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SP3 issues

Discussion in 'Windows XP' started by Ronin, Feb 19, 2010.

  1. Ronin

    Ronin Flightless Bird

    A friend's son's machine is relatively new for XP (2005), but it is sorely
    lacking in RAM, something that will be remedied as soon as Crucial delivers
    on Monday. It was also wildly inundated with spyware, etc., but no viruses
    according to Avast! Took a couple of days, but it seems relatively clean
    now. Probably some permanent damage, but clean reinstall is something I'm
    trying to avoid.

    Meanwhile, being an impatient sort of person, I still tried to install SP3
    before upping the RAM. The install failed at first due to permissions issues
    which I thought I had remedied using SUBINACL as described here:
    http://www.askvg.com/windows-xp-service-pack-3-sp3-setup-error-access-is-denied

    The install actually finished after several hours -- 256MB RAM for WinXP is
    a
    crime, Dell should be held responsible for even allowing such a
    configuration. Anyway, when I rebooted, it showed itself updating things
    before logging on (the way Windows Updates often do.) But after logging on,
    two command windows popped up. One did whatever and went away quickly, but
    the other one showed a dozen or two responses, all of them "Access denied"
    (may not be the exact phrase.)

    I plan to reinstall SP3 when the new RAM arrives (unless that is
    contraindicated), but I suspect that won't solve this issue. My assumption
    is that the errors mean that the install wasn't entirely successful, but I'm
    not stuck on that. Maybe the responses are expected in certain
    circumstances. Still, if there is anything more I can do to ensure a clean
    installation, please tell me all about it (or them.)

    Much thanks,

    --
    Ronin
     
  2. Shenan Stanley

    Shenan Stanley Flightless Bird

    Ronin wrote:
    > A friend's son's machine is relatively new for XP (2005), but it is
    > sorely lacking in RAM, something that will be remedied as soon as
    > Crucial delivers on Monday. It was also wildly inundated with
    > spyware, etc., but no viruses according to Avast! Took a couple of
    > days, but it seems relatively clean now. Probably some permanent
    > damage, but clean reinstall is something I'm trying to avoid.
    >
    > Meanwhile, being an impatient sort of person, I still tried to
    > install SP3 before upping the RAM. The install failed at first due
    > to permissions issues which I thought I had remedied using SUBINACL
    > as described here:
    > http://www.askvg.com/windows-xp-service-pack-3-sp3-setup-error-access-is-denied
    >
    > The install actually finished after several hours -- 256MB RAM for
    > WinXP is a
    > crime, Dell should be held responsible for even allowing such a
    > configuration. Anyway, when I rebooted, it showed itself updating
    > things before logging on (the way Windows Updates often do.) But
    > after logging on, two command windows popped up. One did whatever
    > and went away quickly, but the other one showed a dozen or two
    > responses, all of them "Access denied" (may not be the exact
    > phrase.)
    > I plan to reinstall SP3 when the new RAM arrives (unless that is
    > contraindicated), but I suspect that won't solve this issue. My
    > assumption is that the errors mean that the install wasn't entirely
    > successful, but I'm not stuck on that. Maybe the responses are
    > expected in certain circumstances. Still, if there is anything more
    > I can do to ensure a clean installation, please tell me all about
    > it (or them.)


    If the system is slow with 256MB RAM in Windows XP - it is *not* generally
    the fault of Windows XP - but of the things running resident. I'd check
    what all runs at startup...

    You mentioned "Avast!" --> I suggest switching to "Avira AntiVir" or "eSet
    NOD32" (AV only - no suites.) The first is free for home use, the latter is
    less than $60 U.S. for two years. I would say they should run quite well
    and use less resources - thus making the entire computer run a bit better.

    No third-party firewall software. Use the built-in firewall.

    For the most part - no active 'antimalware only' software. One could
    purchase/run MalwareBytes active protection if you feel it will keep this
    machine running longer because of the owners 'habits' --> but I wouldn't do
    it unless it comes to that.

    But on to your cleanup query...

    First - do you have a complete backup of this system "as-is"? I would
    suggest some sort of image file creation of the entire system - so you could
    revert to that if things get really bad. Barring that - just a copy of all
    the important files (documents, bookmarks, emails, contacts, music,
    pictures, etc...)

    As for your resistance in a clean install - that may be doing yourself/your
    friend's son a dis-service. If it was "wildly inundated with spyware, etc",
    there is no guarantee, short of a clean installation, that you have cleared
    everything (rootkits are seldom found by antivirus or basic antimalware
    applications.) It is almost a certainty (given nothing more than your
    symptoms) that even if you have cleared everything - the dmage from the
    attacks still exists.

    Along that latter line - I would highly suggest a repair
    installation(in-place upgrade). Not just any repair installation (in-place
    upgrade) - but one with a Service Pack 3 level installation media (of
    Windows XP.) That way you kill two birds with one stone. You fix the
    system files and you do so with SP3 level replacements. (You can
    integrate/slipstream SP3 into said media, burn a new copy and use it to do
    the repair - if you don't know how - look into nLite and/or AutoStreamer
    using Google.)

    How to Perform a Windows XP Repair Install
    http://www.michaelstevenstech.com/XPrepairinstall.htm

    How to perform an in-place upgrade (reinstallation) of Windows XP
    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/315341

    After you perform said repair - I would probably still suggest the following
    steps.
    (Yes - all of them, even ones you have done before, in order.)

    Reboot and logon as administrative user.

    Download/install Internet Explorer 7 - it will revert to IE6 - you should at
    least have the system at IE7 - and for now - leave it at IE7.
    http://www.microsoft.com/downloadS/details.aspx?familyid=9AE91EBE-3385-447C-8A30-081805B2F90B

    Reboot and logon as administrative user.

    Fix your file/registry permissions...

    Ignore the title and follow the sub-section under
    "Advanced Troubleshooting" titled,
    "Method 1: Reset the registry and the file permissions"
    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/949377
    *will take time
    ** Ignore the last step (6) - you should already have SP3.

    You will likely see errors pass by if you watching, even count up. No
    worries *at this time*.

    Reboot and logon as administrative user.

    Download/install the "Windows Installer CleanUp Utility":
    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/290301

    After installing, do the following:

    Start button --> RUN
    (no "RUN"? Press the "Windows Key" + R on your keyboard)
    --> type in:
    "%ProgramFiles%\Windows Installer Clean Up\msizap.exe" g!
    --> Click OK.
    (The quotation marks and percentage signs and spacing should be exact.)

    It will flash by *quick*, don't expect much out of this step to get
    excited about.

    Reboot and logon as administrative user.

    Download, install, run, update and perform a full scan with the following
    (freeware version):

    SuperAntiSpyware
    http://www.superantispyware.com/

    Reboot and logon as administrative user.

    Download, install, run, update and perform a full scan with the following
    (freeware version):

    MalwareBytes
    http://www.malwarebytes.com/

    Reboot and logon as administrative user.

    Download and run the MSRT manually:
    http://www.microsoft.com/security/malwareremove/default.mspx

    Reboot and logon as administrative user.

    Download/Install the latest Windows Installer (for your OS):
    ( Windows XP 32-bit : WindowsXP-KB942288-v3-x86.exe )
    http://www.microsoft.com/downloadS/details.aspx?familyid=5A58B56F-60B6-4412-95B9-54D056D6F9F4

    Reboot and logon as administrative user.

    Download the latest version of the Windows Update agent from here (x86):
    http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=91237
    .... and save it to the root of your C:/ drive. After saving it to the
    root of the C:/ drive, do the following:

    Close all Internet Explorer windows and other applications.

    Start button --> RUN and type in:
    %SystemDrive%\windowsupdateagent30-x86.exe /WUFORCE
    --> Click OK.

    (If asked, select "Run.) --> Click on NEXT --> Select "I agree" and click on
    NEXT --> When it finishes installing, click on "Finish"...

    Reboot and logon as administrative user.

    Visit this web page:

    How do I reset Windows Update components?
    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/971058

    .... and click on the "Microsoft Fix it" icon. When asked, select "RUN",
    both times. Check the "I agree" box and click on "Next". Check the box
    for "Run aggressive options (not recommended)" and click "Next". Let
    it finish up and follow the prompts until it is done. Close/exit.

