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Machine suddently turned extremely slow,cannot start firefox

by danawenco / August 28, 2009 4:01 AM PDT

Hi, starting yesterday, my dad's laptop became extremely slow. It takes forever to open any application (Task manager, word, IE etc.). When he tries to open Firefox, it would show up on Taskmanager, but it just wouldn't open.

On task manager, nothing is taking much CPU (about less than 20%). I had thought that if things are slow the CPU should shoot up?

Have scanned it with MBAM, Superantispyware, and AVG 8.5, but can't see anything.

Don't know if this is virus or if it's something else. Is there anything else I can check?

He's using Windows XP SP3. Thanks a lot.

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It seems AVG is the cause


Would like to refer you the below threads:
Unable to locate component
(anything) is not a valid Win32 application
Unable to locate component

All of the above thread here in CNET Forums is quite similar to what you are experiencing where programs could not start after AVG deleted what it says as "infection" of Sheur2 and PSW.Agent trojans.

If your father's laptop has similar incident (where AVG deleted some files), please try to restore those deleted items from AVG Vault. Update the definitions of AVG.

It seems it is false positive by AVG which I believe was corrected. If not, I suggest to not to allow AVG to quarantine or delete if the item it is detecting is a legitimate exe file e.g. Firefox.exe, winword.exe etc and please report to AVG Forum.

I've seen a report by another user at AVG forum which they confirmed that the previous detection signature of AVG causes false positive on legitimate applications.

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by wolfy / August 28, 2009 6:07 AM PDT

Also, when was the last time the machine was defragmented?

I have seen a similar situation where the owner of the machine had not run a defrag since he bought it. If it has never been defragmented or fragmentation is >=10% I would recommend running a defrag (the windows built-in tool will do just fine).

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by danawenco / August 28, 2009 7:23 AM PDT
In reply to: fragmentation

Thanks a lot Donna. AVG does seem to slow down my other computer. I recall seeing AVG's scan history that the previous scan was aborted due to some errors. I will go check the vault tonight. Maybe it's time to replace AVG with something less invasive.

Thanks wolf for the suggestion. I wasn't aware that there's a windows build-in defrag tool, will try that tonight. I suspect that my dad's machine is badly fragmented since he installs pretty much everything anyone suggests to him, and his friends have as little knowledge on computers as he does. It's just the sudden decrease of speed that worries me.

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Restore the legitimate files that AVG
by Donna Buenaventura / August 28, 2009 1:12 PM PDT
In reply to: Thanks!

detected but before you do that, please update first the definitions of AVG which might have the "fixes on false positives".

You're welcome and hope things will be better.

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AVG didn't delete any legitimate file
by danawenco / August 29, 2009 11:13 AM PDT

Thanks again Donna.

I checked the virus vault and all I could find are cookies, so I didn't restore anything. Then I ran the scan disk following the instructions on http://www.computerhope.com/issues/ch001118.htm. It completed successfully, but firefox wouldn't start.

Then I tried system restore (to when firefox was working the last time), and that didn't solve the problem either.

I also tried killing all AVG processes on task manager, but that didn't help.

Is there anything else I can try? Thanks!

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That's great to hear! May I request only an activity log
by Donna Buenaventura / August 29, 2009 3:35 PM PDT

of AVG? I hope to see this because an AVG user over at BleepingComputer.com cannot find anything to restore (its empty). Not related to your issue but the activity log of AVG should show us whether AVG has deleted legitimate files but the items is no longer in the vault.

Can you also look into your Event Log viewer>System and Event Logs>Applications for any error or information events that could give us info on why 'the slow'.

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Firefox is running now
by danawenco / August 30, 2009 1:55 PM PDT

Sorry Donna, I haven't read your response until now.

Actually I had my problem resolved this morning. I tried a number of things, and I am not sure which one resolved the problem. I tried:

1) Uninstall AVG
2) Then followed the instructions on http://forums.mozillazine.org/viewtopic.php?f=38&t=1375005&start=0

Then it works now. I suspect it either has to do with AVG or clearing all the temp files, because I did reinstall Firefox yesterday which didn't solve the problem. I installed Avira on my dad's machine and it didn't seem to cause any problem.

Sorry I had already deleted all the AVG files because I didn't want any of them to interfere with firefox, but I can go to see if I can find them in the recycle box. I am not at my dad's place now but I will go check next time, and will post my findings.

Thanks again Donna for your help!

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They seem to be gone
by danawenco / August 31, 2009 1:27 PM PDT
In reply to: Firefox is running now

Just checked in the recycling bin but couldn't find any file that looks related to AVG.

Sorry about that.

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No worries :-)
by Donna Buenaventura / September 1, 2009 1:26 AM PDT
In reply to: They seem to be gone

I'm glad that you now have another antivirus program. While AVG logs might help us to determine or confirm the cause of the issue (when AVG was still installed), I think your decision to use another trustworthy antivirus program is great.

Good work and you're welcome!

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