[SOLVED] Something minimizes my full screen games



  • I have a very peculiar problem. If I start a full screen game immediately after booting PC, about a minute or two into the game, I'm suddenly getting dropped to desktop. The game I'm playing is minimized, and after restoring, everything works correctly. It happens with every game, and every single time I boot, and only once per boot, and only if I play within first two minutes from boot. It looks like something is stealing focus, but I have no other windows open, and nothing in my startup except AV and drivers.

    Does anyone have some idea how to fix the problem? How to detect what is stealing focus, or if I have some other issue?



  • Have you double-checked what is in the startup items? Autoruns from the SysInternals tool suite shows everything that starts up, listed in the config files, the startup folders, and the registry. I think it even lists services as well. Process Explorer and Process Monitor might also be of help in diagnosing what's happening.

    My guess is that it's possibly a background service that pops up, checks something behind the scenes, and then closes down. Maybe it's something like Windows Update (or Adobe, or something), checking for new updates?



  • Lets just say, there's a reason that I don't launch games when I first launch my PC.



  • @djls45 said in Something minimizes my full screen games:

    Have you double-checked what is in the startup items?

    Yes. As I said, only AV and drivers.

    @djls45 said in Something minimizes my full screen games:

    Process Explorer and Process Monitor might also be of help in diagnosing what's happening.

    Will try Process Monitor tomorrow.

    @djls45 said in Something minimizes my full screen games:

    My guess is that it's possibly a background service that pops up, checks something behind the scenes, and then closes down. Maybe it's something like Windows Update (or Adobe, or something), checking for new updates?

    Yeah, I haven't checked through services. But now that I look at the list of running services, I don't see anything obviously wrong (except that for some reason I have Punkbuster installed? Is it still alive!?)



  • So, Process Monitor didn't really help - no surprise, considering it only traces registry, file and network access and process creation and destruction. Thus I spent the last few hours making my own application that will trace the foreground window changes. My language of choice was C#, and that was mistake - working with WinAPI from C# is hell. But in the end, it works, and it found the culprit:

    0_1486410224086_Bez tytułu.png

    ...Anyone knows some good AV that it not Avira?

    And yes, I did forget to change default window title.



  • @Gąska said in Something minimizes my full screen games:

    ...Anyone knows some good AV that it not Avira?

    Please, only one topic per thread! :trolleybus:

    Kaspersky seems to be the best IME, but it is based in Moscow, so some people would have a problem with that.
    Symantec seems to have gotten a lot better than it was in the Norton days, but a reputation lost is not easily regained.
    McAfee may still be good, but I've heard it's quality has dropped a bit since John McAfee left.
    There's also Webroot, Bitdefender, Avast, Emsisoft, NOD32, F-Secure, Trend Micro, AVG, Panda, and Windows Defender.

    AIUI, as long as whatever AV you choose is kept up-to-date and you are careful of your network activities, you should almost never have a problem with malware.


  • Impossible Mission Players - A

    @Gąska
    For Windows 8 and newer, I would recommend using no third party AV -- just running the built-in Windows Defender gives you the same degree of protection as you get from 3rd party AVs, and in either case you wind up having to clean up from an external boot disk if you get a serious infection anyway.



  • @izzion Yeah, Windows Defender gets my vote too.


  • SockDev

    @Gąska said in [SOLVED] Something minimizes my full screen games:

    ...Anyone knows some good AV that it not Avira?

    with windows 8+, safe browsing habits, and a properly isolated network that you don't let randos authenticate to, Windows Defender does a bang up job of AV.

    Sure it doesn't score as high as some of the others in AV tests, but it scores remarkably well against the sort of nasties that are actually relevant today, and you can further improve your protection by having the aforementioned safe browsing habits.

    not only that, but Windows Defender is free with full support from the vendor until the scheduled End of Support life of your operating system.

    which is pretty damn sweet, considering the craptacularness of the free AV solutions and the cost of the paid AV solutions out there.





  • I third windows defender. It's probably not as good as the other guys, but I've yet to get a virus with it.



  • I'm glad to see this discussed, because I had been wondering for some time about whether using only Windows Defender was sane. Everyone seems to say so, which is good, getting rid of all the cruft that any other AV brings in can only help.


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    @dangeRuss Whenever some family member tells me something about their computer and then asks me if they have a virus I tell them:
    "Look, whatever you just described doesn't sound like a virus. But it is in your best interest to accept the fact that you probably have a virus. You just haven't noticed it, yet."
    I find that understanding that just because you don't see a virus doesn't mean you don't have any has 2 positive effects:
    a) In case you notice a virus you don't freak out
    b) You start to develope browsing habits that are comparable to those "safe browsing habits" that @accalia mentioned.


    I personally use Kasperky on this laptop which is bad for watching youtube videos and AVG on my tower PC. I don't believe in Windows Defender But then again, I don't believe I am free of viruses, either!

