can I unstall SP-3 when I no longer seem to have SP-2 in my computer.

    Anyway I will try the long but safer way tomorrow.

    Windows kept on asking whether I wanted to install SP-3 and I had heard that it had problems so had said no each time it asked. However, there was a button which said "Don't ask me" which I ticked and now I wonder whether it meant "Don't ask me, just install!"

  8. mflynn

    mflynn TS Rookie Posts: 2,655

    OK get the logs to be sure!

    When we are sure you are clean, then consider the below!

    We need to tweak your computer for better use of it's limited resources which could rectify the problem plus get you more speed.

    256 of ram is low even for SP1. SP3 requires even more. Coupled with a processor under 2 Ghz is a potential for problems.

    But first you may see great improvement just from the Temp and registry clean. Run long enough before doing the below just to see. If you do see improvement then continue below for more improvement.

    Clean and tweak services

    In services stop and disable all of the below.

    Nothing is un-installed or deleted only disabled from running!

    They can be put back anytime later, but I would not, as none of them are needed by most home users and very few business users. Basically stuff M$ thought you should have.

    Disabled uses no memory (RAM) and no CPU cycles.
    Manual uses the RAM but a small amount of CPU.
    Auto and not started they use even more RAM and CPU.
    Auto and started even more RAM and CPU ..

    Leaving these all off, then becomes a performance tweak/boost as they free some RAM and CPU cycles!

    Special note. If you are going to pick and choose then be aware that the small amount of RAM and CPU cycles of each one individually is not significant but as a group it is!

    So if you need most of them (or just think you do because you don't) then just as well enable them all)!

    Disable all of the below

    Distributed Link Tracking Client
    Distributed Transaction Coordinator
    DNS Client
    Fast User switching
    Health Key and Certificate Management Service
    Indexing service
    Net logon (only needed if you log onto a Domain Server)
    Net.TCP Port Sharing
    NetMeeting Remote Desktop Sharing
    IPsec services
    QoS RSVP
    Remote Registry (is also a security threat)
    Uninterruptable power supply
    Universal Plug and play
    Web Client
    Windows media player Network Sharing

    IF you are using a wired network card and "NOT" using wireless on this computer then you can
    also disable

    Wireless Zero configuration

    Wireless Zero configuration is only used on computers with a wireless NIC like a Laptop. Do not disable Wireless Zero configuration on a Laptop. Has nothing to do with other wireless hardware like wireless routers etc.

    In short if this computer has a CAT 5 or 6 cable and no ability to connect wirelessly if that cable is unplugged, then you can disable Wireless Zero configuration.

    This is not to be confused with Wired Auto Config do not disable that!

    Reboot after this. And test again for the issue.

  9. compused

    compused TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 124

    Just out of interest, we both share my partner's computer which, as I've said has a 1.53 GHz processor and 256 MB RAM. I have my own computer, which is not connected to the Internet at the moment, which also has 2 GB processor but only 192 MB RAM. Is there anyway to combine the two hard drives because frankly I don't know what to do with it as you have to be so careful about destroying hard drives so that fraudsters cannot get your information? I bought it in 2004 but from 2006, when I moved up here, it has not been used. When I go to My Computer, Properties of both computers:

    Partner's computer doesn't have a name but is AMD Athlon (tm) XP 1800+ - 1.53 Ghz and 256 MB of RAM

    Mine is Compaq Pressario AMD Athlon (tm) XP 2400+ - 2 Ghz and 192 MB of RAM.
  10. compused

    compused TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 124

    Other than my AVG antivirus, as I have already installed the Malwarebytes, Superspyware etc., do I have to disable any of the three programmes listed in your 8-steps before I run CCleaner?
  11. mflynn

    mflynn TS Rookie Posts: 2,655

  12. compused

    compused TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 124

    8-step virus removal results

    Malwarebytes - no viruses - Log attached
    Superspyware - no viruses - Log attached
    HijackThis - Log attached

    I had run the quick scan of Malwarebytes last night as well and found nothing as, when I was on the Internet I got a window about IExplorer and when I tried to close it another window appeared and another. I shut the computer down quickly, restarted it and ran Malwarebytes but it didn't find anything.

    I am going out now so will read your suggestions later. Thanks for being so helpful.
  13. mflynn

    mflynn TS Rookie Posts: 2,655

    I need to know if you have done all the cleanups I advised in post #3 and the Service tweaks in post #8.

    And have you rebooted since and if you have done all the above, is there any improvement?

    Now do the below...

    Download SDFix to Desktop.

    On Desktop run SDdFix It will run (install) then close.

    Then reboot into Safe Mode

    As the computer starts up, tap the F8 key several times.

    On the Boot menu Choose Safe Mode.

    Click thu all the prompts to get to desktop.

    At Desktop
    My Computer C: drive. Double-click to open.

    Look for a folder called SD Fix. Double-click to enter SD Fix.

    Double-click to RunThis.bat. Type Y to begin.

    SD Fix does its job.

