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Frequent Vista problem

R

RickyTheFish

#1
I have been having a problem with my Windows Vista Home Premium installation
for the past week or so, with the problem getting more frequent day by day.
I usually notice this happen after a period of inactivity, but the duration
of the inactivity is seemingly random.

Basically, I will come back to the computer to see that Firefox or whatever
windows I might have open have stopped responding. I attempt to close with
the X to no avail, then try to close using the Task Bar. When this fails, I
try to open the Task Manager to close the program manually, only to lock up
the computer for 45-60 seconds on a black screen, and then receive the
message "Logon process has failed to create the security options dialog.
Failure - Security Options". Clicking OK on this dialog takes me back to my
now totally unresponsive computer. No windows can be closed by any means,
and the computer must be turned off manually, which I hate doing.

Is there anything that might be broken with Logon Process, or is there any
way I can fix this problem? Vista and I have enough fights as it is, I'd
really like to decrease our argument fodder by one instance, if possible.
 
S

solon fox

#2
On Apr 10, 3:17 pm, RickyTheFish
<RickyTheF...@xxxxxx> wrote:

> I have been having a problem with my Windows Vista Home Premium installation
> for the past week or so, with the problem getting more frequent day by day..  
> I usually notice this happen after a period of inactivity, but the duration
> of the inactivity is seemingly random.
>
> Basically, I will come back to the computer to see that Firefox or whatever
> windows I might have open have stopped responding.  I attempt to close with
> the X to no avail, then try to close using the Task Bar.  When this fails, I
> try to open the Task Manager to close the program manually, only to lock up
> the computer for 45-60 seconds on a black screen, and then receive the
> message "Logon process has failed to create the security options dialog.  
> Failure - Security Options".  Clicking OK on this dialog takes me back to my
> now totally unresponsive computer.  No windows can be closed by any means,
> and the computer must be turned off manually, which I hate doing.
>
> Is there anything that might be broken with Logon Process, or is there any
> way I can fix this problem?  Vista and I have enough fights as it is, I'd
> really like to decrease our argument fodder by one instance, if possible.
How long have you had the system? Is it new?

Have you checked for any updates that might be running and not only
Windows automatic updates, but also antivirus/firewall or application
updates?

It sounds like you have something that is running in the background
and trying to finish. When you leave your computer alone, it
eventually takes priority and isn't quite letting you have back
control.

It could also be hibernation settings, spyware, malware or even
network settings updates.

It could be windows indexing too - which is why I ask if it is a
fairly new system.

I had a similar experience with a big upgrade from my Norton security
suite. So, basically there are lots of things that could cause this
behavior temporarily. There are maybe only a few that might persist,
like a runaway process (some application that is misbehaving) or
malware.

I'd check for updates on everything you can think of.

-solon fox
 
R

RickyTheFish

#3
I purchased this machine around mid-August of 2007, and the version of
Windows Vista I am running is the factory installation that came with the
machine. I have already done an update and run-through of Ad-Aware as well
as Spybot S&D to check for malware with current malware definitions and
program updates, to no avail. I have recently downloaded all available
Windows Updates (2 days ago). My antivirus software updates virus
definitions at least once a day, and I have run a full scan.

I have only noticed this problem for about the last week, two weeks at the
most. At first, I could leave the machine idle for 24 hours or more, but
now, I find the problem occurring twice a day, at least.

To be honest, I don't really know how to check Hibernation settings; I've
checked in the Power Management console, and my computer is set to sleep
"Never," but I'm not sure if that's what you were referring to or not.



