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General discussion

Task Manager and task bar not responding

by U.S. Steel / February 26, 2006 7:24 PM PST

I recently downloaded some media files and straight after my computer slowed down to a crawl and then would not respond. The mouse pointer remains active but i cannot click on anything succesfully. The task bar and task manager do not respond at all, i can open files saved on my desktop but cannot do anything when they're open and cannot close them again.

I reset my PC a number of times but this did not solve the problem.

I assume this is a virus or spyware problem but could it possibly be anything else???

Any help would be most appreciated!

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What do you use
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / February 26, 2006 7:41 PM PST

to protect yourself from hackers, viruses and spyware?

What were you using to download the media files? many such files downloaded through P2P, (Peer to Peer), applications like Limewire, Morpheous, Kazaa, WinMX, etc are virus infected and people should virus check them before trying to open/install them.

The best method of security is not to use such applications.

You need the following;

Anti-hacking - A firewall. The Windows XP Firewall is ok, but not easy to configure and is therefore quite basic. There are many free firewalls about, and one of the most popular is ZoneAlarm from;

Anti-virus - These need their definitions kept up to date and scans run regularly. Only one is needed per computer and there are many good free ones available, eg Grisoft's AVG.

Immediately you can visit Housecall for an online scan;

Anti-Spyware - More than one is needed. Try Ewido from;

and Spybot Search & Destroy from;

and SpywareBlaster from;

and also Windows Defender, formally known as Microsoft AntiSpyware, from Microsoft's wb site.

They all need regular spyware definitions updates and Windows Defender should be always on.


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by U.S. Steel / February 26, 2006 9:02 PM PST
In reply to: What do you use

Hi Mark,

Thanks for the info, stupidly i havn't got any virus software installed! Its a new computer (to me, its a couple of years old) and i just kept putting it off. It was a windows media file i've downloaded from a respected site, not P2P.

I've just tried to reboot it and it won't even boot up now, just getting to the safe mode section then a status (loading) bar runs at the bottom of the screen and then freezes. Any ideas how i can get into the PC at all?

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Can I ask?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 26, 2006 9:09 PM PST
In reply to: Stupidly

Since Free AVG, AVAST and Zone Alarm are free to use, why go without?


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Did you boot safe mode?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 26, 2006 9:10 PM PST

Did you try that, system restore and failing that... Command line mode, the RSTRUI program (google please) and failing that, reload the machine since without antivirus the OS could be so badly damaged, repair is unlikely.


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it booted in safe mode yesterday
by U.S. Steel / February 26, 2006 9:59 PM PST

but won't today.

I havn't tried the system restore yet, will try that tonight, with XP Cd right?

Not sure what you mean by "command line mode" or RSTRUI?

p.s. i've just got hold of AVG, i won't be making that mistake again!

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About google.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 26, 2006 10:09 PM PST

If you had typed RSTRUI and such into

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Thanks bob
by U.S. Steel / February 26, 2006 10:12 PM PST
In reply to: About google.

I havn't got an RSTRUI error message, just no response at all, will try run the recovery console and get back to you.

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This shows you didn't use
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 26, 2006 10:22 PM PST
In reply to: Thanks bob

I'm only handing out the clues to get your machine back. Please get out and help us push your PC back into operation.


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you've lost me!
by U.S. Steel / February 26, 2006 10:41 PM PST

I put RSTRUI into and got a load of pages (which i didn't understand) on error messages which i am not experiencing, is this not what you meant me to do?

I'm crap at this PC tech stuff, to be honest i don't have a clue what i'm doing. I've performed thing like reinstalls and new hardware installs in the past (some time ago before all these problems) but thats about as far as my tech knowledge goes.

i just need some idiot-proof advice on the best thing start with.

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Here's an example link.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 26, 2006 10:43 PM PST
In reply to: you've lost me!
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Thanks bob
by U.S. Steel / February 26, 2006 10:48 PM PST

I get it now! I've already tried to boot up using all the available safe boot options but non of them get me in. Even to a command prompt???

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If the command line fails, then the OS is damaged. Next?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 26, 2006 11:08 PM PST
In reply to: Thanks bob

A repair install. Again, a noted procedure on



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by U.S. Steel / February 26, 2006 11:11 PM PST

I'll give that a go tonight, thanks alot for the info.

Will this method mean i loose any files?

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Only the files you didn't backup. More...
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 26, 2006 11:14 PM PST
In reply to: Ta!

Since many OS files will be replaced and the pest doesn't tell you what it did, not only will the OS files be overwritten but this may be a test of your backup system.


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so shouldn't affect media or other files?
by U.S. Steel / February 26, 2006 11:22 PM PST

The only things i am bothered about loosing are my reason (music writing program) files and associated wave files.

Please tell me these will be OK!

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"Programs" are at risk.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 26, 2006 11:31 PM PST

The OS has been damaged. So you get to do the repair install and installed programs may have to be repaired.

HOWEVER, since some pest has damaged the OS, all files that you didn't backup may just vanish.

This is how most learn that backup is not optional. They have to lose it all.


PS. Don't ask me if your files will be ok. We won't know until after the repairs.

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