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Autoplay and flashing/disappearing

By peadar ·
I have a problem with Windows Vista that's really bugging me. It manifests in two main ways:

1) as an intermittent flashing effect - like a throbbing flicker - on the title and status bars of any window that has the focus. Often it happens to a selected item too, or to the whole document - and it is not possible to rename a file using explorer, because edit mode flicks off an instant after entering it;

and 2) if I try to open a folder from the start menu, then both it and the start menu vanish; if I click on a program from the start menu, the start menu vanishes and the program doesn't run. At its worst (it seems to get worse the longer the pc is on), menus in explorer and applications will appear only for an instant before disappearing - not long enough to select a menu item.

I read that the problem is connected to autoplay, and when I disable autoplay and save, the problem does go away - but in a short period of time (sometimes less than a minute) autoplay has enabled itself again and the flashing resumes.

As well as turning autoplay off, I've repeatedly run anti-spyware (Ad-Aware and Defender) and anti-virus software.

My display adapter is motherboard gpu NVIDIA GeForce 7050/NVIDIA nForce 610i (Device Manager says the driver is up to date - it's 178.13). The default resolution settings are 1440x900 it will only refresh at 60Hz. If I change this to another resolution and raise the refresh rate (to 70 or 72Hz) it makes no difference to the flashing.

It seems to be connected to autoplay - but autoplay doesn't behave like this on other pcs, and I can't turn it off and make it stick. Anyone have any ideas how to fix it?

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A couple of possible workarounds

by Jacky Howe In reply to Autoplay and flashing/dis ...

Check to make sure your LCD brightness is set to 100% on your monitor. If you are using a value less than 100% this can result in bad 3D Stereo effect.

If it has only just started happening try a System Restore.

Did you do your scans in Safe Mode.

Follow the steps below with the System started in Safe Mode with Networking.

Click Start, Run type msconfig and press Enter.

Now if you have the Configuration Utility open.
Configure selective startup options
In the System Configuration Utility dialog box, click the General tab, and then click Selective Startup.
Click to clear the Process SYSTEM.INI File check box.
Click to clear the Process WIN.INI File check box.
Click to clear the Load Startup Items check box. Verify that Load System Services and Use Original BOOT.INI are checked.
Click the Services tab.
Click to select the Hide All Microsoft Services check box.
Click Disable All, and then click OK.
When you are prompted, save the settings and restart the PC.

If it is working in Normal mode re-enable one item at a time until you find out what is causing the problems.
When you have it sorted out re-run the Configuration Utility and in the System Configuration Utility dialog box, click the General tab, and then click Normal Startup.

With the new strains of Virus that have been created you may find it necessary to rename the executable files so that they will work. Rename mbam-setup.exe and then navigate to the install folder and rename mbam.exe. Do not change the files extension from .exe. Do the same with Spybot.

Removing malware from System Restore points
To remove the malware, you must first disable System Restore, then scan the system with up-to-date antivirus software - allowing it to clean, delete, or quarantine any viruses found. After the system has been disinfected, you may then re-enable System Restore. The steps for disabling System Restore vary, depending on whether the default Start Menu or the Classic Start Menu is being used.

Default Start Menu XP
If using the default Start Menu, click Start | Control Panel | Performance and Maintenance | System. Select the System Restore tab and check "Turn off System Restore".

Classic Start Menu XP
If using the Classic Start Menu, click Start | Settings | Control Panel and double-click the System icon. Select the System Restore tab and check "Turn off System Restore".

Vista
Start, right mouse click Computer and select Properties. Select Advanced System Properties, click contine and then System Protection. Untick the box nect to Local Disk C: and click on Turn System Restore off.


After scanning the system and removing the offending malware, re-enable System Restore by repeating the steps, this time removing the check from "Turn off System Restore".

Download Malwarebytes Anti-Malware, install it and update it.

<a href="http://download.bleepingcomputer.com/malwarebytes/mbam-setup.exe" target="_blank"><u>Malwarebytes</u></a>

* Double-click mbam-setup.exe and follow the prompts to install the program.
* At the end, be sure a checkmark is placed next to Update Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware and Launch Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware, then click Finish.
* If an update is found, it will download and install the latest version.
* Once the program has loaded, select Perform Quick Scan, then click Scan.
* When the scan is complete, click OK, then Show Results to view the results.
* Be sure that everything is checked, and click Remove Selected.

If you encounter any problems while downloading the updates, manually download them from here and just double-click on mbam-rules.exe to install.
<a href="http://malwarebytes.gt500.org/mbam-rules.exe" target="_blank"><u>mbam-rules</u></a>

I would keep scanning with it until it is clean by closing out and rebooting and running it again.


Download Spybot - Search & Destroy and install it. Update it and run it.

<a href="http://www.safer-networking.org/en/download/index.html " target="_blank"><u>Spybot</u></a>

Also run this Rootkit Revealer GMer
http://www.gmer.net/index.php

FAQ
http://www.gmer.net/faq.php

Just to be on the safe side when you finish do an online scan with Bitdefender or Google for an online scanner.

http://www.bitdefender.com/scan8/ie.html

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USB pen drive causing the problem?

by peadar In reply to A couple of possible work ...

Thanks Jacky. I think the problem may have been related to switching on with a usb pen drive already inserted - because it was not inserted as such, its U3 security dialog didn't come up...but it seems to have been constantly (and invisibly) trying to snatch the focus.

It seems to go away when the drive is removed or active - but when it's inserted and not active, I think that's what's causing the problem.

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OK

by Jacky Howe In reply to USB pen drive causing the ...

Best practice is to use the drive for whatever you need to do and then use the Safely Remove option to disconnect it. You shouldn't have it permanently connected. The Safely Remove option should be used at all times otherwise you will corrupt the drive.

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