The Computer Questions Thread

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Re: The Computer Questions Thread

Postby Rough Giraffe » Thu Apr 12, 2012 8:59 am

More than likely it's a corruption in the Software. There are other possible causes but let's try something.

In the Start menu search box, type "CMD" (but don't hit enter). Right-click the "cmd.exe" file that appears and click "Run as administrator." You may have to put in the password if you're not the primary user of the computer.

In the Command Prompt window, type "c:" to ensure you're in the C drive. Next, type in "SFC /VERIFYONLY". This will run a scan to see if all your windows files are intact. If they are, then let me know and we'll try something else.

EDIT: Also, the VERIFYONLY modifier there will only determine if something is wrong; it won't correct any issues. If there are issues, rerun SFC, this time typing "/SCANNOW". You might need a Windows CD for this step, which is why I suggest doing the /VERIFYONLY first.
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Re: The Computer Questions Thread

Postby thiltgen99 » Mon Apr 16, 2012 10:39 pm

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Re: The Computer Questions Thread

Postby Rough Giraffe » Sat Apr 21, 2012 7:01 am

@Shadowed: May I ask if my suggestions worked for you?
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Re: The Computer Questions Thread

Postby Shadowed State of Mind » Sat Apr 21, 2012 2:04 pm

Bah, sorry for the delay. Shortly after asking for help they just stopped for a few days then came back when Firefox and Windows Explorer froze up. It found something wrong with one file but I can't remember. When I check again I'll just paste it here.

Not to mention whenever I open my laptop from sleep mode stuff like Host Process for Windows and HWPA stop working. The worst that happens is I can't use hotkeys to change the brightness settings and the sound suddenly vanishes, prompting a restart. Hope my hard drive isn't dying...
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Re: The Computer Questions Thread

Postby Dark Dragon » Sat Apr 21, 2012 6:14 pm

Is it a Compaq/Hewlett Packard?
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Re: The Computer Questions Thread

Postby Rough Giraffe » Sat Apr 21, 2012 8:24 pm

You might also want to run the CHKDSK /F/R/V command from the command prompt (again, running as an Administrator like before). That will require a restart and will probably occupy several hours of your computer's time, depending on the size and relative issues with the disk. So, maybe run it at the end of the day, when you're getting ready to go to sleep.
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Re: The Computer Questions Thread

Postby Shadowed State of Mind » Sun Apr 22, 2012 1:36 am

First of all, its an HP laptop. Secondly, I'm REALLY starting to get close to hyperventilating here. Right out of literally nowhere, a new problem showed up. There's one specific folder in a portable hard drive that I had no issue going in and out of. As of RIGHT NOW, whenever I click on it Windows Explorer lags on (it NEVER does this with any other folder!!), crashes, and restarts itself. There's no way the contents are the culprit since WinRAR can get in and run the files just fine. I'm really starting to think Windows Explorer got bugged somehow. A virus? Aging hardware (I got this in 2009)?! I'm tempted to use that error-checking tool but that looks like it'll take forever (the laptop hard drive and external are 250GB and 1TB respectively).

EDIT: I must learn to stop panicking. All it took was to access the folder via WinRAR, copy/drag the contents elsewhere, delete the original folder, and put the copy in its place. I might need to invest in a new hard drive soon (this'll be the third time now; one flat out died without warning and the second one I ditched when that "source file could not be read" message popped up one too many times. It still works...technically, if reformatting it isn't a bad idea).
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Re: The Computer Questions Thread

Postby Dark Dragon » Sun Apr 22, 2012 5:31 am

I don't have a whole lot of personal experience with HP laptops, but I did own two Compaq (Compaq is distributed/manufactured by HP) and they both were heaping turds. They both stopped functioning in multiple ways. While searching around I found a website dedicated to how much their PCs suck, haha. I won't bash them, but I definitely won't be using any others in the future.

