Reader Steve Sturgill wrote to ask about screen freeze problems he was having:
Mr. Stockdale, My OS is XP, my ISP is MSN and I connect through broadband. My problem is, any time I right click, as in attempting to access dropdown menus, my screen freezes. Also I am unable to click on any of the tools in the top, left corner of my screen – i.e. File, Edit, View, etc. This has been going on for several weeks! I have looked extensively for a solution online – to no avail. Several sites suggest using a program called ShellExView, which I downloaded and tried, several times, in vain. Nothing seems to work. Can you please advise me? Any and all suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks very much, in advance, Steve
I wrote back to Steve to suggest some actions to try to resolve his problems.
I’ve seen some strange effects like that before – not those exactly (except the apparent freezing on right-clicking for a context menu).
I have had that freezing problem and it turned out to be my hard drive going bad. When it freezes, check the hard drive light on your computer and see if it’s showing activity. In my case, Windows was having trouble reading some sectors and was trying over and over and over….
My solution, unfortunately it turned out only to be a temporary solution, was to use Spinrite 6 from Gibson Research to do a low-level repair of the drive. Unfortunately, two months later, the problem was back. I wrote about it in my article www.terryscomputertips.com/computers/second-hard -drive-failure .php
You can get some strange effects from malware. You might try installing CounterSpy, which is free for 15 days.
Also, try a online virus scan from a different company than does your antivirus program – that is, if you use Norton Antivirus, use Trend Micro’s online antivirus scanner. If you use Trend Micro’s antivirus, use Panda Software’s online antivirus scanner. These scans will take several hours or overnight.
Finally, if you do not have a router, add another level of protection to your system by using a cable/dsl router to prevent connections to your computer from being initiated from other computers on the Interent.
THANK YOU SO MUCH SIR, for such a prompt reply. I really didn’t even expect one from someone as busy as yourself. My AV is NOD32, which runs daily and has declared me virus free. I tried Counterspy already, to no avail. My hard drives are both < six mos. old, and I use SeaTools for Windows to verify their integrity. I use a router (provided by my cable co.). Once again, thank you very much for your help and suggestions. I may have no other recourse but to completely reinstall everything. God bless you sir.