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Possible Computer Virus (Need Advice)
n/a | 2-25-2012 | Me

Posted on 02/25/2012 9:46:12 PM PST by fieldmarshaldj

I've had more and more difficulties with accessing webpages (serious slowdown and pages freezing up) along with rapid bumping-off of being logged in to different websites (such as IMDb, eBay, etc.), for which I should be permanently logged in (or at least in eBay's case, for 24 hours). I go through maybe 5-10 pages or less and I get inexplicably knocked off. Again, it's not localized to just a few websites, but across the board. This computer is less than 2 years old, doesn't have a lot of memory used (or junk cluttering the system).

I have Kaspersky anti-virus and ran a scan, but it shows no viruses. I did a defrag and it was no help, and also a checkdisk scan at start-up, and that also did nothing to improve the situation.

Any ideas as to what is wrong with my computer ? I am stumped. Thanks.

TOPICS: Chit/Chat; Computers/Internet
KEYWORDS: computer; virus
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To: fieldmarshaldj
Installed memory: 3.00 GB (2.74 GB usable).

That sounds adequate to me.

I would still shut down all windows except for Malwarebytes and see if things speed up.

Just read post 50 and having HWMonitor installed is a great idea to see what your processor temps are running, things go to crap as you approach 100 C.

I have it installed on the new machine and it's a handy monitor to make sure things are running cool, especially with laptops and their marginal cooling to start with.

51 posted on 02/26/2012 1:52:36 AM PST by The Cajun (Palin, Free Republic, Mark Levin, Newt......Nuff said.)
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To: RSmithOpt
Download and install Glary Utilities (free edition) and run the "1-Click Module'. Its registry cleaner is much more thorough.

If you boot into safe mode and do not see a performance issue, then it is not a hardware problem.

BTW, I went back and reread you have a AMD processor, so your idle CPU temps will most likely be 36C-48C. Hardware Monitor is a free and good tool that lets me know when I need to blow the dust out of my systems plus I have had to reseat a CPU on another system with new heatsink grease about a year ago.

52 posted on 02/26/2012 1:54:35 AM PST by RSmithOpt (Liberalism: Highway to Hell)
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To: fieldmarshaldj
While I have received a lot of help with my computer on this board, there have been a few times I needed another resource so I did not have to take mine to the shop.

Cyver Tech Help has helped me several times. It is a forum type site and you simply start a thread that describes the problem. A volunteer will respond and walk you through the fix.

They will have you d/l different tool to run and then post logs that they can analyze to discover the cause of the problem, then run tools to fix them.

If your machine is as slow as it seems to be and you have access to another one, you can d/l the program to a flash drive.

Since they are volunteers there, you don't get instant response. I will take a few days to resolve the problem; but they will get to the bottom of it.

RE: Kaspersky: On the recommendation of FReepers, I junked it and loaded Microsoft Security Essentials. I got an immediate performance boost. Just for giggles, maybe disable Kas and see what she do.

53 posted on 02/26/2012 3:29:03 AM PST by don-o (He will not share His glory and He will NOT be mocked! Blessed be the name of the Lord forever.)
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To: ansel12


54 posted on 02/26/2012 3:46:56 AM PST by Elle Bee
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To: ansel12

Have you checked your task manager to see what is using up your resources? I once accidentally downloaded a program that installed with a ancillary program that ran continuously in the background to “monitor” my web usage. It was also using about 80 percent of my processing and slowed everything else I was doing to a crawl. I deleted the program and things got back to normal.

55 posted on 02/26/2012 3:55:07 AM PST by Hootowl
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To: fieldmarshaldj

No idea what is causing your problem, but after reading the thread responses up to 55, another thing you could check is your hard drive and your Windows settings. You can run something like Disk Doctor to check and fix hard drive problems and Win Fix to reregister your Windows components. I use a free download program called Advanced System Care (There is a paid upgrade available, as well) that has brought old PCs back from the near dead and significantly helped several others.

56 posted on 02/26/2012 5:22:52 AM PST by Truth29
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To: don-o; fieldmarshaldj
You did exactly what I had to do Don-o. I had McKaffe, then Norton, then Avast, etc,,, Scan-ware, Spy-ware, blah, blah, etc, etc,.

I finally removed all that pathetic junk from all my computers and went to Microsoft download center to down load Security Essentials. It did not cost me a dime, it loaded fast and is designed and built for Microsoft OS’s. It works very well with XP, 7, etc, and especially with the new version of 7 and the Beta version of 8.

