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programs crashing on XP

hi, i'm using XP Professional.

i've had lots of bizarre program crashes of late, and all of them started roughly at the same time. i've noticed five programs in particular that have given my fits.

they are:

internet explorer browser

(closes itself or stalls when i try to save or install an application)

roxio easy cd creator 5

(has worked fine up till a week ago. now it closes itself any time i click "save project" or "save project list as..." however, some functions work just fine. i can make cd's so long as i don't attempt to save the project.)

qcd player

(my music player. for some reason it closes itself any time i attempt to change my playlist from the "add files" option. but if i add songs on the player from the "add folder" option, it works.)

and opera (i had just recently downloaded version 9.10. it crashed a lot, too, and i downloaded it around the same time the first two programs began to malfunction.)

i had also recently downloaded gogodatatray for IE. At first i thought this was the culprit. but i uninstalled it and opera, and that didn't help.

i should also say that many aspects of my system work normally. mozilla firefox works perfectly; i can download, upload and save through it with no problems. the windows media player also plays music just fine.)

now, just so you know, here's what i've done to address the problem:

-I've run checkdisk (no errors found)

- tried system reestore to a date well before the problems began

-i've run regsupreme (it found about 570 unneccessary items, mostly from obsolete programs. i deleted those items, but nothing changed)

-and i attempted to defragment my harddrive. i had a huge amount of fragmented files - 39% of my hard drive. but each time the defragmenter stopped at 21% completion and said that the rest couldn't be defragmented.

-i've run adaware, norton antivirus, and spybot, and found no viruses. gogdatadray (before i deleted it) found folders on my system for bonzibuddy and a few other spyware folders. the other 3 programs had not detected these items, and a second scan with the gogodata scanner did not detect them anymore.

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I would do more scanning

In reply to: programs crashing on XP

Often these type of program crashes are related to malware, so I would go online to Housecall, ( ), and run a scan there.

Then I would download AVG's free Antispyware, install, update and run in Safe Mode. Delete everything it finds.

Remember, anti-malware scans don't always scan System Restore points where viruses and spyware can hide, so I would toggle System Restore off then on to remove all the existing restore points first.


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Yes, more scans but...

In reply to: programs crashing on XP

IE is not needed except for a few sites and Windows Update. Try another browser. Opera is hanging on my PCLinuxOS box as well so I bet you'll see an update there. For today, try Firefox.

Roxio 5 is "problematic." It initially didn't support XP and in fact caused boot failures in XP. I'd move to something else or a new version. For what I do, CDBURNERXP works for me.

Sorry but as presented I don't see more than this.


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In reply to: Yes, more scans but...

okay, here are the results:

trendmicro's site found three spywares:

trak briss

after i deleted them (and undid my restore settings), i ran the AVG scan in safe mode, but all it found was a bunch of cookies.

i did a second trendmicro scan after the AVG was finished, and the trak briss spyware came up again. i'm wondering if there's a program that'll remove it permanently, but more importantly, my programs are still crashing on me.

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Which programs?

In reply to: update

If Roxio 5 then it may be the end of that old version as updates may have doomed it. Internet Explorer is hard to toughen up but share what BHOs (google that) you have installed. When I see IE crash I have a first response to scan with Free AVG AntiSpyware, eject all that it finds as well as all BHOs then I retest.

I haven't noted drivers. What Microsoft has never tackled is driver updates. You have to use your old ways for that. Your post lacks machine details. Who knows how old the machine is, if you cleaned the heatsinks in years, etc.


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don't overfocus on roxio

In reply to: Which programs?

roxio's worked just fine for 3 years. and when it stopped working, the only changes to my system were the additions of opera and gogodatatray.

in addition, the fact that roxio, IE, qcd, and opera all crash from the exact same actions (that is, trying to download items or save data) makes me doubt that roxio's age is the problem here.

when the problem began, i had 3 BHO's: google toolbar, ebay toolbar, and gogodatatray. everything was fine until gogodatatray was added (until i deleted it, i thought that it was the culprit).

the machine is a Dell Optiplex G260. Since it's a company computer, i doubt it's been cleaned, and i wouldn't know how to.

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Sorry, Roxio 5 is a recurring theme at the office.

