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Am new here, so please be gentle :)

I have a Windows XP Professional computer that's run just fine since 2003. Recently, it got hit with a truly strange symptom - the system will "lose focus" (stop responding to ANY keyboard/mouse input until Task Manager is run, and a item in Task Manager is clicked on. Then, the system will "regain focus" and respond for a bit - tonly to have the symptom repeat.

I run the latest version of Kaspersky Internet Security 2009, fully updated - and it's detected nothing. On visual insptection, my system had a funkily-namede .sys file iunthe Windows directory that didn't seem to be being used by anything. So, wanting to be safe and sure, I reformatted the system drive completely using a Full format, and reinstalled Windows XP from my original disk. Here's the weird thing: The symptom survived the reformat. Right now, my system is in the process of being restored, and only has Total Commander, Firefox, Thunderbird, and Kaspersky installed from fresh downloads - and not only this symptom has persisted, the Windows desktop is now locked as well - as In I cannot reposition icons, use drag and drop from the desktop, OR add to/ rearrange ANYTHIGN in the Quick Launch area. The taskbar is NOT locked, and the system thinks it is. This is on a FRESH, CLEAN install, mind you.

Any advice would be appreciated, it's the strangest thing I've ever seen.

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Last Post by johndmes
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Please give the complete configuration of your computer:

Operating System
Memory
Hard Drive
NIC Card ( If connected to an internet).

Do you mean to say that your computer completely hangs or it runs
slow?

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Please give the complete configuration of your computer:

Operating System
Memory
Hard Drive
NIC Card ( If connected to an internet).

Do you mean to say that your computer completely hangs or it runs
slow?

Operating system is Windows XP Professional, currently running Service Pack 2 - due to Microsoft's boneheaded Validation package, I have to update manually to SP2 before Validation will recognize my XP as genuine.

System is a older RDRAM-based Intel board (850EMV2, internal revision 19) with 1GB RDRAM arranged as 4 256MB modul;es.

Hard drive is a Western Digital 80GB PIDE< hooked tot he Primary IDE controller as s single drive. Other drives (a Seagate 80GB and a Maxtor 120GB) are hookjed tot he secondary IDE as master/slave.

NIC is a Linksys EG1032V2 Gigiabit PCI card, in slot two from the bottom.

The system both runs a bit slow, AND has the "losing focus" bit where it stops responding to ANY keyboard/mouse input until Task Manager is invoked and selected. Only commonality is that the system has to have been idle - for example, if I keep typing this, it'll remain in focus - pause for a minimum of 2 seconds, aand Explorewr will "lose focus" and stop resonding until Task Manage is brought up.

Explorer icons remain locked, and the Quicklaunch bar cannot be added to or rearranged - though icons can be deleted from it, nothing can be added by the USER - installers can add to it just fine.

This is happening after a full format - I don't believe in quick formats - after booting from a original Windows XP Professions release CD - and persists after the fresh install, AND after installation of SP2. The Windows is activated and genuine, so there shouldn't be any worries there.

It's getting to be really irritating - this system has already lost enough due to only being able to backup limited things due to the Explorer issues - and it's being even more of a bear to restore due tot he same thigns. Kinda hard to restore stuff when your backup's drag'n'drop - and your drag 'n drop's not working.

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if its messing up after a format it could be a hardware issue

It could be - if it is, it'd be the weirdest hardware issue I've ever seen though.

How could HARDWARE make Explorer not able to drag 'n drop? The icon attaches to my mouse pointer - but won't drop anywhere. I can - and not have the + indicator show up.

I can drag over a open window - have the + indicator show up, release the ponter and have NOTHING happen.

And that doesn't count the whole "losing focus" thing that's happening an pretty much anything - IExplore, Firefox, everywhere else - where the wondow stops responding after a couple of seconds - and the only way to "wake it up" being to go into Task Manager and click on something in the Process tab.

I'm not trying to be flip - if there's hardware that can cause that, I wanna know about it - so I can get rid of it. The ONLY issue this system has ever had is when fans stop working on it's graphics cards - nothing else.

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It can be a problem with CPU utilization, just
press "ALT"+"CTRL"+ "DEL" and in windows task manager,
click on "performance" tab on the top and let us know what
is the CPU and Paging file Usage.

Its not a operating system issue because you have formatted the hard drive
and reinstalled the operating system.

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I'm not trying to be flip - if there's hardware that can cause that, I wanna know about it - so I can get rid of it

Bad ram
IRQ issue
Dying HDD
Dying PSU
Overheat

any of those

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have u tried a different mouse or Keyboard? sometimes it's really the insignificant of issues that are the biggest problem.

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It can be a problem with CPU utilization, just
press "ALT"+"CTRL"+ "DEL" and in windows task manager,
click on "performance" tab on the top and let us know what
is the CPU and Paging file Usage.

Its not a operating system issue because you have formatted the hard drive
and reinstalled the operating system.

CPU usage is a bit variable - at idle anywhere from 2-4%.

Paging file usage is holding steady atr 247 MB - not too bad in a 1GB system.

Haven't optimized the system yet - trying to get past this Explorer issue before doing anything like that.

Still the weirdest thing I've seen.

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CPU usage is a bit variable - at idle anywhere from 2-4%.

Paging file usage is holding steady atr 247 MB - not too bad in a 1GB system.

Haven't optimized the system yet - trying to get past this Explorer issue before doing anything like that.

Still the weirdest thing I've seen.

Just a additional update - Formatted and reinstalled the system once again, and drag 'n drop reactivated - until I installed SP2 again. Then, drag 'n drop died once again, but at least the losing focus issue stopped.

Something in that SP2 installer is preventing drag 'n drop from working - will try to locate another installer, especially since MS is being a bit balky and letting me download the standalone installer.

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