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RRich 05-16-2009 02:25 PM

OT - PC guru's?
My PC's been giving me fits.
Using Windows XP
AVG virus and firewall.

The Hard disk has a mind if it's own. It runs for no reason for maybe an hour or 2.
Even in the middle of the night, - no set pattern.
No tasks scheduled.

Unplugging the modem doesn't stop it.

How do I tell what's running? Is there a way, a program or something that will tell me what's running?

I've deleted all the stuff in Startup, no help.

Control Alt Delete - task manager doesn't help.

Often, when doing something like writing this, it inhibits too. Type a few letters - no change on the screen, wait - suddenly what I wrote appears.


Thanks in advance, Rich

thorjeep 05-16-2009 03:47 PM

1. AVG Free, is protecting you as much as you paid for it.
2. Defrag your disk
3. Run a copy of CCleaner, Smart Defrag and Spybot on it (only free I trust) (
4. Buy a real AV.
5. Uninstall any other free programs you have put on there to fix this, they (Usually ) don't work.
6. Since it is probably already a zombie: If you want your PC to run best, back-up your files, format and re-install XP. That is the only way for it to get back to 100%

RRich 05-16-2009 04:32 PM

Thanks - but ---

I used AVG Free for awhile, then I went ahead and bought it - not from a clone website, but direct from AVG. The paid version does lots more - but still doesn't help. Caution - There are lots of places willing to sell you a free copy of AVG - scams!

I was using Spybot awhile back, the computer kept locking up. Once I deleted it, it stopped locking up. After a while later this problem started.
WebRoot did similar.

Deleted several programs that I wondered about - no help. (Not many left.)
Defragged twice this week, - no help.
Chkdsk again this morning, - no help.

Reformatted HD a few months ago - was having a "lock up" problem. Re installed XP - good for a few days. It must have been something on a data disk I reloaded.

IF - IF - I could see what is running I can probably delete or disable it. Then once I know what it is/was, maybe even delete it from a data disk.

I thought it was downloading to another computer, but unplugging the router/modem doesn't stop it, unless it's it's just preparing things to download next time the modems on.

Is there a program that can tell what is running? I have a couple, but they may as well be in Chinese - LOL and I don't speak Chinese!

I know a .44 Mag will help - a last resort?

Sometimes re-booting helps for a few minutes, sometimes not.


PHX? 05-16-2009 10:38 PM

Winch it!

Good solution for ya!

thorjeep 05-16-2009 11:34 PM

Ok, sounds hardware, or you keep introducing the bad program back into the system after re-installation. Run a few anti-virus online programs, trendmicro, kaspersky and panda all have them (Trendmicro is the only one that fixes though)

If spybot is locking up your system it is fighting an infection, I have used it for > 5yrs and never had a real problem, unless the system is infected.

No AV is 100%, sorry for assuming it was free though 99% of people running AVG run the free version.

If you have corruption in XP, verify your files:

Drop in your XP CD, and run "sfc /scannow" at the run line.

also you can see what in your PC is talking to the outside world while online, get x-netstat pro:

Fresh Software - X-NetStat Professional Home Page

For what is running on the PC:

TaskInfo Home Page

Otherwise find a bootable test software on that will run your RAM and processor and HDD thru tests. I use Tufftest, but not sure if they have a trial version.

I can't believe I am giving away all my secrets :)

BTW: If you are indeed using dialup (Modem comment earlier) all current software (Bloatware) is designed for DSL and above speeds, IE and Firefox included. There may be a way to tune it for dialup, but I don't know how (Kind of like learning to grease old horse-drawn wagons) :)

RRich 05-17-2009 12:14 AM

Thanks, I'll try those.

Modem or whatever it's called - it's DSL. He He - got tired of waiting forever for a regular modem phone line to load. Out here most cannot get DSL, too remote, but we are right down the street from a big phone station. Thinking about going satellite, the only TV we can get is satellite.

Being so remote has some disadvantages like no sewer, no gas, 12 miles to town, but we do have electricity and water - and a paved road! But I love it! No neighbors close either.

I'm not very computer literate as you can no doubt tell.

AVG Free was recommended by my local computer shop, it's only found cookies - lots of them. After using the Free, I went ahead and bought the full program. It supposedly checks more, but still hasn't found anything but cookies.

Thanks again, Rich

Sasquatch 05-17-2009 02:20 AM


Seriously, uninstall any and all AV software.
When that's done restart the computer like three times letting it load and start running completely before each restart, Note anything out of the ordinary.
Get spybot!
The home of Spybot-S&D!
I saw you had issues with it previously but it IS truely the best!
You said it was locking up your PC? At times when it is running the PC may seem locked up but that is the program doing what it is supposed to, it does take time!
Load it Immunize and then search and destroy.

Raduckal 05-17-2009 11:43 AM

I'd back up any files I wished to keep.
Then I'd erase the hard drive with DBAN
Then a fresh install of the operating system.
BTW AVG is a nice free antivirus, and Lavasoft's Adaware kicks Spybots butt.

thorjeep 05-17-2009 09:44 PM


BTW AVG is a nice free antivirus, and Lavasoft's Adaware kicks Spybots butt.
Yes I have bought many Jeep parts from the results of Lavasoft and AVG. Spread it around, oh and my number too, I make housecalls...:D

Rich, just try what I said. If your local computer shop is recommending free software, they are not being professional, more like shade tree mechanics: Just fine, but you can get what you pay for.

RRich 05-17-2009 10:48 PM

He He - my local shop told me AVG Free is pretty decent, try it, if I like it, buy the full version, so I did.

I went to a couple of the sites you recommended, I'm sure it would tell me what I need to know - I looked at the samples -- He He - but I have no idea what it would be telling me or what to do. They are way over my head.

Years ago on an earlier version of Windows, I had a program that showed in the lower right corner, what was running, why, and how fast - simple, layman's terms, and you could hide it. I was hoping there was something like it still around.

When it does the "hard disk running trick," about the only way to stop it is cut the power to it. On a restart it usually doesn't do it for awhile. Control/Alt/Delete does nothing - in fact nothing else stops it except time - sometimes in a few minutes its finished, sometimes a few hours.

Task Manager says nothing is running, but the HD is whirring and the HD's light is on, everything else is locked up.

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