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Old 05-16-2009, 01:50 PM   #1
Arcesious
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And the computer says: "I'm getting to old for this..."

Well, I would suppose that you all know a lot about computers, way more than I do. Well, I've got computer problems, which don't seem to be being caused by viruses or anything.

The problems, at the moment, aren't too big of a deal, but the kind of problems I've experienced my computer having suggest that it will, in time, become a big deal. My computer is SEVEN years old. Yeah, seven.

It's always been very 'faithful' to me and I've always been able to fix whatever problem it gets. (My father passed it down to me when he began to prefer laptops) It's a windows XP home edition, an emachines computer. It's been upgraded to function well beyond what it was in the stock version.

Well, the problems are at startup. It begins to startup as normal when I turn it on, only to have the emachines logo screen stare at me for about twenty seconds. Next, it tries to load up. It'll load as normal, but when its about to load up to the login screen, there happens to a be a 40% chance that it will crash. The computer screen will go black, and the power button on the front of the computer tower will glow orange.

My computer is guarenteed to crash if I leave a CD or DVD in my DVD/CD-ROM drive.

Fortunately, the second time I try to load up the computer, it usually loads up to the login screen successfully. When I see the light blue windows logins screen, it's always a sigh of relief for me, because at that point, the problems my computer has end.

It seems that, if I keep moving the mouse around as the computer is loading up, there is an 80% chance that it will successfully reach the login screen.

Sometimes, when I restart after a 'transition-to-login-crash', I'll get a screen that says windows did not start normally, and it asks if I want to go into safe mode, etc, etc. I've always just done 'Start windows normally'.

My best bet is that the motherboard is getting old and burning out, the equivalent to an old man in his 70's whom just doesn't want to get up in the morning, but just wants to sleep.

Fortunately, about 95% of the important stuff (Installed games, miscellaneous files of significance to me) are saved on an external harddrive. The other 5% are programs installed on my computer, such as Gimp, Java, Adobe Flash, the program shortcuts to games on my external harddrive, some stuff from my copy of Spore that conspired decided to save on my C:/ drive instead of my E:/ drive like they were supposed to...

Perhaps it's time to get a new computer. But I like this computer I have now. If I can get just one more year out of it, I'll have the time to aquire enough money from a summer job to get a new computer, with a little help from my parents...

I know it inside and out, and I've put a lot of money into upgrading it. (RAM upgraded from 512 to 768 by a special program on the internet, 256 MB Nvidia 6200 video card, DVD/CD-ROM 8x drive, 500 GB external harddrive, replaced the power pack once.)

So, does anyone know what the problem is, and what I can do to fix it or just prolong the inevitable?


Please feed the trolls. XD

Last edited by Arcesious; 05-16-2009 at 01:55 PM.
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Old 05-16-2009, 02:00 PM   #2
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You'll likely get more of a response if you post this in the LFN Tech forum.




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Old 05-16-2009, 02:04 PM   #3
Jae Onasi
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Agreed. Moved from SWK-Ahto to Tech forum.


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Old 05-16-2009, 02:07 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arcesious View Post
(RAM upgraded from 512 to 768 by a special program on the internet)
I is sorely confuse.



Disconnect and reseat all power and data cable connections inside the computer, chck to make sure your cpu fan is working, check to see if anything needs to be blown out with a can of compressed air, run a checkdisk and defrag. Take an aspirin, run a special program on it to make it two aspirin, take them both and call me in the morning.
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Old 05-16-2009, 02:46 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boba Rhett View Post
I is sorely confuse.
Concur.

@OP: In addition to Rhett's suggestions:

1) Have you scanned for viruses and malware with several different scanners?

2) How long has it been since you reinstalled Windows? XP should be reinstalled roughly once a year for optimal performance.

3) Given the weird startup behavior, your power supply might be winking out on you. They tend to wear out over time. A quality replacement would be relatively cheap (~$30.00).


"They should rename the team to the Washington Government Sucks. Put Obama on the helmet. Line the entire walls of the stadium with the actual text of the ACA.
Fix their home team score on the board to the debt clock, they can win every game 17,000,000,000,000 to 24. Losing team gets taxed by the IRS 100%, then droned."
-Toker
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Old 05-16-2009, 04:45 PM   #6
Ray Jones
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I suggest you'll rephrase what exactly your problem is, Arcesious.


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Old 05-17-2009, 02:55 AM   #7
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I didn't think to put this in this forum. I'm not sure if I've ever used nor seen this subforum... or have I? If I have, it's been a long time.

Anyways, the ram upgrade. I think it was one of those 'Ram booster' programs. It was about three or four years ago. My uncle came over, ran some program on my computer, which as at the time still my father's computer; and the computer's main RAM jumped up from 512 to 768... And it was permanent. No new hardware, no jury-rigging the processors; just some sort of software/hardware efficiency upgrade. Don't ask me how a program can manage to do that sort of thing; I have no idea.