Forget about Fire Fox, etc,,, E8 & E9 work much better than those wannabees with Security Essentials. You can also do scans really fast, they do not load up your system, and you will enjoy much faster downloads as well as, be able to navigate faster. When it updates itself, you cannot even tell it is there either. And it does not bog down your system when it does.

Security Essentials also gives you a first class version of the program free of charge and they do not give you a skeleton version like most of the others do until you pay through the nose for their so called “professional version”.

Another point is, I have never felt more secure, and if I am assaulted by an attempt, I am immediately warned and it deals with the threat very effectively. And I have never had to “quarantine” a threat because the program could not get rid of it.

Security Essentials is one of the finest computer products I have ever used, because it really, really works. I suggest you try that first, before you use all those incompatible wannabee products that some are trying to convince you to use.

57 posted on 02/26/2012 5:53:25 AM PST by PSYCHO-FREEP (If you come to a fork in the road, take it........)
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To: ansel12; mkmensinger; The Cajun; All

OK, the Malwarebytes ran for 7 1/2 hours and located a single virus, “PUM.hijack.startmenu”. It stated it removed it, but there are some other procedures I’m going to follow up on later (after I get some sleep !), starting with the TDSSKiller. I’ll let you all know how it goes. Thanks for the help.

58 posted on 02/26/2012 6:21:49 AM PST by fieldmarshaldj
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To: fieldmarshaldj
Installed memory: 3.00 GB (2.74 GB usable).

I don't think 3.0 GB of RAM is enough any more, not with Win7. Right now, this computer is running Firefox and Outlook, with Kaspersky running in the background and is using 2.45 GB of RAM.

If you can, upgrade to a min of 4 GB, preferably 8 GB. More is better. Going from 2 GB to 4 GB fixed that same problem on my old Dell laptop when I switched it from XP to Win7.

Have you checked your performance score? It would be interesting to see what it says.

Also? You might find a program like Auslogics BoostSpeed helpful, as they contain all sorts of speed enhancers, registry cleaners, defragers, etc., all in one package.

59 posted on 02/26/2012 7:04:27 AM PST by GBA (Natural Born American)
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To: Hardraade

Good advice. I use malwarebytes and Avast. Have no problems whatsoever.

60 posted on 02/26/2012 8:05:16 AM PST by Georgia Girl 2 (The only purpose of a pistol is to fight your way back to the rifle you should never have dropped.)
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To: fieldmarshaldj
Sounds like you're on the right track.

Finding a virus probably means that you don't have hardware problems.

Definitely run TDSSKiller.

See how your performance is doing afterward and if everything looks back to normal, (you're going to hate me for saying this) run Malwarebytes again, full scan on just C drive.

61 posted on 02/26/2012 2:08:11 PM PST by The Cajun (Palin, Free Republic, Mark Levin, Newt......Nuff said.)
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To: fieldmarshaldj

looks like MalwareBytes got it .. I just updated mine ... saves the day often.

Santorum and Newt campaigns are now active in MA and VT. Are you getting much campaign noise on your local media and mail in TN for 3/06?

I do not see polls for TN anywhere. Romney will get 3rd place just like OK?

62 posted on 02/26/2012 9:05:29 PM PST by campaignPete R-CT (and I went to southern Maine to campaign against MITT.)
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It’s probably better to get that extra memory right when you buy the computer. More than likely we’ll get a new computer within a year, so little point in springing for that now for a 2-year old computer.

As for the performance score, it reads a 4.1.

63 posted on 02/27/2012 6:46:26 AM PST by fieldmarshaldj
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To: The Cajun

I ran the TDSSKiller, it scarcely took long at all and didn’t find anything. I also went ahead and ran the Malwarebytes again overnight (took just under 7 hours this time) and it spotted nothing.

However, I’m still having performance issues (slowdowns, etc.), although the frustrating concern of getting bumped off password-required sites I haven’t attempted to check, although I’m about to (oddly enough, it hasn’t happened on FR, but has on eBay, IMDb and other lesser-visited sites).

64 posted on 02/27/2012 6:51:43 AM PST by fieldmarshaldj
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To: campaignPete R-CT

No, there hasn’t been many campaign ads (beyond some local judgeships), although I haven’t frequented the local channels, anyhow. No mailers, either, which is odd. I do expect Santorum to carry TN (Newt may place 4th). TN has ceased to become a battleground state, anyhow. Absent Al Gore putting the state (barely) into the rodent category for President (and Carter in ‘76), TN is a GOP state now, and that has gone clear down-ballot. The National Democrats are absolutely toxic in this state.

65 posted on 02/27/2012 6:57:04 AM PST by fieldmarshaldj
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To: fieldmarshaldj

must be distressin’ for the locals to know that their country is being wrecked but a bunch of cosmopolitan liberal Yanks.