    Reboot and logon as administrative user.

    You should now perform a full CHKDSK on your system drive (C:)...

    How to scan your disks for errors
    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/315265
    * will take time and a reboot

    You should now perform a full Defragment on your system drive (C:)...

    How to Defragment your hard drives
    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/314848
    * will take time

    Reboot and logon as administrative user.

    Visit http://windowsupdate.microsoft.com/ in Internet Explorer and
    select to do a CUSTOM scan...

    Every time you are about to click on something while at these web pages -
    first press and hold down the CTRL key while you click on it. You can
    release the CTRL key after clicking each time.

    Once the scan is done, select just _ONE_ of the high priority updates
    (deselect any others) and install it.

    Reboot and logon as administrative user.

    If it did work - try the web page again - selecting no more than 3-5 at a
    time. Rebooting/logging on as an administrative user as many times
    as needed.

    The Optional Software updates are generally safe - although I recommend
    against the "Windows Search" one and any of the "Office Live" ones or
    "Windows Live" ones for now. I would completely avoid the
    "Optional Hardware" updates. Also - I do not see any urgent need to
    install Internet Explorer 8 at this time.


    After all of that...

    If you are comfortable with the stability of your system, you can delete the
    uninstall files for the patches that Windows XP has installed...
    http://www3.telus.net/dandemar/spack.htm
    ( Particularly of interest here - #4 )
    ( Alternative: http://www.dougknox.com/xp/utils/xp_hotfix_backup.htm )

    You can run Disk Cleanup - built into Windows XP - to erase all but your
    latest restore point and cleanup even more "loose files"..

    How to use Disk Cleanup
    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/310312

    You can turn off hibernation if it is on and you don't use it..

    When you hibernate your computer, Windows saves the contents of the system's
    memory to the hiberfil.sys file. As a result, the size of the hiberfil.sys
    file will always equal the amount of physical memory in your system. If you
    don't use the hibernate feature and want to recapture the space that Windows
    uses for the hiberfil.sys file, perform the following steps:

    - Start the Control Panel Power Options applet (go to Start, Settings,
    Control Panel, and click Power Options).
    - Select the Hibernate tab, clear the "Enable hibernation" check box, then
    click OK; although you might think otherwise, selecting Never under the
    "System hibernates" option on the Power Schemes tab doesn't delete the
    hiberfil.sys file.
    - Windows will remove the "System hibernates" option from the Power Schemes
    tab and delete the hiberfil.sys file.

    You can control how much space your System Restore can use...

    1. Click Start, right-click My Computer, and then click Properties.
    2. Click the System Restore tab.
    3. Highlight one of your drives (or C: if you only have one) and click on
    the "Settings" button.
    4. Change the percentage of disk space you wish to allow.. I suggest moving
    the slider until you have just about 1GB (1024MB or close to that...)
    5. Click OK.. Then Click OK again.

    You can control how much space your Temporary Internet Files can utilize...

    Empty your Temporary Internet Files and shrink the size it stores to a
    size between 64MB and 128MB..

    - Open ONE copy of Internet Explorer.
    - Select TOOLS -> Internet Options.
    - Under the General tab in the "Temporary Internet Files" section, do the
    following:
    - Click on "Delete Cookies" (click OK)
    - Click on "Settings" and change the "Amount of disk space to use:" to
    something between 64MB and 128MB. (It may be MUCH larger right
    now.)
    - Click OK.
    - Click on "Delete Files" and select to "Delete all offline contents"
    (the checkbox) and click OK. (If you had a LOT, this could take 2-10
    minutes or more.)
    - Once it is done, click OK, close Internet Explorer, re-open Internet
    Explorer.

    You can use an application that scans your system for log files and
    temporary files and use that to get rid of those:

    Ccleaner (Free!)
    http://www.ccleaner.com/

    Other ways to free up space..

    JDiskReport
    http://www.jgoodies.com/freeware/jdiskreport/index.html

    SequoiaView
    http://www.win.tue.nl/sequoiaview/

    Those can help you visually discover where all the space is being used.

    In the end - a standard Windows XP installation with all sorts of extras
    will not likely be above about 4.5GB to 9GB in size. If you have more space
    than that (likely do on a modern machine) and most of it seems to be used -
    likely you need to move *your stuff* off and/or find a better way to manage
    it.

    Not mentioned above - amazingly - is the fact that you also may want to use
    this mass-cleanup/updating/fix opportunity to download the latest hardware
    device drivers from the manufacturer(s) web site(s) and install them. If it
    is a third-tier type system (Dell, HP, Lenovo, Gateway, etc) - get all those
    from said manufacturers support web page for the product model in question -
    I would even recommend updating the System BIOS at this time (it could
    prevent some issues with the memory you plan to install even...) If it is
    less of an OEM/third-tier and more a hodge-podge of parts - visit the
    individual hardware manufacturer's web pages and get the device drivers
    straight from them (avoid getting non-microsoft hardware drivers from
    Microsoft.)

    The system should be - for all intents/purposes - pretty well cleaned up
    after all that. Still a possibility it is infected, still a possibility
    that some of the other software installed (likely beyond the OS) still has
    damage done by the, "wildly inundated with spyware, etc" situation the
    system was once in. Better however - without a doubt.

    --
    Shenan Stanley
    MS-MVP
    --
    How To Ask Questions The Smart Way
    http://www.catb.org/~esr/faqs/smart-questions.html
     
  3. Daave

    Daave Flightless Bird

    Ronin wrote:
    > A friend's son's machine is relatively new for XP (2005), but it is
    > sorely lacking in RAM, something that will be remedied as soon as
    > Crucial delivers on Monday. It was also wildly inundated with
    > spyware, etc., but no viruses according to Avast! Took a couple of
    > days, but it seems relatively clean now. Probably some permanent
    > damage, but clean reinstall is something I'm trying to avoid.
    >
    > Meanwhile, being an impatient sort of person, I still tried to
    > install SP3 before upping the RAM. The install failed at first due to
    > permissions issues which I thought I had remedied using SUBINACL as
    > described here:
    > http://www.askvg.com/windows-xp-service-pack-3-sp3-setup-error-access-is-denied
    >
    > The install actually finished after several hours -- 256MB RAM for
    > WinXP is a
    > crime, Dell should be held responsible for even allowing such a
    > configuration. Anyway, when I rebooted, it showed itself updating
    > things before logging on (the way Windows Updates often do.) But
    > after logging on, two command windows popped up. One did whatever and
    > went away quickly, but the other one showed a dozen or two responses,
    > all of them "Access denied" (may not be the exact phrase.)
    >
    > I plan to reinstall SP3 when the new RAM arrives (unless that is
    > contraindicated), but I suspect that won't solve this issue. My
    > assumption is that the errors mean that the install wasn't entirely
    > successful, but I'm not stuck on that. Maybe the responses are
    > expected in certain circumstances. Still, if there is anything more I
    > can do to ensure a clean installation, please tell me all about it
    > (or them.)


    Although it's a good idea to up the amount of RAM, you should know it is
    certainly possible to run XP on a PC with only 256MB of RAM. My work PC
    is older than your friend's son's and it has only 256MB RAM, and it runs
    quite quickly (and it has SP3 to boot). The trick (as Shenan alluded to)
    is that it runs lean and therefore very rarely relies on the pagefile.

    Two thoughts for the situation you mention:

    1. The PC was found to have been "wildly inundated with spyware." It's
    certainly possible there is still some spyware present. Non-viral
    malware is one of the most common causes of slow PCs. Of course,
    anti-malware programs will show tracking cookies as undesirable, so
    since you didn't inform us as to *which* spyware was found, we can have
    no idea as to the severity of the situation (tracking cookies are text
    files, so they won't slow a PC down). If you did write down specific
    names of infections, include them in your next post!

    This page has all the information you need to deal with malware of all
    types:

    http://www.elephantboycomputers.com/page2.html#Removing_Malware

    2. There is a best-practices method for installing SP3. It sounds like
    you didn't follow it. Among other things, security programs such as
    Avast should not be running when SP3 is applied.

    The first thing you need to do is find out what SP level the PC is
    currently at:

    Start | Run

    Type:

    winver

    Click OK.

    What is the SP level shown?
     