"solon fox" wrote:

> On Apr 10, 3:17 pm, RickyTheFish
> <RickyTheF...@xxxxxx> wrote:

> > I have been having a problem with my Windows Vista Home Premium installation
> > for the past week or so, with the problem getting more frequent day by day..
> > I usually notice this happen after a period of inactivity, but the duration
> > of the inactivity is seemingly random.
> >
> > Basically, I will come back to the computer to see that Firefox or whatever
> > windows I might have open have stopped responding. I attempt to close with
> > the X to no avail, then try to close using the Task Bar. When this fails, I
> > try to open the Task Manager to close the program manually, only to lock up
> > the computer for 45-60 seconds on a black screen, and then receive the
> > message "Logon process has failed to create the security options dialog.
> > Failure - Security Options". Clicking OK on this dialog takes me back to my
> > now totally unresponsive computer. No windows can be closed by any means,
> > and the computer must be turned off manually, which I hate doing.
> >
> > Is there anything that might be broken with Logon Process, or is there any
> > way I can fix this problem? Vista and I have enough fights as it is, I'd
> > really like to decrease our argument fodder by one instance, if possible.
>
> How long have you had the system? Is it new?
>
> Have you checked for any updates that might be running and not only
> Windows automatic updates, but also antivirus/firewall or application
> updates?
>
> It sounds like you have something that is running in the background
> and trying to finish. When you leave your computer alone, it
> eventually takes priority and isn't quite letting you have back
> control.
>
> It could also be hibernation settings, spyware, malware or even
> network settings updates.
>
> It could be windows indexing too - which is why I ask if it is a
> fairly new system.
>
> I had a similar experience with a big upgrade from my Norton security
> suite. So, basically there are lots of things that could cause this
> behavior temporarily. There are maybe only a few that might persist,
> like a runaway process (some application that is misbehaving) or
> malware.
>
> I'd check for updates on everything you can think of.
>
> -solon fox
>
 
S

solon fox

#4
On Apr 10, 5:14 pm, RickyTheFish
<RickyTheF...@xxxxxx> wrote:

> I purchased this machine around mid-August of 2007, and the version of
> Windows Vista I am running is the factory installation that came with the
> machine.  I have already done an update and run-through of Ad-Aware as well
> as Spybot S&D to check for malware with current malware definitions and
> program updates, to no avail.  I have recently downloaded all available
> Windows Updates (2 days ago).  My antivirus software updates virus
> definitions at least once a day, and I have run a full scan.
>
> I have only noticed this problem for about the last week, two weeks at the
> most.  At first, I could leave the machine idle for 24 hours or more, but
> now, I find the problem occurring twice a day, at least.
>
> To be honest, I don't really know how to check Hibernation settings; I've
> checked in the Power Management console, and my computer is set to sleep
> "Never," but I'm not sure if that's what you were referring to or not.
>
>
>
> "solon fox" wrote:

> > On Apr 10, 3:17 pm, RickyTheFish
> > <RickyTheF...@xxxxxx> wrote:

> > > I have been having a problem with my Windows Vista Home Premium installation
> > > for the past week or so, with the problem getting more frequent day byday..  
> > > I usually notice this happen after a period of inactivity, but the duration
> > > of the inactivity is seemingly random.
>

> > > Basically, I will come back to the computer to see that Firefox or whatever
> > > windows I might have open have stopped responding.  I attempt to close with
> > > the X to no avail, then try to close using the Task Bar.  When this fails, I
> > > try to open the Task Manager to close the program manually, only to lock up
> > > the computer for 45-60 seconds on a black screen, and then receive the
> > > message "Logon process has failed to create the security options dialog.  
> > > Failure - Security Options".  Clicking OK on this dialog takes me back to my
> > > now totally unresponsive computer.  No windows can be closed by any means,
> > > and the computer must be turned off manually, which I hate doing.
>

> > > Is there anything that might be broken with Logon Process, or is thereany
> > > way I can fix this problem?  Vista and I have enough fights as it is, I'd
> > > really like to decrease our argument fodder by one instance, if possible.
>

> > How long have you had the system? Is it new?
>

> > Have you checked for any updates that might be running and not only
> > Windows automatic updates, but also antivirus/firewall or application
> > updates?
>

> > It sounds like you have something that is running in the background
> > and trying to finish. When you leave your computer alone, it
> > eventually takes priority and isn't quite letting you have back
> > control.
>

> > It could also be hibernation settings, spyware, malware or even
> > network settings updates.
>

> > It could be windows indexing too - which is why I ask if it is a
> > fairly new system.
>