The last time I reinstalled XP was about 8 months ago, I think. Originally, I almost never turned my computer off. It would run for weeks without being turned off. I've been regularly turning my computer off every night before I go to bed, for about six months. It being on so much didn't seem to cause any problems.

When the powerpack went bad six months ago, it came the time that I decided it would be smart to let my computer rest every night, not only to keep from overusing/overheating it but also to 'go green'.

I scan for viruses and such with Avast. Although probably not as often as I should. It seems like it takes almost an entire day for Avast to scan my computer, and since I use my computer a whole lot every day, it's inconvenient. I Defrags and disk cleanups frequently though, because my computer can do them pretty quickly.

(Man, I tell you; one year... one year... And I'll be using an actual gaming PC, with liquid cooling systems... No more noisy fans, no more overheating; just me, an unstressable computer with extremely overclocked hardware, and high-end games without lag.)

If you think it's a virus or malware, what other free anti-virus/antispyware programs would you suggest, besides Avast?


Please feed the trolls. XD

Last edited by Arcesious; 05-17-2009 at 03:01 AM.
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Old 05-17-2009, 05:06 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Arcesious View Post
I didn't think to put this in this forum. I'm not sure if I've ever used nor seen this subforum... or have I? If I have, it's been a long time.
Ah, welcome to the Abyss.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arcesious
Anyways, the ram upgrade. I think it was one of those 'Ram booster' programs. It was about three or four years ago. My uncle came over, ran some program on my computer, which as at the time still my father's computer; and the computer's main RAM jumped up from 512 to 768... And it was permanent. No new hardware, no jury-rigging the processors; just some sort of software/hardware efficiency upgrade. Don't ask me how a program can manage to do that sort of thing; I have no idea.
I'm betting that neither does anyone else.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arcesious
When the powerpack went bad six months ago, it came the time that I decided it would be smart to let my computer rest every night, not only to keep from overusing/overheating it but also to 'go green'.
You mean the power supply? So it has a new one? Damn, that was my guess, given that weird startup behavior. You might want to try clearing the CMOS by unplugging the computer, removing the motherboard battery and leaving it out for about 30 minutes.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arcesious
I scan for viruses and such with Avast. Although probably not as often as I should. It seems like it takes almost an entire day for Avast to scan my computer, and since I use my computer a whole lot every day, it's inconvenient. I Defrags and disk cleanups frequently though, because my computer can do them pretty quickly.
Well, it sounds like you're careful enough, but you might want to use a couple of different scanners just in case.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arcesious
(Man, I tell you; one year... one year... And I'll be using an actual gaming PC, with liquid cooling systems... No more noisy fans, no more overheating; just me, an unstressable computer with extremely overclocked hardware, and high-end games without lag.)
I wouldn't recommend messing with liquid cooling. Air-cooling is a lot less of a PITA and you can get very good results from it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arcesious
If you think it's a virus or malware, what other free anti-virus/antispyware programs would you suggest, besides Avast?
Try this for viruses and this for spyware.


"They should rename the team to the Washington Government Sucks. Put Obama on the helmet. Line the entire walls of the stadium with the actual text of the ACA.
Fix their home team score on the board to the debt clock, they can win every game 17,000,000,000,000 to 24. Losing team gets taxed by the IRS 100%, then droned."
-Toker
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Old 05-17-2009, 05:23 AM   #9
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Arc, what's the deal? Avast needs hours to scan your PC, so what. I mean, the more files you have, the longer it will take to scan them, no biggie. Plus, it always depends on what else you are doing or what other programs are running while the scan is done.

Additionally, Avast comes with an on-access scan engine, so there's no need to scan your whole system like every day.

As for the RAM thing, you probably confuse something and your uncle just increased the size of the swap file, what leads to more available system memory at some place.
When you right click on My Computer and select Properties, you'll get some dialoque showing the amount of physical RAM available to your system.

Or maybe he reduced the amount of shared video memory, what seemingly gives more RAM, too.



Last edited by Ray Jones; 05-17-2009 at 06:20 AM.
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Old 05-17-2009, 09:44 AM   #10
Jae Onasi
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Maybe his uncle added some socks to the computer, Ray?


From MST3K's spoof of "Hercules Unchained"--heard as Roman medic soldiers carry off an unconscious Greek Hercules on a 1950's Army green canvas stretcher: "Hi, we're IX-I-I. Did somebody dial IX-I-I?"

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Old 05-17-2009, 11:41 AM   #11
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It took me three tries to get it to start up this morning...

