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Posted: 1/29/2006 8:28:41 PM EDT
For the last year, my machine has been giving me problems. I am scared to death to do anything but the usual cleaning and scanning, mainly because I have no idea why/how is does what it does when it iseems to be working properly. When I first purchased it, Gateway had to repair it twice, saying the server they used was missing files or some excuse. (I think it was a lemon)

Anyway, just about everytime I restart it, it says my system has recovered from a serious failure. I really hate to turn it off, for fear that will be the end of it. Also I am getting pop up saying a file was missing in some de bugging crap. Active X is missing a file ? Can I download something to repair it? The site 'windows' tells me to go to can't be read?????found, and the other site I found I am not sure what version to download. Can I even replace the Active X Control?

Also, I have this graphics card a NVIDIA Ge Force 2 MX 100/200, which I guess was supposed to be a great thing, but I cannot find a up-grade for it. I have been told it is just a crappy card.

If I could, I would simply pick it up, and throw it out the window. But I really have no way to replace it right now.

It is a Gateway E-3600 model 1x, Intel pentium 4cpu 1500MHZ, running windows XP with serv pack 2 5.1 build. Plus one just for storage that runs no programs.

So, can some brilliant guru offer a band aide of help for me, so maybe I can get another year out of it? I am hoping that somehow a setting is just off somewhere. (that would be way too easy though).

Thanks in advance.

I scan for viruses constantly, and ad-ware, and tracking cookies, just in case someone might think I forgot those things.

Link Posted: 1/29/2006 8:36:26 PM EDT
Link Posted: 1/29/2006 8:44:23 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Paul:
First step is to back everything up while it's still running - get your documents, record your passwords, save your Internet Explorer favorites - find your Window's CD Key.



You don't want to put this off either, get the back up done first. The start looking at each of your problems one a a time. You might also think about having someone like the "geek squad" from Best Buy come out and "fix" your machine for you. They have a flat rate that covers most issues for those so inclined. Some of your problems will require more than just casual knowledge to track down and fix and if you aren't going to be comfortable doing it, then you might as well get someone lined up who is.
Link Posted: 1/29/2006 8:47:05 PM EDT
You mean there is no step by step blonde manual on this?

Link Posted: 1/29/2006 8:48:48 PM EDT
Link Posted: 1/29/2006 8:49:57 PM EDT
When was the last time you reformatted the drive and reinstalled everything? I'd put odds on this being the solution. Back up all your saved files (not the programs, just the files, unless you don't have the install disks for stuff - if that's the case then...). Get all your install disks and CD keys together. Reformat the HD (low level format). It should kill any viruses as well. Reinstall everything.

Chances are the problem will go away. Bonuses will be that you will kill any spyware or adware lurking.
Link Posted: 1/29/2006 8:52:22 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/29/2006 8:56:08 PM EDT by Admiral_Crunch]
When a system gets that unstable, I back up all my data (to CD/DVD/slave drive, etc) , reformat the drive, and re-install a fresh copy of the OS. It's really the only way, and it'll be good as new. If you've never done it before, it can be a little intimidating, but it's actually very easy nowadays.

When you say "plus one just for storage that runs no programs", are you referring to an extra hard drive? If you have more than one hard drive, you're home-free. Just move all your important files to the second drive and re-format the first one. To reformat, just stick your XP CD in the drive and boot off the CD. It'll guide you through the format/install process.

Don't forget:

Any email you have stored locally.
Web browser favorites.
And documents, movie clips, mp3s, etc you want to keep.
Save-game files if you play PC games.
All your porn.

I always look through all the folders on my main drive just to be safe.

Also, write down a list of all the programs you have installed on the system. It'll make re-installing them go much faster if you don't have to sit and think about what you're missing. Just go down the list.

Also, before you reformat, make sure you have a copy of the latest hardware drivers saved onto your second disk. If you have a gateway system, you can probably download the driver package from Gateway's site.

And once you're reformatted and back on the Internet, head stright to Windows Update and download all the critical updates.

And if it seems too daunting, call in a pro to do it for you. It'd be better in the long run to pay them to back up and reformat your system than spend more than just a little time looking for the problem.
Link Posted: 1/29/2006 9:07:55 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Admiral_Crunch:
When a system gets that unstable, I back up all my data (to CD/DVD/slave drive, etc) , reformat the drive, and re-install a fresh copy of the OS. It's really the only way, and it'll be good as new. If you've never done it before, it can be a little intimidating, but it's actually very easy nowadays.

When you say "plus one just for storage that runs no programs", are you referring to an extra hard drive? If you have more than one hard drive, you're home-free. Just move all your important files to the second drive and re-format the first one. To reformat, just stick your XP CD in the drive and boot off the CD. It'll guide you through the format/install process.

Don't forget:

Any email you have stored locally.

Web browser favorites.
And documents, movie clips, mp3s, etc you want to keep.
Save-game files if you play PC games.
All your porn.

I always look through all the folders on my main drive just to be safe.

Also, write down a list of all the programs you have installed on the system. It'll make re-installing them go much faster if you don't have to sit and think about what you're missing. Just go down the list.

Also, before you reformat, make sure you have a copy of the latest hardware drivers saved onto your second disk. If you have a gateway system, you can probably download the driver package from Gateway's site.

And once you're reformatted and back on the Internet, head stright to Windows Update and download all the critical updates.

