Incidental image freeze and black screen

November 11, 2011 at 05:53:01
Specs: Windows 7 64 bits, CPU: Intel Core i5-750 2.66GHz / RAM: Kingston 4096MB (Kit 2x2048MB) DDR3-1333 CL7
My PC shows the following effect - all Internet researches to date have been without success:
Every now and then the screen freezes, no user entries are possible (not even ctrl-alt-del!).
ONE THING remains functional: The mouse can be moved over the screen with the pointer symbol staying identical to when this happend (be it a hand symbol, arrow, double arrow etc.), but no click is possible.
After a variable time (usually about 10 to 30seconds) the screen turns completely black - from the "click" I hear from the screen, would even guess it turns completely off - and after another 5-10seconds the whole is over. It may happen every minute or every few hours - or anything in between.
In Addition to the below asked configuration params I would like to mention the Ge Force GT220 Graphic Card. Maybe also the Kaspersky Internet Security Suite could be involved? Don't think so, but you never know...

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#1
November 11, 2011 at 07:05:22
who installed ur pc? is it custom build? did u check if its overheating? is the cpu conneceted properly to its socket, is ur graphics card overheating? check temps use gpu-z. and speedfan.
restart ur pc in safe mode download malwarebytes and perform a full scan for ur pc
post back results

computers are a second home
NVIDIA GeForce
GS_Toxict51


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#2
November 11, 2011 at 07:41:24
You probably have a hardware problem, not a software probelem.

"Ge Force GT220"

Geforce GT220

NVidia web site
Minimum Recommended System Power (W) 300 W

PNY web site
A minimum 350W or greater system power supply (with a minimum 12V current rating of 18A)

Does your power supply meet or exceed a rating of 300 W (output) with a minimum 12V current rating of 18A ?

Is the power supply fan spinning and exhausting air from the back of the case ?

".....did u check if its overheating? ,,,,is ur graphics card overheating? check temps use gpu-z. and speedfan..."

Yout GT220 card probably has a fan. Make sure the fan and heat sink on the card, and your CPU fan and heat sink, are not clogged with too much "mung" - dust, lint, etc - and that the fans spins fine.

Make sure all cads inside the case are all the way down in their slots.

Some monitors have a relay that clicks when the video changes modes. If so, it also does that while booting the computer.

Otherwise, a click may come from the power supply, or from the hard drive.

If it comes from the hard drive, that can be a sign it's in the early stage of the process of failing if you don't normally hear that from it.

You could try testing the hard drive, but it often passes the tests at first.

Test your hard drive with hard drive manufacturer's diagnostics.

E.g.
Seagate's SeaTools will test (almost) any brand of hard drive.
http://www.seagate.com/ww/v/index.j...

Do the long test.

The Dos bootable versions of SeaTools can test the hard drive when Windows will not load properly, or even when the drive has no data on it.

It the drive itself passes the test, any data problems on the drive can be fixed one way or another.



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#3
November 12, 2011 at 04:37:44
Hi Toxic51
thank you for the quick response. I'll try to answer as well as possible. Due to an error on my behalf I have to enter these things a second time and do hope it will work now :-(

Here you go:
who installed ur pc? is it custom build?
> A friend of mine who works in this branche has built it for me, using these components:
Fan 120mm, Arctic F12 PWM
Power Supply, be quiet! Pure Power L7, 430W
Motherboard Asus P7P55D-E LX
Prozessor, Intel Core i5-750 2.66GHz (Quad-Core)
CPU-Fan, Arctic Freezer 7 Pro Rev. 2
RAM, Kingston 4096MB (Kit 2x2048MB) DDR3-1333 CL7
HDD F:\, Samsung EcoGreen F2 1.5TB/32MB (B)
HDD C:\, Kingston SSDNow V Series 64GB
Graphics: zotac GeForce GT 220 ZONE Edition – 1024MB ( PCIe 2.0 x16)
Blueray-Player, Lite-On IHOS104 BD-ROM (B)
DVD-Burner, Samsung SH-S223L DVD±R/RW DL schwarz (B)
Windows 7 Professional – 64bit

did u check if its overheating?
> yes i did, using the PC Probe Tool that came with the ASUS Motherboard.

is the cpu conneceted properly to its socket, is ur graphics card overheating?
check temps use gpu-z. and speedfan.
> Connections are ok, I downloaded gpu-z (thanks for the hint, good tool). Here is a statistical evaluation of >10000 values (during this time the effect did happen a couple of times). To see clearly you have to re-establish the Comma-Separated columns:

