Win XP Pro sp2 fully patched, Linksys WRT54G router hardwired, Speedstream
5260 modem, Dell Inspiron 5150 laptop, 2GB ram(cpu/hd heat issues under control with SpeedswitchXP and Precision fan control and a can of Dustoff ;>) )
About once per month the laptop goes crazy -seems like someone else takes over, start menu flies open, windows open, I close them they open again, ticking noise from the speakers. I pull the power cord to shut it down and reboot and everything is fine -till the next time.
I have scoured the internet with the symptoms but found no solution, just one other person describing the same symptoms but no solution. Virus scan, Spybot -turn up nothing.
How can I track this down -any monitoring software to do it?
You can use Process Exploerer and other tools being mentioned in the link.
And then after you find it because it circumvented and defeated all your detection tools, then you'll want to do what's in the link below, because no telling what else is on the machine you don't know about.
As a matter of fact, you just might want to proceed directly to the last link, and get it over with and move on.
You should try to harden the O/S to attack as much as possible.
You may want to test if it's windows playing up, or the laptop itself (could be mixture). could theoretically, be malware.
I've had a similar problem to the one you describe, mouse goes crazy, and a constant beep from the computer internal speakers(not a tick though). A beep like I had an elbow on the keyboard as the comp boots, or like a bad qbasic program. I didn't notice windows opening when I closed them, though I had to quickly shut the laptop down 'cos loud beeping in the office.
I think it happens sometimes when I move or click without waiting for windows xp to load up. I'm so sure it's a laptop issue that I'm not doing the hassle of checking further.. This only happens when I boot up windows.
Yours is once a month, that is a real nuisance for you to diagnose/treat, you haven't found a way to trigger it, besides waiting a month..
If testing if something is a windows problem, a great option is to install windows on a new partition, and see if that windows installation has a problem. You don't have to delete your partition e.g. losing your data.
if it works, great, just move your data over. And delete the old partition if/when you're comfortable.
If it was a windows problem vs a software problem, you could try the software on another comp. But this isn't the case..
If you really suspect that somebody is controlling your computer - a stupid thing to suspect considering that from what you've described it doesn't look like any intelligence at work. You could pull out the network cable and if there is one, then the telephone cable from your comp too. You could try Volker Birk's program to shutdown windows' servers.
If it really bothers you, then you could reinstall windows, or if the data issue is too much hassle(though you should backup regularly anyway!), then you could install windows on a new partition(but then you may have to resize partitions). Or you could put a new hard drive in there and put windows on that, but then you'd have to use that for a month, so maybe copy the data onto that. it's convenient, if you have a usb-ide/sata adaptor to plug that hdd in to get the data off it.
I'm with you there. I have a Logitech cordless optical running SetPoint, and every so often the mouse cursor takes off like something possessed and all kinds of interesting things start to happen. When it does, I have to nuke setpoint.exe and restart it before things settle down again, and since the mouse is virtually useless at this point, I have a keyboard shortcut defined that kills the current setpoint process and launches it again.
I've seen this a couple of times. The telling symptom is, if you don't touch the mouse, everything settles down but if you nudge it, even slightly, it zips all over the place, opening desktop items, opening menus, seemingly at random. It's not exclusively Logitech mice, but it generally is, even when SetPoint is not in use.
There seems to be no pattern that I can detect. The problem may not appear for days on end, even weeks, and then suddenly it's back again.
I've also noticed that occasionally Setpoint loses all its configuration information and I have to reprogram the buttons again, and reset things like cursor speed and acceleration factor. Interestingly, no matter where I set the acceleration, when I revisit that window later, the setting is always Low, even though the mouse is clearly accelerating quickly.
I hope someone lights a fire under Logitech and gets them to fix the damn thing...