Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Solutions: Computer problem may not be a virus

I am sure I have a virus. The symptoms are many: screen jumps when browsing and cursor jumps when composing an email, and the system is slow. I tried your recommendation to download Malwarebytes Antimalware. I ran the full scan, and nothing was detected. I heard that using more than one security app can cause problems. Should I delete Microsoft Security Essentials?

Malwarebytes Antimalware is not an active antivirus. It runs only when you run it, so no need to uninstall Security Essentials.

Your issues don't seem to be symptomatic of a virus. The screen jumps could indicate inadvertent touchpad contact or mouse issues (batteries/dust). Your system slowdown is most likely due to a bloatware creep into your Windows startup, meaning there is an accumulation of programs that start themselves unnecessarily at startup. Some or most of these programs you can probably do without.

First, make sure your PC is properly ventilated and that there is no dust accumulation in the fan intake. An overheated CPU slows itself down to prevent damage. This is often overlooked.

Next, examine which programs are starting at startup. You didn't mention which version of Windows you use, so I'll just mention the generic Microsoft System Configurator. Click "Start," "Run" and then type "msconfig.exe" and click "OK." Check the Startup tab for a list of programs that run at startup. You will need to check what each process is (use Google) and determine whether it belongs on your system. You can disable a program from starting by unselecting it. If it turns out you do need it, just re-select it.

My Gateway 2000 desktop PC is running Windows XP. I usually close down the PC at night and start it up in the morning. This window appears: "Microsoft Visual C++ Runtime Library Runtime Error! Program: C:\Pro. … This application has requested the runtime to terminate it in an unusual way. Please contact the application's team for more info."

I close out that and a new window appears: "Update application has encountered a problem and needs to close, sorry for the inconvenience. Debug Close Connecting thru wan miniport (PPPOE) Error 678 Broadband."

What's happening?

You wrote in your email "Program: C:\Pro. …". I don't know if that was displayed or if you just abbreviated, but that program name is important to finding the cause of the issue. It could be that one of the files related to that program is corrupted or got clobbered by some other installation. If it's happening at start up, click "Start," "Run" and type "MSCONFIG." Click "OK" and then click the "Start-up" tab. See if you can find the program named in the error message and disable it by unchecking the option box. If it's something you need on your system, try uninstalling and then reinstalling it. PPPOE is a type of point-to-point network protocol used in dial-up DSL. Assuming that you do not use DSL for your Internet connection, go to "Control Panel," "Network" and "Internet Connections," click "Set up or change your Internet connection," then the "Connections" tab. Make sure the "Never Dial a Connection" option is checked.

Send questions to personaltech@tampabay.com or Personal Tech, P.O. Box 1121, St. Petersburg, FL 33731. Questions are answered only in this column.

Solutions: Computer problem may not be a virus 06/28/13 [Last modified: Friday, June 28, 2013 7:26pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Tampa Bay Super Bowls: A brief history and some predictions for 2021

    Bucs

    At last, Tampa will host a Super Bowl again. It used to be that the Cigar City would host one a decade, but by the time February 2021 rolls around, it will have been 12 years since the epic showdown between the Steelers and Cardinals. Because it has been awhile, let's revisit those past Super Bowls while also peering …

    Santonio Holmes hauls in the game-winning touchdown in the Steelers' 27-23 Super Bowl XLIII victory over the Cardinals in 2009, the last time Tampa hosted a Super Bowl. [JAMES BORCHUCK | Times]
  2. Rays bats go silent in second straight loss to Angels (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Sure, Alex Cobb was to blame for the Rays' 4-0 loss on Tuesday.

    Derek Norris strikes out with the bases loaded as the Rays blow a golden opportunity in the seventh inning.
  3. Analysis: Manchester attack was exactly what many had long feared

    World

    LONDON — For Britain's security agencies, London always seemed like the likely target. For years, the capital of 8 million with hundreds of thousands of weekly tourists and dozens of transit hubs had prepared for and feared a major terror attack.

  4. Dade City man dies after crashing into county bus, troopers say

    Public Safety

    ZEPHYRHILLS — A 38-year-old man died Tuesday after colliding into the rear of a county bus on U.S. 301, the Florida Highway Patrol said.

  5. Suspicious device at Pinellas Park home was a spent artillery round, police say

    Public Safety

    PINELLAS PARK — Bomb squad investigators determined that a "suspicious device" found at a Pinellas Park home Tuesday afternoon was a spent artillery round, police said.