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Please Help A Computer Novice


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#1 california

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Posted 18 November 2005 - 01:51 AM

Recently my computer will freeze while in use. Such as the monitor will sudden lose the signal from the computer, my mouse cursor won't move on the screen, or the computer will just reset itself for some unknown reason. Please help! Am i screwed? Or is it just a simple fix? Thank you for any assistance.

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#2 acklan

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Posted 18 November 2005 - 02:13 AM

First let me Welcome you to BC. We are glad you chose to join our community. It sound like you may have a spyware or virus problem. I recommend you runthe following softwarre ot start with.

Antivirus (Run only one.)
AVG Free Edition Antivirus(I personally use)
Avast Home Edition Antivirus Freeware
AntiVir Personal Edition Classic Freeware
BitDefender 8 Free Edition AntiVirus Freeware

Antispyware
Microsoft AntiSpyware Beta
Spybot
AdAware SE Personal Edition
Ewido Security Suite - 14 day trial
A Squared Free

Utility
cCleaner
Everest home(hardware information and diagnostics)

Firewalls(Run only one.)
Sygate 5.4(I personally use)
Zone Alarm

Best of all... they are free.

These program are what I consider minmun protection. There are safe techniques that will talk about when your system is clean. We are here to help. If you have any question please ask.
I am sure you have heard "The only dumb question is the one you don't ask". That is fairly accurate. We welcome ALL of you questions or comments.
Could you describe in detail your computer and how you connect to the internet. RAM, CPU, hard drive, Brand name, operating system. I hope to hear from you very soon.
"2007 & 2008 Windows Shell/User Award"

#3 Saxif

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Posted 18 November 2005 - 07:22 AM

In all honesty, that sounds more like a hardware issue to me than any malware/virus. Having a monitor lose signal isn't a typical symptom. I've seen system shutdowns before, but always with an RPC error and a 30 second countdown. It's always good to check for malware and viruses, but more diagnosis is in order.

My approach is always to gather as much information as possible before suggesting anything. I always hate dealing with tech support people who e-mail you a long list of things to try without really bothering to find out what's really going on just because they think they can get rid of you that way.

Let's start with some basic. Answer the following:

Computer Brand
Computer Model
Operating System
Installed RAM
Any firewall/anti-virus installed

Pay closer attention to the symptoms. Sometimes things that appear to be random aren't actually random and observing closely provides the clues needed to help solve your problem.

Are there any error messages that pop up? What *exactly* happens when the computer restarts? Does it act just like you powered it off and on or is it trying to write memory files? Is there a blue screen?

When you report a problem, you're only slowing yourself down by providing a general, non-detailed description of your problem.

#4 acklan

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Posted 18 November 2005 - 07:47 AM

Saxif is right. This could be a hardware problem although I lean towards a malware as the cause of the problem. To cover all the bases Clean the inside of you case out. Pay attention to the fans and heat sinks. Use canned air to blow out the lent. Make a note as to how dirty the inside is. Make sure the fans are working. You will have one on the CPU, inside the power supply and may have several case fans. Heat destroys conponants. Once you have run it for a while let us know if it is still acting up. I still recommend the software from my first reply to clean and protect you system.
"2007 & 2008 Windows Shell/User Award"

#5 california

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Posted 18 November 2005 - 07:48 PM

when the computer first boots up i get a cpu unworkable, check cpu soft menu. i have no clue what that is.

its a home made computer with an abit motherboard, celeron processor, kingston ram, and a 20gb hard drive.

i wasn't trying to be vague when i first posted i was afraid my computer was going to freeze up as i was typing.

also, i tried the virus scan with symantec corporate edition a/v software, nothing unusual came up. i ran a spyware scan with adaware se personal edition and had 8 registry keys found. i deleted them and the computer seemed fine for a few hours, then it started freezing up again. by freezing up i mean that the cursor won't move the scrren stays on what every was on the screen at the time. when it restarts, it acts like i just restarted it from the start menu. thank you for your suggestions and any help given.

#6 Rimmer

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Posted 18 November 2005 - 08:55 PM

So you ran Norton AV and Ad-Aware SE. What about all the other suggestions?

Edited by Rimmer, 18 November 2005 - 08:56 PM.


Soltek QBIC, Pentium 4 3.0GHz, 512MB RAM, 200GB SATA HDD, ATI Radeon 9600XT 256MB, Netgear 54Mb/s WAP, ridiculously expensive Satellite Broadband
Windows XP Home SP2, Trend Micro Internet Security, Firefox, Thunderbird, AdAwareSE, Spybot S&D, SpywareBlaster, A-squared Free, Ewido Security Suite.

