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GEMINI
30th October 2008, 09:33 AM
Hi All


I have a problem surfacing with our main home Pc
it is hanging during start up on the windows xp screen (the image contrast and colour seem to shudder a little)
and then it either loads into windows or resets itself
it is an older pc Pentium IV 3.06ghz
It seems that Firefox has also become unstable, don''t think it is related though
any ideas on what it might be?
don't want to go stuffing with it without an idea as the missus uses it for work

Cheers in Advance

Dan

dmworking247
30th October 2008, 10:08 AM
I had a similar problem the other day... If you have a fancy video card the contrast might be a setting you had in the video driver properties (so once the driver loads, it adjusts the contrast). I have that on my PC so the gamma drops slightly when I log in.

Regarding the resetting, I also had that recently when I had some bad drivers. I think it was the video drivers but I had to rebuild the computer eventually.

When you say it resets, is there a moment when it flashes a blue-screen-of-death? XP automatically resets the computer on a login-crash like that... If so, when you're booting the PC, just as it says 'starting Windows' press F8 to get a boot menu. On the menu there's an option to NOT reboot the PC on a critical windows crash, so you can read the error.

Whilst it could be a hardware problem, it sounds to me like you've got some bad drivers/corrupt software, and a reload is in order.

Fish Tales
30th October 2008, 10:15 AM
or try a system restore

AskJacob
30th October 2008, 10:56 AM
nice simpe thing to try first. Open the case and reseat your video card. Just pop it out and back in.

Cheers
Jacob

GEMINI
30th October 2008, 01:34 PM
Will post more details when i get home
but no bsod
and no video card

GEMINI
30th October 2008, 06:51 PM
i will give the old system restore a shot.
and see how it goes
My firefox is playing up badly so i think it may have to go:cry
and install again

neo-mvs-man
30th October 2008, 07:14 PM
This is similar to a thread the other night!
And if system restore doesn't work (which i hope it does;)), i think ya mobo may be dying:evil

jaspar
31st October 2008, 02:56 PM
Check for excessive dust around the CPU
Check for any bulging/leaky caps around the CPU
Run a chkdsk/diagnostic on the hard disk?
Does it work ok if it gets in to windows?

GEMINI
4th November 2008, 08:36 PM
UPDATE

tried all sorts of spyware, adware and virus removal
removed and reseated and cleaned everything (man the cpu fan and heatsink was filthy
tried sys restore
tried everything i could think of
i did not try format and reload as i am not confident with xp and i have no discs to reload plus it is used for my wifes work so it needs to be up and going regardless
(so me stumbling in the dark is not desirable)
i threw my hands in the air and told her i have no idea
she rang some IT guys called geeks on the move (i think the "we will fix it or its free" slogan got her)
after two hours at the computer he managed to reload firefox and thats it:cry
IE is still busted and now outlook Express is busted too (hangs and crashes)
So he made a comment on the way out that he will ask around and he might drop back.
He spent most of the time in the house on the phone asking someone else what to do..
BUGGER
I guess i will wait to see if he comes back and fixes it, or if he bills me
before i take it to someone competent
Sooo frustrating

David_AVD
4th November 2008, 09:03 PM
Sounds like you should really save any data you need and do a fresh install.

If it's as buggered as you say, the band-aid approach is not going to work.

I know you said you haven't got the install CDs but it's what you need to do.

GEMINI
4th November 2008, 09:32 PM
yeah i know i should
if it wasn't the wifes pc i would install a ripped copy of xp after hours of trial and error
however she needs it to make money
so will end up taking it to someone to fix

David_AVD
4th November 2008, 09:37 PM
Hang on, you'll take it to someone and pay them to fix it, but don't want to do a fresh install? Is the issue that you don't have a legit XP key? Wouldn't buying one be cheaper than paying someone to spend hours trying to make your current installation stable?

GEMINI
4th November 2008, 09:44 PM
the copy is ligit
it was a preloaded packard (never got disks with it)
i would take ages stuffing with it to get it formated and going
so it SHOULD be easier to pay someone to fix it (and more effective)
and no swearing from me or the missus swearing at me when it takes two days to get up and going because i have never formated an XP machine
used to format my windows 98 machines ages ago when i had time and patience
but the art is long forgotten and my patience long eroded

David_AVD
4th November 2008, 09:49 PM
Fair enough. Just seems like a lot of PC repair people have no idea and you'll still have an unstable system when you get it back. Maybe get them to re-install XP?

wingtipvortex
4th November 2008, 09:59 PM
Its probably a good idea if your wife/partner relies on this pc for business, for one or both of you to get aquainted with the reformatting/re installing procedure for xp. Its really not that complicated at all, it will save you a shit load in tech bills and its also a little satisfying doing it yourself. Heres a guide>>http://helpdesk.its.uiowa.edu/windows/instructions/reformat.htm

Im sure there are a ton of AA members who could talk you through it also, hope it works out for you anyways.

