computer problems

30th August 2008, 08:25
I have a 3 1/2 year old Dell desk top that is on ASDL and has performed well up until recent weeks when it started to be very slow at internet down loads.
Symantic virus check shows all clear as does the spy ware check.
Using either Explorer or firefox I find that although SN site comes up with little delay any searching within the site is very slow. The same delays to other sites.
Dell suggests that at 3 1/2 years it could be a number of problems and that the quick solution is to replace the computer.The amount of stored data on the hard drive is minimal and the ram was updated to 1 GB some time ago.
I am a relative novice at this technology and I post this thread in the vague hope that some one may make a few suggestions that are not forthcoming from the local experts that are trying to sell me something.
My thanks for any clues

Bob Jenkins

Chris Isaac
30th August 2008, 08:31
This may be of some help, your Symantec software is one of the most resource hungry pieces of software available and can cause a system to run very slowly.

I had the same problem a couple of years ago. As a solution I replaced the Symatec software with the FREE virus checker from AVG (this can be upgraded to a full suite of software at not much charge) the AVG software places little burden on my system.

If you take this course of action you will need to go the Symantec web site and get their removal tool. Simply deleting Symantec software doesnt get rid of it. The tool is free but needs to be down loaded.

Hope this may help

30th August 2008, 08:42
Thanks for that Chris, I did remove Symantic some time ago when it started to take up to 5 hours to do a full system check, up from about 35 minutes normally. I ran for a few weeks without it with no improvement and had it re installed. I now takes about 35 minutes each morning to do a full check with all OK results so I feel, without any authority, that this is not the culprit.
These problems are agonising for an old bells and whistles man and I break out into a cold sweat when trying to solve these problems but at least I have learned that it is not going to explode in my face!

J Boyde
30th August 2008, 08:50
One of my son in laws is in the computor business. He told me that in NZ anyway, there is growing demand on the internet. This results in your machine getting slower. Very's during different times of the day. I send my computor to a different organisation for serviving, then I cannot blame the inlaw if it all goes to hell.
Jim B

30th August 2008, 09:08
I changed from Norton to the free AVG package and found it excellent. It's checking does not slow down the computer.

30th August 2008, 09:18
Run the performance monitor (I'm assuming you're running XP) and examine both the graphs, and the processes CPU time list, to determine if any processes are occupying the CPU dis-proportionately. This might give you a clue as to what is slowing the machine down.

I'm assuming normal maintenance like defrag has been conducted. Also check the page file size and location to make sure nothing has happened there.

You run the performance monitor via Ctrl+Alt_Del.

If you also right click on My Computer and select Manage, you can get access to the Event Viewer logs, might be some clues in there.

Replacing the computer at this stage is a leap. If you got that desparate a better idea might be to get another hard drive, replace you're current C drive with it and re-install from your recovery disk to check the hardware. (That way you can easily fall back on your original drive).

30th August 2008, 10:58
The net has been generally slow of late, as it is being filled with a lot of excess traffic from a spate of spam; this includes illegal degrees, non-existent lottery wins - last week the whole thing came nearly to a standstill for a few hours; genuine emails were arriving around 14 hours after being sent (from 24 miles away!). It has now caught up again. I always send the scams/frauds on to the police and bank frauds to the bank fraud team.

30th August 2008, 11:31
The net has been generally slow of late, as it is being filled with a lot of excess traffic from a spate of spam; this includes illegal degrees, non-existent lottery wins - last week the whole thing came nearly to a standstill for a few hours; genuine emails were arriving around 14 hours after being sent (from 24 miles away!). It has now caught up again. I always send the scams/frauds on to the police and bank frauds to the bank fraud team.

I agree - this week has been very bad - I checked my broadband speed and it was down to .3Mbps at times. It is supposed to be 'up to 8Mbps' but is never more than about 4 where I live.
However, last weekend my wife was in despair and was seeking advice from all and sundry while I was away.
I recently had trouble with my router being damaged by a peak and so my wife said it was a bit of a coincidence that things had started running slow since I had fitted an anti-surge socket.

