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Author Topic: Computer help please  (Read 4702 times)
Len Silva
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« on: May 27, 2009, 07:00:56 PM »

Some time back there was a thread here where someone was able to help another member with computer problems remotely. It required a free program to be installed for remote access. I have searched but can't find that thread.

I'm having some issues here and would much rather pay one of you guys than the local geek squad or whatever.

Thanks,

Len
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WEC4104
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« Reply #1 on: May 27, 2009, 07:24:06 PM »

Len:

Would it be possible for you to post a few simple details to help us help you?  What operating system are you running?   What kind of issues are you facing?  (crashes, slow internet surfing, networking connections, etc.)   

I'm thinking guys would be more willing to jump in if they feel comfortable that they have familiarity with your problems.
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« Reply #2 on: May 27, 2009, 08:26:12 PM »

Len,

If you have Windows XP or later, no program is required -- remote assistance capability is built in.

What sorts of problems are you having?

-Sean
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« Reply #3 on: May 27, 2009, 09:40:17 PM »

Len,

These days, I'm a telephony engineer, but I've been a computer tech for a lot longer...  Let me know what kind of issues you're having and I might have some ideas for you...

-Mac
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« Reply #4 on: May 28, 2009, 04:08:20 AM »

Len,

I use  www.logmein.com to support my customers. The free version is usually robust enough to do what's necessary.

HTH, TOM
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Len Silva
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« Reply #5 on: May 28, 2009, 06:15:12 AM »

Thanks guys,
Tom, I guess it was you I was thinking about, I remember the logmein.com.

I have a Compaq Presario 6000, circa 2002
XP home w/ SP3
P4 2Ghz
504 RAM

I run Norton Internet Security which scans every night and indicates no viruses.

The machine is running very slow at times, faster at others but never as fast as normal.  It is constantly hitting the hard drive with frequent attempts to access the A drive (which is empty).
I leave it on all the time because reboot can take 20-30 minutes.
Program access is VERY slow, 10 minutes to load Firefox this morning, a little better as the days goes on. Even Solitaire can take up to 30 seconds to load, it was always instantaneous.

I am using Carbonite backup, but turning it off makes no difference. In fact, these problems are what prompted me to use it.

There is often a delay in repainting the screen, or it goes to black for a few seconds when a program is loading.

I have done all the disc cleanup, defrag, etc, no help.

I tried Registry Mechanic which claimed to have cured hundreds of registry problems but didn't help.

I tried to do a System Restore going back as far as possible (four months). It went through the process but reported it could not restore from that date.  I tried closer and closer dates with the same result until I got to about two day. Did that restore but no help.  The problem is older than that.

I can't identify when it started, just seems to get worse and worse.

I have lots of stuff in start up, removed some that I can identify, but there are so many that I don't know what they are, and since reboot is so excruciatingly long, I hate to try them one at a time.

I am not comfortable doing any more than that without someone holding my hand.

Thanks,

Len
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« Reply #6 on: May 28, 2009, 06:20:23 AM »

Use logmein and let someone else fix it! I've used it when I was overseas and it works great! Just sit back, watch and learn!

I should clarify, I was the watcher, not the doer! It's way over my head! Roll Eyes

~Paul~
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« Reply #7 on: May 28, 2009, 06:20:33 AM »

Spyware Shocked Shocked Shocked.

Sorry man, that stuff is rough.

Somebody here should be able to get you ironed out.

God bless,

John
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Len Silva
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« Reply #8 on: May 28, 2009, 07:49:37 AM »

OK, I have installed logmein.  As a possible clue to my problems here, when I tried to install it, my browser crashed, twice with Firefox, once with IE.
I did a cold reboot and it loaded OK, took about 30 minutes though.
This happened once before when loading software from the internet (trusted).

Len
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« Reply #9 on: May 28, 2009, 10:30:00 AM »

You might want to try Comodo, it is free and will find lots of problems.  You may have to turn off Norton before you can load.  I have used it for about one year and had no problem. 
Let it do a scan and see what it finds. 
Jack
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« Reply #10 on: May 28, 2009, 11:06:46 AM »

I know the original post was a request to have someone handle your fixes remotely, (for which you offered compensation).  Although I am not in a situation to help with that, I can offer a few suggestions:

1) I will take a stab and guess that you are running an older version of Norton's Internet Security.  The older versions are notorious resource hogs.   You will find lots of folks who will tell you to run from the Norton stuff.  However, they made major improvements in their latest version, and seems a more viable product today. Rather than take one person's opinion on this (mine), I suggest you do some surfing and confirm this through independent websites.  Many sites are saying it is a huge improvement. You may want to consider updating to the latest product, or switching to something else.