> > I had a similar experience with a big upgrade from my Norton security
> > suite. So, basically there are lots of things that could cause this
> > behavior temporarily. There are maybe only a few that might persist,
> > like a runaway process (some application that is misbehaving) or
> > malware.
>

> > I'd check for updates on everything you can think of.
>

> > -solon fox- Hide quoted text -
>
> - Show quoted text -
Hi,
Based upon how long you've had the computer and the fact that the
problem started only a week ago, I am inclined to believe that it
isn't a power management setting (hibernation). Since you don't know
where it is, it is unlikely that you changed it (found in Control
Panel->Hardware and Sound->Power Options). [Tip: Control Panel has a
great search feature - just go to control panel and type 'hibernation'
or 'power'].

My guess (because, all we can really do is guess without seeing for
ourselves) is that there is a background, defrag, scan or indexing
that is running. I know this must be a real pain for you.

I would try a few things, I would try clearing temporary files - there
might be a rogue ActiveX or something haunting you. I would schedule
my defrags [control panel -> search for 'defrag'] -- I run mine
nightly, but I'm a heavy user. I would also look at performance
management [Control Panel->System and Maintenance->Performance
Information and Tools] There's a nifty little guide "Learn how you can
improve your computer's performance" that will walk you through a
series of stuff to do.

If nothing seems to help, then I'd disable all start up programs and
begin enabling them one at a time until I find the culprit - the guide
sort of hints at that, but not so much.

There are so many applications today that push automatic updates, it's
hard to guess who the culprit might be. My hunch is that it isn't
malware so much as software behaving badly from iTunes to Acrobat to
Shockwave to... oh, it could be just about anybody who isn't being
nice about pushing something your way.

Good luck! I'll check back to see if you post more information, or if
anyone else has better ideas.

-solon fox

P.S. You might be able to download process explorer and it might help
you to see what is actually eating your resources.
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb896653.aspx
 
R

RickyTheFish

#5
Well, I've run my malware and virus scanning programs twice each, and I've
download the Process Explorer, though I don't really know what I'm looking
for when I run it. Last night I left the computer idle for around 8 or 9
hours, and did not have the problem when I got back to the computer.

Something that might have relevance is Firefox... I seem to recall that more
often than not, I have a Firefox window open when I leave the computer idle.
Maybe it is the Firefox process that somehow ties up the system. Tonight I
will leave a Firefox window open, and see what happens. Hopefully, it's as
simple as remembering to close all my browser windows =)

I'll post again later.
 
S

solon fox

#6
On Apr 11, 4:08 pm, RickyTheFish
<RickyTheF...@xxxxxx> wrote:

> Well, I've run my malware and virus scanning programs twice each, and I've
> download the Process Explorer, though I don't really know what I'm looking
> for when I run it.  Last night I left the computer idle for around 8 or 9
> hours, and did not have the problem when I got back to the computer.
>
> Something that might have relevance is Firefox... I seem to recall that more
> often than not, I have a Firefox window open when I leave the computer idle.  
> Maybe it is the Firefox process that somehow ties up the system.  Tonight I
> will leave a Firefox window open, and see what happens.  Hopefully, it'sas
> simple as remembering to close all my browser windows =)
>
> I'll post again later.
I use Firefox and IE. I don't see any reason that an open browser
should cause the problem. I'd check to see if any recent updates
(large downloads) were the cause. With a little luck, your computer
has healed itself.

It sounds like you're doing all the right things. You might consider
clearing browser cache and doing a disk cleanup (in Explorer, right
click your hard drive, properties, disk cleanup). It never hurts to
tidy up a bit.

-solon fox
 
R

RickyTheFish

#7
Well, I let my computer idle for 48 hours with a Firefox window open, and the
problem did not repeat. Though I haven't really changed or removed anything,
it seems the problem (for now) may have been alleviated.

I'll keep an eye on it for a couple weeks or so, but hopefully I won't be
seeing this any more. Thanks for your advice, solon fox.

--
RickyTheFish.

