Long-time subscriber Irving wrote to ask:
I have XP SP2. I downloaded a zip file to my desktop. I then clicked the icon and ran into a problem. The screen started to "blink" and I couldn’t do anything. CTR-ALT-DEL couldn’t do anything. I had to shut down with power switch.
Tried again…..same problem. This has also occurred on other downloads and blinking screens when trying to install with a click on icon on desktop. What can cause this?? Irv
I wrote back to Irving to suggest some possibilities.
1) a malware program in the zip file – did you scan it after downloading? what did you scan it with?
2) a program that attempted to change your graphics card resolution or other setting, and couldn’t do it right – or didn’t want to…
It also could be that his unzip program was corrupted. I don’t tknow if he was using the built-in zip/unzip program in Windows XP or using a third party program.
His inabilit to shut down could come from several problems. First, the Windows might simply have crashed, which would require the power-off rather than Control-Alt-Delete or Start > Turn Off Compute.
More likely, having to shut down by using the power switch could be as simple as there being a dialog box that you couldn’t see — sometimes they get hidden behind other windows.
The program’s developer can use a Windows function that makes their dialog box "modal," which unfortunately means that you have to respond to it before you can do anything else.
Somehow, a modal dialog box will sometimes be hidden behind the program window that created it. The program won’t respond, you can’t close it, and you can’t see the dialog box. Ouch.
Lastly, today’s malware delivery by email is usually accomplished by hiding the malware in a zip file. Be careful when you open a zip file, if it’s arrived by email or downloaded from a suspicious web site (why would you do this?). Finally, be sure you use a good antivirus program and always-running antispyware program to protect you at times like that — I choose Sunbelt’s VIPRE Antivirus Premium for my PC’s and my family’s PC’s. Sunbelt offers a free fully-functional 30 day trial period of VIPRE.