windows and start menu open and close randomly.. help!

Discussion in 'Computer Information' started by Drnick, Jun 5, 2007.

  1. Drnick

    Drnick Guest

    a customer of mine is having an issue where the computer will randomly
    start opening and closing windows and the start menu. (its really hard
    to describe, you'll be using the computer and then all of a sudden,
    when you move the mouse the start menu will open and then close, and
    then windows that are minimized will pop open and then close) this
    will happen for about 20 seconds or so then stop and be fine. The
    frequency is strange, it will happen 2 times in one day, and then not
    happen for a few days, it strange, any ideas?
    Drnick, Jun 5, 2007
    #1
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  2. Drnick

    Wizard Guest

    Virus, Spy ware, key loggers .....

    Drnick wrote:
    >
    > a customer of mine is having an issue where the computer will randomly
    > start opening and closing windows and the start menu. (its really hard
    > to describe, you'll be using the computer and then all of a sudden,
    > when you move the mouse the start menu will open and then close, and
    > then windows that are minimized will pop open and then close) this
    > will happen for about 20 seconds or so then stop and be fine. The
    > frequency is strange, it will happen 2 times in one day, and then not
    > happen for a few days, it strange, any ideas?
    Wizard, Jun 5, 2007
    #2
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  3. Drnick

    Drnick Guest

    On Jun 5, 10:38 am, Wizard <> wrote:
    > Virus, Spy ware, key loggers .....
    >
    > Drnick wrote:
    >
    > > a customer of mine is having an issue where the computer will randomly
    > > start opening and closing windows and the start menu. (its really hard
    > > to describe, you'll be using the computer and then all of a sudden,
    > > when you move the mouse the start menu will open and then close, and
    > > then windows that are minimized will pop open and then close) this
    > > will happen for about 20 seconds or so then stop and be fine. The
    > > frequency is strange, it will happen 2 times in one day, and then not
    > > happen for a few days, it strange, any ideas?


    I ran a virus scan (removed 2 trojans) ran spybot and removed about 14
    things, and ran hijack this and removed a few questionable items...
    any idea what else I should try?
    Drnick, Jun 5, 2007
    #3
  4. Drnick

    Ragnar Guest

    Wizard wrote:
    > Virus, Spy ware, key loggers .....
    >
    > Drnick wrote:
    >>
    >> a customer of mine is having an issue where the computer will
    >> randomly start opening and closing windows and the start menu. (its
    >> really hard to describe, you'll be using the computer and then all
    >> of a sudden, when you move the mouse the start menu will open and
    >> then close, and then windows that are minimized will pop open and
    >> then close) this will happen for about 20 seconds or so then stop
    >> and be fine. The frequency is strange, it will happen 2 times in one
    >> day, and then not happen for a few days, it strange, any ideas?


    Sounds like a sticking key or other keyboard fault.

    R
    Ragnar, Jun 5, 2007
    #4
  5. Drnick

    Drnick Guest

    I've already tried switching keyboards, that didn't work... any other
    ideas? I'm not entirely sure if its hardware or software related..
    Drnick, Jun 5, 2007
    #5
  6. Drnick

    Paul Guest

    Drnick wrote:
    > I've already tried switching keyboards, that didn't work... any other
    > ideas? I'm not entirely sure if its hardware or software related..
    >


    Disconnect customer hard drive. Connect spare hard drive. Install
    Windows. Does the problem occur ? If not, go back to your Trojan/keylogger
    hunt.

    Another method, is to use a Linux "live" CD. You can boot Knoppix
    (knopper.net) or Ubuntu, without installing any software. Do the
    windows or menus misbehave when booted into Knoppix or Ubuntu ?
    I've used an alternative OS like that, as a means of proving I
    have a hardware problem (like when the hardware is freezing, it
    will freeze in Linux too). I also use Knoppix when doing overclock
    experiments, because you cannot corrupt a CD by overclocking :)

    Paul
    Paul, Jun 5, 2007
    #6
  7. Drnick

    Jimbo Guest

    "Drnick" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    >a customer of mine is having an issue where the computer will randomly
    > start opening and closing windows and the start menu. (its really hard
    > to describe, you'll be using the computer and then all of a sudden,
    > when you move the mouse the start menu will open and then close, and
    > then windows that are minimized will pop open and then close) this
    > will happen for about 20 seconds or so then stop and be fine. The
    > frequency is strange, it will happen 2 times in one day, and then not
    > happen for a few days, it strange, any ideas?
    >


    I had the same type of problem on one of my store Point Of Sale (POS)
    computers a couple of years ago and drove me crazy for weeks until I figured
    it out. I also started out trying to find a virus or spyware, etc..
    The main POS software acts as a front end program to some other programs, in
    my case one of the background programs was UPS Worldship. What I discovered
    was that the main POS program is written in such a way that when you fill in
    the shipping information and tell the program to print a UPS shipping label
    then the main program "dumps" the info in to World ship. It expects
    Worldship to be at the main screen and simply acts like a macro and fills
    in, tabs past, etc. each line of Worldship. If Worldship was left at another
    screen then the macro ( I think its a macro ) encounters errors and for
    about 10 seconds we could do nothing but wait while we saw dozens of screens
    opening and closing.

    Is your customer always using one specific program when this happens or have
    it running in the background? If so is it an off the shelf program or a
    custom program like our POS software. If it is custom then it my be sloppy
    programming as was the case for us. However, you can also see examples of
    sloppy programming with off the shelf programs, especially with many Windoz
    programs.
    Did this start happening after he/she installed some software.