This Yank sympathizes with them.

66 posted on 02/27/2012 8:39:08 AM PST by campaignPete R-CT (and I went to southern Maine to campaign against MITT.)
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To: fieldmarshaldj
(took just under 7 hours this time)

That is the troubling part for me, that's way too long for a newer machine imho.

TDSSKiller is a very fast running scan, takes less than 5 minutes on my old clunker.
Good to hear that it found nothing because I was suspecting a *root kit* virus screwing up the registry.

Maybe you need more RAM memory, but I think 3 Gb just running Malwarebytes should be adequate and not require 7 hours of run time.

67 posted on 02/27/2012 10:07:31 AM PST by The Cajun (Palin, Free Republic, Mark Levin, Newt......Nuff said.)
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To: fieldmarshaldj
When you mention 241 gb free out of 286 gig possible, I don't believe that you are referring to ‘memory’ but rather disk space. You might be looking at a combination of windows swap file size plus dynamic (physical) memory stick size.

Regular dynamic memory is usually constrained to 16 or 32 gb using either 4 memory sticks at 4gb each yielding 16 GB or 4 sticks at 8 GB each yielding 32 GB total. That is an extremely large physical memory size for personal computers.

Please note that some Intel motherboards are capable of holding SIX memory sticks.

Dynamic memory stick size is critical to understand properly because it determines your hibernate file (hiberfil) size which is the same as your dynamic memory size.

Your swap file should be large enough to contain everything that you have running and is usually set as 1.5 times your dynamic memory size but if you have enough physical memory to contain everything that you are running your swap file doesn't have to be that large.

I would recommend that you cut down on your ‘swap file’ size to about 4 gb and set it using the ‘custom size’ setting with BOTH the minimum and Maximum size being the same. I also recommend if possible placing your swap file onto a different hard drive than your boot or C: drive.

Windows by default sets up an fairly small swap file with different minimum and maximum file sizes. When windows first starts up it will create a minimum size swap file and then gradually increase it as more programs get loaded which results in a highly fragmented swap file along with all of the intertwined files on that same disk also getting fragmented. I have 16 GB of dynamic memory along with a swap file size of only 4 GB and I have plenty of ‘free memory’ available. I would recommend that you delete all but the last two ‘restore points’, do a disk clean up, turn off the hibernate mode, and then delete the no longer used ‘hiberfil’. After all of that, then do a defrag using a program like ‘perfect disk’. Win 7 has a lot of tasks running in the background and it is constantly opening and closing various log files while often keeping several copies of each file. These are usually small files but with multiple copies being created and deleted the hard disk tends to get fragmented very quickly.

My own system runs Win 7 Pro on a Gigabyte 990FXA-UD5 motherboard with an AMD Phenom II 6 core 1090T black edition processor. I am using FOUR 4GB memory sticks for a total of 16 gb of memory to be updated to 32 gb when some extra cash comes in.

My boot drive is a Patriot Pyro 60 gb SSD which reads over 550 MB per second.

My ‘working’ disks are SEVEN 1.5 TB hard drives + ONE 2 TB hard drive + two 3TB hard drives. In other words a pretty high end machine. I keep all of my hard drives other than the 60 gb SSD boot drive defragmented on a weekly basis.

I have a very highly tuned system but from time to time I still experience various slow downs and pauses while WIN 7 performs background maintenance tasks.

If you are using a Solid State Disk (SSD) I would recommend the following site for tuning tips: SSDs are very tricky about proper alignment and suffer greatly if the drive isn't formatted and aligned prior to OS installation.

I also recommend the following site: for general win 7 tuning tips.

I personally don't use any windows ‘restore points’ but rely instead on periodic backups using Acronis True Image. If you don't have a backup/recovery program like Acronis and have to rely on Windows to make periodic restore points be advised that windows often creates more restore points than what we are aware of while deleting the oldest ones based on time and space constraints which further adds to the fragmentation problems.

If you aren't using the hibernate function, then disable it and delete the hiberfil which takes up as much disk space as your memory size.

There is simply no getting round defragging your boot drive if it isn't a SSD. If your boot drive is a SSD and it is correctly set up win 7 uses it's ‘Trim’ function to AUTUMATICALLY keep fragmentation from happening. One should never defrag a SSD and especially don't regularly defrag it.

68 posted on 02/27/2012 12:33:39 PM PST by dglang
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To: dglang
Further info for original poster. Also check your Temporary Internet files setting under Internet Explorer Tools - Internet Options - General - settings to be sure that Internet explored isn't retaining too many temporary files.

