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Old 01-17-2011, 03:15 PM   #1
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Bad sound card or trojan worm?

hi guys,

seems like my IBM is giving me a heck of a time. I'm afraid that I either have a worm, cookie or trojan on the machine. Once windows starts up, every second or two the hard drive spins for a split second. Actually, if I were to put the occurance in a loop and play it back over and over again, the split second spin takes place at about the 10th second in the loop and then again at about second 13. I would say that sounds about right if I recoded this problem for one minute and looped it.

I can only notice it when I'm playing tunes on Playlist.com, or even watching a movie. The stream is interrupted at exactly the same times. It's so precise, I could set my watch by it! Thats what makes me think it's a program or worm I attracted from a website somewhere. This was not a problem when I got the computer from Ebay. I've had it for about 2 weeks now and I've had this spinning problem for about 5-6 days.

Does anybody have any suggestions for me, either to narrow down the problem or eliminate it completely (short of restoring the machine back to factory settings, that is)??

(I have already run scans by Spybot and AVG free, neither one found anything)

Thanks guys!

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Old 01-17-2011, 06:34 PM   #2
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Re: Bad sound card or trojan worm?

How about MalwareBytes? Great program. CCleaner is good as well.
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Old 01-17-2011, 07:52 PM   #3
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Re: Bad sound card or trojan worm?

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Originally Posted by RuralGuy View Post
How about MalwareBytes? Great program. CCleaner is good as well.
I run CCleaner everytime I make a change to the programs list in the CP. I'll check on that other program.

The annoying thing about this right now is that I'm listening to Playlist.com as I'm typing this and it's not skipping at all, at least not for the last 20 min.

So now I'm thinking that's not the issue. But I will try that program. thanks.

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Old 01-18-2011, 09:55 AM   #4
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Re: Bad sound card or trojan worm?

It's not likely to be a worm or trojan causing this issue. Hard drives begin to strain more from heat or dust collection, and also from actual age. Definitely check out Malware-Bytes Antimalware as it's an important program to have in your inventory anyway, but I'm thinking it's more hardware related.
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Old 01-20-2011, 12:04 PM   #5
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It's the HD or motherboard...

all,

I found a new issue with this IBM last night. Now, I cannot get windows to boot. Here's what happens:
  • splash screen is shown fine
  • black screen after that for a while
  • after that, the white segmented progress bar appears, with completion showing to accumulate extremely slow (over 1 hour timeframe)
  • The fan starts running when splash screen is shown, but when it disappears the fan shuts down

I've tried using 2 dif. RAM cards, 500 and 1Gb and both prove to be the same, in terms of results. I've seen posts on the web about soldering issues with internal hardware. Also about bad RAM, bad HDs and bad motherboards.

Does anyone here have anything to say about this?? From what I've observed, I would say the HD or motherboard is bad.
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Old 01-21-2011, 09:07 AM   #6
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Re: Bad sound card or trojan worm?

Do you have a lot of heat build up? This sounds like heat damage to something. It can be hard to pinpoint exactly what causes this issue.

Can you boot into safe mode without any problems? If not, it's more than likely hardware related.
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Old 01-21-2011, 09:24 AM   #7
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Re: Bad sound card or trojan worm?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vassago View Post
Do you have a lot of heat build up? This sounds like heat damage to something. It can be hard to pinpoint exactly what causes this issue.

Can you boot into safe mode without any problems? If not, it's more than likely hardware related.
actually Vass,

I think it is a worm. I put it in the freezer once for 10 min, but that did nothing. Also, I finally got to windows after about 1 hour of letting it sit there. I got a password prompt, but there is none set. after pushing enter I get this message:
Quote:
Windows cannot determine the validity of this licensed copy of windows.
I cannot do anything after that. have to ctrl alt del it back to the startup process.

Does it sound like a severe virus to you as well?? If it is, I don't know what to do, as I don't have a factory disc for this machine, or for XP SP3 in general. Do you have any ideas for me?

thanks!

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Old 01-21-2011, 10:57 AM   #8
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Re: Bad sound card or trojan worm?

Have you tried safe mode? If it is a virus, it should still allow you into safe mode since it bypasses any startup programs, including the virus.
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Old 01-21-2011, 11:28 AM   #9
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Re: Bad sound card or trojan worm?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vassago View Post
Have you tried safe mode? If it is a virus, it should still allow you into safe mode since it bypasses any startup programs, including the virus.
I need help with that, Vass. the bios splash screen lets F12 as the shortcut key for configuration, but I've combed all the menus in the bios and I don't know how to start it in safe mode. can you help w that??

