This is an extremely annoying and so far unsolved problem I have come across on my system. I have put off posting a thread here as 90% of the time I can troubleshoot problems with my computer through searching. I can t take the hassle and anger anymore!
This problem may have something to do with the a few other problems posted before like the windows update clash. Please read the whole thread first as I ve tried numerous things recommended on this site and others!
I study and live away from home for university and I use this computer that I built myself about 2.5 years ago. It runs Windows XP with SP2. For more than 5 years I ve always installed and run ZoneAlarm firewalls on my computer as well as my parent s computers.
I use the free AVG antivirus and also do regular scans with Spybot Search and Destroy.
My problems started about 15 days ago. I woke up and turned the PC on not long after. ZA s update thing came up and took me to the update download page. I proceeded with the download like usual. After it had installed it prompted me that I had to restart the computer. This was fine I thought as I was going down to buy some new shoes. So I clicked restart and left the room.
I returned about 30 mins later and noticed the computer running but the screen was black and unresponsive. The Monitor light was green so I knew the monitor was receiving a signal. Moving the mouse or typing didn t change the screen. I thought that s weird and simply restarted the thing. As it started again I thought everything was normal but then the screen with the options of Start Normally Last Known Good Configuration and the Safe Mode options appeared. This wasn t a surprise as I did turn it off from the black screen.
I couldn t move the selection up or down though. It was stuck on Start Windows Normally and it was like my keyboard wasn t working. I did searches on the internet with the laptop downstairs and suspected maybe my video card has become faulty or dislodged. I pulled it out and reconnected it with no success. I was confused. I left it as it was and drove back to my home town. I returned here yesterday with the XP disc in the hopes of repairing the start up. As I was browsing thought the bios menus to change the boot device I noticed an option to enable USB keyboard and mouse. I hadn t noticed this option before and wondered if it had anything to do with the keyboard not responding on start up. I enabled them and rebooted. To my surprise I could arrow up and down and I selected Last Known Good Configuration. I don t know why those options were disabled but it was pure luck that I found them!
It started up this time and went to the log-in screen! I entered my password and it logged in. I immediately noticed that ZoneAlarm wasn t down in the tray. I thought it might take a bit longer or I might need to manually run it. Anyway after about 7-10minutes my Firefox stopped connecting. It would show page load error etc. Also Internet Explorer was the same! But the weird thing was that my MSN stayed signed in and I could chat to others fine but the browsers would not work. I tried many things but it was always the same. After about 7 minutes the browsers wouldn t load sites and the only way this could be fixed was to restart the computer. Not even disconnecting my wireless adapter or disabling the network affected the problem.
I realised that the last thing I installed before things went crazy was the ZA update. And every time I restarted the PC ZA never appeared in the tray. When I went to manually start up ZA, the computer would think for about 3 secs then just stop and nothing would happen. ZA wouldn t load up.
I started to think it was a failed installation or upgrade. I decided to uninstall it and try again. This is where it started getting really frustrating! I can t uninstall ZA! If I go to the Uninstall ZoneAlarm Security it just says
You do not have access to make the required system configuration modifications. Please rerun this installation from an administrators account.
Also, when I go into the location where ZA is installed and try to click the zauninst icon it produces the same message as above but when I click ok it comes up with the following message.
[b]Could not load the DLL library C:\DOCUME~1\ADMINI~1\LOCALS~1\Temp\vsutil.dll (WSERmdir). The specified procedure could not be found.
That s all well and good but I am the only user account on the PC and I am the administrator. I reformatted the Hard drive about 6 months ago and only created the 1 account and it s called Administrator and I have the correct privileges I thought.
But after some research and the advice of checking permissions I ve found a problem. When I go into the Registry Editor and into the location HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Zone Labs and right click and select permissions I can select Allow on Full Control on all account accept the CREATOR OWNER . I find this weird as I am the only account on here. The guest account is turned off.
I ve attached what I am talking about. The problem with the permissions is that I can enable full control to all users except the CREATOR OWNER. Even when I select full control and click apply the boxes untick themselves for the creator owner. So what is the problem here? How can I get back all of my control so I can uninstall the ZA?
Also, something I ve just noticed. Just after I log into my account, there s ZA processes running. Both the zclient.exe and vsmon.exe and running. When I look at the CPU usage under performance the graph is up and down in a crazy fashion! It contains sharp spikes and is constantly rising and dropping very quickly. When I end these 2 processes the CPU usage graph dies down and sits on a pretty much smooth line.
Any and all help is appreciated!