K urgess
30th August 2008, 11:38
To check your broadband connection try this site.
Bearing in mind that SN is in the UK.
Or you can try opening a DOS window and using tracert or ping to check for any delays on the internet.
I'm sat trying to write this on my laptop because I'm in the middle of trying to sort out my own desktop.
For some reason something had decided that my hard drive should be protected and it slowed everything down and refused to save certain things. I suspect a very old previously removed Symantec protected rubbish bin was to blame despite having removed everything about 2 years ago.
I'm trying to get a new hard drive up to speed which is not easy when all the software has been tailored to my needs over the years.
My PC is about 4 years old but it's an AMD Athlon dual core 64 bit 3600 so the only reason for a change would be if I needed a new video board for an old fashioned mother board.
Another hint would be to look at how much dust there is inside. Particularly on the CPU heatsink.

30th August 2008, 12:28
Thanks everyone for all the tips to date. It's bedtime now but I will try a few
in the morning when i have really got my wits about me.

Any more ideas gratefully received

Thanks again


30th August 2008, 12:57
Kris, I have done that speed test
results download speed 219kb/s, upload 45 kb/s ping 130 ms dist 50 mi
Does that sound bad?


30th August 2008, 13:26
To check your broadband connection try this site.
Bearing in mind that SN is in the UK.
Or you can try opening a DOS window and using tracert or ping to check for any delays on the internet.
I'm sat trying to write this on my laptop because I'm in the middle of trying to sort out my own desktop.
For some reason something had decided that my hard drive should be protected and it slowed everything down and refused to save certain things. I suspect a very old previously removed Symantec protected rubbish bin was to blame despite having removed everything about 2 years ago.
I'm trying to get a new hard drive up to speed which is not easy when all the software has been tailored to my needs over the years.
My PC is about 4 years old but it's an AMD Athlon dual core 64 bit 3600 so the only reason for a change would be if I needed a new video board for an old fashioned mother board.
Another hint would be to look at how much dust there is inside. Particularly on the CPU heatsink.

If quite easy its worth opening up the PSU as the cooling fan sucks in quite a lot of dust also. Also clean the fan blades whilst you're at it.


K urgess
30th August 2008, 13:48
Kris, I have done that speed test
results download speed 219kb/s, upload 45 kb/s ping 130 ms dist 50 mi
Does that sound bad?


That doesn't sound good, Bob.
If you're supposed to be getting a high speed ADSL link I should ask your supplier what's going on or visit their website and looks for service details.

I forgot to ask when you last did a hard disk defrag.

Every so often I shut mine down, disconnect it and blow it out with compressed air, Mike.
Nothing like a good blow through. Including the PSU. [=P]
My case fan was squeaking the other week and then it went quiet again. When I checked to other day it was revolving but at about half speed. So the CPU temperature was climbing.
Most motherboard manufacturers provide monitoring software so that you can check fan speeds and core temperatures along with voltages. Always worth a check and if they don't then you can find them usually in the Bios setting as the machine boots up.

30th August 2008, 14:06
i did the test 3286kb/s download 735/kb/s upload is this good or bad,what is the free PC scan

K urgess
30th August 2008, 14:20
i did the test 3286kb/s download 735/kb/s upload is this good or bad,what is the free PC scan

Sounds reasonable, Dom.
It's about what I get on an average despite having 8Mbps ADSL.
It all depends on what the net's doing at any particluar time. Your download speed is only guaranteed as far as you provider's exchange. One of those little things that they've only just been forced to explain.
Mine is currently 6021kbps and 292kpbs.
Another check a minute later and it's down to 1286 and 172.


30th August 2008, 14:25
thanks for that

30th August 2008, 17:50
The BBC website has a quick speed test link which is what I have been using lately.

30th August 2008, 23:05
I have awoken to some good advice and will spent this sabbath doing a blow job on my cpu and my hard drive to start with.
(Some wit could run amok with that scenario).
Will also hassle the ISP re speeds.
I have previously done a disk clean up and a defrag all to no avail in fixing the problem.

