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Thread: Diagnostics

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    Diagnostics

    I have an ACER Aspire 5000 laptop. Recently it shut itself down. I guessed at overheat and sure nuf the heat exchanger was full of dust, which I cleaned out. Everything appears normal and I have run some memory, video and CPU check progs without error. However two applications (X-Plane and Adobe Illustrator) wont run. I have also run registry cleaners with no improvement.

    Can anyone suggest any diagnostics that will give my hardware a thorough check to see if my problem is hardware?

    Peter

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    Re: Diagnostics

    In a word: SpinRite. You can also use CHKDSK (search the Lounge for references on it), which is built into Windows, but SpinRite is an incredible tool and it's cheap. Everyone should have a copy. <img src=/S/smile.gif border=0 alt=smile width=15 height=15>

    If the problem affected a wider array of things, including but not limited to other programs, I would wonder about heat damage to the hardware. Since you say that it shut down from overheating, though, I suspect that the disk got corrupted because Windows did not exit properly. It's fairly common.
    -Mark

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    Re: Diagnostics

    I agree completely with Mark's conclusion. If either X-Plane and/or Illustrator were open when the shutdown occurred you might also try to uninstall and reinstall after you check your disk integrity. I know these are large programs, but in the long run a reinstall may be the time-efficient approach.

    Paul

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    Re: Diagnostics

    Hi guys, thanks for input. Additional info -
    1. SpinRite finds no problems on my hard drive - not even a recovery.
    2. Google Earth, Harry Potter, Corel Draw, Photoshop, Access / VBA, Word, Word Perfect, WP Mail. word, Excell, QuatroPro, Opera, Firefox, ... all run fine
    3. memtest, hotcpu, and videocardstabilitytest find no problems.
    4. X-Plane was running at the time of the crash. After discussion with X-Plane support I have deleted the X-Plane folder. They say there are no other relevant files and X-Plane does not use the registry. Attempts to re-install X-Plane from the CD fail.
    5. Illustrator was not running at the time of the crash, and ran sucessfully afterwards twice. When run it now opens all its windows and then shuts them again. In Add/remove programs the Illustrator entry has no repair or uninstall buttons, in fact no buttons, just the bare name, size and used info. Attempts to reinstall over the existing from the download fail, just stops at a very early point.
    6. pcpitstop and pcdocpro have been run with no effect.
    7. Full virus scans by up to date Norton run, norton firewall is in place

    I am suspecting some cpu / motherboard feature that most progs don't use, so it is diagnostics in that area I am looking for.

    Peter

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    Re: Diagnostics

    Your situation is a bit of a mystery. Even without additional diagnostics you probably now have the best tested system on the Lounge. Ordinarily I would say this is a software problem created by the shutdown, but with your latest posting I am no longer convinced of that. One common element of the two programs that do not run are heavy reliance on the graphics subsystem and 3D calculations so maybe there is a corrupt dll file . One place to find a collection of diagnostics is here http://www.majorgeeks.com/downloads7.html .

    I should point out that every one of my Adobe products has a Change/Remove button in the Add/Remove window including the one for Illustrator (well, it is part of the Adobe creative suite). So your experience of finding no buttons in trying to remove Illustrator is a bit strange. Also, there are many reports of operating problems when trying to install Illustrator over itself so you may be lucky that your attempt was not successful.

    This problem requires a bit more thinking about.

    Paul

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    Re: Diagnostics

    If it is indeed a hardware problem, diagnostics will not necessarily reveal such. Hardware failures are a funny thing... a stick of memory or a graphics card can report that it is working fine, and it might be for testing purposes, but it may still have intermittent problems that a test doesn't catch.

    Unfortunately, even after years of troubleshooting, when hardware starts to fail the only way to know for sure is when it finally just quits. The alternative (replacing components) can get pricey and does not guarantee a solution.
    -Mark

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    Re: Diagnostics

    A call ($40) to adobe solved the Illustrator problem. They had me run a utility %appdata%. This brings up a list of programs - including illo CS2 in this case - which you can then select to 'delete'. Manual deletion of the folder completes what the uninstall button in add/remove programs does. This then allows the install program to work correctly. Apparently some program installs are vunerable to corruption of a windows installer file and this clears that.

    X-plane install still does not work (not in appdata's list) - but this pushes the hardware theory away a bit. Have run everything that seemed relevant in the geeks page without any negative results.

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    Re: Diagnostics

    Thanks for the update. Though you did not say so explicitly, I assume you reinstalled Illustrator and it is working fine ? Well, since it now appears to be a file corruption issue there may be a slim chance that one of the system dll files that X-plane was using when the shutdown occurred is now corrupt and that is what prevents it from loading. IF that is true might a repair reinstall of the operating system fix it ? Given that some files have been corrupted in the shutdown, it is probably not a bad idea in any case to do a reinstall.

    Paul

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    Re: Diagnostics

    Yea, a repair reinstall sounds like a good idea. Unfortunately the CD's Acer supply only seem to allow for completely resetting every thing back to 'as shipped' - not something I really want to do.

    So I guess I will just have to live without X-Plane!

    Thanks for suggestions guys.

    Peter

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