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XP Home missing network connection, DNS & other services


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#1 Sam177

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Posted 01 November 2013 - 10:17 PM

I'm working to setup am old DELL DIM 2400 with XP home to replace another machine of mine that recently lost its motherboard.  This Dell machine belonged to a family member of  friend of mine who is not all that into machines.  The machine had a number of bad actors in it when I got it and I have methodically gone and eliminated the junk and the bad actors.  

When I got it cleaned up, I went ahead and loaded the programs that I use.  But then I started to discover missing some key items.  without them I can not setup things like the static IP address change the DNS etc.  Some I have been able to get back like the sound volume control.  But for others I have no clue as to how to go about it handling.

The original disks are not available.  And maybe I wasted my time trying to salvage the machine's XP Home OS and its Office 2003 system.   Below is a list of the services that I know are not present.

The machine is a P4, 2.8Ghz with 1.25 gig of ram.  It's XP HOME SP3 with my Eset Nod32 AV and Outpost Firewall nw installed.  HJT, CCleaner, Spybot installed.  Its main drive is a WD80 ATA and I would be putting additional ATA drives in it as well as a faster network card.  Btw it will end up just being used as an email, browser and word processing machine, etc.  Nothing real fancy.  

So what is the right approach to handle this situation?  Can I salvage the existing machine with its OS?  or do I need to just wipe it entirely and install a new version of XP Pro?

thanks for looking at this help request.  I have more details but this post seemed to be getting a bit long.  So I'm stopping here.

Sam177

Missing services details:

Background Intelligent Transfer Service  -BITS
DNS Client
Media Center Reciever Service
MHN
Network Connections  -netman
Portable Media Serial # service
Removable Storage
Secondary Logon
System Event Notifier
Telnet
UPNP
Widows Firewall
Windows management Instrument Driver Extension
Automatic Updates

additional services that seem out of the norm
Windows Presentation Foundation
Web Card Space
TCP/IP NetBios Helper
RIP listener

====================================


Edited by Sam177, 01 November 2013 - 10:26 PM.


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#2 hamluis

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Posted 02 November 2013 - 12:59 PM

FWIW:  http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20081025034131AAJEV8i .

 

Louis



#3 Sam177

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Posted 02 November 2013 - 01:19 PM

Louis,

 

Thanks for your reply.  Are you telling me that this machine is in some ways a lost cause without a complete OS install?  And that I'd have been better off just getting the Dell DIM2400 drivers and installing my own XP Pro from the beginning?

 

Unfortunately I had about 70 to 80% of the programs I use already loaded onto the machine before I realized that these systems problems existed.  And I expect that there is no way to take one of my still unused XP-Pro licenses and install like an upgrade on this machine? That is unless I am willing to reinstall everything I have since added to it?

 

Does this sound like a situation with the wrong settings having been selected back before i got the machine?  Or like something "destroyed" parts of the OS.  Btw I have DL'd all the Dell drivers for this machine already.   But the XP on this machine was an upgrade. So I'm not sure what it came with originally.  But it was possibly back in the transition from Win 3.1 and W2k.  So there are not likely to be any Dell cd's available for it with XP.

 

Sam177


Edited by Sam177, 02 November 2013 - 01:20 PM.


#4 hamluis

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Posted 02 November 2013 - 04:32 PM

I just tried to provide feedback from those who might know something about your situation.

 

As for what happened before you acquired the system...those questions should have been directed before now...to the previous owner.  I have no idea what may have happened...I can't even see the system as you see it.  I'm not prone to speculate on a past where I have no idea who did what...or where...or when.

 

The standard suggestion provided by the knowledgeable...to anyone acquiring a system that was previously used by someone else...is to do a clean install, after verifying that the hardware functions as it should.  No point in carrying unknown problems around.

 

The fact that you seemingly knew that the system had malware issues...just adds to the argument for a clean install.  The self-clean attempts by many...to rid a system of malware...just are not that effective, IMO.  I'm certainly no expert but every system I've tried to clean of malware (belonging to "friends") is one that I spent a few days on  (which is always irritating) and then just clean installed because I don't have the expertise/skill to deal with today's malware.

