The Computer Questions Thread

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Re: The Computer Questions Thread

Postby Shadowed State of Mind » Wed Dec 12, 2012 10:44 am

Vista sucks? News to me. I just couldn't find any laptops that came with XP back then so I just settled on this. Also, this place changed. Furthermore, the laptop's all better...I hope. When the driver thing didn't go down well (as in, I didn't even bother) I was given many choices. Many of them confusing. From simply letting me open a cmd window to System Restore. Somehow, I didn't have the latter so I clicked on Startup Repair again. THEN it attempted to make any repairs to my possibly failing hard drive. Had to restart three times before it finally reaches my desktop without incident.

So yeah, the issue's resolved but who knows what might happen next. I had this thing for about three years too. The shared PC lasted about five or six years until we decided to pack it in and get something more modern (and with Windows 7; it used to have XP).
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Re: The Computer Questions Thread

Postby Icha » Wed Dec 19, 2012 9:14 pm

I've figured that my brother's bottleneck for gaming on his computer is his graphics card, so I'm here to ask what is a reasonably cheap, readily available graphics card that will make the weakest link not his graphics card. He uses an AMD Athlon II X2 260 processor, if that helps narrow it down.
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Re: The Computer Questions Thread

Postby Rough Giraffe » Tue Jan 22, 2013 4:25 am

Sorry about the delay in responding. Real life.

The bottleneck MAY be caused by something other than just the graphics card, so I have a few questions.

First, what type of graphics card do you use? Make, model and memory (example: ASUS; nVidia Geforce #; 512MB)
What operating system do you use?
How much system memory do you have?
What is your hard drive capacity?
How old is the system? If you have upgraded it since you got it, how old is the oldest non-upgraded part and which one is that?

If you can answer those questions, I can get a better picture of how to help you out. Thanks!
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Re: The Computer Questions Thread

Postby Icha » Wed Jan 23, 2013 1:23 pm

ATI Radeon 2400 Pro (128 MB? 256? Not sure right now)
Windows XP
3.21 Ghz,
Hard Drive 460 something GB
All I remember is that it was acquired some time last year at a decent discount.

I'm not there right now, so this is off the top of my head. Do you need anything else? If you do, I should be able to check in a day or two.
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Re: The Computer Questions Thread

Postby Rough Giraffe » Sat Jan 26, 2013 4:26 am

Hm. It seems your card is a PCI Express 16x version 1... That makes it difficult to get good upgrades for... but I think I have something that might do well for you. It's an old model but as long as you don't mind that, here you go: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6814129091

Personally I would recommend upgrading the motherboard first and getting something compatible with PCI Express 2.0, 2.1, or 3.0. Then you can get a more recently-made GPU.

Getting a mobo upgrade would probably be difficult for you unless you have a tech-savvy friend. If you don't, it will be a bit of work, since I don't know if you would be able to find the Socket/Slot model of your current processor unless you know what to look for. But if you can take a high-quality shot of your mobo, I can probably locate it visually.

If you would rather spend a set maximum on a new computer, I can try to work something out where I replace all the internals of your computer except for the hard drives and do it on a budget. I might be able to get you a deal on something, but that's as maybe, and I'm not sure what you want to do. If that's the way you want to do it, let me know via PM and I'll see about drawing up the specs.
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Re: The Computer Questions Thread

Postby Shadowed State of Mind » Thu Feb 07, 2013 3:28 pm

Wow. I'll just come out and say it: the taskbar and other such things are stuck in the ye olde days before Windows XP. As in, standard (though it looks like classic) appearance. After Startup Repair failed to fix anything after a blue screen of death (which came up almost half a minute after opening this laptop from sleep mode, something that hasn't happened in months!) I turned it off for a few minutes, turned it on again, and after a VERY slow startup...taskbar reverted. Very little was responsive so I opted to restart, only to be beset by the "Logging Off..." screen for half an hour. So in some insane gamble, I switched the power off then and there and after turning it on another unusually slow startup was upon me and...here I am. Quite a scare those two hours. Appearance issues aside, things seem stable. So stable in fact that I'm a little worried, so I'm doing the usual backing up of files. Actually, I'm much too scared to put it in sleep mode. On the other hand I don't want it to overheat and burn out some vital piece of hardware.