  4. Jose

    Jose Flightless Bird

    On Feb 19, 4:32 am, "Ronin" <wanderer> wrote:
    > A friend's son's machine is relatively new for XP (2005), but it is sorely
    > lacking in RAM, something that will be remedied as soon as Crucial delivers
    > on Monday. It was also wildly inundated with spyware, etc., but no viruses
    > according to Avast! Took a couple of days, but it seems relatively clean
    > now. Probably some permanent damage, but clean reinstall is something I'm
    > trying to avoid.
    >
    > Meanwhile, being an impatient sort of person, I still tried to install SP3
    > before upping the RAM. The install failed at first due to permissions issues
    > which I thought I had remedied using SUBINACL as described here:http://www.askvg.com/windows-xp-service-pack-3-sp3-setup-error-access...
    >
    > The install actually finished after several hours -- 256MB RAM for WinXP is
    > a
    > crime, Dell should be held responsible for even allowing such a
    > configuration. Anyway, when I rebooted, it showed itself updating things
    > before logging on (the way Windows Updates often do.) But after logging on,
    > two command windows popped up. One did whatever and went away quickly, but
    > the other one showed a dozen or two responses, all of them "Access denied"
    > (may not be the exact phrase.)
    >
    > I plan to reinstall SP3 when the new RAM arrives (unless that is
    > contraindicated), but I suspect that won't solve this issue. My assumption
    > is that the errors mean that the install wasn't entirely successful, but I'm
    > not stuck on that. Maybe the responses are expected in certain
    > circumstances. Still, if there is anything more I can do to ensure a clean
    > installation, please tell me all about it (or them.)
    >
    > Much thanks,
    >
    > --
    > Ronin


    You did not mention if you followed the SP3 installation directions.

    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/950717

    It includes solutions to the access denied issues that come about by
    not following the recommended installation procedures, why they happen
    and what to do about it.

    You should not need to download any third party solutions, ideas, etc.
    to install SP3.

    I would think that if I got a single error that defied explanation
    during any SP3 install, I would just start over.

    I would recommend expanding your malicious software detection horizons
    a bit. No single program knows about everything and it is easy for me
    to infect my computer on purpose and Avast! will miss some infections
    every time. It is not terribly bright about some things, and I have
    concluded it is weak, a system resource hog and a waste of time. But
    that is my opinion.

    Depending on your Avast! installation options and what pieces you
    chose to install (or did you just let it install everything?), you
    probably have a bunch of Avast! things running you do not need and can
    thwart an SP3 installation and reduce your performance - a lot. If
    you decide to stick with Avast! you may want to uninstall it all,
    clean up the mess and then uninstall/reinstall SP3 properly so there
    are no errors (using the directions), then rethink how to install
    Avast! again with less overhead for your system resources.

    256MB RAM is fine for some people. It has served me well for many
    years but I run a pretty lean configuration.

    You do not want your system to be relatively clean, you want it to be
    squeaky clean.

    Perform some scans for malicious software, then fix any remaining
    issues:

    Download, install, update and do a full scan with these free malware
    detection programs:

    Malwarebytes (MBAM): http://malwarebytes.org/
    SUPERAntiSpyware: (SAS): http://www.superantispyware.com/

    They can be uninstalled later if desired.

    If you want some ideas about your configuration, start here:

    To eliminate questions and guessing, please provide additional
    information about your system.

    Click Start, Run and in the box enter:

    msinfo32

    Click OK, and when the System Summary info appears, click Edit, Select
    All, Copy and then paste the information back here.

    There will be some personal information (like System Name and User
    Name), and whatever appears to be private information to you, just
    delete it from the pasted information.
     
  5. PA Bear [MS MVP]

    PA Bear [MS MVP] Flightless Bird

    > ...It was also wildly inundated with spyware, etc., but no viruses
    > according to Avast!


    Assuming you installed Avast *after* the computer was infected (in which
    case I can assure you that it did not install properly)...

    Back-up any personal data (none of which should be considered 100%
    trustworthy at this point) then format the HDD & do a clean install of
    Windows. Please note that a Repair Install (AKA in-place upgrade) will NOT
    fix this!

    HOW TO do a clean install of WinXP: See
    http://michaelstevenstech.com/cleanxpinstall.html#steps and/or Method 1 in
    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/978307

    After the clean install, you'll have the equivalent of a "new computer" so
    take care of everything on the following page before otherwise connecting
    the machine to the internet or a local network (i.e., other computers) and
    before using a flash drive or SDCard that isn't brand-new or hasn't been
    freshly formatted:

    4 steps to help protect your new computer before you go online
    http://www.microsoft.com/security/pypc.aspx

    Other helpful references include:

    HOW TO get a computer running WinXP Gold (no Service Packs) fully patched
    (after a clean install)
    http://groups.google.com/group/microsoft.public.windowsupdate/msg/3f5afa8ed33e121c

    HOW TO get a computer running WinXP SP1(a) or SP2 fully patched (after a
    clean install)
    http://groups.google.com/group/microsoft.public.windowsxp.general/msg/a066ae41add7dd2b

    Tip: After getting the computer fully-patched, download/install KB971029
    manually: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/971029

    NB: Any Norton or McAfee free-trial that came preinstalled on the computer
    when you bought it will be reinstalled (but invalid) when Windows is
    reinstalled. You MUST uninstall the free-trial and download/run the
    appropriate removal tool before installing any updates, Windows Service
    Packs or IE upgrades and before installing your new anti-virus application
    (which will require WinXP SP3 to be installed).

    Norton Removal Tool
    ftp://ftp.symantec.com/public/english_us_canada/removal_tools/Norton_Removal_Tool.exe

    McAfee Consumer Products Removal Tool
    http://download.mcafee.com/products/licensed/cust_support_patches/MCPR.exe

    Also see:

    Steps To Help Prevent Spyware
    http://www.microsoft.com/security/spyware/prevent.aspx

    Steps to Help Prevent Computer Worms
    http://www.microsoft.com/security/worms/prevent.aspx

    Avoid Rogue Security Software!
    http://www.microsoft.com/security/antivirus/rogue.aspx

    If these procedures look too complex - and there is no shame in admitting
    this isn't your cup of tea - take the machine to a local, reputable and
    independent (i.e., not BigBoxStoreUSA or Geek Squad) computer repair shop.
    --
    ~Robear Dyer (PA Bear)
    MS MVP-IE, Mail, Security, Windows Client - since 2002


    Ronin wrote:
    > A friend's son's machine is relatively new for XP (2005), but it is sorely
    > lacking in RAM, something that will be remedied as soon as Crucial
    > delivers
    > on Monday. It was also wildly inundated with spyware, etc., but no viruses
    > according to Avast! Took a couple of days, but it seems relatively clean
    > now. Probably some permanent damage, but clean reinstall is something I'm
    > trying to avoid.
    >
    > Meanwhile, being an impatient sort of person, I still tried to install SP3
    > before upping the RAM. The install failed at first due to permissions
    > issues
    > which I thought I had remedied using SUBINACL as described here:
    > http://www.askvg.com/windows-xp-service-pack-3-sp3-setup-error-access-is-denied
    >
    > The install actually finished after several hours -- 256MB RAM for WinXP
    > is
    > a
    > crime, Dell should be held responsible for even allowing such a
    > configuration. Anyway, when I rebooted, it showed itself updating things
    > before logging on (the way Windows Updates often do.) But after logging
    > on,
    > two command windows popped up. One did whatever and went away quickly, but
    > the other one showed a dozen or two responses, all of them "Access denied"
    > (may not be the exact phrase.)
    >
    > I plan to reinstall SP3 when the new RAM arrives (unless that is
    > contraindicated), but I suspect that won't solve this issue. My assumption
    > is that the errors mean that the install wasn't entirely successful, but
    > I'm
    > not stuck on that. Maybe the responses are expected in certain
    > circumstances. Still, if there is anything more I can do to ensure a clean
    > installation, please tell me all about it (or them.)
    >
    > Much thanks,
     