Thanks again to all for your help


30th August 2008, 23:23
Kris, I have just used your speed test site to re check this morning to get a result of download 219 kbps, upload 46 kbps but another test where you can check the speed of your own server comes up with DL 634 kbps ans UL 218 kbps. I guess this suggests that the fault lies in my computer.

I guess that we are never too old to learn

K urgess
30th August 2008, 23:24
Don't get rough with your hard drive, Bob.
Could cause more problems than it cures. Just make sure the power supply unit and the CPU heatsink are clear of dust.
If you haven't tried it check what your machine is doing by opening the task manager if you're using Windows Xp. It'll show you what is running and how much CPU time it's taking up.

31st August 2008, 08:58
This dust problem here discussed has got me worried, although my machine seems fast enough, there's obviously enough dust in the room, and some kind of went has been humming in it for a couple of years. Am I advised to open the back panel and do some vacuuming? Propeller cleaning? And how do I find the CPU heat-sink? (Sending it away for cleaning in this country is probably double the price of a new machine.)
Did my first defragging yesterday, by the way, after reading the postings above. That was easy enough. Regards, Stein.

Sarky Cut
31st August 2008, 09:29
Hi Stein. Cleaning a machine is not a difficult task. If you have a tower unit and it sits on the floor then there will be dust collected. There are things to be careful about, losing the cover screws is about the highest difficulty, honest.
The CPU heat sink is behind the fan on the big mother board. The graphics processor fan is on one of the smaller "plug in" boards.

A soft paint brush and a good set of lungs is all that is required for cleaning.

The internet does get slow in the evenings due to people downloading films etc.

The speed of the connection depends on the distance from the exchange and the number of consumers on line at the same time.

Picture a motorway, there are often unexplained stoppages caused purely by weight of traffic, then it all clears away and the traffic gets upto speed again. The web is just like that.

Its life I am afraid and we will just have to live with it.

All the above is is from the view of an ordinary BT telephone outlet consumer and may be different in other countries or from cable users.

There are plenty of sites that can be googled for information on "How To" for PC's, they are no longer the "white man's magic" that many suppliers would have you believe.

31st August 2008, 09:46
While those speeds are not particularly fast Bob, the variation between tests is not uncommon. Internet speed is a very dynamic creature. What is the advised speed that your ISP gives you ? I would definately chase up your ISP about that.

Cleaning computers is necessary, but please be carefull if you are removing CPU heatsinks and fans, make sure your hands are well earthed. If you don't have wrist straps, just make sure you keep touching the chassis now and again. I'm a bit static electicity myself so I never go inside a case without a wrist strap. Also make sure the mains lead is unplugged, or at least it's powered off at the socket. Motherboards till have power on them even when the computer is switched off.

Do a full surface scan diskcheck, i.e. tick both boxes then reboot. It will take a while, be patient. If you can borrow beg or steal another machine to do the ISP speed check, this will put the internet speed fault one way or the other.

I got 6.6 Mbs on a check this morning but some sites were still slow to load. That is purely Internet slowness. I contract for 8 Mbs but usually get between 4 and 6 because I'm on a copper telephone wire about a mile from the exchange. Even so I'm quite happy with that.

You could also try running this command line:

ipconfig /flushdns

to clear out the resolver cache. It probably wont do much, but will do no harm.

Is it just Internet access that is slow, or is the machine running slowly in general ?

31st August 2008, 10:21
Thanks a lot Sarky Cut. Those videos seems easy enough to follow, I'll run them through a couple of times, and make a start with getting the crumbs out of the keyboard! Regards, Stein.

