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Windows 7: My screensaver will not activate - done lots of troubleshooting

23 Apr 2013   #1

Windows 7 Professional x64
My screensaver will not activate - done lots of troubleshooting

I have Windows 7 x64.

Guys, I am at my wits end with this. I have done everything I can to troubleshoot it and don't know what else to do. I suppose it could be a Directx corruption, but I cannot find a good way to repair the directx installation.

When I first boot up my computer, the screensaver seems to run normal. It will activate after the correct amount of idle time. I noticed after I launch a game (a full screen game that utilizes Directx - like Battlefield or League of Legends), my screensaver stops working. To troubleshoot it, I ended all processes, removed all USB devices, etc, and STILL the same problem (I do not have a wireless mouse - before anyone asks).

So.... I found this program called "Turn off monitor". As part of the program it has an idle timer that shows how long your computer has been idle. I noticed that every 30 seconds my idle timer resets (when my screensaver is not working). Sometimes it is every 10 seconds. Is there a program out there that can tell me EXACTLY what is resetting that idle timer (be it software or hardware causing it)??? This is getting EXTREMELY frustrating.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Apr 2013   #2

W7 Pro SP1 64bit

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Milkman00 View Post
...Is there a program out there that can tell me EXACTLY what is resetting that idle timer (be it software or hardware causing it)???...
Welcome to the Seven Forums.

You can try Process Monitor to ferret out the app that is resetting the timer.

There is nothing to install. Just run the app from within the zip or copy it out somewhere and run it from there. After you agree to the EULA, it will start gathering data. Mouse over the various icons on the toolbar to read the tooltips. Practice stopping Process Monitor and clearing the data. You probably want auto-scroll turned on.

Start your app that shows the idle timer.
Start and then exit a game that is known to cause the issue.
Start Process Monitor.
Leave everything alone until you see the idle timer reset.
Stop Process Monitor.
Work your way up from the bottom of the list of events.

If nothing seems obvious, then user Process Explorer to watch what all is being started when you start a game. Set Process Explorer to show you what apps have started/exited for a long time. Select Options > Difference Highlight Duration set that to 9 seconds.

Restart your computer
Start your app that shows the idle timer.
Start Process Explorer (run as admin).
If need be, wait 5 minutes or so while apps/services start/end.
(i.e. wait for stuff to settle down)
Start a game that is known to cause the issue.
Take note of everything that started.
Exit the game
Take note of everything that did not exit*.

*If you wish - you can set filter the returns on Process Monitor to only show you the events caused by the app(s) that did not exit (as shown by Process Explorer). Then see if you can see the event that is resetting the time. Maybe seeing the event will jog something in your memory as to where there might be a setting that can be changed.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Apr 2013   #3

Windows 7 Professional x64

Thanks very much!!!! This is EXACTLY what I needed. It was CRAZY to see how much crap my computer was doing while it was idle... lol...

I am shocked at the problem, since it was related to Google Chrome (specifically the Google Talk plugin), and in my previous troubleshooting, I was POSITIVE that I ended all possible processes (Chrome being one of the first), but I have been watching the computer for a few days and it seems to be fixed. Here was my process:

I finally found the problem and wanted to post it here for others.

My problem was the Google Voice plugin for Google Chrome.

Here are the steps I took to identify:

- Set Screensaver to one minute.
- Download and install "Process Monitor" -> Process Monitor
- Download and install "Turn off Monitor" -> Turn Off Monitor (free) - Download
- Right click the "Turn off Monitor" icon on the desktop and go to "Turn off Monitor after...". When you do that, there will be a little clock that tells you how long your system has been idle for. Mine kept resetting with no mouse/keyboard activity.
- Start Process Monitor
- Bring up your clock, so you can see your system time to the SECOND.
- Start Process Monitor
- Watch the Turn off Monitor clock, and when the idle time resets note the time to the second.
- Examine Process Manager for that timeframe, and see what was running, and start doing a process of elimination. Repeat to see if you found the culprit.

My problem was with GoogleTalkPlugin.exe. Here is the thread that told me how to solve this known problem:

Basically I followed the Program Install and Uninstall troubleshooting part of the fixit program to finally get to a place that I could properly uninstall Google Talk (referred to as Google Voice in that thread), and then went to Google to reinstall it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

24 Apr 2013   #4

W7 Pro SP1 64bit

Glad that it worked out for you and thanks for taking the time to post the steps that you used.

Hang around the forum and help others
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 My screensaver will not activate - done lots of troubleshooting

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