IBM thinkpad ver R41
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Old 01-21-2011, 12:14 PM   #10
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Re: Bad sound card or trojan worm?

Just after the initial post and before the windows logo appear, repeatedly press F8 until you see a safe mode menu. Choose Safe Mode with Networking and wait for it to load. It may take extra time, but I want to see if you have any problems once you're in. If you don't, then you'll be able to look into removing any software issues or viruses you have.
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Old 01-21-2011, 12:25 PM   #11
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Re: Bad sound card or trojan worm?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vassago View Post
Just after the initial post and before the windows logo appear, repeatedly press F8 until you see a safe mode menu. Choose Safe Mode with Networking and wait for it to load. It may take extra time, but I want to see if you have any problems once you're in. If you don't, then you'll be able to look into removing any software issues or viruses you have.
I have done the F8 key pressing both before the bios splash screen AND after it. All that happens, both times, is the key presses get bottlenecked in the que and starts beeping at me at that point after every additional key press. Is it really as sensitive as people say it is?? Someone else told me today that if you don't catch the boot up process at the EXACT point with F8, it won't boot this config menu that has safe mode in it. is that true?

and to give you another idea of what machine I have. I have one splash screen, that shows the IBM logo and Intel Centrino logo for about 1-2 seconds, then goes black (which should go to windows, but it stalls here). So those are the only two points at which I can test the tapping of F8. Will holding it down work better? (I've tried both methods, to no success).

thanks again sir!
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Old 01-21-2011, 12:38 PM   #12
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Re: Bad sound card or trojan worm?

Quote:
Originally Posted by the_net_2.0 View Post
I have done the F8 key pressing both before the bios splash screen AND after it. All that happens, both times, is the key presses get bottlenecked in the que and starts beeping at me at that point after every additional key press. Is it really as sensitive as people say it is?? Someone else told me today that if you don't catch the boot up process at the EXACT point with F8, it won't boot this config menu that has safe mode in it. is that true?

and to give you another idea of what machine I have. I have one splash screen, that shows the IBM logo and Intel Centrino logo for about 1-2 seconds, then goes black (which should go to windows, but it stalls here). So those are the only two points at which I can test the tapping of F8. Will holding it down work better? (I've tried both methods, to no success).

thanks again sir!
It takes a lot of tapping immediately after the original IBM logo to get to Safe Mode and make sure you get it right. You might also be able to let it boot to Windows normally, immediately shut it off through the power button, and then reload it. It should tell you windows did not shut down properly and ask if you would like to go into Safe Mode or Start Windows Normally.
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Old 01-21-2011, 05:26 PM   #13
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Re: Bad sound card or trojan worm?

ok bud,

I got to the safe mode menu by tapping the key. The first thing it did, after 10 minutes of black screen was give me a SLOW list, one by one, of system32 file names. So the incredibly slow nature of the boot process was still a problem.

But that's supposed to happen with the safe mode boot, right?

And next, I got to the windows logon screen after one hour again, but THIS time, no error message comes up and it doesn't shut it down right away. Now, it gives me two logon options: "admin" and "user". Either one results in two different parts of the process:
  • the usual "loading your personal settings" message
  • After 30 seconds of that, it immediately switches to "saving your settings..."
  • After that, it refreshes the "welcome" logon screen again and it's back to square one.

I was told that tapping F11 at the bios splash screen will give me the option to restore it to factory settings. is that true as well??

At this point, I'm seriously thinking that whoever wrote this virus I've got did a pretty damn good job!

Is F11 my only other option and this point??? thanks.
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Old 01-24-2011, 09:42 AM   #14
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Re: Bad sound card or trojan worm?

You have to have the disk to use system restore. It is normal sometimes for the computer to load into safe mode slowly, but it sounds like you couldn't even get windows to work right.

I would try at this point a reinstall of windows. I'm still not entirely convinced it's not hardware related.
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Old 01-24-2011, 10:03 AM   #15
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Re: Bad sound card or trojan worm?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vassago View Post
You have to have the disk to use system restore. It is normal sometimes for the computer to load into safe mode slowly, but it sounds like you couldn't even get windows to work right.

I would try at this point a reinstall of windows. I'm still not entirely convinced it's not hardware related.
I'm not either, sir. That's exactly why I sent it back to the seller to get an even better one. =)

I don't have a windows disc, so basically I'm up the creek without a paddle. But I did google the error code it gave me when windows did come up that one time, and MS says in every article I found that it's strictly related to a corrupt update in windows that was installed.

At the very least, if the seller's technician finds those articles, it'll surely look legitimate. So that's the solution for now. If I get the new machine here shortly, this'll be solved once and for all.

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