31st August 2008, 10:23
Another way I use when my PC turns to custard is to go Start and Restore to a previous date that I know the thing worked well. When I strike such an occasion I do the same, but create a restore point.
Cheers, Roelof

K urgess
31st August 2008, 11:47
A hint about towers.
Don't leave them sat on the floor.
Especially on a carpet.
Unless you're prepared to clean them out VERY often.
Mine has sat on the desk ever since it stopped working one day because you couldn't see the CPU heatsink for dust.
All that cost me was the anxiety waiting to see if it would ever work again.
Fortunately it has removable side panels with one catch at the top (lockable) so I can open it for cleaning very easily. (Mesh)
I find that leaving the machine plugged in and turning off the PSU ensures an earth with no power available inside. Don't do it if there isn't an on/off switch on the back of your tower/desktop.
I've found compressed air safer than a brush and it avoids having to touch anything. Don't take the CPU heatsink off unless you have heatsink compound available for the re-fitting.
Don't forget to clean the case filters. Compressed air is easiest for the PSU if you don't want to take the top off.


31st August 2008, 12:26
Thanks Kris. I think the fan has become too loud, so a cleaning might be in order. I'll enquire at the local petrol station if they have some boxed compressed air. Or maybe the local dealer in electronics? I'll find out what PSU and case filters are, and move my tower to the top of the Ikea PC console. (Nothing about this in the manual for the PC = I'm innocent of wilful negligence!) Regards, Stein.

K urgess
31st August 2008, 12:48
It depends which fan you mean, Stein.
Loud usually means bearings going which slows the fan down and so slows the flow of air.
Tins of compressed air are expensive in this country so I should imagine they are double that price in Norway. I'm fortunate enough to have a compressor in the garage I can use. I would suggest one of those lens cleaning bulbs or the harnessed exhaust from a vacuum cleaner. Possibly blowing up a balloon may do it but I not sure about the static consequences of doing that. (EEK)
The case and PSU filters are just grills that can be cleaned witrh a vacuum cleaner or blown clean.

31st August 2008, 23:18
hi , i am not computer literate, had same problem , getting slower and slower, my son put more memory in pc and it speeded up, just a thought, STORES.

K urgess
1st September 2008, 11:10
Another small point if you switch your computer off at night or when not in use.
A lot of today's software does upgrades at set times and if your machine is off it will do them as soon as it's up and running.
Things like scans and defrags are usually timed for the early hours of the morning so may not get done if your machine is switched off.
Upgrades will slow down your internet connection and other automatic maintenance will slow the computer down.
If you leave it on all the time check that scheduled stuff isn't being done at the wrong time like the middle of the day.
More memory is always a good idea and it's quite cheap. I don't think more than a gigabyte is really necessary (that's what I've got) unless you have some really power hungry software.
Minimum free disk space is another consideration. Windows in particular gets upset if there's not enough space for it to feel free to use more than it needs. If you don't use it you probably don't need it. I should obey that rule myself because I have a tendency to keep all sorts of rubbish that might come in handy some day.
Sometimes there's nothing you can do except back up your personal stuff and reload the whole thing from scratch. That's a last resort action.
I've just done it and I'm on day five of putting it back the way I like it. (Cloud)

1st September 2008, 12:14
I had exactly the same problem in July. Went through all the usual tests. Did complete defrag - even uninstalled several programmes. Restored etc.

One outstanding irritation was the number of times my PC ' froze'.
When I hit Contol/Alt /Delete to stop any programmes running, I got a series of multiple commands. I then had a heck of a job shutting programmes down.
Eventually I got a local lad to run a 24 test. The problem was my hard drive - it was just not functioning as it did. I got a new one and now have an almost new HP, PC which, although five years old, works equally as a well as my new Dell laptop.

Hope that help,


PS if you do change your hard drive, make sure you have back-up discs for what's on there. otherwise you'll need to get the technicians to transfer data to the new drive. Additionally, keep or destroy the old drive - don't dump it!

2nd September 2008, 06:36
what is best free anti virus can any one help send me pm

Keltic Star
3rd September 2008, 03:16
what is best free anti virus can any one help send me pm

Delete Norton or McAfee and download "AVG Free". You won't be sorry.

