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Windows 7: Microsoft Security Essentials and other programs stalled frequently.

20 May 2012   #1
dnzrx

Windows 7 64-bit
 
 
Microsoft Security Essentials and other programs stalled frequently.

The problems started last night.

I have started my weekly scan with Microsoft Security Essentials when I have noticed some things:

- MSE stalled on a specific file which posed no problem in the past and the timer refused to increase even after 10 or so minutes.

- MSE has locked up my computer or slowed it down to the point where I have to do a hard restart. This never happened before

- Other programs have taken a major performance hit like Google Chrome for example. Even Windows 7's explorer has locked up time to time.

- System restore is not working since it stalled on the initializing phase for at least 30 minutes without significant progress, prompting a hard restart.

- It took a lot longer for the system to shutdown normally.

So yeah, I have issues on the computer that I have not have before and I'm not sure why.

Is there a solution that does not involve a clean re-install? I do not have the DVDs since the laptop has Windows 7 built in and they did not give me a CD.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.
20 May 2012   #2
seavixen32

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-Bit
 
 

Welcome to Windows Seven Forums.

The first thing you should do is create a set of recovery discs so that you can recover your system to its factory state should the need arise e.g. if you sell your computer.

If you want a pristine system I would carry out a clean install, as described in this tutorial.

Clean Reinstall - Factory OEM Windows 7

In terms of improving your computer's performance, you might want to check this tutorial.

Optimize Windows 7

A full virus scan won't do any harm either.

http://www.malwarebytes.org/products/malwarebytes_free

But before you do anything, please create those recovery discs as a matter of urgency, your computer documentation or manufacturer's support site will have details on how it's done.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 May 2012   #3
richc46

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 10, Home Clean Install
 
 

Welcome
Seavixen has given you a lot of good ideas. I think they will help. I however would put my emphasis on the Malware/AntiVirus potential. I think that may be the problem.
Try to do an online scan (the Virus may be preventing the Essentials scan), in addition to Malwarebytes.
Try to use (its not a download) eset on line. ESET :: Get a FREE Online Virus Scan
If that is negative. I would then try a clean boot.
Troubleshoot Application Conflicts by Performing a Clean Startup
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

20 May 2012   #4
dnzrx

Windows 7 64-bit
 
 

Well, I did a virus scan and there was a Trojan in my system. Its removal seem to cleaned up the problem.

Thanks, although it is odd that there is a Trojan in my system, since I am careful around programs and the Internet...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 May 2012   #5
richc46

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 10, Home Clean Install
 
 

Glad that you got it sorted.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 May 2012   #6
karlsnooks

MS Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-bit
 
 

dnzrx,
To make sure that your system is clean, please run Windows Defender Offline.

Windows Defender Offline
is NOT Windows Defender

This is another example of a poor naming-choice made by Microsoft.

The link for Windows Defender Offline, WDO, is in my signature. Use that link.

Here is my write up on how to use WDO.

HOW TO USE WINDOWS DEFENDER OFFLINE ON A USB STICK
Windows Defender Offline
is a free standalone, bootable malware and virus remover from Microsoft.
performs an offline scan of an infected PC to remove viruses, rootkits and other advanced malware.

Download Windows Defender Offline (about 764 kB)

You will have the choice of downloading the 32bit version (x86) or the 64 bit version (x64).
The link will help you determine whether you are running a 32 bit version or 64 bit version of Windows

NOTE!! You can download and prepare a 32 bit version using a 64 bit version of Windows
NOTE!! You can download and prepare a 64 bit version using a 32bit version of Windows.

You run the 32 bit version on a 32 bit version of Windows.
You run the 64 bit version on a 64 bit version of Windows.

The 32 bit download file name is: mssstool32.exe
The 64 bit download file name is: mssstool64.exe

For the curious, this program was originally name Microsoft Standalone System Sweeper.


INSTALLATION:
You will need an Internet Connection.
Insert 512 mB (Microsoft’s 256 mB is no longer accurate) or larger USB stick into a usb port.
Run the downloaded program--mssstool64.exe or mssstool32.exe
NEXT button
Choose the option On a USB flash drive that is not password protected
NEXT button
NEXT button
.
The install program will format the usb stick using the NTFS format.
The install program will download about 210 mB.
The install program will name the USB stick WDO_Media32 or WDO_Media64
The WDO_Media32 usb stick will have used space of 255 mB (268,140,544 bytes)
The WDO_Media64 usb stick will have used space of 282 mB (296,165,376 bytes)
You can expect the number of mB to increase as more malware appears.

UPDATE Windows Defender Offline USB stick:
reinsert the usb stick
run the installation program, mssstool64.exe or mssstool32.exe, again.
the update will download about 66 mB (mssstool32.exe) and 68 mB (mssstool64.exe).

Since the malware database is sometimes updated several times in a day, always update before running.

PERFORM AN OFFLINE SCAN
Bootup your computer from the USB stick
Windows Defender Offline will automatically perform a quick scan.
After the quick scan finishes, Choose Full Scan
Select all of your drives

The initial, full scan can easily take several hours, but
Remember, your computer is being very thoroughly checked for all types of malware.


RESULTS OF THE SCAN
The results will be in 4 log files in:
\Windows\Microsoft Antimalware\Support

Upload the four log files please.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 May 2012   #7
dnzrx

Windows 7 64-bit
 
 

An update:

The computer still seem to have slowdown problems. As in, the computer frequently stalls over tasks that should pose no problem, like opening Google Chrome or opening up one of my folders.

I'll try the Windows Defender Offline tonight to see anything comes up.
I really hope this is a virus that needs to be deleted and I also really hope that I do not need to reformat this computer. I was supposed to back up my files today, but this problem is taking up too much valuable time.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 May 2012   #8
dnzrx

Windows 7 64-bit
 
 

Another problem has arose.

Looks like Windows Defender Offline does stall just like Microsoft Security Essentials, making a "quick" scan last over an hour.

If this is a virus or malware, then it is unusually persistent and tough to crack. But in case it was not malware, then what could it be.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 May 2012   #9
richc46

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 10, Home Clean Install
 
 

You are not suppose to have both Defender and Security Essentials. Defender is now part of Essentials. Turn off Defender.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 May 2012   #10
dnzrx

Windows 7 64-bit
 
 

No, I'm running Windows Defender Offline just like what karlsnooks said, off a USB drive.

Am I doing something wrong or what?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Microsoft Security Essentials and other programs stalled frequently.




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