[Resolved] Slow performance - lots of hard drive activity

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Offline adf1962

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Re: [In Progress] Slow performance - lots of hard drive activity
« Reply #15 on: December 10, 2010, 05:35:17 PM »
The log file settings are set for 7 days and will clear anything older than that.

I left IE and Firefox running overnight and sure enough when I checked this morning, the hard disk was crunching away.  I closed both apps but didn't get a chance to unplug the cable.  So I'll  have to try again later.

It's quiet now so whatever was going on must have settled down since I closed the apps.

I am attaching the new Events log.  Hopefully they might have a clue this time.

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Offline Hoov

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Re: [In Progress] Slow performance - lots of hard drive activity
« Reply #16 on: December 10, 2010, 06:02:44 PM »
Lets see if this matches what you had happen. According to the log, IE hung at 7:15 AM on the 10th. Just a few seconds later Symantec started having problems. it continued to have problems on and off until 8:32AM. Was that about the time that you closed IE and Firefox?

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Offline adf1962

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Re: [In Progress] Slow performance - lots of hard drive activity
« Reply #17 on: December 10, 2010, 07:45:34 PM »
I closed down IE at around 7:15 when it crashed and sent a report to MS (you know those popups you get when a program crashes and it asks if you want send a report).    I let the computer run its course and didn't interfere with it from 7:15 onward.  Could this be a problem with Symantec you think?

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Offline Hoov

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Re: [In Progress] Slow performance - lots of hard drive activity
« Reply #18 on: December 10, 2010, 07:53:17 PM »
It just seems a little bit to coincidental. Can you disable it, and see what happens when you leave the browsers open. I would disconnect from the internet first. Or you can uninstall the Symantec product you have, and install one of the free AV scanners and do it that way.

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Offline adf1962

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Re: [In Progress] Slow performance - lots of hard drive activity
« Reply #19 on: December 10, 2010, 08:05:25 PM »
If I uninstall Symantec, can I use Malwarebytes as a substitute?  Any other ones you recommend?

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Offline Hoov

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Re: [In Progress] Slow performance - lots of hard drive activity
« Reply #20 on: December 10, 2010, 08:49:08 PM »
Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware is a good supplemental scanner to a primary AV and Malware scanner. There is a list of free AV scanners here , http://spywarehammer.com/simplemachinesforum/index.php?topic=8658.0

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Offline adf1962

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Re: [In Progress] Slow performance - lots of hard drive activity
« Reply #21 on: December 10, 2010, 11:32:17 PM »
Installed Avira.

Uninstalled Symantec.

Will do a complete system scan.

Will launch browsers and leave them on. 

Will get back to you in approx. 24 hours (earlier if possible).

ADF

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Offline adf1962

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Re: [In Progress] Slow performance - lots of hard drive activity
« Reply #22 on: December 11, 2010, 06:52:41 PM »
Avira Antivir ran a scan and found :

Object Winbankerfgv.zip and detected GEN/PwdZIP
Object AntiNimd.exe by detecting W32/Nimda.html
Object AntiNimd.zip by detecting W32/Nimda.html

I had them moved to quarantine.

Both browsers have been up and running for almost 24 hours and the hard drive has been quiet.  No mad crunching going on.

Performing much better so far.

Do you need for me to send you anything else?  Run another HJT or send you EventViewer logs?

ADF


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Offline Hoov

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Re: [In Progress] Slow performance - lots of hard drive activity
« Reply #23 on: December 11, 2010, 07:26:11 PM »
Nope, we have some cleanup to do, but right now you need to make a decision. Do you want to keep Symantec, or are you happy with Avira?

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Offline adf1962

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Re: [In Progress] Slow performance - lots of hard drive activity
« Reply #24 on: December 11, 2010, 10:34:39 PM »
I will stick with Avira.  Symantec is the product used by my employer and was recommended as a solution.  Given that it has posed problems and hence left me exposed . .. I'm willing to go a different route and try something else.  I also have a copy of Malwarebytes which is a good companion to any antivirus solution (or so I understand).

What next?
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Offline Hoov

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Re: [In Progress] Slow performance - lots of hard drive activity
« Reply #25 on: December 11, 2010, 10:58:50 PM »
Now  there are a few thing's you need to do to fully clean your system and keep it secure.

Run OTC
Download OTC to your desktop and run it
Click Yes to beginning the Cleanup process and remove these components, including this application.
You will be asked to reboot the machine to finish the Cleanup process. Choose Yes.

Cleaning out Temporary Files etc. There are several different products that you can use for this. You can go thru the Internet Options in the windows Control Panel. There are several programs that also do the job better than windows does it, in my opinion. There is System Security Suite, EasyCleaner, Ccleaner. Also sometimes other program sometimes do it as well as what you originally got it for like ZoneAlarm Security Suite. Just make sure to keep them updated and use them regularly.