4th September 2008, 06:33
Computer problems,

Since starting this thread a day or so ago I have received advice and tips from several members and have used this information to work my way through the problem by venturing into a lot of unknown territory for a novice like me. I now know a lot more but to little avail as the problems are still there.

Just to recap I am connected to ASDL basic Broadband that has a download/upload speed of 256/64 kbps. Several speed checks over the day on the site offered by Kris and others gave me results of
203/52, 220/26, 219/5, 219/50 and similar.
I am about five Kms from the local telephone exchange and this may slow the original speed down but there has been no change to this situation for four years so it should not be a factor.

I have done the following housework on my computer to get to the bottom of the speed problem.

Cleaned both cooling fan blades with an artist’s brush and blown casing clean. There was not a lot of dust anyway.

Checked the local disc©, used space 17.1 GB free space 57.2 GB capacity 74.4GB.

Computer management window-disc management reads;

File system Status Capacity free space

FAT Healthy (esia config) 31MB 24 MB
NTFS Healthy (System) 74.4 GB 53.4 GB

Carried out a disc clean up All OK

Carried out a disc defragmentation check again –Report reads “you do not need to defrag this volume.”
Machine is automatically checked daily by Norton Symantec Virus protection software which shows all clear. This slows the speed further while it is running its checks each morning but goes back to “normal slow” after its half hour run.

Have “spy bot” software loaded and this runs and checks “all clean”

Spotted McFee “Reg- cure” clean up advertised on the SN site at the base of this thread, guaranteed to clean up the computer of unwanted entries/files etc so I clicked on, ran a check, was told there was a “thousand bits of rubbish on the machine so $US39 and ten minutes later the clean up was completed and the free disc space improved by 7% but NO change in the patient’s health, mine or the computer’s.

Windows task manager- CPU usage graph fluctuates 0% to5%, page file history graph a straight line 415MB.

My computer Info;
Hard disc-disc partition Usage
Local disc (C) 28% (low)
Ram detection 1 GB (minimum reqd 64MB)

The computer speed off line when searching files or word processing etc is fine
I Have sent an email to my ISP explaining that my hard of hearing prevents me from using the phone help line as most of the service staff are soft/rapid speaking with foreign accents that are difficult for me to follow and asking them to consider information similar to the above and advise by email, or via a normal male voice phone call, any suggestions they can offer and that they are sure that their connection speed is not the cause of the problem..
A machine generated reply has arrived but nothing else to date.

If it was a boiler, an engine, a pump etc I would have long got to the heart of the matter but computers, well it’s becoming a love hate relationship. When it is working well it is very very good but when it plays up it is horrid. And like the modern child you cannot fix it with a clip around the ear or, if mechanical, with a ten pound hammer.
If anyone has any further suggestions they will be gratefully received

Regards Bob

K urgess
4th September 2008, 10:38
Well, Bob, you seem to have covered all the possibilities that I can think of.
If the speed is fine off line then it is probably those terrible figures for online speed.
I would expect that sort of speed from a standard modem not an ADSL line. I think the minimum speed over here that you get offered is 2 Mbps.
More and more sites are getting "information heavy" which means they take an awful long time to download at your speeds.
You could try opening a DOS window. Look under Accessories and you will see "Command Prompt".
Type in ping followed by an address like ( and press return. It should give you the same ping results as the broadband speed test.
Also try typing in tracert followed by an address and watch the path it takes to get there. The first figure will probably be to your modem and about 1mS then you should get the time to your local provider and then the various steps to where you are going.
Probably won't help cure the problem but will give you some idea as to where it lies.
As long as your CPU is idling between commands it means it's not doing anything it shouldn't. If you have task manager loaded and on the processes tab then you can see what's running. If you click on the CPU tab it will arrange the programs in order of CPU usage. If you click on it again it will arrange them in descending order so that the highest use is at the top.
You can then see what is using up the CPU and can even click on it to watch how it moves.
If you haven't cleaned out your browser cache lately that might be another idea. The browser can spend a lot of time checking to see if you have the page saved on your computer already and loading it from disk. This can sometimes take longer than downloading it afresh. Although at your internet speed that's doubtful.
Other than that I'm stumped. (Sad)

4th September 2008, 12:02

Just a thought - Do you have much in the tasktray thats running in the background and hog CPU time. If so then try rightclicking non-essential tasks to exit and see if CPU speed improves.



