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Windows 7: All desktop icons blinking

09 Nov 2018   #1
billm5

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
 
 
All desktop icons blinking

This suddenly started (in the last 24 hours). I have 2 Windows 7 laptops (same make/model); the *newer* one has started to exhibit this problem.

The older one, which I essentially "froze in place" a few years ago (and which I'm using to post this) does not have this problem.

What's a useful diagnostic path?

Seems plausible that some recent Windows Update introduced the issue...??


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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09 Nov 2018   #2
billm5

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
 
 

(by the way, I'm not a new member - have participated here for years, but there's been no need to post, until today!)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Nov 2018   #3
Paul Black

7 HP SP1 64-bit Vista HB SP2 32-bit Linux Mint 18.3
 
 

Hi billm5,

Some questions!

[1] You could try running Malwarebytes [FREE] to see if that picks anything up?
[2] Have you run a full AV system scan?
[3] Have you got a system restore point prior to this happening?

I hope this helps!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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09 Nov 2018   #4
billm5

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
 
 

I have MSE and Malwarebytes (free version, which is on-demand scan-and-report only) and I've not tried to run it yet, because there's so little I *can* do with everything on the desktop flashing randomly.

The "everything flashing" essentially makes the newer machine unusable ... including the handful of Notepads I had opened as virtual-sticky-notes (not using the StickyNotes 'product' at the moment)

Since essentially everything on the screen is flashing, there's little I can think of to try, other than ctrl-alt-del or power-down/up. What would you do in this situation?

Obviously I don't want to lose those notepad (.txt) files... some of which haven't even been given filenames yet
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Nov 2018   #5
Paul Black

7 HP SP1 64-bit Vista HB SP2 32-bit Linux Mint 18.3
 
 

Hi billm5,

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by billm5 View Post
Since essentially everything on the screen is flashing, there's little I can think of to try, other than ctrl-alt-del or power-down/up. What would you do in this situation?

Obviously I don't want to lose those notepad (.txt) files... some of which haven't even been given filenames yet.
I see what you mean!

Something you could try is putting the laptop to sleep for a few minutes and then waking it up again to see if that helps. You can do this through CTRL+ALT+DEL!

I hope this helps!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Nov 2018   #6
billm5

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
 
 

Was logged-in as a non-priv'd user; was able to "switch user" successfully (to Admin) ... hoping all my normal-user stuff (including the flashing icons?!?) stays intact until I either log-out that user or reboot. Yes??

McAfee Security Scan Plus (free product) started on its own, and appears to be doing something (though I've never found it to be particularly useful).
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Nov 2018   #7
Paul Black

7 HP SP1 64-bit Vista HB SP2 32-bit Linux Mint 18.3
 
 

Hi billm5,

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by billm5 View Post
Was logged-in as a non-priv'd user; was able to "switch user" successfully (to Admin) ... hoping all my normal-user stuff stays intact until I either log-out that user or reboot. Yes??

It sounds like it could be a failing graphics card, a corrupted display driver or corrupted graphics driver!

[1] Does it work correctly now if you log back in?
[2] Do you have the same isssue with the Administrative user?

I hope this helps!

EDIT:

[3] Your F5 [refresh] key isn't stuck is it?
[4] Have you installed any new hardware, software or updates prior to this happening [in the last 24 hours as you mentioned], and if so, what?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Nov 2018   #8
billm5

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
 
 

Hmm. Left it alone for 30 min. or so, now both machines seem to be functional... but the newer one is saying "Firefox is being updated by another instance" (a message I've not seen before today, though I've seen it on both laptops) ... and mozilla's website hasn't enlightened me.

I *assume* "another instance" would mean another running copy of Firefox, i.e. another firefox.exe process. Task manager reports there are 10 firefox.exe processes on that machine (which seems excessive with only only one Firefox browser window alive).
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Nov 2018   #9
wither 2

Windows 7 Pro SP1 64 bit
 
 

Have you rebooted since you saw that Firefox message?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Nov 2018   #10
Paul Black

7 HP SP1 64-bit Vista HB SP2 32-bit Linux Mint 18.3
 
 

Hi billm5,

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by billm5 View Post
I *assume* "another instance" would mean another running copy of Firefox, i.e. another firefox.exe process. Task manager reports there are 10 firefox.exe processes on that machine (which seems excessive with only only one Firefox browser window alive).
I don't use Forefox.

What I would do is to close Firefox.

Go into Task Manager and make sure there are NO instances of Firefox running. If there are, then right-click them and click End Process. Restart the computer.

I hope this helps!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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