, Mean, Median, Min, Max
GPU Core Clock [MHz] , 204.790629440775, 135, 0, 625.9
GPU Memory Clock [MHz] , 179.636462425813, 135, 0, 405
GPU Shader Clock [MHz] , 414.276786759172, 270, 0, 1360
GPU Temperature [°C] , 42.2481818941737, 41, 0, 53
Fan Speed (%) [%] , 39.0035944161164, 40, 0, 40
Memory Used [MB] , 141.4588084012, 136, 54, 190
GPU Load [%] , 7.89061294470639, 3, 0, 84
Memory Controller Load [%] , 15.5539648521217, 13, 2, 65
Video Engine Load [%] , 0, 0, 0, 0
VDDC [V] , 0.82312964975344, 0.85, 0, 1

restart ur pc in safe mode download malwarebytes and perform a full scan for ur pc
post back results
> see below. To the 3 found "infected files" I have the following opinion (may be wrong?):
the two "svchospt.exe" seem to belong to the "parents friend" tool that I once had but have de-installed long since. I renamed one of them and cleared the mention of the other in the registry. Will further observe the pc.
the third one (totalcmd.exe) isn't as suspicious to me, a I'm actually using Total Commander - am I wrong?

Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware 1.51.2.1300
www.malwarebytes.org

Database version: 8145

Windows 6.1.7601 Service Pack 1
Internet Explorer 9.0.8112.16421

12.11.2011 13:10
mbam-log-2011-11-12 (13-10-33).txt

Scan type: Full scan (C:\|F:\|)
Objects scanned: 532988
Time elapsed: 59 minute(s), 47 second(s)

Memory Processes Infected: 0
Memory Modules Infected: 0
Registry Keys Infected: 0
Registry Values Infected: 0
Registry Data Items Infected: 0
Folders Infected: 0
Files Infected: 3

Memory Processes Infected:
(No malicious items detected)

Memory Modules Infected:
(No malicious items detected)

Registry Keys Infected:
(No malicious items detected)

Registry Values Infected:
(No malicious items detected)

Registry Data Items Infected:
(No malicious items detected)

Folders Infected:
(No malicious items detected)

Files Infected:
c:\Users\Michael\AppData\Roaming\thinstall\total commander\40000033d00002h\Totalcmd.exe (Trojan.Agent) -> No action taken.
c:\Windows\System32\svchospt.exe (Trojan.Agent) -> No action taken.
c:\Windows\SysWOW64\svchospt.exe (Trojan.Agent) -> No action taken.

So if you see anything else in these Information I'm still searching.

Thank you very much!
Michael


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#4
November 12, 2011 at 04:49:21
Hi Tubesandwires¨
Thank you for the fast reply. I try to answer to what I haven't already answered above.

You probably have a hardware problem, not a software probelem.
> ok, I'm afraid you may be right - the question is just where?

Geforce GT220 / NVidia web site
Minimum Recommended System Power (W) 300 W
PNY web site
A minimum 350W or greater system power supply (with a minimum 12V current rating of 18A)
Does your power supply meet or exceed a rating of 300 W (output) with a minimum 12V current rating of 18A ?
> I've got 430W (product details see above), as far as I found, this supply does meet the 18A-criterion.

Is the power supply fan spinning and exhausting air from the back of the case ?
> yes, it is

".....did u check if its overheating? ,,,,is ur graphics card overheating? check temps use gpu-z. and speedfan..."
Yout GT220 card probably has a fan. Make sure the fan and heat sink on the card, and your CPU fan and heat sink, are not clogged with too much "mung" - dust, lint, etc - and that the fans spins fine.
> I have checked this a while ago and will again tonight. I don't suppose this is the reason but will get back if it is.

Make sure all cads inside the case are all the way down in their slots.
> ok

Some monitors have a relay that clicks when the video changes modes. If so, it also does that while booting the computer.
> It for sure is this monitor relay that is clicking when the "black screen period" is over and the PC comes back to normal operations. Maybe the PC tries to get in a mode that the monitor doesn't support, and when it comes back to "normal" the monitor does a Reset? But why would the PC want to change Mode, and how would I find - and prevent this?

Otherwise, a click may come from the power supply, or from the hard drive.
If it comes from the hard drive, that can be a sign it's in the early stage of the process of failing if you don't normally hear that from it.
You could try testing the hard drive, but it often passes the tests at first.
Test your hard drive with hard drive manufacturer's diagnostics.

E.g.
Seagate's SeaTools will test (almost) any brand of hard drive.
http://www.seagate.com/ww/v/index.j...
Do the long test.
The Dos bootable versions of SeaTools can test the hard drive when Windows will not load properly, or even when the drive has no data on it.
It the drive itself passes the test, any data problems on the drive can be fixed one way or another.


> The System hard drive is a SSD so I don't think this one will click. The other one is just a backup for another Disk that is in my NAS outside, and this one - as far as I can guess - is not involved in the whole problem.