GEMINI
4th November 2008, 10:01 PM
That was what i thought they would have done
i had left details of everything i had tried and that i had backed up every thing important if he wanted to do a fresh install
but they seem to be taking a dif route
as long as the thing is fixed and i don't have a horrendous bill i will be happy
and so will the wife


Its probably a good idea if your wife/partner relies on this pc for business, for one or both of you to get aquainted with the reformatting/re installing procedure for xp. Its really not that complicated at all, it will save you a shit load in tech bills and its also a little satisfying doing it yourself. Heres a guide>>http://helpdesk.its.uiowa.edu/windows/instructions/reformat.htm

Im sure there are a ton of AA members who could talk you through it also, hope it works out for you anyways.

I used to use a walk through and am sure with the disks i am capable
just don't want to stuff with her pc
if it was mine . no worries
no chance of wife doing it
Never had to have a tech look at any machine in the last 7 years or so , can stumble through on my own when it is a toy, but when it is a business machine it is better to have it done quickly and efficiently IMO
(healthy pc = happy wife = quiet life for me:D)
My Pc knowledge is not extensive, but it gets me through
That said we have never had any troubles with this pc and have owned it for years

opm881
5th November 2008, 10:10 AM
you cant really stuff up a computer by formatting it. Only thing that might be missing is a couple of driver files which you are able to get on the net easily. Also, packard by law was meant to give you a copy of xp when you bought the computer. I am not sure when that came in beause i dont think it happened all that long ago(couple of years if i remeber) so if its before that then just download a copy of xp

AskJacob
5th November 2008, 10:15 AM
If it is a money maker machine, then by all means get it to a pro and get it fixed as soon as possible.

You can claim back the costs via tax for the repairs.

---

If you try it yourself and it takes a while, chasing drivers, everything else and you still have an unstable machine (or worse) - the wife will be there tapping her foot, you'll be pissed off, money will be lost.

Can't claim back the anger with the mrs on tax :D

As he said, if it was his machine he'd be happy to play with it.

Womble
5th November 2008, 12:24 PM
For gods sake make sure you have backed up ALL the data you need on it before you let someone take it away for repair, the web is littered with tales of people in your situation who did not want a format and restore but ended up getting their PC back totally blank as they repairer just went ahead anyway.

Possibly the safest solution for you is to buy a new blank hard drive, disconnect your old one, install XP on your brand new drive, then connect the secondary up as the second disk and move all the files across.

As for the ability of PC repair groups, well there is a lot more money to be made elsewhere in the IT field if you are good with computers than there is at this "no fix no fee" shops. Either the people working for them have no ambition or they just aint that good.

AskJacob
5th November 2008, 12:39 PM
For gods sake make sure you have backed up ALL the data you need on it before you let someone take it away for repair, the web is littered with tales of people in your situation who did not want a format and restore but ended up getting their PC back totally blank as they repairer just went ahead anyway.


I agree totally here. Most brand name PC suppliers just won't dick around trying to find software problems.

They will re-image with the factory image. Still playing up? then hardware fault. Works now? Fine, hand back to customer with no data or apps.

Been there many times before. And to be honest, a fresh install is going to work so much better.

I like the grab a 2nd HDD idea though. Nothing lost but a bit of time, but you don't end up with the "no way back" problem.

Never let a PC leave your possession without:

1 - having everything you MUST have from it backed up
2 - removing anything on it you aren't happy for a stranger to have access to (documents, financial spreadsheets etc)

Cheers
Jacob

opm881
5th November 2008, 01:01 PM
yea, like others have said back up. I had to get my old laptop fixed a few years ago and we asked if they could please back up everything even the program folders and stuff and just put it in a folder in my documents. Nothing. Came back completly empty, just a fresh install of xp

Davefjedi
5th November 2008, 01:18 PM
You will probably find you dont need the cd as there may be a recovery partition on the hard drive