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Multiple software "encountered problem, must close", no internet access


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#1 RobinInSI/NY

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Posted 13 August 2011 - 06:40 PM

Computer: Dell Dimension 4500
Windows XP Home 2002, Service Pack 3
Internet Explorer 8
Firefox 3.6.16

This is my old computer, mainly used by my husband, who pays no attention to warnings, update indicators, etc., so I have no idea when all these problems started. He was complaining that he couldn't stay connected to the internet through Internet Explorer (it would freeze mid-search) and couldn't even get on the internet through Firefox (cannot connect to server).

When I started checking the machine, I found multiple disfunctional softwares (more details below) and I couldn't stay connected to the internet for long enough to access any web sites to check for updates (e.g., Windows Update) or run any analysis tools (e.g., Norton).

I have run the start-up disk check (I think this is a NIS feature) at least 6 times in the last 2 days. Here's what happens when I log onto the computer after disk check has run:

Popup windows saying "[X software] has encountered a problem and must close" for:
Windows Genuine Advantage Notification - after reporting the problem popup closes, the bottom bar on the desktop turns from dark blue to white
Adobe Reader (8.3.0)
Acrobat Manager

While all this is popping up, Norton Internet Security (2010) runs its initial scan and seems to complete OK, but I cannot open the NIS main page and I cannot run the update feature. If NIS has been disfunctional for a while and not updating, I may have picked up malware and viruses during that time.

Zone Alarm (free) appears to still be working. (Yes, I know, you're not supposed to use ZA and NIS together, but I managed to keep them from killing each other for years and they provide different types of security, so I keep them both.)

Norton System Works has stopped working and says I need to uninstall and reinstall, but when I hit the "Uninstall" button, it tries to take me into Internet Explorer (which is not connecting to the internet) and then the "NSW has encountered a problem and must close" popup appears.

After I've reported a bunch of these popup messages, a popup appears saying "Dr Watson's [something I didn't catch] has encountered a problem and must close", after which the reporting process will not complete for any future popups.

Internet Explorer also repeatedly gets the "encountered a problem and must close" popup, restarts itself maybe twice and then freezes. My "home page" is "www.rr.com".

"My Computer" does not recognize that a flashdrive is in the slot, even though "Safely Remove Hardware" sees it.

Safari also cannot connect to server.

The "connected to internet" icon in the bottom right hand corner of the desktop says I am connected, when it is there. Right now it has disappeared. When I tried to repair my connection, it said it couldn't complete the repair because it couldn't renew my IP address (I think).

What have I done so far?

As stated above, rebooted the computer from "Restart" and let the disk check run, at least 6 times in the last 2 days.

Run Spybot 1.5.2.20 twice--it found two minor problems and then found nothing.

Run Malwarebyte's AntiMalware v 1.51.1.1800 (had to download it on my other computer, copy to a CD-RW disk, then move it to the Dell and download it off the CD-RW drive): found nothing.

Tried to run some other computer check up programs (PC Tune-up, System Checkup) but they require accessing Internet Explorer and the internet so those attempts failed. "Control Panel" has also become wonky with icons refusing to load and/or freezing with the hour glass symbol showing.

I think I either have some viruses and/or lots of stuff has gotten corrupted. Whatever fixes are suggested, I will have to access them from my working computer, copy them to the CD-RW and transfer them to the Dell off that.

Now what do I do? And what more info do you need about the disfunctional computer?

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#2 Broni

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Posted 13 August 2011 - 06:42 PM

Welcome aboard Posted Image

Honestly, with so many issues I'd suggest reinstalling Windows.

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#3 RobinInSI/NY

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Posted 13 August 2011 - 06:49 PM

Oh, drat, I was afraid of that!

Won't I lose all the desktop icons and related software and sites (e.g., IE favorites) I've so carefully accumulated over the years? How can I save that info?

#4 Broni

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Posted 13 August 2011 - 06:56 PM

You have to back up your data.
Unfortunately programs will have to be reinstalled.

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