Computer Help forum

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by jakkiwebb / March 3, 2005 11:30 PM PST

My home computer has been acting very weird lately. I have a screensaver loaded for unattended use (which is just a blank screen). At intervals while the computer is on, the screen will come on, the hour glass will be running (although no program is activated). My question is do I currently have a "ghost" in my home or has my computer been inadvertently hacked into?


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Use Internet Explorer? Welcome to Spyware!
by Yew / March 3, 2005 11:55 PM PST

If you use Interent Explorer, consider this your initiation to the wonderful world of spyware.

You get to do all sorts of fun activities as a result, which includes learning all about spyware -- what it is, what it does, and how to clean it up. Then, if you're smart, you find an alternative to Internet Explorer to use on a regular basis.

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Jakki, I've Seen That Happen...
by Grif Thomas Forum moderator / March 4, 2005 7:35 AM PST

...when there was a "sticky" mouse button....In my case, the user had dropped food particles on the keyboard and mouse and it would occasionally disengage the screen saver...Replacing the mouse fixed the issue.

Following Yewanchor's suggestion, have you checked the machine for spyware and viruses. In order to get a "second opinion", please click on either, or both of the links below and run the free online virus scans that they provide:

Housecall Online Scanner

Panda Online Scanner

After that, download, install, update, then run ALL of the free spyware removal tools from the links below:


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by jakkiwebb / March 5, 2005 12:09 AM PST

Thanks so much for your help. I am in the process of downloading the 3 spyware removal tools you supplied. Previously had Ad-Aware and Spybot but removed them both. I started having problems with my computer AFTER I previously downloaded. At this point I am willing to try other suggestions. Tried using Housecall and Panda but the virus scans did not work on my computer, therefore I proceeded to the downloads. So far Ad-Aware found 94 spyware, advare, and malware. I guess this time around I will leave them resident on my computer.

Again, thanks ever so much for your help. I will let you know if all of the above work, or either my "ghost" wants to remain.


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and you could have some utility...
by reefurbb / March 4, 2005 9:52 PM PST

that updates every few hours. Or you could be going into power saving mode (except monitor).
Screensavers were originally designed to vary useage of the monitor screen so it wouldn't "burn in" some still image. Now they are just a toy.
Can't imagine why you'd use a blank screen?

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by jakkiwebb / March 5, 2005 12:01 AM PST

I use a blank screen on my home computer because my computer is located in my bedroom and occassionally I may leave the computer on overnight, especially if I plan on doing/checking something before going into work. In any event, during the night I do not want any screensaver image to distract me say when I turn over while sleeping, hence, the blank screensaver. It works for me.

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Why not turn it off?
by Yew / March 5, 2005 1:39 AM PST

If the light bothers you, and you know you're going to be going to sleep, why not simply turn the monitor off? Granted the power savings tend to be insignificant between low power and off (usually less than 10W with a decent monitor), but the whole time you've got that blank screen screen saver going the monitor is in full power mode. Depending on the size of the monitor, that can be anywhere from say 120-200W for CRTs, and 50-90W for LCDs. That's a lot of energy to use for just showing a blank screen when you know you're going to be going to sleep.

Ultimately it's your utility bill, so the choice is yours, but I'd suggest just turning the thing off at night.

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by jakkiwebb / March 5, 2005 5:14 AM PST
In reply to: Why not turn it off?

The problem I was experiencing did make me start to turn the monitor off at night but that did not alleviate the problem I was having. That has been solved by Grif. In the course of today I have not had the monitor constantly coming on with no one activating it. As you and he previously mentioned, perhaps I had spyware. I thank you all for your help. The problem has been solved.


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