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Vista Screen Freeze

By Walter · 17 replies
Apr 8, 2009
  1. I have had Vista 32 bit for roughly a year and have not had this problem before. The Vista screen freezes while I am working, The only solution for me has been to shut the computer off and then turn it back on. This only works some of the time. Even if I stop working for only a few moments. It happens so frequently that it occurred while I was attempting to log into this board.

    Could you guys please help me?

    What should I do first? Provide a HiJack this?

  2. Spyder_1386

    Spyder_1386 TS Rookie Posts: 498

    Hi Walter

    Do you receive any errors? Are your drivers up to date? Do you have SP1 installed on Vista? You could do a virus check by completing the 8-step virus removal tool here .... https://www.techspot.com/vb/topic58138.html and post your logs for us to look at.

    Spyder_1386 :)
  3. Walter

    Walter TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks for the reply.

    The closest I get to an error is an audit failure in the event viewer audit section upon turning my machine back on.

    Supposedly, Windows updates drivers on its own as needed. I can manually look for an update for a given driver, but I don't think that I can do a batch "update drivers" command. Of course, I'm no expert on drivers.

    I have Version 6.0 (Build 6001: Service Pack 1)

    I will attempt the 8 step virus check although I suspect that is not the problem.

    Meanwhile, here is some more info for you:

    I have a hunch that this is somehow related to the sleep, hibernation, or other functionality that is triggered by how long it has been since the keyboard has been touched. The screen has not frozen when I been working on the machine, as I am now. The problem seems to occur when I stop and do something else for a few minutes,

    It occurs even if I do not have any applications open.

    By "screen freeze", I mean that I can move the cursor and the cursor moves across the screen as expected, but nothing responds to my clicks. In addition, Ctrl Alt Del does nothing. I have been turning the machine off to get out of the screen freeze.

    I have a laptop that I leave plugged in. I have "turn off the display" and "put the computer to sleep" both set to "Never".

    I hope some of this helps. I will let you know what I find. Thanks!

    It freezes during the Virus scan, so I might try a different approach.
  4. Bobbye

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

    How much RAM do you have installed?
    Shutting down and rebooting frees up the RAM.
    Possible bad RAM sticks- or no enough.

    Disable the Hibernation feature.
    Set Stand By to two hours or more and set to go into Standby when you close the lid.

    It is unusual for the cursor to move when the screen has frozen. Can you tell if you are still connected tot he internet- or if the connectivity has been lost?
  5. Walter

    Walter TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I think that I have plenty of RAM, this is a fairly new computer (<2 years old).

    I tried your suggestion regarding Hibernation settings but it didn't help.
    Then I reset these settings to system defaults but this didn't help either.

    Here are the logs requested by the 8 step virus removal tool.

  6. Bobbye

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

    "Plenty" of RAM is how much?
    Do you know that all the sticks are good?

    Step 3: Temporarily Disable Real Time Monitoring Programs

    Please download ComboFix. HERE and save to the desktop:

    With ComboFix, at the download window, please rename it to Combo-Fix(.exe) before downloading it.

    Please disable all security programs, such as antiviruses, antispywares, and firewalls.
    Also disable your internet connection.

    • Run Combo-Fix.exe and follow the prompts.
    Kaspersky' online scan
    Open Kaspersky Online Scanner in Internet Explorer HERE:
    Rescan with HijackThis when trhough. Attach all reports and logs.

    This thread is for the use of Walter only. Please don't post your own virus/spyware problems in this thread. Instead, open a new thread in our Virus and Malware Removal Forum.
  7. Walter

    Walter TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks for the reply.

    I have 2GB of RAM. How can I check if my sticks are good?

    With regards to unchecking "Active" and "Automatic" in Ad-Aware: I don't seem to have these choices. I have a Disable Ad-Watch Live setting that I can select. Should I do this instead? Thanks.
  8. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,524

    You can use: => Memtest to test your Ram

    Ad-Aware can just be fully uninstalled, that would be much easier ;)

    Then continue on
  9. Walter

    Walter TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks Kimsland.

    I downloaded the memtest file and unzipped it so that I have an iso file on my desktop.
    Then I downloaded and installed the ISO to DVD software and burned (I think) the ISO onto a DVD. The DVD now appears to have the ISO file and an empty VIDEO_TS folder (I'm not sure how that got there but oh well).

    I then rebooted the computer with the DVD inserted but it did not run by itself. How do I get the memtest utility to open and run?

  10. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,524


    Please burn the ISO again (File open ISO file) to a new blank DVD (or CD) and try again
    Something went wrong with that one, possibly already used :confused:
  11. Walter

    Walter TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I did the memory test (1 pass) and no errors were found.

    I will continue with the rest and keep you posted - thanks.

    I ran ComboFix successfully and have a log file. ComboFix claims that some of my AntiVirus / AntiSpyWare applications were still enabled although the applications claimed that they were not enabled. Should I uninstall these applications and re-run ComboFix?

    Edited to add: Here is the ComboFix.txt file that indicates that the applications were still running.

    Aha!!! I believe that I have a useful observation to share.

    I am seeing the following in Task Manager:
    On the Processes Tab:
    Firefox using ~92MB of Memory (Private Working Set)
    Host Process For Windows Services Using ~41MB of Memory (Private Working Set)
    Desktop Window Manager using ~15MB of Memory (Private Working Set)
    Microsoft Windows Search Indexer Using ~12MB of Memory (Private Working Set)
    75 other processes all using <10MB

    On the bottom of this tab, it indicates that I am using ~3% of my CPU right now but
    45% of my physical memory. The performance tab indicates that I am using ~900MB, which is 45% of 2GB, which is the total amount of RAM on my machine. However, I am only running FoxPro right now.

