General discussion

Pop up in task bar

I have most spyware programs and it comes up clean. I have a window or rather a rectangle similar in size to the OE icon. It has a blue top and bottom border. It just pops up once in a while for a couple of seconds.

Hitting ctrl - alt - delete won't work because it goes away too fast. Although it doesn't seem to be a problem at this time, I wonder what it is. Anyone have an idea?

Thanks, Rod

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Pop up in task bar
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My Startup folder has Spywareguard in it. I didn't think I should delete it.

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Quick Draw McGraw!

Hey Rod,
I actually logged in today for the very same reason. I can't figure out what the little ****** is either. I've opened Task Manager and stared at it blankly and it doesn't seem to pop up when I have task manager open so I can at least see the name of it. I've checked my processes and nothing seems out of order... I have running AOL 9.0 SE with the free McAffee software, and I was wondering if that had something to do with it. Any help would be appreciated.
I was wondering if there was a program that would tell you what the run history is... that way, when I see it pop up and I check and see what programs have been run in the last XX minutes?
(and there she goes again!)

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Can you ....

...please try to describe it with more details ? What is inside the icon ? a letter, a picture ? Try the event log immediately after it appears (so it should be the latest few 'events' going by the time show at the clock.)

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I'll try

It appears a little larger than a OE envelope icon. It has a blue top and bottom border with all white inbetween. That is what it looks like. Recently I had 6 windows open and it appeared to clear them all. It sat in the lower left coner, then dissapeared. All my windows come back up on the task bar.

I'll read or check but what is the event log? It doesn't appear to do any harm but it is annoying.


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It popped up again

At exactly 9:50 pm it happened. I checked the event viewer and nothing appeared. I had checked it previously but it didn't show anything after 8:42 pm. I restarted the puter about 10 pm and event viewer updated but still nothing at 9:50 pm.


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This is very strange

Possibly we are seeing a new form of malware and so as much information that you can provide will be useful.

But there again, most likely it is not malware, (I don't want to cause any undue worries about something that is quite normal).

You say that it "pops up in the taskbar", in the left corner.

Please describe this.

1) Does it pop up actually within the taskbar? (Like it was a program application open?), or does it pop up just above the taskbar?

2) In the left corner. Is this over or above the Start button? Or is it just to the right of the Start button within or above the Quick Launch icons?

3) If it is within the Quick Launch area, can you drag the right hand side of the QL bar further to the right, to see what other icons you have there?

4) You mention blue top and bottom borders with white in-between. Do you have Microsoft's AntiSpyware installed? (I have noticed MSAS pop-ups from the Systray that are white and blue).

5) You said you had 6 windows that disappeared when it popped up. Do you mean open application windows on your desktop that disappeared along with the Taskbar icons for those windows? Or were they all minimised when the pop-up appeared?

We may have to send you to the Virus & Security Alerts forum in this site if no-one here has any suggestions.


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Something I have just thought of.....

Is your Outlook Express set to check for new messages every 30 minutes or so?

(Ok, not my thought but my m8's who I showed this to, Happy ).


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OK here is the info

#1 Yes it pops up in the task bar like an application.

#2 When I said left corner I meant it appeared to remove all other windows open and park on the left side. That would be right next to the start button.

#3 I can move the QL bar, works as normal if I unlock it. Not sure what your saying.

#4 I only have AVG installed. I am not familiar with MS anti virus.

#5 I had several windows open on the internet. Of course usually only one is viewed at a time. Most was related to websites as I recall. There may have been one from the desk top open but I'm not positive.

I have the box unchecked For OE to check messages every 30 min. This thing just pops up on it's own schedule which is random. When it does I'll note what conditions I can remember and the time. That's all I know for now. It hasn't poped up since yesterday. How ever I remember times when it was quite regular. This has been going on for at least a week. maybe two or more, not sure exatly. I did post in security because I thought this thread died, guess not. I'm not worried about it just annoyed.


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One more thing

The mouse pointer will turn into an hour glass when it happens.

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Just a suggestion seeing as

it shows up on the taskbar like an application try this. I didn't read this whole thread so I don't know if this was suggested already or not. Right click on an open part of the taskbar and click on "properties". Make sure that window opens on the "taskbar" tab. On the bottom of that window where it says "notification area." Click on the "customize" button and scroll down the items listed and see if it shows it there. There showed be both a picture AND a description of what it is. Maybe?

