Follow-Up screen saver never-idle interrupt problem

Discussion in 'Computer Support' started by Atreju, Jan 12, 2007.

  1. Atreju

    Atreju Guest

    Recently posted that this problem had resolved itself, but it is back.

    My screen saver sometimes, but not always, does not kick in.
    Our previous discussion led to the conclusion something was making the
    computer think it is not idle.
    Lately I've noticed very often been typing when all of a sudden the
    window I am in loses focus, and I end up having to click it to get
    back. This sometimes just does not happen for a long time, and
    sometimes it happens every 30 seconds or so, for hours.

    Recently whenever I noticed this happen, I quickly hold down ALT and
    hit tab - I don't release it, so I can see what's in the tasks...
    well, there's this vanilla window icon and if I get to move to that
    one quickly enough, it says "Downloading..." if I wait too long, still
    holding down ALT, the icon remains there but TAB won't switch to it,
    as if it is no longer there.

    Here's a screen shot I managed to grab:

    http://www.tallerworks.com/files/hidden_task.jpg

    I'll list all the applications I can think of that I use regularly:

    .. Firefox (don't get me started on all the bugs in this product, but I
    still use it because it's better than having IE deliberately let
    through ads, and I think I've ruled out FF as the culprit)
    .. Outlook v 2002 with latest service pack
    .. Spamihilator anti-spam (which, by the way, is terrific)
    .. sometimes I have open the Sonicwall Global VPN Client, but not
    logged into any network
    .. AVG Anti-Malware 7.5 Network Edition
    .. RealVNC running as service host mode
    .. AnalogX Capture - a screen/window capture utility - no self-updating
    or anything like that is even part of this program
    .. APC PowerChute Personal Edition
    .. MagicDisc Virtual drive
    .. ActiveSync 4.5 beta (was the only way to resolve a major flaw in
    every previous version

    Nvidia and Gigabyte utilities.

    At any one time I have tried removing these items from running
    automatically but still encountered this problem

    I think it is clear that something has some kind of self-updating
    system that unfortunately is programmed less than perfectly. I
    seriously doubt it is spyware, I am using a reliable anti-spyware
    product. But I will do a manual scan anyway.

    [One thing I noticed is that any time any Adobe product runs, it puts
    ACROTRAY.EXE into memory and refuses to shut it down unless I
    terminate it in task manager. I've removed it from automatically
    starting up in Windows, but anytime I run Acrobat, it puts it back.
    This is an enormous nuisance, as it is not absolutely necessary for it
    to run in order for any of my Adobe products to work, but Adobe in
    their arrogance refused to put any options to remove it. I had tried
    renaming the file in the past, but many of the Adobe products refuse
    to run if they don't see it. If it weren't Adobe, it would probably be
    on the spyware community's hotlist.]

    This is driving me absolutely nuts because not only does my screen
    saver not kick in, which is going to force me to get into the habit of
    shutting off my monitor all the time, but lately it has become a major
    hassle when I'm composing an email or typing and IM, or even doing a
    remote support session - losing focus means I'm suddenly typing and
    nothing is happening.

    I am at my wit's end with this, and I am going to end up starting to
    uninstall software one-by-one which I really don't want to do because
    this is a very new installation. This computer is only a couple of
    weeks old.

    ANY help at ALL, would be greatly appreciate. I've done some searching
    on the internet but it's so hard to find adequate or even relevant
    results.
     
    Atreju, Jan 12, 2007
    #1
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  2. Atreju

    Atreju Guest

    Well, it seems I may have found the culprit.
    I performed a fresh reboot, and immediately shut off Spamihilator. I
    let the computer go idle and the screen saver kicked in. I then
    started Spamihilator and left it idle, .....no screen saver. Then I
    shut down spamihilator again, let it idle... screen saver kicked in.

    Darn! And this is a fantastic product. Maybe I just have to adjust
    some settings ...

    Will FUP when I have some concrete results.

     
    Atreju, Jan 12, 2007
    #2
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  3. Atreju

    why? Guest

    < snip long list, could have been shorter without comments :) >

    If something is downloading, and its'a network connection, the odd once
    or twice I have tried stuff like,

    Outpost Firewall - 3 apps lists , denied, partly blocked, trusted.
    Either remove all apps from the 3 lists or put everything in denied and
    turn on prompt for access.

    It also will log open apps, connections, ports as allowed - denied. The
    results can be very useful.

    If you don't want to swap to a different FW app, then maybe something
    like -

    command prompt - netstat , doesn't list the processes / files runnning
    but lists remote hostnames, sites connected to.
    http://www.microsoft.com/resources/documentation/windows/xp/all/proddocs/en-us/netstat.mspx

    LAN Monitor v1.3.4
    http://www.karenware.com/powertools/ptlanmon.asp

    http://www.snapfiles.com/features/ed_usb_software.html
    StartupList
    CurrPorts - a GUI netstat + associated applications
    SmartSniff - needs the skills to decode raw packet data

    The often mentioned
    ProcessExplorer, Filemonitor , Handle and many other good tools at,
    http://www.microsoft.com/technet/sysinternals/default.mspx
    That's the AVG or something else?

    There are a number of posts in
    http://groups.google.com/group/24hoursupport.helpdesk
    listing several URLs for anti-spyware , hijackthis and other helpful
    tools.
    This appears to happen a lot, www.google.com for that one, it's popular.
    It's also fairly certain to be in 24hshd as well
    http://groups.google.com/group/24hoursupport.helpdesk


    Me
     
    why?, Jan 12, 2007
    #3
  4. Atreju

    Atreju Guest

    I think I may very well have solved it.
    I have been trying to get to spamihilator's site to see if any users
    have reported this problem, but their site is down. It has been so for
    a while.

    Alas, I had an epiphany, one I hope is correct - The software is set
    to check for updates once - per - day. However - since the site is
    down, it seems it is checking once-per-30seconds.

    I disabled checking for updates, and so far it looks good.
    I'll post if I was wrong.

     
    Atreju, Jan 12, 2007
    #4
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