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  1. #1
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    Desktop problems

    Hi All,

    For the past 2 days (but I wasn't home Sat & Sun), I've been having problems with my Desktop.

    - On my desktop, I have a shortcut to my H: drive, an external hard disk. Double clicking hangs up; right clicking gives me the spinning circle forever. This is true on both my user and admin accounts.

    - On my desktop, right clicking other icons also just hangs.

    - Trying to open the "Computer" icon on the desktop (formerly "My Computer") also just hangs.

    - Opening Windows Explorer by using a shortcut to one of my folders and then navigating on the left to the Desktop folder: I can click the Desktop folder on the left to get its contents on the right but still cannot double click the Desktop folder on the left or right click it either.

    - If I'm in a program and try to Save As a new file to the desktop, I can pick the Desktop from the left side "favorite locations" but the system hangs when I click the Save button with a "Not Responding" on the Save As dialogue "title bar". Have to abort the program in Task Mgr. If I Save As to another location, including a Desktop folder, everything is good. If I start with a file not on the Desktop (eg, move a Desktop file into a Desktop folder) and Save As, everything is fine.

    - If I'm on a web page and try to download a file to the Desktop, same result as above. But I did successfully download 2 files to my Desktop on 9/17 and 9/19.

    - If I edit an existing file and try to Save As to the Desktop, Word hangs on the Save As dialog. With the focus on the Desktop favorite location, the Save As dialog can just hang if I don't do anything quickly (and that could be a second or two after opening the Save As dialog).

    - I've noticed in Word and other Office pgms that there is now a relatively "long" delay (5-10 seconds?). In Word, the Status Bar shows "Running Virus Scan..." OK but it's taking longer than the not too distant past. In Excel or PowerPoint, you can't do anything for that time (eg, in Excel, you can't click a tab to change sheets until the "delay" has expired). Could be Excel or PPT are also running virus scans but have no way of showing this as Word does. This is even if you're opening these programs w/o an existing file.

    - I checked my Window Restore points. Latest one was 9/21 (automatic restore pt); then 9/14 and 9/6 (before Windows Update); finally (for Sept) 9/4 (automatic). The 9/14 WU that I installed included numerous Security updates for both Windows and Office 2010. I have n

    I think that's about it for symptoms. I did not test as extensively on my admin account as I did on my user account. But one thing I noticed in a brief test on my admin account is that the file associations for double clicking a file on the Desktop (at least an xlsx file) seem to have disappeared (I'm getting Windows' Open With dialog); but double clicking works fine on the Desktop of my user account.

    Any ideas?

    TIA

    Fred

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by fburg View Post
    Any ideas?
    Fred,
    Hello... Sounds like some sort of "Graphics problem " What are you running ? ..Also have you installed any updates ? ( ex: NVIDIA or other type) Regards Fred

    PS: Check your power supply voltages with this free software hwmonitor v1.23
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  3. #3
    Super Moderator bbearren's Avatar
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    I would suggest Windows Defender Offline first. If you have access to another PC, I would use that to create the Windows Defender Offline bootable media. You want to make sure you have a clean PC.

    After running Windows Defender Offline, I would run chkdsk /r. Open a command prompt and type "chkdsk /r" without the quotes, and hit enter. You'll be advised that the PC will have to reboot to run chkdsk. Acknowledge that and reboot. This could take quite some time, but should run to completion - don't interrupt it. You want to make sure you have a good drive.

    Then I would run sfc /scannow. You want to make sure your system files are intact and not corrupted.
    Create a fresh drive image before making system changes, in case you need to start over!

    "The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Savvy?"—Captain Jack Sparrow "When you're troubleshooting, start with the simple and proceed to the complex."—M.O. Johns "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else."—Sir Thomas Robert Deware.
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  4. #4
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    Hi PlainFred,

    Help me understand why this sounds like a graphics problem to you. What I don't see is how this can be a graphics problem if Save As works under some conditions but not others as well as some of the other symptoms I described.

    I don't believe any graphics updates have been installed. But I did forget that Adobe Reader V10.1.8 was installed last week. I also did download 2 graphics programs (both limited in terms of doing just what I need; not full-blown editing programs) that I learned about on another thread here on the Lounge but did NOT install them (the install files are sitting on my desktop).

    As to what I'm running, it's Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit OS) on an HP Pavillion dv7 laptop with 4GB RAM.

    Thks.

