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Windows 7: Extremely elusive issue.

11 Apr 2011   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 
Extremely elusive issue.

Warning, there's going to be a LOT of text. This is a really complex issue with many different little things to it, and I'm going to try to explain every little tidbit that I can.

So, I got this computer not too long ago-- maybe the summer of 2010. It runs smoothly and quickly; the performance is excellent, despite the fact that my dad installed Norton Internet Security onto it.

Yes, I know Norton is an awful program, but my dad insists on it. I have it running 24/7 doing whatever background stuff it wants to do. I couldn't care less right now. I also have Microsoft Security Essentials running 24/7 as a more reliable helper.

Anyway, so here is the issue: I'll be in the middle of my work when suddenly I realize I can't open any new files, go to any new web pages, or start up any new programs. I can still do work within the current window I'm in, but I cannot save my progress (nor can I open a new file). In other words, my computer goes under this almost-lockdown kind of thing.

I cannot open Task Manager while I'm under this sort of lockdown. Clicking on any new programs on the taskbar below results in Windows 7 giving me an error window, telling me that it "might have been removed, renamed, or deleted." I know that can't be true, though.

Even more annoying is that in order to fix this problem, I have to restart my entire computer. I've tried pseudo-restarts before, and they used to work fine (by this, I mean keeping open unsaved documents and then hitting restart; when the computer prompts me to save my work before resetting, I hit cancel the restart, and everything stays open). In fact, pseudo-restarts used to be the way I solved this issue, but it seems that after abusing it too many times my computer reacts by giving me a BSOD. I've only gotten a BSOD once.

After getting said BSOD, my computer took VERY long to start up and it made really odd noises (well, odd noises considering that this is a brand-new computer). And it would not start up: I would get the "Windows is starting up..." screen for a very long time, and then after realizing it wasn't actually starting up, I restarted. I attempted to start again and again desperately many times, and then finally managed to run it in safe mode, restart safely, and then get it running properly by clicking around and fooling with the computer, cancelling all the prompts and such.

Ever since the BSOD, I sought help from friends. I ran a full comprehensive scan with Norton and came up with nothing but average tracking cookies. Then one of my friends suggested CCleaner. CCleaner found a ton of issues in my registry, which I fixed. Then, for maybe a few months or so, the problems stopped occurring as I regularly cleaned out my registry. However, my computer STILL took a very long time to start up.

Now the issue is back, and it's worse than ever. Not only is my registry totally clean of ANY issues whatsoever, my computer doesn't take AS long to start up anymore (the noises have also stopped), giving me a false sense of security. But the lockup issue is worse. My Mozilla Firefox actually FREEZES, instead of being unable to open new web pages.

Speaking of my Mozilla Firefox, here's another recent issue. My Firefox profile suddenly got corrupted somehow, and I was unable to load certain images or run certain kinds of javascripts. I made a new profile and such and it works just fine now, but I hadn't touched my own Firefox profile at all and I'm wondering what had corrupted it. I know it wasn't the add-ons or the plugins because I'm using the same plugins on this new profile, and everything is running smoothly.

One thing I also have to note is that the problem seems to occur only when I have mIRc open, or am in the middle of opening it. This is probably unrelated though, as I have mIRC open 24/7 anyways.

Another thing to note is that I usually have iTunes up and running 24/7 as I work. Yet for some odd reason, sometimes the songs playing will-- for only about half a second or so-- drag out and make that weird noise like the music is lagging. I know it's not the song itself that has the laggy jip, because I play that same part over again and nothing happens. This seems to indicate that my computer is slow and laggy, but its performance and speed seem to suggest otherwise.

Also, for reference, the processes that take up the most memory (according to Task Manager) are Firefox, Steam, Dropbox, iTunes, explorer (as in Windows Explorer), and "dwm.exe." I have no idea what that last one is.

I don't know what this issue is, honestly. I can't tell if it's hardware or virus. I even ran a full scan with Malwarebytes, which came up with nothing. I've tried many virus scanners of all kinds, and all of them came up with nothing. My registry is now clean.

