Are these symptoms of a Dying Lappy??

  AngeTheHippy 08:38 12 Aug 2008

Morning Chaps,
Yesterday afternoon my Lappy started behaving verrry strangely - I can try and open an application or browser (for eg) and it just (the cursor)keeps trying to open - you know, 'thinking' but nothing happens. I use Thunderbird for my Email and when I clicked 'get mail' it did the same thing - just said 'loading' and wouldn't stop loading. I gave up and tried to power down but it just stuck on 'windows is closing', so I had to hard power down.

I did a chkdsk (starts the next time it's powered up) but it changed nothing.

This morning I've powered up, I've tried to open my networks to start copying over to my desktop PC incase I have to reinstall XP but the same thing - it tries to open but gets stuck.

I yesterday morning installed an anti-malware (recommended on PCA actually) called Threatfire. I'm not saying it's to blame but seems a coincidence.

I started up in safe mode yesterday and defragged, but it hasn't helped.

I can't open control panel/add/remove progs because the same thing - it all gets stuck. In fact most things I try to open gets stuck.

I tried a Ctrl/Alt/Del 10 mins ago and nothings happened - just looked and all the desktop icons have disappeared.

Oh - just had a thought - if I start again in safe mode I think there's the option of starting with networking? Could i copy stuff to main PC via that?

Sorry this is heavy at this time of the morning, but was awake most of the night thinking and wondering what to try next.

Thanks in advance,



  justme 09:15 12 Aug 2008

Have you tried a system restore? If it was the Threatfire which is causing the problems this should help as long as you restore to a point before you installed Threatfire.

If you can't restore then it really is a case of getting as much data as possible off your hard disc. The ideal time to have done this is before you had a problem (it's called a backup) but if you haven't got a backup then try to copy any important data either to a network or a cd.

  bjh 09:20 12 Aug 2008

It sounds like a software problem, not a hardware problem, so not really dying lappy, I'd say.

Suggestion: press F8 on startup to enter safe mode.

Then rud Add/Remove programs. Remove Threatfire, as you think it may be at fault (although it isn't a rogue program as far as I aware). While in Add/Remove have a look round, and remove any other unwanted programs.

Then go Start.... Run... Type msconfig in the box, click on the startup tab and uncheck any boxes for non-essential apps. If in doubt, uncheck them. You can do a quick web search on any of those names that you don't recognise using Google.

Try a restart, and then run an online antivirus as well as your own.

Alternative approach, might be quicker and easier... Ctrl..Alt..Del to bring up Taskmanager... Processes tab, what app is using all your resources?

Don't leap at the quick solution too soon - loads of people just post a "System Restore".. it isn't always a solution, and may cause more trouble than success..

  AngeTheHippy 09:22 12 Aug 2008

yes, I'm in the process of copying everything over my n/work - seems to be working fine. The Lappy is in safe mode w/networking, so that's one headache avoided!

Sys restore not an option, it's turned off.

Next prob is, I need to get all of my messages on T/bird copied over to PC. I'm not sure where they/re stored (apart from on T/Bird window I mean...) so need to look for those now.



  AngeTheHippy 09:30 12 Aug 2008

I'm ahead of ya on this!! (LoL) Currently in SafeMode, have already deleted ThreatFire, and looked in TaskManager. Currently, processes (some of them) are taking:

I upgraded and installed FireFox3 last week - I've got an inkling it just ***might*** be something to do with that - I think FireFox takes quite a lot of CPU, and think I just might concentrate on Explorer for the time being - that is IF I can get Lappy back to a useable state without having to reinstall XP.


  bjh 09:31 12 Aug 2008

%USERPROFILE%\Application Data\Thunderbird\Profiles\XXXXXXXX.default\Mail\

Copy that folder and you can import it in the next setup.

  bjh 09:35 12 Aug 2008

Good stuff.... glad data is safe!

I suppose it might be a failing hard disk, but it does sound more like a software glitch. Personally, I'd say Firefox is pretty economical on resources, but if recently installed, I'd give uninstall a go on that too!

Correct my first suggestion in this post: if it's working fine in safe mode, it's just a software glitch, not hardware.

What about CPU usage in Taskmanager? Sort by clicking at top, if it's System Idle, that's OK, if it's some other process over 30% that's of note.

  AngeTheHippy 09:53 12 Aug 2008

mmm - done that, CPU usage fluctuates between 0 and 4%


  bjh 10:02 12 Aug 2008

Once your data is safe, go for the slow steady clean of the hard disk, AV, Spyware, startup applications and the like....
But it does sound like you are already doing all the right things....

I like SuperAntiSpyware click here
I find it's pretty aggressive at getting rid of the crap, but doesn't do too much damage.

Which AV are you running?

  AngeTheHippy 10:04 12 Aug 2008

reinstall XP bjh?

  bjh 10:14 12 Aug 2008

No, I wouldn't reinstall XP, except as a last resort. Once your data is safe, run a full AV scan, run Superantispyware (or other if you choose - I know that works well), run msconfig and remove unneeded startup items... as you say, uninstall Firefox and any other recently installed apps...

A good springclean is what I'd try first. A reinstall or repair from cd might be needed, but try the easy option first. Easy in that if it works, you get your old Windows back, all the apps and settings. It might take a couple of hours work now, but it's worth doing!

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