PDA

View Full Version : Coputer help needed urgently....



Spin_Drift
02-17-2010, 01:48 PM
I'm going to have to TOTALLY wipe out (erase everything) my laptop today... and "re-program" it from the beginning. I wish there was a way to save it but I don't know how to do it. It's acting strangely and crashing, freezing and getting all kinds of error messages. It hasn't even connected to the Internet in the past few days.

It has 200 gigabyte hard drive and keeps constantly telling me it is out of memory. I bought a terrabyte external hard drive yesterday and transferred all my, some sixtythousand pictures and writings to it (virus checking everything before transferring). Now the C and D drives have a lot of room but it still don't work.

I run the virus program and after three hours of looking (and not finding anything) the computer shut itself down during the scan. Now if I try to open virus program, it freezes everything in the start menu and just makes a "pling" sound and I can't open anything.

I'm posting this from iPhone

.

Concordia...41
02-17-2010, 01:55 PM
Before you trudge down the 'all is lost' treck, hang on and take a deep breath.

I don't have any computer advice, but take a deep breath, try to let some of the frustration go, and someone will be along with some good ideas re: the hard drive.

- M

Garret
02-17-2010, 02:03 PM
Another thought - before you wipe it:

Unless you live in a dust-free house, the fan on a laptop (OK - any computer) can clog up. I've had this cause the computer to shut down all by itself.

Have you noticed if your laptop is hotter than usual? You will find some vents in the plastic case for air intake & exhaust. On my Toshiba, they're on the left side for intake & the bottom for exhaust.

Get a powerful vacuum cleaner (ShopVac?) and hold the suction end of the hose up to the vents (best done when the computer is not on). I bet you'll see little dust bunnies go flying up the hose. Shake the computer a bit & try again. Hold the hose on for a minute or so - it can take a while.

Worth a try - plus it won't hurt & might help - even if you have to reload the system.

Good luck!

[edit] There can also be so much dust that the vacuuming won't fix it. That would mean taking it to someone who can take it apart (not a trivial task with a laptop) & really clean it.

Your symptoms sound like either overheating or a virus. Since you've scanned (with a good A/V, right?) recently, I'd look at heat issues.

Kaa
02-17-2010, 02:10 PM
I bought a terrabyte external hard drive yesterday and transferred all my, some sixtythousand pictures and writings to it (virus checking everything before transferring).

OK, you managed to transfer your data, so you're good.

Now, go buy another external hard drive and make a backup copy of your data.


I'm going to have to TOTALLY wipe out (erase everything) my laptop today... and "re-program" it from the beginning.

Sounds good. If you had software problems, the format-and-reinstall-from-scratch will fix them. However it's possible you had hardware problems.

Look up the maker of your laptop hard drive. They generally offer free downloadable diagnostics software. Get it, run it, let it carefully check out your hard drive for problems. Also run a few general diagnostics like memtest86.

Alternatively, download and burn what's called a "live CD" -- this is a bootable CD with a (usually) Linux operating system on it. Boot off it. If it boots and runs fine, your hardware (except for hard drives) is likely fine. If you can't boot or still have problems, you probably have hardware issues.

Kaa

Peerie Maa
02-17-2010, 02:28 PM
Iv'e heard that there is a virus going the rounds that causes your anti virus software to shut down. Are there any computer buffs here who have heard the same, and know how to remove it?

Capt'n Widda
02-17-2010, 02:31 PM
Spin, as Margo said take a DEEP breath first.
Then vacuum the heck out of it like Garret outlined.
Next get in touch with the mfg of the laptop and follow Kaa's suggestion for diagnostics. This should do it. If not take it to a computer doc. It's really worth it before you go the format/reload path. Especially if you find out a piece of hardware is causing it. Cause if it is, a format/reload won't work anyhow.

Once you get it up and running again, make sure you make a set of reboot discs. In my experience most laptops don't come with system discs like the used to.

Good Luck

Popeye
02-17-2010, 02:40 PM
my bud went thru an exercise like yours , he collected all his data and backed it up and then wiped his disk

.. but not before saving a 'ghost' (http://tipsfor.us/ghost-windows-xp-for-free/) image of the os

says his machine worked like new after that

Popeye
02-17-2010, 02:44 PM
It has 200 gigabyte hard drive and keeps constantly telling me it is out of memory.