  6. Ronin

    Ronin Flightless Bird

    "Shenan Stanley" <newshelper@gmail.com> wrote in message
    news:uhjXdxUsKHA.732@TK2MSFTNGP06.phx.gbl...
    > Ronin wrote:
    >> A friend's son's machine is relatively new for XP (2005), but it is
    >> sorely lacking in RAM, something that will be remedied as soon as
    >> Crucial delivers on Monday. It was also wildly inundated with
    >> spyware, etc., but no viruses according to Avast! Took a couple of
    >> days, but it seems relatively clean now. Probably some permanent
    >> damage, but clean reinstall is something I'm trying to avoid.
    >>
    >> Meanwhile, being an impatient sort of person, I still tried to
    >> install SP3 before upping the RAM. The install failed at first due
    >> to permissions issues which I thought I had remedied using SUBINACL
    >> as described here:
    >> http://www.askvg.com/windows-xp-service-pack-3-sp3-setup-error-access-is-denied
    >>
    >> The install actually finished after several hours -- 256MB RAM for
    >> WinXP is a
    >> crime, Dell should be held responsible for even allowing such a
    >> configuration. Anyway, when I rebooted, it showed itself updating
    >> things before logging on (the way Windows Updates often do.) But
    >> after logging on, two command windows popped up. One did whatever
    >> and went away quickly, but the other one showed a dozen or two
    >> responses, all of them "Access denied" (may not be the exact
    >> phrase.)
    >> I plan to reinstall SP3 when the new RAM arrives (unless that is
    >> contraindicated), but I suspect that won't solve this issue. My
    >> assumption is that the errors mean that the install wasn't entirely
    >> successful, but I'm not stuck on that. Maybe the responses are
    >> expected in certain circumstances. Still, if there is anything more
    >> I can do to ensure a clean installation, please tell me all about
    >> it (or them.)

    >
    > If the system is slow with 256MB RAM in Windows XP - it is *not* generally
    > the fault of Windows XP - but of the things running resident. I'd check
    > what all runs at startup...


    With all but the minimum background apps disabled (all but Avast! and
    Ad-Aware resident protections), the system essentially doesn't run at all.
    Takes ten minutes just to load, probably mostly due to three or four IMs
    that load automatically. I'm going to try and get him to launch those things
    as needed, instead of leaving them in the tray. I've uninstalled Dell's
    multitude of "support" apps, and I uninstalled everything I thought should
    go before starting in with the scanners. Regardless, even with Avast and
    Ad-Aware fully disabled, we're still talking blackstrap molasses. My hope is
    that once I'm finished it will gain speed, as it has already done to a fair
    extent. Fact is, I'm looking at this lack in a positive light, since it's
    actually possible to see slight improvements in performance as clean-up
    progresses (I'm continuing with various scanners, having already used
    Ad-Aware, Spybot S&D (I only use it for scanning, I never enable TeaTimer or
    whatever that other one is), MalwareBytes, and SuperAntiSpyware (all free
    versions, I haven't yet decided which one I'll recommend to the mother for
    resident protection.) I also installed SpywareBlaster, and I will also
    suggest paying for it so that it auto-updates. After running the scanners a
    second time over the weekend, I will also seek out others (though these will
    be more in the antivirus line.) Any further suggestions will be more than
    welcome.

    > You mentioned "Avast!" --> I suggest switching to "Avira AntiVir" or "eSet
    > NOD32" (AV only - no suites.) The first is free for home use, the latter
    > is less than $60 U.S. for two years. I would say they should run quite
    > well and use less resources - thus making the entire computer run a bit
    > better.


    I truly like Avast!, and even if it's a bit of a drag, I can't see it being
    too much. Plus, I don't generally enable all of its scanners, or even
    install them. Just the basic "Standard", "Web" and "Network" shields (or
    whatever they're calling them in the new version.) But thanks for the
    referrals. I'll definitely try them out, even if it's only on a test
    machine. Been a few years since I did that kind of study and things
    certainly do change quickly in this business.

    > No third-party firewall software. Use the built-in firewall.


    My usual practice, especially when the DSL modem/router has another one
    built in.

    > For the most part - no active 'antimalware only' software. One could
    > purchase/run MalwareBytes active protection if you feel it will keep this
    > machine running longer because of the owners 'habits' --> but I wouldn't
    > do it unless it comes to that.


    I assume that even if the machine is still in poor shape, the new 2GB of RAM
    will allow whatever protections I deem necessary. I only ever allow one
    background AV and one background anti-malware app.

    > But on to your cleanup query...
    >
    > First - do you have a complete backup of this system "as-is"? I would
    > suggest some sort of image file creation of the entire system - so you
    > could revert to that if things get really bad. Barring that - just a copy
    > of all the important files (documents, bookmarks, emails, contacts, music,
    > pictures, etc...)


    Before I work on a machine, I always create one backup of personal data on
    CD or DVDs, and another straight-forward copy to an old machine that I use
    for this and other "risky" things. Under certain circumstances I also clone
    the system, but only if it makes sense. In this case, I figure that if it
    isn't decently "cured" after Monday, I'll do a clean install.

    > As for your resistance in a clean install - that may be doing
    > yourself/your friend's son a dis-service. If it was "wildly inundated
    > with spyware, etc", there is no guarantee, short of a clean installation,
    > that you have cleared everything (rootkits are seldom found by antivirus
    > or basic antimalware applications.) It is almost a certainty (given
    > nothing more than your symptoms) that even if you have cleared
    > everything - the dmage from the attacks still exists.


    Acknowledged, and I am frankly a big fan of clean installs. Still, to do a
    clean install will take a lot more effort (for me) and time (which the
    "client" can't abide.)

    > Along that latter line - I would highly suggest a repair
    > installation(in-place upgrade). Not just any repair installation
    > (in-place upgrade) - but one with a Service Pack 3 level installation
    > media (of Windows XP.) That way you kill two birds with one stone. You
    > fix the system files and you do so with SP3 level replacements. (You can
    > integrate/slipstream SP3 into said media, burn a new copy and use it to do
    > the repair - if you don't know how - look into nLite and/or AutoStreamer
    > using Google.)


    I can do a repair install using slip-streamed media that isn't derived from
    the original media? Don't think I ever knew that, though my memory truly
    sucks over the last few years. Thanks!

    > How to Perform a Windows XP Repair Install
    > http://www.michaelstevenstech.com/XPrepairinstall.htm
    >
    > How to perform an in-place upgrade (reinstallation) of Windows XP
    > http://support.microsoft.com/kb/315341
    >
    > After you perform said repair - I would probably still suggest the
    > following steps.
    > (Yes - all of them, even ones you have done before, in order.)
    >
    > Reboot and logon as administrative user.


    Always do. In fact, I created one just for me that I'll dump before
    returning it.

    > Download/install Internet Explorer 7 - it will revert to IE6 - you should
    > at least have the system at IE7 - and for now - leave it at IE7.
    > http://www.microsoft.com/downloadS/details.aspx?familyid=9AE91EBE-3385-447C-8A30-081805B2F90B


    Should I change that instruction to IE8, as that's the one now there, or
    should I uninstall IE8 and proceed as you instruct?

    > Reboot and logon as administrative user.
    >
    > Fix your file/registry permissions...
    >
    > Ignore the title and follow the sub-section under
    > "Advanced Troubleshooting" titled,
    > "Method 1: Reset the registry and the file permissions"
    > http://support.microsoft.com/kb/949377
    > *will take time
    > ** Ignore the last step (6) - you should already have SP3.


    "My Computer" properties show SP3 installed. But I can't imagine that it's
    proof of a perfectly successful installation.

