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What Else Could I have done that might have rectified this problem?


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#1 MarcusW

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Posted 28 September 2010 - 10:25 PM

Hi folks, hope you're all doing well. There's no real need to comment on this, however it would be significantly helpful in order for me to be able to cover a wider spectrum of possibilities.

My girlfriend has an Acer laptop (I'll keep my opinion of those out of this) which has Vista installed on it. It was a cheap nasty thing from eBay, no manual, cost her a few hundred, and despite having a webcam she's too frikkin stubborn to download the driver for from a reliable website, it seems to have been functioning on all proverbial cylinders - until last week.
She would click on IE to get it to load, and it would momentarily pop up as if it was in the process of loading, then it would, for some bizarre reason, just disappear again. Opening the TM showed no signs of it still being active. Similarly, there appeared to be no background processes running that appeared out of the ordinary and scans in safe mode for malware or other unpleasant problems revealed absolutely sweet FA. So I'm curious as to what on earth was causing this.
Similarly, my gf is the only person using the laptop, as it's hers.
Another issue was the constant heckling from the system for the need to have admin privelages. She's the sole owner, so how come she's not recognised as having admin rights, when technically I would have thought, she might as well actually BE the sys admin for the laptop in the first place?
All the same, I had to unhide the invisible admin account, delete her account (which she cleared and it was no great loss to her as she had next to no personal files on the laptop in the first place), set up a new account with admin privelages, and lo and behold, because the old account was deleted, and a new admin one was created, when she got in there, she was able to load up IE with no problems whatsoever. So what angles should I have covered when I was fixing this issue, and what steps should I have taken in fixing this issue?

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#2 Broni

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Posted 29 September 2010 - 12:02 AM

You did exactly what I'd do.
Since computers are governed by gremlins (as we know), sometimes, profile corruption just happens (thanks to gremlins, of course :huh:)

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#3 Andrew

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Posted 29 September 2010 - 12:34 PM

I tend to concur with Broni's Gremlin Model of Computer Architecture, and I probably would have gone a step further and euthanized the Vista gremlins in favor of a somewhat less capricious breed.

In answer to your question about Admin rights: If I recall correctly, by default in Vista no users run with admin rights. Users who are marked as having admin rights are instead empowered to elevate their privileges temporarily in order to perform administrative actions (hence the UAC dialog asking whether you want to Allow/Deny things.) That's all well and good and is, in fact, the way Mac OS X and many flavors of Linux have done things forever. The problem with Windows doing it is twofold: many, many application developers have written their applications with the expectation of having admin rights (since everyone and their mom ran XP as the admin.) This means that a large proportion of software will ask for admin rights even when they have no real need for it. The second problem has to do with the design of Windows itself. Windows is, to a large extent, a nightmare for Microsoft when they try to sequester admin power tools from the rest of the system. For example, to program responsible for securing login authentication (msgina.dll) lives in the same folder as the calculator (calc.exe) That's like keeping your priceless diamond collection in the same shoebox as your lucky rabbit's foot: not very wise at all.
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#4 hamluis

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Posted 29 September 2010 - 12:41 PM

Well...I see several things I would address.

1. System was procured via eBay...and it's a laptop. That means (IMO) that it was not necessarily new and was not procured with a warranty...a warranty is a necessity (IMO) for anyone who buys a laptop and who is not technically proficient in the repair and troubleshooting of issues which come with such.

2. If system was previously used, damaged, rebuilt, etc...the burden falls on the purchaser. Many items are sold "as is", which totally relieves the seller of any responsibility for anything.

3. There's no indication that a clean install was done, if system was not new.

4. Manuals for many systems can be viewed/downloaded from the website of the manufacturer.

5. There's no indication that any maintenance was routinely performed. Running the chkdsk /r command and defragging the system...are basic maintenance procedures for any system, IMO.

6. File corruption...is just a fancy way of saying that files have become damaged. Happens all the time, for varying reasons. Running chkdsk /r is one way of trying to overcome such with system files. For and program files...best thing to do is simply uninstall the offending program and then reinstall it, no other way to remove a damaged file.

File Corruption & Its Consequences - http://www.smartcomputing.com/Editorial/ar...3.asp&guid=

Hard Drive Data Corruption - http://users.iafrica.com/c/cq/cquirke/baddata.htm

7. A problem with the file system or the hard drive itself...will often necessarily show up as something less obvious. IMO, more users need to understand the importance of assuring oneself that system problems are not due to file system/hard drive problems.

Louis




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