In reply to: don't overfocus on roxio

We aren't as kind about it there. We call it dead and remove it.


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well, i did it

In reply to: Sorry, Roxio 5 is a recurring theme at the office.

i removed roxio, as well as my toolbar software programs.

i still have the problem.

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Let's try the hardware angle.

In reply to: well, i did it

Pop the cover off and dust it out. If there is lint on the CPU heatsink, clean it off. Inspect the motherboard caps for bulges. Read to see what we are looking for.

How old are those CD/DVD drives? Just recently dad's machine was acting up. I visited and found a failing but not dead CDRW. Once I removed that it worked super.


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lint free cloth?

In reply to: Let's try the hardware angle.

how do i safely clean it? i'm not familiar enough with how a motherboard looks to know if anything is abnormal.

the cd drive is about the same age as the rest of the machine, 3+ years.

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I use a damp paper towel.

In reply to: lint free cloth?

Almost zero chance of ESD as I wipe out the dust from the bottom of the case. But since you don't know about cleaning a PC I think for now let's leave the cover off to sniff out a heat issue. As to the age of the drive, optical or CD/DVD drives do fail in that time period. Are you looking to fix your own PC?


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In reply to: programs crashing on XP

Maybe try some other programs,such as TREND MICRO,don't forget to disable norton first.Also install AVG ANTI SPYWARE,you could scan in safe mode.


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Try this...

In reply to: programs crashing on XP

I don't know about the Roxio, but whenever I run into problems with Internet Explorer, I follow these steps. 1) Close the browser and right click on the main Internet Explorer icon either on your screen or at the top of your startup menu. 2) Choose "Properties" 3) Delete the cookies, delete the temporary files--including clicking on the check box so a check appears, and delete the history. 4) Click on the "Advanced" tab and make sure that the option is checked off to "Empty Temporary Internet Files folder when browser is closed". 5) Close all your program and save all your work that you want to be saved because the next step is to turn off your computer. 6) Hold your power button in for 4 seconds until the computer is forced to turn off without saving. 7) Turn off your modem or ADSL box and turn off your router. Cool Disconnect the Internet cables. 9) Reconnect your Internet cable to the modem or ADSL box and plug it back in. 10) Wait for the green lights to come on. 11) Reconnect the Internet wire to the router and plug it back in and wait for its lights to come on. 12) Start your computer again. This process usually does the trick for me.

Why do all these silly steps? Emptying out the Temporary Internet Files folder will clean out the spyware or adware. Turning off the computer gets it out of the memory, but if you simply turn it back on, it has been my experience that it may still go slow, because the ports in the router or ADSL box are jammed and overloaded by whatever it was that slowed down your computer. Turning off the power and restarting cleans it out of your system.

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I knew I would forget something!

In reply to: programs crashing on XP

To clean your CPU heatsink, it is best to buy a can of compressed air and use that to blow out the dust from all those narrow grooves. Then while you are at it, blow the dust off all the fan blades of all your fans, including your power supply fan. If you are doing the job right, you should be having a lot of dustballs flying everywhere!

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(NT) What is gogodatatray for IE/where did you find it?

In reply to: programs crashing on XP

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an update

In reply to: What is gogodatatray for IE/where did you find it?

okay, i have a lot report and ask about, so bear with me.

first, the cleaning: my computer had A LOT of dust. i mean, gobs of it. the vent in front that lifts up was like a laundry lint filter. the metal and plastic inside was coated with it, and there were tufts of dust floating around inside. i wiped it clean, except i was careful not to touch the circuitboards. i want to be sure i know what i'm doing before i go there.

second, the computer's age: i recieved this computer on "loan" from the office in 2003. (more on that in a minute). no hardware has been added or replaced since then.

third: the trendmicro and avg scans: i used both on friday and today. the first time, avg found haxdoor spyware and a trojan. i deleted them, and neither has turned up in any spyware scand i've done since. and i'run all of my spyware programs at least once this weekend. trendmicro found lots of security risks, but i expected them. way back when windows had their big "service pack 2", the techies at the office told me not to install it, because it would conflict with the programs i use for work. so my computer is very vulnerable, and that's why i try to use firefox when i can.

