Could this be a virus?? Need help

Discussion in 'Computers' started by Alf S, Jan 30, 2004.

  1. Alf S

    Alf S Banned
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    My sister called frustrated because she said her fairly new computer is "possesed".

    6 month old Compaq running W-XP Home and Cox cable internet....the usual bare bones system found at Wally World.

    She only uses Yahoo for email and chat. Does surf and stuff...doesn't download stuff (doesn't know how really)doesn't use Outlook at all.

    What's happening is she tries to type an email and while she types, the font switches from small font to all caps back to small etc...relentless she said..she can barely compose stuff because it keeps slowing down and the ever changing fonts.

    She said the same thing happens when she tries to surf and type a url into the address bar. (www.ebay.com can end up being Www.EbAY.COm)

    She also said she hears clicking sounds like a pop up is opening yet no pop up is opening. (not to say she doesn't get her share of pop ups from time to time).

    She keeps Yahoo Chat open all day and night till Shut Down of the PC..her husband is in Korea so she wants to be in touch with him as much as possible.

    I've had her run Ad-Aware and she has found stuff and deleted it...She also did a full scan using new 2003 Norton and found nothing...I have her using the Norton Firewall, but that wasn't loaded to her machine until a couple of months ago, so for a small window of time, she just had Norton Anti Virus protecting her system.

    Can anyone enlighten us as to what this might be? I'm going over there tonight and I'm going to try to dig around more to see what I can find.

    I contend that Yahoo Chat brought in some kind of sneaky bug or that the window of time w/o a firewall allowed some bug in.

    Thanks in advance for all your help.

    Alf
     
  2. Kimmo Jaskari

    Kimmo Jaskari Screenwriter

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    Control or alt key stuck?

    Shift key stuck/intermittently connecting while she types?

    Might be simple as that.

    Grab your keyboard when you leave home and try replacing her keyboard with yours just as a test to see if it keeps happening.

    Hey, may as well eliminate the possibility first before looking for virii. [​IMG]
     
  3. Alf S

    Alf S Banned
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    [​IMG]
    It's always the simplest things huh?

    I defenitely will check it out....

    Note that as I was typing this she called and said that post Ad Aware clean up and shut down of Yahoo Chat, she could type here Yahoo emails with ease..not interuptions.

    Strange indeed.
     
  4. Alf S

    Alf S Banned
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    UPDATE
    HELP!!!

    Ok I've tried everything to solve this problem and it keeps coming back!

    I've used Ad-Aware, SpyBot, Norton Anti Virus to scan for virus' cleared cookies, cleared history, tried a different keyboard, anything I can think of related to the internet or typing but this beast won't die!

    I just saw it happen again and just sat there amazed.

    You can open up a website and within seconds here a tick sound (like when a pop up opens) and the screen "fades" a bit...meaning the blue XP toolbar at the top of the screen (favorites, tools, that whole thing) turns light blue..you have to click the mouse somewhere on the screen to make the page come back to life so to speak so you can type...it does it constantly...

    The fonts also still change randomly from Caps to regular, or it will add a (_) between letters....no telling what, you flat out can't type in a url, surf a site, or use Yahoo messenger or yahoo mail because of this mess.

    I'm at my wits end... [​IMG]

    I thought it may be the cable modem losing connection, so I unplugged the power and plugged it back in a minute later...it worked fine again and we thought we had it solved, but it's back with a vengence.

    Could it be the modem? Would that cause all the funky font/typing problems.

    I've searched the web (on my pc) for anything that resembles this problem but can't find a thing.

    What could it be??

    Thanks in advance for any new suggestions you can give us.
     
  5. brentl

    brentl Cinematographer

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    I'd confirm it's not a bad keyboard first, and then I'd control/alt/del and see what programs come up and then I'd search the web and see what each one does.

    B
     
  6. Alf S

    Alf S Banned
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    Like I mentioned, I swapped out the keyboard and it didn't help..still did the same thing.

    I've done the ctr-alt-delete and saw nothing listed except IE.
     
  7. Glenn Overholt

    Glenn Overholt Producer

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    I think he means Processes under the 3 finger salute. That shows you everything that is running.

    I would write down the file names of everything listed by her name and find them. Then do a right click and properties to see who made the file.

    You can delete most of them too. Of course, if you delete the wrong one she'll crash, but a simple reboot will load everything back up. I have no idea if that will help, but if it does, search it out. The file date may give it away too.

    Let us know.
    Glenn
     
  8. Robert_Gaither

    Robert_Gaither Screenwriter

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    Why not format the hard drive, reload windows, download all updates, reload all the programs, and start fresh again? Of course backup anything important first but as you stated it's mostly for just im and email so you might not have to backup much.
     
  9. Alf S

    Alf S Banned
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    Is there a website that lists what each of the processes means and if they're safe to get rid of?

    Speaking of getting rid of...if I find a bad process, how do I permanently delete it?
     
  10. Cary_H

    Cary_H Second Unit

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    I have seen something like this a number of times, and always on computers that weren't running behind firewalls. Someone will have to lend a hand here since I am not all that familiar with XP. What this sounds like is an application or two that reside in your start up configuration.
    In Win98 you get there by clicking Start/Run/ then type in msconfig/ OK. Click on the Startup tab to see what starts when your PC boots. Boxes are either checked or unchecked. Look at the corresponding lines next to checked boxes. With a little scrutiny you can usually discern the ones that are associated to Windows, to Norton(Symantec), your firewall, the registry, disc scan, etc. Apps that are executed every time you restart your PC. These would be checked and should remain checked. Your goal is to identify checked boxes that correspond to apps that don't belong. Uncheck the suspicious entries one at a time, rebooting with every change. Keep notes to stay out of trouble. Once you uncheck the offender it won't start on bootup and do what it does.
    A friend of mine who would never shutoff his PC had something like this. Since he didn't run a firewall these apps would open IE and open dozens of sites by themselves.
     
  11. Glenn Overholt

    Glenn Overholt Producer

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    Just find the file and move it to a temp folder (just to make sure) and reboot. Note that it won't start up on it's own. One of the places it can 'plant' the request to start is in the registry.

    So if you boot and get a notice that a certain file cannot be started, and IE is ok, backup the registry, find and just hit the delete button and wipe tht bugger out!

    Glenn
     
  12. Kimmo Jaskari

    Kimmo Jaskari Screenwriter

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    There are programs out there designed to give a comprehensive view of what is installed to autostart when the computer boots. Do some searches for "startup changer" or some such and see what you find.

    A little knowledge is required to figure out what you want to autostart and what you want to remove, of course.
     

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