As for physical RAM, well, everything just says 768. I don't see why the RAM is a big deal though. That was 4 years ago.

Cleaning the computer wouldn't hurt, but I think the motherboard is burning out. The wierd thing is, why does this computer work perfectly, with no problems, after startup?

(As for liquid cooled computers... The reason I want such a system is because it is 10 times better at cooling than fans are, and its quieter. (The laws of thermodynamics say so.) Ten times better cooling = way more overclocking potential. If it turns out the I don't get a liquid cooled one, then I'd just put a huge amount of heat sinks in and hopefully some quiet fans.)


Please feed the trolls. XD
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Old 05-17-2009, 11:58 AM   #12
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So, does it hang up on startup or what?

My computer has an issue with RAM that experiences the same thing, it hangs up on the RAM check (~1.25GB) and it will take usually two tries to turn it on. Nothing major, it works just fine afterwards. So, I'm guessing that this might be an issue with your physical memory.

I'd suggest first taking off this "RAM Booster" program and installing more physical memory as opposed to trying to get something out of nothing. After that, I'd suggest running several virus scans and, then, maybe replacing your current RAM.

If you're using the Generic "El Cheepo" type of RAM, upgrade it to something like Kingston or Corsair -making sure to stay within your Mobo's Spec. (E.G. DDR1 in DDR1 slots, DDR2 in DDR2 and so on.) DDR1 should be relatively inexpensive right now as DDR3 is starting to gain more ground, so maybe just by 2 gigs of that or so....

If it's not the RAM, than I don't really have any ideas....

Sorry if this doesn't help at all.


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Old 05-17-2009, 12:12 PM   #13
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I said the change was permanent, but yeah, I have 'el cheepo' RAM. Multiple reformats, and it's never changed. There is no program 'installed' that does it. I don't know what exactly my uncle did. Why would Ram be the problem? My computer can run every game I have at relatively medium settings just fine, and that take slots of memory to do.

One thing I noticed in the control panel is that my battery is set to 'max power'. There are options for 'Always on' and 'Minimal power usage' as well.

Also, it says the 'UPS service is currently stopped.'


Please feed the trolls. XD
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Old 05-17-2009, 12:28 PM   #14
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No program is ever permanent, Arcesious. If you wipe your hard drive or delete the program, the program will be gone.


From MST3K's spoof of "Hercules Unchained"--heard as Roman medic soldiers carry off an unconscious Greek Hercules on a 1950's Army green canvas stretcher: "Hi, we're IX-I-I. Did somebody dial IX-I-I?"

Read The Adventures of Jolee Bindo and see the amazing Peep Surgery
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Old 05-17-2009, 03:18 PM   #15
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Don't ask me how he did it, just did. And I think it was some sort of program. Maybe not. maybe it was some that was 'metaphysically' a program. Besides, I think this discussion over RAM is ridiculous.

I know what the problem is now. It's definitly the motherboard. My computer crashed while I was gone at church. i turned it back on, and I've been getting high-pitched whines and cracking noises coming from the area of the motherboard and internal hard drive. I researched this, and everything indicates that the motherboard is going out. Something to do with the diodes in the psu going bad.

Edit: I asked my father what my uncle did. Turns out he put an extra stick of RAM in the computer. Sorry, I've been mistaken.

Well, my parents say they'll buy me a new computer (perhaps today), and I've already got my eyes on a pretty good gaming computer. (Gateway LX6810-01)


Please feed the trolls. XD

Last edited by Arcesious; 05-17-2009 at 05:03 PM.
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Old 05-17-2009, 05:16 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arcesious
Don't ask me how he did it, just did. And I think it was some sort of program. Maybe not. maybe it was some that was 'metaphysically' a program. Besides, I think this discussion over RAM is ridiculous.
Well, you brought it up...

Quote:
Edit: I asked my father what my uncle did. Turns out he put an extra stick of RAM in the computer. Sorry, I've been mistaken.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
Maybe his uncle added some socks to the computer, Ray?
You mean like after he Plan E'd them with his aunt's computer? I so wish he had. ^^


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Old 05-17-2009, 05:44 PM   #17
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Alright, sounds like it's more an HD failure than a Mobo failure, to go by the noises.

UPS service is irrevelent. UPS stands for Uninterruptible Power Supply, in the most basic sense its a rechargeable battery you hook into the socket and then plug something into, it gives you extra time when the power goes out to save you work and prevent a crash that wipes your HD and screws over your computer.

--

As for why I was thinking RAM, well, as I've said my computer hangs up on startup ever so often at the physical memory check and I'll have to restart it to get it to load Windows. That and the story about your Uncle adding some kind of program threw up red flags all over the place.. Anyway, not to be an *** or anything, but wouldn't you have noticed that the extra slot was used?

