Home | Blog | Software | Reviews and Features | Forum | Help | Donate | About us
topbanner_forum
  *

avatar image

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length
  • December 10, 2016, 08:39:31 AM
  • Proudly celebrating 10 years online.
  • Donate now to become a lifetime supporting member of the site and get a non-expiring license key for all of our programs.
  • donate

Author Topic: Vista has gone nuts: [Major] Help please?  (Read 5807 times)

wreckedcarzz

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 1,623
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Vista has gone nuts: [Major] Help please?
« on: January 01, 2009, 12:34:07 AM »
Alright, I got a bunch of issues and I believe that they may all be interconnected. I'm hoping that someone here can help me out :)

In order to simplify this, I'm just going to break it down problem by problem...

Problem 1: File downloads take 3-15 seconds to "unfreeze" the browser (FF particularly)
FF will halt for a matter of several seconds when I hit Save File. No idea why. IE kinda of lags a bit too.
Possible relation: Problem 2 (because it saves to the Desktop)
Steps taken to fix: Reinstalled FF, safe mode FF, no addons/themes

Problem 2: The Desktop folder takes a LONG time to load, Right Clicking in the Desktop (folder or the actual Desktop) takes 3-30 seconds to open the context menu, Desktop does not auto organize (even though it is on), refreshing takes anywhere from 5-30 seconds
Yea, tons of issues. No clue whats causing em
Possible relation: Problem 1 (causing problem 1)
Steps taken to fix: Cleaning, defragging, registry cleaning, registry compation, IOBit Advanced WindowsCare, everything Windows has as far as diagnostics

Problem 3: Task Scheduler is broken... completely
The Task Scheduler WILL NOT WORK! The service is running and Automatic, but I can't schedule tasks!!!
Possible relation: Problem 4 (causing problem 4)
Steps taken to fix: Cleaning, defragging, registry cleaning, registry compation, IOBit Advanced WindowsCare, everything Windows has as far as diagnostics

Problem 4: Windows Backup will not work
It won't let me schedule the backup (see Problem 3)
Possible relation: Problem 3
Steps taken to fix: Cleaning, defragging, registry cleaning, registry compation, IOBit Advanced WindowsCare, everything Windows has as far as diagnostics

I also had previous issues with Start Search not working, along with some other problems (since resolved). These are driving me NUTS and I simply cannot find solutions ANYWHERE. Spyware/virus scans come up clean, but this computer WAS infected a month or so ago. Also tried to repair Vista via the DVD's "Startup Repair" - no dice.

I can't really figure out what is going on, and I need help before I go nuts!!!

Help? Anyone? Please?

-Brandon

EDIT: As far as problems 3/4, I have the EXACT problem as this person: http://forum.soft32....n-ftopict170481.html
« Last Edit: January 01, 2009, 02:02:11 AM by wreckedcarzz »

wreckedcarzz

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 1,623
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Vista has gone nuts: [Major] Help please?
« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2009, 01:39:03 AM »
I may have found the problem for Problem 1/2...

I moved all desktop contents but the Recycle Bin and an ISO that I am burning to a temp folder on my HD. When testing the download speed on ScreenshotCaptor it started the download as usual (1/2 second delay, to be expected as Download Statusbar fires up).

I'll wait it out and see if it still happens, or whether it is something on my desktop screwing it up


The context menu for the Recycle Bin still takes about 20 seconds, but downloads are much faster. Grr...
« Last Edit: January 01, 2009, 02:08:25 AM by wreckedcarzz »

Carol Haynes

  • Waffles for England (patent pending)
  • Global Moderator
  • Joined in 2005
  • *****
  • Posts: 7,986
    • View Profile
    • Dales Computer Services
    • Donate to Member
Re: Vista has gone nuts: [Major] Help please?
« Reply #2 on: January 01, 2009, 06:29:52 AM »
What AV are you using? Some AVs seem to take a long time to release the FF download manager when they scan incoming files.