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Please excuse my typo. That's supposed to

be "should" not "showed". Sorry about that.

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(NT) (NT) NT, no it's not there
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Thanks for the information Rod

It doesn't help at all! Happy

I jest, of course. I was hoping the OE setting would be the cause, but it seems it isn't.

With the Quick Launch bar, I was wondering if there were any hidden icons that became active under certain circumstances. But again a false trail.

MSAS is the new anti-spyware Microsoft have er.... acquired from Giant Software so if you are not familiar with it you don't have it. It is in beta version and some of us are testing it.

Perhaps this application, (whatever it is), only occurs when you have a browser window, (or more), open? What I mean is, it doesn't manifest if you have other applications open but "no" browser running.

I've had a thought. Do you have any browser "pop-up stoppers" running? These could be 3rd party applications, or the browser's own pop-up stopper. You probably know that they stop web sites from displaying 2nd windows for adverts etc. They can be small pop-up windows, or full size windows, (the same size as your currrent browser window), or maximised windows, and pop-up over the current window. Some pop-up stoppers block pop-under windows as well.

I think that could be it. Do you have Ad-Aware by If so, do you have it's Ad-Watch running in the background? (Ad-Watch is only available in the paid version of Ad-Aware, which I only have the free version).

Yes, I think that's it. Is that it????? That must be it.

I've just seen your thread in the V&S forum. Hopefully we can close both these soon.


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So Far

To my knowledge it only happens when a browser window is open. The only pop up blocker I use is what comes with IE6, or MS security.

Maybe Quick Draw will check in with similar findings as mine. It's become a little more active today, I'd like to click on it before it closes. That would take me waiting with mouse pointer in task bar and be quick and accurate.

Sometimes my desk top after being suspended has large icons like in safe mode. I have to restart the computer to return to normal. However that has happened on and off for a long time. The only reason I mention it is I noticed a window, about 5" X 5" pop up and dissapear at times. I have not read what that window is. It's faster than this pop up in the task bar. May be nothing but next time after the icon change happens I'll pay attention on a restart. I restarted after it happened but it never popped up second time.


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Do you have Windows XP SP2 installed?

If so, in Internet Explorer, goto Tools > Internet Options then click the Privacy tab.

Is the "Block pop-ups" setting selected? If so, that is your pop-up stopper. Click the Settings button for more information.

Quick Draw? Not heard of it. But if you get time the next time you see the icon, press the Print Screen key on yor keyboard, paste the clipboard contents into MSPaint, (Start > All Programs > Accessories > Paint), and save it. Then if you had your own web site you could upload the image to a web page for us to look at.


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About pop up blocker

Yes it is checked, however I've had SP2 much longer than this started happening. Not only that I don't even need to be doing anything and it pops up. Before I replied to this message, reading yours, it popped up.

That was with three total windows open. One was MSN welcome page, it was all ready loaded. The other is my ISP page, Netscape. Of course it was loaded or I wouldn't be here. LOL

Thanks for your thoughts, I'll try to catch it but when it happens I neglect to react. I might get lucky and catch print screen in time. Really if you imagine a white paper a little larger than the OE envelope with a blue top and bottom border, about the same color and width as the arrows around OE, that is it.

Update!!! I did catch the little devil. I hit print screen well before it closed. I noticed a little disturbance so I thought it could happen and I was prepared. The problem is, it is not shown in the picture. It only shows my three open windows in the task bar. This time it stayed to the right on the task bar.

Quick Draw posted in this thread. He also has the same or very similar problem. That helps, so you won't think I have a screw loose.


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Important note

I was gone for a while. When I come back, the puter was asleep or in suspension? That is not unusual but when it woke up the pop up appeared shortly after. I "was not" connected to the internet.


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I didn't, honest!

I didn't really think you'd gone mad, and I remember seeing his post now.

Stranger and stranger!.

Netscape 7.x also has a pop-up blocker, but you have said this little b*****d appeared after suspension and you were not connected to the internet.

Are you on dial-up or cable/dsl? Not that it makes much difference but with cable you are "always on".

Rod, the other Rod, roddy in V&S suggests CWShredder and a trojan remover, which I think is well worth trying.

What about your screensaver, or hibernate settings? I'm clutching at straws now, but is the screensaver trying to kick in? Also I know that hibernate settings often cause problems with Windows machines. They have never quite seemed to get it right and we often suggest turning off any hibernate and power down settings and just stick to the screensaver.

