Help with computer

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by Gary Pfeil, Jul 19, 2003.

  1. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

    As I've stated many times in the past, I am ignorant of all things computer. I could now use some help! My computer has developed the nasty habit of freezing up after 10 minutes or so of use. It doesn't seem to matter what I'm doing at the time. The mouse and keyboard just become totally useless and I have no choice but to power down. Acting on a suggestion that it may be the power supply, I opened the computer up and powered up to wait for the freeze to see if the power supply was hot. Nope. Now one thing that also has happened a couple times is the cd draw opening by itself. Also, on two occasions while it did not open, I hear a clicking eminating from it. Or at least I think it comes from it. Any ideas on how I should proceed?
  2. coachsig

    coachsig Member

    My first attempt would be to free up some space. Try the following:
    Click "Start"
    Click "Programs"
    Click "Accessories"
    Click "System Tools"
    Click "Disk Cleanup"

    follow instructions

    You may also need to Defrag. Just follow the same path as above but click on Disk Defrag. instead of Disk Cleanup. may want to do this before bed or going to work as it may take hours to defrag if you haven't done it recently.

    This usually speeds up my machine!
    Good luck!
  3. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way


    It still could be your power supply and you're losing one of the voltages, or it could be an overheating problem and one of the chips are getting hot and shutting down. I would check all your fans and see if they are running like they should, especially the one on the processor. You could also have a hard drive that is in the throws of going bad. In any event, the first thing I would do is to back up all your data on the HD, for any reason.

    I do not think it is a defrag problem since fragmentation will only slow things down, not make the system freeze.

    Another thing could be a software application is causing it to freeze, and possilbly trying to access the CD when it goes down. You don't say what version of Windows you're running, but you can bring up the task manager after you boot and terminate things like you AV program, firewall if you have one, and anythinge else that might be suspect. Then see if you computer still freezes.

    Give us a litle bit more information about your computer and maybe we can analyze it a bit better.

    Good luck

  4. N Gauger

    N Gauger 1:20.3 Train Addict

    gary, I'm siding with Don on this one. I had the same problem (except for the CD Drawer) It was 2 different things. First a chip on my 18 month old Mother Board was going bad. It was robbing voltages from various points on the board. Second I had installed a "Photo app" program & it was conflicting with another piece of hardware.

    The solution???? Right click on "My Computer" then Left Click "Properties" then Left Click the Device manager Tab look at the list & see if there are ANY yellow circles in the list. You will see them right away if there are any. This is a conflict. You will have take each "Yellow circle" as a case by case problem..

    If you don't see ant Yellow Circles... It probably IS a board problem.. Let us know.. and as always "Good Luck"!!!
  5. Paul Davis

    Paul Davis Member

    I'd look into software first. I'd uninstall anything that you've installed around the time that it started happening. Preferably uninstall (or stop running) anything that starts up with windows. An even better solution would be to format the hard drive and reinstall windows then you're back to a clean slate. If that doesn't work I'd try unplugging everything in the comuputer that isn't vital for it to run and then plug them back in untill you find ine that cuses the problem to come back. cleaning contacts mnight be a good idea. I once had a hard drive which was constantly having problems. The culprit was a dirty pin on the drive.
  6. rsn48

    rsn48 Member

    I am having power up problems I won't bore you with (and I've heard just about every theory there is) but I did your little suggestion of "my computer" then "properties" and then "devise manager". And yep, there was a little yellow circle beside "advanced power management." The little box popped up and suggested I try installing the latest driver, but when I do that, I get a message saying I have the latest.

    About four months ago, I went into the bios and turned off something to do with shutdown, I don't recall now. So I manually have to turn the computer off after it cycles through its "safety" stuff. I'm okay with that.

    Can I just delete the "advanced power management" file. I did try turning off power polling with no apparent negative results.
  7. N Gauger

    N Gauger 1:20.3 Train Addict

    try Double Clicking the line "advanced power management" and check the box "Disable in this profile" first - try not to delete anything from that area unless you are instructed to by a program or support tech.
  8. rsn48

    rsn48 Member

    Here's crossing my fingers, I have given that a try.
  9. TrainClown

    TrainClown Member

    I don't know how things are in your area, but we had a real problem with hackers getting into our machine and making trouble. Our CD drawer would open on its own and once we found the cursor doing it's own thing as someone was acctually opperating out puter by remote controle. It got to be such a problem with being targeted by diferent virus that I had to re-format the machine 3 to 4 times a week. One time I was on line for only 30 min and managed to get 256 diferent virus files. Contrary to popular belief, you don't need to do anything for these modern hackers to access your machine, like open an odd e-mail, or visit an unprotected site.

    Do you have a fire wall. Ever since I got our firewall the intrusions have almost stopped, although every now and then we do pick up one. I just had one yesterday. Now we have Norton Anti Virus and Zone Labs free firewall. Without a fire wall, it's like leaving your back door open and anyone can come in. You can set the fire wall to accept cookies or not, or prompt you when a cookie is requested and you can choose to accept it or not.

    Cookies are little bits of information that other computers store on your machine to let them remember who you are and what you looked at last on there web page. Cookies can also carry a virus or a worm and can screw up your machine. One time I got a worm that shut my machine down as soon as it booted up! That was a trick to fix. I had to reboot in MSDOS and re-format the machine from there. You could have a cookie on your machine that shuts it down after a period of time. Someone's idea of a joke. Be sure to clean out all the cookies off your machine. Look in your help files to find out how to do this.