I run the virus program and after three hours of looking (and not finding anything) the computer shut itself down during the scan.

here you go .. malwarebytes.org (http://www.malwarebytes.org/)

Popeye
02-17-2010, 02:47 PM
hijack this (http://download.cnet.com/Trend-Micro-HijackThis/3000-8022_4-10227353.html)

Spin_Drift
02-17-2010, 02:48 PM
I'm going to try and get all the music off the laptop and into the hard drive. It's in my Windows Media Player library. I'm still getting other things into the external hard drive. Then I'll try to get the music out.

About programs, the zone alarm has control of between 145-150 programs ? access to the net. :eek:

I've taken a deep breath and relaxed :)

I'll try the vacum cleaner with a shop vac.

For some reason this laptop will not connect to the net so I can't download anything to check the hard drive. The puter runs Vista and I'm ignorant of Linus.

Kaa, because of the, sometimes, language barrier, I don't know what "back up of DATA" means. :eek: when I bought the puter, I created a back-up. Is this what you mean?

.

Popeye
02-17-2010, 02:50 PM
this is not one of those itunes quicktime thingies is it ?

Popeye
02-17-2010, 02:56 PM
any PC will pick up what I call 'navel lint'

my computer has a lot of toe jam

Kaa
02-17-2010, 02:56 PM
Kaa, because of the, sometimes, language barrier, I don't know what "back up of DATA" means. :eek: when I bought the puter, I created a back-up. Is this what you mean?

Data is information. Notes, photos, music, letters, invoices, emails, etc. etc.

The First Law of Hardware is that hardware fails. So if you do not want your notes, your music, your photos, etc. etc. to go to the great write-only memory in the sky, you need to keep a few (at least two, three is better) copies of them around.

Backing up *data* means backing up the information that's valuable for you -- making extra copies of this information and making sure these copies live on different hardware.

This is in contrast to backing up *programs* which is considerably less important as you can usually reinstall them with no loss of information.

Kaa

Spin_Drift
02-17-2010, 02:58 PM
LOL...:):D. I meant Linux.

Kaa
02-17-2010, 02:58 PM
Iv'e heard that there is a virus going the rounds that causes your anti virus software to shut down. Are there any computer buffs here who have heard the same, and know how to remove it?

Not a virus. There is a whole bunch of different viruses which attempt to shut down or otherwise disrupt anti-virus software -- it's rather common, actually.

Kaa

Kaa
02-17-2010, 03:01 PM
Linus probably doesn't know you either... he's a cartoon character! :)

Linus is a cartoon character..? :eek:

http://pillateunlinux.files.wordpress.com/2009/01/linus_torvalds.jpg

Kaa

Spin_Drift
02-17-2010, 03:03 PM
Now I have got all my photos, writings and now working on getting all the music into the new external hard drive.

The laptop is opened on the safe mode and allowing the transferring to take place.

Kaa
02-17-2010, 03:05 PM
Don't you read the comics?

I read different comics than you do.

Kaa

Spin_Drift
02-17-2010, 03:10 PM
I got about five minutes to go on the music transfer to the external HD and then i'd like to know that they play.

Should I try to copy them on CDs??? Just in case....

Kaa
02-17-2010, 03:16 PM
Should I try to copy them on CDs??? Just in case....

Given that you have 60,000 pictures which, I presume, you value, let me reiterate: Buy another hard drive and make a copy of everything you have on this one.

Kaa

Spin_Drift
02-17-2010, 03:19 PM
I have the three System Recovery Discs that I made.

The computer came with three years of NORMAN anti virus and firewall. I have no disc for that. Will it be in the rescue discs?

Should I not make sure that Antivirus-Firewall is up to date as the first thing before going to Microsoft?

Spin_Drift
02-17-2010, 03:22 PM
I bought a Terrabyte (1000gigabytes) external hard drive yesterday. I've got pretty much everything I value, there now.

Kaa
02-17-2010, 03:23 PM
I bought a Terrabyte (1000gigabytes) external hard drive yesterday. I've got pretty much everything I value, there now.

Spin, the First Law of Hardware states that hardware fails.

What will happen if that terabyte external hard drive dies tomorrow?

