Small Problem

By SwimChao ยท 17 replies
Aug 25, 2008
  1. Well, for those who helped me before -- Im not back because of my computer!!

    A family computer, that my brother used, was put out of commission by a faulty power plug.. So until we had money to buy a new one, it's been collecting dust.

    Now, I figured.. My little brother used it, who is no better than me at security and cleanings.. I'd go ahead and do a FULL system scan, virus clean-up, malware, spyware and adware clean up. Then a basic system sweeping (Defrag, etc) so that it would be good for him to use (After I take him off the administrative account and put some other safety precautions in).

    Well, once started up he had over 60 something processes running, so, I ended all the processes in the msconfig startup. (This isn't the problem, I don't believe). Things after that shaped up a bit.

    Well, the desktop did the whole "Desktop recovery" thing as it's wallpaper. I hope you know what I'm talking about, because I know it's not abnormal (Or.. extremely). Well, I figured I'll click the desktop recovery thing, just to be safe (Since it's a legit windows thing, as far as I know..)

    Well now only a small part of the desktop is available for use, in a vertical strip up the left side, it goes from the bottom to the top, only space (width wise) for one icon/folder. I was wondering, what should I go about doing to fix it?

    Should I proceed with the cleaning?

    I figured.. you guys are so awesome and so very helpful you may have an answer for maybe even a hint at what the problem here is.

    Thanks so much again whenever you get time to get to this lesserly important topic,
  2. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,523

    Well I haven't really got the time, but I suppose I'll give it a minute of my time :)

    First of all, when you go to Safe mode is it the same? (Safe Mode =F8 at Windows startup)
    If it is, I'd say it's Monitor faulty (but that's very preliminary)

    You could also download the latest drivers for your video card (System Specs not supplied)
    And even re-mount your Video Card (if it's an Addon (and if it's a PC)
    Even a faulty video data cable could cause this.

    Mind you, your original issue of Restore the Desktop
    I wonder if you have a Picture set for your Walpaper that the Monitor just can't make. Therefore remove any Wallpaper (including any Web wallpaper)

    That's about all I have time for, right now :)
  3. SwimChao

    SwimChao TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 106

    Thanks for the tiem, Kim :D

    I've ruled out the possibility of a faulty monitor and video card, because.. Let me try to explain this. Hold down left mouse click to try and select multiple icons, if you drag it to the part that is 'broken' and over the two icons that are there, they become highlighted. It's really peculiar.

    I'll give the other two options a try when Im home today, I hadn't done Safe Mode yet. Im not fully aware of what the problem may be, though.

    Thanks, Ill post back if something comes up.
  4. SwimChao

    SwimChao TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 106

    I managed to tweak with the desktop properties in safe mode, since it seemed to have no problems there with the desktop.. So, now it appears to be fixed.

    However, as you ALL know I'm not tech savvy.. So, I disabled all the startup processes, because the list was HUGE. He had a total of 63 processes running on startup (Without me doing a thing).
    -I figured around 30-38 is the regular, since my older brother in college has around 35 I have around 33.

    Anyone have an HP laptop who could perhaps tell me how I could connect to the wireless router we have with it?
    -For the dekstops, we had to install our wireless cards and stuff.. For some reason I don't even see an option for connecting wirelessly with the laptop.

    Any help on this unimportant subject would be great,
    Thanks again,
  5. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,523

    Try this way:

    Install Wireless connection, Required: USB Flash Drive

    Step 1:

    Run this line in Start - Run field (copy/paste)

    %SystemRoot%\system32\rundll32.exe shell32.dll,Control_RunDLL NetSetup.cpl,@0,WNSW

    Step 2:

    Click <next>

    Step 3:

    "Set up a new wireless network" <next>

    Step 4:

    Create a network name (SSID) usually "company name" <next>

    ("automatically assign a network key")

    (don't tick "use WPA encryption instead of WEP")

    Step 5:

    "Use a USB flash drive" <next>

    Step 6:

    Plug in your USB flash drive
    (may have already been mounted)

    Step 7:

    Click <next>

    Step 8:

    Select your USB drive letter <next>
    (Note: Check drive letter corresponds to your flash drive)
    (Note: These files are created on your flash reader):

    SMRTNTKY (folder)
    (~52kb in size)

    Step 9:

    (Do not click "Next" or "Cancel" Yet)

    Remove the USB flash drive
    Plug it into your wireless access point (wait 30seconds)
    Remove the USB flash drive
    Plug it into each PC to be added to the wireless network
    Remove the USB flash drive
    Plug the flash drive back into the original PC

    Click <next>

    Step 10:

    Click <Finish>
    (Note: tick "remove the files from the flash reader"
    Note: running the wizard again enables adding to your network

    To Create a Network run this line in Start - Run field (copy/paste)

    %SystemRoot%\system32\rundll32.exe shell32.dll,Control_RunDLL NetSetup.cpl
  6. Bobbye

    Bobbye Helper on the Fringe Posts: 16,334   +36

    Hi Adam, you have become a very knowledgeable person! You brother is lucky to have you around!

    About the start up processes, of course, 60 or there abouts is way too many!The only processes he needs on Startup are: antivirus, firewall, touchpad if laptop and network process if on network. Now that is actually a count of 4, but some of these may have more than one process- like my touchpad for the laptop actually has 2 processes starting, but it's only for the touchpad.

    Be sure he has those- the firewall and antivirus, then put them on the Startup menu. Once you do that, the number of processes that show running in the Task Manager will go way down. I show 37 processes when my browser and email are open. That number is from the startup menu, some from the OS and others from the Services.

