Please Help. PC problem. Don't know if it's H/W S/W or *Virus*

Threepwood

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Aug 27, 2007
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806
About 30 mins ago I was surfing the net when suddenly my mouse wheel stops scrolling in opera and starts zooming instead, also it doesn't want to scroll in explorer.

The task manager showed no running processes, no page file usage and no CPU usage.

I restarted the PC, then at the login screen the keyboard wouldn't work, I couldn't type numbers or letters, I didn't try every key but CAPS lock worked.
I ctrl-alt-del then this funny other login screen popped up.
I have seen this before but don't know why it came up (my usual login screen is like the norm. XP one modded with a diff. pic, it's Cafrog if anyone knows it), I'm sure the pc should've shown the shutdown dialog when ctrl-alt-del was pressed? (I'm using WinXP)

I restarted again, this time the keyb. worked and I logged in, then a short while later, before fully opening all my start-up apps the PC suddenly just rebooted.

I turned off, unplugged my extra drives (I have 3 physical drives, one with Windows XP, and a second partition, this one remained on), and installed another drive that I thought had XP installed on it aswell, in an attempt to log in to that install and see if my data was all right.

Turns out XP was not on that drive, so I take it out and now just leave in my first OS disc with XP on it.

When starting up again, I log in fine, and am now typing this while doing a virus scan with avg free 7.5. The PC seems fine now.

Could it be some sort of hardware problem that caused this? A Windows bug?

So far the scan hasn't picked up any viruses, it's been through my documents and settings folder so far and Opera temp files, which is where I would expect the virus to be somehow seeing as I was using opera when it happened, or at least thought that was a srong possibility.

Maybe a freak combination of loose connections to cause the restarts, but what about the weirdness of the mouse wheel going crazy at the start?

As far as loose connections go my PC is not exactly solid, my drives are in a loose enclosure that stands them up vertically on the case floor, because the case I'm using's drive cage wont fit them in nicely.
My third drive rests on top of the DVD, and the case is always open because it hasn't got nearly enought airlfow when closed, it's a P3 era case with a Celeron D 320 and it definately is way too hot for the case.

All that said I haven't really had problems before except for a loose modular connector from my old PSU causing a whole lot of crap.

I remember a couple of times in the past having windows go a bit loopy in a similar fashion (with regard to the weird mouse behaviour and keyboard strangeness, that sort of thing), and just restarting and all was fine. This time was a lot more irratating.

Does any of this sound like a common virus like activity?

What's the best way to check my other drives without the possibiltiy of contaminating my main OS one, if it is a virus? Though still none detected in the last 15 min. (spent editing and proof reading this post) since I last mentioned that the scan has detected nothing.

Sorry for the long story but I thought I needed details if anyone is going to be able to help.

Thanks for reading if you got this far.

EDIT: Finished the virus scan on my main OS disk and no virus was found.
 
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sn3rd

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Jan 18, 2008
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:confused:

Wow, that's weird. The only things I can think of are the usual troubleshooting tips:
To rule out hardware, you should try swap out with other hardware, if you have access to such resources.
To rule out software, you should try swap out with other software, if you have such resources.
The problem, though, is that the problem seems to have completely disappeared? i.e. It was completely random to start, and completely random to disappear. Only a few components tend to cause things like this (not to say that others couldn't): RAM, PSU, connectors. Things like the CPU and graphics system COULD cause similar problems, but in my experience, they are much more consistent and don't spontaneously disappear. As for software, a virus does seem most likely, but given your virus scan, you say it isn't a virus. Where all did you search for said virus? Are your virus definitions all up to date? You might try running a different antivirus (decent free one: http://www.avira.com ).

If possible, try get hold of a hard drive from someone, to install Windows and see if similar problems persist. Take note of the things you do and don't install. If not possible, try a Linux Live distro of sorts to try to rule out hardware.

All that being said, it'd be a waste of time of the problem never appeared again. You could try the same sequence of events again to see if it happens, and if it's linked to rendering a specific page, try that same page in a different browser, etc?

Sorry for the vague replies. This really is a puzzler :confused:
 

thisgeek

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Apr 22, 2005
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Are your mouse and keyboard USB? Wired, wireless?

-- And btw, if you're at the "normal" XP welcome screen type login, if you hit CTRL+ALT+DEL twice, you get the standard login screen - that's probably what you saw. It's useful for logging in as users that are hidden from the Welcome screen (like Administrator).
 

Threepwood

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Joined
Aug 27, 2007
Messages
806
Sorry for the vague replies. This really is a puzzler :confused:

No worries about that, I didn't really expect an exact answer.

Are your mouse and keyboard USB? Wired, wireless?

-- And btw, if you're at the "normal" XP welcome screen type login, if you hit CTRL+ALT+DEL twice, you get the standard login screen - that's probably what you saw. It's useful for logging in as users that are hidden from the Welcome screen (like Administrator).

That login thing you describe sounds about right.

My mouse and Keyb are wired ps2 devices.

I'll perhaps get round to scanning with another virus, and yes mine was up to date when I scanned.

As for swopping around hardware/software, I've got a couple old drives I could install WinXP on and try that, but like I said the problem seems to be over. I don't have other RAM/motherboards or GPUs that I can use as swop outs easily though.

ATM the only thing I'm worried about is if I plug in my other 2 drives, and they have the possible virus, guess I'll just have to try though.

Thanks for the advice.

EDIT: I completed scanning my other 2 drives and found no virus results on either. Am now conducting a new entire systems test for viruses, still haven't found anything. So I am not really expecting a virus.

Also my system appears totally fine and stable now with all my usual 3 drives in place. So, some kind of weird fluke strangeness or something caused this? :p
 
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dablakmark8

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Feb 28, 2005
Messages
14,469
sometimes unplugin the ac for 5 mins does the trick to fix it.Also the cmos battery must be taken out
 

Random717

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May 30, 2006
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stuck SHIFT key perhaps? Hold one down to see the havoc this can create...
 

Threepwood

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Joined
Aug 27, 2007
Messages
806
Do any of the things I mentioned in the OP seem like they could be caused by RAM problems?

I ran memtest on the system a while ago, and it reported errors. The same stick of RAM doesn't have memtest finding errors with another board. Plus another stick of RAM in the same board finds no errors. So I'm thinking the board/RAM don't like each other?

Also with a different stick of RAM, I'm not getting any of the occasional random resets that I used to.
 
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