4th September 2008, 12:43
Thanks very much for that Kris, I will try these points.
It is almost encouraging to note that my ISP has acknowledged my queries but after 24 hours has not mailed or phoned . Perhaps they realise that there is a system problem which might be the best outcome.

4th September 2008, 15:47
Hi Bob

I am a computer help desk analyst with the largest Health group in the US with 70,000 users so we get a LOT of calls about this , standard answers

1) clear the internet cache go to tools internet options delete files, check delete all offline content and ok , this will get rid of all the temp files that are created when you are browsing , delete cookies and clear history will help also .
2) Defrag the machine
3) clean the dust out of the machine , if you have pets of any sort you would be amazed how quickly dust and hairs clog up the cooling system.

Dell had a bad habit not too many years ago of using cheap components on the Motherboard which were very prone to overheating ( I have a Dell too !!)
so its important to make sure everything is clear

Find out from your ISP what speed is expected from your connection , if its way too slow get them to check your line , we have problems every day with slow connections caused by faulty modems , line faults etc and most of them are cured by the ISP

Gareth Jones
4th September 2008, 18:49

You say you are experiencing slow internet, yet only have a 256KB internet line??

A 256 kilobits connection to the internet will only yield 30 kilobytes per second for downloads... that's it!

What exactly do you deem "slow"?

Age of your PC doesnt mean a thing - we have here 8000 Kb internet and our 3 year old PC handles it just as well as a new one.

If for e.g. it your are downloading at say 10 or even less Kb then try different times of day to see a difference, which would prove the effectiveness of your ISP.

It would be useful if you could borrow and test another PC or laptop on your line to look for a difference.

The major well publicized ISP e.g. BT Orange Talk talk Sky etc generally are not the fastest, they are over subscribed and congested especially in the evenings -you could consider changing to a less well know one - for example we are on ADSL24 and always get very high download speeds.

Take a look at and look at ISP ratings.

4th September 2008, 19:48
A thought ... have you had your telephone line checked over? Lift the receiver ... is there noise on the line? Somewhere long the line, there may be a drop in clean connection. I know that I had mine cleared before, and it is getting to be noisier and I am soon to be contacting BT to have it checked again and/or upgraded.

4th September 2008, 22:18
On the face of it Bob I would have to agree with all the others. Your PC looks pretty healthy to me.

Have you thought about downloading and trying another browser ? say Firefox Opera or even Chrome. However, I would definately be thinking a coms problem with your ISP.

Are you using a router with a LAN connection to your computer, or an ADSL modem ?

5th September 2008, 01:40
Computer problems 3

Thanks Kris, Milkeg, Ian, Gareth Treeve and Bob.

It is good to awake this morning to your feedback.
Firstly I explain that my ISP ď ď claimed to be Australiaís third biggest, could only connect me to a basic ADSL system due to the state or nature of the area telephone exchange and lines but never the less this proved quiet OK for the last three years until recent troubles.
The frustrating part about dealing with these people, and I think they are all the same, is that you phone a technical help line and after pushing many buttons to reach the department required you are put on music hold for ever or until an off shore based person answers with a fast/soft/foreign voice asks rudimentary questions without providing any constructive help. Aggravating this situation is my hard of hearing and the fact that I need to remove the hearing aid when on the phone due to the resonance set up with the aid in. A normal gruff loud voiced male is the only answer hence my e mail to the ISP with gallons of facts and asking pertinent questions. After promising a within the day response day 3 has arrived without contact
Do you hear that loud banging noise? Itís my head against the wall

My post no 34 above outlines what I have done to date following previous advice but Ian and Bob mention the Modem.
I have a DSL200 Generation 2 Modem serving my computer and this has never given any trouble
I have always seen this as a connecting device that either works or doesnít but I should ask can this item be the cause of a slow down? If it is a likely culprit I will go out and buy a new one or an updated model that will work on the present ADSL basic and also be suitable if I can update to ADSL 2 in the future.

