IT help - my laptop is possessed

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timothy42b
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IT help - my laptop is possessed

Post by timothy42b »

Something unusual happened to my laptop last night.

It's a old Dell Latitude 5430, running Windows 10 though I bought it used and not sure what it shipped with. It goes to sleep after 30 minutes. The only weird thing is it drops internet about half the time when it goes to sleep and I turn it on manually. I have it connected to an M-Audio interface and through that to an Onkyo stereo and polkaudio speakers.

My den is next to my daughter's bedroom. Last night at 1:30 AM it woke her. She said it was like a radio program with a lot of people shouting and lots of bad words. She got up to deal with it, probably with a hammer (she said she thought it must be password protected) but there was a little thumbnail down in the corner and she was able to pause it. So somehow it came out of sleep mode on its own and played some kind of audio or video clip, and erased it before I woke it this morning. This sounds a bit like a Facebook video, that moves off to the right when you scroll past.

I couldn't find anything this morning. I did a Windows quick scan and will do the offline scan later, but so far nothing. It hasn't been to any questionable sites. I use youtube a lot, for music, sports and DIY mostly. The last software I added was VSDC, a video editor, about a month ago. I had a few tabs open but none were playing.

Any theories?
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hyperbolica
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Re: IT help - my laptop is possessed

Post by hyperbolica »

Sometimes updates run, and may shut down and restart the computer and reopen something that was running previously. Mine did an update last night. You may want to check auto update settings and maybe get in the habit of just turning it off at night.
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Matt K
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Re: IT help - my laptop is possessed

Post by Matt K »

Yep, I can almost guarantee that’s what happened. Super common if you’re looking at news sites which sometimes have auto playing ads. Those are quasi randomly shown, so being able to reproduce that might be difficult. Shutting down a machine for the night is the best way to avoid similar surprises in the future!
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BGuttman
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Re: IT help - my laptop is possessed

Post by BGuttman »

Another thing to do is look at your power settings. My machines are set up to never shut down when on AC but to shut down in an hour when on battery (a holdover from when a battery only lasted about an hour). You should be able to change these settings in the Power Manager app.

Note that Dell might have their own Power Manager separate from the one in Windoze 10. I know all my Lenovo ones do. I haven't been inside a Dell for quite a while so I'm not current.
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timothy42b
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Re: IT help - my laptop is possessed

Post by timothy42b »

It updated at 12:39, so that makes sense.

I've been letting it sleep at night instead of shutting down because I want the updates to happen, but I guess I could schedule them.

My daughter says the screen was on and the video playing in the lower right corner. That does sound like an ad. Does the update wake the screen? Because when this one sleeps, it doesn't wake if you move the mouse or hit a key, I have to press the power button.
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Matt K
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Re: IT help - my laptop is possessed

Post by Matt K »

timothy42b wrote: Thu Mar 16, 2023 7:30 am It updated at 12:39, so that makes sense.

I've been letting it sleep at night instead of shutting down because I want the updates to happen, but I guess I could schedule them.

My daughter says the screen was on and the video playing in the lower right corner. That does sound like an ad. Does the update wake the screen? Because when this one sleeps, it doesn't wake if you move the mouse or hit a key, I have to press the power button.
You probably have it configured to not wake on key press. Theres like 30 ways to get it to do that as best I can remember so figuring out how you invoked that might be tricky but that almost certainly sounds like what happened. I had mine configured to do that for a while when I was on windows because the mouse that was on it was super sensitive, so I'd put it to sleep and it would wake immediately based on the vibrations of me walking away from the computer.

The update process will wake the screen whether or not a key was pressed. What I personally do is schedule my machines to start early in the morning... say 6AM and then do the updates so that I don't wake someone up but also so that the update happens before I really need to use the machine. Windows puts out updates on Tuesdays, so for my Windows machines, I tend to at least do that auto power on on Wednesday.
blap73
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Re: IT help - my laptop is possessed

Post by blap73 »

I got so annoyed with Windows updates. Hey, important, we are going to reboot in 30 minutes unless you say no! It says while I'm not there... so it boots and I lose work. Several years ago I went to Ubuntu and now only rarely do I go into Windows for those few things that only run in Windows. No random boots!
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Burgerbob
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Re: IT help - my laptop is possessed

Post by Burgerbob »

If you don't leave your computer on all the time, you can choose when this happens instead of it doing it at night.
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harrisonreed
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Re: IT help - my laptop is possessed

Post by harrisonreed »

Windows updates have become unbearable on my non-ssd "media" machine. What is it, Tuesday, that the updates come out? Turn the box on and forget about it -- I ain't watching any Crunchyroll until that thing chokes on some bloated update for at least an hour.

My SSD machine has no such problem. Well, it used to until I cloned it into an SSD drive. Same hardware otherwise. Seriously, how big are these updates?
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Matt K
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Re: IT help - my laptop is possessed

Post by Matt K »

I think it’s mostly read operations.
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