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Thread: Computer Acting Bizarre

  1. #1
    AO Security for Non-Geeks tonybradley's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2002

    Computer Acting Bizarre

    I have a client whose computer started to freeze up. It is a Windows 2000 Professional machine. It boots up fine but a few minutes after booting up it just freezes.

    I have gone to Safe Mode and ran Spybot Search & Destroy as well as AVERT Labs Stinger utility. Both found minor malware, but nothing serious. Stinger found something called Pate.B but that virus doesn't seem to exhibit this sort of behavior.

    We also noted that the clock had been changed to 1:41 am or so and that the date had been changed to February 23, 2003.

    Any clues what might cause this sort of behavior???


  2. #2
    (suggestion) Bad coin battery. Or user error maybe someone went into the bios and just started changing things ,is this a buisness comp? Im assuming here that your in the comp reapair buisness or network security and comp repair. Maybe it was freezing on your client before you got there. And maybe someone in the office with little know how went into the bios like they new what they were doing.Tyring to fix the frozen comp. You could always use Aida32 they claim to help in ruling out problems in the bios.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    As far as I know, the AVERT suite is designed to remove viruses and trojans NOT normally removed by McCafee AntiVirus. It is possible that Avert simply missed them as they would have been picked up by McAfee. I don't see any other antivirus programs on your list there.

    So my guess would be a virus. Try running a more mainstream AV product and see if that works.

    I wouldn't think it's the battery. I have heard of computers refusing to start because of a dead battery, or opening a BIOS setup screen every start, but in most cases, the BIOS is shadowed to normal ram since that is much faster, so once the computer is up and running, the BIOS chip could disappear and it should still work fine. But check anyway. See if all the hard drive paramaters are still in there. If not, then I think !mitationRust is correct.
    Government is like fire - a handy servant, but a dangerous master - George Washington
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  4. #4
    AOs Resident Troll
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    I had a W2K machine exhibit this type of behavior after the user went in and changed the BIOS Power Management settings.

    "Microsoft confirms this is a problem blah blah blah"

    There are some Tech Knowledges on this........

    I even tried just to set the BIOS back to the original settings, repair......ended up reinstalling.

    Could also be some piece of hardware failing.......cpu running hot, harddrive going....... bad memory stick ???

    Maybe some service or device hanging on start up/

    Any errors in the event log??


  5. #5
    Try with another OS like knoppix (a boot CD, nothing to install). If it freeze, the problem is from the hardware. If not, it's Windows. not 100% accurate but a good start imo.

  6. #6
    Macht Nicht Aus moxnix's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Huson Mt.
    A couple of weeks ago, I read a news artical that was saying some programs have a date that is like the Y2K thingy, and won't work past that date. And it was in Feburary, but I don't remember the exact date. (I also can't find the original artical now) It was only with certain programs, and the companies that released them was updating the software.
    I'll continue to look and try to find that artical. (it was in google high tech area)
    *Edit OK the date is Jan. 10 2004 and one of the articals is HERE
    Software maker PTC, a specialist in product lifecycle management applications for engineers and product designers, has rekindled memories of the Year 2000 bug, or Y2K, as it scrambles to patch a glitch that will render most of its products inoperable after Jan. 10
    \"Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, Champagne in one hand - strawberries in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming WOO HOO - What a Ride!\"
    Author Unknown

  7. #7
    Senior Member Wazz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    I have seen this before... Check the Program Files\Internet Explorer folder just for the heck of it. Look for a file named "Setup" or something similar (I can't remember what the name of the file was, but you should be able to tell that it doesn't belong there). This was the cause when I came accross the problem and I had to manually remove it from the directory and the Registry. I hope this could be just about anything though, check those reg keys and startup files/services...Good Luck!
    "It is a shame that stupidity is not painful" - Anton LaVey

  8. #8
    Senior Member nihil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    United Kingdom: Bridlington
    Hi Tony,

    I have come across this type of thing before. It happened to be something to do with the sleep/power saving stuff.

    I would try going into BIOS and the display settings and making the machine always on and killing any screensaver.

    It does sound a bit like a "deadly embrace" though.............what is running in the background as a scheduled job?

    Happy New Year

    EDIT: Watch out for AV software doing "background scanning"

  9. #9
    hi, just remember just becuase your running spybot doesn't mean that it gets rid of every spy ware that you have and spyware could damage your computer in that way but spy ware is just to spy(duh!) on you not to hack your system(usually not always). I think that someone has hacked your system, becuase if your clock is changed it shouldn't becuase that only changes manually. Hope you fix the problem!!!

  10. #10
    AO Security for Non-Geeks tonybradley's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Still having problems.

    Did a full virus scan and found nothing. Reinstalled Win2k over itself (not a reformat or clean install).

    Computer works fine indefinitely in Safe Mode (with Networking) and it works fine indefinitely in normal mode...until you start a program. You can leave it sitting in Windows and it will be fine- no freezing. As soon as you start any program at all it freezes within a few seconds.


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