Re. slow context menus - have you tried disabling some shell extensions to see if they are causing the problem (I haven't tried ShellEx from NirSoft in Vista but I assume there is a version that works by now).

Kamel

  • Honorary Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 138
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Vista has gone nuts: [Major] Help please?
« Reply #3 on: January 01, 2009, 10:59:03 AM »
I concur with the AV, the first 2 problems actually seem to be AV related, but just a guess.

Let me explain myself a little deeper, since knowing the source of the problem will sometimes provide helpful clues as to what is happening.

The menu's freezing up the way they are (problems 1/2)  appear to be access problems. The menu freezes likely because of 1 of 2 things happening. 1) it could be a physical limitation, like lets say windows needs to access a network drive that is mapped over a VPN which travels at 5-10KB/s, this would slow down your computer immensely. The second reason could be a hardware/software limiting access to such a thing. A common example in that case would be an anti-virus, scanning your computer before allowing you to access it. Anything that needs to scan it before releasing it would apply though. If you have some malicious software it could very well be doing the same thing.

I don't know if this is the case or not, but I will warn you that your symptoms all seem to point to a still present spyware/virus infestation. The problem is, once a computer has been compromised, spyware/viruses can cover themselves up using rootkit technology. I would do some rootkit scanning if you can. If you have an anti-virus software that lets you boot from a disk, boot your system from that disk then do the scanning. Fair warning, if you do find something it may not always be best to simply select clean in a situation like this. You should look up the particular infection and learn how it can best be removed, since sometimes simply deleting the files can cause your system not to boot. If that's a desired effect though, by all means.

Good luck, I hope this advice has given you a direction to take on it. It definitely sounds access related though; atleast the first 2. The second 2 just sound like off the wall broken windows (normally due to malicious software).
I'm the guy you yell at when your DSL goes down...

wreckedcarzz

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 1,623
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Vista has gone nuts: [Major] Help please?
« Reply #4 on: January 01, 2009, 01:51:16 PM »
I have only 3 network drives that are currently offline (show up in Computer, nowhere else) and no other cross-network shortcuts or other references (I checked into that right after posting, and should have edited to say so :-[)

Also, I am using Spyware Terminator - however the "Real Time Shield Mode" is set to Disabled, and my other security is as well (only thing running is Windows Firewall).

Even if I shut down EVERYTHING under my user name but Desktop Window Manager and Explorer (via Task Manager), the "lag"/slowness remains. I also went over and enabled the "real" Administrator account, and the same issues are on that account as well.

Last second edit: ST shows all clear for any infections... :huh:, but I'll look into some Live-CD scanning :Thmbsup:

Last second edit 2: Everything else works great n the machine, though, and at the same speed before the infection. With no changes to how I work/play, no programs are any slower and games don't lag any more than they did already.
« Last Edit: January 01, 2009, 01:54:37 PM by wreckedcarzz »

4wd

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 4,477
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Vista has gone nuts: [Major] Help please?
« Reply #5 on: January 01, 2009, 05:09:59 PM »
Have you tried Vista Safe Mode and what was the result, ("everything Windows has as far as diagnostics" doesn't mean much) ?

If Safe Mode made no difference then you'll probably have to format and re-install because nothing should be running under Safe Mode except the base OS.

You might also try uninstalling all Vista updates that appeared from just before the problems started, wouldn't be the first time that an OS update has broken something, (I also recommend you don't set it for Auto Update in future).

Did you try System Restore before you tried Repair Installation ?

You could still try a System Restore if you imaged the drive before the Repair Install...............

You did image the HDD before you tried working on it, didn't you, [SOP #2 which is right after SOP #1 (a.k.a The Hammer)] ?