Finally, it feels too strange for me to have Windows Vista to look like...well, Windows 95/98. The appearance setting (that aeroglass thing, I think) doesn't show up in the Personalize options. It might be a side effect of the Startup Repair failing. Can this be "fixed" so to speak?

PS: It's possible that a new internal hard drive is in order but I don't have the money for that, let alone a Windows Vista disc lying around.
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Re: The Computer Questions Thread

Postby Rough Giraffe » Sun Feb 17, 2013 4:44 am

Sorry if I wasn't around to help you with this. If you're still having problems, here's how to fix it:

First, you should understand that the system is probably set to automatically adjust based on your performance. So if your computer is slowing down and that option is set, it will automatically revert. Here's how to get it back: http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/windows- ... -it-again/

If this doesn't help, let me know.
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Re: The Computer Questions Thread

Postby Shadowed State of Mind » Wed Feb 20, 2013 12:19 am

Doesn't work but thanks for trying. Granted I managed to start the Desktop Windows Manager service (which was "off" for some reason) but the Windows Aero option simply doesn't exist in the Appearance Settings. Its like the fuckup with Startup Repair got it deleted or something. As for the Performance Options in System Properties, "Enable desktop composition" and "Enable transparent glass" are nowhere to be found either. Adjust for best appearance? Even that doesn't do anything.

As for other problems, whenever this thing reboots it takes WAY TOO LONG to do so (guessing at over 10 minutes)! And streaming videos is getting a bit frustrating. It COULD be due to Firefox itself or perhaps a memory problem but before closing Firefox and restarting it (as in, for the time being the problem isn't here), virtually all videos were horrendously laggy. Thankfully, video files on the laptop itself aren't affected (at least the few I tried).

And finally, is it normal for Firefox to take up 800MB to 1GB of memory on a regular basis?
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Re: The Computer Questions Thread

Postby Rough Giraffe » Thu Feb 21, 2013 4:38 am

Hmm. Firefox never takes that much for me. To test it, I just ran eight or nine youtube tabs simultaneously, and it's only up to about 350MB. You may want to go through your Firefox Addons, and disable or remove any addons or toolbars that you don't need or can do without. Those tend to really use up a lot of memory.

As a precaution, I would recommend making a backup of your files (music, video, documents, video game files, etc.), if you don't have one already. If your hard drive is starting to die out, you may risk losing data.

Also, it would be a good idea to record the product keys for games and software that you have installed, in case you need to start fresh.
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Re: The Computer Questions Thread

Postby Valhallen » Thu Feb 21, 2013 5:59 am

I'm currently running Firefox with seven windows and 75 tabs, taking 780MB of real memory, though it can go up to a gigabyte or so. That's similar to what I get using other browsers, but whether or not that's comparable to your computer's memory use depends on what you're doing.
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Re: The Computer Questions Thread

Postby Shadowed State of Mind » Thu Feb 21, 2013 6:43 pm

I'm just about ashamed to admit that right now there are 1200 tabs across 3 windows open right now. Mainly due to various reasons even I have mostly forgotten but due to some reason or another I can't bring myself to get rid of most of them. If I knew exactly which plugins are causing the memory consumption spike I'd do away with those too. Finally, as I mentioned a few times before I backed up the usual things and do so every other week or month. Except music. I might need a flash drive for that due to my being frightened on how quickly I managed to fill a second 1TB external to near capacity. I'm well aware that the hard drive (or perhaps the entire laptop?) is reaching its last legs but considering that its still more or less functional I rather not ask anyone for a new one just yet.
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Re: The Computer Questions Thread

Postby Rough Giraffe » Sat Feb 23, 2013 5:50 am

First, restart your computer. Second, on Firefox, go to View > Toolbars. Please list all the Toolbars you currently have installed.

