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i am so clueless

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Posted 27 May 2009 - 03:08 PM

hey i was told this was the place to come for some solid support. i am in college and i would really like to fix my problem on my own and not have some tech guy do it for me.

Yesterday I was on the internet when all of a sudden my computer froze up completely. i rebooted it and i could login in fine, but as soon as i logged in all the shortcuts flickered (some even dissapeared) and then my mouse froze up. i rebooted a second time in safe mode and everything is perfectly normal. i have norton antivirus so i ran a full system scan in safe mode and all it came up with was a tracking cookie. i then called dell customer support ( i have an older XPS) and they told me that it could not be a hardware problem bc it would run fine in safe mode, and that it had to be software. so i chatted with norton support and they seemed quite clueless but they said that i could pay them a 100 bucks to see if i had a virus. i told them that i would like to make sure that i had a virus before they did anything. i looked at some forums online and they said to go to MSCONFIG and disable all the startup boxes and then reboot in normal mode to try to find what the problem was. but even after unchecking everything under start up it would still freeze up in normal mode. looking online it seems that it might be a driver or a fan problem, but then why would it work perfectly in normal mode. also after restarting my computer like a million times in a row, in crashed and said that there was a problem with a fan on a black screen. i am hoping this is bc i just rebooted too many times in a row. any advice would be greatly appreciated.

also i opened up my computer and it was incredibly dusty especially around the fan. could i just spray compressed air around inside or is that a bad idea?

*i have windows xp home edition*

Edited by BIGRED40, 27 May 2009 - 03:11 PM.

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#2 possumbarnes


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Posted 27 May 2009 - 10:13 PM

Sounds like a good cleaning would be good for it. There's no problem blowing compressed air into a computer. I do it on a daily basis.
Also, Norton likes to miss some things.....specifically spyware. It's a virus scanner, not a great spyware scanner. Have you scanned it for spyware at all?

If not, go to malwarebytes.org and download the free version of Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware. Install it, update it, then reboot into safe mode (since you don't freeze up in safe mode) run a fast scan. If it finds anything, have the program remove it.
Then, go straight to superantispyware.com and download the free version of SuperantiSpyware. Install it, update it, then reboot into safe mode (not only because you don't freeze in safe mode but SAS is designed to run best in safe mode) and run a complete scan.

Post back what you find.
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#3 apocalypticgirl


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Posted 27 May 2009 - 10:16 PM

Norton does seem to miss lots of things. I would recommend downloading the Cyberdefender scanner - it's free. We use Cyberdefender at home and it works great. It's got a great interface and it's very easy to use. It found things on my computer that I didn't know was there. I upgraded to the paid version and it has prevented some infections and kept my computer clean. i'm very greatful for it.

#4 AMD010


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Posted 27 May 2009 - 10:42 PM

Yes buy a couple cans of air, take it outside and blow blow away! once the dust is gone turn on your PC with the side open and see if the fans spin up. there will be at least one fan over your CPU and a power supply fan on the back of the computer.
even though your problem may not be related to spyware or viruses. it would be a good idea to make sure that all of your windows updates are done. Download CCleaner, get a good free scanner like AVG or avira, update and run them. For Spyware I like to use spybot S&D and Adaware SE. update and run these too.
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