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General Chat Thread, Personal (home) Computer doing some very strange things...!! in General; I've put this here as it's about my own PC rather than a school's one... The Father-in-Law sent me his ...
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    Personal (home) Computer doing some very strange things...!!

    I've put this here as it's about my own PC rather than a school's one...

    The Father-in-Law sent me his PC across from Bristol last weekend, complaining that it booted OK, but "the screen goes black and I don't get any icons". As I'd just moved house, I left it for a week, turned it on this weekend - all booted fine. The only thing I noticed was that running an AVG scan returned an error reading the MBR. Other than that, I cleaned it up (physically and OS-ly) and it's running fine.

    Last night, I booted my own PC up - it went through POST, displayed the XP (Pro!) splash screen on loading, and then when it went to load the desktop - my monitor went into standby (so that's the black screen then) and would not come out. Tried a diff monitor - the same. Managed to remote-desktop onto it from my laptop - ran an AVG scan - MBR errors.

    Before I go on - the FiL's computer has not been connected to my home network at any time. I haven't used any USB keys between the two. In fact, the nearest his computer has been to mine is about 1ft in the spare room!

    Now, is this a nasty MBR virus I'm seeing - but why the hell would it stop the desktop from displaying? I'm racking my brains over this one...


    The only common denominators are:
    Both machines have a *cough* version of XP on them (the same one)
    Both machines have AVG Anti Virus (or did, I've since removed it and put Avast on for now)

    Uncommon:
    My machine has an nVidia separate graphics card, the FiL's is onboard graphics. The motherboards are different manufacturers...


    Any ideas???

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    StewartKnight's Avatar
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    Re: Personal (home) Computer doing some very strange things...!!

    Firstly, you can ignore a MBR virus, simply because I've yet to see an airborne computer virus.

    We've all read about rootkits (and sony), and I'd wondered why no-one had come up with a MBR rootkit. Have you and your Dad been to the same website?

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    wesleyw's Avatar
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    Re: Personal (home) Computer doing some very strange things.

    Did you run the MBR fix utility included on the XP CD?

    Wes

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    Re: Personal (home) Computer doing some very strange things.

    @ Stewart : How about wireless lol thats airborne?

    Sorry couldn't resist!

    Wes

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    Sirbendy's Avatar
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    Re: Personal (home) Computer doing some very strange things...!!

    OK. No monitor signals, but Remote desktop is ok? Naff all to do with your disk or OS then. Nvidia though-try booting in VGA mode, not safe mode-just normal with VGA mode.

    I had this with Nvidia's detonator 33.xx series. It goes out of range and the monitor shuts down as a safety measure.

    Check your refresh rates when you get in..go for a basic 800x600x16@72hz, and see what happens.

    Try it with the other machine as well. My bet is video system error, probably driver related.

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    Geoff's Avatar
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    Re: Personal (home) Computer doing some very strange things.

    Quote Originally Posted by StewartKnight
    We've all read about rootkits (and sony), and I'd wondered why no-one had come up with a MBR rootkit. Have you and your Dad been to the same website?
    Screw your MBR. Your BIOS is a much more interesting target.

    http://www.securityfocus.com/news/11372?ref=rss

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    Re: Personal (home) Computer doing some very strange things...!!

    Strange thing I found though was that I've made no changes to the machine, and was running it happily all day Sunday.

    Will try VGA mode, I pondered on refresh rates, but when RDC'ing onto the machine and changing the refresh rates, surely I should get an output through the monitor?

    I wonder if there's been a recent video driver update through M$ - although my machine isn't set to auto-update...

    The monitor's fine though because I've plugged it into other machines and it works suitably with the same resolution I was running on my home machine.

    I'm going to take a crabby old graphics card home with me tonight and try that.

    @Wesleyw - yes, I ran the fixmbr, which told me that I had a corrupt or unknown MBR and despite fixing it and rerunning fixmbr, it says the same thing.

    This one's really got me scratching my head... think I should've bought the wireless router at Christmas after all instead of using my peer-to-peer wireless...

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    StewartKnight's Avatar
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    Re: Personal (home) Computer doing some very strange things...!!

    Geoff,

    I'd read about the BIOS rootkit, but I dismissed it, as there are so many differing BIOS's, and you need to start playing with jumpers to flash a lot of them.

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    Re: Personal (home) Computer doing some very strange things.

    Quote Originally Posted by indiegirl
    Will try VGA mode, I pondered on refresh rates, but when RDC'ing onto the machine and changing the refresh rates, surely I should get an output through the monitor?
    No, probably not. Opening a RDP connection to a PC is not like opening a VNC connection. Changing the refresh rate in an RDP session will only apply to the RDP session unlike VNC which takes over the desktop.

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    Re: Personal (home) Computer doing some very strange things...!!

    I too had dismissed the BIOS rootkits, and am still pondering on how (if it is a rootkit kinda issue) it's on there in the first place...

    Norphy: of course, I did know that... I'll get VNC on there later and see if that helps (after I've attacked it with a different graphics card)

    I've successfully booted into Safe Mode with it, so perhaps there is something funny going on refreshrate wise...

    I've got a GeForce 5200 (this is off the top of my head, the machine's old!) and a LG 17"TFT...

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    Sirbendy's Avatar
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    Re: Personal (home) Computer doing some very strange things...!!

    yep, I also have a 5200.

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    Re: Personal (home) Computer doing some very strange things...!!

    No, probably not. Opening a RDP connection to a PC is not like opening a VNC connection. Changing the refresh rate in an RDP session will only apply to the RDP session unlike VNC which takes over the desktop.
    Use the "-console" command line option if you want to access the local console of a machine using RDP.

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    Re: Personal (home) Computer doing some very strange things...!!

    Sorry to bump this again, but I'm still stuck with the damn thing.

    What I've done so far:

    1. Plugged monitor into laptop - tested at all resolutions and refresh rates that the laptop would give out - all seems fine, it's not the monitor!
    2. Opened a console onto the home PC via the laptop, changed res / refreshrate - no change - still goes into standby mode.

    I've pulled the graphics card out and popped it in a machine here today, it displays everything up to 1280 x 1024 with no problems.

    So - my last (and final) thought is that the AGP socket on my mobo's faulty - could that be possible? Obviously without getting another AGP card I can't test it!

    I'm going around in circles here trying to work out what the heck is going on. I think I'm going to give up and build a new machine as mine's 3 years old now... and isn't running FM2006 very well (much to the OH's annoyance). Athlon 64, socket 939 here we come...!!!

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    Re: Personal (home) Computer doing some very strange things...!!

    I suppose it could be the AGP slot..but I'd be surprised if you're getting no post errors codes from the speaker..

    Got any old PCI Graphics cards knocking about? I always keep a few in my filing cabinet.

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    Geoff's Avatar
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    Re: Personal (home) Computer doing some very strange things...!!

    Bios is set to look for the gfx on the PCI bus perhaps?

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