Kaa

Spin_Drift
02-17-2010, 03:29 PM
I don't have a MP3 player.

I've virus scanned all the music before putting them on the Terra drive.

Now I opened the laptop on normal mode and I'm trying to open the windows media player. It will not open. The circle is circling though but it appears that the program is not responding.

Still circling.

I tried to open the task mgr by pressing simultaniously on Ctrl, Alt & Del. No response.

Spin_Drift
02-17-2010, 03:34 PM
No, the antivirus is not Norton, it's Norman. The laptop was bought in Finland. It's a Fujitsu Siemens. I'd never get another of these.

Is there anything else I can try before wiping this one out?

I'll have to write down all the programs that I got here so I'll remember to get them again.

Spin_Drift
02-17-2010, 03:37 PM
Hey, there is an online storege for all that is on a person's computer. Maybe I could plug the Terra drive into Cass's laptop and transfer everything to the online storage place until all this is done.

Kaa
02-17-2010, 03:45 PM
...Buy a good commercial anti-virus...

I have no idea why Norman insists good anti-virus software must be bought.

AVG Free (http://free.avg.com/) is free and perfectly fine.

Kaa

Kaa
02-17-2010, 03:53 PM
Maybe because I tried it, and it failed to identify a particularly pernicious virus that Kaspersky found?

Which is a good reason to say "I had good personal experience with Kasperski." A bit too thin to insist that paying money confers some special powers... :-)

Kaa

Spin_Drift
02-17-2010, 04:39 PM
OK. I'm ready to wipe out everything on this computer. HOW DO I ERASE THE COMPUTER SO IT'S empty. ??? :eek:

Kaa
02-17-2010, 04:43 PM
OK. I'm ready to wipe out everything on this computer. HOW DO I ERASE THE COMPUTER SO IT'S empty. ??? :eek:

Boot off your Windows install disks. In the process it will ask you where you want to install (since you have a single hard drive, just point it there) and whether you want to format that hard drive.

To wipe out everything, tell it to format the hard drive. Do NOT pick quick format, do the full-blown format.

Kaa

Spin_Drift
02-17-2010, 04:47 PM
I don't know if I have a windows install disc. I just have the three rescue disks I made when the computer was new. Is the windows install ? Program in the first disk?????

:eek:

elf
02-17-2010, 05:01 PM
Actually, I'd download AVG and run it before reformatting the drive. Run it about 8 times and let it work. You might be surprised at what results.

Spin_Drift
02-17-2010, 05:59 PM
OK, I got everything removed from the computer and installed the rescue disks

Spin_Drift
02-17-2010, 06:03 PM
Thanks Norman for being on the phone for nearly an hour. Your help was/is very, very much appreciated.
:):D

John of Phoenix
02-17-2010, 06:12 PM
What a place this is. :)

Spin_Drift
02-17-2010, 06:35 PM
Sure is. This is a NICE place, populated by nice people. I can't begin to tell how MANY NICE PEOPLE I've communicated with in here.

I think this is the best forum in the world :):) at least the best I've found.

A BIG THANK YOU TO YOU ALL for your input and help.

...and again, thanks Norman. :)

Spin_Drift
02-17-2010, 07:00 PM
Waiting for the Windows updates to download. 82 of them and SLOOOoow....
Only 3% complete.

I didn't install the Norman virus program. Will check out some of the others after this windows updates are done.

Boy this waiting and waiting and waiting is a bit trying. We're now at 19%.

Garret
02-17-2010, 07:28 PM
Waiting for the Windows updates to download. 82 of them and SLOOOoow....
Only 3% complete.

I didn't install the Norman virus program. Will check out some of the others after this windows updates are done.

Boy this waiting and waiting and waiting is a bit trying. We're now at 19%.

Glad to hear you're getting there. Aren't computers fun? :eek:

Couple of things: 1) I'd still vacuum if you haven't yet & 2) Do get a new Anti-Virus (A/V) program. Norman mentions Kapersky, which is very good. I use NOD32 (www.eset.com (http://www.eset.com)) with which I am very happy & have been for over 5 years. The AVG free version is OK, but not (IMHO) quite as good as the top for pay A/V's. Whatever you do (once again IMHO) do not get Norton A/V. Norman described it perfectly as bloated etc. On top of that it requires a special program only available from Symantec (the folks who've ruined, I mean own, Norton) to completely uninstall it should you ever have to.

