I recently installed the updated Dell Support Center (DSC) onto my Inspiron 1520 with Win XP(SP3) and ran the included PC Checkup (PCC) powered by PC-Doctor. Everything went smoothly; however, a little later, I started to notice a random .wav sound (a click followed by a "bubbling" sound like someone pouring liquid out of a bottle) occurring in the background even when DSC/PCC was closed.
I initially thought this sound was related to some malware that recently attacked my PC, but I have run every clean-up tool possible, including several AV programs, Malwarebytes, Trojan Remover, ComboFix, and various bootkit detectors, and all show that my PC is CLEAN. It was clean before I installed the DSC update.
I have tried an experiment in which I opened DSC/PCC and just let it sit there while I worked on my PC for several hours. Guess what? The sound did not occur once. Shortly after I closed it again, the sound came back and became more frequent when I noodled around in Control Panel\Administrative Tools\Services. This has led me to believe that the background .wav sound is being caused by PCC's Performance and Configuration History program, which appears to be monitoring my hard drive even when DSC/PCC is closed.
I don't mind that the program is always running in the background, but the sound is very annoying. Is there any way to disable the sound besides leaving DSC/PCC open all the time?
I have already gone into Control Panel\Sounds and Audio Devices\Sounds, selected "Windows Default" as my Sound Scheme, and listened to each of the listed sounds to see if it sounds like the .wav I'm hearing. None of the Windows Default sounds matches it.
Too funny! The sound is more of a short "ployk." The DSC/PCC has no alterable settings at all. It is an Internet-dependent program that is set in stone.
I've already tested to see if blocking or unblocking the program's Internet access had any effect on the sound by changing the permissions in ZoneAlarm. This had no effect. The sound occurred when the program was closed and Internet access was allowed and did NOT occur when the program was open and Internet access was denied.
well... iread your other thread...and i can't solve it but, if you want to disable a service so it won't restart, type 'msconfig' in the 'run' line, then 'services' tab. maybe that will help(unless you already knew that)
I've solved the problem. It turns out that my laptop was not clean of the malware and that the malware sent up the prompts for me to install a FAKE version of Dell Support Center/PC Doctor. After a lot of work with a computer tech, the laptop is now completely clean of the malware and the fake Dell Support Center/PC Doctor.
The sounds were being caused by my Fujitsu hard drive. Fujitsu hard drives have a history of making random popping sounds "like a ping-pong ball hitting a hard surface" when the system is idle. This problem gets worse with age. It can also be caused by a problem in the file structure that causes the hard drive to keep looking for a nonexistent sector until the arm hits the stops.
The sounds have all but disappeared since the malware was cleaned from my laptop; however, they occur about every 5 min. when the system is idle. I have run Temporary File Cleaner (by Oldtimer), Chkdsk, and a couple of defragmenters. These were responsible for reducing the frequency of the sounds to this latest level. I will wait awhile until my hard drive is more defragmented and run these again. This might cause the sounds to become more infrequent or to disappear.
The only other option would be to reformat my hard drive, which I won't do as it's not worth it to reinstall all my old programs, particularly considering that Windows XP will only be supported through 2014.
That's OK! This was a case of problems being nested in problems being nested in problems... It wasn't until I figured out that the malware was at the root of everything that I was able to get the right help and start fixing things.
Some remnant of the malware might still be causing the sounds by forcing my hard drive to keep looking for a nonexistent sector. Future runs of TFC, Chkdsk, and defragmenters might cure this. It's also possible that the sounds result from simple aging of the hard drive. In either case, I have all my data files backed up and am prepared for the day the hard drive fails.