Second, go to Tools > Add-ons, and click Plugins if it's not already selected. Tell me what Plugins are listed there.

I'll cross-check the names of your addons and toolbars and let you know which ones you can safely keep or remove.
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Re: The Computer Questions Thread

Postby Shadowed State of Mind » Sat Feb 23, 2013 3:05 pm

Restarting the computer will take half an hour due to...well, I still don't know why for sure but I'll just go with parts 2 and 3.

The toolbars aren't out of the ordinary. Menu, Navigation, and Bookmarks. As for the plugins...

Adobe Acrobat 9.5.2.295
DivX Web Player 1.5.0.52
DNA Plug-in 1.0.0.1
downloadUpdater 1.1.0.2
downloadUpdater2 1.3.0.0
iTunes Application Detector 1.0.1.1
Java(TM) Platform SE 7 U11 10.11.2.21
Microsoft Office Live Plug-in for Firefox 2.0.4024.1
Microsoft Windows Media Player Firefox Plugin 1.0.0.8
QuickTime Plug-in 7.7.3 7.7.3.0
RealPlayer Version Plugin 6.0.12.448
RealPlayer(tm) G2 LiveConnect-Enabled Plug-In (32-bit)6.0.12.450
Shockwave Flash 11.5.502.149
Shockwave for Director 11.0.0.465
Silverlight Plug-In 4.1.10329.0
VLC Web Plugin 2.0.2.0
Windows Presentation Foundation 3.5.30829.1

Just noticed that a fair amount of these need to be updated.
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Re: The Computer Questions Thread

Postby Rough Giraffe » Sat Feb 23, 2013 7:48 pm

Shadowed State of Mind wrote:Restarting the computer will take half an hour due to...well, I still don't know why for sure but I'll just go with parts 2 and 3.
There's always a reason. I would recommend doing it eventually, but let's take a look at the Plugins.

Shadowed State of Mind wrote:Adobe Acrobat 9.5.2.295
Keep this updated; you could disable it if you don't feel like you have any need to open PDF files in your browser, but this is useful for speedy opening of your PDFs.
Shadowed State of Mind wrote:DivX Web Player 1.5.0.52
This one is fine, but if you're not going to too many websites that specifically play DivX video (YouTube, Hulu and most others do not require the DivX plugin) it can be safely disabled until you find that you need it again. If you find that none of the websites you go to require the plugin, you can safely remove it.
Shadowed State of Mind wrote:DNA Plug-in 1.0.0.1
This appears to be a plugin related to Bittorrent. It stands for Delivery Network Acceleration. I don't use web-based Bittorrent software or plugins mainly because I feel that there is no way to verify their safety, and I'm not sure what use you get out of it if it doesn't give you the option in the Addons list. For now, disable it, and I'll see what I can find later.
Shadowed State of Mind wrote:downloadUpdater 1.1.0.2
downloadUpdater2 1.3.0.0
Disable. These appear to be AOL-related plugins, at least from what I can tell, and these versions are known to have security flaws.
Shadowed State of Mind wrote:iTunes Application Detector 1.0.1.1
I'm not sure what functionality you gain from this that you wouldn't get from the iTunes application itself, but you can either disable it or update it, your choice.

Shadowed State of Mind wrote:Java(TM) Platform SE 7 U11 10.11.2.21
Just remember to keep it updated.

Shadowed State of Mind wrote:Microsoft Office Live Plug-in for Firefox 2.0.4024.1
This appears to have some uses if you plan to open up MS Office files (.doc, .ppt, .xls, etc.) in Firefox. If so you can keep it. Otherwise, you can disable it.

Shadowed State of Mind wrote:Microsoft Windows Media Player Firefox Plugin 1.0.0.8
This would be for playing WMA and other types of media in your browser. Not exactly necessary, since YouTube and other streaming-video sites often use Flash or Quicktime instead. I would say disable it, but you can keep it enabled if you know that you have some use for it.