    > You will likely see errors pass by if you watching, even count up. No
    > worries *at this time*.
    >
    > Reboot and logon as administrative user.
    >
    > Download/install the "Windows Installer CleanUp Utility":
    > http://support.microsoft.com/kb/290301
    >
    > After installing, do the following:
    >
    > Start button --> RUN
    > (no "RUN"? Press the "Windows Key" + R on your keyboard)
    > --> type in:
    > "%ProgramFiles%\Windows Installer Clean Up\msizap.exe" g!
    > --> Click OK.
    > (The quotation marks and percentage signs and spacing should be exact.)
    >
    > It will flash by *quick*, don't expect much out of this step to get
    > excited about.
    >
    > Reboot and logon as administrative user.
    >
    > Download, install, run, update and perform a full scan with the following
    > (freeware version):
    >
    > SuperAntiSpyware
    > http://www.superantispyware.com/
    >
    > Reboot and logon as administrative user.
    >
    > Download, install, run, update and perform a full scan with the following
    > (freeware version):
    >
    > MalwareBytes
    > http://www.malwarebytes.com/
    >
    > Reboot and logon as administrative user.
    >
    > Download and run the MSRT manually:
    > http://www.microsoft.com/security/malwareremove/default.mspx
    >
    > Reboot and logon as administrative user.
    >
    > Download/Install the latest Windows Installer (for your OS):
    > ( Windows XP 32-bit : WindowsXP-KB942288-v3-x86.exe )
    > http://www.microsoft.com/downloadS/details.aspx?familyid=5A58B56F-60B6-4412-95B9-54D056D6F9F4
    >
    > Reboot and logon as administrative user.
    >
    > Download the latest version of the Windows Update agent from here (x86):
    > http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=91237
    > ... and save it to the root of your C:/ drive. After saving it to the
    > root of the C:/ drive, do the following:
    >
    > Close all Internet Explorer windows and other applications.
    >
    > Start button --> RUN and type in:
    > %SystemDrive%\windowsupdateagent30-x86.exe /WUFORCE
    > --> Click OK.
    >
    > (If asked, select "Run.) --> Click on NEXT --> Select "I agree" and click
    > on
    > NEXT --> When it finishes installing, click on "Finish"...
    >
    > Reboot and logon as administrative user.
    >
    > Visit this web page:
    >
    > How do I reset Windows Update components?
    > http://support.microsoft.com/kb/971058
    >
    > ... and click on the "Microsoft Fix it" icon. When asked, select "RUN",
    > both times. Check the "I agree" box and click on "Next". Check the box
    > for "Run aggressive options (not recommended)" and click "Next". Let
    > it finish up and follow the prompts until it is done. Close/exit.


    Definitely the hints I was looking for, at least a few of them, anyway.
    Thanks!

    > Reboot and logon as administrative user.
    >
    > You should now perform a full CHKDSK on your system drive (C:)...
    >
    > How to scan your disks for errors
    > http://support.microsoft.com/kb/315265
    > * will take time and a reboot
    >
    > You should now perform a full Defragment on your system drive (C:)...
    >
    > How to Defragment your hard drives
    > http://support.microsoft.com/kb/314848
    > * will take time
    >
    > Reboot and logon as administrative user.


    CHKDSK and DEFRAG are on my list, but I figured to wait until everything
    else is done before running those.

    > Visit http://windowsupdate.microsoft.com/ in Internet Explorer and
    > select to do a CUSTOM scan...
    >
    > Every time you are about to click on something while at these web pages -
    > first press and hold down the CTRL key while you click on it. You can
    > release the CTRL key after clicking each time.


    What does this accomplish? Not something I recall ever doing. When I try it
    just now, I don't see any obvious effect. I regularly use the shift key to
    open links in a new window, but I've never heard of this one.

    > Once the scan is done, select just _ONE_ of the high priority updates
    > (deselect any others) and install it.
    >
    > Reboot and logon as administrative user.
    >
    > If it did work - try the web page again - selecting no more than 3-5 at a
    > time. Rebooting/logging on as an administrative user as many times
    > as needed.
    >
    > The Optional Software updates are generally safe - although I recommend
    > against the "Windows Search" one and any of the "Office Live" ones or
    > "Windows Live" ones for now. I would completely avoid the
    > "Optional Hardware" updates. Also - I do not see any urgent need to
    > install Internet Explorer 8 at this time.


    I already went ahead and installed the few priority updates last night, and
    only the Optionals that I consider probably useful and not onerous. Windows
    Live is the only stuff from your list that's installed, other than IE8. I
    intend to remove the Live stuff, but other than speed/performance issues,
    are there any other significant reasons to remove IE8? (I also blocked
    Windows Search.)

    > After all of that...
    >
    > If you are comfortable with the stability of your system, you can delete
    > the
    > uninstall files for the patches that Windows XP has installed...
    > http://www3.telus.net/dandemar/spack.htm
    > ( Particularly of interest here - #4 )
    > ( Alternative: http://www.dougknox.com/xp/utils/xp_hotfix_backup.htm )


    I've always wondered: Other than storage space issues, is there any other
    reason for deleting those files?

    > You can run Disk Cleanup - built into Windows XP - to erase all but your
    > latest restore point and cleanup even more "loose files"..
    >
    > How to use Disk Cleanup
    > http://support.microsoft.com/kb/310312
    >
    > You can turn off hibernation if it is on and you don't use it..
    >
    > When you hibernate your computer, Windows saves the contents of the
    > system's
    > memory to the hiberfil.sys file. As a result, the size of the hiberfil.sys
    > file will always equal the amount of physical memory in your system. If
    > you
    > don't use the hibernate feature and want to recapture the space that
    > Windows
    > uses for the hiberfil.sys file, perform the following steps:
    >
    > - Start the Control Panel Power Options applet (go to Start, Settings,
    > Control Panel, and click Power Options).
    > - Select the Hibernate tab, clear the "Enable hibernation" check box, then
    > click OK; although you might think otherwise, selecting Never under the
    > "System hibernates" option on the Power Schemes tab doesn't delete the
    > hiberfil.sys file.
    > - Windows will remove the "System hibernates" option from the Power
    > Schemes
    > tab and delete the hiberfil.sys file.


    I almost never use Hibernate, or even Standby, for that matter. That's
    mostly due to the horrible effects I encountered during years of Win9x work.
    But I never new how to make Hibernate disappear. Is it possible to do
    something similar for Standby as well?

    > You can control how much space your System Restore can use...
    >
    > 1. Click Start, right-click My Computer, and then click Properties.
    > 2. Click the System Restore tab.
    > 3. Highlight one of your drives (or C: if you only have one) and click on
    > the "Settings" button.
    > 4. Change the percentage of disk space you wish to allow.. I suggest
    > moving
    > the slider until you have just about 1GB (1024MB or close to that...)
    > 5. Click OK.. Then Click OK again.
    >
    > You can control how much space your Temporary Internet Files can
    > utilize...
    >
    > Empty your Temporary Internet Files and shrink the size it stores to a
    > size between 64MB and 128MB..
    >
    > - Open ONE copy of Internet Explorer.
    > - Select TOOLS -> Internet Options.
    > - Under the General tab in the "Temporary Internet Files" section, do the
    > following:
    > - Click on "Delete Cookies" (click OK)
    > - Click on "Settings" and change the "Amount of disk space to use:" to
    > something between 64MB and 128MB. (It may be MUCH larger right
    > now.)
    > - Click OK.
    > - Click on "Delete Files" and select to "Delete all offline contents"
    > (the checkbox) and click OK. (If you had a LOT, this could take 2-10
    > minutes or more.)
    > - Once it is done, click OK, close Internet Explorer, re-open Internet
    > Explorer.


    These are all things I've already done, but thanks for reminding me to
    reduce the TIF size. I maxed it at one point to see if it was involved in
    preventing SP3 from downloading successfully, but forgot to change it back.
    It didn't help, so I DL'd it on my machine and made a CD. (Copied that to
    the HD before installing.)

    > You can use an application that scans your system for log files and
    > temporary files and use that to get rid of those:
    >
    > Ccleaner (Free!)
    > http://www.ccleaner.com/
    >
    > Other ways to free up space..
    >
    > JDiskReport
    > http://www.jgoodies.com/freeware/jdiskreport/index.html
    >
    > SequoiaView
    > http://www.win.tue.nl/sequoiaview/
    >
    > Those can help you visually discover where all the space is being used.


    I've used CCleaner, but I'm not familiar with the other two. I am also
    considering temporarily installing R-Wipe&Clean, which I own, just to finish
    cleaning up, but I figure I'll wait until everything else is done.

    > In the end - a standard Windows XP installation with all sorts of extras
    > will not likely be above about 4.5GB to 9GB in size. If you have more
    > space
    > than that (likely do on a modern machine) and most of it seems to be
    > used -
    > likely you need to move *your stuff* off and/or find a better way to
    > manage
    > it.


    The drive is 70GB with 50GB free. Still, I am also a fan of creating at
    least one separate partition for user files and other storage (downloaded
    apps, etc.), and I usually also create a TEMP partition for TEMP and TIF,
    just to keep the system partition from getting too cluttered. I have to ask,
    first, but I assume I'll be doing that at some point.

