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Start Menu is freezing


conceptualclarity
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I am not at present able to use my Start Menu or Quick Launch. If I try they freeze up, remaining on the screen and thereby obstructing my usage. Then the taskbar and system tray will also become unusable. However already opened applications and Explorer windows remain usable.

 

This came on the heels of a trauma on my system. I had installed the program SnoopFree Privacy Shield. At first I liked it. Then I ran into significant problems with screenshots. I wanted to disable the program to test things, but I couldn't disable the service, get it off autostart, or shred it, and uninstallers wouldn't remove it. I think the fact that it had installed itself to System32 was protecting it. I spent a long time on the issue before getting WinPatrol to do a bootup delete of it.

 

Right after that these Explorer problems began. I am certain that I'm completely rid of SnoopFree.

 

(By the way, can one block third-party programs from installing to System32?)

 

Prior to all this, I was having problems with wmiprvse.exe grabbing too much CPU. The prescribed remedy of restarting it at Services was effective. I have had problems at times with my CPU Usage being dominated by System Idle Process as programs such as browsers and email and Services failed to grab the available processing power and make their GUIs appear.

 

Windows XP Home Edition 32-bit SP3

CPU: Intel Pentium 4 Northwood 0.13um Tech

RAM: 2.00 GB DDR @ 166MHz (2.5-3-3-7)

Machine: Dell Computer Corp. 0G1548

Graphics Default Monitor (1280x1024@60Hz)

Intel 82845G/GL/GE/PE/GV Graphics Controller

Storage:

74.5 GB Seagate ST380011A (ATA)

3.67 GB Lexar USB Flash DriveUSB Device (USB)

119.22 GB PNY USB 2.0 FD USB Device (USB)

SAMSUNG CD-R/RW SW-252S Optical Drive

Unimodem Half-Duplex Audio Device

Anti-Virus

Roboscan free

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Problems like this are very hard to pin down. Your best bet is to wipe and reload unless you have a restore point from before all this started to happen. It will be much quicker too,

 

As far as installers putting files in the system32 folder, there's sometimes little that you can do to avoid that as the installation routine demands that. I keep an overwhelming amount of my programs on a different partition than the OS. I always look for portable versions and if one is not available in that format, I try to make it so. This involves running the installer in a sandbox using Sandboxie (just google it) and then taking the program and out of the sandboxed folders and moving them to my programs partition. This includes the files it places in system32...usually dlls. A lot of programs will load the dlls and so on from the program's directory so they still work. I also use Universal Extractor (just google it too) to extract the program files from installers and do the same with those. Sometimes you need to register the dlls.

 

The only programs I currently have on my OS drive (3 GB) are Flash, Google Chrome (they do make a portable version but I prefer having a cache for faster browsing), Google Chrome Frame, Java and Wuala.

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Thank you for your response.
 
I was very disturbed a few days ago to find that when I tried to implement my last dozen or so System Restore points, with each one Windows acted like it was going to restore them but then comes up at the last minute and tells me it cannot. Also, there was about a week, last week, in which no Restore points were recorded. That isn't supposed to happen.
 
I have a Dell Service Pack 1a Reinstallation CD for XP Home. I am getting rid of big unwanted files and folders on my system before backing it up. I'll back up the external hard drive (which has much more data than C) to a 128GB flash drive and back up C to the external hard drive. Then I plan to reinstall.
 
So portable programs are not going to be installing services, drivers, etc.? 
 
Do you think I'm correct in attributing the SnoopFree service's near immortality and invincibility to its being installed in system32?
 
I very recently got Universal Extractor, but I haven't really learned to use it yet.
 
I once tried Sandboxie. My processor was not up to handling it. System was frozen till I got rid of it. Maybe on my next computer.
 

Sometimes you need to register the dlls.

 
Could you explain?

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