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  1. #1
    New Lounger
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    Strange Happenings (XP SP2)

    I received a Dell XPS 400 w/ 2.8 dual core processor and a 160gb Raid 1 configuration. I upped the ram to 2.5 gigs. I find that strange things are happening on the system. My Quicken forgets that it has been installed for several months and when I start it I am prompted to select the existing data file, open another file or create a new one - as opposed to just opening the existing file. Just today I noticed that several of my accounts show a zero balance even though all the transactions are there. Intermittent problem. My Forte Agent 'forgets' that I told it not to bother me with reminders about updates or news. Again intermittent. My SpashID will often start encoded rather that prompting me for the password. Palm Hotsync seems to forget that I use a USB connection instead of the a network connection. My sync settings also change. Intermittent again. While syncing I am told that the SpashID password is not the same on the computer and my T3 so it can't sync the file. The password is the same. Intermittent.
    I am current on all service packs and patches. I use Zonealarm Pro and Kaspersky Antivirus. SpySweeper runs daily backed up with TrojanHunter. Just to be safe I run Spybot or Ad-Aware for good measure. I even run rootkit revealers and I sit behind a router. Everything appears to be clean and secure. Aside from this 'little' inconsistencies the system appears to be fine. Anyone have any thought on this?

    Thanks,

  2. #2
    Uranium Lounger viking33's Avatar
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    Re: Strange Happenings (XP SP2)

    Bob,

    It's strange allright.
    For starters:

    Did you upgrade the memory as soon as you got the system? If not did the troubles start before or after adding the RAM?

    Tried removing the RAM sticks and reseating them? Or temporarily going back to the original amount of RAM?

    Did you remove any of the Dell "extras' that came with the system?

    Have you tried to do a Repair Reinstall of the OS?
    BOB
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  3. #3
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    Re: Strange Happenings (XP SP2)

    Bob,

    I had several 'anomalies' with the original system. I attributed it to having only 512mb of RAM. I added the 2 gb. When I added the new RAM I reseated all the sticks. I've run memory diags with no error conditions. I removed all the Dell 'extras' with the exception of the OS and MS Office. I haven't done a repair because my thinking is that if the OS is bad it would stay bad. If worse comes to worse I'll rebuild from scratch. I have run Registry Mechanic and Registry Booster with no significant problems found in the registry.

    Regards,

  4. #4
    Uranium Lounger viking33's Avatar
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    Re: Strange Happenings (XP SP2)

    Bob,
    I ask this just to make sure but did you make sure that the RAM you added was the proper type for your particular Dell system?
    The wrong type RAM would either not work at all or be erratic as H___.
    Were the anomalies you experienced with the original about the same as you are having now?

    So far as the OS, there are different degrees of "bad", so you could still have a flaky install.

    I would go back to the original amount and type of RAM you first had, ( same sticks )
    then:
    Do a Repair Reinstall of the OS.
    If all seems well, then add the additional RAM one at a time depending on how many sticks you have.
    BOB
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    Long ago, there was a time when men cursed and beat on the ground with sticks. It was called witchcraft.
    Today it is called golf!

  5. #5
    Uranium Lounger
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    Re: Strange Happenings (XP SP2)

    When was the last time you ran a thorough CHKDSK? It's quite possible you have some bad sectors on the drive (even if it's fairly new).
    -Mark

  6. #6
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    Re: Strange Happenings (XP SP2)

    Bob,

    The RAM is the correct type for the Dell system. I double checked with the Dell site and several online memory configurators. The original problems were mainly the system slowing down and issues with the T3 synchronizing. The speed picked up with the new RAM and the intermittent problems have increased in frequency. I agree that I could have a flaky install but what concerns me is that the problems are all software settings related as opposed to an OS issue. There has never been any data corruption or fatal error. It is as if something is changing my program defaults. All of the logs are relatively clear except for the random and expected errors such as W32time not being able to synchronize with a time server.

    As far as removing some RAM, the nature of the beast requires 2 sticks for each configuration, i.e 2 -256 sticks for 512 and 2 1G for 2G. So if I remove the 2G I'm back to the original problem with the 512. But now that I think about it I can remove the 512 because it was in the system the entire time. I can see how the 2G behaves.

    I'll check that out before I do a rebuild or repair.

    Regards,

  7. #7
    New Lounger
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    Re: Strange Happenings (XP SP2)

    Mark,

    I just ran chkdsk last week when Diskeeper gave an error message suggesting I run it. I did and found no problems and the Diskeeper has been behaving properly.

    Regards,

  8. #8
    Uranium Lounger
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    Re: Strange Happenings (XP SP2)

    Just to clarify... did you run a surface scan, or the shorter check for errors only?

    I have a feeling you are simply faced with a flaky installation of Windows, but it is worth checking alternatives before saying "burn it down and build it again."
    -Mark

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