Shadowed State of Mind wrote:QuickTime Plug-in 7.7.3 7.7.3.0
Make sure you have the latest version.
Shadowed State of Mind wrote:RealPlayer Version Plugin 6.0.12.448
RealPlayer(tm) G2 LiveConnect-Enabled Plug-In (32-bit)6.0.12.450
These aren't really necessary unless you stream Real media files online. Disable it unless you know you have use for it.

Shadowed State of Mind wrote:Shockwave Flash 11.5.502.149
Shockwave for Director 11.0.0.465
Shockwave was acquired by Adobe, so now it should be the "Adobe Flash" plug-in and whatever they're calling that second one now. Of course, it's just a name, but you should probably just update them as necessary.

Shadowed State of Mind wrote:Silverlight Plug-In 4.1.10329.0
It's usefulness is apparent if you use a lot of Silverlight apps. Keep it updated.

Shadowed State of Mind wrote:VLC Web Plugin 2.0.2.0
Assuming you have the VLC media player, this would be good for video compatibility purposes.

Shadowed State of Mind wrote:Windows Presentation Foundation 3.5.30829.1
The purpose of this app is to aid in processing the graphical user interface (GUI). I consider it to be safe.

Shadowed State of Mind wrote:Just noticed that a fair amount of these need to be updated.
A good policy is to check at least weekly for updates to all your software. Doing so will allow you to keep your system secure.
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Re: The Computer Questions Thread

Postby Rough Giraffe » Sun Feb 24, 2013 7:26 am

Actually, I dug a little deeper on that Windows thing at the end there; it looks like it's part of the .NET Framework, and it contains a vulnerability; there's a Microsoft article somewhere that recommends you either get rid of it or update it with the latest version, which then allows it to be uninstalled from Firefox. Follow the instructions here: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/963707
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Re: The Computer Questions Thread

Postby Izanagi » Sat Mar 30, 2013 4:41 am

Alright, hey guys. Here's a toughy for you. I have been getting an error (0x00000f4) leading to a BSOD on a damn near constant basis as of late. This happened once about a year ago and by sheer luck, the grace of the gods, and clever hard drive partioning, I managed to beat it. It has, however, risen from the ashes like a newborn ass-phoenix. I can tell as far as that it's either an issue with the hard drive, its ports, or the motherboard itself. The error occurs when my laptop completely loses my hard drive and doesn't recognize it as existing (even though it's integrated and couldn't have just slipped out (it's screwed in)). It has nothing to do with my install of Windows because I have formatted the disc and installed 7 clean DOZENS OF TIMES. So if any of you know of a fix for this or what the issue might even be, let me know.
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Re: The Computer Questions Thread

Postby Yoshi » Sat Mar 30, 2013 7:09 am

Warbear wrote:Alright, hey guys. Here's a toughy for you. I have been getting an error (0x00000f4) leading to a BSOD on a damn near constant basis as of late. This happened once about a year ago and by sheer luck, the grace of the gods, and clever hard drive partioning, I managed to beat it. It has, however, risen from the ashes like a newborn ass-phoenix. I can tell as far as that it's either an issue with the hard drive, its ports, or the motherboard itself. The error occurs when my laptop completely loses my hard drive and doesn't recognize it as existing (even though it's integrated and couldn't have just slipped out (it's screwed in)). It has nothing to do with my install of Windows because I have formatted the disc and installed 7 clean DOZENS OF TIMES. So if any of you know of a fix for this or what the issue might even be, let me know.


I'm gonna go ahead and give you the generic list to go through when you get BSODs.

1) Computer Management -> Event Viewer -> Error Logs -> System. Find errors (Nice red signs) and sum up the most common few. You'll probably find they all share the same general fault. Do let us know.
2) Pull all but one stick of RAM. Place it in one slot, do a test (GoldMem or Memtest or something), if it passes move on. Shouldn't take too long, if it (Stick or slot) is faulty it'll show up almost immediately. Repeat for all sticks. Tedious, but you'd be surprised.
3) Drivers. Firmware. Update it all, although Google the revision to make sure it won't brick your drive or something first. Firmware is pretty important for drives if you run an SSD now.
4) Plug the drive into different ports and test with some sort of program (Your manufacturer's tool [SeaTools for instance]). Rinse and repeat.