Would any expert like to comment on the modem angle?

By all accounts I should now have a clean computer that has so much free disc space that it should go like a rocket.

I must again say thanks to all for the response to this thread, itís been a lot of help.

Thinking about it, with 27000+ members and all the diverse experience out there you could ask for advice on just about any subject and get help.


PS I am using both internet explorer and alternatively fire fox both with similar performance

5th September 2008, 11:20
This isn't going to be of much help Bob as I would be reluctant to tell you to change a modem which might be a lot of expense for nothing. Although I would always recommend people to use a router (which is basically a network switch, with an ADSL modem and usually wireless as well all in the same box).

The reason is it connects via your LAN port on the computer (I'm assuming your machine has an onboard LAN port) and enables much more control over your link, as well as allowing you to run 4 or more computers on the same connection.

One way or another you need some input from your ISP, and I appreciate the difficulties as much the same scenario exists over here, although some provide a fairly good automatic fault finding service which I have found very good.

Like you say, the modem ether should or shouldn't (although the earlier suggestion to check you phone line is a good one) work. I hope they come back to you soon.

8th September 2008, 05:03
Well Brian C, Kris, Milkeg, Ian, Gareth, Treeve, Bob and others that made helpful comment you may be pleased to know that after five days of waiting the ISP Company has emailed to say;
"Slow connection issues in Sydney and Brisbane are currently being addressed and the ETA for upgrading is September 18th. We apologise for any inconvenience"
A great relief after speaking to four help line people based off shore who intimated that the trouble was in my computer.
My personal computer knowledge has advanced a quantum leap as a result of this exercise, and again, thanks to all


8th September 2008, 17:41
Do you think computers can catch things? After reading this thread for the last few days with the very helpful content my Dell threw a wobbly on Saturday.
Until then I had XP service pack 2. Windows downloaded an automatic update appeared and said the usual that the computer had to be restarted etc. Did that and then when it restarted there was a black screen with the message that Windows had been shut down to prevent damage. I tried various things before ringing Dell who told me it would need the Operating System to be re-installed and I would lose all my files. Since I have a lot of photos and so on and I edit a newsletter I did not want that to happen. I phoned an engineer I had used before and he came and took the PCU away, saved my files then installed Windows on top of the existing one. The PCU was returned today (Monday) and is better than before.
There automatic update was in fact Service Pack 3 being installed so now have to find out what that does.
The ironic part is that on my desk is a not 'Back up to disk', but I had not done it.
I now have an external hard drive on order from local PC shop.

8th September 2008, 18:14
G'day Bob,
I recently watched a televised Parliamentary Committee Meeting which included a Cambridge University Professor as an Expert Witness. One of the MPs was whingeing on about his computer problems, slow response, unreliability etc. and the Professor quite involuntarily came out with "get a Mac". Pretty good advice I reckon !
Regards, Three-oh(Pint)

8th September 2008, 21:19
I live in a small town north of Toronto, and the issues struck a chord with me. I had a 3 year old Dell, and had serious issues with speed. I did everything that everyone mentioned, to no avail.

To top it all off, I work from home 2 days a week whenever I can, and trying to connect my laptop to the company network in Toronto was a joke. Just trying to open and email without any attachements took forever. I phoned my provider, with whom I had ADSL, and they tried to tell me it was my computer. When I told them that it also happened with a brand spanking new IBM thinkpad, they tried to say it was the "wiring" in my house. At this point, my mother's Geordie temper, which I inherited, got the better of me, and I told the helpless desk person that it was a brand new house, and had been wired with CAT5, so don't try that crap on me, (I wasn't that polite).