Like you, I'm running out of ideas.


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Sorry Boys! I had to work today


Rod, it seems that you and I are having the same challenges, but it appears we're running seperate programs. I've tried all of the suggestions, even turning off the "check new messages" thingy in OE which was set to every 30 minutes. Here's what I can tell ya though

1- Its set to 15 minute intervals... UNLESS Task manager is open. I left Task Manager open thinking I could identify the program name if it popped up during my surfin' session. 20 mins, 25 mins... nothing. 15 Mins. after I closed Task Manager it popped up again

2- its last occurance was 9:24, and its 9:39 now and it just popped up again (D*mn thing)

3- it does seem to only happen with IE open, although the pop up blocker isn't its cause. I also have sp2 and have had it installed for some time now...

4- Event log lists some DLLs and the WU process, but it all seems to function fine.


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Here is the deal

Alek, it wouldn't let me reply to your post, thread is to long. I replied to mine cause I want to keep this in one thread for now. I installed a free demo of TrojanHunter. It come up dry but it runs in the background as well. The window just popped up, which TrojanHunter never detected. Sigh

There doesn't seem to be any consistancy. Yes at times it pops up fairly regular but then on my puter it may be hours. It's like it plays a game as you found out. I am running out of ideas and the crew is baffled as well. Like you, I'm going to leave my task manager open, maybe I'll get lucky. Until then maybe someone has yet to read this thread and may know the answer.


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Another guess here Rod

Do you have Real Player? There is a message center for updates that puts an icon in the taskbar when it is running but I don't remember what it looks like.

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Yes I do

Have real player, however I edited the registry to prevent it from starting. I don't remember what it looks like either. What ever it is, I have never seen a box like this.

Running task manager my little box appeared but it went un-noticed. If I could copy all my running tasks it might help. It may not be there though, cause it's sneaky. What about Hijack this? I believe I have the program but never installed. Just searching.


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HijackThis doesn't put an icon

in the taskbar, IF it did, believe it or not, it would look like TNT with a plunger. That is the symbol that is used for that application. LOL I am heading out for the night. It's getting late where I live. I would do some more checking on Real Player though, Even though Real Player may be disabled, the update messenger may be a different thing.

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Next step

Roddy said in V&S that I won't give up, and he also said there's some very clever people here.

I wish I was one........ Devil

But, I've had some more ideas. I'm thinking "Dialler" software, eg rogue diallers.

Empty your Temporary Internet files, either through Control Panel > Internet Options then in the General tab. Or using Disk Cleanup in Start > All Programs > Accessories > System Tools > Disk Cleanup.

There is a setting somewhere, but I cannot remember where, to delete all offline content as well.

Then in Windows Explorer goto Windows > Downloaded Program Files. If your AV scanner doesn't pop up wth a virus warning, scan the contents of this folder with it. I opened this folder on my computer the other day, and my AVG popped up a virus warning message of a dialler in an ActiveX Object. But this hadn't been picked up in any normal scans, (worryingly).

I know this is it. This will work.....................!


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When you click the button to

delete the temporary internet files in Internet Explorer is when the popup comes up that asks if you want to "delete offline content" appears. Click yes on that Rod. I would also add to go to the Control Panel and double click on the Java cup and look for the Cache tab and clear that also.
The temporary internet thing is where you saw that offline content setting Mark. Happy

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(NT) (NT) Ahh, got it, thanks Roddy
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I thought that myself

Some how if it was a dialer it isn't detected and of course ZA won't let it out. On several occasions including today I deleted temp files and off line content. I scanned downloads and downloaded program files, nothing there.

I cleared the Java cache and scanned several other files. I looked through ZA access to see if there was anything unusual. I found real player update but I have never given it access plus it's deleted in the registry. I deleted it in ZA also.

I remember ZA had a program that showed who tried to connect and what programs tried to get out. I don't have it but this thing seems to go un-noticed by everything. It has popped up several times today. I'm still thinking. I see three of us now are experiencing the same problem.

I'm wondering if MS has heard of this annoyance? If time allows I may look over there or see if there is a forum. I'm also thinking of doing complete scans in safe mode again and shutting down System Restore.

Thanks Mark, we might find it.


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One more addition

When I start the computer generally that box will appear. This is on the left side by the start button. Knowing this I clicked once and a little bit ago got in a double click. No change at all it just dissappeared.


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Are you sure this isn't the

little "show desktop icon"?

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