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Fixing "Frankenstein"


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#1 Seekster

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Posted 21 April 2009 - 10:35 AM

Hello all, I just joined up here and I hope you can help me with some of my problems with my computer. To make a long story short I have a Macbook Pro laptop which has Windows XP (currently service pack 2) Home Edition on it thanks to bootcamp. I have had it for a few years (not sure exactly how long off the top of my head, probably since 2006). It started out alright but over the years the machine has started to get stranger and stranger. I have taken each new problem as it came and managed to acheive a workable love-hate relationship with my machine (figuratively of course).

I have jokingly dubbed my machine "Frankenstein" because it has multiple wires running out of it and is highly irregular and unique. It has an external mouse (because I dont really like the apple touch pad), an external microsoft keyboard (because about a year ago the apple keyboard built into the laptop decided to stop working for reasons that I never was able to figure out), and a 233 GB external harddrive to suplement the meagere 20 GB C: Drive that my system has after partition to XP.

Anyway I have for years dealt with Frankenstein's problems myself with varying degrees of success. Most of its qirks I have just simply learned to live with but lately it has been behaving in ways that I find increasingly troublesome so I thought I would post details about some of my machine's more notable issues and see if I can possibly get some help to solve them:

1. Around last weekened my machine's sound started to become distorted and scratchy at random times. The Windows startup sound is almost always distorted and many times when I am playing a game the sound becomes scracthy or seems to skip. The machine has never before done this and I dont recall doing anything new to the machine last weekend. The wierdest part is that the sound distortions come and go at random intervals.

I looked for solutions to the problem and tried to uninstall and reinstall my SigmaTel High Definition Audio CODEC (which upon restart refused to work at all leaving me with absolutely no sound). Fortunately the sound seems to have "fixed" itself in as much as I have sound now but it is still distorted.

2. Speaking of restarts; I am worried because recently I have found that my machine is very particular about how and when it will start. First of all the machine seems to only want to start up in XP if the External Harddrive is turned off (if it is turned on it gets stuck on the screen with the Windows Flag and the green loading bar on startup, ive left it there for hours before and it wont move). I have found that if I leave the external harddrive off when I start the machine it will start up "normally" (usually in about 5-10 minutes from when I press the power button to when I get to my desktop) and as long as I turn the external harddrive on at just the right moment it will recognize it. If my timing is off then it will not recognize the external harddrive and I just have to turn it off and try again.

3. It sort of the same as number two but my machine also seems to get stuck whenever I try to shut down or restart. It didnt use to do this but in the last few months it has started to meaning my only option is to hold down the power button until it turns itself off (which I understand can be harmful to the machine). Whenever I try to shutdown or restart the machine gets to the point where it says "Windows is Shutting down" and then it gets stuck there (again even leaving it on that screen for hours it doesnt ever restart or shutdown).

4. Recently I have had an error box appear around 2 to 3 times on startup. The error is in a small window called "stub" with the following message in it:

Run-time error '9':
Subscript out of range

Just clicking ok has worked and I dont know if the error message is affecting my system in any noticeable way but I do worry about it anyway.

Those are the four biggest issues that currently come to mind. Generally my computer is slow and takes a great deal of patients. I used to have major problems with viruses and spyware but after subscribing to Windows Live One Care and using programs like Malwarebytes and Spybot Search and Destroy I believe my computer is free of viruses and such.

Anyway I will continue to try and work on these problems but I would greatly appreciate any aid or advice that can be given. Thank you deeply in advance.

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#2 hamluis

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Posted 24 April 2009 - 12:58 PM

<<...my machine's sound started to become distorted and scratchy at random times. The Windows startup sound is almost always distorted and many times when I am playing a game the sound becomes scracthy or seems to skip. The machine has never before done this and I dont recall doing anything new to the machine last weekend. The wierdest part is that the sound distortions come and go at random intervals.>>

That could be due to damaged sound drivers. I would just remove current installed drivers for audio...and then reinstall same or update.

Could also just be failing hardware.


<<...the machine seems to only want to start up in XP if the External Harddrive is turned off (if it is turned on it gets stuck on the screen with the Windows Flag and the green loading bar on startup...>>

Known issue, I believe...similar to issue with flash drives installed at boot.

I believe problem arises from fact that XP senses hardware for which drivers are not yet loaded...and this becomes confusing. Simple solution is to not turn on external drive until system boots fully, since it cannot do anything useful until then.

<<...my machine also seems to get stuck whenever I try to shut down or restart.>>

Troubleshooting Windows XP Network Problems - http://labmice.techtarget.com/windowsxp/Tr.../networking.htm

Troubleshooting Windows XP Shutdown Issues - http://www.theeldergeek.com/shutdown_issues_in_xp.htm

Windows XP Shutdown Troubleshooter - http://aumha.org/win5/a/shtdwnxp.php

<<...an error box appear around 2 to 3 times on startup. The error is in a small window called "stub" with the following message in it: Run-time error '9': Subscript out of range>>

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=s...mp;aq=f&oq=

It probably would not hurt if you do some general maintenance on XP...by running chkdsk and then defragging the system.

XP Chkdsk, Using the Graphical Version (My Computer) - http://www.updatexp.com/windows-xp-chkdsk.html

How to Understand and Use Chkdsk in Windows XP - http://vlaurie.com/computers2/Articles/chkdsk.htm

Louis




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