#7 california

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Posted 18 November 2005 - 10:14 PM

yes i already tried cleaning the case right after i ran the tests, i surfed the net for about an hour before i went to bed with no problems. when i woke up about 6 hours later it was still ok. but after about 3 hours of surfing my wife told me that it froze and started acting up again. now its 10 p.m. and it seems to be acting fine. i am really confused.

#8 Rimmer

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Posted 18 November 2005 - 11:28 PM

... and these?

Antispyware
Microsoft AntiSpyware Beta
Spybot
AdAware SE Personal Edition
Ewido Security Suite - 14 day trial
A Squared Free

Utility
cCleaner
Everest home(hardware information and diagnostics)

Firewalls(Run only one.)
Sygate 5.4(I personally use)
Zone Alarm


What was being suggested is you run all of the anti-spyware programs. The utlities are optional but recommended and, as it says, you need to install one good firewall (and disable your windows firewall).
This will then dramatically reduce the possibility your problem is related to malware.

Once that is clear there may be better suggestions for fixing your hardware.

Edited by Rimmer, 18 November 2005 - 11:29 PM.


Soltek QBIC, Pentium 4 3.0GHz, 512MB RAM, 200GB SATA HDD, ATI Radeon 9600XT 256MB, Netgear 54Mb/s WAP, ridiculously expensive Satellite Broadband
Windows XP Home SP2, Trend Micro Internet Security, Firefox, Thunderbird, AdAwareSE, Spybot S&D, SpywareBlaster, A-squared Free, Ewido Security Suite.

#9 california

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Posted 19 November 2005 - 12:05 AM

where do i get all of those utilities? also i have a firewall up already, the symantec client firewall. is that not a good enough firewall?

#10 acklan

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Posted 19 November 2005 - 12:14 AM

8 replies above this, there is a links to the sites. But here they are again :thumbsup:

Antivirus (Run only one.)
AVG Free Edition Antivirus(I personally use)
Avast Home Edition Antivirus Freeware
AntiVir Personal Edition Classic Freeware
BitDefender 8 Free Edition AntiVirus Freeware

Antispyware
Microsoft AntiSpyware Beta(2000,and XP only)
Spybot
AdAware SE Personal Edition
Ewido Security Suite - 14 day trial(2000, and XP only)
A Squared Free

Utility
cCleaner
Everest home(hardware information and diagnostics)

Firewalls (Run only one.)
Sygate 5.4(I personally use)
Zone Alarm

Best of all... they are free.
"2007 & 2008 Windows Shell/User Award"

#11 Rimmer

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Posted 19 November 2005 - 01:39 AM

Post #3 "Any firewall/anti-virus installed" *sigh*

Yes the Symantec one is fine, so don't bother about another firewall.

I'd suggest you download 'Everest' so you can get detailed information about your system:
Everest download
Temperatures, voltages and fan speeds are shown under Computer>Sensor.

Check your temps and fan speeds there and post pack all the figures it gives you.

Edited by Rimmer, 19 November 2005 - 01:48 AM.


Soltek QBIC, Pentium 4 3.0GHz, 512MB RAM, 200GB SATA HDD, ATI Radeon 9600XT 256MB, Netgear 54Mb/s WAP, ridiculously expensive Satellite Broadband
Windows XP Home SP2, Trend Micro Internet Security, Firefox, Thunderbird, AdAwareSE, Spybot S&D, SpywareBlaster, A-squared Free, Ewido Security Suite.

#12 junkdk

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Posted 19 November 2005 - 03:56 AM

Dear Cali,

Do you believe in KISS? Not the rock band, although I miss Ace, the saying; Keep It Simple Stupid. No offense to you.

Most will believe the worst is the problem and this is not the case. To me this sounds like a hardware issue.

Do you smoke?

Do you have a cat?

When is the last time you cleaned your computer?

How old is your computer?

This sounds like a simple cleaning. We here at BC can help you.

Let us know,

junkdk :thumbsup:
Your Hardware Guide.

#13 california

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Posted 19 November 2005 - 05:14 AM

motherboard 109 F
CPU 100F
fans 5273-5290 RPM

#14 california

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Posted 19 November 2005 - 05:18 AM

junkdk - i just recently had to relocate my computer to the carpet from a tile floor. about two weeks after i started experiencing the problems.

#15 acklan

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Posted 19 November 2005 - 11:51 AM

california you should clean the inside of your computer once a year more often if you have pets or live in a dusty enviorment.
Pet hair can clog fans and heatsinks.
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