With that said, your HD might be of poor quality, assuming it is the original that came with the machine. Considering my experiences and others, you could have one hell of a lemon. You really need to follow RuffDraft's instructions about running checkdisk, since it really does sound like you could have some damaged sectors on your HD.
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Re: The Computer Questions Thread

Postby Shadowed State of Mind » Sun Apr 22, 2012 10:24 am

Will do. Also, I ordered this laptop straight from the HP website so it is...well, was brand new now. I'll run checkdisk but will it by any chance fix these damaged sectors or just tell me the details?
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Re: The Computer Questions Thread

Postby Dark Dragon » Sun Apr 22, 2012 2:02 pm

If there's physical damage it will not be fixed. I haven't used checkdisk in awhile, I think it marks damaged sectors so they're not used. It's not a good idea to continue using the HD if any sectors are marked as bad/damaged, since it will likely further degrade.
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Re: The Computer Questions Thread

Postby Shadowed State of Mind » Sun Apr 22, 2012 6:49 pm

Wait wait, so if I run checkdisk and God forbid, the actual hard drive within the laptop is damaged somehow, how would I go about backing up the OS in it? Buy another Windows Vista and back up everything else before finding another hard drive somewhere? Things are tight over here and I figured it would take much longer then three years for these problems to pop up. Unless this was preventable.
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Re: The Computer Questions Thread

Postby Dark Dragon » Sun Apr 22, 2012 11:25 pm

If you have an external disk, get all your important files off your HD, assuming it's failing. Most people have at least a thumbdrive or iPod, etc they can put files on. Report back with whatever checkdisk tells you and we'll take it from there.
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Re: The Computer Questions Thread

Postby Rough Giraffe » Mon Apr 23, 2012 1:24 am

Well I have a laptop from 2006 six that still works, and I've taken it on two deployments and about a dozen underways and it's fine. Maybe it's the parts used.

There is something you can do to create an image of the drive on DVDs assuming your computer has a DVD burner. Let me know if you want to do that.
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Re: The Computer Questions Thread

Postby Rough Giraffe » Thu May 10, 2012 10:15 pm

Shadowed, are you still having trouble? I have a couple different solutions that may interest you if you are.
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Re: The Computer Questions Thread

Postby Shadowed State of Mind » Fri May 11, 2012 5:03 pm

I gotta say, its the strangest thing. It might've been a memory issue in the end. First the abrupt freezing and blue screens stopped, except for when I opened my laptop from sleep mode. Then I decided to not leave Firefox open overnight before closing the laptop. Suddenly, the blue screens and suddenly, "Windows Host Processes has stopped working" or whatever its called...well, that problem went away too, which did things ranging from killing the brightness hotkey to muting the sound.

The problem seems to have gone away on its own since at least one week ago, is what I'm saying. The above is conjecture so I'm not 100% sure what I did, if I did anything. Still, I'm on the lookout for decently priced externals for backup's sake so whatever you have to say I'll paste it to Notepad or something. Just in case.
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Re: The Computer Questions Thread

Postby Dark Dragon » Fri May 11, 2012 5:17 pm

Where's your CHKDSK results? D:
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Re: The Computer Questions Thread

Postby Shadowed State of Mind » Fri May 11, 2012 7:33 pm

Never did one. From the comments so far it sounds like such a thing would take the better part of the day. Come to think of it once the problem ceased I should've done that right away. The hard drive is 222GB. How long would it take?

To be more precise, is it something that can be done in the background or minimized while I do other stuff?
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Re: The Computer Questions Thread

Postby Rough Giraffe » Fri May 11, 2012 8:19 pm

No, for what you may need to do, you will have to restart your computer in order to run it, and it will run before Windows loads.

As for how long it will take, it depends. If you do a CHKDSK /F it shouldn't take too long. If you do a CHKDSK /F /R (as I recommend you do), it will take a couple hours, and you should do it before you go to sleep in the evening.

And actually, it would probably be good to add the /B modifier to the check. So, when you're getting ready to go to sleep, go to the command prompt (find it in the Start Menu, right-click it and Run As Administrator), type CHKDSK /F /R /B and when it asks you if you want to run it on reboot, type 'Y' and press enter. Then, as I say, restart your computer. In the morning, if your computer is just at the Log On screen, there's a log file you can bring up, in the Event Viewer, in Windows Logs, under Application logs, double-click the "WinLogon" for that morning (each event is timestamped, so you can find it pretty easily). You should be able to find your last CHKDSK results by clicking that.

