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axegrrl

help, my computer is possessed

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Okay, someone please tell me what the frag is going on with my computer.... (I'm typing this from my husband's Mac.)

 

I was having a bout of insomnia, so went to read my email. Suddenly, I got the "windows is shutting down" prompt. It shut down with no intervention from me.

 

I restarted the machine.

 

I looked at AVG Free's scan log. All green recently -- last problem I had was when the forum got hacked.

 

As I was trying to type my post, it did it again. I shut the computer off with the power button.

 

Now, I'm sitting at the other computer, and the computer lights came back on and they're flashing.

 

It just auto-rebooted -- for the second time.

 

I'm watching the Windows boot-up screen for the second time since I started writing this. It flashed by an error message that some application failed to launch, and I'm now staring at a blank desktop. Utterly blank, as in solid color that would be under the wallpaper. Windows Explorer is not running. Ctrl-alt-del did NOT bring up Task Manager.

 

I held the button down long enough to turn the thing off, then pulled the power plug.

 

It's a Windows XP Home, sp1 system. I use Gmail for all of my email on the system, specifically to cut down on the chance of getting virii by email. Only things I've downloaded recently are game trials from Real Networks. (What can I say...I have a weakness for silly little online computer games. :blush: ) I did a BizRate survey today on an etailer I've purchased from before, and followed the link to the "free" magazine page 'cause I was curious about how much that particular outfit would share your info (answer: bad enough that I declined their offer).

 

My work computer is hooked up to the home network, but it's asleep (lid down) at the moment. What are the chances it got nailed?

 

I'll be picking up some new anti-nastyware software after work. Suggestions on which one would work for this particular kind of thing would be appreciated.

 

And what the frag did I get hit with, anyway??

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Looks interesting... I'll have to consider that once I get the system clean enough to actually boot and stay booted long enough to install something.

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try booting up in safe mode. Then make sure the AVG is current. Run a scan from safe mode.

 

May not be a virus, could be some nasty spyware. Use ad-aware or spy-bot to check?

 

final option is that one of the things you downloaded is causing the problem.

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Although virus or spyware is a possible culprit, another possible problem could be simply bad fan causing heat issues.

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She shouldn't get the "Windows is Shutting Down" message if it is just heat from a bad fan; if the motherboard's self-protection was kicking it, it would just power off, fast and hard. It really sounds like virus issue.

 

~v

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No, I haven't upgraded to SP2 yet... partly because of an issue that one particular software package had with SP2, though that should be fixed by now; partly due to inertia of not wanting to deal with all of the backups.

 

Thanks for the suggestion on booting to safe mode; I'll see if it will let me do that.

 

 

[update]

 

I was able to start in safe mode, but before I could start Spybot, the machine started shutting down.

 

I've got it disconnected from the network. I'm keeping it unplugged to prevent it from rebooting. ::(:

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I will be purchasing some sort of anti-virus software that comes with a bootable disk. If that fails, I will end up purchasing a hard drive case w/ power supply and hooking the drive up to the Mac to pull my data off of it. Then we'll see what happens.

 

The Windows "genuine" sticker that the manufacturer puts on the machine is partly unreadable. I may have a Linux machine sooner than I planned.

 

Given some of the other odd behavior I've seen on this machine in the last several months, I wouldn't be surprised to find there's a rootkit on it somewhere.

 

I'm almost tempted to pull the drive from the box and hook it up to the Mac and pull data off of it *first* -- with a Unix view of the file system, I should be able to pull only the files I want and leave anything that I don't recognize strictly alone. And whatever's causing the problems with Windows won't be affecting a Unix system.

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If you have another pc handy, take the hard dive out of this one and add it to the other one (allowing it to boot from it's own hard drive) and then scan the 'new' drive.

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If you have another pc handy, take the hard dive out of this one and add it to the other one (allowing it to boot from it's own hard drive) and then scan the 'new' drive.

 

 

I had this same problem a few months ago. Apparantly, a worm or ad ware program got in a went undetected long enough I couldn't fix it. This was the only thing I could do. I eventually had to wipe my hard drive and reinstall windows. You may try as above, but boot it with the boot disk or windows cd.

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Does it give a countdown before shutting down? try doing a google seach for virus and shutting down. That should get you the help you need. I had that virus quite a while ago and it seems to me there was an interupt you could do while deleting this virus.

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ugh sounds like what was happening where I work a month ago (I do tech support for hpb) our whole company got hit hard by an rbot variant our antivirus didn't catch - try this... if you have a network cable, unplug it from the computer - that prevented our computers from shutting down, which let us clean it out

 

in case it happens to be the same thing we caught, you can look in the task manager for spread.exe or winsystems.exe to confirm it and if it's there, kill the process, clean it out of the registry and off the hard drive, but virus scans won't necessarily find it

 

good luck =)

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