    > Not mentioned above - amazingly - is the fact that you also may want to
    > use this mass-cleanup/updating/fix opportunity to download the latest
    > hardware device drivers from the manufacturer(s) web site(s) and install
    > them. If it is a third-tier type system (Dell, HP, Lenovo, Gateway,
    > etc) - get all those from said manufacturers support web page for the
    > product model in question - I would even recommend updating the System
    > BIOS at this time (it could prevent some issues with the memory you plan
    > to install even...) If it is less of an OEM/third-tier and more a
    > hodge-podge of parts - visit the individual hardware manufacturer's web
    > pages and get the device drivers straight from them (avoid getting
    > non-microsoft hardware drivers from Microsoft.)


    Again, this something I intend to do after the new RAM is installed. And I'm
    very aware of the need to ignore drivers provided by WU! Learned that lesson
    not long after they started offering them.

    > The system should be - for all intents/purposes - pretty well cleaned up
    > after all that. Still a possibility it is infected, still a possibility
    > that some of the other software installed (likely beyond the OS) still has
    > damage done by the, "wildly inundated with spyware, etc" situation the
    > system was once in. Better however - without a doubt.
    >


    Thank you VERY much, Shenan. This post is a keeper. It's already copied into
    my stash of reference materials. While I knew much of what you suggested,
    there were a few thing that I *should* know but have slipped through the
    sieve that is my mind these days. I can report one good thing: I realized
    this morning that I hadn't actually run Ad-Aware yet, so I set it to do so
    while I was out. The system is now doing MUCH better (though it is still
    ridiculously slow!) I'll let y'all know the results.

    --
    Ronin
     
  7. Ronin

    Ronin Flightless Bird

    Thanks, Pa! I'm quite familiar with clean install procedures, and even when
    I use "Restore" options from Dell, HP, etc., I'm careful to get rid of the
    pre-installed crap. But can you give me any more information on Avast being
    installed before cleaning up the system? I have occasionally gone to the
    trouble of removing an infected drive and installing it on my disposable
    machine to run one or three AV apps before scanning it all over again after
    reinstalling it (can't really scan the Registry if it isn't loaded, can
    you?) In fact I was already considering doing it for this machine, now that
    I have to wait until Monday. Thing is, this is a no-pay job and I'm a bit
    tight on time. But if you say that Avast is probably not functioning
    properly, I'll go ahead and dive deeper. Is this only Avast you're speaking
    of, or AV apps in general?

    Thanks, too, for the additional suggestions. As I mentioned in my reply to
    Shenan, I have a tendency to forget a lot of things, and your list includes
    a few such items.

    --
    Ronin


    "PA Bear [MS MVP]" <PABearMVP@gmail.com> wrote in message
    news:eMs7SFYsKHA.4704@TK2MSFTNGP04.phx.gbl...
    >> ...It was also wildly inundated with spyware, etc., but no viruses
    >> according to Avast!

    >
    > Assuming you installed Avast *after* the computer was infected (in which
    > case I can assure you that it did not install properly)...
    >
    > Back-up any personal data (none of which should be considered 100%
    > trustworthy at this point) then format the HDD & do a clean install of
    > Windows. Please note that a Repair Install (AKA in-place upgrade) will
    > NOT fix this!
    >
    > HOW TO do a clean install of WinXP: See
    > http://michaelstevenstech.com/cleanxpinstall.html#steps and/or Method 1 in
    > http://support.microsoft.com/kb/978307
    >
    > After the clean install, you'll have the equivalent of a "new computer" so
    > take care of everything on the following page before otherwise connecting
    > the machine to the internet or a local network (i.e., other computers)
    > and before using a flash drive or SDCard that isn't brand-new or hasn't
    > been freshly formatted:
    >
    > 4 steps to help protect your new computer before you go online
    > http://www.microsoft.com/security/pypc.aspx
    >
    > Other helpful references include:
    >
    > HOW TO get a computer running WinXP Gold (no Service Packs) fully patched
    > (after a clean install)
    > http://groups.google.com/group/microsoft.public.windowsupdate/msg/3f5afa8ed33e121c
    >
    > HOW TO get a computer running WinXP SP1(a) or SP2 fully patched (after a
    > clean install)
    > http://groups.google.com/group/microsoft.public.windowsxp.general/msg/a066ae41add7dd2b
    >
    > Tip: After getting the computer fully-patched, download/install KB971029
    > manually: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/971029
    >
    > NB: Any Norton or McAfee free-trial that came preinstalled on the computer
    > when you bought it will be reinstalled (but invalid) when Windows is
    > reinstalled. You MUST uninstall the free-trial and download/run the
    > appropriate removal tool before installing any updates, Windows Service
    > Packs or IE upgrades and before installing your new anti-virus application
    > (which will require WinXP SP3 to be installed).
    >
    > Norton Removal Tool
    >
    > ftp://ftp.symantec.com/public/english_us_canada/removal_tools/Norton_Removal_Tool.exe
    >
    > McAfee Consumer Products Removal Tool
    >
    > http://download.mcafee.com/products/licensed/cust_support_patches/MCPR.exe
    >
    > Also see:
    >
    > Steps To Help Prevent Spyware
    > http://www.microsoft.com/security/spyware/prevent.aspx
    >
    > Steps to Help Prevent Computer Worms
    > http://www.microsoft.com/security/worms/prevent.aspx
    >
    > Avoid Rogue Security Software!
    > http://www.microsoft.com/security/antivirus/rogue.aspx
    >
    > If these procedures look too complex - and there is no shame in admitting
    > this isn't your cup of tea - take the machine to a local, reputable and
    > independent (i.e., not BigBoxStoreUSA or Geek Squad) computer repair shop.
    > --
    > ~Robear Dyer (PA Bear)
    > MS MVP-IE, Mail, Security, Windows Client - since 2002
    >
    >
    > Ronin wrote:
    >> A friend's son's machine is relatively new for XP (2005), but it is
    >> sorely
    >> lacking in RAM, something that will be remedied as soon as Crucial
    >> delivers
    >> on Monday. It was also wildly inundated with spyware, etc., but no
    >> viruses
    >> according to Avast! Took a couple of days, but it seems relatively clean
    >> now. Probably some permanent damage, but clean reinstall is something I'm
    >> trying to avoid.
    >>
    >> Meanwhile, being an impatient sort of person, I still tried to install
    >> SP3
    >> before upping the RAM. The install failed at first due to permissions
    >> issues
    >> which I thought I had remedied using SUBINACL as described here:
    >> http://www.askvg.com/windows-xp-service-pack-3-sp3-setup-error-access-is-denied
    >>
    >> The install actually finished after several hours -- 256MB RAM for WinXP
    >> is
    >> a
    >> crime, Dell should be held responsible for even allowing such a
    >> configuration. Anyway, when I rebooted, it showed itself updating things
    >> before logging on (the way Windows Updates often do.) But after logging
    >> on,
    >> two command windows popped up. One did whatever and went away quickly,
    >> but
    >> the other one showed a dozen or two responses, all of them "Access
    >> denied"
    >> (may not be the exact phrase.)
    >>
    >> I plan to reinstall SP3 when the new RAM arrives (unless that is
    >> contraindicated), but I suspect that won't solve this issue. My
    >> assumption
    >> is that the errors mean that the install wasn't entirely successful, but
    >> I'm
    >> not stuck on that. Maybe the responses are expected in certain
    >> circumstances. Still, if there is anything more I can do to ensure a
    >> clean
    >> installation, please tell me all about it (or them.)
    >>
    >> Much thanks,

    >
     
  8. HeyBub

    HeyBub Flightless Bird

    Ronin wrote:
    >
    > With all but the minimum background apps disabled (all but Avast! and
    > Ad-Aware resident protections), the system essentially doesn't run at
    > all. Takes ten minutes just to load, probably mostly due to three or
    > four IMs that load automatically.


    So, is the system unacceptably slow only at start up, or is everything
    creepy even after booting?

    If only the former, don't power-down the system, "hibernate" instead.

    256M *IS* sufficient to run XP.
     
