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Need help with old pc. Urgent!

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by talladega, 8 Sep 2008.

  1. talladega

    talladega I'm Squidward

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    I need to quick help with this problem. We have an older PC we got about 4 -5 years ago. Pentium 4 2.4ghz ( socket 478 I think) running xp home and for the last few months we've been having troubles with it.

    It has been running fine but our internet doesn't work good at all on it. We had been using IE and it just didnt work good. Pages would barely load or take a long time and somethings wouldnt show up. It has also been restarting for no reason. Click to load a page and then the PC restarts. It's totally random.

    I couldnt figure out the problem so I switched it to Firefox which does work better, but barely better. It still restarts and at random and can hardly load a page.
    The rest of the computer runs fine. We can run other programs just fine with no restarts. Doesnt run slow either.


    Anyways that has been the problem up until now and we plan to get a laptop to replace it but do not have the money to do such right now.

    And because we dont have the money to get new pc we of course have more problems. Just a short while ago my dad came to tell me the computer seems to have crapped out. It restarted on him again but would not start up. :wallbash::wallbash::wallbash::wallbash::wallbash::wallbash:

    I turned it off and back on and it loads the BIOS stuff and I can get into the setup menu but I wont go to the Loading Windows screen.
    No weird noises or beeps at all. It just doesnt boot up.

    It cant be the hard drive as we just replaced it this year after the original one kicked the bucket.

    So now I dont know WTH is wrong with it.

    Right now It is unplugged and I will look at it in the morning, but I have no clue what to look for or to check.



    Ah yes, I said this was urgent. Reason for that is my mom's business is done on the computer and we need it running.

    So if you could give me a list of possibilities of what it could be and what I can check out that would be great.

    Even though I doubt its the HDD's I will check those out anyways, but I dunno what it could be.

    Help me please! :confused:
     
  2. AJB2K3

    AJB2K3 What's a Dremel?

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    Have you run a full virus scan and spybot scanner?
    IMHO format it and install a linux distribution..
     
  3. Ryu_ookami

    Ryu_ookami I write therefore I suffer.

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    The age of the HDD doesn't mean a thing, it could still go. things to check

    1. Is the HDD detected in the Bios

    2. Are there any Bios Beeps on start up - if so what are they - ignore this one I just re-read your post you've already answered it.

    3. Will it boot from a live CD/DVD if so when the O/S starts up is the Hdd there.

    4. If the hdd is detected is the PC set to boot from it.

    5. Do you have anyway of scanning the Hdd for a virus on boot.

    you say that you have access to the bios screen which means that the cpu, memory and GFX and cpu are very unlikely to be at fault.

    when the PC was working did you ever defrag the HDD or have you been hammering it since day one with downloads etc and no maintenance. It could be that you were just unlucky and your HDD failed
     
  4. talladega

    talladega I'm Squidward

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    It is not used much at all anymore. Now that I have my own PC I dont use it and my mom uses it for email and my dad for business program and a little internet. It is defragged regularly so it is nice. As I said its only internet that gave us troubles and made PC restart randomly. Everythign else ran like it always does.


    One thing I forgot to mention was a while back the power went out on us or something like that and our internet quit working. We installed a network card then.

    We do have our PC on a UPS to prevent data loss.

    Maybe its the network card???
     
  5. bigsharn

    bigsharn Officially demotivated

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    Defrag and Clear internet history

    Oh, and delete any old files you won't need anymore
    That should speed it up nicely


    As for the random restart it sounds to me like a cooling issue... give your innards a good cleaning (especially the heatsink) and it should be fine
     
  6. oasked

    oasked Stuck in (better) mud

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    What PSU have you got?
     
  7. bwuggley5

    bwuggley5 What's a Dremel?

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    I recently recovered from the Antivirus XP 2008 2009 trojan or whatever the thing is. To eliminate virus download and run SuperAntivirus. Many people are reporting infection fom the Antivirus XP 2008 2009 and the symptoms seem similar to what I experienced.
    And like bigsharn says, defragment, run DiskCleanup utility too.
    Run a clean boot also, that may clear some junk out.
    While I was getting rid of Antivirus XP 2008 2009 I also used Windows Live One Care free online scan which is ever free. It will take time to run so be patient.
    Also , if you find there is an infection go here for a look... http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/malware-removal/remove-xp-antivirus-2008-2009

    xp-antivirus-2008-2009 is a very pretty very nice almost irresistable sort of appearance and can be easy to want to download.
    Oh yeah, you should try to use PC Safe mode to defragment , remove virus's etc...
     
  8. talladega

    talladega I'm Squidward

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    Computer is defragged regularly. I have internet to not keep history at all as its annoying.

    Thermaltake 450W. Got it last year I think after our old no name brand one died.


    It doesnt have viruses. I have already said I run Kaspersky weekly and it never finds anything. We dont go to dangerous sites. We dont get spam email (ISP blocks it all)

    And anyways I cant do any of the things you say because the computer doesnt start.
     
  9. NickElliott

    NickElliott What's a Dremel?

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    It doesn't have to be a virus, spyware/malware is equally effective at messing up your PC, you only need 1 infection and it will go downhill from there.