HDD imaging should be the very first step for anyone who starts trying to repair a PC, whether it's their own or especially if it isn't theirs.
« Last Edit: January 01, 2009, 05:27:39 PM by 4wd »

wreckedcarzz

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 1,623
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Vista has gone nuts: [Major] Help please?
« Reply #6 on: January 01, 2009, 05:27:09 PM »
I ran all the maintenance stuff that Vista ships with (checkdisk, disk cleanup, the resource monitors, event logs, everything). Safe mode was used when I was getting rid of (or attempting to) the infections - I don't remember TBH. Have to boot it and see.

Uninstalling updates might help, but after about 3 weeks of Googling there have been no solutions that work for me, but along with that, no mention of uninstalling any updates fixing the issue(s).

System Restore is... (I'm going to get shunned to death for this) - completely disabled. Disk space is EXTREMELY scarce (111GB for Vista, Programs, Games, Programming projects, and backups (before they are moved to a different location)). So that obviously is a lost cause.

And no, I have no place nor method of doing disk imaging (I was going to post asking about that later on here @ DC, my backup server PC needs 2 new HDs </offtopic>).

Normally I would go and just wipe the whole thing and go "Yay, fresh install!", except I used Windows Anytime Upgrade on this machine, and it is an absolute ***** to get working. Format, install, remove crap, install drivers, upgrade, remove crap, install programs, update for 8 hours, install games, replace documents & whatnot, reactivate Vista, call Microsoft, talk to machine... ugh. And Microsoft wonders why piracy for Windows is still common.

Anyways, I'm gonna reboot into safe mode and see if that fixes it. *Crosses fingers*

Thanks for the help everyone, I'll post back ASAP :-*

4wd

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 4,477
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Vista has gone nuts: [Major] Help please?
« Reply #7 on: January 01, 2009, 05:29:53 PM »
System Restore is... (I'm going to get shunned to death for this)........

Not from me, I think it's a waste of space  :P

4wd

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 4,477
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Vista has gone nuts: [Major] Help please?
« Reply #8 on: January 01, 2009, 09:20:48 PM »
System Restore is... (I'm going to get shunned to death for this) - completely disabled. Disk space is EXTREMELY scarce (111GB for Vista, Programs, Games, Programming projects, and backups (before they are moved to a different location)). So that obviously is a lost cause.

And no, I have no place nor method of doing disk imaging (I was going to post asking about that later on here @ DC, my backup server PC needs 2 new HDs </offtopic>).

Normally I would go and just wipe the whole thing and go "Yay, fresh install!", except I used Windows Anytime Upgrade on this machine, and it is an absolute ***** to get working. Format, install, remove crap, install drivers, upgrade, remove crap, install programs, update for 8 hours, install games, replace documents & whatnot, reactivate Vista, call Microsoft, talk to machine... ugh. And Microsoft wonders why piracy for Windows is still common.

No offense but if you need to image at least 111GB for basic system integrity then I'd have to say that your system is a bit disorganised.

eg.

My OS partition is 20GB, it contains the OS and the few programs I use that require installation - of that 20GB, 9GB is in use, (5.25GB of that is the pagefile.sys and hiberfil.sys).  I realise that Vista is no where near as space efficient as XP but even so, I don't see a reason for your OS partition to be over 30GB.

All my games, (65GB+), Documents and all other programs are on another partition or HDD - and only Documents and programs are regularly backed up.  Games will be fully re-installed if catastrophic HDD failure happens.

Regarding games, I have very few games that actually require re-installation - I'm mainly a FPS person but most run without requiring re-installation or just re-entering location/key data back into the registry.
If I had to do a full OS install there's only two games that require anything more than a simple reg file:- Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter 2 requires me to re-install the PhysX driver and only UT3 requires a full re-installation, (and I'll get around to working that out one day).

Programs, if I can find a program that can do what I want without requiring installation, (or even better, it's portable), I use that because it means I don't need to re-install it - so it resides on a non-OS partition.

When I image my OS, (I use True Image), I tell it to exclude pagefile.sys and hiberfil.sys - they're not required, the system will recreate them on restoration.