    I figured out what caused my problem by, after each occurrence, trying to
    document exactly what we did just before it happened. First of all I noticed
    it only happened when shipping UPS, not FedEx or DHL. Then I noticed that it
    only happened after we manually went into Worldship to do something and then
    tried to ship something UPS through the POS or sometimes after Worldship did
    and update. My point is that it took weeks to figure out that there was a
    reoccurring pattern and that pattern pointed me directly to the cause. I
    would not have been able to figure it out as easy had we not taken the time
    to document everything leading up to it.

    Since you seem to have ruled out just about all the hardware except RAM and
    most common software causes, I would start looking at user installed
    software or drivers. Have you tried running the computer in safe mode
    allowing or denying apps and drivers?

    Please let us know when you figure it out - I'm curious.
    Jimbo, Jun 6, 2007
    #7
  8. Drnick

    Drnick Guest

    On Jun 6, 2:51 am, "Jimbo" <> wrote:
    > "Drnick" <> wrote in message
    >
    > news:...
    >
    > >a customer of mine is having an issue where the computer will randomly
    > > start opening and closing windows and the start menu. (its really hard
    > > to describe, you'll be using the computer and then all of a sudden,
    > > when you move the mouse the start menu will open and then close, and
    > > then windows that are minimized will pop open and then close) this
    > > will happen for about 20 seconds or so then stop and be fine. The
    > > frequency is strange, it will happen 2 times in one day, and then not
    > > happen for a few days, it strange, any ideas?

    >
    > I had the same type of problem on one of my store Point Of Sale (POS)
    > computers a couple of years ago and drove me crazy for weeks until I figured
    > it out. I also started out trying to find a virus or spyware, etc..
    > The main POS software acts as a front end program to some other programs, in
    > my case one of the background programs was UPS Worldship. What I discovered
    > was that the main POS program is written in such a way that when you fill in
    > the shipping information and tell the program to print a UPS shipping label
    > then the main program "dumps" the info in to World ship. It expects
    > Worldship to be at the main screen and simply acts like a macro and fills
    > in, tabs past, etc. each line of Worldship. If Worldship was left at another
    > screen then the macro ( I think its a macro ) encounters errors and for
    > about 10 seconds we could do nothing but wait while we saw dozens of screens
    > opening and closing.
    >
    > Is your customer always using one specific program when this happens or have
    > it running in the background? If so is it an off the shelf program or a
    > custom program like our POS software. If it is custom then it my be sloppy
    > programming as was the case for us. However, you can also see examples of
    > sloppy programming with off the shelf programs, especially with many Windoz
    > programs.
    > Did this start happening after he/she installed some software.
    >
    > I figured out what caused my problem by, after each occurrence, trying to
    > document exactly what we did just before it happened. First of all I noticed
    > it only happened when shipping UPS, not FedEx or DHL. Then I noticed that it
    > only happened after we manually went into Worldship to do something and then
    > tried to ship something UPS through the POS or sometimes after Worldship did
    > and update. My point is that it took weeks to figure out that there was a
    > reoccurring pattern and that pattern pointed me directly to the cause. I
    > would not have been able to figure it out as easy had we not taken the time
    > to document everything leading up to it.
    >
    > Since you seem to have ruled out just about all the hardware except RAM and
    > most common software causes, I would start looking at user installed
    > software or drivers. Have you tried running the computer in safe mode
    > allowing or denying apps and drivers?
    >
    > Please let us know when you figure it out - I'm curious.


    Well I had a brainstorm yesterday, both the keyboard and mouse are
    plu8gged in via PS2 ports, so I brought down a USB keyboard to try
    that (thinking maybe theres an issue with the PS2 port?) sort of
    grabbing at straws here. I dropped that off a day ago and haven't
    heard a peep form them yet. After reading your post it gave me one
    other good idea to try. They also have the UPS worldship software
    installed, could it possibly be something with this? Hopefully the
    keyboard solved the problem., but if not I'm going to take a look at
    that UPS software. I'll post back when I figure it out, thanks for the
    reply
    Drnick, Jun 7, 2007
    #8
  9. Drnick

    Jimbo Guest

    >They also have the UPS worldship software
    > installed, could it possibly be something with this? Hopefully the
    > keyboard solved the problem., but if not I'm going to take a look at
    > that UPS software. I'll post back when I figure it out, thanks for the
    > reply
    >


    In my case it was not that there is an issue with UPS Worldship it self. It
    was actually the front end POS program and what screen it expects UPS
    Worldship to be at.
    I am now able to replicate the problem 100% of the time by simply leaving
    Worldship at another screen then the main shipping interface, going back
    into the POS and trying to ship something via UPS.

    My thoughts on USB are that it is an interface that is still not perfected.
    When it comes to a system that someone MUST have in full functioning order
    at all times then the less things connected to USB the better.
    Our POS for example has . . .
    1) keyboard
    1) credit card reader
    1) mouse
    1) barcode scanner
    1) digital scale
    1) reciept printer
    1) shipping label printer
    1) inkjet report printer
    1) modem
    1) ethernet card
    1) IDE RAID 0/1 controller
    1) cash drawer

    The inkjet printer is the only USB device.
    In three years of 70 hour a week use we have never had a single hickup with
    our POS systems save this one software issue. Some other stores in the
    franchise have tried to connect more of the hardware to the USB ports and
    have reported many more problems - often random ones that were hard to track
    down.

    I am VERY interested to know what you find out!
    Jimbo, Jun 8, 2007
    #9
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