General Question

DarlingRhadamanthus's avatar

My cursor and laptop screen are freezing today. Do you know what is causing this?

Asked by DarlingRhadamanthus (11273points) July 6th, 2011

Hi, I have a relatively new laptop computer and it’s worked like a charm. Yesterday, I noticed two things: the letters were being transposed. For example, I would type and a few of the letters will come out, but then it would skip and go backwards and continue the word elsewhere on a different line. I ran the virus scan and it seems to have taken care of that (fingers crossed).

Today, however, the cursor and screen have frozen about five times. Basically, I will be looking on the internet for something and the cursor stops and won’t move and then nothing else works either. I have to actually shut the computer down and start it again in “normal mode”.

Any ideas what might be going on? Thanks in advance.

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10 Answers

Imadethisupwithnoforethought's avatar

You likely have what is called malware or adware on your machine. I suspect that because it seems to be giving you trouble when you try to go onto the internet. When you ‘wake’ up your browser, from what you describe, these programs are piggybacked to it, and start to phone home, making your browser stick.

Can you shut down and restart in safe mode? Or does the browser last long enough to get to a particular website?

We were discussing a similar issue in this thread:

I recommend you download the spybot program, restart in safe mode, then run it to see if that cleans up your problem.

You can find the spybot program here:

DarlingRhadamanthus's avatar

@Imadethisupwithnoforethought…...Thanks for the answer…! I just was wondering…is this a different program than the virus protector I have on my computer now? Rather, does Spybot pick up adware/malware that my regular virus program does not find? (This is probably a ridiculous question——but I have no idea about this….bear with me.)

DarlingRhadamanthus's avatar

It’s also (btw) scrolling crazily up and down and not allowing me to just take the cursor to where I need it at times…....argh.

Imadethisupwithnoforethought's avatar

Yes, there are distinctions, but I think it gets into jargon and semantics. I am by no means a developer but I think I get these distinctions. When I hear virus I think of a program that is actually on your machine trying to breed and get to other machines.

When I hear adware or malware, people are usually talking about things that secretly hide on your browser to redirect you or collect information.

I find it is very rare I get a virus. Usually when I physically download something.

Malware and Adware I get all the time. I see it all the time on other people’s computers. The spybot cleans you up the first time you run it (you may have to run it a few times) then protects you go forwards.

Can you get to safemode?

DarlingRhadamanthus's avatar

Remembered something else @Imadethisupwithnoforethought….I got tired of the Google intuitive response and tried to disable that yesterday. For example, I get on Google and try to type in “garden twine” and it starts to show me dozens of options, then it goes to the “garden twine” page and IMMEDIATELY before I can even click on that…goes into another page which has “garden gates” or something totally irrelevant to what I typed in. This was happening every time I logged in and it still isn’t working correctly. I really don’t like this Google intuitive search! I liked it when you typed in what you were looking for and it would simply take you to that exact page. I don’t know if this had something to do with all this stuff going on now…I am tacking this on to my previous question. May be irrelevant, but I am throwing that in! LOL

DarlingRhadamanthus's avatar

I am going to give Spybot a go. I will let you know how I get on…but don’t forget you have to update me on your “lost love”....oh, and taking a book to the bar, too. lol

You rock for helping me this, thanks!

Imadethisupwithnoforethought's avatar

Oh see I like that! I have not tried to turn it off before, so I am gonna leave it for another jelly. I just am on the way out the door and didn’t want to leave you stuck with a computer problem.

Download that spybot thing while you have functionality. Malware and adware call home once you are infected and grab other bad programs… It will get worse and worse.

DeanV's avatar

To me, that sounds a lot more like a hardware problem than a software. I’ve found that most malware tries to be unobtrusive and creating text lag goes against that somewhat.

Is your computer running any hotter than normal? Was it running hotter than normal/have you been using it in direct sunlight? I’m guessing that the cable/ribbon connecting your keyboard and mouse to the motherboard of your laptop could be frayed, melted, or just worn and broken, likely a manufacturing defect if you’ve only had your laptop for a few years or less. If you have another mouse (wireless or USB) or another keyboard even, plug that in and see if you experience the same issues on the other hardware. If you don’t, it’s highly unlikely you have malware or a virus and there is something a little more serious wrong.

Imadethisupwithnoforethought's avatar

@dverhey That is a good point. As I am reading your post I am thinking of an old computer I had that worked fine until I plugged something into a particular USB port and the whole thing would crash.

I am going with the malware because I have seen on oaccasion when I am working on someone’s machine that does not have AdBlock or Anti-Virus programs running, the malware is unobtrusive. In the presence of anti-viral or ad blocking software, the software detects a problem, kicks itself awake, and then hangs the whole computer trying to prevent the malware from performing whatever function it was attempting.

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