Disable and Enable System Restore.
I recommend you turn off System restore, and then turn it back on so that you will not be able to restore your problems to a clean computer.
For Vista use these instructions, Windows Vista Restore Guide
For XP use these instructions, Windows XP System Restore Guide
Reboot
Re-enable system restore with instructions from tutorial above
Create a System Restore Point
Go to all programs, then to accessories, then to system tools, then to system restore. Check the box for create restore point (not select a restore point), then click next and follow the instructions.

Make your Internet Explorer more secure - This can be done by following these simple instructions: (unless you are using ZoneAlarm Security Suite or something similar, then you would secure the browser thru the firewall). There are some good basic instructions for that here.

Use a different browser other than  IE (most exploits are pointed towards IE). One of them is
Firefox.
It is also worth trying Thunderbird for controlling spam in your e-mail.

Always use an UPDATED anti-virus program Make sure you update this at least weekly, if not more often. This is one thing that may save you more than anything else.

Run malware scanners. Three free ones are Spybot Search and Destroy, and AdAware and Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware

Always use a firewall.
Any firewall is better than none, and you should pick a firewall that you will use, as even the best firewall is worthless if you turn it off.
 
Learn how to use your firewall Only programs that need it should have access to the net. But these are specific to the firewall you use, so you will need to learn how. Several firewalls have support forums here. My page will help you with ZoneAlarm if that is what you choose. 


Never run two Antivirus programs or two Firewalls  at the same time. They can interfere with each other and cause problems. Some people swear that more protection is provided, but the reverse is true. They tend to argue amongst themselves and end up leaving holes. Now I have more than 1 AV installed on my computer, and I keep them up to date. I only run one at a time, but each program has weakness's, so I keep a backup in case my computer starts acting up.


 MOST IMPORTANT : Windows and IE, and whatever other software that you have that connects to the net, needs to be kept updated. The reason is, these programs connect to the net, and if there is an internal security problem, you have already told your firewall to allow the communication, and thus you will have allowed a hole. UPDATES are important. I suggest that you make sure that Windows Updates and the updates for your antivirus and antimalware programs are set for automatic updates. I also suggest running Secunia PSI. It will monitor the software you have installed and let you know when something needs to be updated.

Don't ever use P2P or filesharing software Even the safest P2P file sharing programs that do not contain bundled spyware, still expose you to risks because of the very nature of the P2P file sharing process. By default, most P2P file sharing programs are configured to automatically launch at startup. They are also configured to allow other P2P users on the same network open access to a shared directory on your computer. The reason for this is simple. File sharing relies on its members giving and gaining unfettered access to computers across the P2P network. However, this practice can make you vulnerable to data and identity theft. Even if you change those risky default settings to a safer configuration, the act of downloading files from an anonymous source greatly increases your exposure to infection. That is because the files you are downloading may actually contain a disguised threat. Many very malicious worms and trojans, such as the Storm Worm, target and spread across P2P files sharing networks because of their known vulnerabilities.

Before using any malware detection / removal software Check with Rogue/Suspect Spyware List and Rogue Applications List That way you will know if the program you are looking at is on the up and up. If you want to know how it stacks up against other programs check out SpywareWarrior

We have a good guide here at Spyware Hammer on how to prevent Malware in the Future. You might want to peruse this and follow the recommendations in there.
PLEASE READ IT AND FOLLOW THE RECOMMENDATIONS TO PROTECT YOURSELF.

Let us know if you have any more problems, either new or old.
Have a good time surfing the net, but stay safe.
If you have no more problems, let me know and I will mark this as resolved. Or if you have more questions, ask away, that is why I am here.

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Offline adf1962

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Re: [In Progress] Slow performance - lots of hard drive activity
« Reply #26 on: December 11, 2010, 11:34:20 PM »
Sounds great . . I'll work through your suggestions.

While I still have your attention . . .do you have any advice on general performance?  how to make sure my system is optimized?  eg do I run a defrag every so often? 

thanks

ADF

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Offline adf1962

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Re: [In Progress] Slow performance - lots of hard drive activity
« Reply #27 on: December 12, 2010, 12:29:19 AM »
Oh . . .and do you have an opinion on NoScript for Firefox?  Handy yes, but annoying.

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Offline Hoov

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Re: [In Progress] Slow performance - lots of hard drive activity
« Reply #28 on: December 12, 2010, 12:37:13 AM »
I would set up one day a week to do all your general mmaintenance.  If you turn your computer off at night, then that is the best way to do it. If you leave it run, schedule everything to run at least once a week. AV scanner, and anything else that you have that can be scheduled. Unfortunately the free defragger in XP can't be scheduled. So start out once a week, and if the drive doesn't fragment that much, go to once a month. But Full AV scans, and malware scans should be done at least weekly or more often if possible.

About No Script, it can be annoying, but it is a good way to stay clean.

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Offline adf1962

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Re: [In Progress] Slow performance - lots of hard drive activity
« Reply #29 on: December 12, 2010, 09:32:25 AM »
One last question . . .

Windows Defender . . . is that still needed if I have the Avira?  Is this what could be taking my startup to take so long?  Is that the same as the MSAScui.exe or the MsMpEng.exe?

Thanks a million.

ADF