    Fred

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    Thanks for the suggestions.

    I know what Windows Defender is about (I read about this about 2 years ago; I don't think it had the "Offline" as part of the name then). Since that's concerned with viruses, etc., my question would be why that versus what I already have installed - Norton 360? Of course I could download the latest version from your link if that really is the way to go; getting access to another "clean" PC may be harder but still doable (just need time).

    Assuming I'd need to download a later version of Windows Defender Offline than what I may have and that takes time, why can't I do your item 2 (chkdsk) and item 3 (sfc) first?

    While I know what chkdsk is, I've never hear of sfc - what is it?

    Thks.

    Fred

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    Cool

    Quote Originally Posted by fburg View Post
    Thanks for the suggestions.

    I know what Windows Defender is about (I read about this about 2 years ago; I don't think it had the "Offline" as part of the name then). Since that's concerned with viruses, etc., my question would be why that versus what I already have installed - Norton 360? Of course I could download the latest version from your link if that really is the way to go; getting access to another "clean" PC may be harder but still doable (just need time).

    Assuming I'd need to download a later version of Windows Defender Offline than what I may have and that takes time, why can't I do your item 2 (chkdsk) and item 3 (sfc) first?

    While I know what chkdsk is, I've never hear of sfc - what is it?

    Thks.

    Fred
    SFC = System File Checker. It scans your system folders for system files and checks there no corrupt files and attempts to repair them. A very useful win 7 tool.
    Last edited by curiousclive; 2013-09-26 at 07:46.
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    Quote Originally Posted by fburg View Post
    Help me understand why this sounds like a graphics problem to you. What I don't see is how this can be a graphics problem if Save As works under some conditions but not others as well as some of the other symptoms I described.
    Fred,

    Hello... I have had ( Win 7 \ 64 Home and Pro) the "spinning circle" and random screen freeze's , not responding, etc. Turned out that my NVIDIA settings were at fault ...So i asked if you had "Nvidia" or something similar and \ or if you had "Updated" recently. Regards Fred
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  8. #8
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    Hi bbearren

    I checked my Windows Defender on my admin account; it's from 2012. Will download Windows Defender Offline.

    From my user account, I opened the command prompt to run chkdsk /r. Got a msg saying I did not have sufficient privileges. So I switched to my admin account. Same thing.

    Not sure what privileges I need and where to go to elevate them. Help!!!

    I checked chkdsk in Help and the result was ciruclar. It said to open the Computer and right click the disk I want to check. Well, right-clicking on the C-drive creates the hang-up that I'm trying to troubleshoot. Not sure if this will be the same problem with running chkdsk in the Command prompt.

    BTW: what does the /r switch do in chkdsk /r ?

    From the command prompt in my admin account, I also tried to run sfc. Different msg with same result: need an admin console session. Checked Windows Help on what is a console session; saw the MS Mgmt Console mentioned. No help; it did mention the "snap ins" but it wasn't clear if this included chkdsk and sfc.

    Thks

    Fred

  9. #9
    Super Moderator bbearren's Avatar
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    To run an elevated command prompt, right click the shortcut and select "Run as administrator". The "/r" switch in chkdsk is the repair function; it implies "/f". It attempts to retrieve any data from a bad sector and repair the sector. If the sector can't be repaired, it marks it as bad so that it won't be used again.

    Windows Defender Offline runs from boot media, so it can run without Windows having to load. Most malware that is able to hide from AV/AM is able to hide by using Windows. If Windows is not loaded, the malware has no way to hide.
    Last edited by bbearren; 2013-09-27 at 06:48.
    Create a fresh drive image before making system changes, in case you need to start over!

    "The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Savvy?"—Captain Jack Sparrow "When you're troubleshooting, start with the simple and proceed to the complex."—M.O. Johns "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else."—Sir Thomas Robert Deware.
    Unleash Windows

  10. #10
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    Hi All,

    Sorry for the delay in resurrecting this thread - maybe it belongs somewhere else or should be a new thread.

    It seems the problem, or at least a problem, is that my external WD hard drive has become unformatted. When it's connected to my Win 7 computer, things seems to slow down, as I originally posted here. When I try to open the H: drive (what it's assigned), I get an "Unformatted disk - format now?" msg. I have another PC running Win XP; connecting the WD HD to it results in the same message.