2) Make sure there are not multiple Anti-Virus or Spyware blockers running on your PC at the same time. They can fight for control.

3) Many sites that help people through the problems like yours will use a program called HijackThis. It is available for free download, and is a utility which shows what is actively running on your PC.  Many times people start with this tool to pick through the log of running programs and sort out what is not supposed to be there.
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« Reply #11 on: May 28, 2009, 11:15:33 AM »

Len,

Notwithstanding the otherwise good advice here to install anti-spyware, given what's happening right now the last thing I would do is install any more software on the machine, at least until you get some other stuff uninstalled.

As a start, I'd like to ask you to bring the machine up in "Safe Mode," and see if it runs properly in that mode.  This will give us a baseline;  if the machine is slow in Safe Mode, then you have a hardware problem, which could included bad memory, improper page file settings, a decaying disk drive, or a disk that is so overloaded that the machine is "thrashing."

To start safe mode, shut down the computer completely.  After pressing the power button, press the F8 key several times, perhaps once per second for five or six seconds until Windows "starts."  You will be presented with a start-up menu; choose "Safe Mode" and press Enter.

Windows will come up in a limited mode, with only the essential drivers loaded.  None of your personal software, including anti-virus, will start.  I will forewarn you that, after using safe mode, the icons on your desktop may be slightly re-arranged, however, it will do no damage to your system.

Once in safe mode, try to open a few files or run some programs that you have noticed are particularly slow.  Note that in full Safe Mode, you will have no network access, so your browser or email programs can not be part of this test.

After running in safe mode briefly for the test, you can again shut down and then restart normally.  Then report back here with the results.

Note that you can also, in similar fashion, start in "Safe Mode with Networking," which will allow you to bring your browser up, if that seems more sensible to you.  But your screen resolution will be 640x480 in Safe Mode.

Once we have the baseline from Safe Mode, we can use the "Skip Driver" maintenance start-up system to temporarily eliminate various things from being part of the problem.

Note that none of this is something I can help you with via "remote access," and the very use of remote access will slow the machine down further.  This is one reason I suggested you use the built-in Windows feature rather than installing yet another piece of software such as Logmein.

Once you have the system under control, then remote access is a practical alternative.

-Sean
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Len Silva
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« Reply #12 on: May 28, 2009, 01:11:51 PM »

It's hard to tell.  I started in Safe Mode, Word opened in about 40 seconds, Illustrator took about 52 sec.

In normal Word took almost 3 minutes.  When I closed it and tried again it opened in about a minute.
The first time I opened Firefox, it took 4 minutes, same with IE. The next time I tried it, FF was running in about 90 seconds.

Sometimes the hard drive is running constantly with frequent attempts at the A drive.  Programs like Word also take a very long time to close, even if I never opened a file.

I am confused!
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« Reply #13 on: May 28, 2009, 02:28:15 PM »

We might also get a few clues from you taking a look at the Windows Task Master.   While running in the normal mode, simultaneously press CTL-ALT-DEL keys.    A screen will pop up.   Clicking on the "Processes" tab will show what activities are sucking up CPU time.  The "Performance" tab will show how much of the CPU is being utilized, along with a historical graph.   Some of this might offer some insight.
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« Reply #14 on: May 28, 2009, 02:32:00 PM »

...  I started in Safe Mode, Word opened in about 40 seconds, ...


That's a long time in Safe Mode.  Was there a point in time when things opened faster than this?

Go to "My Computer" and right-click.  On the first tab ("General") in the System Properties window, at the bottom, it will tell you your processor speed and amount of RAM.  Let me know what that says.

Then click the Advanced tab and click the Settings button under "Performance."  In the Performance Options window click the Advanced tab; at the bottom find Virtual Memory and click Change.  Make sure the radio button next to "System Managed Size" is selected; if not, select it and click Set.  You will then have to reboot.

Go back to the Advanced tab on the Performance Options window and tell me what it says the size of the paging file is.

Next, close all windows, then double-click My Computer, right click on the C: drive and choose Properties, and tell me how much Used space and Free space you have on the drive.

Lastly, on the Properties window select the Tools tab, then click Check Now.  Check both boxes and click Continue; it will tell you that the check will be scheduled on next boot.  Reboot the computer and go get dinner -- the disk check may take hours.

Once the computer is fully rebooted, let's shut it down and then restart in Safe Mode to see if Word opens up any faster this time.

-Sean
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