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Microsoft Windows OS (XP/NT/Vista/Windows 7/8/9/10) Forum

    
Issue with MS XP hanging
wmuser




msg:3104283
 1:48 pm on Oct 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

I am runing MS XP professional and recently it has stated acting wired.
3 days ago,when i have rebooted it and then started opening applications as usualy,it has started "hanging"
Once i am opening an application and then trying to click anything its hanging but the wired thing is that i am able to navigate by keyboard buttons and the system didnt hanged at all.
I have started investigating and found that 3 days ago i have installed Software Distribution Service 2.0,thats the only new software whcih has been isntalled in a recent days.
I have run a system restore and the system was back to one week date but it didnt helped.
Additionaly windows update service has downloaded the Software Distribution Service 2.0 again.

I haev tried a few other different things and the way i am able to temporary resolve it is to open Windows Task Manager and end any process.
After that,the mouse start woking as usualy.

Does anyone know how to solve or has expirienced anything like that?

 

bill




msg:3104746
 1:12 am on Oct 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

That's a difficult one to troubleshoot without more information. What processes are hanging? What processes are you terminating?

The Windows restore is good in some circumstances, but it isn't a true roll-back method. You would need to use drive imaging software for that.

What other steps have you taken to troubleshoot this? Is the system defragged? Have you kept up to date with virus software and scans? Have you run spyware scans? Do you have registry protection software that would alert you to a malicious software trying to sneak into your system?

wmuser




msg:3105649
 6:20 pm on Oct 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

Hi Bill,

It has stated acting even more wired,once i am rebooting and then opening any program it hanging as usualy but once i press ctrl+alt+delete and windows task manager is opening it start acting as normaly.

I didnt taken any other steps to troubleshoot the issue.
The system is not defragmented,last time i have defragmented it more than a year ago.
I dont have virus software installed and i dont need it as has never had a virus problems.
Zonealarm is a very good thing to prevent all kind of viruses when you know how to configure it.
Unfortunaly i dont have registry protection software,would you please recommend me one?

bill




msg:3106074
 12:44 am on Oct 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

...but once i press ctrl+alt+delete and windows task manager is opening it start acting as normaly.

Perhaps you could have Task Manager start with Windows. Just add a shortcut to the Startup folder. I'm not sure that will solve things, but if you say that opening Task Manager helps...

The system is not defragmented,last time i have defragmented it more than a year ago.

This might be a good time to run defrag on all your disks. I usually run a batch file on the weekends to defrag all my disks. It's a good idea to do this from time to time. You can use a text editor like Notepad to make a file called "defrag.bat".

defrag.bat 
:: defrag all harddisks
DEFRAG C:
DEFRAG D:
DEFRAG E:
DEFRAG F:
DEFRAG G:
DEFRAG H:
DEFRAG I:

Set Windows Scheduler to run this when you're not using the machine.

I dont have virus software installed and i dont need it as has never had a virus problems.

How would you know whether you had a virus? It's very possible you have been clean, but how would you know? I would suggest you at least try one of the free online virus scans.

Zonealarm is a very good thing to prevent all kind of viruses when you know how to configure it.

I haven't used ZoneAlarm for several years. Some people love it, but others say that it is a resource hog and that it is the cause of system slowdowns and hangups. I would try removing ZoneAlarm completely to see whether it is the source of your problems.

Unfortunaly i dont have registry protection software,would you please recommend me one?

Here are two programs (free) that I run on all my systems:

  • StartupMonitor [mlin.net] notifies you when any program registers itself to run at system startup.
  • RegistryProt [diamondcs.com.au] is a realtime registry monitor and protector

Leosghost




msg:3106153
 2:16 am on Oct 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

Software Distribution Service 2.0 is a piece of pure hell for many ..and has had many and varied effects on the unfortunate souls who have had it installed by MS on their machines ..

MS are trying to ignore the noise over it's effects ..and they will probably not be going back to the folks who wrote it for them ..

The best instructions on how to get back to where you were before it ( and to stay free of it ) were already written by Poolarchitect elsewhere ..)..find his post like this ..

I can't link out to it from here ..but copy and paste this search string entire into google with quotes on it ..like this ..

"To get rid of Microsoft’s nasty Software Distribution Service 2.0 you first need to go to your START Menu and open MY DOCUMENTS;"

And you'll find his "walkthrough" to get your old machine back again ..

Then ..
never ever run a machine without a regmonitor ..either regprot or regmon ..and go to sysinternals and read for a couple of days to see why ..and bear in mind that they explain 'doze to the guys at Redmond ..so beleive them
..

Then run a search on your machine for any files of a .tmp type ( there'll be lots ..they are no good ..'doze makes 'em like rabbits beget rabbits )..every time you open a help file or just think about pressing enter doze makes a .tmp file ..they are only small but they get in the way ..

So go download ccleaner and run it to remove all .tmp's ..then look in it's tools dept ..and use it to remove all those things you have hanging around in the registry that belong to apps you no longer have ..

