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This relates to an XP Pro box, SP3, .net3.5, regularly updated.

For about two weeks, my computer has been exhibiting the following behavior:

It runs perfectly, until I leave it for the 20 minutes required for it to automatically lock and go into power save mode.

When I log back in, it has the following issues:

  1. Whatever windows I have open won't re-paint properly. The windows are visible, and can be interacted with, but the title bar and some other parts of the chrome show my desktop, as if they won't repaint. The same happens on the task bar, with several parts of it, including the quicklaunch, and the actual taskbar buttons of currently open programs.

  2. Most of my programs that try to interact with the hard drive give me an error to the effect that there is not enough space to complete the operation. This is not correct, as I have about 30GB free on my dedicated windows drive, and several hundred free on the drive I store data on.

  3. If I try to open any new programs, they may open, or I may get a popup window telling me that (path to program) cannot be run because it is an invalid file. It's always just the path to whatever executable I am trying to open, or a DLL in the case of a windows module.

  4. If I try to restart, either via the start menu or the CTRL+ALT+DEL menu, sometimes the drop down for what type of shutdown won't drop down, other times it does and I select shut down or restart, hit OK, and then it doesn't shut down - nothing happens.

  5. Just now, I have a Data Execution Prevention window telling me that Windows Explorer was closed to protect windows.

I am sure this boils down to a corrupted DLL or an incomplete install or something. Probable the fastest way to fix it is to just take the 3 hours to reinstall and reconfigure, but any ideas on what may be causing this?


Any ideas?

share|improve this question

Problems with the Windows power management features are caused 99% of the time by faulty drivers or incompatible hardware (but in your case you could discard the hardware since it worked fine previously).

If you updated a driver recently, I'd try to revert to the previous version.

share|improve this answer
Haven't made any changes, but good explanation. – Eli Nov 19 '10 at 20:06

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