fourth, i unplugged everything one at a time like fjord suggested, and i still have the problems.

fifth - and right now, this is my BIGGEST worry - Mozilla has now begun to malfunction. i'm afraid of the reason why, and i hope i'm wrong about this. here's the story: this is technically an office computer on loan for work at home. technically, that's a lot of b.s., since everyone who gets a home computer from them uses their computers for private and recreational purposes. the office knows this and is fine with it. but when there's a problem getting to the office, i do use it for its real purpose.

now, here's the big scare i had: when firefox began to malfunction, i got an error: "the filepicker was unexpectedly closed by windows," then the browser freezes. this is the same problem that IE and Opera had. and here's what made me freak out: my teenaged son used the computer right before this happened, and when i checked the browser history, the last 3 websites on my log were porn sites. as you can imagine, this is a BIG no-no. my fear is that my computer might be set to turn off certain features if it catches porn in its browser history. he insists this was the only time he ever did it, but now, i'm worried that i will get in a lot of trouble if i try to get this thing back to the office techies to get fixed.

could this be why my system is going crazy on me?

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A couple of things

In reply to: an update

You've given more information in your last post, the main one being that this is an office computer, on loan.

At the end of the day, making good the computer will be the responsibility of the office IT staff. At some stage you may have to return it to them for repair.

You mentioned the lack of SP2, and why. SP2 has been out for 2 years or so now, and I find it hard to believe that an organisation would not have upgraded to XP SP2 by now. The added security features in SP2 alone make upgrading to SP2 a necessity, but against that, since SP2 was rolled out, there have been a number of further critical and security upgrades to XP issued by Microsoft. I hope you won't tell us that your office is not upgrading any of their computers. If they are not, that is bad news.

You also mentioned your son and his surfing habits. When you ran the scans with AVG, Trendmicro etc, did your son surf the internet "afterwards"? If so, you need to run those scan again.

Does this computer have a running firewall, a running anti-virus in the background, and a running anti-spyware in the background? Those would greatly reduce the possibility of "fly-by" infections from infected sites, and by the way, not all infected sites are adult sites.

Without those 3 basic protection utilities in place, then the computer is very vulnerable.

Google has a number of hits for the "filepicker" problem, but nothing I could see that was of much good. The only one I could find was this one;

I hope that helps.


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more info

In reply to: A couple of things

when we've resolved this issue, i'll go ahead and download the security updates. right now, i'm concerned that adding more stuff onto the computer might make the search for my problem more complicated.

at the office, we get our security updates all the time. but home computers are very low on the priority list, and the techies don't like to waste time with them. that's the biggest reason why they asked us not to meddle with what's already uploaded on them.

i've run all four of my spyware programs -trendmicro, avg, spybot, and adaware this morning for fear that my son invited a whole bunch of nasty stuff onto the computer. thankfully, it was clean.

the firewall situation confuses me. i was told long ago that our computers are protected by a big firewall at the hub of our office servers. but my internet service is private, so i can't see how that's possible. so i have no visible firewall i know of on my computer (they may have something built in that i don't know about). i do have norton antivirus running at all times. the techies put it on though, and i think it's a cheapo version, because it doesn't have the same functions or look as regular norton antivirus (the icon on the bar is yellow mouse, instead of a yellow square).

the filepicker link you gave me sounds hopeful, but confusing. i've been praying that my son didn't ruin the computer and get me in trouble.

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In reply to: more info

Hi again.

If you are not connected through the office hub then their firewall is not protecting the computer at home. Windows XP has its own firewall and you can check whether it is turned on or not by going into the Control Panel. But being pre-SP2, I can't remember where you would find it. Post SP2 it is in the Security Center in the Control panel. XP's Help may guide you to it.

If that is turned off then you need to look at the icons in the System Tray near the clock. Hovering the mouse over each icon will tell you briefly what it is, then you can research each. Any 3rd party firewall should have an icon there.

You need a firewall.

Your anti-virus worries me. If it is a corporate version of Norton's antivirus is it out of date? I recall you saying you have been using this computer for a few years? Corporate licenses are renewed yearly but if the IT staff have never updated the computer you have then I suspect that Norton's is out of date. Does it check for virus definitions automatically? If you are not sure, double click the icon in the System Tray and find its option to "check for updates". This may give you and idea about when it was last updated.