So a full OS image that will enable restoration of the system to a full-before-catastrophe state will require me to image approx. 4GB of data and at maximum compression that ends up as 2GB or less, (ie. it will fit on one of my many 2GB flash drives).

I could even do a format and install of the OS and it will have minimal impact, games will still run, all the programs that didn't require installation will still run.  I could boot off of an external USB HDD and most of my system will run, (dependencies aside).

If you're going to go to the trouble of a full OS re-installation I suggest you seriously look at re-defining your HDDs and/or partitions for ease of backup and system recovery.

BTW, if you are after a drive imaging program I'd suggest the free version of Macrium Reflect which is well regarded.  Or, if you'd like a more Ghost like offline imaging solution, try PING.
« Last Edit: January 01, 2009, 09:39:28 PM by 4wd »

wreckedcarzz

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 1,623
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Vista has gone nuts: [Major] Help please?
« Reply #9 on: January 02, 2009, 12:51:27 AM »
I didn't partition the drive this time around (that's why I reformatted 2x before - Vista/Ubuntu/Xubuntu dual booting setups, both failing to work out with my style of computing, become annoying 15 and 20GB space hogs, respectively), so everything is on this one 120GB (111GB usable) drive. It is just a massive whole-disk partition, taking up every bit it can.

I have a games list that people literally awe at (GRAW2 is a great game, btw, I have it as well :D) because it is just so long. 65.5GB on C:\, with an overflow of 17.1GB on an external drive, and 3 stacks/spools of not installed games. But that's beside the point :P

I have never done a full system hard drive image... "thingy" - I found out that I had the last 2 problems by trying to setup a backup scheme (the irony). So basically, if/when I give up and reformat, I should just make an image of the computer in that state for emergency recovery, and toss it on a DVD or something?

*checking links*

Thanks for the help, again :) :-*

Last second edit (I'm really bad @ forgetting this stuff): Vista in safe mode shows the Recycle Bin context menu and Desktop folder just fine. I disabled all startup apps with StartupRun and the Recycle Bin/Desktop situation remains fixed. Now it is a game of cat and mouse to see what exactly is screwing me over.

Also, I was attempting to download Sauerbraten (a wonderful FPS, btw) and as the download completed (before I reset and did safe mode and disabled all startup apps), the WHOLE computer came to a standstill (much like gridlock @ 5PM on a Friday in New York). It was usable (if you consider "usable" to be "The mouse is moving! It's still alive! THERE IS HOPE!!!"), but the mouse would litterally "loop" my actions to it infinitely, until about 5 minutes later, when FF gave in and told me that it could not complete the download. This happened a second time over, but this time I waited the same amount of time and got not as positive results (ending with a press of the reset button and some not very kind words under my breath). (The download completed normally after rebooting with no startup apps.)

Bottom line: Something is screwing up FF and my RB/Desktop.
« Last Edit: January 02, 2009, 12:53:51 AM by wreckedcarzz »

Cloq

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • ***
  • default avatar
  • Posts: 268
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Vista has gone nuts: [Major] Help please?
« Reply #10 on: January 02, 2009, 01:19:10 AM »
Quick test:

In safe mode, create another user. Reboot and log in as that new user. If it goes to the desktop and you can use Firefox fine and what not, ... chances (on your regular user account) are that either you have some application(s) conflicting or your user registery is whacked.

In my case, I wasn’t able to log in to my desktop, it would accept my password and screen would go blank with a mouse cursor (I could move it around and what not) but it would just sit there forever.

I did my new user test account and it logged in fine to the desktop.

What the problem finally turned out to be is that I had a couple persistent mapped drives ( on my regular account, mapped to laptop and nas). I had disconnected my laptop to upgraded the hard drive in it. Vista freaked out that one my mapped drives was no longer “available” so it promptly decided that it would keep trying to make a connection before it would even get me to my desktop.