"solon fox" wrote:

> On Apr 11, 4:08 pm, RickyTheFish
> <RickyTheF...@xxxxxx> wrote:

> > Well, I've run my malware and virus scanning programs twice each, and I've
> > download the Process Explorer, though I don't really know what I'm looking
> > for when I run it. Last night I left the computer idle for around 8 or 9
> > hours, and did not have the problem when I got back to the computer.
> >
> > Something that might have relevance is Firefox... I seem to recall that more
> > often than not, I have a Firefox window open when I leave the computer idle.
> > Maybe it is the Firefox process that somehow ties up the system. Tonight I
> > will leave a Firefox window open, and see what happens. Hopefully, it's as
> > simple as remembering to close all my browser windows =)
> >
> > I'll post again later.
>
> I use Firefox and IE. I don't see any reason that an open browser
> should cause the problem. I'd check to see if any recent updates
> (large downloads) were the cause. With a little luck, your computer
> has healed itself.
>
> It sounds like you're doing all the right things. You might consider
> clearing browser cache and doing a disk cleanup (in Explorer, right
> click your hard drive, properties, disk cleanup). It never hurts to
> tidy up a bit.
>
> -solon fox
>
 
R

RickyTheFish

#8
Well, unfortunately, after having left the computer idle for around 7 hours
with Firefox open, I did just now have the problem pop up again. One thing
that I did notice before I manually turned off the machine was that the Java
Platform was open. Is it possible maybe Java Updater or the Java Platform
itself could be causing this problem? I'll try to keep an eye out next time
this happens and see if Java is open or not, but right now it's pretty much
the only thing I have to go on.

--
RickyTheFish.
 
S

solon fox

#9
On Apr 17, 4:59 pm, RickyTheFish
<RickyTheF...@xxxxxx> wrote:

> Well, unfortunately, after having left the computer idle for around 7 hours
> with Firefox open, I did just now have the problem pop up again.  One thing
> that I did notice before I manually turned off the machine was that the Java
> Platform was open.  Is it possible maybe Java Updater or the Java Platform
> itself could be causing this problem?  I'll try to keep an eye out next time
> this happens and see if Java is open or not, but right now it's pretty much
> the only thing I have to go on.
>
> --
> RickyTheFish.
This is not the ideal solution, but considering what you've been
through... well, it will be better than continuing to live with the
problem.

Go to Start::Control Panel->Hardware and Sound->Power Options, select
"Change when the computer sleeps." Where it says "Put the computer to
sleep," select "Never" from the drop down. There may be two sets of
settings; one for battery power, and one for "plugged in," or you may
only see one on your computer if you have no battery.

This isn't the greenest thing to do, but it is better than having to
do the hard restarts, which aren't good for your hard drive, your
system configuration, or your blood pressure.

Vista SP1 is supposed to fix the problem that you describe. I don't
recall whether you mentioned if you had SP1 yet. But, I know that you
did say that you were current with all automatic updates. SP1 has
problems with some drivers and automatic update will not push SP1 to
people with those drivers until new drivers are available. The new
drivers will also be available from Windows automatic update, so you
don't need to do anything special other than wait for it to arrive.

You can check to see if you have SP1 by hitting Winkey+Pause. If you
have SP1 it will clearly state so in the upper right hand pane of the
resulting pane.

You can also go to Control Panel->System and Maintenance->Problem
Reports and Solutions, and try running "Check for new solutions." This
will send a problem report, which will include your system crashes to
a Microsoft database (no personal information is sent). Simply follow
the instructions presented. You might find something; however, based
upon the number of people reporting your specific problem (there are a
lot), I doubt that a solution is currently available.

My suggestion is to follow my first set of instructions to prevent
your computer from sleeping. I am very confident that this will work
for you. Although it doesn't actually fix the bug you are
experiencing, at least you won't be dealing with the application
freezes and the hard restarts.

Then, from time to time (like in a few months) you can check Problem
Reports and Solutions, or enable sleep mode again and test. Meanwhile,
try to remember to turn out the lights from time to time in order to
make up for not being so energy friendly with your computer. ;-)

I hope this helps! Let me know if you find it useful.

-solon fox