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XP freezes on and off for several seconds repeatedly

I was running WinXP on an ACER Aspire 3003LC fitted with 512 MB RAM. At some point earlier this year that I cannot now identify, the mouse movement began to freeze for several seconds. It would then unfreeze for a few seconds before repeating this whole process. I run Comodo Fiewall, Avira antivirus, Spybot and Spyware Doctor. These were also running before te problem occurred, so I don't believe they are the cause. My use is quite simple: email, updating protection and software, off-line games, Microsoft Office, Open Office, I have used a number of free utilities to clear my hard disk space because the c: drive was getting 80% full (17 GB partition). Also Most of the icons have disappeared from my taskbar tray by the clock - eg. Windows Messenger, Comodo Firewall, Spybot, remove removable drives (eg camera) icon. NB I have checked the programs which give rise to these icons, and, yes, they do say things like "minimise to tray" or "show activity in tray". I thought that the problem may have been a lack of RAM, so I have just fitted 2GB instead of 512 MB. The result is that it takes longer to get to the stage of "stop-start" freezing, and the freeze isn't quite for so long. However, I have also noticed that 66MB of my RAM is apparently missing - NOT 64 but 66. I chekced back, and found that this was also the case before I upgraded the RAM. I am also wondering what has happened to that. Yes, I have run the antivirus and anti-spyware programs, yes, they were up-to-date, and yes, I have got all the important (security-related) Microsoft updates installed. I run IE8 and Outlook Express through an external router.

Can anyone help me (a) remove the freezing (b) restore the 66 MB of RAM and (c) restore my task-bar icons, please?

If all else fails, I could go back to the 4 back-up cds I made when first I installed the machine, but I do not posess the original XP cd: only the licence number.

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Here's one on many.

In reply to: XP freezes on and off for several seconds repeatedly

While the list is very long for this issue, here's a recurring one.

-> You have a share on another machine and the other machine is offline.

SAME FOR A PRINTER SHARE OR FILE SHARE. The effort is a many second freeze at exact intervals.

The 3003LC I looked at uses some variable amount of RAM for the video display so it may not be missing at all. Just used.

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XP freezes repeatedly,system tray doesn't show active icons,

In reply to: XP freezes on and off for several seconds repeatedly

The laptop is the only item connected to the D-Link ADSL2+ Router. There is no printer attached. The freezing does not start as soon as Windows XP starts - usually it gets going after 15 to 20 minutes of operation. Once started, the freezes occur more and more frequently, and for longer and longer duration. It gets SO frustrating when, to work properly, I have to power down and restart the computer. Still there is no sign of a virus or trojan or worm or any other malware. The same thing occurs when I'm working entirely isolated from the 'net, whether connected to the router or not. But the delays take longer to start when working isolated.

The system tray seems to be showing only about 30% of the icons it should be showing - this is most disconcerting when one needs to know, for example, that the a-v or the firewall is on and working. I've tried right-click on the system tray, "Properties", Notification area, and all possibilities with the "Hide inactive icons" box. Today I installed CNET TechTracker. While it was running - for two hours it said "wait while checking your system" - I shut the unresponsive system down and rebooted. I clicked on the desk-top icon - maybe twice - and was told, "this program was running, click on the icon in the notification area to access it." There wasn't one... and neither did it appear in the task manager menu.


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The firewall icon is NOT an indication that the firewall is

In reply to: XP freezes repeatedly,system tray doesn't show active icons,

That item is well discussed. Many think that when the firewall icon is not in the tray that the firewall is "off." That is untrue and here's why. The firewall is some "service" that is running. The icon in the tray is a "program" that interfaces between you and the firewall "service."

Read it over until you understand that or research XP services.

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System tray worries (continued)

Thanks for the reassurance about the firewall tray icon. But another thing that I ommitted to mention is the fact that I have no method of safely removing, for example, two 4GB memory sticks, or my camera, when they have been connected to my usb ports. And I used to have these icons. What has happened to them?

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Malware damage can do that.

In reply to: System tray worries (continued)

I'm not going to go over how to hide, show and such items on the toolbar. You can research that and find plenty.

"Bottom Up method: Insert a USB flash drive and then unplug the device
through the control panel (System/Hardware/Hardware Wizard/Uninstall-Unplug a Device/Unplug-Eject a Device/USB Mass Storage Device). The final box offers you a checkbox to show the unplug icon in the system tray. Apparently, the underlying vision behind this was "How can we make this as hairy/nerve-wracking as possible?""
More at

And just like ALL WINDOWS THINGS we turn it off and back on.

"If you find the box already checked, try unchecking it, complete the flash
drive removal, reinsert the flash drive, and remove it again through the
control panel, this time rechecking the icon box. I haven't tried it, but
that methodology has solved a few Mozilla problems for me in the past."

Hope this helps,

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CNET Tracker icon missing from Tray - it has never been seen

In reply to: Malware damage can do that.

Thank you for the pointer on safe removal of hardware. Thanks to the link you supplied I was able to create a desktop icon to enable me to do the job.

After a search I have also found another thread on the CNET forum which has given me some hope of a cure: I shall try out the advice given there.

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