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Someone using computer?

by auggief / February 4, 2004 7:09 PM PST

Received this message from neighbor:

I was using my computer before supper and let it on while I ate. I came back at 8:00 PM and decided to shut it down. Here is what happened:

When I went to shut down, I got the following message:

Other people are logged on to this computer. Shutting down Windows might cause them to lose data.

Do you want to continue shutting down? Yes / No

I hit Yes. Computer goes to Windows XP, but will not shut down. Had to push button to finally get it to shut down.

Got any ideas why this would happen?

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Re:Someone using computer?
by Yew / February 4, 2004 7:59 PM PST

It could be as harmless as having another local user logged in and forgetting about it, all the way to your neighbor being way too lax about security and someone having compromised the system as a result.

If they can't determin that it was indeed just another local user account being logged in that was forgotten about, they should backup everything they want to keep from the computer and reformat. This time making sure to turn off Windows file sharing, making sure to install ALL of the Windows Updates and to keep up to date with them, keep your AntiVirus software up to date, spyare scanners, and maybe even install a firewall. Make no mistake, the firewall WILL NOT stop someone from getting into the system, at best it will slow them down and give you some sort of notice of the attempt. Maybe even a log of the IP address which can be forwarded to the proper authorities to be officially ignored.

But if someone has been wandering around in their system without their knowledge, there's no telling what has been done to the system at this point. The easiest way to be sure there's no little nasty surprizes left is to reformat and wipe them all out. Tell your neighbor to remember how annoying this task is, and to use it as motivation to be a little more vigilant.

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Re:Re:Someone using computer?
by auggief / February 4, 2004 8:58 PM PST

Thanks for reply. Additional info I didn't include in the first post is this. He is on cable and did not have a firewall. Also, he did not have ad-aware. He was using Windows Me and computer wasn't working right so I suggeted he take it to the computer store. He did, and while there, had Me removed and XP put on his machine. I went over and downloaded Zone Alarm and also ad-aware and ran it. As I recall, two or three things came up and I deleted them. However, after that he had the problem I posted about another user and shutdown problems. If I had to guess, he does have hacker problem which he had before with me and still has with XP. Is there anyting else I can download and run for him to get rid of the hacker if in fact that's the problem without his having to resort to a foremat and reinstall of XP?

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Re:Re:Re:Someone using computer?
by Yew / February 4, 2004 10:34 PM PST

First you need to rule out it being a harmless normal function of XP, which unlike WinME, is a more multi-user oriented OS. There's a security forum here where I'm sure people will be able to help get you started on figuring that out if you don't know how yourself.

Then you can start looking at things like how badly was ZoneAlarm configured (not that it may matter, I've seen remote shutoff programs for most software firewalls). It doesn't matter if you have the best firewall in the world protecting your system, if you have huge gaping holes in the configuration which let people come and go as they please. You'll also need to do an audit of other configuration settings on the system to try and figure out how, assuming it was a "hacker", they managed to get into the system so you can plug that hole. But if it was indeed a "hacker" then you have no way of ever being sure exactly what they did to the system. The only way to be absolutely sure that whatever they may have done is gone, is to reformat. Otherwise, who knows what sort of junk might still be there on the system buried somewhere you'd never think of looking for it. For all you know, it could be something like child pornography -- which is illegal to posess in most western countries, and it really doesn't matter if you knew it was there or not as far as the law is concerned -- or pirated software, or who knows what. The only way to be sure it's gone, is to format.

The people on the security forum can probably help you sort this all out.

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Re:Someone using computer?
by Cursorcowboy / February 4, 2004 11:47 PM PST

I'm not sure why -- not without the specifically displayed information when this anomaly occurred, but my guess it had nothing to do with anything other than something to do with "profiles", "Fast User Switching", "Logon", "Logoff", and perhaps the specific XP setup discussed in Bob's message titled, "I'm the only user issues" and, there is nothing right now to worry about.

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Others logged on my computer
by our65stang / March 31, 2011 11:38 AM PDT

Okay if my computer keeps telling me the following:

Other people are logged on to this computer. Shutting down Windows might cause them to lose data.

That would mean someone else is on my computer. Funny nobody else uses my computer and it say it when I wake it up from sleep everytime. Is there another problem

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Or it's some Windows Update.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / March 31, 2011 11:56 AM PDT
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Or The Original Login Was A Different Username, OR...
by Grif Thomas Forum moderator / March 31, 2011 12:19 PM PDT

...if you have a mapped network drive.. But the scans Bob suggested are a good idea.

Just thoughts..


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Could be this...
by tonyron227 / March 31, 2011 1:29 PM PDT

If you were away from the computer for more than 10 minutes and it went to the screen saver, then when you woke it up the sign on screen was displayed, then when you try to shut it down without going back into your "logged on" screen, you will get the message that you described; even if you only have the one account on your computer. This is typical for windows...

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