    If you want to re-format your machine to give yourself a clean slate, you will need a set up disk befor you can install windows. The set up disk installs the basic programs that allow windows to load. I was lucky and my computer-skinner guy felt sorry for me as I was in his shop so much and he gave me a copy of the start up disket.

    The driver you refered to as "up to date" may be corupted. You might want to try and reinstall it. Or you could look for a newer driver on the web. Microsoft has a good site for this. You should also get the update patches for your windows system from the Window's Update web page. Check the patches over befor you install them to see that they are specific to your type of program.

    If you have any questions, please PM me. I would be glad to help.

  10. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

    Thanks to all who wrote advise for my problem. I removed all items except mouse, keyboard and monitor and tried my luck. I thought perhaps I was on my way to solving the problem when the computer didn't freeze for a half hour. I signed off to go about my day and tried to sign back on later. System froze even before it finished booting. So, I opened it up and disconnected the cd drive. Powered up with computer still open. It's been an hour and still good. Could it be the cd drive? BTW, it's running Windows ME. Thanks again for any help.

  11. Topo

    Topo Member

    Hello, Gary.

    How hot is the summer in your area this week?

    If the computer is working OK now with the case open maybe you have an overheating problem.
    Additionally, with the case open, you can check if the CPU fan (and the graphics card fan, if your gc have one) is working smoothly (no rattles, no rubbing with another cable, and so)

    If all seems to be working OK after several hours, close the computer case and re-try to operate it. This way you can see if the heat is the trouble.
  12. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

    A couple of posts so far have alluded to multiple fans, I see only one, which is housed in the power supply box, and blows air across a large heatsink on the motherboard. It seems to be working fine. I agree that overheating would seem a likely reason but then why would the system freeze up before even finishing boot up? For information, the computer is a Packard Bell Platinum 7800.
  13. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way


    If you cannot even finsh booting before you freeze one could essentually eliminate software, but you might try booting up in the "safe mode" if you can get that far. That eliminates all drivers and other non-essentual programs.

    I have seen cases where the CMOS battery would cause a computer not to boot then the next time boot OK. Those batteries should be good for years, but you might have a bad one, or one where the voltage is getting marginal.

    Just another thought.

    Good luck,

  14. N Gauger

    N Gauger 1:20.3 Train Addict

    In most computers there is a Huge 3 or 4 inch fan in or behind the powersupply.. Then there is a 1 inch diameter fan actually attached to the CPU on the main circuit board Both have to be running. If you dont have a fan on the CPU that could be your problem. If you have one and it's not turning - try cleaning it out of dust or anything else that's in there & try spinning it with the power on. If it isn't turning - you need a new one :( :( :(
  15. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    A question inspired by Trainclown.
    Which cookie is from the-Gauge? every so often I clear things out, and sometimes I end up with no automatic login. Can we do anything to preserve it, or does it get modified when we log in?
  16. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

    You might be able to copy C:\WINDOWS\Temporary Internet Files\ to another directory such as C:\temp, then copy it back after you do the delete thing :)
  17. Paul Davis

    Paul Davis Member

    Sorry but I've got to clear some of this stuff up.

    That sounds like the sub-7 virus to me. It'll allow you to pretty much do anything with someone elses computer even listen through their microphone of flip their screen upsidedown

    While it is possible to for some one to break into your computer due to a programming error in a peice of software it doesn't happen all that often and keeping things up to date especially windows usually fixes most of the holes. The vast majority of viruses are still got through e-mail and downloaded files. What was probably happening to you is that each time you reformatted you were accidentally reinfecting yourself with an infected disk or CD or you didn't use a boot disk so the virus loaded itself from memory to your freshly formated disk.

    It is impossible to get any kind of virus from a cookie. Cookies are never run they are only ever sent back to the server who sent them. You can only get a virus from something your computer prosesses eg. .exe .vbs .pif .com and .doc (because macros in word documents are processed). Files like .txt .jpg .bmp are perfectly safe because they are never processed just read and displayed by another program.

    Also someone said never to delete anything in device manager without being told to first. It's perfectly safe to delete anything that shows up in device manager. Windows will refind the device next time you reboot your computer and either reload the driver or ask for the driver disk that came with that product unless it was something special like a cd-rom emulator (in which case it's not vital for running the computer). Things like advanced power management is included with windows so it would automatically be reloaded or you would be asked for the windows cd. The only time things ever don't show up again is if they wern't working. They'll come back as soon as you get them reconnected/turned on.
  18. N Gauger

    N Gauger 1:20.3 Train Addict

    Probably something like ""

    The only way to preserve it is to delete the cookies by opening the "Cookies" folder in windows & selectind all files except that one & deleting them. Not as easy as doing it from The browser.
  19. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way


    I did a search of my "C" drive and found several folders and files containing cookies but only one that was updated on a regular basis. That was "Cookies.txt" in my browser's "documents and settings" folder. That file contained several references to "The-gauge" along with other forums and places I visit. I have a feeling that this is the cookie file that is updated when you visit anywhere and is the file that is deleted when you flush you cookies down the toilet...:D It may be possible to save a portion of this file, but I doubt that it's worth the effort.

  20. Topo

    Topo Member

    Gauge cookies

    Fiddling with the "Cookie Manager" in Netscape, I have identified these five cookies from


    Two of these ('bbthreadview' and 'sessionhash') expires at end of session. The others last (in my case) until september and october.

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