    Filed Under: I didn't change my browsing habits, btw. I still go to horrible sites like this one
    Also Filed Under: my motto is: What doesn't kill your computer makes you browse safer!



  • @Kuro said in [SOLVED] Something minimizes my full screen games:

    @dangeRuss Whenever some family member tells me something about their computer and then asks me if they have a virus I tell them:
    "Look, whatever you just described doesn't sound like a virus. But it is in your best interest to accept the fact that you probably have a virus. You just haven't noticed it, yet."
    I find that understanding that just because you don't see a virus doesn't mean you don't have any has 2 positive effects:
    a) In case you notice a virus you don't freak out
    b) You start to develope browsing habits that are comparable to those "safe browsing habits" that @accalia mentioned.


    I personally use Kasperky on this laptop which is bad for watching youtube videos and AVG on my tower PC. I don't believe in Windows Defender But then again, I don't believe I am free of viruses, either!

    Filed Under: I didn't change my browsing habits, btw. I still go to horrible sites like this one
    Also Filed Under: my motto is: What doesn't kill your computer makes you browse safer!

    I feel like real viruses are a thing of the past. Now I think there are 2 types of viruses that you are likely to get

    1. Ransomware - This one is bad, and the only way to really protect yourself is with backups.
    2. Adware. This one is more annoying then anything. I haven't seen one in a while, but I assume they show annoying ads and try to get you to buy their services or something.

    There are also those that will turn your PC into a zombie for carrying out DDOS attacks, but I've never seen one of those. Of course you probably wouldn't see it, and that's the problem. They're probably quite harmless to the user though.

    One thing that I used to run is Adbot Search and Destroy. It goes a good job finding these guys (often when the AV programs miss them) and has some inoculations. I wonder how useful it is though, as I haven't need to run it in a while.


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    @dangeRuss said in [SOLVED] Something minimizes my full screen games:

    One thing that I used to run is Adbot Search and Destroy. It goes a good job finding these guys (often when the AV programs miss them) and has some inoculations. I wonder how useful it is though, as I haven't need to run it in a while.

    Don't know about Adbot, since I haven't used it in a decade, but the free version of Malwarebytes is still great a neutralizing all adware and crapware. I use it at least once a year to clean up a relative's computer.


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    @dangeRuss The viruses I am midly afraid of are keyloggers, tbh. Those sound the most scary in our digital age.

    Filed Under: You missed them, so I figured I'd at least give 'em an honorable mention!


  • kills Dumbledore

    @Kuro KeePass has a part auto type, part clipboard method of auto filling passwords that's meant to protect against keyloggers and clipboard sniffers. Obviously it wouldn't be impossible to write something that combines the two to get your passwords, but it's pretty good if you're worried about keylogging


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election



  • @dangeRuss said in [SOLVED] Something minimizes my full screen games:

    Adware

    Ah, the joys of using someone else's computer and having it try to sell you counterfeit handbags every time you use Google.



  • @Kuro said in [SOLVED] Something minimizes my full screen games:

    Filed Under: But a keylogger can easily find out your keepass password.... and then your password database is out in the open again

    A keylogger that has been designed to snoop on KeePass databases will always be able to bypass any of its obfuscation methods and get your entire password database.

    That's why you should always use crappy, unknown password managers so that malware makers won't have bothered to write specific code for them.



  • @dangeRuss said in [SOLVED] Something minimizes my full screen games:

    There are also those that will turn your PC into a zombie for carrying out DDOS attacks, but I've never seen one of those. Of course you probably wouldn't see it, and that's the problem. They're probably quite harmless to the user though.

    I've been part of a botnet a few times. I know it because there were these weird rundll32.exe processes using 100% CPU, and internet was sometimes so slow Firefox refused to work (other computers in my network worked fine). So not exactly harmless.

    @Jaloopa said in [SOLVED] Something minimizes my full screen games:

    @Kuro KeePass has a part auto type, part clipboard method of auto filling passwords that's meant to protect against keyloggers and clipboard sniffers. Obviously it wouldn't be impossible to write something that combines the two to get your passwords, but it's pretty good if you're worried about keylogging

    I wouldn't be surprised if modern malware developed methods of plugging straight into password textboxes on major browsers.



  • @dangeRuss I have actually had it catch one that had gotten downloaded to my HDD somehow.

    I immediately unplugged my PC's network cable and did full Malwarebytes and Defender system scans (one at a time), which came up with nothing.

    I suspect the attack vector was Skype since I remember hearing the IE "navigation" sound shortly before the AV reported that file. Skype is the only app that I "regularly" used that still used IE's libraries. And by "regularly" I mean I never ACTUALLY use it, but it was running anyway, so simply getting rid of it was an option, which I took.

    Edit: OK, I downloaded Malwarebytes and updated it, THEN disconnected my network cable.


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