Then go get NOD32 in the trial version ( 30 day TBYB..fully functional ) it finds 99% of the virii and trojans and other malware that the other anti virii apps miss ..install it and run it ( after wards.. you can always.. if you are too cheap to buy it and dont know how to run a machine without an AV and not be "owned" by any kid who can "typo" altavista ..go get and install either Antivir ..nice light weight free av ..or AVG free ..both streets better than norton et al ) ..

Then start running defrags ..( the native doze defrager is slow ..albeit better than the ones shipped with 98II ..and it lies ..it leaves gaps and then other apps bridge them instead of installing themselves all neatly in the same area ..) so go get diskeeper lite ..another freeware ..very very fast ..and run it at all of your HD's like Bill says ..keep doing that until each one is as defragged as possible ..

Then make the .bat file ( like Bill says ) ..you can use it to start the apps .exe ( either the native XP one or diskeeper )..at about 03.00am your local time ( the makers of diskeeper lite say the free version needs manually starting ( they say it cant be scheduled and only on one disk at a time )..but it will start once a day all by itself and it will check all installed disks one by one ..but you'll have to start it manually ..it tends to check around midnight your local time ..or will fire up if you get more than 800 or so fragments on C drive ..when it runs it will slow everything else up ..normal behaviour for defrag utility ..whatever they say ) ..

Also ..dont play around with your default settings for the windows swap file ..it should be on the same drive as your OS is installed ..and should be at least 2 to 3 times your installed RAM ..unless you are running over 1 gig of RAM ..in which case 200 megs of swap is fine ..but better let the app decide for itself ..it tells you that if you adjust this you may not be able to restart you machine or it may act weird ..it is telling the truth ..on this Redmond usually knows best ..

I have one machine where the swap is on D drive and the OS on C ..and it is slower ..but I need it that way ..and put up with it's quirks ..

Then you can clean up your "desktop"...the fewer icons and folders etc ..the faster the box..active desktop makes things slow too ..

There's other file types that doze makes loads of just for fun when you do other stuff that you can remove and other tweaks that you can do to speed up machines ..the rule is never download those packages that say they can do it for you ( they always want to talk to "momma" ..behind your back ..mostly "momma" isnt a nice app and will do you harm as a result of the phone home effects of her offspring ) ..zone alarm can prevent this ( that's what it does ..it prevents apps conecting to the net without your express permission ..and watches over your ports )..but it isnt an AV ..it will let any page , email or image or script or app or download take over your machine ..and some even target it specifically and then it will let them talk to momma without it asking you first ..it is a ressource hog ..but not enough to slow most modern machines ..unless you also want to do 3D rendering at the same time as read PDF's and mount videos and surf without having 2 gigs of RAM

[edited by: Leosghost at 2:17 am (utc) on Oct. 3, 2006]

bill




msg:3106354
 5:38 am on Oct 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

never ever run a machine without a regmonitor

I picked that bit of advice up from an old Leosghost post. ;) It's now a requirement for all the systems I maintain.

So go download ccleaner and run it...

I had some of my own batch files that I regularly run that I thought were pretty comprehensive about cleaning out those sorts of log files. I tried out CCleaner to see how it compared and it found 2GB of junk on my machine that I didn't need. Impressive for a free tool.

diskeeper lite

I knew that I'd heard of Diskeeper before. It's the same program used in Windows:
KB 130539 [support.microsoft.com]
Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Microsoft Windows XP, and Microsoft Windows 2000 include a tool for disk defragmentation. The Windows Disk Defragmenter tool is a limited version of the Diskeeper program from Diskeeper Corporation. Disk Defragmenter does not include all the features available in the full version of Diskeeper.
I wonder whether the the Diskeeper Lite, which is a discontinued version 7 program from 2002 (Diskeeper is currently promoting version 10, and no more freeware version is available), is any better than the version contained in Windows.

Also ..dont play around with your default settings for the windows swap file

I've read that you can only see performance improvement with this if you put the swap file on another physical HDD. Putting it on a different partition on the same drive as Windows is not recommended.

Leosghost




msg:3106704
 12:45 pm on Oct 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

is any better than the version contained in Windows.

By comparison with what MS put in and then "hobbled" the standalone version "smokes" ..either as the paid version or the V7 lite ..and doesnt leave the spaces in the defragged disk like the MS version ..why they would hobble perfectly good software is a mystery ..

Version 7 is no longer available from the makers ..but can be found elsewhere on the net copy and paste this search string with the quotes into google "diskeeper lite version 7 free download".the first entry has a legal version ..for major geeks ;-)..

Somewhere on this machine I have .txt file of URLs for downloads of such "golden" apps and standalone stuff ..I'll look around for for it and pass the info to Bill as I'm pretty sure some of the link outs would not be OK for open fora ( they are not warez nor torrents ..just blog type places and so on ).. ..

please no stickies for "where can I get" ..

ask in open fora ( I'm not the only one here that has some very esotheric surfing history ..bcolflesh amazes me sometimes ;-) or ask Bill ..

