Screen consistenly flashes black for a moment - have I been hacked?

Doc H

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Nov 1, 2014
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Hello all,

I'm looking for help and all I can offer in return is gratitude - or a 3D print if you'd like!

I'm running Windows 8.1 on my Dell laptop and every now and again my screen blacks out, but just for a moment, less than a second, (think screenshot on your phone) and it's really weirding me out. It happens in irregular inconsistent intervals, sometimes days in between, sometimes only 5 minutes apart. I've run many anti spy and malware programs and nothing has come up. So I've got a couple questions for you gurus.

1. Is this a symptom typically associated with remote viewing or even remote operation?
2. Is there anything that could be causing this apart from unauthorized access to my laptop?

I am not sure if this is related at all, but when I try to install a program from an .MSI file, it always gives me the "Cannot locate resources" error, even though I set the directory to the folder the .MSI file is in.

Any and all help is appreciated!! And as I mentioned earlier, I'd be happy to provide you with a 3D as well as my undying gratitude for any assistance! Thanks in advance! Below is a link to my PC specs; not sure if that helps anything, but too much information is better than not enough in matters like this, methinks.

 
Try starting up the laptop in "Safe Mode" and see if you get the same problem. If you do, then it could be hardware. The display having problems, the cable that connects it being loose/damaged/pinched or even the GPU going bad. However, if it doesn't happen when you are in "Safe Mode" then I would start to wonder if it is something on the computer. Malware, viruses, bad software/program, etc.

How to enter "Safe Mode" when booting the computer.

In Windows 8 and 10...

As your computer restarts, press F8 (possibly a few times) to enter "Safe Mode"

a. Press the "F4" key to Enable "Safe Mode".
(The computer will then start in "Safe Mode" with a minimal set of drivers and services.)

b. Press the "F5" key to Enable "Safe Mode" with Networking.
( Once "Safe Mode" with Networking starts, Windows is in Safe Mode, with additional network and services for accessing the Internet and other computers on your network.)

c. Press the "F6" key to Enable "Safe Mode" with Command Prompt.
(In "Safe Mode" with "Command Prompt" starts Windows in Safe Mode, with a Command Prompt window instead of the Windows interface. This option is mostly only used by IT professionals.)

Now sign in to the computer with your account name and password. (If you have one set.) When you are finished troubleshooting, you can exit "Safe Mode" restarting your computer.


In Windows 7/Vista/XP...

1. Immediately after turning on the computer, or restarting it (usually after you hear your computer beep), tap the F8 key, repeatedly, in 1 second intervals.

2. The computer will then display hardware information and run a memory test.

3. Next the "Advanced Boot Options" menu will appear.

4. In the "Advanced Boot Options" menu use the arrow keys to select "Safe Mode" or "Safe Mode with Networking" and press ENTER.
 
Try starting up the laptop in "Safe Mode" and see if you get the same problem. If you do, then it could be hardware. The display having problems, the cable that connects it being loose/damaged/pinched or even the GPU going bad. However, if it doesn't happen when you are in "Safe Mode" then I would start to wonder if it is something on the computer. Malware, viruses, bad software/program, etc.

How to enter "Safe Mode" when booting the computer.

In Windows 8 and 10...

As your computer restarts, press F8 (possibly a few times) to enter "Safe Mode"

a. Press the "F4" key to Enable "Safe Mode".
(The computer will then start in "Safe Mode" with a minimal set of drivers and services.)

b. Press the "F5" key to Enable "Safe Mode" with Networking.
( Once "Safe Mode" with Networking starts, Windows is in Safe Mode, with additional network and services for accessing the Internet and other computers on your network.)

c. Press the "F6" key to Enable "Safe Mode" with Command Prompt.
(In "Safe Mode" with "Command Prompt" starts Windows in Safe Mode, with a Command Prompt window instead of the Windows interface. This option is mostly only used by IT professionals.)

Now sign in to the computer with your account name and password. (If you have one set.) When you are finished troubleshooting, you can exit "Safe Mode" restarting your computer.


In Windows 7/Vista/XP...

1. Immediately after turning on the computer, or restarting it (usually after you hear your computer beep), tap the F8 key, repeatedly, in 1 second intervals.

2. The computer will then display hardware information and run a memory test.

3. Next the "Advanced Boot Options" menu will appear.

4. In the "Advanced Boot Options" menu use the arrow keys to select "Safe Mode" or "Safe Mode with Networking" and press ENTER.
 
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