Jump to content
House Price Crash Forum

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

RichM

I T Question - Help Needed

Recommended Posts

OK, mum-in-law's laptop. Packard Bell, Celeron something or other, 2.67GHz, 256MB ram. A reasonable spec, but running REALLY slowly, takes ages to run anything, pretty much since they got it over 18 months ago. Possibly since they got it from, yes you guessed it, a major highstreet PC retailer, whose "guarantee" turned out to be pants.

Anyway, I finally get called in to have a look at it.

They've got AVG and spybot, run searches, nada. Firewall and MS security all up to date and working. Try to download ad-aware from download.com, the SECOND I hit their page the computer crashes. Repeat this, crashes again. Hmmm. Suspicious.

Tried the same process with a couple of other anti-malware programs at download.com, again it crashes - argghh!

It's now 2am on bank holiday sunday. :angry: Eventually i get Ad-aware on there, just through trying different avenues to the download page, nothing obvious coming up, tried MS "Defender" beta, just came across some KazAa virus thing. Annhilated that, still slow. 5am I hit the sack, defeated. Poor RichM.

OK, have I missed something obvious? What is going on here? Any suggestions?

I think it's some malware/trojan horse thing, but for the life of me I can't find it...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

- Your IDE drives are running PIO mode? (check google for that one)

- Are all you drivers upto date?

PS you need to mention which operating system is running

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

- Your IDE drives are running PIO mode? (check google for that one)

- Are all you drivers upto date?

PS you need to mention which operating system is running

XP SP2

Will check out the PIO thing. Think drivers are up to date. There's nothing special there that needs a driver!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You stayed up till 5am? I would have just reinstalled it!

They don't have the XP disks anymore. Or Office etc.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Why don't the high street retailers give out the disks with their machines? Aren't they being a tad tight?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I seem to remember that Microsoft won't let them give out real XP disks anymore.

As for the machine, could the lack of RAM be a problem? I'm surprised XP even boots with 256MB...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OK, mum-in-law's laptop. Packard Bell, Celeron something or other, 2.67GHz, 256MB ram. A reasonable spec, but running REALLY slowly, takes ages to run anything, pretty much since they got it over 18 months ago. Possibly since they got it from, yes you guessed it, a major highstreet PC retailer, whose "guarantee" turned out to be pants.

Anyway, I finally get called in to have a look at it.

They've got AVG and spybot, run searches, nada. Firewall and MS security all up to date and working. Try to download ad-aware from download.com, the SECOND I hit their page the computer crashes. Repeat this, crashes again. Hmmm. Suspicious.

Tried the same process with a couple of other anti-malware programs at download.com, again it crashes - argghh!

It's now 2am on bank holiday sunday. :angry: Eventually i get Ad-aware on there, just through trying different avenues to the download page, nothing obvious coming up, tried MS "Defender" beta, just came across some KazAa virus thing. Annhilated that, still slow. 5am I hit the sack, defeated. Poor RichM.

OK, have I missed something obvious? What is going on here? Any suggestions?

I think it's some malware/trojan horse thing, but for the life of me I can't find it...

It may sound strange at first but is the CPU fan working ? If not then your processor may be overheating and if so it automatically reduces its processing power by about 50% at first then down to about 20%. Eventually it will shut down.

Also are you running it from the mains supply and not just the battery ?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks everyone.

Fan's working, mains in.

MarkG - I know, but they're not running big games or anything, just Word and virus checkers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Make sure there is only one antivirus installed and only one firewall. Disconnect from the internet then reboot disable the antivirus and the firewall. Stay off the net while doing this. See how it goes and let me know.

Does the hard drive make a lot of grinding noises ? I don’t mean like normal.

Is there any background process’s going on, eg disk defragmenting etc ?

Do Ctrl Alt Del and see what’s running. You could post a list and I will have a look through for you.

While you’re there what’s the idle CPU running % ?

What’s in your task bar ?

Remove any CD DVD from the drives.

Go into “device manager” and check there are no question marks for drivers.

Any other software you know that has been installed other than the normal ?

OK I hope that gives you something to play with for now. I will be working away Tuesday and Wednesday so I might not get chance to reply quickly. I will pop back to see how you got on though.

If I forget PM me. ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks everyone.

Fan's working, mains in.

MarkG - I know, but they're not running big games or anything, just Word and virus checkers.

Apart from the obvious like running a disk checking utility (to make sure you havnt got a system file in a f*cked sector etc) and running sfc.exe to check/replace any corrupt system files, making sure system restore if OFF when removing nasties from the puter (it like to back them up) i can offer the little chesnut of disk space, make sure you have atleast 1.5 GB free disk space than windows can use as a swap area. Sounds alot dont it ... but it can actually need more than that depending on system config and applications. Delete all ya crappy temp files from failed shutdowns, clear all your internet related temps. If they have install/uninstall a LOT of stuff throw a defrag at it to. Most laptop hard drives are 5,200 rpm if i remember rightly? so you dont want it try to do disk writes all over the shop.