    Are you able to start Windows in Safe Mode (press and hold F8 as the computer boots into Windows)?

    It's going to be difficult without being able to start Windows - do you have a recovery disk, is the PC fitted with a CD/DVD burner?
     
  10. Silver51

    Silver51 I cast flare!

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    I second using Spybot alongside your antivirus as they search for two completely different threats.

    http://www.safer-networking.org/en/download/index.html


    Computer not starting, try going into the BIOS and use the option to reset everything to defaults and see if that helps. Also, if you think the issue is with the hard drive and not the computer, then you could slave the drive in a working computer and check it there (Scandisk etc.)


    As for the computer randomly shutting down, try running Scandisk. (Sorry if you already know this.)

    Go to My Computer, right click C: drive and select Properties from the menu. On the tools tab, look for the Error-checking box and click the Check Now button. Put ticks in 'automatically fix file system errors' and 'scan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors'. Click Start (C: drive will require a restart, a slaved drive won't.)

    Also, try downloading a copy of memtest, burn the ISO to a CD and run it at boot. It'll check for issues with your RAM. If the test goes through for a couple of passes with no errors, you RAMs probably good.

    http://www.memtest86.com/download.html
     
  11. talladega

    talladega I'm Squidward

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    Haven't tried to see if I can do safe mode. Will do.

    I do have a XP Disk. But its XP Pro but that doesn't matter.

    I have Spybot on that PC. Never find anything. Kaspersky also does spyware and malware.

    I will try resetting BIOS see if it help.

    I will also connect the drives to this PC and see if they are detected.

    I have defragged alot and done the Disk cleanup but not Scandisk. Will do that if I can get the computer to load windows.

    I'll try that memtest.



    I personally think it could be with the motherboard as the networking jack doesnt work anymore (after power outage I mentioned earlier) and we've had to use a PCI network card.



    Thanks for the help guys, you have given me a bunch things to try. Hopefully I can atleast get it running again until we can get a laptop. :sigh:


    Luckily I just backed up all our pictures and important stuff onto DVDs just recently. :)
     
  12. Silver51

    Silver51 I cast flare!

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    Was it a power outage or a mains surge?

    You should be using surge protection between the wall socket and your computer. It won't stop energy from a direct lightning strike, but it should protect from spikes over the mains. I run two Masterplug 4 socket switched extension leads with a dedicated single shot plug on the PC.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Surge_protector
     
  13. LordLuciendar

    LordLuciendar meh.

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    Test the Hard Drive and Memory the tools I use are Spinrite v6.0 by Gibson Research for hard drive (considered the industry standard for the last 10 years) and Memtest x86.

    If that fails... remove all plugs and/or cables except power and hard drive from the motherboard and try running it that way. You should definitely blow dust out of it if it is dirty at all.

    This doesn't sound like a virus issue, especially from what you described to us. It's possible, but it is far more likely that your hard disk or memory have bad sectors in the same locations as your browsers address space/ location on the hard drive. Definitely test your hard drive first, if you start defragging and/or extensively using your hard drive on the bad sectors it could extend the problem and ruin your chances of cloning from one drive to another or getting data.
     
  14. AJB2K3

    AJB2K3 What's a Dremel?

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    Is it sat in one of these narrow pc desk holes? try putting it in the open without the side pannels, this will see if its a cooling issue.
     
  15. talladega

    talladega I'm Squidward

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    It is plugged into a backup battery with surge protection.

    It was a power outage.
     
  16. talladega

    talladega I'm Squidward

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    Update:

    -Tried Resetting BIOS. Did nothing
    -It seems to recognize the hard drives
    -It will not boot from a CD
    -The case inside is fairly clean. No worries there.
    -The temperature of the hardware isnt a problem.
    -Cannot boot into safe mode.


    Currently I have the main drive connected to my PC through USB adapter and it has been detected and is doing scandisk thing.

    It is making a weird noise though. The sound the drive it making sounds sort of like static through speakers. Maybe because its constantly reading?
     
  17. Silver51

    Silver51 I cast flare!

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    You're hearing the read heads moving back and fourth over the platter.

    You said that it won't boot off of a CD. Is that any CD, like your Windows disk, or just memtest?
     
  18. talladega

    talladega I'm Squidward

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    Well it's working now.

    I did the scandisk when the hard drive was hooked up to my pc then put it back in at it started up. Put the memory in and ran Memtest and no errors. Must have been a error on the drive or something.

    But its back to how it used to be though. Webpages take a couple trys to load and dont load proper. And it restarts randomly while on the internet.

    I think if I were to reinstall Windows it may fix it, but I really dont care enough to do that. We just need it running good enough to the email and business stuff.
     
  19. Silver51

    Silver51 I cast flare!

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    The only other things I could suggest would be either to check that it's up to date with hotfixes and service packs.

    If so, try and get hold of a spare hard drive and install Windows onto it to see if the machine runs okay with another drive. Or simply re-install Windows on the current drive, which understandably you're not wanting to do at the moment.
     
  20. talladega

    talladega I'm Squidward

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    I havent even been able to do windows updates because the internet would load pages proper so it couldnt do updates. now I set it on automatic updates so it atleast can get updates.
     

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