Finally - an informal poll:

How many people have just made that backup they've been meaning to make for weeks/months after reading this thread? :D

I'm a partial "Yes". Partial because "most" of my stuff is automatically backed up every day - but I hadn't provided for some new stuff yet.... & I'm a geek!

B_B
02-17-2010, 07:36 PM
For some reason this laptop will not connect to the net so I can't download anything to check the hard drive. The puter runs Vista and I'm ignorant of Linus. .
we recently bought a Toshiba and it had an issue similar to what you are describing. the issue was automatic downloads from MS - Vista would automatically download 'updates' and these would interfere with the settings shutting down internet access / WiFi.

Basically we had to delete the automatic update....and that's the wife's department and she isn't here right now, but if anyone knows what I am talking about and can give Spinner advice it might solve the problem.

Sorry, that's all I can add. :rolleyes:

Except, good luck ;)

Garret
02-17-2010, 07:56 PM
we recently bought a Toshiba and it had an issue similar to what you are describing. the issue was automatic downloads from MS - Vista would automatically download 'updates' and these would interfere with the settings shutting down internet access / WiFi.

Basically we had to delete the automatic update....and that's the wife's department and she isn't here right now, but if anyone knows what I am talking about and can give Spinner advice it might solve the problem.

Sorry, that's all I can add. :rolleyes:

Except, good luck ;)

Well.... I wouldn't stop automatic updates - as many are important. However, there's no doubt they can break things occasionally.

I have a Toshiba running Vista & updates didn't break my internet access. Maybe it's a wireless vs. wired thing - or specific to your model.

Spin_Drift
02-17-2010, 08:21 PM
Thanks gents. I'll check out the antivirus programs you have mentioned.

I had Panda on a puter a long ago and liked it. Any of you have any info on it or Zone alarm? I've always liked Zone alarm for firewall and will check out their virus program product as well.

I guess now would be a good time to get all the info and recommendations for antivirus/firewall programs that you all might have.

I've had F-Secure and was not too impressed by the product and their support sucked when I needed it :eek:

Any recommendations????

I knew someone with the free AVG and they were happy with it. I'd need more info on it. I'm really stickeler with wanting to have the best I can get, as the puter is VERY important to me.

Thank goodness that I bought the terrabyte external hard drive yesterday and loaded all I could into it :):)

I would have been EXTREMELY unhappy if I would have lost all my writings and all the pictures of family and friends and our trip x-country to AK, and sailin on ORCA last summer....

After going through this computer disaster, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND HAVING A BACKUP OF EVERYTHING IMPORTANT TO YOU.

I will follow Kaa's advice and get a second external hard drive for backing up all that is important.

jack grebe
02-17-2010, 08:30 PM
Sure is. This is a NICE place, populated by nice people. I can't begin to tell how MANY NICE PEOPLE I've communicated with in here.

I think this is the best forum in the world :):) at least the best I've found.

A BIG THANK YOU TO YOU ALL for your input and help.

...and again, thanks Norman. :)
I LOVE a happy ending............Group Hug:D

Spin_Drift
02-17-2010, 08:34 PM
I LOVE a happy ending............Group Hug:D

LOL... If I was in the presence of you all, I'd make it a real hug. :):D

Tom Montgomery
02-17-2010, 08:50 PM
The Bilge is like the little girl with the little curl right in the middle of her forehead.

When it is good, it is very very good.

And when it is bad, it is horrid! :D

I'm glad to hear this turned out well for you, Spinner. Norman Bernstein is the finest kind.

Spin_Drift
02-17-2010, 09:50 PM
When the laptop updated from scratch, it updated 22 succesfully and 60 updates failed :eek:

It says: Errors found;

code 80072EFD

and

code 80080005

Trying again.

Concordia...41
02-17-2010, 10:16 PM
The Bilge is like the little girl with the little curl right in the middle of her forehead.

When it is good, it is very very good.

And when it is bad, it is horrid! :D



Tom - I'm adding that to my favorite bilge quotes :D

And it's good to know the day is saved - or well on its way to being saved.

I too love a happy ending!

- M

Mrleft8
02-17-2010, 10:21 PM
Do NOT let AVG update automatically!!!!!!!! It'll make your life a living hell!