    I am going to try to get the PC to freeze with the Task Manager showing. I want to see how much memory is used when it freezes.

    Do you think that memory could be running out for some reason?

    As I mentioned in the previous post, I closed FireFox and other open programs, opened Task Manager and waited for the screen to freeze as it usually does. I came back to the machine after ~3 hours and the screen was frozen with 54% of physical memory being used. Perhaps this is the limit of RAM that my machine can be using. It seems that a process called the defragmenter was running when I came back that was not running when I left.

    I am not an expert and any help or explanation that could be provided here would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

    PS I have 2 co-processors, if that matters
  12. Bobbye

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

    This is what is eating the memory and CPU.

    And running in the background:
    Step 3 in the Virus and MAlware Cleaning:
  13. Walter

    Walter TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thank you very much for this helpful reply. For reasons that are mysterious to me, the screen freeze problems that I had been experiencing several times each day ceased some time last week (~20th). Perhaps a background update was made by Vista that corrected some problem.

    Anyway, my machine is still using memory at levels similar to what I previously mentioned. I will follow your advice to improve this.
    Here are some questions and comments:

    1. I am doing my best to abide by the rules of this board regarding P2P.
    I had removed the Torrent application (or so I thought) even though the "Query User" messages appeared in ComboFix.txt. Will setting my firewall to "block all" for this application take care of this issue?

    2. What should I do about realplayer\recordingmanager.exe? I want to keep Real Player on my machine for the time being, if feasible. Should I find the exe file and delete it manually?

    3. Can I uninstall the Toshiba Software Upgrade program entirely, using Control Panel?

    4. What should I do regarding the "Multiple Locked Registry keys for "Progid"="YMP.Media"" issue?

    Thank you once again for your kind assistance.
  14. Bobbye

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

    Firewall block okay, but better or additionally, search the system for BitTorrent and delete all files. Be sure Hidden files and folder show:
    Open Search> tools> Folder options> View tab> CHECK 'show hidden files and folders> Apply> OK.

    Now put the search term in the search file box. Reminder: when finished with search, go back and re-hide the files.


    O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [TkBellExe] "C:\Program Files\Common Files\Real\Update_OB\realsched.exe" -osboot

    You can do this from withing the Hijackthis program:
    Using the Uninstall Manager in HijackThis, you can remove these entries from your uninstall list.


    As far as I could find out, YMP Media File is just the description Yahoo Music Player gives to any associated file formats/extensions (ie. those which it is the default player for), purchased via Yahoo Music Engine.Since you have the Yahoo! Music Jukebox, it is likely the files are from that.

    So I don't see any reason for them to be "locked". Hold on those please while I see if I can get more info on this. Since uTorrent was active, I don't care for 'locking' of these files.

    One more question: What are you running from CheckPoint? It's showing here in ComboFix:
    2009-04-08 23:30 -------- d-----w c:\users\All Users\CheckPoint
    2009-04-08 23:30 -------- d-----w c:\programdata\CheckPoint
    That is a company that makes security software, the best known is ZoneAlarm Firewall and now having a suite. But you have the Comodo firewall.

    Go ahead and do the above. I'll be back with the 'progrid' answer.
  15. Walter

    Walter TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thank you very much!

    To answer your question, I installed ZoneAlarm briefly, then removed it. Then I installed, Comodo, which I am now using. So I guess that you are looking at things from ZoneAlarm that were not removed but perhaps should have been when I removed the rest of the firewall software.

    It is bedtime for me. I will work on your instructions tomorrow. Thanks again.
  16. Bobbye

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

    Okay, on 4/8/09 you did something with Zone Alarm, per the entry I left. But the only other ZA entry is:
    2009-04-08 23:34 . 2009-04-08 23:34 -------- d-----w c:\program files\Zone Labs\.

    Part of my job is to inform you if you exceed the right security limits or do not meet the suggested limits: this is one antivirus program, one firewall, and 2 or more spyware/adware programs.

    Combofix shows you currently have processes from Avira, McAfee, Comodo ZoneAlarm.
    The Comod AND ZoneAlarm firewalls appear to be running.. Their entries are identical except for the dates.

    I also see entries for McAfee Network Agent which is a part of the McAfee security products.
    c:\program files\common files\mcafee\mna\mcnasvc.

    So here's the scoop:
    Decide which third party firewall you want. Uninstall the others and delete any left-over files.
    Decide which antivirus program you want and uninstall the others, delete any left-over files.
    IF you have a suite that has both an antivirus program AND a firewall use the suite- you can't use parts of suites.

    Update and run Combofix again. Attach the report.
  17. Walter

    Walter TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I followed your instructions, as best I could.

    The umbrella on the tray icon for AVir AntiVirus was closed, indicating that scanning was disabled (or should have been disabled) while ComboFix was running.

    Likewise, I had closed and exited Comodo, and the tray icon disappeared, so I think that the Comodo Firewall should not have appeared as active in the ComboFix log.

    I can uninstall both and then repeat ComboFix, but I won't unless you tell me to do so.

    By the way, Windows has not crashed in several weeks, so my problem appears to have gone away. Thanks for your assistance.

    Can we consider this thread officially finished?
  18. Bobbye

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

    The thread is finished. You are still using uTorrent and there is a problem with the Software Licensing Service, which is part of Vista's anti-piracy sub-system, validating your software, I withdraw from the thread.
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