If you've got further Ideas I'll gladly check them out.
best regards
Michael


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#5
November 13, 2011 at 08:07:08
Your problem probably cannot be caused by malware..

The ONLY time I've seen a problem very similar to yours was / is on my old (mboard bought at the end of 1999) computer with an old conventional Maxtor hard drive (bought at the same time). That hard drive still hasn't failed a hard drive diagnostics test, yet that happens sometimes with that drive.

Since you say you have Windows running off a solid state drive, it's extremely unlikely that's causing your problem.

However, I recommend you test both hard drives with hard drive manufacturer's diagnostics. A problem with one hard drive can affect another hard drive that tests fine.
For that matter, a problem with an optical drive can affect a hard drive that tests fine.

BEFORE you run the hard drive manufacturer's diagnostics (or in any case I recommend you check these).......

Check your SATA data cables. The connector on each end should "latch" into the socket on the drive and on the mboard, or on the drive controller card - it should not move when you merely brush your hand against it near the socket - if it does, mere vibration can cause a poor connection of it - use another SATA data cable that does "latch", or tape the connector in place.
(There is a slight projection or bump on one side of the outside of the connector that "latches" it into the socket - it's easily broken off or damaged)

The same thing applies for the SATA power connection.

It is common to un-intentionally damage IDE data cables, especially while removing them - the 80 wire ones are more likely to be damaged. What usually happens is the cable is ripped at either edge and the wires there are either damaged or severed, often right at a connector or under it's cable clamp there, where it's hard to see - if a wire is severed but it's ends are touching, the connection is intermittent, rather than being reliable.
Another common thing is for the data cable to be separated from the connector contacts a bit after you have removed a cable - there should be no gap between the data cable and the connector - if there is press the cable against the connector to eliminate the gap.
80 wire data cables are also easily damaged at either edge if the cable is sharply creased at a fold in the cable.

Try another data cable if in doubt.

80 wire data cables must have the proper end connector connected to the mboard IDE header - usually that's blue, but in any case it's the one farther from the middle connector on a 3 connector data cable.
............

In your Malwarebytes log it says you did not choose to do anything with what malware it did find. You simply allow it to attempt to remove the malware it finds and 99% of the time it will get rid of all of it.

"the two "svchospt.exe" seem to belong to the "parents friend" tool that I once had but have de-installed long since. I renamed one of them and cleared the mention of the other in the registry. Will further observe the pc."

SVCHOST.EXE is a legitimate Microsoft program. It's a "slave" program (hence the HOST in it) that is used by other programs that do not appear in the Task Manager Processes list.
There is often more than one instance of SVCHOST.EXE running in that Processes list at the same time.

Any program with a very similar name you did not rename yourself is MALWARE !

SVCHOST.EXE CAN be used by malware but in most cases it isn't.
Microsoft has a program (they bought the rights to from it's original maker) that you can download and install that shows you what programs are using each instance of SVCHOST.EXE - Process Explorer.

You shouldn't mess with trying to remove malware that an anti-malware program can remove properly. The anti-malware program "knows" how to remove it properly. You can easily make mistakes if you try to remove the malware yourself, especially when you mess with editing the registry .
There are often entries in the registry that mention whatever the malware is named left over after the anti-malware program has removed it that do no harm at all if they're still there in the registry.

"the third one (totalcmd.exe) isn't as suspicious to me, a I'm actually using Total Commander - am I wrong?"

Anti-malware programs sometimes flag legitimate programs as malware, but in most cases the anti-malware program rates the risk for whatever it is - if it's not rated as dangerous or similar, you can choose to NOT remove it.

e.g.
- some flag Keyfinder which isn't malware at all - it can find an existing Product Key for Windows or Microsoft programs but it has no illegal key generator capability. Older versions of it can change the Product Key but the Product Key you change it to must folllow the Microsoft rules - you are supposed to use a legitimate Product Key that is not being used on any other computer when you change it.

- before Microsoft bought the rights to the .Net Framework software, it was often flagged as malware. It's always been legitimate.


Some commonly used programs DO use Trojans and/or Spyware !

If you don't want the anti-malware program to flag a program, or something included with a program, you use, you can usually add what it finds to an Exclude list or similar in the program's configuration.

You may have noticed Malwarebytes, and many other anti-malware programs e.g. AVG, no longer flag Cookies by default. I've never known Cookies to cause a problem on any computer.
......


According to gpu-z

"GPU Core Clock [MHz] , 204.790629440775"

If you're overclocking it from it's default settings, probably 200 mhz, back off on that or don't overclock it at all. When you overclock the video chipset, or the mboard / cpu, you do so at your own risk, and you can easily have oddball symptoms if the overclocking settings are not 100% stable with your particular video chipset / mboard model combo.


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