And if it seems too daunting, call in a pro to do it for you. It'd be better in the long run to pay them to back up and reformat your system than spend more than just a little time looking for the problem.



The extra drive is a full size Pentium cpu. If I knew for sure where to even find the hidden file folders I would spend the day doing that and ..Unfortunately, Gateway refused to give me the windows xp, can that be copied too?

I am chicken chicken here, I have not had it reformatted except the two times Gateway did it, within the first year I had it.

You guys are very helpful, now to decipher this info!!
Link Posted: 1/29/2006 9:48:11 PM EDT
Syntax, a drive is not a Pentium CPU.

A drive stores the Windows operating system, all the programs, and all your important data.
It looks like an old record player stuck inside
a little rectangular shiny metal box.

A Pentium CPU is the processor chip that makes the whole thing work.
Without it, you have a boat anchor.
A Pentium CPU looks like a flat metal square with
little things sticking out of the bottom.

Thought you'd like to know.


Link Posted: 1/29/2006 10:37:53 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/29/2006 10:51:48 PM EDT by JB69]
Paul is right... start backing your stuff up NOW !

The MOST common reason you get that particular error message (Windows has recovered from a serious problem) is a dying hard drive.

If you run diagnostics on the drive, I'd be almost willing to bet, if the drive's more than a couple years old, it's starting to get bad sectors on it. Physical drive damage is NOT something you can fix.

I'll say it again...... Backup your stuff NOW !



ETA: Judging by your puter n00bness You might want to find a locak geek to help you get that thing squared away, before it gets blowed up on you, if that's what's happening. Maybe a fellow arfcommer who's local. Where ya at ?

Link Posted: 1/29/2006 11:27:33 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/29/2006 11:33:36 PM EDT by no2guncntrl]
If I was you I'd run HiJack This and CWShredder to see what's on your computer.
You may have a virus or back door rootkit taking over giving your rig fits..
Be careful with HiJack This. It will bring up all sorts of info. If you see
something you don't reconize get rid of it, but you have to be careful
you don't delete important startup files etc..First things first..BACK UP FILES.

If you want run Startup 2.0. It's a great program and will show every thing
going on with your rig at startup. You'll be able to see all. Then if you like,
go to the download page and scroll for CWShredder and Hijack This.
Download either one or both and then scan your rig..See what really is on your pc >

www.spywareinfo.com/~merijn/
Link Posted: 1/30/2006 5:13:47 AM EDT
I'm not going to read the rest of this thread so if I duplicate something already posted please disregard.

Step 1. Go to www.belarc.com and download a free program called Advisor and install on your system. This will create an audit of your system and give you the windows install key along with a list of all the hardware and software, the security updates and other information. If your printer is working print this out.

Step 2. If you use Internet Explorer, start the program and go to: "File/Export" and export your favorites and cookies. The default location to save this is the "My Documents" folder. If you use Mozilla backup your proflile which is in "C:\Documents and Settings\[Log-in Name]\Application Data\Mozilla\Profiles\ " just copy this and put the copy in the My Documents folder

Step 3. Start up Windows Explorer (not Internet Explorer) - Start/Programs/Accessories/Windows Explorer. Go to "Tools" on the top menu and go down to "Folder Options" and click on that. Click on the second tab "View" and go down to "Hidden files and folders" and check the radio button "show hidden files and folders". Underneath that uncheck "Hide extensions for known file types" and "Hide protected operating system files"

Step 4. Go back to theWindows Explorer window and navigate down to the "My Computer" and click on the plus sign and expand this, then go down to the icon "C:\local disk" and click the plus sign next to that and then to "Documents and Settings" and expand that as well. Look for your user name in the list, that's what we want to back up, but not yet. Just make sure you can find it.

Step 5. Email. If you use webmail, all your information is stored on a server and you don't have to do anything. If you use Outlook Express or Outlook do the following. In Outlook go to "File/Import and Export" and you want to export to a .pst file making sure that you check the box marked "include subfolders" and select the my Documents folder as the location to save the file. For Outlook Express, just to be on the safe side, do a search using a wild card. Go to "Start/Search/All Files or Folders/More Advanced Options/" and check the first three boxes. Then enter the following search term "*.dbx" without the quote marks. This will find the previously hidden folders. If you have had more that one account set up you'll have to detemine which is the most current. You can do this easily in the window my making sure that the "view" is set to "details" and by click on the column header "date" to sort the results by date, the most recent being the current account. Copy and paste all of the current folders with dbx extensions to your My Documents folder. In some iterations you can export the account settings as well by going to "Tools/Accounts" and looking for the submenu setings. Save these to the My Documents folder.

Step 6. Copy your My Documents folder to: CDs, an External Drive or another computer. There will be a ton of information you don't need in some of the previously hidden folders. You can go back to the Windows Explorer application and re-enable all of the previous settings and eliminate this problem.

Now we have to figure out what is wrong. Most likely it is your hard drive failing, a corrupted windows system or registry, bad ram or a failing motherboard. I don't think it's the drive. If it was bad it would probably would have failed by now, same for a failing piece of hardware or the motherboard. It could be a bad sector on the drive. Have you defragged your drive at all? Do you have a Windows XP disk handy - not the System Restore disks but an actual Windows OS disk?

Let me know and we'll continue troubleshooting, I just have to know what our options are. I'll check this post later. Right now I'm off to work and some more sick PCs.

John
Link Posted: 1/30/2006 5:21:48 AM EDT
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