I've got a sick PC - Help!!

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Chat' started by WoodenFlugel, May 16, 2007.

  1. WoodenFlugel

    WoodenFlugel Moderator Staff Member

    Calling all tMP's IT experts....

    (Sorry this is a long post but I'm trying to get it all down to get an answer quickly)

    I've been having problems with my home PC over the last few weeks, which I thought I'd fixed... until last night!

    My PC is a 3-year old built (non-branded) desktop running XP, which was a reasonable spec for the time so should be more than capable of handling the things I'm trying to do with it. Since about Christmas its gradually been getting slower and slower, despite not having any new gizmos or software added in that time. The only thing I've done is to uninstall my old version of Office for Office 2003, which I did a week os so ago and which completely screwed it!

    Basically what happens is I log in, and then have a minute or two before the whole system hangs. I get an hourglass (which still turns) and I can minimise any open windows but no minimised window will then restore and nothing else happens. I can't even open the Task Manager. The hard drive is spinning more than a Labour government. If I open Task Manager as soon as I log in, I can see that a svchost.exe file is the one taking all the processer capacity. If I watch it processor capacity grows until it hits 100% which is the point of no return. If I get there before I can shut this file down, and the PC will run happily all night.

    I know svchost is a registry file and having reseached it a bit I ran various registry cleaners and even de-fragged the registry. I also ran several virus, adware, spyware etc checks - all to no avail. I've also tried to repair, and rollback windows with no luck.

    Having done as much as I could and had no joy and after seeking advice from the IT bods at work I decided to do a re-format, which I did at the weekend. On Sunday I reinstalled and patched-up XP and put all the various drivers back on, also added my virus checker - all was fine. On Monday night I added the new Office installation plus MSN Messinger - again everything seemed to be OK. But last night I logged in and got exactly the same problems as before the format. There's hardly anything on the hard drive now (just the software I mention - I haven't even put my backed-up files back on yet) and as far as I know the Windows install went perfectly. I don't understand why it was [seemingly] fine one night then back to being a nightmare the very next night. But thinking about it just now I didn't re-boot after installing Messinger.

    So to save my sanity, can anyone here suggest what is going on?

    Is this a hardware fault? Is it Messinger? Office? Am I best to re-format again?

    Its driving me mad, please Help!!!
  2. DaveR

    DaveR Active Member

    Could be a complete red-herring, but does this help??
  3. Dave1

    Dave1 Member

    I've had this and it was something to do with a massive download/update from microsoft. I run automatic updates and once it had finally finished - and it took ages - rebooted everything seemed to be fine. I also ran a discfix on the reboot which may have helped but I've had this same problem at home and at work.
    Fingers crossed we're ok now
  4. winterman

    winterman Member

    If svchost is still maxing out at 100% try getting hold of and running the following.


    ProcessExplorer is made by the old boys at SysInternals and is every tech supports bods dream on this sort of thing. Basically it will show you all the programs running under the svchost process and what they are upto.

    Also if you can get your machine up into safe mode with network support and get to the net then try running a online antivirus scan from the boys at panda software, again it is my point of call for sorting out other peoples pc's, picks up all sorts of gubbins the other seem to miss.

    http://www.pandasoftware.com then click ActiveScan down on the left handside.

    Hope that helps
  5. Anno Draconis

    Anno Draconis Well-Known Member

    I had something similar and like others, it seemed to be related to the automatic update. Ironically, doing a clean reinstall actually seems to make it worse, because there are then more updates to be downloaded, so don't reformat again. Turned AU off, restarted then did Windows Update manually over and over again until there were no more updates to be had. Because there was a particularly annoying update that was clogging up my computer (it kept partially downloading then hanging) it took several attempts to do this properly, but got there in the end. Once there were definitely no updates left I turned AU back on.

    Touch wood, no problems since.
  6. WoodenFlugel

    WoodenFlugel Moderator Staff Member

    Thats how I actually patched XP after I did the clean install - it took ages as you seemed to have to download all the updates up to SP2, then SP2, then all the updates after.... a real pain in the butt.

    Anyway... I've just logged in again and had the same problem again, so I turned my automatic updates off and restarted and hopefully that seems to have done the trick. Yay! I'll monitor it and if I have to I'll shout here again - but I'm hoping I don't have to.

    Thanks Dave, Dave, Mic and Andy - answered and (hopefully) solved within a few hours of me posting the inital question.:clap:

    Another satisfied tMP customer.
  7. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    Hopefully the problem was that and that alone but ... something rolls back my memory to the MSBlaster or Welchia worm that actually creates a copy of the svchost.exe and produces the symptoms you have experienced. Symantec have a removal tool that is worth running, just to be on the safe side. I would also download McAfee's Avert Stinger virus removal tool as well. Links are below ...

    McAfee Stinger - http://vil.nai.com/vil/stinger/

    W32.Blaster.Worm Tool - http://www.symantec.com/security_response/writeup.jsp?docid=2003-081119-5051-99

    Welchia Worm Tool - http://www.symantec.com/security_response/writeup.jsp?docid=2003-081819-3333-99

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