They sent out a tech, who then told me that my speed would never get any better as I was almost 8km away from the switch. When I asked why this wasn't told me when I signed up, the tech looked at me and laughed, and said that if they did that, they'd have no customers outside of the big cities.

Since my partner works for a very large cable company, I bit my tongue and switched to broadband over cable. Not only did they provide me with a wireless router, but gave me a speedcheck website.

As soon as I plugged my pc in, the speed was incredible, but since it was a desktop, and I had this wireless router looking at me with a pleading look, I went and bought a new HP widescreen laptop (and a flatscreen TV, both charged to my partners visa, which he found out when the bill came in). The speed is just as good over the wireless.

But the best part? When I phoned the telephone company to cancel, I told them everything that had happened, and that I was glad to be rid of them. Their response? They would be able to guarantee me lightning fast speed when they upgraded the switch in our town, scheduled for 2011.

I don't think it takes much of an imagination to know what my answer to them was.


8th September 2008, 21:27
I work in a school and some years ago the goverment instituted a 'free laptops for teachers' scheme, in which teachers were supplied with brand new laptops. Now our school has over 200 desktop computers, and about 60 laptops. Yet I'd say we put more work in on laptops than desktops.

And backing up is the mighty problem. As you probably know the hard drives in computers are electromechanical, and hard worked, so they are high on the list of failures. Now if it is just an operating system problem, such as NoMoss describes, you are in with a chance of getting back your personal files. Even for a laptop, we can remove the drive, pop it into a pc as a slave drive (using an adaptor for a laptop drive) and extract them. However if the hard drive itself has paid off, I simply point upwards and say "You're files have gone to the great big gashbin in the sky."

Now teachers have no excuse, since they can connect to the school network, copy their personal files into their home directories on the server, where they couldn't be safer. (Multiple backups every night).

If we lose an operating system we simply restore the machine from an image, (there are several software packages to do this, Norton Ghost, Symantec Drive Image, Paragon etc etc). These basically take a snapshot of your hard drive into a big image file, which can be restored, even to a new hard drive. But that isn't a particularly efficient way to back up personal files.

So my advice is to at least do as NoMoss has done, and either have an external (or another internal) hard drive and pop copies of your files on there at regular intervals, or use backup software if you have it.

If you feel a need to use imaging software (I do on all my home computers) then again, don't put the image on a partition on the same drive. Get another drive, they're cheap enough these days.

Take my word for it, it could save you a lot of grief (I've seen teachers crying at the loss of many hours of work).

20th October 2008, 12:11
Hello Bob,

1. Get rid of Symantic ( Norton ).

2. Install PC cillon Trend Micro Internet Security.

3. Get rid of all Temporary files.

4. Update Trend Micro daily.

5. Do a Trend Micro Scan Daily.

6. Do a Windows update daily.

7. Do a disk clean up ( via accessories, system tools regularily).

8. Do a fragmentation on a regular basis.

Iechyd Dda, Terence Williams. R538301.

I consider all Computers to be of a female gender, and on times will behave illogically, so treat them gently!. TJW.(A)

17th December 2008, 10:29
My recent problem is similar, Internet would work fine then slow down to a speed slower than dial up. Tried all the tricks then opened up the computer and after fiddling about and many restarts later discovered there seems to be a bad connection with a white connector on the end of the hard drive. Playing about with this connector fixes the problem for a day or two.

17th December 2008, 11:10
Hello boyo,

I used to use Norton virus progrmmes, with many problems, then six years ago I changed to Trend Micro pccillin, I have been using this eversince, I can thorougly recomend it. Purchase it, you won't regret it, any problems contact me.

Nadolig Llawen a Blwyddyn Newydd Dda

to you and yours. Terence.(A)

K urgess
17th December 2008, 11:17
That sounds like you may have a problem with the computer's power supply.
If you turn the computer off to fiddle with this connector then that will allow the power supply to cool down.
Sounds like a typical heat problem.

20th December 2008, 02:24
I assume you have deleted your temporary internet files?