Free hard drive space is critical when you dont have a lot of ram, windows itself needs the space just to get its fat ass to function let alone any programs you want to run. Also check out task manager and see if you have something gobbling up the cpu (i would do that first, ive seen corrupt start up program hammer the processor, and its the easiest thing to check).

So much can go wrong with windows, i couldnt do any better myself but if it was a car i wouldnt drive it :lol: ( i do use xp though) anyone remember Windows ME :lol: it just didnt work.

EDITED

BTW 1.5 GB is a magic number ive made up from just seeing what works best, whether or not thats technically accurate i dont know but it works for me :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cheers guys, will chase those up. Sadly I'm back in the big smoke now, but will pass on my detailed instructions - MIL is fairly IT literate.

As for a physical disk checker, is there one on XP somewhere? i do remember using scandisk on MDDOS, but again we're talking Britpop era stuff...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cheers guys, will chase those up. Sadly I'm back in the big smoke now, but will pass on my detailed instructions - MIL is fairly IT literate.

As for a physical disk checker, is there one on XP somewhere? i do remember using scandisk on MDDOS, but again we're talking Britpop era stuff...

Yea but you cant get to it through the run command (why bill why?) you right click on the drive icon then properties then tools its there as "error checking" or some ****** like that. Personally i use nortons disk doctor but thats not a freebie

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

...Apart from the obvious like running a disk checking utility (to make sure you havnt got a system file in a f*cked sector etc) and running sfc.exe to check/replace any corrupt system files, making sure system restore if OFF when removing nasties from the puter (it like to back them up) i can offer the little chesnut of disk space, make sure you have atleast 1.5 GB free disk space than windows can use as a swap area.

...Also check out task manager and see if you have something gobbling up the cpu (i would do that first, ive seen corrupt start up program hammer the processor, and its the easiest thing to check).

Cheers

Have checked task manager, there were a few things that looked dodgy that I've taken out.

How do I make sure system restore is off? Disk space free was something like 14GB!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cheers

Have checked task manager, there were a few things that looked dodgy that I've taken out.

How do I make sure system restore is off? Disk space free was something like 14GB!

Start-> Programs -> Accessories -> system tools ->system restore, if its left on you run the risk of backing up a nastie which will keep showing up on a scan then you run the risk of restoring the thing. Personally i hate system restore with a passion so i leave it off.

EDIT: oh and run -> msconfig -> startup and uncheck any drivel that its trying to load, generally xxxPornDialerxxx.exe is never a nice one to find there :lol:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yea but you cant get to it through the run command (why bill why?) you right click on the drive icon then properties then tools its there as "error checking" or some ****** like that. Personally i use nortons disk doctor but thats not a freebie

It's all life skills I'm picking up here, nice one

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's all life skills I'm picking up here, nice one

Yea i just hope im not telling you a load of sh*t :lol:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
As for a physical disk checker, is there one on XP somewhere? i do remember using scandisk on MDDOS, but again we're talking Britpop era stuff...

chkdsk c: (or whatever) will tell you if there are problems.

chkdsk /f c: will fix the problems, but probably require you to reboot and then take half an hour to run.

chkdsk /r will perform a thorough check and fix, but will take even longer to run.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

chkdsk c: (or whatever) will tell you if there are problems.

chkdsk /f c: will fix the problems, but probably require you to reboot and then take half an hour to run.

chkdsk /r will perform a thorough check and fix, but will take even longer to run.

Thanks

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Also run "Disk Cleanup", "Disk Defragmenter" and download a program to optimise the registery and remove any junk from it. Tune-Up is supposed to be decent.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OK, have I missed something obvious? What is going on here? Any suggestions?

I think it's some malware/trojan horse thing, but for the life of me I can't find it...

Some trojans load extensions into the NT kernel which let them hide from virus scanners.

You might get some joy out of starting the beast in Safe Mode (F8 during the boot process IIRC), and doing a scan then.

Ideally, boot from some external known good source like a CD or floppy with a scanner on it. Eg Ultimate Boot CD or Ultimate BootCD for windows, or roll your own.

That way you know that the scanning isn't being defeated by kernel mods...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cheers guys. I really would be lost without you. Certain;y hadn't tried safe mode yet.

Richard

Best to use Safe mode when doing a disk defrag too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Your running 256MB of memory - sounds like it's not enough and the PC is using the 'page file' on the harddrive and that is slowing the PC down

To confirm this - press CONTROL-ALT AND DEL key together -> choose 'task manager' and look at the graphs

If it's over 256MB 'memory usage' then that's the problem - you need more memory to reduce the PC's reliance on the 'page file'

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To confirm this - press CONTROL-ALT AND DEL key together -> choose 'task manager' and look at the graphs

Or hit CTRL-SHIFT-ESC to launch Task Manager.

Another point about 'dnd' post above (which is a v good point) make sure programs like MSN, Quickview etc

are not launching in the Tool bar (normally bottom right) 'waiting' after bootup - this just uses unnecessary resources.

A lot of programs like Camera software etc does this too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • 338 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.