Spin_Drift
02-17-2010, 10:45 PM
Trying to update for the third time. Second time updated 14 out if 60. The rest failed to update.

Now it says it's downloading 44. Will see how many will be failed. Hopefully none. :eek:

Garret
02-17-2010, 11:40 PM
Thanks gents. I'll check out the antivirus programs you have mentioned.

I had Panda on a puter a long ago and liked it. Any of you have any info on it or Zone alarm? I've always liked Zone alarm for firewall and will check out their virus program product as well.

I guess now would be a good time to get all the info and recommendations for antivirus/firewall programs that you all might have.

I've had F-Secure and was not too impressed by the product and their support sucked when I needed it :eek:

Any recommendations????



Panda has a decent rep, but seems to have faded a bit. Not sure why. ZoneAlarm is good stuff - but 1) I find its restrictions kinda annoying & 2) Windows firewall (built in) is pretty good. With a good A/V, a personal computer (IMO) doesn't need the most powerful firewall in the world.



I knew someone with the free AVG and they were happy with it. I'd need more info on it. I'm really stickeler with wanting to have the best I can get, as the puter is VERY important to me.

Thank goodness that I bought the terrabyte external hard drive yesterday and loaded all I could into it :):)
Yup - now make sure you back up to it often, eh? ;)



I would have been EXTREMELY unhappy if I would have lost all my writings and all the pictures of family and friends and our trip x-country to AK, and sailin on ORCA last summer....

After going through this computer disaster, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND HAVING A BACKUP OF EVERYTHING IMPORTANT TO YOU.

I will follow Kaa's advice and get a second external hard drive for backing up all that is important.

Hope you get the updates squared away & then breathe a big sigh....

Garret
02-17-2010, 11:42 PM
Do NOT let AVG update automatically!!!!!!!! It'll make your life a living hell!

There's a reason not to use it. NOD32 has updated every day for 5+ years w/out a hiccup. No annoyances either - just a balloon that tells me it's been done.
[edit] and no viruses either!

tomlarkin
02-17-2010, 11:55 PM
Any recommendations????
A free antivirus program is Microsoft Security Essentials (http://www.microsoft.com/Security_Essentials/). It's getting good reviews (http://arstechnica.com/microsoft/news/2009/09/first-look-microsoft-security-essentials-impresses.ars). We've had it on our Windows machines for about six months with no problems.

Garret
02-18-2010, 12:00 AM
A free antivirus program is Microsoft Security Essentials (http://www.microsoft.com/Security_Essentials/). It's getting good reviews (http://arstechnica.com/microsoft/news/2009/09/first-look-microsoft-security-essentials-impresses.ars). We've had it on our Windows machines for about six months with no problems.


Wow!!! From the review (bold mine):



This is a curious decision given that Redmond wants to push MSE out to all those who currently do not have a security solution (between 50 and 60 percent of Windows users, according to the company)


50% of computer users are that dumb? Amazing....

tomlarkin
02-18-2010, 12:27 AM
50% of computer users are that dumb? Amazing....
Most of the machines I've looked at that didn't have malware protection came with one pre-installed (usually Norton), which expired when the user didn't pay the renewal fee. Since it was still installed, they assumed it was still working. Turns out that no one actually reads the nagware popups :rolleyes:

Garret
02-18-2010, 08:34 AM
Most of the machines I've looked at that didn't have malware protection came with one pre-installed (usually Norton), which expired when the user didn't pay the renewal fee. Since it was still installed, they assumed it was still working. Turns out that no one actually reads the nagware popups :rolleyes:

I guess I can see that. I deal almost entirely with businesses - where you either have everything covered or you aren't hooked to the internet.

I bet the crew here is 99% covered, but then this forum seems to attract some very bright people.

Mrleft8
02-18-2010, 08:57 AM
There's a reason not to use it. NOD32 has updated every day for 5+ years w/out a hiccup. No annoyances either - just a balloon that tells me it's been done.
[edit] and no viruses either!

AVG auto updates bog my computer down until it stops responding at all. I reset the settings and times, but then it resets itself to update when I don't want it to. I re reset it....Same thing. Finally I disabled the auto update function, and update manually. The firewall etc. are still functioning automatically.