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  1. #1
    Bronze Lounger
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    Need some help with a problem...

    <img src=/S/hello.gif border=0 alt=hello width=25 height=29> Loungers

    I am helping a friend who has an ailing computer.

    1) When we power up the PC, it may take up to 5 times to boot to Windows XP Home.
    2) Some times it freezes, and then you have to hit the reset key. This maybe 1 minute after booting, to several hours after working.

    The CPU is an AMD, and RAM maybe faulty but it does pass POST, so I am not sure of that.

    CPU temp as reported by BIOS is constant at 105 to 107'F

    I reinstalled Windows thinking that the freezes are from old DLLs or corupted files, but then the install took several hours due to this freezing in the middle of the install.

    My friend remembers that he had a virus warning, and since then thing have not been the same.

    Even after a clean install, and scanning with Norton, yeah I know old def. files, but nothing was reported...

    Any ideas?

    Thanks

    Wassim
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  2. #2
    Plutonium Lounger Leif's Avatar
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    Re: Need some help with a problem...

    >>> Even after a clean install, and scanning with Norton, yeah I know old def. files, but nothing was reported...

    If a 'clean install' means you reformatted first, no virus will exist unless it has been reintroduced via an installion disk.

    If a 'clean install' did not include a reformat, and there is a virus on board, old virus definition files may be as helpful as a power cut.

    Try doing a full chkdsk, there could be some corruption on the HD.
    Try removing all unneccessary hardware - modems etc - and starting again.

  3. #3
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    Re: Need some help with a problem...

    Thinks... Does this reinforce my opinion that I hate laptops...?
    <font face="Script MT Bold"><font color=blue><big><big>John</big></big></font color=blue></font face=script>

    Ita, esto, quidcumque...

  4. #4
    Uranium Lounger
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    Re: Need some help with a problem...

    Does your friend recall what virus the warning was about ??? That might provide some direction.

    Also, I have to agree with Lief, that a "clean install" would indeed wipe away all traces of any virus unless it is reacquired from an install disk (unlikely if it's a publisher's disk). Sounds more like you reinstalled over top of the old installation. The first thing a clean install does is reformat the HD. This process would wipe out any virus along with everything else.
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  5. #5
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Need some help with a problem...

    While waiting for you to answer the "clean install" question, have you gone in to the machine's BIOS to see if something has gotten hosed in there? For example, make sure that virus detection is NOT turned on in the BIOS. Is John right - is it a laptop? How about booting with a DOS boot floppy (Win98SE is my favorite!) - will that boot in a respectable amount of time?

  6. #6
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    Re: Need some help with a problem...

    Why do you think this is a laptop? I read nothing of the sort in the post. Reply to the wrong post perhaps?

  7. #7
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    Re: Need some help with a problem...

    <img src=/S/thankyou.gif border=0 alt=thankyou width=40 height=15> Leif

    Yes the "clean Install" did involve a format, via the install process itself.

    But I was hoping that you would have said there is a virus in the BIOS's CMOS chip, now that would be a nightmare issue, though we can always re-flash the BIOS.

    But aren't there any viruses that can flash themselves into BIOS? Wow what I am saying... I need a <img src=/S/newbrain.gif border=0 alt=newbrain width=21 height=22>

    I'll try your suggestions with the hardware, but how can I do a CHKDSK? Boot from a DOS floppy?

    Wassim
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  8. #8
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    Re: Need some help with a problem...

    <img src=/S/hello.gif border=0 alt=hello width=25 height=29> John

    Oh this is not my Laptop, mine is still struggling, but its working as expected. This is a desktop machine belonging to my friend. He got it, from a vendor, and then took it to another vendor and got some upgrades, and then things went South.

    I was called in because he has a presentation due on 11/15 with no computer.

    But you are right, I do dislike laptops and how heavy they are compared to their tiny size.

    Wassim
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  9. #9
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    Re: Need some help with a problem...

    <img src=/S/thankyou.gif border=0 alt=thankyou width=40 height=15> DocWatson

    If the user remembers all these details don't you think our job will be much easier. Gosh I only wish he was paying attention as he does when driving. Oh bad analogy!!!

    The install disks are original MS Windows XP Home, could there be a conspiracy here?

    Thanks again

    Wassim
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  10. #10
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    Re: Need some help with a problem...

    <img src=/S/thankyou.gif border=0 alt=thankyou width=40 height=15> Big Al

    NO its not a laptop, its a desktop. Sorry I was not clearer in my message.

    I think I had done a clean install on the third attempt to Repair and Recover. Both times it froze, so I opted for a clean install with a format.

    The disks are original MS Windows XP Home CDs, and they are kept in their cardboard colorful sleeve, just in case computer viruses can get into CDs via osmosis <img src=/S/duck.gif border=0 alt=duck width=23 height=23> <img src=/S/evilgrin.gif border=0 alt=evilgrin width=15 height=15>

    I will check the BIOS, though when I initially went in to set the boot sequence, I did not recall if anything was wrong, or out of the ordinary. I'll take a closer look today when I go visit him.

    As for the Booting from a floppy, and then doing a CHKDSK I'll use one of the boot disks provided at Boot Disk .

    Thanks for your ideas and help, I'll report back what I find.

    Wassim
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  11. #11
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    Re: Need some help with a problem...

    <img src=/S/thankyou.gif border=0 alt=thankyou width=40 height=15> Dean

    John may have remembered that I had a laptop incident about a couple of weeks ago, that resulted in a disk failure. My laptop was jostled beyond any G-Forces it could handle and I guess the HD took it to heart. I should try and find the lady that did this and bill her for all my trouble, but what the heck...

    I tried to recover, and I did get some of it, but I am still working on getting my laptop to 100% factory specifications minus all the junk that Sony puts on.

    Wassim
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  12. #12
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    Re: Need some help with a problem...

    <hr>But I was hoping that you would have said there is a virus in the BIOS's CMOS chip...<hr>
    That would be a first, I think!
    <font face="Script MT Bold"><font color=blue><big><big>John</big></big></font color=blue></font face=script>

    Ita, esto, quidcumque...

  13. #13
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    Re: Need some help with a problem...

    <hr>and then took it to another vendor and got some upgrades, and then things went South.<hr>
    Aha! A clue!

    Software upgrades? I'm guessing hardware. Does everything check out in the device manager? Are all of the device drivers the latest upgrades? Either bad hardware itself, or corrupted drivers could cause the problems you describe. Probably the most straightforward troubleshooting scenario would involve stripping down the computer to it's bare essentials, and since there's nothing (but time) to lose, re-do the complete format/install. Then add in the hardware one piece at a time, checking for errors or problems between each upgrade. Of course the problem here lies in that a number of changes have been made to the computer, and there's no simple way to know precisely when things "went south", so in order to find the trouble, it's probably easier to just start back at the beginning rather than trying to find the needle in the haystack.

    (worn out from too many cliches....must stop typing)

    kip

  14. #14
    3 Star Lounger
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    Re: Need some help with a problem...

    First, take the battery off the motherboard for an hour or two and have the unit unplugged from the wall. Put the battery back in and reset the BIOS.
    If that does not work then order new RAM from Crucial, no exceptions! One of my post here involved a system freezing. The short of the long of it, incompatible RAM, I used several brands, new and used, I used the suppliers charts to buy the "right " ram, and I bought generic crucial ram, still the same problem (after dozens of other tests on every other component). I finally bought Crucial model specific ram and everything works. Now I have about 6 sticks of RAM that the vendors say are good and I don't have a PC that I trust them in.

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