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Computer Woes.


Dave225

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I have been having a few problems with my computer. Now I must admit my desktop is 6 years old and I still run XP Professional. Well, why not. As it works well and is fast enough for me why spend money on getting Windows 7, plus I read that even this month over 65% of all operating systems still use XP, so I am in good company. Microsoft not so happy as they wish to offload all their Windows 7 junk before issuing Windows 8.

 

Anyway, in the last few days I suddenly received a pop up window while using the web that told me some of my Windows operating system files had been changed. No reason as to why, no warnings etc and I was not running any dodgy programmes at the time. Immediately, shut down the machine and tried a ‘system restore’ to get back to a previous date. The machine would not restore. I tried running various anti virus and spyware programmes but nothing dodgy appeared, so were my files actually changed or just a hoax. How can one tell? Microsoft offer a checking programme for Windows so I ran that , but my machine is a Dell and Dell in their wisdom change the Microsoft OS discs slightly so the Microsoft checker programme cannot find the correct data on the OS disc. Great! However, Dell do offer a repair facility with their OS discs but having tried that one on a previous ‘disaster’ I found it scrambled my system totally and I had to do a fresh installation of Windows at the end of the day anyway.. So, if I have doubts whether Windows is correct, this looks like the only option open to me. It is not a biggish deal as I can reload the drivers and all the software without too much difficulty and it is a good excuse to refresh the Registry and get rid of some of those once tried and then dumped programmes that we all get tempted with. Even an ‘uninstall’ leaves debris lying around. My files are all backed up on an external hard drive as well.

 

However, one thing that concerned me was Microsoft updates. I checked my Control Panel and there is a long list of updates showing. Plenty for basic security updates in Microsoft but also for Office and Windows Media. I was not sure how to print all these out so decided to look at my update history in the Microsoft web page and after seeing a list of 10 on the page, rather stupidly hit the ‘print all’ key. 29 pages later I had all the updates loaded on my machine, all 677 of them. That is only since my last re-installation in 2010. That is going to take a long time to reload so am still swithering whether to do the deed or not. The computer seems to be working as it was, except no system restore, but I suppose that sooner or later I have to bite the bullet. A long afternoon watching the Windows progress bar move slowly seems to beckon. The update from SP2 to SP3 all over again and trying not to ensure my Windows Media Edition does not get scrambled. It is still cheaper than buying a new computer at £400+ and getting the same in time there.

 

By the way, as an aside has anyone tried those PC Health Check programmes? The ones that find umpteen errors on your machine and then offer to fix them all , for a fee, of course. I found one on Dell’s own web site so naively assumed it has their approval and was not a scam. I ran it and again, lots of errors which for $30 can be fixed. It is rather curious that I have a Registry checker programme which says my Registry is fine, but this one now says I have 966 errors. I suspect that if I did indeed have 966 errors then my machine would be doing all sorts of things, except work normally.

 

Am I a cynic??? You bet. By the way, has anyone got a spare HAL 9000 available? Really fancy singing ‘Daisy, Daisy’ along with it. Would certainly beat all this having to be nice to Microsoft lark.

 

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Edit:

 

just realised this is possibly the facility you are referring to :-S

 

=====

 

....if you are contemplating restoring anyway, one thing that I would try is running Windows System File Checker.

 

It is impossible to diagnose (both due to history and geography) what, if anything has caused the problem and/or poup, but SFC is designed to check and restore if necessary, the correct version of OS files.

 

It needs to run from the command prompt (which you probably understand, but if not is easy to explain).

 

Details (for XP) can be found here:

 

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/310747

 

Come back if you don't understand command prompt.

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Dave225 - 2012-02-09 7:27 PM

 

My files are all backed up on an external hard drive as well.

 

 

If I was in your shoes Dave I'd do a re-install of Windows. It will give you a chance to get rid of all the junk and then your puter should run faster. As I understand it Microsoft have said they'll support XP until 2014 so you'll be ok for a couple more years for updates.

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I use a local guy to me who has a computer clinic business. The last I used him (18 months ago), he came to my house and cleared all the rubbish off the computer, put Windows 7 and the best anti-virus on for me, all for £50.00.

I must say after he was finished the computer was really fast and still is. Well worth £50.00 to me.

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Lord Braykewynde - 2012-02-09 7:43 PM

 

Dave225 - 2012-02-09 7:27 PM

 

My files are all backed up on an external hard drive as well.

 

 

If I was in your shoes Dave I'd do a re-install of Windows. It will give you a chance to get rid of all the junk and then your puter should run faster. As I understand it Microsoft have said they'll support XP until 2014 so you'll be ok for a couple more years for updates.

 

I agree, also I did check and my computer is not upgradable to Windows 7, so i have no choice. I am looking at getting a new laptop but the desktop is working as good as anything, so why change it?

My old laptop finally died after 10 years stalwart service. . It still switches on and I can get internet but it takes 10 minutes to change pages so i know it has gone to Microsoft boot Hill. I even thought of rebuilding it but the costs are as much as getting abrand new one so not worth it. Pity as it has a aluminium case and is a,lot stronger than the new thin plastic ones. Ok, so it weighs a ton but I get the wife to carry it. The desktop could be re built as well but the mother board is fixed for the processor (typical Dell) so again all the costs make it not worth it.

 

If it is a quiet weekend then that is my task.

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Have now done the deed. Only had one small hiccup and had to go back a few steps. One of the Service Packs decided to degrade my Media Center to a lower level and it would not work. Had to change a registry entry and all fine. The biggest bugbear was waiting on Microsoft demanding a re boot for umpteen updates. Yawn.

Don't know about it working any faster as it still takes a while to load everything but at least it is clean.....until the next time.

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Personal view: Windows XP is brilliant, doesn't use half your hard drive just for it's own files, and is stable, integrates with every other third party software I've ever needed, and is dirt cheap......there are plenty of cracked versions about!

 

Both our PC's at home, and laptops and netbook, all still have windows XP on them - each time I've bought a new computer I've done so without any windows operating system (which saves you a fair bit on the purchase price) and then just loaded it on myself.

 

Long live Windows XP!

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BGD,

 

Without actually trying Windows 7 I cannot comment, however my son has a laptop with Windows 7 which he has swopped back to XP as he also felt it was better.

 

But as LB states, I have to save the pennies to get a new one. It is probably the only thing that goes down in price with time, unless you wish the latest gear. I will also have to sneak it in without he wife knowing or she will ask why we are spending the money on it. She, bless her, still feels apiece of paper and a pen is the bets way to communicate, and up to a point she is quite correct. Will anyone in decades to come pay large sums of money for your old e mails, yet a letter from even someone not so famous sells for a lot of money.

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