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Slow Computer, Getting Black Screen

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#1 EdithBunker


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Posted 07 October 2007 - 06:45 PM

I'm working on two different computers today. The one here, is my son's computer. This is a windows XP with only 248 MB RAM and 40GB space, with only 12.2 GB space left to it. That is probably the whole problem--we need more RAM and more storage. Right now, we don't have a whole lot of money to spend on computers, so I'm wondering if I should do a whole reformat (if that is the correct term for wiping everything out and reinstalling everything from the cd that came with the computer)

Here is what I have done:
Ran PC Doctor--everything is fine
Updated and ran Avast! antivirus, Adaware, Spybot, ccleaner

Did the msconfig startup item list, turning off a bunch of stuff.
Ran Disc defrag, checkdisk, compressed old files
uninstalled many unused programs and am starting to load some other stuff on a pen drive and cds

There was one virus in the av scan, a win32:CTX, which was in a system restore file. That was quarantined.

We have owned this computer from the start, it was at one time the whole family's computer, so various levels of games and school programs (we homeschool) have been loaded and eventually removed via add/remove programs. Eventually it became a shared computer for my sons' school and games, and then only one son's computer, for school and games. I thought I read somewhere that despite being removed, lots of programs still have left "bits and pieces" on the 'puter, and that eventually I would have to do a "wipe the whole thing clean and reinstall everything" (My paraphrase and limited understanding)

Supposedly the computer would run as it did when we first got it--which would be WAYYYYY faster than it does now--it takes about 5-6 minutes to boot up completely, and opening any new program sometimes takes awhile--even waiting for a browser window takes awhile. My son has reported that is has gone to a black screen in the middle of playing games several times now and the only way to shut down is via the power button. (control-alt-delete doesn't work). It glitches a bit in his school program, also, but we have been able to make that work. (believe me, I am saving all his work every couple days on a pen drive so we don't lose his finished schoolwork!)

I don't know what else to do at this point-- I don't know enough to even attempt anything in cleaning up the registry if that would be something I should do. We are all connected to the internet via the same router, so I realize i can save his stuff on my computer--if I set up the networking--which I don't know how to do yet.

So, do ya have any suggestions for me? Is reformatting the only choice? And if I do that, how do I save and reuse some programs--for example, we bought the school version for microsfot works, where we got 5 licenses for installing it, and I think we have used all 5 installations--I don't want to pay for another installation when minutes before I did a reformat I have a perfectly working program. (or am i misundersatnding the liceanse? I still have the license key)

Thanks! :thumbsup:

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#2 madman6510


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Posted 07 October 2007 - 07:20 PM

Doing what you describe here is called a "clean install", and while there may be other solutions to your problem, a clean install may be the easiest. Simply back up all the important files to a CD-R/RW or a USB flash drive (don't back up any programs though, they won't work) and then put the Windows CD into the drive and reboot. Follow the onscreen directions to reinstall the operating system, make sure you have the Windows licence key BEFORE you do this though, or the install won't work.

About the licence thing, a licence means that you have the permission to put the program on ONE computer at any ONE time per licence. Uninstall the program on the computer, and you get your licence back.

#3 boopme


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Posted 07 October 2007 - 08:18 PM

The clean install will probably be the easiest as mentioned.but you will lose all data. A few questions and suggestions.
You still have a third of your Hard drive free. Things will be getting slower as you use it up.
A bit more RAM may be better. I believe a 512MB stick costs $35 USD. But that's for later as you need to match it up.

Did this black screen result after the removal of the Malware
This malware likes to fix itself in memory. Try cearing all Restore Points. See BC tutorial L@@K at section Disabling system restore.

Were there any error messages on the black screen?

Perhaps you should try a repair install first,so you won't lose your data. Perform a Repair Install

Edited by boopme, 07 October 2007 - 08:22 PM.

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