My quick fix: disconnected my network cable from my desktop (logged me straight to my desktop after that), went to Disconnect Network Drives and deleted the one that was for my laptop. Reconnected my network cable rebooted the machine and it logged me in just fine.

4wd

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 4,477
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Vista has gone nuts: [Major] Help please?
« Reply #11 on: January 02, 2009, 01:41:38 AM »
I have a games list that people literally awe at (GRAW2 is a great game, btw, I have it as well :D)

[OFFTOPIC]
Unfortunately, I find it too annoying to be worth more than playing once a month for an hour or so, (aside from its extremely stupid bugs, ie. try and get any multi-player game to run consistently with any mods or even just run without crashing).

eg. I have a weapon that can shoot the nuts off of a fly at 200 meters, yet in GRAW2 I can't hit the guy at 102 meters.

Why?  Because the maps are so small that they have to artificially reduce the range on ALL the weapons.  If they're going to make what is basically a CQB game then don't give us weapons that aren't suited to it.

Also, the name is Ghost Recon yet there is no sign of binoculars.  WTF!?  It's why I end up carrying a rifle with a scope all the time - so I can actually recon locations.

This is why I always end up returning the Delta Force/Joint Operations games despite their faults - they have HUGE maps and you can shoot the nuts off the guy at 800+ meters with your M82.

They are just plain fun.
[/OFFTOPIC]

wreckedcarzz

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 1,623
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Vista has gone nuts: [Major] Help please?
« Reply #12 on: January 02, 2009, 03:44:51 AM »
@ Cloq - I tried using the Administrator account, and that didn't show any positive results. I am making backup and format preparations now.

More off-topicness (because we all love to be OT!) :P

I play with a group (clan) that I am in 2x a week (Friday and Saturday nights) every week. Not too much but not too little that I want to jump in and play randomly. Relaxed pace where I am ready to play but not bored/overly excited about it.

And yea, try using the d@mn mule in an MP game... if ANYTHING happens *BOOM* - server crash. Ugh!!!

I play on mostly BIG custom maps, so the weps are standard, but it takes everything that the group has to get the map complete (coop maps only). Fun, but annoying at times.

And yea - it is supposed to be stealth, but wtf? Once your cover is blown IRL you cannot just "hide" and wait, but the game acts otherwise - and the few seconds (or if your lucky, minutes) that your undetected by the majority of AI, your always worried that something has seen you that you don't know about yet (and it almost always has, be it the tank that's about to blow you away, or the sniper across the canyon just sitting there with the scope right on your *BOOM*.

Coop maps ftw though, end of story :)

</offtopic>

Oh yea, while I was/am preparing my backups, look what happened to my poor IDE hard drive that I toss all my backups onto (note that about 95%-98% of this was games... they are being moved to the 250GB drive now)...
holy shit.pngVista has gone nuts: [Major] Help please?

 :o ;D :-[ - And people say that "You'll NEVER use THAT much space!"

Last second edit (how many of these am I going to make... jeez): Can I use a (legit) Vista Upgrade DVD to install Vista w/o a key, then use my OEM key to activate Vista within the OS? I can't find the darned boatware eMachines DVD...

A second LSE: There is a total of 46.71GB of games on that IDE drive. That makes for over 100GB of games I have installed. Overkill? ;D
« Last Edit: January 02, 2009, 03:49:07 AM by wreckedcarzz »

Carol Haynes

  • Waffles for England (patent pending)
  • Global Moderator
  • Joined in 2005
  • *****
  • Posts: 7,986
    • View Profile
    • Dales Computer Services
    • Donate to Member
Re: Vista has gone nuts: [Major] Help please?
« Reply #13 on: January 02, 2009, 04:29:43 AM »
Did you actually try ShellEX which I mentioned before?

If context menus are causing problems it is almost always to do with some software that you have installed. Especially if it goes away in safe mode.