I've seen various tuning tips which state that 16 to 32 MB is sufficient. IE by default sets up a large number for retention and recommends 20 to 50 MB be reserved with a maximum of 1025 MB (1TB) possible. The larger your hard drive, the larger the number set by default.

Keeping too many Temporary Internet Files leaves them scattered across the hard drive which along with the adding of new files and deleting of old files creates a highly fragmented hard drive.

I often delete all of my old temp Internet files before shutting down or doing a defrag. I also recommend if possible putting the Temporary Internet Files on a different hard drive that your Boot or C: drive.

69 posted on 02/27/2012 12:55:13 PM PST by dglang
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To: fieldmarshaldj

New sounds good to me. Just for fun, try running the CPU gadget with the two dials to see what percentage of its ram your machine is using.

70 posted on 02/27/2012 7:13:01 PM PST by GBA (Natural Born American)
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To: The Cajun

I’m still not sure what’s wrong. There is clearly a lot of junk in the system, as I was observing the scan. The problem, too, is that the computer is acting no different than before. The slow loads, the getting knocked off log-ins. I had to borrow the old computer (which has its own problems and is almost 5 years old) and the websites were loading like lightning by comparison (although the substantial downside is that it has a nasty habit of “blacking out” while in the middle of doing something — and the history cache from the time it was turned on, all logged-in websites, are dumped from the memory. This was one reason I stopped using it in favor of the newer computer in the past several months). If it costs more than a few hundred bucks to correct the problems, it’s simply better off buying a new machine.

71 posted on 02/29/2012 4:09:47 AM PST by fieldmarshaldj
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I forgot where that was, since I don’t much play around or look at that. That’s under Task Manager, I believe. I’ll note what it says (although it changes from moment to moment)...

CPU usage: ranges from 1 to 20%
Memory: 1.44GB

Physical memory (MB)
Total 2806
Cached 1352
Available 1340
Free 34

Kernel memory (MB)
Paged 242
Nonpaged 84

Does that show what you’re asking or is it something else ?

72 posted on 02/29/2012 4:22:25 AM PST by fieldmarshaldj
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To: dglang

Some of those temp files look like junk. Cookies to websites I only visited once, in some cases weeks or months ago. I deleted some of them by hand. The retension memory was set to 250 MB, the high end of the recommended amount.

As to your prior post, which is obviously comprehensive, I openly admit to not being an expert on those things of a more complicated nature, so I’m not entirely sure how to attempt any alterations without causing problems (or if it is even necessary to do). I’m more or less simply puzzled why my internet connection is acting so subpar (despite the fact two computers are hooked up to the same wireless connection, and the older and ostensibly more troubled one has a far easier time navigating websites than this one).

73 posted on 02/29/2012 4:38:50 AM PST by fieldmarshaldj
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To: fieldmarshaldj
I suspect that some of your problems might be due to a fragmented disk. One thing which is easy to do is the disk cleanup which is accomplished my clicking on my computer, laftclicking on your C: drive and selecting properties.

Once the properties screen comes up, then click on Disk Cleanup which will clean out a bunch of no longer needed files. This will present a list of various files which you can mark for deletion by putting an x in the box alongside the ones you want to get rid of. Be sure the recycle bin is also marked.

After you finish up the cleanup, then go to the tools section on the ‘properties’ page. While in the tools window, click on ‘Defragment Now’ to consolidate all of the free space into a contiguous chunk. This will make it easier to avoid creating new fragmented files while making file access faster on the older files if they were fragmented.

A fragmented hard drive is the slowest part of reading and writing files because it takes much longer to read all of the fragmented parts of a file due to the disk head moving back and forth across various parts of the disk as opposed to reading and writing an unfragmented file when it can all be accessed with little or no head movement is much faster.

If possible, add a second hard drive and move your swap (page) file and temporary Internet Files to that drive. If you need help doing so, reply to this thread when you have a second hard drive to move these files to and I will help you.

When one doesn't have enough memory to keep everything in memory seldom or little used portions are swapped out to the page file to make more room to load or process files and data. This access to the swap file is slow when parts have to be swapped out just to fit new things into memory.

This often causes large movements of the disk heads to position then across the various parts of the hard drive. The situation is made worse when the hard drive is fragmented. THE BEST SOULTION IN THIS CASE IS TO SIMPLY PURCHASE MORE MEMORY AND IT CURRENTLY VERY AFFORDABLE.

How many memory sticks and which size to buy depends on how many memory slots your motherboard has and how many open slots you have.