  9. Ronin

    Ronin Flightless Bird

    The system is snail-slow all the time. It's only when I leave that ton of
    stuff in the Startup queue that it takes ten minutes to load (maybe more
    like 20!), and is so slow that I keep expecting a bunch "Not responding"
    messages. Of course, it's so bogged down, maybe those messages are trying to
    appear and never actually make it to the screen, ;-)With the startup queue
    disabled entirely, it loads as fast as I'd expect under these conditions.

    As noted in my reply to Shenan, I loathe both Hibernate and Standby. And I'm
    installing 2GB of RAM when I get back from running chores later, so I figure
    that problem will disappear.

    You may be able to run XP on 256MB of RAM, I may be able to run XP on 256GB
    of RAM (though I of course couldn't get any real work done, being in the
    graphic arts business), but this is XP Home Premium, with Media Center or
    whatever it's called, and while he doesn't store much on the HD, he
    obviously uses it fairly often to listen, watch and burn. Plus, as I said in
    my reply to Shenan, why would anybody want to practice such stinginess when
    you can buy two gigs for 50 bucks?

    Thanks,anyway.

    --
    Ronin

    "HeyBub" <heybub@gmail.com> wrote in message
    news:ejCfVIasKHA.5356@TK2MSFTNGP02.phx.gbl...
    > Ronin wrote:
    >>
    >> With all but the minimum background apps disabled (all but Avast! and
    >> Ad-Aware resident protections), the system essentially doesn't run at
    >> all. Takes ten minutes just to load, probably mostly due to three or
    >> four IMs that load automatically.

    >
    > So, is the system unacceptably slow only at start up, or is everything
    > creepy even after booting?
    >
    > If only the former, don't power-down the system, "hibernate" instead.
    >
    > 256M *IS* sufficient to run XP.
    >
     
  10. Shenan Stanley

    Shenan Stanley Flightless Bird

    Ronin wrote:
    > The system is snail-slow all the time. It's only when I leave that
    > ton of stuff in the Startup queue that it takes ten minutes to load
    > (maybe more like 20!), and is so slow that I keep expecting a bunch
    > "Not responding" messages. Of course, it's so bogged down, maybe
    > those messages are trying to appear and never actually make it to
    > the screen, ;-)With the startup queue disabled entirely, it loads
    > as fast as I'd expect under these conditions.
    > As noted in my reply to Shenan, I loathe both Hibernate and
    > Standby. And I'm installing 2GB of RAM when I get back from running
    > chores later, so I figure that problem will disappear.
    >
    > You may be able to run XP on 256MB of RAM, I may be able to run XP
    > on 256GB of RAM (though I of course couldn't get any real work
    > done, being in the graphic arts business), but this is XP Home
    > Premium, with Media Center or whatever it's called, and while he
    > doesn't store much on the HD, he obviously uses it fairly often to
    > listen, watch and burn. Plus, as I said in my reply to Shenan, why
    > would anybody want to practice such stinginess when you can buy two
    > gigs for 50 bucks?


    I think you went overkill with the RAM - my bet - you won't even use up 1GB.
    You *might* make it to 768MB, but my bet would be between 384MB and 640MB
    actually used. Not that I wouldn't have probably just bought as much as the
    machine would take, myself - just that I don't think it is really going to
    speed up much of anything on that system in the long run. ;-)

    --
    Shenan Stanley
    MS-MVP
    --
    How To Ask Questions The Smart Way
    http://www.catb.org/~esr/faqs/smart-questions.html
     
  11. Ronin

    Ronin Flightless Bird

    I was going to go with a pair of 512's (according to Dell, it has to be a
    pair) for $35, but it was only $15 more for a pair of 1024's, so I figured I
    might as well. I've never bothered with more than that in a x86 machine, or
    with any Windows, really. I know that three's pretty much the max for most
    Windows systems (not sure about Vista 64-bit and I know zip about Win7).

    I figure that this guy hasn't been getting into major multimedia stuff only
    because he hasn't been able to. Plus, one thing that I've noticed becoming
    quite popular in this town is getting TV shows from the internet. (Small
    town in the boonies with lousy cable TV and well over half the roofs have
    DirecTV or DISH receivers mounted.) Gotta think that needs a decent chunk of
    RAM, probably somewhere between 1 to 1.5 GB. But I've always liked having
    way too much RAM, even back when it was expensive. Don't really know if it's
    needed, but I certainly don't have to worry about it, <s>.

    --
    Ronin

    "Shenan Stanley" <newshelper@gmail.com> wrote in message
    news:e$KSm2bsKHA.1796@TK2MSFTNGP02.phx.gbl...
    > Ronin wrote:
    >> The system is snail-slow all the time. It's only when I leave that
    >> ton of stuff in the Startup queue that it takes ten minutes to load
    >> (maybe more like 20!), and is so slow that I keep expecting a bunch
    >> "Not responding" messages. Of course, it's so bogged down, maybe
    >> those messages are trying to appear and never actually make it to
    >> the screen, ;-)With the startup queue disabled entirely, it loads
    >> as fast as I'd expect under these conditions.
    >> As noted in my reply to Shenan, I loathe both Hibernate and
    >> Standby. And I'm installing 2GB of RAM when I get back from running
    >> chores later, so I figure that problem will disappear.
    >>
    >> You may be able to run XP on 256MB of RAM, I may be able to run XP
    >> on 256GB of RAM (though I of course couldn't get any real work
    >> done, being in the graphic arts business), but this is XP Home
    >> Premium, with Media Center or whatever it's called, and while he
    >> doesn't store much on the HD, he obviously uses it fairly often to
    >> listen, watch and burn. Plus, as I said in my reply to Shenan, why
    >> would anybody want to practice such stinginess when you can buy two
    >> gigs for 50 bucks?

    >
    > I think you went overkill with the RAM - my bet - you won't even use up
    > 1GB. You *might* make it to 768MB, but my bet would be between 384MB and
    > 640MB actually used. Not that I wouldn't have probably just bought as
    > much as the machine would take, myself - just that I don't think it is
    > really going to speed up much of anything on that system in the long run.
    > ;-)
    >
    > --
    > Shenan Stanley
    > MS-MVP
    > --
    > How To Ask Questions The Smart Way
    > http://www.catb.org/~esr/faqs/smart-questions.html
    >
     
  12. Ronin

    Ronin Flightless Bird

    Re: SP3 issues (NG problems.)

    For some reason, I can only post to this sub-thread. I can't post any
    replies to Pa Bear or Daave, and some guy named Jose posted a reply that
    also doesn't show up here (directly subscribed to msnews.)

    So anybody who wants to continue with me probably ought to head over to
    Google. http://preview.tinyurl.com/yaveerk

    In any case, I will repost my replies to Daave and Pa here in this
    sub-thread. Maybe that will cover it.

    --
    Ronin

    "Shenan Stanley" <newshelper@gmail.com> wrote in message
    news:e$KSm2bsKHA.1796@TK2MSFTNGP02.phx.gbl...
    > Ronin wrote:
    >> The system is snail-slow all the time. It's only when I leave that
    >> ton of stuff in the Startup queue that it takes ten minutes to load
    >> (maybe more like 20!), and is so slow that I keep expecting a bunch
    >> "Not responding" messages. Of course, it's so bogged down, maybe
    >> those messages are trying to appear and never actually make it to
    >> the screen, ;-)With the startup queue disabled entirely, it loads
    >> as fast as I'd expect under these conditions.
    >> As noted in my reply to Shenan, I loathe both Hibernate and
    >> Standby. And I'm installing 2GB of RAM when I get back from running
    >> chores later, so I figure that problem will disappear.
    >>
    >> You may be able to run XP on 256MB of RAM, I may be able to run XP
    >> on 256GB of RAM (though I of course couldn't get any real work
    >> done, being in the graphic arts business), but this is XP Home
    >> Premium, with Media Center or whatever it's called, and while he
    >> doesn't store much on the HD, he obviously uses it fairly often to
    >> listen, watch and burn. Plus, as I said in my reply to Shenan, why
    >> would anybody want to practice such stinginess when you can buy two
    >> gigs for 50 bucks?