Those Windows security updates are vital. I believe they are the root of your current problems.


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In reply to: Firewall

Just so I understand, are you recommending that I download the security update and a second firewall right now?

According to my settings, the firewall option was unchecked. There was a list of options that asked me what items internet users could access, but i left them unchecked.

As for Norton, it still asks for and receives updates, but it functions poorly. For example, once it downloads an update, it takes about 24 hours for it to stop asking for the same update. It's also programmed so I can only add scheduled scans. I can't delete or discontinue a scan for another time. If I want a scan at midnight and I already have one scheduled to occur at noon, my only choice is to it schedule it for both times. And it never seems to find the viruses avg or spybot catches.

And btw, PapaEcho, gogodata IS the software that was you linked to. I downloaded it because I realized that AdsubtractPro was obsolete. It had stopped functioning the way it was supposed to (and in hindsight, it was the very first software item that ceased to work, although that was many months ago, and it never interfered with my surfing or systems' functions.)

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Am I recommending?

In reply to: re:firewall

Sorry for the delay.

Am I recommending your PC gets those updates? Yes. But seeing as this is a company computer, I recognise the difficulty you are in. I would seek the advice of your IT staff.

The firewall settings are a bit of a worry, but it may be that the Norton product you have is Norton Internet Security, which combines a firewall as well as anti-virus protection. Can you check this? It would clear up a couple of points.

1] What Norton product do you have? Do you have any Norton icons in the System Tray other than Norton's Anti-Virus? What about in your Start > All Programs, under any Norton folder?

2] How old is the Norton's Anti-Virus program? Double clicking the Norton icon in the System Tray, then going to Help > About Norton will tell you which version it is.

I suspect, but I may be wrong, that the Norton's you have is old now and support for it has been discontinued, although you are still able to download virus definition updates. If it is old and out of date, it is not protecting the computer properly.


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sorry for the delay

In reply to: Am I recommending?

i had a busy week, but i can focus on this situation again.

my anti-virus version is Symantic AntiVirus Corporate Edition. I also have A folder names Norton Antivirus that just has log files and a .dat file, but nothing else.

The date on both of these products folders is april 2004.

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Go go go !

In reply to: What is gogodatatray for IE/where did you find it?

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It appears to me that there are many items that need to....

In reply to: Go go go !

to be addressed. The updates are very important. Security Pack 2 give you a free firewall & a popup blocker. It also will tell you when updates are ready to install. If there is a company firewall, Windows will recognize it. Yu can get rid of gogodata toolbar because you will have a popup blocker with that update. Norton/Symantec has not been a good to a lot of people - the last time there was a good product was just before 2004. Also, your's is already outdated. What do you have for spyware? I have 3 spyware products on my computer that was built in 1998, so the age of yours is not an issue.
Did you know there are at least 2 free antispywares? I have Spybot S&D ( and Ad-Aware SE ( Even a free antivirus is available, AVG Antivirus at and it automatically updates. Just because you have Firefox, there are some vulnerabilties and it is the updated version? From: is the latest update, Title: Firefox, Filename: Firefox Setup File size: 5.69MB (5,971,432 bytes). The earlier version had flaws. There are also two available registry cleaners and it keeps your computer running well. is one. Another is EasyCleaner: With Crap Cleaner, the first one, under Windows/System is Temporary Files, I keep that unchecked for those are Temp Files. Under Aplications, I make certain some item are also unchecked like Adobe, Antispyware and Antivirus. Issues and Registry are the same thing, but EasyCleaner will clear files, cookies, history & MRU (most recently used sites) but with EasyCleaner, if you find items in the registry,select all, delete all and don't save. there is a red + and select all and delete all of the same. In the Control Panel is Internet Options and there can be changes made there History is set to zero, you can decrease the amount of cookies & temporary internet files by decreasing the disk space to 10 MB. If you hsve Disk Cleanup, old compressed files is set to 50 days. Click on that and drop it to 1 day. You will be surprised how much is freed up on your hard drive. Don't forget to Defrag it after all that. Darrell

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