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SP2 problems

By p.w.d.stone ·
I have been looking after a home desktop running Windows XP Home Service Pack 2 that has started to display bizaar behaviour. I have run spy-ware and virus scans without avail, cleaned up the registry, and stripped down start up programs to the absolute minimum (anti-virus and wireless tools). I even tried re-installing Service Pack 2 under the affected user's account in case that was the problem. The symptoms are as follows-
*Internet Explorer (v6 for SP 2) no longer allows redirects, nor web buttons to be clicked on. This renders a large part of the internet completely useless on internet explorer. Strangely this affects some users and not others.
*USB keys not recognised- the computer makes a sound, but doesn't pop up for the device. Although the device is listed under the System/Hardware menu, and the computer lists it as a USB flash drive, it can't find drivers for it either on the system or using the much-vaunted web service. The same devices work fine on Linux running on the same desktop, and on XP systems at work.
These two problems aren't in themselves major problems, but are majorly annoying, and I am at a loss to explain them. Has anyone seen anything like this before, and can anyone suggest anything else I can do to try and fix it?

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by rickydoo In reply to SP2 problems

Try using HijackThis from http://www.spywareinfo.com/downloads.php?cat=sp#det on the machine and see what it finds. If you find a culprit and delete with HT, and it comes back, look it up on spywareinfo and hopefully they will have removal instructions.
I had a bad one a while ago which required three reboots after deleting files and a "delete file on restart" feature in HT to get rid of it.
This may cure the thumbdrive problem too, if the hijacker is as poorly written as they usually are, and is messing other stuff up.

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Continuing problems- but thanks

by p.w.d.stone In reply to SP2 problems

Following the good advice of I have discovered that Star downloader was causing the problems in Internet Explorer, and using Hijack this instantly solved the problem.
I am still, however, having difficulties with the USB ports on this computer- optical mice, flash drives, memory keys - nothing seems to be recognised. Clearly in some cases I have drivers, enabling me to install these items "with disk", but it's worrying never-the-less.
Perhaps more worrying is the inability to use DHCP to connect to a wireless router using an Ethernet cable. The family using this PC have a son who plays a lot of online games, and has been having LAG issues- so I suggested moving the router next to the computer and connecting via Ethernet. However the computer always uses APA, and is unable to find the DHCP server on the router, or to connect if manually issued an IP address and DNS server - ipconfig /all reports it's looking at instead of (as with the wireless, which has no difficulties resolving an IP address). I have manually configured the DNS server to and instructed it to use DHCP for the IP address- with no difference. I have used a laptop to connect to this router before, using the same cables, without any difficulties. I believe the other son has managed to connect the desktop in question to his laptop as well, suggesting it's not the network card.
I'm assuming these issues are a result of configeration issues in Windows XP, possibly due to the enormous amounts of junk that have been downloaded over the years, but I am totally at a loss as to what to do next. Is anyone out there familiar with these symptons? It's embarressing having to tell them that I don't know.....

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As for your device problems..

by rickydoo In reply to Continuing problems- but ...

Try this sample hack from the O'Reilly's Windows XP Hacks: http://techrepublic.com.com/5139-6240-5606408.html
I use it to remove all the storage volumes and crap from all the customer drives and cards I test in my own machine. This should clean up any old/bad/incorrect drivers and junk and maybe get something working that is buried in non-existent devices. This may also cure the ethernet problem, and lag.
Of course, your not using a crossover cable from PC to router, right? :)

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by Mr_C In reply to Continuing problems- but ...

Hows it going Mr P?!

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