Windows Vista forum

General discussion

Vista- pages fade/ non responding message

by geralda / May 7, 2010 11:42 AM PDT

I have a Dell Inspiron 1505 laptop with Vista Home Basic. I have been having the following problem:
Whenever I try to view: e-mail, Word, or various webpages,suddenly the screen becomes faded and it says "not responding". Sometimes if I wait a minute or so it will start responding again. Other times I have to shut off the computer and begin again.

I have tried the following:
-Gone through an entire Symantic antivirus scan which is ok
-Removed temporary files
-Reduced Web history to 1 week
-Removed Cookies
-Checked disc for consistency
-Defragmented my computer

Unfortunately all to no avail.
Someone said that I should change the register but I am a computer novice and am very nervous about doing this.

I would appreciate any help that you can offer.
Thank you.

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(NT) How much RAM do you have in this e1505?
by peacox / May 7, 2010 5:53 PM PDT
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Does RAM make a difference
by quests1 / May 7, 2010 7:32 PM PDT

I notice the reply that you gave about the Windows Vista problem. I have just purchased an Acer Extensia 5235 (two weeks old)for my wife which has Vista Business operating system installed, 1gb RAM, 160gb hard drive. She is having the same problem with the pale screen and the message "Windows is not responding" also, sometimes when she want to close a window by using the x at the top right hand side of the screen, it freezes, and I have to restart the computer. This is a brand new computer which the retailer says that she must be trying to open or run too many programs at once. I am at a loss as to what to do next as I have run all the check-ups I can think off.
Any help or suggestions would be greatful.

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Reply to peacox,Mark et al
by geralda / May 9, 2010 3:05 PM PDT

Sorry for the delay in answering peacox but I had to be away from my computer. I have read all of the answers given to quest1 and will try to reply to what I have done so far:
I have 1GB RAM and 120GB Hard Drive
I do not download complicated games,movies or music. I mainly read some news websites,use e-mail,and occasionally look at a u-tube video on a news site. Also use Word.

When the page fades,it fades all at once but the print is still readable but the page hangs. Sometimes the cursor moves and other times it does not. The "nonresponding" is in the title bar and comes on the same time as the fade. I cannot predict when this will happen. Some days it doesn't happen at all and others it happens repetitively.

It doesn't seem to matter how many programs are open. It sometimes happens when the only program open is Windows Mail(which came with my Vista Home Basic)or with only Word open.

Removing and re-installing Norton internet security did not help.

I always use my laptop plugged in(battery charge reads 100%).

I have checked for disk consistency multiple times;removed temporary files;removed cookies;reduced web history to 1 week;defragmented.

Hope that this helps.

Geralda

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Ahh
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / May 9, 2010 7:32 PM PDT

The danger in forums like these is to reply to one person, thinking you are replying to the Original Poster, (OP).

That's what I have done here, and I apologise.

There have been a number of options suggested in the posts below, and I think you should read through them as if they were all posted in reply to your first post, and work through the possibilities.

Mark

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My first step
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / May 7, 2010 8:27 PM PDT

would be to look at your security programs.

For example, we know that on some systems Norton products can become overly intrusive and slow systems down. The only way to check that is by uninstalling Norton completely, testing the system, then deciding what to do next. If no change, reinstall Norton, but if performance improves, then consider looking for other security options.

Similarly, other security applications like Spybot Search & Destroy or Lavasoft's AdAware no longer fit in well with today's anti-virus scanners, especially Spybot's Tea-Timer and Lavasoft's AdWatch, which run in the background and can cause conflict. The option there is to uninstall either or both Spybot/Lavasoft, and use other utilities that do not run continuously in the background.

There may be other malware damage. Nortons will not find all malware, (no 'single' app does nowadays), and so we often recommend the free versions of Malwarebytes' Anti-malware, or SUPERAntispyware, to use as manual scanners.

Whatever you do, do not trust any "Registry cleaner or optimiser". They can do more damage than good.

When these faded windows appear, if you click the X button to close them, (sometimes clicking more than once), Vista will kick in with an options dialog to 'wait and see' or 'close the program'. Selecting the close program option will remove the window, and this means you don't have to reboot the system.

Other causes might include hardware problems, like a faulty hard disk, but it's too early to say at this stage. However your backups of your personal files will become essential if you don't want to lose everything if the hard drive fails.

One more thing. When was the last time you cleaned this laptop? I don't mean file cleaning, I mean dust removing, and checking that air-vents are clear. Cleaning laptops is not as effective as cleaning desktops, but CNET's Tom Merritt has a useful video on this at YouTube;
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EWwejCKVGOY

I hope that helps.

Mark

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Windows Vista faded screen and freezing.
by quests1 / May 7, 2010 8:47 PM PDT
In reply to: My first step

Mark, many thanks for the information. I should have mentioned that I removed Norton antivirus as soon as I had the laptop and replaced it with AVG 9. I have been using AVG for the last six years and found it to be one of the better antivirus programs as I had problems with Norton some years ago. Someone has mentioned that I should have at least 2gb RAM, but I do not think that will solve the problem at hand.
Regards, Bill.

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OK not Norton
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / May 8, 2010 4:51 AM PDT

but the tests still apply for any anti-virus. My older XP system, (2 GB of RAM, 3 GHz single core processor), has AVG 8 installed, and it is an absolute resource hog.

Also the other things I mentioned may still apply.

About RAM. You don't say how much RAM you have, but certainly a machine with limited RAM will suffer. There's no hard and fast rule, but as an example, a system with 512 MB of RAM will have to work harder that one say, with 2 GB.

There is another option to look at. When a window freezes, open up the Task Manager, (right click the Taskbar, select Task Manager), then the Processes tab. You will probably have to 'Show processes for all users'. Then click the column header for CPU once or twice, to list CPU usage lowest at the top and highest at the bottom. Scroll down, and watch what process is using up all the CPU time. That might point you to what is happening during a freeze.