My main problem is that I don't know what the problem is! I can't tell if it might be the hardware or what. Since this computer is so new, I think it might be a hardware issue, but I'm not sure. I'm very apprehensive about this computer and I want to keep it running well for a long time. Please help.

Thank you for reading.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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11 Apr 2011   #2

W7 Professional x64
 
 

Run either Norton or MSSE. Do not run both. They'll sit there and fight each other. I think a large number of your problems will disappear if you do that. Also: how often do you turn the machine off, like truly turn the machine off? If your response is "never" or "not often," please shut it down, and give it like 15-30 to rest and cool off. Once you've done this, post back, and we'll diagnose whatever troubles remain.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Apr 2011   #3

Several, including Windows 7 x64 Ultimate
 
 

Skimmed through the rest of your post, but your first major problem is running more than one anti-malware program. This causes problems.

I would advise you to uninstall the Norton stuff.

If you still have problems after that, come back and ask.

Regards....Mike Connor
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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11 Apr 2011   #4

Windows 7 Professional 64 Bit SP1
 
 

Don't mess with the DWM process, as it keeps all of the nice Aero effects and functionality running.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Apr 2011   #5

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by WebMattR View Post
Run either Norton or MSSE. Do not run both. They'll sit there and fight each other. I think a large number of your problems will disappear if you do that. Also: how often do you turn the machine off, like truly turn the machine off? If your response is "never" or "not often," please shut it down, and give it like 15-30 to rest and cool off. Once you've done this, post back, and we'll diagnose whatever troubles remain.
Okay, I got rid of MSSE, seeing as my dad actually paid for Norton and I hate to see money go to waste like that. Plus, if he saw that I got rid of Norton, he'd make a big deal out of it, if you know what I mean.

Although, I did get MSSE after these issues started, so I don't see how it could really be all that related... though I understand if it could be limiting performance and causing the song lags.

Also, I rarely ever turn my computer off-- I even leave it running when I'm done using it (like, going to sleep for the night or going to leave for school), which pretty much means that it's on 24/7... I also even modified when it hibernates, extending the time to wait a few hours before it starts, which means it also hibernates less than the average computer. (... I did forget to mention that sometimes my computer doesn't wake up from hibernation. Very disconcerting.)

I'll give it some cooldown and see how that goes.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Apr 2011   #6

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 

Okay. Double post. Sorry.

Anyway, I let my computer cool off for about an hour. It's started up again now (obviously, considering I'm on it).

No change in things yet. But then again, the whole lockdown issue doesn't always happen. Sometimes I can go a day without it, sometimes it happens up to five times a day. Seems to be random. I'll post again if I get it, though. I'll also turn off my computer when I'm done using it tonight.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Apr 2011   #7

Windows 7 Pro x64
 
 

Think about DropBox. Could be that program is using all CPU and internet connection to do it's thing.
Never used it, never will use it, have no idea how it actually works.

Try shutting down some of the program you are not currently using, like iTunes (junk POS).
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Apr 2011   #8

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Shootist View Post
Think about DropBox. Could be that program is using all CPU and internet connection to do it's thing.
Never used it, never will use it, have no idea how it actually works.

Try shutting down some of the program you are not currently using, like iTunes (junk POS).
Yeah, I got rid of Dropbox. I don't use it often these days anyway.

Uh, I'm going to keep iTunes up seeing as it's not caused me problems before, and iTunes is just my music player of choice. Even though it is pretty much a POS there's nothing much better or that I like more that can sync with my iPod, so meh. :/
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Apr 2011   #9

Windows 7 Pro x64
 
 

Have you ever tried WinAmp?
Not sure if it will work with your model iPod.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Apr 2011   #10
Microsoft MVP

 

At least uninstall Norton to see if it resolves the problem, as it does with many similar problems we see here. You can always reinstall it. Tell Dad he's paying to bloat your system.

Work through these troubleshooting steps

Post up the bluescreen bugcheck report in our Crashes forum following these steps: Blue Screen of Death (BSOD) Posting Instructions - Windows 7 Forums
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Extremely elusive issue.




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