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Digital Demon Possession


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#1 OFFLINE   DarkSerge

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 11:57 AM

Greetings.

A few days ago I came down with a rather unpleasant flu that lasted two days. I believe my flu virus got into my computer and digitized itself because ever since I got up the morning I was sick my computer's been acting strange.

It all started last Friday. I sat down on my computer and decided to put on Netflix while I attempted to eat some soup. As soon as I started Firefox, the system shut off. Just went dead. No shutdown, no errors, just off... mostly. The power light was still on. After turning it off completely, it would not start up. It would begin startup then just power off. So I inspected connections, cleaned it out. Nothing seemed wrong. I couldn't find any evidence of overheating (which I've never had a problem with anyway.) After about 15 minutes I was able to start the computer and it started up as if nothing happened. I didn't find anything wrong in my inspection. I've had no random shutdowns since then.

After that, the system fans have been acting rather odd. The rear fan has started running faster than normal as if the system is heavily processing something, even when sitting idle. I have software to monitor fan speeds, temperature, etc. System temperatures are normal. Everything is in the green and the CPU usage is low.

The monitor also indicates that the front fan's speed is randomly fluctuating between about 400 RPM and 200,000+ RPM. Which I very much doubt since from what I observe it's running pretty steadily and normal. (This one I'm least worried about.)

Last night, before bed, I put the computer to sleep (Hibernate mode) and it powered off. I woke up this morning and it was on. However, all I had was my desktop. No icons, no windows, no logon, just my desktop and the cursor. Control + Alt + Delete didn't bring up anything so I ended up hitting the reset switch.

I normally put the computer to sleep (hibernate) when I know it'll be idle for long periods of time, like when I go to bed at night or when I go to work for 9 hours.

System info: Pentium 4, 3 GHz. Windows XP Professional SP3. 2 GB of RAM.

Edited by DarkSerge, 21 February 2012 - 12:01 PM.

~DarkSerge

#2 OFFLINE   LilBambi

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 12:16 PM

Have you checked to see if you have the latest version of Microsoft Silverlight?

Netflix uses Silverlight to stream and likely has something to do with the DRM wrapper too....

Check out if you have the latest version here: http://www.silverlight.net/
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#3 OFFLINE   LilBambi

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 12:21 PM

BTW: What browser is your default browser? I was reading that Google Chrome is not supported by Silverlight yet.
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#4 OFFLINE   V.T. Eric Layton

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 01:28 PM

This all sounds like a hardware item getting ready to take a crapola on you. The flaky mobo sensors are a bad sign. Don't panic yet, though. I could be waaaaay wrong about this.

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#5 OFFLINE   zlim

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 02:09 PM

Check your update history. Maybe one of the updates is causing a problem. Patch Tuesday was Feb. 14th - see when your patches were downloaded/installed.

Have you tested a restore point? If everything goes back to the "normal" way, then it could be a patch rather than hardware. If it still acts strange then I'm inclined to agree with Eric that a piece of hardware is going bad.
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#6 OFFLINE   ross549

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 04:07 PM

This really smells like a Power Supply issue to me.

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#7 OFFLINE   DarkSerge

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 04:40 PM

I hadn't loaded Netflix when the system shut off.

My main concern is the power thing. It's random shut off, then it powering itself back on over night. I'm curious about the rear fan's speed and not-so-concerned about the reading on the front fan. The front fan reading for all I know is just the software not liking me. I swapped fans around and no change.

I've had no random shut downs since then. I haven't put it in hibernate since it woke itself up. Right now all I can think to do is just keep an eye on things. I'll put it into hibernate tonight and tomorrow and see if anything happens.
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#8 OFFLINE   LilBambi

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 06:05 PM

If you haven't even installed Netflix, then that is obviously not it.

Sounds more like a power supply issue. Do you have another power supply that you can swap out that is rated the same? You said it was a Pentium 4 system but didn't say make, model.
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#9 OFFLINE   LilBambi

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 06:12 PM

Wow, just saw Adam's post too. Yeah, Adam. Exactly.

But Liz may be onto something too. I have seen bad patches emulate a hardware issue.

Particularly overworking the CPU etc.

As an example, a brand new HP Intel Core i3 computer was working quietly and speedily. After the first round of updates to it, the CPU utilization went nuts, the fans wouldn't turn off, and I thought it was overheating badly. It was very noisy too of course. Next round of updates (thankfully we didn't have to wait a month for the next set of updates!!!) since these were all older updates) and everything went back to normal.

Go figure!
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#10 OFFLINE   b2cm

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 09:12 PM

The mainboard or power supply. Check for busted caps.

#11 OFFLINE   amenditman

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 09:35 PM

I was going to say power supply or Mobo, but ross549 and b2cm beat me to it.

Instead of switching the fans around, try switching the power leads to them around. If their behavior reverses it is either the power from the supply or the controllers in the mobo. If they don't reverse, start looking for a driver issue as zlim said. A patch can definitely mess up a previously working driver.