Also some times I dont get on here for weeks or months due to either my crappy ISP or having a life off line ..;-)

I've read that you can only see performance improvement with this if you put the swap file on another physical HDD. Putting it on a different partition on the same drive as Windows is not recommended.

My experience suggests that unless the second physical HDD is at least 50% empty that it actually slows up performance ..my second HDD ( 40 gigs ) on that machine is ok when I heve 20 to 25 gigs clear ( I manipulate very very big 3D image files and animations using the freespace as a temp container swp ) ..

Never tried putting it on another partition ..I can see why it would slow up the machine and maybe even result in some data just blackholing from time to time ..linux is better at working across partitions than doze ..you could run a machine off alive disc as the only OS and use the HD as the workspace ..

Personally I dont trust any HD thats bigger than 120 gigs not to suddenly die ..whatever they may say ..

I'd rather have many smaller discs ( around 40 gigs )than one biggie ..but now I'm drifting OT ..foir a change ;-) ..

whoops ..sorry about the formatting there Bill ..I missed a closing tag for a moment there ;-))

[edited by: Leosghost at 12:57 pm (utc) on Oct. 3, 2006]

benevolent001




msg:3106767
 1:39 pm on Oct 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

I too was having same problem , dont know but i didtnt appeared after i changed my theme of windows to classic one.

may be am wrong but problem hasnt come again

wmuser




msg:3106774
 1:44 pm on Oct 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

Bill,

Perhaps you could have Task Manager start with Windows. Just add a shortcut to the Startup folder. I'm not sure that will solve things, but if you say that opening Task Manager helps...
-----
I am runing it manualy once PC is restarted and it helps.
I cant really explain what it has to do with my problem but it really helps.

This might be a good time to run defrag on all your disks. I usually run a batch file on the weekends to defrag all my disks. It's a good idea to do this from time to time. You can use a text editor like Notepad to make a file called "defrag.bat".
--------
Will run it now,it should take up to 3 hours to complete.

How would you know whether you had a virus? It's very possible you have been clean, but how would you know? I would suggest you at least try one of the free online virus scans.
---------
Which one would you recommend Norton,Mcafee,AVP or other?

I haven't used ZoneAlarm for several years. Some people love it, but others say that it is a resource hog and that it is the cause of system slowdowns and hangups. I would try removing ZoneAlarm completely to see whether it is the source of your problems.
------
Sometimes its really a resource hog but did you tried anything better?
I have tried a few other firewalls but none of them seems to have that much options.
Maybe someone has had a different expirience?

Leosghost,

""To get rid of Microsoft’s nasty Software Distribution Service 2.0 you first need to go to your START Menu and open MY DOCUMENTS;" "

Found it,thanks

I have cleared temp files.

Indeed my swap file is over 2 times my installed RAM size

Overall,you wrote nice tutorial for Windows maintenance :)

...unless you also want to do 3D rendering at the same time as read PDF's and mount videos and surf without having 2 gigs of RAM ...
Rarely anyone is doing it :)

Thank you for all advices.

May i ask you to also add a speed up steps or refer me to a good tutorial?

"the rule is never download those packages that say they can do it for you ( they always want to talk to "momma" ."

Like which ones for example?

Any good Firewall recommendations?

Leosghost




msg:3106796
 1:58 pm on Oct 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

I'll work on writing up some of the stuff that you mention ( suggest others do the same and submit their knowlege and experiences? )..maybe Bill can start a thread specifically for a "windows checklist" ..

Only hacks ..no cracks ..dont want to incurr the wrath of the sith ;-))

..some of the doze stuff I've never had installed ..only fixed ..such as ..millenium ..( the OS from hell )..( hey I'm windows millenium ..own me ) ..

ususally the best advice to keep doze running clean is dont click on "OK" ..:)

wmuser




msg:3106922
 3:26 pm on Oct 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

lol,win me was genraly a bit changed win 98

Bill or anyone want to start the mentione dthread?

bill




msg:3107622
 12:48 am on Oct 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

My experience suggests that unless the second physical HDD is at least 50% empty that it actually slows up performance
I've heard that too. I have made dedicated swap partitions on separate HDDs and that seems to be the best way to improve performance.

Which one would you recommend Norton,Mcafee,AVP or other?
The one that Leosghost suggested above is the same on I'd recommend. NOD32 is the least invasive and most reliable AV that I've had experience with. I think others here would agree that if you have the option, stay away from Norton and McAfee.

ZoneAlarm - Sometimes its really a resource hog but did you tried anything better?
I have tried a few other firewalls but none of them seems to have that much options.

That might make up an entire new thread (in another forum). Personally I have hardware firewalls on my networks and have been looking for a decent software firewall for use on individual PCs. ZoneAlarm and Norton are way too problematic for my tastes.

Bill or anyone want to start the mentioned thread?
Give me a bit. I'm mulling over the best way to do this...

wmuser




msg:3108016
 11:24 am on Oct 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

Bill or anyone want to start the mentioned thread?

Give me a bit. I'm mulling over the best way to do this...

Could you please sticky me the new thread URL if you decide to open a new thread about it?

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