In fact, you can use the Task Manager to end a process, eg a browser, or in the Applications tab, end an application if it is not responding.

Mark

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Windows Vista faded screen and freezing
by quests1 / May 8, 2010 5:22 AM PDT
In reply to: OK not Norton

Mark, In my opening post, I have listed the make-up of the computer and its operating system. It has 1gb of RAM working a 160gb hard drive which I was told would be more than enough to carry out all the functions required. I used the Task Menu as you suggested and it would seem that Internet explorer seems to be the problem. I shall now keep an eye on it over the next few days and hope for the best. Thanks for your advice.

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Ahh, that's a big clue.
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / May 8, 2010 8:12 PM PDT

Thanks for that quests1, your mention of IE could be a big clue.

Firstly, I agree with you that 1GB of RAM should be sufficient. It is a little on the low side for Vista, so it is never going to fly along at the speed of light, but it should be plenty for normal everyday work.

Now, about Internet Explorer. Since Microsoft integrated IE into the Windows Operating System many years ago, (with IE 3 or 4), any problems with IE will often spill over into other applications, eg Explorer, (your Desktop), Windows Explorer, the file manager, as well as Word, Outlook or Outlook Express, etc.

In itself IE is OK, no add-ons, no BHOs, (Browser Helper Objects), no ActiveX components. But these add-ons get installed by web sites you visit to enhance the web site display and function and these add-ons can either get corrupted, or be poorly written, or they are malware related. I say that because anti-virus doesn't do a good job with checking browser add-ons. If the AV considers the browser is safe it leaves it alone, and so the browser is a good vehicle, like a trojan horse, for distributing malware.

So, I bet this is the reason you are having problems with application freezes. A bad add-on is causing it. If this is so, your task now, should you choose to accept it, is to test and eliminate any bad add-ons.

It's not easy. With IE open, goto Tools > Manage Add-ons, and you will see all the categories of add-ons installed. There are 4 categories, (Types), and each has a "Show" option. You could formulate a method to test each add-on or by groups, by disabling and testing.

The quicker way is to use IE's "Reset" option, in IE > Tools > Internet Options > Advanced tab, then the Reset button. But this is a reset everything option and will not only delete all 3rd party add-ons, toolbars, etc, but will also delete Favorites, History, Cookies, and any login details/password that IE has stored for web sites. You can export Favorites before using this, then import them back afterwards, but not any of the others.

I think you said you use Outlook Express, and OE also has add-ons which may also be causing problems. I don't know if it has a reset button like IE, but even if it does, I bet your AVG has installed an email virus checker plugin, so you will need to be aware of that.

Mark

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Screen fading ....
by Papa Echo / May 8, 2010 8:08 PM PDT

... do you mean that the screen becomes gradully whitish and pictures ad text show little contrast ? Does the screen goes blank ? If so, is the screen dark or white ? Where and how does "Not responding" appears ? And when the screen appears again, does it come on suddenly or gradually ? I think what you described points to two things - RAM and power supply.

1. Vista requires at least 1G RAM to work. It works better with 2G. It would certainly make a differce with an upgrade to 4G. Maybe you only have 1G, because the computer manufacturer wants to keep it as low cost as possible.

2. Power supply. Check your power options[power management]. Either on battery or plugged in, there are power options to save power, or to have high/peak performance. Have the correct choice for what you want to do, e.g. if there are high graphic demands, switch to high performance... if checking e-mails, power saving is suitable.... etc. Maybe your power supply/management program is at fault....

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Vista- pages fade/ non responding message
by quests1 / May 9, 2010 12:41 AM PDT
In reply to: Screen fading ....

Hi guys, thanks for the advice once again. In answer to the latter posting, the screen gradually goes whitish with the background just in focus. I will look at re-setting IE and also look at the power settings and hopefully sort it out. I have been given a genuine copy of Windows 7,(32bit) but no OEM number because it is for a Toshiba L450D. It is supplied in case the Windows 7 becomes corrupted, and you then install it using the OEM that came with the laptop. I shall try all the ideas that you have mentioned first before I start thinking about the Windows 7.
Thanks again for all your help and advice.

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Ouch! Copies of Windows 7
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / May 9, 2010 3:40 AM PDT

I doubt if Dell would give you a copy of a Windows 7 disk, and certainly not for a Toshiba, so I assume you mean from some other source.

Be careful with that. If it is an OEM for a Toshiba then it will be tied in to 'that particular machine' and no others, not even any other Toshibas. It won't work, but in the process it may delete what you already have. These OEM DVDs have teeth and they cannot be swapped about at all.

Most computer suppliers nowadays strongly suggest you create your own Recovery Disks as soon as you unpack and get the computer running. I recently purchased a Packard Bell laptop and once I got it started and create my own Admin account, my next step was to follow the PB guides on the system to create my own recovery disks. I did it twice, so now I have two separate sets of W7 recovery disks in case anything happens to the system.

Mark

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Vista- pages fade/ non responding message
by dbrendo / May 9, 2010 8:06 PM PDT

Most likely yr system files are corrupted or or maybe the registry too..From what you have said, looks like you have to reinstall the os and software again.. but if you can find any .dll files corrupted you just have to copy the same files from a clean source to the same system folder and everything should become smooth..If you not sure back up all yr work on an external drive and reinstall vista and reload the other software as well including drivers

To change yr registry insert the vista cd or recovery and select the option where it says it will partition. Do not format only because yr registry will still be a clean on.. partition and then format, then reload the O/S. After you have done this load N360 before you stick in any USB dives to load programs. Most likely the virus could have already done the damage to system files. Reinstall again

dbrendo

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