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anyone know what is wrong with my puter?  RSS feed

 
Leah Sattler
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ok, so you probably can't help but I thought it was worth a shot. for months now I haven't been able to look at news articles from my desktop. it locks up and gives me this "do you want to send and error report" bs and then boots me off the internet. I sent the "error report" once and for days it had an intermintent window that would pop up, run through like it was completing something then go away again. I have to  go fire up my husbands lap top to read articles. for instance i cant view jocelyns recent links on this computer.  I'm pretty computer dumb and have a very low tolerance/frustration level for 'issues'. is there something simple that I could try? I have "tweaked the voltage" already. my husbands term for unplugging it! 
 
paul wheaton
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Windows?

Well, the ole standby to fix all problems with windows is to re-install windows.

 
Jocelyn Campbell
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Two other things to try:
1. Clean up your computer by using any or all the stuff under Start, All Programs, Accessories, System Tools. If your computer is older, or the hard drive is getting full from all those amazing goat and kid (both kinds!) pics, you could start with Disk Cleanup.
2. If you're using Internet Explorer, see if it will limp you to find Mozilla Firefox and install that. Firefox (and others) have better virus and other safeguards than IE.

Do you have anti-virus or anti-spyware software? Mine comes free with my internet service. Okay, that's number 3, I know. Don't shoot me! 
 
Leah Sattler
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thanks guys! I will take a few deep breaths at somepoint when I am feeling particularly patient and see if anything works or I can even figure it out, and I suppose re vamping the whole thing is an option 

paul- you sound like my dad, he hates windows, linux this, linux that.  he is always saying his job now is to fix the bugs in the programs he wrote years ago, sort of like fate coming back to get him. you would think I would be a little more computer saavy being his daughter.

I use mozilla. you are talking about whatever it is that gets me on the net right? ok yeah I'm an idiot. I don't have a clue about what I have if anything for antivirus, I don't know how to even find out. whatever is on there is what by dad put on there when he gave it to me and forced me into the modern world.  its stupid I'll spend hours figuring out design  wizard or adobe but just get irritated when trying to deal with the nuts and bolts.
 
Gwen Lynn
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I could be wrong about this, you know me, I'm an Apple head! All things Mac around here! I love my mac, love it like crazy! 

Anyhoo, I think maybe you need to be careful & back up the info you want to save (i.e. pix, documents, etc.) BEFORE you reinstall anything. If you do a complete re-install, you may lose everything. I've heard this about Windows before; ALWAYS back-up, back-up, save, save, save!!! Save for a "crashy" day! 

Mac's come with different software discs, depending on what you plan to do. One of them totally "cleans it out", re-installs programs, but you lose files, etc. The other one saves your files & just re-installs programs. I would think with the right cable, you could hook your computer to hubby's & transfer pix & files you want to keep onto his & then transfer them back again.

BUT IF there's a virus on your puter that's causing the error message (and it could be!) you'd be sending that to the other puter. You could get an external hard drive & save stuff there, but they cost bucks! You could go thru all you photos (I know, there's a billion! ) & send the ones you really want to keep to photobucket or whatever. None of this may be necessary for THE RIGHT reinstall, & anyone on here with more Windows knowledge will hopefully relay their experience. I can ask MustangRob for ya...he'd know! 
 
paul wheaton
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The latest info I have (which could be wrong) is that the best path for windows is to use  "AVG" for virus protection and to use "Spybot Search and Destroy" for sneaky evil things on your browser.  Some people are still saying that you should add in "Ad-aware" because it catches some things that "Spybot Search and Destroy" doesn't get. 

Another thing is that if your computer is connected directly to the internet, you might want to get a router.  It has a thing in it (by default) called "NAT" that will eliminate a whole range of really ugly stuff for you.

 
Gwen Lynn
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Thanks for that info, Paul. It rings true. I have kicked around getting another computer (Windows laptops are cheaper than Mac's), can't run IE on the Mac. Not that I'd want to, but some things are set up only to run on IE, the real estate MLS system is one, filing for unemployment in Okla. is another. I'm always trying to store this type of info in my brain for future reference. 
 
Susan Monroe
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Paul is right about AVG.  Spybot has been superceded by its update, Spyware Stop.  You have to pay $10 for Spyware Stop, but it's a one-time fee that is good forever, even if you have to reload it.  PC Magazine rates it #1 among the anti-spyware stuff.

Here are a few simple things to do that might help clean up a bit: 

Delete Temporary Files (aka 'temp files':  Temp files are data that the computer used when an application was running, but by the time you closed everything down, they are unneeded but take up space you could use for other stuff.  Think of it as emptying a dumpster into the landfill.

* Close everything else and open Internet Explorer (even if you don't normally use it).
* Click on TOOLS at the toolbar at the top
* Go down and click on INTERNET OPTIONS.
* When a box pops up, check the tabs along the very top and click on GENERAL if it isn't already there. 
* Find the (middle) box that says TEMPORARY INTERNET FILES
* Click on DELETE FILES
* A small box will pop up that offers to 'delete all offline content' -- click on that tiny box
* Now click on OK. 
* Let it run (may take a minute or two) until it's finished, then click the very bottom on OK.

Now go to your Desktop icons again and double-click on RECYCLE BIN.  If there's anything in it, empty it. It's just a trashcan.

Run ScanDisk:  ScanKisk checks your hard drive for errors, and fixes them if it can (usually does). It's a good thing to do if you computer is acting funnier than usual.

* Close everything down. 
* Go to MY COMPUTER (probably on your Desktop) and double-click. 
* RIGHT-click on LOCAL DISK C:   
* Go to PROPERTIES
* At the top tab, click on TOOLS
* In the error-checking box, click on CHECK NOW. 
* A smaller box will come up that says CHECK DISK OPTIONS so check both boxes, then START.

If that way doesn't work, hit your START button, then PROGRAMS, then ACCESSORIES, then SYSTEM TOOLS, and then CLEAN DISK.

This will take quite a while, and you can't use the computer while it's working, so allow for at least an hour, maybe more.

It's good to DEFRAG your system too.  You can probably find directions by doing a search that includes "your specific operating system name + how to defrag".

Microsoft Windows is called an Operating System, with various versions, 2000, XP, Vista.

Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox (among others) are called Browsers.

And that's all I know about computer, and I have it written down so I can refer to it, thus bypassing a serious case of ADD.

Sue
 
Gwen Lynn
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DEFRAG! Egads, I could not think of that term when I posted earlier. I wish I could DEFRAG myself! 
 
Leah Sattler
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thank you sue! I need that sort of step by step instruction with this sort of thing. my palms are sweating over the thought of trying to 'fix' something on my computer already. give me a hammer and circular saw anyday but don't make me try to understand  my computer please...pretty please.

wen van - oh my. this means I have to go through all those pictures and word files! egads!!! now I wish I would have been a bit more particular about which pics I loaded...you know those ones layne takes of the floor and walls and up close dog face shots really aren't neccessary 

thanks guys! I have somewere to go with this now!
 
Gwen Lynn
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I'm pretty sure all the things Sue has suggested wouldn't cause you to lose everything, and I'd definitely try all of that first. Fingers crossed that it helps! 
 
Gwen Lynn
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Oh & BTW, it can take a looooooong time for your puter to go thru all those processes. Once I did the defrag on the barn puter & it took FOREVER! I'd wait for the weekend on that one, when you have access to dh's laptop while you're waiting on yours.
 
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