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Dell Optiplex lost modem & printer...


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#1 Spectacle

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Posted 12 September 2010 - 12:42 AM

Hi all!

Well, I warned in another thread that got moved that this post would be long....

Dell Optiplex GX110, XP-Pro, lost the Best Data Data Fax Modem [dialup] after some general strangeness following antivirus updates. Got different errors when dialing: Error 633, for 'Modem in use or not configured properly 'Com port already in use', and Error 692. Clicking 'More info' on one of these errors, I think for 692, said it was error 000005aa. 'Query modem' doesn't work.

Can't reinstall that modem, also tried 4 other used modems known good plus a new modem: all no go. Installer had problems on all. Device Manager may show various modems installed, 'Working Properly'; but Sys Info still lists Best Data Data Fax Modem that was uninstalled, in addition to other modems. I reinstalled Best Data & uninstalled again, still there in Sys Info, but not Device Manager. Even with all modems apparently uninstalled the Best Data modem remains in Sys Info list, not in Device Manager. I can discover no other way to uninstall it.

Then noticed I'd lost printer too, on a USB cable to a PC card in the chassis. Machine has slide-out tray & board with PC sockets, which board then plugs into motherboard. Both modem card and USB adapter card [that printer connects to] are connected there. Both are dead. Visually all hardware looks okay.

Thought the BIOS might have gone screwy and dropped that board & serial ports, but can't access with F2 Setup during boot, due to Dell programming. F2 Setup opens but bare minimum entries & nothing about configuring or enabling Serial/COM parts that I saw or understand.

I then checked Startup Programs and I'm showing 90 PAGES of Startup Program entries!!! CAB's, DLL's, you name it, plus a second copy of every entry, one with my name, the other with NT name! These weren't there a couple of weeks ago.

Now, when trying to install modem or printer, after full uninstalls, the computer doesn't recognize and display 'Found New Hardware'. When doing manual install the installer doesn't recognize the devices correctly either. After forced install they may show up in Device Manager, but can't be accessed. Except for Best Data modem that dropped out none of the devices show up in REVO uninstaller, and after 1st uninstall of Best Data with Revo it never showed up again in REVO.

The former antivirus program is now uninstalled thru REVO. As I've mentioned before, every time the antivirus would update I'd get glitches in system settings, sudden changes. Constant hassle.

What's left is a computer that still 'runs', except impossible to connect to modem or printer ports or install those devices and somehow, 90 pages of Startup items. No idea if ports are disabled in BIOS or what.

This computer I'm posting this with is old, Win 98, and I cannot get the CD-RW to work to download to. If I could I'd use some programs to test other computer, but....?

Thanks!
2000 Dell Optiplex GX-110, P3-847Mhz, 384 Mb SDRAM, Matsu 80GB HDD, XP-Pro SP3, Online Armor Pro 4.0.0.15, with Avast! Free, Super-Antispyware, Malwarebytes

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#2 Spectacle

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Posted 16 September 2010 - 10:01 AM

Hi all!

Sooooo, I thought you all might find this interesting:

I was doing some more snooping on the Dell Optiplex computer that got messed up, and noticed a Microsoft Office program. I thought to myself, "Hey, I don't remember having that installed....." so I went to check it out. [I had the whole M/S Office Suite on the HDD, but had never installed it because it was so huge.] While I was at it I checked Online Armor 'Program Permissions', and got quite the shock! This is a little hard to explain...

That machine crashed on the after noon of 8/24/2010. Online Armor Program showed 26 programs listed as 'First Detected' [so apparently first installed] on 8/24/2010, all occurring between 4:58 PM and 5:02 PM.

All programs, all installed at the same time between 4:58 PM & 5:02 PM, 26 of them, are some part of Microsoft Office 2000 - Outlook - Front Page - Visual Studio - Shared Design Tools etc. Thing is, I never installed any of that! But, there's also one wild card in the deck: 'HP Scanjet Common Scanner Manager'.

I had continual problems with the HP J4500 All-in-One printer - scanner- fax machine, also continual problems with Antivirus updates somehow changing system settings. The HP problems were directly related to the choking glut of needless software programs that HP crams into their installer program, causing conflicts and problems with performance. Also had to install, uninstall, install HP Printer countless times to try in vain to get it to work right. Maybe the conflict and constant system settings changes were between AV and HP, maybe....

So, what I found was 26 new programs installed, all between 4:58 PM and 5:02 PM on 8/24/2010, plus an HP Scanner Manager program installed, all at the same time, over a course of 4 minutes! The 26 new programs amount to over 220Mb just in the 'Microsoft Office Premium' program install. Some may recall that I had also discovered 90 pages of new startup items! Those 90 pages represent new items, and each one has another copy listed right after it, one for me as Admin, one for the general computer. I haven't looked there again, but many were M/S & M/S Office related.

No way to tell here what caused this unwanted program install sequence over the course of 4 minutes, but I find it beyond noteworthy that HP's Scanner Manager 'forced' install is sitting right in the middle of the pile...I didn't knowingly or intentionally install that HP program or any of the other ones!

The disastrous result was a completel loss of all serial/com ports & inability to restore them [BIOS shows okay near as I can tell]. The HP Printer is USB, connected to USB card on the same board that carries all the PC & PCI cards, including dialup modem of course, and all that is what died somehow.

Pretty strange stuff, huh???

I'd like to uninstall all of these M/S Office Premium components, but worry about more problems from doing so. Also thinking I shouldn't use REVO uninstaller to remove them as it might track down 'related files' that are part of Microsoft & XP-Pro operating system.

Can I safely remove these through 'Add/Remove Programs' ?

* Sorry about that, had to Edit: by 'safely remove these ' I mean the M/S Office components. I think the HP printer is currently uninstalled, but if not I'll uninstall that. So I wasn't speaking of safely uninstalling the O/S etc.

Thanks!

Edited by Spectacle, 16 September 2010 - 09:11 PM.

2000 Dell Optiplex GX-110, P3-847Mhz, 384 Mb SDRAM, Matsu 80GB HDD, XP-Pro SP3, Online Armor Pro 4.0.0.15, with Avast! Free, Super-Antispyware, Malwarebytes




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