    When prompted hit the enter key to restart the computer

    Your computer will reboot.

    On normal restart the Fixtool will run again and complete the removal process then say Finished,
    Hit the Enter key to end the script and load your desktop icons.

    Once the desktop is up, the SDFix report will open on screen and also be saved to the SDFix folder as Report.txt.
    Attach the Report.txt file to your next post.
    Download ComboFix

    NOTE: If you have had ComboFix more than a few days old delete and re-download.

    Get it here:
    Or here:

    Double click combofix.exe follow the prompts.

    Install Recovery Console if connected to the Internet!

    When finished, it will open a log.
    Attach the log and a new HJT log in your next reply.

    Note: Do not click combofix's window while its running. That may cause it to stall.


  14. compused

    compused TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 124

    Running AFT-Cleaner in majorgeeks etc.

    I went on to Cleaner d4949.html and downloaded what is called Quad Registry Cleaner (as that was the only free download I could find). First of all I ran the long scan and it came up with a whole list of problems with lots of numbers (779 in total), and now I have just run the quick scan and again I get 779 entries. Was I supposed to run the lot or only tick Registry and Temp (there doesn't seem to be Temp)?

    Are these errors and should I go ahead and repair them or am I supposed to know what to repair and what to ignore?

    For instance it has:

    ActiveX/COM/OLE entries 148
    Empty Registry Keys 187
    Uninstall Entries 302

    These are examples of the larger occurrences.

    There seem to be several registry cleaners and other programmes to download from this site and it would be helpful if somebody could tell me which one I am supposed to be downloading.

    After running the 8-step virus removal the computer seems to be a bit quicker but is still freezing or the mouse disappearing when I go on a gaming site or research my genaelogy.

    Don't worry I will run all the programmes you've told me - I just need a little help to know whether I am going in the right direction.

    Thanks for your help Mike.

  15. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,523

    This is why you are waiting
    We are waiting for the logs ;)
  16. mflynn

    mflynn TS Rookie Posts: 2,655

  17. compused

    compused TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 124

    Screen and mouse keep freezing

    Herewith logs:

    Malwarebytes found 11 spyware files, which I deleted. Superspyware didn't find any after that.
  18. mflynn

    mflynn TS Rookie Posts: 2,655

    Again I ask?
    Did you or did you not do this?

    Also do Post #13 and post the SDFix and ComboFix logs.

  19. compused

    compused TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 124

    Screen and mouse keep freezing

    Hi Mike,

    Yes I ran both the AFT Cleaner and the cleaner. The former said it had freed a lot of space.

    I have never disabled or tweaked anything in a computer before but, presumably I will find full instructions on how to do this in your hardware and tweaking section.

    I have had one freeze today when I went to the majorgeeks. com website. Other than this the computer seems to be running much faster.

    Kaysland said I could uninstall all the Windows hotfixes we have, but I am a bit dubious because I put "uninstall hotfixes" in Google and another site didn't recommend it.

    Thanks you for your help.

  20. compused

    compused TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 124

    Screen and mouse keep freezing

    Further to the above I have also disabled all those services listed in your #8.

    I haven't followed your instructions in #13 but I think I will wait until I see if the computer is still too slow before I start messing around with rebooting in safe mode.
  21. mflynn

    mflynn TS Rookie Posts: 2,655

    OK good on the Tweaks!

    And unless you are low on disk space if it makes you feel better leave the Windows hotfixes.

    But if booting to Safe Mode causes a problem, likely not now you can't just bury your head it only means there is something wrong.

    So go ahead with Post #13 and I think we will be finished! This is important.

  22. compused

    compused TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 124

    Hi Mike,

    It's the weekend, my partner is home and it's his computer I'm dabling with! Mine is sitting idle on my chest of drawers, not connected to the Internet.

    The only reason booting in safe mode causes a problem is because, firstly, I've never done it before and I'm a bit of a scardy cat when it comes to trying out new things and, secondly, my partner read what you said and said they had tried booting in safe mode at work (he is a Print Manager for Middlesex University) and it caused a lot of problems with their computers, so he is standing here saying absolutely not! So I will leave be for the moment and may try it during next week.

    Thank you very much for your patience with me and also thanks to Kimsland and anyone else who has helped me.
  23. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,523

    I found this Xp SP2 Safe Mode Repair reg file, which should fix Safe Mode

    Even though I think you have SP3, don't worry I have tested this a number of times on SP2 and SP3

    Download the Zip file
    Extract the Reg file
    Double click and Merge to Registry
    Restart to Safe Mode safely :)
  24. compused

    compused TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 124

    Screen and mouse are still freezing


    I might try a clean boot tomorrow, as our screen is still freezing.

    Yesterday I installed Comodo firewall and now I don't seem to be able to play any games on The screen isn't freezing exactly but the countdown until I can play isn't going down. Would this have something to do with the firewall or might there be a bad virus lurking around on that site?

    Can you please let me know what an HJT log is - sorry to be such an ignoramous!

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