Skip to comments.Help needed - Computer malware problem
Posted on 10/22/2012 7:56:58 AM PDT by editor-surveyor
My wife's Dell 640 laptop has picked up some malware that affects the display.
It shows up as faint rainbow colored horizontal bars across the screen, plus a circular, concentric, variable rainbow graphic in the upper left corner of the windows startup screen.
The machine is running XP professional.
The AVG software on the machine doesn't recognize it, nor did Trend Micro Housecall.
Experienced help needed!
That sounds like a video problem (i.e. hardware), not a malware (software) problem.
Sounds like a computer or monitor problem to me. But then, I know jack nothing.
Sounds like a bad heat sink. Dell has had a lot of those. However, if you think it is Maleware, either Maleware Bytes or Kaspersky are the best tools for it.
I'd try booting the unit with something like knoppix to see if the problem persists.
You don't have a magnet up there, do you?
I can not offer you any advice in this matter, however if anybody has set up a repeater to work with a uVerse router let me know.
dell also had issues with bad solder.....
I had a dell burn up on me from overheating and the bad solder..
I bought a little fan unit you put the laptop on top of...
for about 40 bucks it is a great insurance policy
I agree. It’s not likely that it’s malware. It’s a problem with the screen or with the video chip on the motherboard. I would take it to a computer repair place. It may, or may not be worth fixing, depending on the current value of your laptop.
I agree, sounds like an electro-magnetic source near the monitor. Normally a malware tries to take over the computer and you can’t run other programs.
So, look for that first. If you are concerned about malware, get Malwarebytes. Best on the market.
Could be a ribbon problem.
Try windows offline defender tool.http://www.thewindowsclub.com/windows-defender-offline-download . It will boot to the CD. That way if you are still having the problem when you boot to it, it is probably hardware or your video driver is corrupt.
It’s the best and lightest there is for new dirt.
Maybe the free stuff works, but I prefer the updates and support of a highly regarded anti-virus/firewall like Kaspersky. I've had zero problems since.
I have one that is experiencing video and LCD screen problems. I have investigated and found that this model and others have problems like this after a few years. For now, mine goes away when it warms up.
In your case, to definitely determine hardware or malware problem, take an image of your hard drive and store it on an external USB drive. Then format the drive and do a reinstall of WinXP....or simply install a copy of a Linux distro. If the problem persists, it's hardware. Get it fixed and then re-image your hard drive with the image you put on the external USB drive.
Macrium Reflect is free imaging software and easy to use.
Multiple possible answers, depending on whether this is a consistent problem, or varies with time.
If this is happening essentially immediately after boot-up (from a cold machine), then it wouldn’t be a heat problem.
If the color changes are limited to certain portions of windows, then I would indeed suspect some sort of malware, but even that isn’t necessarily the case, as it could involve an issue with certain operations of the video card.
If the changing colors are over the entire display - to one degree or another, then it would tend to point to the video itself... and unfortunately that means you may as well go shopping... though Black Friday is just around the corner!
If this is the Latitude C640 model, then I’d say you’d gotten your money’s worth!
Try this: get someone to steal the laptop, then use the insurance proceeds to buy a new one. That will work better than dealing with Dell customer service. :)
LOL. Post of the thread.
If Malwarebytes won’t fix it, probably nothing will.
Looks like your VGA card is a problem. First try to re-install graphic driver, if problem remain same, replace card.
Or you can test, reduce acceleration and see whether that change display.
Magnets only affect CRT’s.
I use Spybot and follow up with Malware. that tends to clear all things.
Last week Spybot 6 and malware got 3.
The week before, running malware first it got 2 and spybot got 2.
Keep it up weekly, it needs to be done regularly and don’t forget to update your programs, there’s new stuff coming out daily to disrupt/crash your computer
Turn the computer on and when the DELL logo appears press F12
this will get you into Diagnostics where you can test the display. If it is a malware problem it will go way while in diagnostics, if it is a hardware problem it will stay.
Any possibility of taking a screenshot and then posting it here on FR? You can upload image to Flickr (or similar) or Jing and post the image or link here if you know how. You will get a much more accurate answer from the geeks here on FR.
Good suggestion. If he sees the same rainbows in safe mode then it is probably the video card or a monitor problem. Doesn't sound like malware. If the problem remains in safe mode, my first extinct would be to replace the monitor if he has one available.
If it were mine I would also try disconnecting and reconnecting the monitor connections both ends. Then (if its a tower) try reseating the PC boards inside and see what happens. Its worth a shot at least. Also can you hook up another monitor to it and check it again?
Rainbow graphics? Your computer has come out of the closet and is now proudly proclaiming to be gay. Attempting to reprogram it to a straight OS is a hate crime and the ACLU will have you in court. Get rid of it before it insists that you pay to have the gender of it’s ports changed.
I don’t thing a screenshot will help; it’s obviously a new kid on the block that present malware scanners are not finding. Also it is dynamic, so a video would likely be needed to show that facet.
No, this is clearly intelligent information, not malfunction.
I realize that AC leaking into the power would generate horizontal bars, but it wouldn’t make that concentric, changing and complex graphic that appears in the upper left corner of only the startup screen.
We went to Malware bytes, no help.
This thing is clearly a program that generates complex information, not just some accidental failure.
Also, I ran a dos autocad rendering on the machine and it displays perfectly.
No magnet, and the graphic disappears after the startup screen.
The problem also disappears in MS DOS mode. (Autocad)
Graphics card failure. I had the same failure on a D series Dell Latitude.
>> “Try booting into safe mode.” <<
I did that one better, I booted the machine in MS DOS 6.2, and ran a complex high resolution AutoCAD rendering, and it displays perfectly.
The hardware is fine.
This thing is “intelligent.” It turns the blue title bar at the top of the program windows into a diagonal scrolling rainbow, but only the bar, nothing else is like that. The rest of the screen (’desktop’) is faded horizontal bars.
Try f-secure.com free scanner.
Install new graphic driver. Check whether nvdia and Microsoft (default) driver are conflicting.
Or check registry whether yellow mark is present.
I was going to recommend the same thing.. I was thinking the same as others here (hardware issue) until I read all of the details.. A screenshot would quickly tell all of us whether or not it is a hardware issue.
If it is maleware, I would highly recommend booting from a Linux Live CD and checking for virus’/trojans from there.. MUCH more reliable ;)
If the only thing, (and I mean the ONLY thing) that is affected is the blue title bar for each and every window and/or dialog box or alert message box, then the problem is a gradient setting in the current windows theme.
This would show as a colour change going from left to right on the title bar of the window and when you re-size or move the window the colour change follows the window.
Fix --- right click on desktop background and select display properties. navigate the tabs till you find the current theme. (probably listed as custom theme). Pick Windows classic theme or some similar name from the drop down list.
On my wife’s machine the desktop is also affected (horizontal bands of faded rainbow colors) and there is a series of graphics with very complex designs that show up only on the startup screen, in the upper left corner.
The first one to display was a drawing of a gear with a splined center and bevel-cut teeth around the outer circumference, like someone’s high school drafting project.
Hook the laptop up to a monitor and see if the display is OK. I am betting hardware issue.
I don't know if all Dells have diagnostics built into BIOS, but that sounds like the best suggestion I've seen on this thread. Another good suggestion is running a Linux demo CD. If both of those work fine, then I would consider that proof Windows has been infected.
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