Good luck with the new computer and, as I've said, BUILD it don't buy it!

Diodes in the PSU going bad == Mobo problems, huh? I'd say get a new PSU but, okay.

Battery doesn't matter unless this is a laptop, which it isn't.

Anyway, don't buy a computer, get parts and BUILD a computer. Not only will you know exactly what goes into it, you'll know how to fix it when something like this happens. It's the best piece of advice I can offer and, judging from what I've heard about this computer, trying to ressurect this computer is a negative gain situation, so buy the parts from Newegg and put it together.


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Old 05-17-2009, 06:27 PM   #18
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Seconded on building the computer rather than buying it. You'll end up with a far better machine in the end, especially if you want a gaming system. You'll also learn a lot about computers in the process.

How much are your folks looking to spend?


"They should rename the team to the Washington Government Sucks. Put Obama on the helmet. Line the entire walls of the stadium with the actual text of the ACA.
Fix their home team score on the board to the debt clock, they can win every game 17,000,000,000,000 to 24. Losing team gets taxed by the IRS 100%, then droned."
-Toker
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Old 05-17-2009, 06:34 PM   #19
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I'm not going to build a computer... I've already gotten the new computer. Looks like a pretty nice computer, from the reviews I've read about it. Besides, I wasn't looking to run any games like Crysis on it. Although it turns out it is a computer that can run Crysis, so it's all good.

Quote:
Anyway, not to be an *** or anything, but wouldn't you have noticed that the extra slot was used?
No, I never noticed. I had never seen the inside of the computer before my father passed it down to me.


Please feed the trolls. XD

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Old 05-17-2009, 06:41 PM   #20
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Just out of curiosity: what are it's specs and how much was it?


"They should rename the team to the Washington Government Sucks. Put Obama on the helmet. Line the entire walls of the stadium with the actual text of the ACA.
Fix their home team score on the board to the debt clock, they can win every game 17,000,000,000,000 to 24. Losing team gets taxed by the IRS 100%, then droned."
-Toker
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Old 05-17-2009, 07:49 PM   #21
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I don't want to brag, but...

-2.33 Ghz
-8 GB DDR2
-Nvidia GT120 - 1 GB Video RAM
-640 GB harddrive

Total (Plus tax and some other stuff): $889.00

This is going to be great!

Although I was not able to fix my old computer, I appreciate the help and advice, everyone.


Please feed the trolls. XD
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Old 05-17-2009, 08:00 PM   #22
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Hmmm.... you'd better be using Vista x64, otherwise that RAM is useless.

But, for the price, great comp. Quad core CPU I'm guessing? That and I'd go 1TB as opposed to the 640GB, but still, nice.


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Old 05-17-2009, 08:07 PM   #23
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8 gigs of RAM is overkill, hell, it's outright useless, especially if you're running a 32-bit OS. Now, I would cut the RAM down to 4 gigs, and use the money from the extra RAM to get a faster processor. Oh, and it would also be nice if you told us what kind of CPU you have (manufacturer, # of cores, etc.). Plus, I've never heard of a GT120... are you sure it's really called that?

Either way, there's still probably a way to get that price even lower, without sacrificing much at all.
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Old 05-17-2009, 08:38 PM   #24
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I think that he's already bought it, and a GT 120 is a re-branded 9500GT. $900.00?

Great, Arc. It would have been nice to have actually been able to help.

Next time, how about doing some research and actually listening to people before blowing that kind of money?


"They should rename the team to the Washington Government Sucks. Put Obama on the helmet. Line the entire walls of the stadium with the actual text of the ACA.
Fix their home team score on the board to the debt clock, they can win every game 17,000,000,000,000 to 24. Losing team gets taxed by the IRS 100%, then droned."
-Toker
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Old 05-17-2009, 11:41 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arcesious View Post
I don't want to brag, but...

-2.33 Ghz
-8 GB DDR2
-Nvidia GT120 - 1 GB Video RAM
-640 GB harddrive

Total (Plus tax and some other stuff): $889.00

This is going to be great!

Although I was not able to fix my old computer, I appreciate the help and advice, everyone.
Brag?

Also is the 2.33 GHz processor a dual- or a quad-core?

Please let us know if you're using a 32- or a 64-bit os, because that would just make my day

_EW_



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Old 05-18-2009, 12:11 AM   #26
Arcesious
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2.33 Ghz on a Quad Core.

And yes, it is 64 bit.

Thanks for the help and advice anyways...

I am currently thoroughly enjoying the speed of this computer. I can finally run all my games at maximum graphics, and I can potentially run graphics-increasing mods as well now... Internet is insanely fast, the computer is quiet as a mouse, and it doesn't even get warm at all when playing a game. I'm pretty happy with it.


Please feed the trolls. XD
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