Edit: Actually, the Chkdsk log may come up under "chkdsk" instead of "winlogon" in the event viewer. Try to find "chkdsk" first, and then look at "winlogon" just in case. Sometimes these versions of Windows confuse even me. lol
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Re: The Computer Questions Thread

Postby Shadowed State of Mind » Fri May 11, 2012 9:06 pm

I use Windows Vista Home Basic. I'll try to find time to do this but there won't be a Log On screen. Unless you're referring to the "Welcome" screen that comes up before the desktop appears that is. There's only one name to this laptop.
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Re: The Computer Questions Thread

Postby Rough Giraffe » Sat May 12, 2012 3:44 am

yeah, that. lol.
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Re: The Computer Questions Thread

Postby Shadowed State of Mind » Sat May 19, 2012 10:29 pm

Holy shit, one thing after another.

No, not my laptop. The shared PC. Spontaneously (I assume; I wasn't actually there at the time), its slow as hell during startup and even slower at the desktop, particularly when it comes to opening up things like Firefox. Even more severe is the total absence of the taskbar and internet connection. Some RUNDLL error popped up but I don't have it written down at the moment. Although weeks before there was some strange sound coming from the tower and during a restart there was a message saying that the fan needed servicing. Maybe that's the problem? I sure as hell hope so, because I vaguely recall something similar happening last year or so.
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Re: The Computer Questions Thread

Postby Rough Giraffe » Sun May 20, 2012 2:01 am

First thing that comes to my mind is the hard drive overheating. Check to see if the fan around the intake of the computer (front-most fan, usually right in front of the hard drive) is spinning. If not, it could have become disconnected from the power, or just be dusty; verify the connections or get some compressed air and blow down your entire system. (Note: Check the fan while the computer is running and troubleshoot while it is offline.)

If it's not dusty, and the fan isn't spinning, or it's spinning slow, you can either take the fan off, buy a new (matching) fan and replace it yourself, or give a tech-savvy friend of yours $10 to replace it for you (as opposed to taking it to GeekSquad and paying $30 to $70).

Next---since you say your computer is shared, check that it's not a computer virus. Verify your antivirus software is up to date (and if you don't have any, you can get good software for free here) and do a full system scan.

If neither of those things are the problem, check the things I mentioned for the laptop; CHKDSK, SFC and Defrag.

Let me know which one of those options seems to work. If none of them work, I'll need some more information about the system (operating system, RAM, processor speed, hard drive capacity and free space, and how much virtual memory is currently allotted). Also, regarding Virtual Memory, you should verify that you have at least 100% of your memory allocated as virtual memory on your primary or secondary hard drive (if applicable; secondary is preferred). That should significantly improve overall performance.
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Re: The Computer Questions Thread

Postby Rough Giraffe » Tue May 22, 2012 6:53 pm

@Shadowed: I don't mean to push, but did you happen to do what I suggested? If you're having trouble downloading or getting anti-virus software onto the shared computer, you can buy a 4GB flash drive (I saw one yesterday at the store--you know, where they sell the gum? lol--for like $12) and copy it over from whatever system you can legally use the flash drive on (laptop, friend's computer, etc.).

Lemme know if any of the above helps.
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Re: The Computer Questions Thread

Postby Kusang_Manalo » Sun Jun 17, 2012 6:54 am

Need on some USB problems I'm having...

Is there a way to bypass a USB-blocked PC? Some jerk locked the USB out so we can't access our flash drives without his shiny ass present consent. Help.
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Re: The Computer Questions Thread

Postby Rough Giraffe » Sun Jun 17, 2012 8:00 am

Is this on a campus network or something? Was this one of the SysAdmins who blocked them? Did he say why they were blocked in the first place?

If this isn't your own personal computer system, then I suggest you abandon the idea of using USB flash drives. Instead, get a rewritable CD or DVD and burn the information to it, then just keep using the disk back and forth. Assuming all your campus computers have DVD burners...
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