    >
    > I think you went overkill with the RAM - my bet - you won't even use up
    > 1GB. You *might* make it to 768MB, but my bet would be between 384MB and
    > 640MB actually used. Not that I wouldn't have probably just bought as
    > much as the machine would take, myself - just that I don't think it is
    > really going to speed up much of anything on that system in the long run.
    > ;-)
    >
    > --
    > Shenan Stanley
    > MS-MVP
    > --
    > How To Ask Questions The Smart Way
    > http://www.catb.org/~esr/faqs/smart-questions.html
    >
     
  13. Ronin

    Ronin Flightless Bird

    Ummm... I've replied to both you and Pa Bear, Daave, but the posts haven't
    shown up. That was almost five hours ago. I'll wait a few hours more and
    check Google, but just know that I'm not ignoring you, OK?

    OK, I checked Google now, and at least the posts are all there. I'll
    continue there but I'm guessing something is blocking me

    --
    Ronin

    "Daave" <daave@example.com> wrote in message
    news:%23T8bnCWsKHA.5940@TK2MSFTNGP02.phx.gbl...
    > Ronin wrote:
    >> A friend's son's machine is relatively new for XP (2005), but it is
    >> sorely lacking in RAM, something that will be remedied as soon as
    >> Crucial delivers on Monday. It was also wildly inundated with
    >> spyware, etc., but no viruses according to Avast! Took a couple of
    >> days, but it seems relatively clean now. Probably some permanent
    >> damage, but clean reinstall is something I'm trying to avoid.
    >>
    >> Meanwhile, being an impatient sort of person, I still tried to
    >> install SP3 before upping the RAM. The install failed at first due to
    >> permissions issues which I thought I had remedied using SUBINACL as
    >> described here:
    >> http://www.askvg.com/windows-xp-service-pack-3-sp3-setup-error-access-is-denied
    >>
    >> The install actually finished after several hours -- 256MB RAM for
    >> WinXP is a
    >> crime, Dell should be held responsible for even allowing such a
    >> configuration. Anyway, when I rebooted, it showed itself updating
    >> things before logging on (the way Windows Updates often do.) But
    >> after logging on, two command windows popped up. One did whatever and
    >> went away quickly, but the other one showed a dozen or two responses,
    >> all of them "Access denied" (may not be the exact phrase.)
    >>
    >> I plan to reinstall SP3 when the new RAM arrives (unless that is
    >> contraindicated), but I suspect that won't solve this issue. My
    >> assumption is that the errors mean that the install wasn't entirely
    >> successful, but I'm not stuck on that. Maybe the responses are
    >> expected in certain circumstances. Still, if there is anything more I
    >> can do to ensure a clean installation, please tell me all about it
    >> (or them.)

    >
    > Although it's a good idea to up the amount of RAM, you should know it is
    > certainly possible to run XP on a PC with only 256MB of RAM. My work PC is
    > older than your friend's son's and it has only 256MB RAM, and it runs
    > quite quickly (and it has SP3 to boot). The trick (as Shenan alluded to)
    > is that it runs lean and therefore very rarely relies on the pagefile.
    >
    > Two thoughts for the situation you mention:
    >
    > 1. The PC was found to have been "wildly inundated with spyware." It's
    > certainly possible there is still some spyware present. Non-viral malware
    > is one of the most common causes of slow PCs. Of course, anti-malware
    > programs will show tracking cookies as undesirable, so since you didn't
    > inform us as to *which* spyware was found, we can have no idea as to the
    > severity of the situation (tracking cookies are text files, so they won't
    > slow a PC down). If you did write down specific names of infections,
    > include them in your next post!
    >
    > This page has all the information you need to deal with malware of all
    > types:
    >
    > http://www.elephantboycomputers.com/page2.html#Removing_Malware
    >
    > 2. There is a best-practices method for installing SP3. It sounds like you
    > didn't follow it. Among other things, security programs such as Avast
    > should not be running when SP3 is applied.
    >
    > The first thing you need to do is find out what SP level the PC is
    > currently at:
    >
    > Start | Run
    >
    > Type:
    >
    > winver
    >
    > Click OK.
    >
    > What is the SP level shown?
    >
     
  14. Daave

    Daave Flightless Bird

    I see what's going on, Ronin.

    The MS news server has filtering lots of posts lately (including a
    number of mine). It's very annoying. Thanks for figuring out your posts
    weren't showing up. I'll now reply to your othr post.


    Ronin wrote:
    > Ummm... I've replied to both you and Pa Bear, Daave, but the posts
    > haven't shown up. That was almost five hours ago. I'll wait a few
    > hours more and check Google, but just know that I'm not ignoring you,
    > OK?
    > OK, I checked Google now, and at least the posts are all there. I'll
    > continue there but I'm guessing something is blocking me
     
  15. Bill in Co.

    Bill in Co. Flightless Bird

    Daave wrote:
    > I see what's going on, Ronin.
    >
    > The MS news server has filtering lots of posts lately (including a
    > number of mine).


    Based on what, I wonder?
     
  16. Daave

    Daave Flightless Bird

    Re: SP3 issues (reply to Daave)

    No worries. I finally saw your other post. :) Here's my reply:

    http://groups.google.com/group/microsoft.public.windowsxp.general/msg/8bb53f09c0092a71?hl=en

    Ronin wrote:
    > Daave, as noted elsewhere, I seem to be restricted to this sub-thread
    > and can't post replies to you or Pa Bear. Google Groups shows
    > everything, but I figure I'll try one more trick here. Replies are
    > inline.


    > Thanks for your interest and assistance, Daave


    You're welcome, Ronin.
     
  17. Daave

    Daave Flightless Bird

    Bill in Co. wrote:
    > Daave wrote:
    >> I see what's going on, Ronin.
    >>
    >> The MS news server has filtering lots of posts lately (including a
    >> number of mine).

    >
    > Based on what, I wonder?


    There was a very long list of malware in Ronin's post. MS's filtering is
    extremely sensitive (something in that list probably tripped the
    automatic mechanism). I've seen innocuous words and names of alt
    newsgroups trigger the filtering, too.
     
  18. 20100220

    20100220 Flightless Bird

    "Bill in Co." <not_really_here@earthlink.net> wrote in message
    news:uo1qOtdsKHA.4752@TK2MSFTNGP04.phx.gbl...

    > Based on what, I wonder?

    Based on whether you are insulting Microsoft Valuable Pigs (MVPs) as
    Scum-Sucking Pigs or questioning the solutions provided by MVPs even if they
    are blatantly wrong. If you treat all MVPs as your gods then all your
    messages will be posted otherwise they are likely to be censored without
    giving any reasons.
     
  19. Daave

    Daave Flightless Bird

    Daave wrote:
    > I see what's going on, Ronin.
    >
    > The MS news server has filtering lots of posts lately (including a
    > number of mine). It's very annoying. Thanks for figuring out your
    > posts weren't showing up. I'll now reply to your other post.


    Here ya go:

    http://groups.google.com/group/microsoft.public.windowsxp.general/msg/8bb53f09c0092a71?hl=en

    tl;dr - You will most likely need to perform a Clean Install as there
    was *tons* of malware on that PC, which had been running unprotected for
    a number of weeks.

    > Ronin wrote:
    >> Ummm... I've replied to both you and Pa Bear, Daave, but the posts
    >> haven't shown up. That was almost five hours ago. I'll wait a few
    >> hours more and check Google, but just know that I'm not ignoring you,
    >> OK?
    >> OK, I checked Google now, and at least the posts are all there. I'll
    >> continue there but I'm guessing something is blocking me
     
  20. Ronin

    Ronin Flightless Bird

    Re: SP3 issues (reply to Daave)

    Figures that as soon as I whined, the rest of my posts would show up. Don't
    see the one for Pa Bear yet, nor the post from Jose. Strange days indeed.

    --
    Ronin

    "Daave" <daave@example.com> wrote in message
    news:3PidnenOLaLPyuLWnZ2dnUVZ_oSdnZ2d@cavtel.net...
    > No worries. I finally saw your other post. :) Here's my reply:
    >
    > http://groups.google.com/group/microsoft.public.windowsxp.general/msg/8bb53f09c0092a71?hl=en
    >
    > Ronin wrote:
    >> Daave, as noted elsewhere, I seem to be restricted to this sub-thread
    >> and can't post replies to you or Pa Bear. Google Groups shows
    >> everything, but I figure I'll try one more trick here. Replies are
    >> inline.

    >
    >> Thanks for your interest and assistance, Daave

    >
    > You're welcome, Ronin.
    >
     

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