ShellEx allows you to disable all of the shell extensions and then re-enable them a few at a time to track down what is causing the problem. If you find out what is causing the problem you can uninstall it and reinstall it to see if that cures it or just leave a shell extension disabled.

There have been many occasions i the past where this has saved me a reinstall and there have been other times when I have discovered to pieces of software that simply don't coexist nicely together.

See http://www.nirsoft.n.../utils/shexview.html

wreckedcarzz

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 1,623
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Vista has gone nuts: [Major] Help please?
« Reply #14 on: January 02, 2009, 12:32:36 PM »
Yea, actually I had downloaded it about a week ago - I got completely overwhelmed and, after managing to scan through the whole list, gave up. I'll disable everything and then see if that fixes it (unlikely, though).

I finally got all the stuff backed up, except one game, so I think I'm going to reformat today.

EDIT: Disabled all non Windows stuff in ShellExView, no help. Recycle Bin still takes WAY too long (although somewhat shorter) to get its context menu open. About 5-10 seconds now.
« Last Edit: January 02, 2009, 12:43:21 PM by wreckedcarzz »

wreckedcarzz

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 1,623
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Vista has gone nuts: [Major] Help please?
« Reply #15 on: January 02, 2009, 02:22:54 PM »
Also, one more question (I'm just one big inquiry :P): Is it possible to backup Vista's Voice Recognition data? This is probably the most important thing to me besides my programming stuff, and I can't seem to find any info on where it is stored. If anyone has any info on where it might be stored or how to backup/restore it properly, that would be EXTREMELY appreciated.

Edit: Never mind, I'm an idiot - a change in search keywords reveals a simple solution: http://www.microsoft...4&DisplayLang=en
« Last Edit: January 02, 2009, 02:26:32 PM by wreckedcarzz »

wreckedcarzz

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 1,623
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Vista has gone nuts: [Major] Help please?
« Reply #16 on: January 04, 2009, 01:57:07 AM »
Alright, I'm back from Vista Install Hell installing Vista. Everything has gone without a hitch, except the wasted 6 hours on the phone with support and getting Vista activated. Oh, and Windows Anytime Upgrade won't work now. Home Basic blows big time. >:(

Other than that, and UAC, everything is amazingly faster. All in all I think it was worth it - I did the format and restore properly this time, getting everything down to my Firefox profile (including extensions) backed up. :D

Off to make my "ready-to-go" disk image (the "initial install" is happily sitting on my external HD) and give WAU another go. Maybe I'll wake up and it works this time around. Anything's possible :P

(I'm still curious where that Virus came from, and how it did such seemingly random damage...)

Carol Haynes

  • Waffles for England (patent pending)
  • Global Moderator
  • Joined in 2005
  • *****
  • Posts: 7,986
    • View Profile
    • Dales Computer Services
    • Donate to Member
Re: Vista has gone nuts: [Major] Help please?
« Reply #17 on: January 04, 2009, 05:24:34 AM »
Why were you on the phone for 6 hours? And what problems did you have with reactivation?

You say Windows AnyTime no longer worked - what happened? Were you trying to use it from download installers or did you have the backup DVD?

Anyway glad you are back up and running.

wreckedcarzz

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 1,623
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Vista has gone nuts: [Major] Help please?
« Reply #18 on: January 04, 2009, 03:36:48 PM »
I tried to use a Retail disk with an OEM key, and got the run around from eMachines (phone), eMachines (Live Chat), Microsoft Activation Support, multiple MS automated systems, and got redirected so many times that I lost count.

Turned out all they had to tell me/ask me was "Are you using the key on the machine's sticker, or from another source?" - the former worked. So much for support.

And no, Anytime Upgrade won't work now. It gets all the way to completion (as far as the 5 step process goes), but then it says that it has encountered an error and cannot install a component. Then the machine reboots and rolls back to Home Basic. I have 2 Retail DVDs along with my Anytime Upgrade DVD (what I was using). I plan on trying to Upgrade again here tonight.

Thanks for the help, though :)