Try those and report back please.
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Re: The Computer Questions Thread

Postby Rough Giraffe » Tue Apr 02, 2013 11:48 am

I should have checked over here sooner...

Is there a clicking sound associated with the problem? If so, your hard drive is in its final days and should be replaced IMMEDIATELY. Let me know if you need help selecting a new hard drive (in which case I'll need more info: HD capacity, whether you use it for gaming or multimedia, etc.). Even if it's not clicking, other symptoms may indicate a hard drive failure, so please list off any other symptoms you observe. I would recommend doing a CHKDSK /R/V from the Command Prompt (Right-Click, run as Administrator) and rebooting to see if a bunch of problems are found (the /V tag is "verbose" output to let you see the errors, and the /R tag indicates a more thorough check of the disk, so it may take a couple hours depending on your hard drive size). An increase in the number of Bad Sectors may indicate a possible hard drive failure or damage to the surface of the disk, caused by scratching due to impact during hard drive operation.

But, if you hear clicking, follow these instructions:

If you don't have backup software or Image-creation software, first download Hiren's Boot CD (available here), which is a big collection of Freeware tools, bootable from your BIOS screen. The torrent comes with a program to burn the ISO image to disk, so just run that and insert a CD.

Boot the Hiren's Boot CD to MiniXP and backup your current hard drive (to DVDs or an external if you have one with enough space to make an Image of the drive) using the backup tools from the disk.

Next, get a hard drive similar to the one you currently have, replace it, boot up the computer to Hiren. Use the same program you used in the previous step and restore the backup to the new hard drive. And again, if you need help selecting a new drive, PM me or something.

Hope that helps.
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Re: The Computer Questions Thread

Postby MQuinny1234 » Tue Apr 02, 2013 6:12 pm

My birthday is coming up soon, and I'm looking to get a new laptop so I was wondering, which of these is better.

http://www.pcworld.co.uk/gbuk/lenovo-id ... 2-pdt.html
http://www.pcworld.co.uk/gbuk/sony-vaio ... 1-pdt.html

For games and stuff.
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Re: The Computer Questions Thread

Postby Rough Giraffe » Tue Apr 02, 2013 8:25 pm

I would say the Sony one, but that's just my initial opinion on a slow connection where I can't really do the best research. I'll make a second post about it when I get home and can actually research them.
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Re: The Computer Questions Thread

Postby Yoshi » Tue Apr 02, 2013 9:43 pm

They seem baaaaasically the same spec-wise, so play with then and see what feels nicer, is what it boils down to.
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Re: The Computer Questions Thread

Postby MQuinny1234 » Wed Apr 03, 2013 4:02 am

If they're about the same, I'll probably just go for the cheaper one, and keep the other one as a back-up.
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Re: The Computer Questions Thread

Postby Wulfespinndel » Sat Aug 03, 2013 9:51 pm

Hey guys.

A week ago I recently reset my laptop to factory settings and after installing almost all of the updates (well not counting the ones that come after in the future anyway), my laptop is in tip-top shape and is running at optimal speed with 390 GB of free space available. But the problem however is that all of that space as well as all of the data on that C: Drive is completely unprotected.

Can any of you recommend a good anti-virus that I absolutely don't have to pay for, or at least one that provides sufficient protection for free until I buy the complete version? No AVG or Avast please. I tried IObit Malware Fighter though I'm wondering if there's anything else besides it that works too.
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Re: The Computer Questions Thread

Postby Whatis6times9 » Sun Aug 04, 2013 1:11 am

I usually go with avast and malwarebytes. I've also heard good things about Zone Alarm.
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Re: The Computer Questions Thread

Postby Wulfespinndel » Sun Aug 04, 2013 2:05 am

Between Avast and Malwarebytes which one of those would you prefer?
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