XP Pro - After an idle period - Everything Says "Failed to initialize properly"

Discussion in 'Computer Support' started by jeff.buddington, Jul 26, 2006.

  1. Hello-

    Was hoping someone could provide thoughts or ideas:

    WinXP Pro
    1GB RAM
    System has been running with good performance for years.

    I have a system that when you reboot you can use for hours straight
    with NO problems. As soon as you leave it idle for a relatively short
    period of anywhere from 10 minutes or thereabout, the hard drive
    indicator starts to show constant activity. After moving the mouse and
    starting to work with the system again, no matter WHAT application is
    being used it says "failed to initialize properly" even if it's a ping
    in a command prompt. If I close some applications or tray icons and
    get some RAM back then some applications work again temporarily.

    I thought it might be too much RAM being used and loaded Security Task
    Manager (from Neuber I believe) and nothing out of the ordinary (to my
    eye anyway) I see Explorer, and other applications that I know about...
    totalling roughly 360MB RAM used or less.. I also see several
    svchost.exe and one lsass.exe. These are all under windows system32
    and indicate no threat. I have checked the majority of processes
    against known descriptions found on Google, etc. and verified no
    spyware/viruses that I can tell of. I have Spybot S&D 1.4 which
    indicates a few cookies but no spyware or applications. Bullguard v6.1
    indicates no viruses. It takes about 96MB of RAM and Explorer 64MB RAM
    etc. etc.

    If I reboot my machine it works perfectly most of the time as long as I
    don't leave it idle. Hard drive light is mostly off and not very
    active while typing this, sending emails, web browsing, using the
    computer etc.

    I checked my screen saver thinking it might be some bogus screen saver
    and it was just the plain Windows XP Pro Logo screen saver - very
    minimal. So I decided just as I am typing this to disable the screen
    saver and "monitor sleep" all together. Spybot prompted me to change a
    registry entry when I disabled it but was so quick I couldn't read
    exactly what it said. Something like screens.exe was making a registry
    change. I accepted it because it only said this when I disabled the
    screen saver.

    If this rings a bell with someone or it sounds like a virus that you
    had a problem with before, can you email me the specific name of the
    virus/spyware so that I can follow up with Bullguard to see if it's in
    their definition files yet? I have been very pleased (in my personal
    opinion) about the level of protection and few problems I have had over
    the years with this specific computer by the protection that the
    combination of Spybot S&D WITH TEA-TIMER ENABLED and BullGuard have
    provided with quick operation and low overhead, with reasonable cost.

    This has only started happening recently after some Windows Updates
    loaded, Including Genuine Advantage. I also loaded Internet Explorer 7
    Beta 2 a while back and had no problems with my computer until the
    latest windows updates. I also have iTunes loaded and had
    IDENTICAL problems with an XP TABLET PC editions after upgrading from
    iTune 4.x to 6.x. I thought it might be iTunes, but I am never running
    it when the problem occurs, and only the iTunesHelper is running in

    After the problem occurs, It's hard to tell what processes are
    running/using how much RAM because in most all cases when the problem
    occurs there is not enough resources to run security task manager, the
    screen is blank or it says "failed to initialize properly" until I
    reboot and can run it again.

    I set my paging file size per recommendation of Win XP to 1.5GB Min and
    1.8GB Max. I still have 3GB free on the drive. When it happens I am
    typically not running a ton of applications simultaneously. Even when I
    am running a LOT at the same time, I never have problems until leaving
    the computer idle.

    Thoughts? Would you be so kind as to email a cc: of your reply to the
    following email address (you know what to substitute) :) @:
    jeff.buddington -AT- gmail.com

    jeff.buddington, Jul 26, 2006
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  2. jeff.buddington

    beenthere Guest

    Hi Jeff. Go have a look at your Event Viewer. Apps, and System.
    Dbl\click any errors\warnings. you might get some clues.
    beenthere, Jul 26, 2006
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  3. jeff.buddington

    Meat Plow Guest

    Don't let it idle.
    Meat Plow, Jul 26, 2006
  4. There is a Trojan called screens.exe See here for more info
    http://research.sunbelt-software.com/threatdisplay.aspx?name=COOL! Remote Control&threatid=40870

    There is also a program called ScreenShot which has screens.exe as it's
    executable http://www.gutmannsoft.com/en/screenshot/support.php

    I'd suggest you check the above and see if they shed any light. Another
    option would be to post a HiJackThis Log at the appropriate forum here
    http://aumha.net/viewforum.php?f=30&sid=548557e03a50c76e76082b1edb148ad4 If
    you don't know how to do that just ask at the forum.
    Harry Ohrn MS MVP, Jul 26, 2006
  5. Meat Plow wrote:

    a hundred lines of qouted text, my mousewheel is already worn out
    one line of comment, the kind that makes me feel like my mousewheel, after a
    hard days work.

    AND WTF why this crossposted to a quadzillion of unknown newsgroups?

    To the OP: looks like a memory leak.
    Either a damaged screensaver or some helper, or a badly programmed trojan.
    Let windows do the compare-and-repair.
    Walter Mautner, Jul 26, 2006
  6. jeff.buddington

    Meat Plow Guest

    By you the dogmatic closet troll.
    Meat Plow, Jul 27, 2006
  7. jeff.buddington

    Meat Plow Guest

    Why did you x-post it?
    Meat Plow, Jul 27, 2006
  8. jeff.buddington

    Clogwog Guest

    I had the same problem on one of my machines, a year ago. I disabled task
    scheduler service and this never happened again!
    Clogwog, Jul 27, 2006
  9. jeff.buddington

    Frank Guest

    Frank, Jul 30, 2006
  10. <SNIP>

    Why did you post someone else's post Frank? And then not even give an
    answer or suggestion. When I click on the link to reply to the original
    person. I get that the message was removed from the server. Is it an old
    post you are trying to keep alive for some reason?
    Randall Smith, Jul 31, 2006
  11. jeff.buddington

    Frank Guest

    I am using the msnews server and it will not resolve to other servers.
    So I really don't know what you are talking about, or if I am the
    Frank to which you are referring.
    Frank, Jul 31, 2006
  12. You (same headers, same "nntp-posting-host" IP) posted in
    Message-ID: <OqwKvf$>

    a full reply to Message-ID:

    with the whole text quoted but not any addition.

    IF you don't believe it use Google Groups to search for the messages-ids.
    Maybe your cat hit the reply button that time? ;-)

    Btw. your newsserver path ends in TK2MSFTNGP04.phx.gbl (unresolveable) and
    not in something that looks like msnews... really suspicious.
    Walter Mautner, Jul 31, 2006
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