General Question

rojo's avatar

Computer problem can you help?

Asked by rojo (24156points) May 2nd, 2013

Over the past few weeks my computer has developed the annoying habit of stopping in mid-input. I can be typing in Word, inputting a cell in Excel or even sending out a question to Fluther and it will just stop.
The little icon will indicate it is thinking and then it will resume. If I have continued to type there will be letters or even words missing. For instance, if I were typing “annoying” and it stopped after the second “n”, I might end up with the word “anning”. It is really a pain with numbers. I have to double and triple check a string.
It could be some kind of virus but I have updated and run Microsoft Security, Malware and AVI and an old copy of Ad-aware to no avail.
The machine is an older dell updated to Windows 7. It has a 64 bit OS, 4 GB ram, an Intel Pentium Dual CPU E2180 processor and a single 250GB hard drive that is 53% full.
Any ideas or starting points to offer?

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9 Answers

downtide's avatar

My guess is there’s another program runing in the background that’s using up your system’s resources. Open up Task Manager, go to the Performance tab and keep that open and visible whilst you’re working. At the point where it freezes, you may see either CPU use or memory use spike. In the “Processes” tab you can see a list of all the programs running and your culprit will be there.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

@rojo Have you added or updated a anti-virus program, some are CPU hogs. I know, I had to change the anti-virus program I was using on a PC because it would just bog down.

jerv's avatar

I’m with @Tropical_Willie ; whenever my system starts a background scan, it bogs down a little.

ETpro's avatar

@rojo My laptop is in the same performance range with yours except for having reasonably fast dual core i5 and a 750 GB drive that’s only got 114 Gigs on it so far. I had exactly the same behavior going on several weeks back. Norton Security Suite was the culprit, and they eventually patched it. I don’t really like Norton, but my ISP, Comcast, provides it with all updates as part of their service, and I do like not having to pay for updates.

@jerv I don’t let mine do background scans of anything but new web pages and downloads. Every night, I shut down by running a live update, full system scan, defrag, and backup. I set it to shut down when done and head off to sleep before it does.

rojo's avatar

@downtide figured out how to access task manager in windows 7 finally. It says my CPU usage is at 100%.
Resource monitor shows four realplay.exe files operating and sucking up most of the CPU. Not sure what realplay is doing?
I am going to shut down everything but the monitors and see what happens.

rojo's avatar

I shut everything down and there was no substantial change.
Got back online to look up what realplay.exe might be; found something that said it is very likely some kind of adware.
Then something odd happened: the realplay.exe files disappeared from the resource monitor. All four of them. And my CPU usage dropped to 4%.
Now, back online it is running 9 – 13%.
Anyone had anything like this before? Would the spyware have a built in kill when someone looks for info?
I guess I will keep up the task monitor up an keep an eye on things.

ETpro's avatar

Realplay.exe is the executable for the Realplayer media player. It legitimate if lousy software that has a nasty habit of configuring your system so that all media tries to open in it, even if it can’t. To make matters worse, there are exploits that use it to do just what was happening on your system. Unless you need to view .rm Real Media files, just delete it using the delete programs utility.

downtide's avatar

Yeah sounds like Realplayer is the culprit. Delete it, you don’t need it; Windows Media Player will run most things.

It’s notoriously hard to get rid of because it buries itself in the Registry, but here’s some advice:

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