    Not sure why that would necessarily slow things down. So my goal now is to see if the WD HD can be recovered. There are 2 types of files on the WD HD: files that are just backups of my Win 7 computer (so recreating another backup is no big deal) and files that came from another computer no longer available (and not backed up). While the latter are not critical, it would be nice (very nice) to not lose them.

    I seem to recall some utilities that could repair disks at the level of putting back some critical Win info. In fact, I recall doing it with some thumb drives. I thought they were part of Windows but, after a somewhat-thorough search, couldn't find them. I seem to recall Norton having them but my Norton suites (360 for AV and Utilities) don't seem to have what I'm looking for either.

    Any suggestions?

    TIA

    Fred

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    Fred,

    I'm no expert here, but this may be the time to try out TestDisk:

    http://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/TestDisk

    Perhaps recreating the MBR would help if TestDisk doesn't?? I'll leave that question to more experienced posters.

    Zig

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    Hi Zig,

    I'm running TestDisk (TD) as we speak/type.

    I'm a little confused by the msgs I got when I started it up.

    TD did detect my faulty WD external hard drive as my H drive; so far so good.

    Then it said it could do a number of things, one of which dealt with the MBR. Your email seemed to suggest that recreating the MBR was NOT something TD did and the TD documentation seemed to support that. I'm past where I saw that but it looked like TD did do something with the MBR.

    TD also asked about partitions. The H: drive was never partitioned so I got past that one. But another question had the highlighting on "None" but a footnote suggested NOT to use None... so I chose "Intel/PC".

    Right now, TD is about 8% thru analyzing the H: drive. So I have a way to go.

    And if TD doesn't help and it doesn't do anything for the MBR, any suggestions for programs that do recreate the MBR?

    Thks.

    Fred

  13. #13
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    Hi Zig,

    I finished running TD twice. I'm not sure that much was found.

    When TD asked for the Partition Type Table, it suggested NOT selecting "None" for a disk with a single partition and further noting that it was rare for a drive to be non-partitioned. This seems strange - my external HD is not partitioned. Nevertheless, I chose "Intel/PC partition" as I mentioned in my previous post.

    As also mentioned in that post, TD did indicate it could "write TestDisk MBR" - seems like it can do that. Is there some reason you seemed to indicate that rewriting the MBR would help (which I think is my next step) if TD didn't (suggesting that TD did not do this)?

    Thks.

    Fred

  14. #14
    Super Moderator satrow's Avatar
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    Before going any further and if you've not done so before, please visit the WD support pages for your external drive and download and install the latest drivers for your model, and especially the Smartware software, if your drive had it installed.

    Some WD external drives are effectively encrypted on the fly, when that goes wrong, it's not a simple process to recover your data in a usable form.

  15. #15
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    Thanks.

    Well it took me some time to get to the WD support site. But I manage to do that and joined the WD Community.

    The support pages didn't seem to help much. But I did pose the problem on the WD Community and got 1 response about cleaning up the Windows mapping of USB drives, associated drivers, and ports per the procedure at
    http://www.techspot.com/community/to...rivers.145884/

    I followed the advice there but it didn't seem to help.

    But I should note that the procedure did delete drivers and registry keys associated with all USB drives (including flash drives). When I rebooted and reconnected all of them, the keys and drivers were reloaded. So this seems like it would have addressed the issue above of loading the latest drivers. Unfortunately (or I wouldn't be writing this), only 2 of 3 drives (the 2 flash drives; HD is still not operable) are working. (Although Jack Nicholson once said in a movie that 2 out of 3 ain't bad.)

    HOWEVER, the following occurred to me: I was able to use TestDisk, as recommended earlier in this thread, to copy files from the WD HD to my PC's HD. TestDisk was able to show me the directory structure and allow me to select files for copying. When I opened the copied file from my HD, everything looked ok.

    So that suggests 3 things to me:
    - the files (at least the small sample I looked at thru TestDisk), including the Directory Structure, is ok
    - the files are NOT encrypted or else TestDisk would not be able to see the directory structure (I may be going out on a limb on this one)
    - the "high level" files like the Master Boot Record and maybe a partition table are not visible to Windows, since it keeps saying the disk is unformatted.

    If my 3rd conclusion is valid, isn't there a utility that allows one to create an MBR and partition table, or whatever is needed, to allow Windows to access the rest of the disk.

    Not exactly sure what Smartware is nor whether it was installed on my HD. How would I know?

    TIA

    Fred

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