I seem to remember you mentioning that you had 3gb of memory and therefore I suspect that you have an Intel board with either three or six slots.

If you have six slots with three open, then simply but three more sticks the same as what you already have. If you only have three slots, then you should replace all three sticks with three other sticks of at least 2gb each but preferably 4GB each of the required type.

Most of the memory manufacturers have a website where you can enter fory computer make and model and they will tell you what memory is compatible with your machine. You can either purchase from them or buy online from Newegg which may be cheaper.

Anything you can do to avoid disk access whether it is additional memory or keeping your hard disk defragged will greatly speed up your machine.

74 posted on 02/29/2012 1:25:37 PM PST by dglang
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To: dglang

I can tell you right off the bat that I did a disk cleanup the other day and a defrag recently (I double-checked a moment ago, it’s at 0% - nothing to defrag). As far as I can tell, there doesn’t seem to be any memory problems. Still, the drag and errors surfing so many websites remains baffling and frustrating (and when I have just a few tabs open, clicking on a given website and watching as it wreaks havoc with a previously open tab to another website).

75 posted on 02/29/2012 2:16:02 PM PST by fieldmarshaldj
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To: fieldmarshaldj

That’s interesting there, if your browser is rying to access multiple webdites via the tabs at the same time, then all of them aer competing for the disk access time.

The more tabs that are open has each tab trying to download at the same time which would involve not downloading and storing the new data but also deleting the old dats once you are at the storage limit.

Consider that if your browser it trying to download from several different sites or pages then all of that data has to come in over the internet which slows things down a lot not even counting the disk access.

I use IE9, but I don’t let it open every link on a page. If I want to open another tab, I will do so but I don’t let things happen without me letting them happen.

76 posted on 02/29/2012 5:59:40 PM PST by dglang
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To: dglang

I think I didn’t explain it clearly... Let’s say I have the first webpage open, which is the “Latest Articles” page on FR. That is fully loaded and hence not running (unless I’m hitting refresh). Tab #2 will be FR’s “My Comments” page. That I will also have fully loaded and not running (although it’s not unusual for me to hit refresh on both tabs). Then I may have tab #3 open to allow me to browse other websites, say, to look for sale items. Now, remember, both tab #1 & #2 aren’t running. They’re already loaded. I’ll have the Amazon page running, and it’ll end up taking maybe 2 minutes to load (and during which time, I’ll probably get an error message at the bottom stating “page is not responding”) and sometimes, by its own accord, it will start to refresh one or both (or just any other random) tab(s) I have previously open but am not currently on (which makes no sense).

Basically, none of that should be happening. It shouldn’t be messing with a tab I’m not currently on, and secondly, it shouldn’t be taking so long to load the page of a website for which I’m on (and getting those error messages) and freezing up (which is also a frequent occurance). Nevermind logging in to a website and getting knocked off almost immediately. It didn’t happen on this machine until recently and the older computer (which has problems of its own, namely all the memory is considered used up, even though there’s nothing in it to have that be the case) works much faster and efficiently while doing the exact same things I described above.

All in all, a big pain in the ass.

77 posted on 03/01/2012 5:34:33 AM PST by fieldmarshaldj
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To: fieldmarshaldj
Sort of. There is a basic two dial desktop gadget that shows instantaneous memory and CPU usage percentages that's helpful.

When I switched my laptop to Win7 from XP, but before I added more RAM, the memory meter would run around 60%-80%. When it got into the 80s and higher, it would do the same symptoms you've described.

Doubling the RAM to 4GB got the mem usage percentages down below 40% and now it runs fine, with none of the previous problems.

Something might have broken with your machine, but my guess is your problems will go away with more memory and you could get a few more years of use out of it.

78 posted on 03/01/2012 8:56:16 AM PST by GBA (Natural Born American)
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To: dglang; fieldmarshaldj
When DJ was running Malwarebytes the other night he said it was slow taking many hours. That program even on W/XP SP3 with 2GB RAM can eat up well over 50% of the resources at any given time. The newer Operating Systems after XP take at least 2GB just for bare minimal operation from what I've read. Yea it does sound like RAM. Big Box stores are notorious for going low on the installed from factory RAM to cut their sale price. 2GB would work great on XP but not the newer systems. 2GB will start it up that's about it..

DJ if your not comfortable doing the RAM upgrade it doesn't take a geek to do it. Find a friend who has upgraded their own and they can likely do it for you. Just make sure the new chips match your current ones in type and in capacity.

79 posted on 03/04/2012 11:44:31 PM PST by cva66snipe (Two Choices left for U.S. One Nation Under GOD or One Nation Under Judgment? Which one say ye?)
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