    Windows XP Services can be customized but it must be done carefully and slowly. The Dependency tab of each Service must be checked before changing it's startup mode. Don't remember if we gave you this before, but here are 2 sites to help with that:

    Be sure he has the right protection so he doesn't go right back out and get malware again!
  7. SwimChao

    SwimChao TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 106

    Heya Guys! Sorry for such a long wait!

    Now.. I'm kind of confused at Kim's directions.
    (Trying to understand stuff before I do it)

    Now, mind you we already have a wireless router set up and what not, and the desktops that I have installed wireless cards have no problem accessing them.

    But when I start up the laptop, there is no internet options except for the direct cable plugin (Which it of course says is unavailable). We recently switched net providers and the laptop has not been turned on since it.

    I just have no idea what to do, to access our router from the laptop.

    I'm going to toy in network connections and such to see if I can scoop something up in there that I might have overlooked.

    But if not, can someone either explain Kim's directions or what I should be doing? (I feel like Kim's directions are to setup a completely new network)
  8. Bobbye

    Bobbye Helper on the Fringe Posts: 16,334   +36

    Adam, it's over my head too! Hopefully kimsland will get notice of your reply and help you out.

    I would think that all you have to do is put in the information for the new ISP and that you get from them. The laptop has to be set up to use the wireless connection on the network. That is done in Network Connections- in fact, since the network is already set up, you may be able to set the laptop up using the Network Setup Wizard in the Control Panel.

    But you might want to wait and see if kimsland thinks you should do something different.
  9. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,523

    You need to Enable the wireless connection to see it.

    Reading H E R E may clear this up a bit better

    The process is:

    Enable the Wireless connection on the computer (You may need to go to your Network connections folder, or even Device Manager to do this)
    Following the HP link above, connect an ethernet cable (hard wired) to the access point, from your laptop

    For Vista:
    Start > Connect To. The Connect to a network dialog box appears. Click the Set up a connection or network link and follow the prompts.

    For XP:
    Start > Control Panel > Network Connections, and then click the Wireless Network Connection icon and follow the prompts

    Once wireless has been configured, possibly referring H E R E regarding WPA or WEP encryption. You should then have wireless working at last.
    Disconnect the hard wired ethernet cable, and you're good to go.

    Yes my earlier post was regarding setting up a full wireless network.
    Following this post, and enabling your wireless adaptor, all should be ok.

    Let us know the outcome.
  10. SwimChao

    SwimChao TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 106

    I was actually struck with an idea (Though I still will try and work with the wireless stuff, to get it working..)

    Now, the computer for as long as I can remember has been directly hooked up via ethernet cable. We still have one, and our wireless router will allow us to use it, so.. Since he has a long history of dumbing up computers (It runs in the family.. haha!) I think I'll place his laptop for internet use near the router, so his activity can be monitored a little bit more.

    I'll keep you guys posted on the wireless and any problems I may run into with it. After I get the internet working with it, I'm going to run the full cleaning and make sure he's clean as a whistle :)
  11. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,523

  12. SwimChao

    SwimChao TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 106

    Thanks, Kim!

    It's going to be fun going through the cleaning.. again. It and I are good friends.

    I'll keep you guys posted if I encounter anything out of my hands.
  13. Bobbye

    Bobbye Helper on the Fringe Posts: 16,334   +36

    You have to keep that 'bad boy' in tow Adam! Teach him what you learned. Don't let it add up over the years.
  14. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,523

    lol :)

    Hey Bobbye, you're 2000 on the dot, well done. (don't post whatever you do!)
  15. Bobbye

    Bobbye Helper on the Fringe Posts: 16,334   +36

    Oh wow! It's been a busy day! DId I reach my limit kimsland? ;-)
  16. SwimChao

    SwimChao TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 106

    Heya, even though there's more important topics to be tended I'm running a check-up report on what's going down!

    First off, the laptop is being cleaned up, AVG didn't pick up almost anything (But some 'tracking cookies' which were just whiped and I handled the cookie saving and such not in his browser now, no more of that!) and some adware. However, for some reason.. When I tried to install Spyboy S&D it said there was an error connecting or something along those lines (It's been a long few days)

    About the wireless situation, I can't quite hit that nail. I tried a few things (Like re-enabling all startup processes that I disabled, just incase I disabled the wireles somehow) but no luck. Right now, it's directly wired up to the router - that way he can't get far out of my sight with it ;)

    Also, for some reason (I don't know if it's my MSN account or my computer.. it shouldn't be my PC, I've been keeping it clean and haven't done.. anything) but on my MSN Messener I keep getting these messages from random emails that are obviously for adult sights (For lack of more appropriate word). They are sent often, and I'm wondering what could have happened there? I don't really want to get a new MSN email -- but spybot or ad-aware didn't pick anything up really. I'll run the virus scanners (I doubt it's that, but just to be on the safe side). Any answers? Tend to the more important topics first, though!
    -Adam :)
  17. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,523

    No No, your post would take precedence I'd say :)

    MSN Messener can be compromised if external users are aware of your MSN Messener name. You are able to block these senders from within MSN but if your name is widely known, there may be quite a few blocks going on, until it's stopped. Have a look here at some MSN tools

    Also, back on wireless!
    Start-->Run--> services.msc
    Scroll down to Wireless Zero Configuration
    Confirm it is enabled and started
  18. Bobbye

    Bobbye Helper on the Fringe Posts: 16,334   +36

    Adam, it might be helpful if you ran the system through HijackThis and attached the log. Maybe we can spot something there.
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