When looking for busted caps as b2cm mentioned, look closely for caps that are swollen, they don't have to be burst all the way open to cause the kinds of problems you are describing.

Tweak it 'til it breaks, then learn how to fix it.

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#12 OFFLINE   LilBambi

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 11:45 PM

Sadly caps don't have to look swollen or leaking to be bad, but if they are swollen or leaking makes it easier to tell.
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#13 OFFLINE   DarkSerge

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 12:08 AM

I inspected things when it shut off. The caps looked fine. It hasn't shut off since.

I may have been wrong about the computer turning on over night. I just tried to put the computer to sleep again and it never went to sleep. It got to the blank desktop and stopped. So I'm thinking I just wasn't watching and it never turned off to begin with. So the problem may be not going to sleep instead of waking up on its own.

I do have a power supply I can swap from another system if I need to test, however it's a 300 watt power supply and the computer I'm having problems with is a 400 watt so I'm not sure if it'll be a good swap.
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#14 OFFLINE   goretsky

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 03:49 AM

Hello,

This sounds like a system which is several years old.  Can you identify the hardware in more detail?

Regards,

Aryeh Goretsky

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#15 OFFLINE   LilBambi

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 09:50 AM

Agreed Aryeh! Thanks for reiterating my earlier question on make/model.

RE: smaller power supply. If it is a known good power supply and this one may be defective or damaged somehow, it would likely still work better than the current one, non? Might be worth a try anyway.

But I would like to know what the make/model of the P4 is before saying for sure.
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#16 OFFLINE   Corrine

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 02:02 PM

QUOTE (DarkSerge @ Feb 21 2012, 11:08 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I may have been wrong about the computer turning on over night. I just tried to put the computer to sleep again and it never went to sleep. It got to the blank desktop and stopped. So I'm thinking I just wasn't watching and it never turned off to begin with. So the problem may be not going to sleep instead of waking up on its own.


If there is a problem with sleep/hibernate, the System File Checker tool may be able to repair it.  The System File Checker tool scans system files and replaces incorrect versions of the system files by using the correct versions.

To run the System File Checker tool, follow these steps:
  • Click Start, and then type cmd in the Start Search box.
  • Right-click cmd in the Programs list, and then click Run as administrator.
  • If you are prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type your password or click Continue
  • At the command prompt, type the following line, and then press ENTER:
    sfc /scannow (note the space before the forward slash)
  • When the scan is complete, test to see whether the issue that you are experiencing is resolved.

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#17 OFFLINE   LilBambi

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 02:15 PM

Excellent thought there Corrine. It is amazing the times that that simple fix can take care of issues! And certainly easier and could be done without opening the case and maybe get good results.
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#18 OFFLINE   V.T. Eric Layton

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 02:24 PM

Exorcise the demons with a NUKE!



Umm... no, on second thought, nuking MS Windows won't solve a hardware issue. wink.gif

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#19 OFFLINE   LilBambi

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 02:37 PM

ROFL! You are too funny Eric with your Nuke'm Windows solutions. wink.gif

Yeah, still unknown whether it's a hardware or software/OS/driver issue.
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#20 OFFLINE   DarkSerge

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 06:54 PM

I've fixed the hibernation problem. Luckily, nukes weren't needed!

After another failed hibernate last night, I decided to restart and give it a proper shutdown. During shutdown Avast Antivirus popped up a message saying winlogon.exe (i think, either that or logonui.exe) had changed and asked if it was safe. I said it was okay and it shut down. So today after I started it up, I was able to successfully put it into hibernate.

System is an older system. A custom-build from about 7 years ago that I've upgraded and added onto in the last couple years. Motherboard is an Intel D865GBF with a 400w power supply.

So far, no power problems since that random shutoff last week (except the hibernate problem, which is fixed now.) Rear fan is still running faster than it normally would.

Edited by DarkSerge, 22 February 2012 - 06:57 PM.

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#21 OFFLINE   LilBambi

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 07:30 PM

May I ask why you thought Winlogon or logonui would have changed? Was there anything on the system that has changed that would affect winlogon or logonui?
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#22 OFFLINE   ross549

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 05:41 AM

QUOTE (LilBambi @ Feb 22 2012, 06:30 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
May I ask why you thought Winlogon or logonui would have changed? Was there anything on the system that has changed that would affect winlogon or logonui?


DarkSerge said that Avast popped up the notification....
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#23 OFFLINE   LilBambi

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 06:02 AM

QUOTE (ross549 @ Feb 23 2012, 05:41 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
DarkSerge said that Avast popped up the notification....

Yes, but what made DarkSerge think it had changed legitimately?

Avast was depending on DarkSerge to know whether the change happened legitimately or not; like an update to Windows that made such a change, etc.
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#24 OFFLINE   ross549

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 05:03 PM

That is what I was thinking... windows update came in, and Avast misinterpreted it.

Who knows? Not I!

biggrin.gif

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#25 OFFLINE   LilBambi

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 08:31 PM

Could be. Hard to tell what came first...
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