In case anyone is interested, here is the link to the assistance I received from Broni:http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/topic407684.html/page__p__2320619__fromsearch__1#entry2320619
Thanks for the quick reply. And, yes, I guess there is a bit of drama in the title, but it was generated by utter frustration. My problem is that I am very aware that I am having to limp along on an under-powered, under-resourced system until such time as I have the money to invest in a new CPU (tower, motherboard, processor, graphics card, the works). My recent calculations put that purchase at $750 to $1000. And, that price would exclude the peripherals I currently own; such as the monitor, printer, mouse and keyboard. Unfortunately, I have no choice at this time. Between being in the middle of a divorce (finally!) and recovering from a full career loss due to some serious injuries, I cannot invest ina new system at this time. So, I'm just hoping that, without wasting anyone's time, I can get some advice on maximizing what I currently have until I can build my new CPU. That should occur in January. I just need to get past the next six months.
As far as lost files go, I cannot give any specifics, other than to say that it appears that the "missing" files were files I attempted to Save As and issue a new name that simply never saved. I'm now assuming that those "lost" (unsaved) files occurred at an application hang.
As far as the 40GB hard drive (original to the machine) goes, it would not surprise me to learn that it is gasping its last breath. However, I am not experienced with running diagnostics on hard drives which you refer to. Could you expand on that, possibly with instructions? All I currently know is that Windows Hardware Manager says that both my 40GB and my 160GB hard drives are "working properly".
I did review the Event Manager for the Applications, Security and System sub-menus. The Applications and System sub-menus have numerous Error Events. The Security sub-menu has only "Successful Audits" (I'm asuming that is good). I did ignore the Information and Warning Events. Since the error events were quite numerous, I saved them as text files in the event someone would like to review them. The text files do not include the details that an individual "Properties" query does so, I either did it wrong or the text files simply do not contain enough information to be helpful to someone with my limited skills. All I can tell you is that under the Applications sub-menu, for example, "application hang" is a very common error. It occurs on Tcw17 (a.k.a - TurboCAD), Microsoft Office 11 (Outlook and Word are predominant). However, many Application Hang Errors will say, for example, Fault Bucket 1816055773. There are numerous "Fault Bucket" errors. I don't know what they are or what they mean. I'm not even sure how to explain any of the error events under the System sub-menu.
As far as error messages, I wish I did receive an error message occassionally! All I experience is an application in which I've requested an action and I stare at an hour glass icon for minutes. Many times I'll walk away and do something else for 10 minutes, 30 minutes, etc. When I return, I still have the hour glass. When I chelc the Task Manager, I will sometimes find that my CPU usage is apparently stuck at 100%. At other times the CPU usage is swinging from 4% to 100% to 35% to, well you get the picture. I do not receive error messages that I can snapshot and attach for someone else to see. If I were only that lucky.
By the way, yes. I do still have the original PSU.
Regarding the processes running on my system, I do not have any experience in that area. I know how to look at them using the Task Manager or a program such as Process Explorer. I could not tell you if I have any unnecessary processes running by simply reviewing the list in the Task Manager. I do not have any knowledge of which process is necessary and which one isn't. Nor do I have the knowledge or skill to stop any given process from running at start-up other than going into the msconfig command and refusing the processes from there.
I know there are varying opinions regarding the use of Comodo's free firewall (or ZoneAlarm's or others) versus Windows XP's built-in firewall. I prefer Comodo's firewall (or one of the other open-source firewalls which are recommended on BleepingComputer) because of the ability it gives me to see when my system is attempting to access an IP address or some IP address is attempting to access my system. Windows firewalls leave me feeling like I am operating in the blind. And, I am not very trusting when it comes to Microsoft telling me what is best for me. I've been burned too many times. Again, maybe it's my skill level but, I've never had a Windows firewall notify me that an inbound or outbound attempt was being made and give me the opportunity to accept it or refuse it. So, with all due respect to your advice on third-party firewalls like Comodo, I must respectfully decline to go back to MicroBloat's (I'm sorry, I mean Microsoft's) firewall. (Please do not take offense at that last comment. It was my feeble attempt at issuing a humorous jab at Microsoft! LOL)
The same goes for CCleaner, amog other peices of software I've found on BleepingComputer's site. I've had very good service from CCleaner. I find it to be very effective and extremely easy to use. And, although Windows may do the same job, I've never found a simple way in Windows to do what CCleaner does on one screen. Maybe I just never took the time to learn to use all of the features of Windows.
So, at the risk of being redundant or wasting anyone's time besides my own, without spending more money on a system I plan to scrap in less than six months, is there anything I can do to significantly speed this one up and reduce the hang-ups while I save money for my new system? Or, is this just a futile attempt to revive a dead horse?
Edited for content.
Edited by StartingOver, 01 August 2011 - 02:31 PM.