 

Louis



#5 Sam177

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Posted 03 November 2013 - 10:30 AM

Louis,

 

Please don't misunderstand.  I have looked thru the Yahoo link that you suggested.   I did know/expect the machine to be fairly messed up.   How messed up it actually has proven to be is a bit of a surprise, however.

 

With this machine, I had expected to be able to clean it effectively, as I have a fair amount of experience with cleaning machines.  Though recently I have stopped repairing neighbors machines.  All too often the users just manage to "recorrupt" their computers again and again.  I used to give people 3 chances.  But now I just try to avoid the whole "help a neighbor with their computer" scene.  Rather I try to suggest the use of good system protections and good user policies.  For this machine I had expected it to be an intense process which it was.  And there was/is no additional information about it available.  So it became a "slog thru the mud" process.  And it now passes all the checks I have made. 

 

My question about what may have happened is not that unreasonable.  Various malware and user mistakes often leave trails of issues which are sometimes recognizable.  But I am not familiar with loosing access to these fairly major services.  So that question was geared to get some help with " what to do next".  Like:

1)  the need to do a total rebuild from a eraser or Dban nuked HD;

2) do a detailed repair in place for the XP OS (ref the process suggested by this link

[http://www.informationweek.com/windows/operating-systems/langa-letter-xps-no-reformat-nondestruct/189400897;

3) do a manual repair (like 1 service fix at a time. Which is what I did to get the sound-volume issue resolved);

4) run more checks to determine more about the current issues.

 

Right now it is seeming that I might as well nuke the drive completely.  And then install XP Pro using one of my unused XP disk sets.  (also after its in to DL all relevant MS updates and save them pending the "pumpkin date of 4/8/2014".)  That will, however, destroy the Office 2003 that is currently on the machine which I'd like to keep.  But I guess I can still buy that on Ebay with the requisite COAs.  Anybody know if they are still available there?

 

Just to note I do have full backups of this machine at different stages of cleaning it up.  Not sure that's useful at all though.at this point. 

 

Suggestions?

 

thanks

Sam177


Edited by Sam177, 03 November 2013 - 11:03 AM.


#6 cryptodan

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Posted 03 November 2013 - 10:35 AM

In all honesty, I would do a complete wipe, and consider any and all files in the backups that you have performed as compromised.

#7 rotor123

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Posted 03 November 2013 - 10:56 AM

Just a quick addition.

 

I would expect a Dimension 2400 to come with Windows XP Home. Normally the License is on the side of the case near the front above the removable side panel. The Dimension 2350 also came with XP. The Older White Pentium III Dells usually has Windows ME or 2000 installed. I have dealt with many, many Dells and I can not remember ever seeing one with Windows 3.1

 

That license is usable with a Matching OEM version of XP.

I second that fact that since the machine had malware I would wipe and reload.

 

Good Luck

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#8 Sam177

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Posted 03 November 2013 - 11:00 AM

Madman,

Thanks for your reply..  As you can tell I'd have rather had a less disruptive approach, particularly after all teh work I have already done on this machine.   But   I have to agree that a complete rebuild after nuking the HD does sound like the only way at this point

 

I can get rid of only some of the data/info files currently being used on this machine, however.  I've had to use it as my main communication machine.  Not too many documents, but news groups, email stuff will have to be saved for reuse.  Too much info that can not be regenerated.  Think I will have to try backing them up separately in order to re-use them.  These files will only be ones that I either transferred to this machine or made on it after the cleaning. 

 

I don't see any way around that unfortunately.  But I will scan those files thoroughly with the list of checkers.

 

Well I'll be off the air so to speak for a while once I start this.  Guess it's a job for tonite.

 

Any additional suggestions?

 

thanks

Sam177



#9 cryptodan

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Posted 03 November 2013 - 11:07 AM

How do you access your email and news groups?

#10 Sam177

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Posted 03 November 2013 - 11:30 AM

Madman,

 

My email is all with client-server Eudora pop3 & smtp with delete from server set for 1 day.  Each email account goes thru as SSL.  News groups are with Forte' Agent (albeit a very old version).  The important items there are the text based security related news groups like GRC.  Browsing is only done with FireFox, albeit an older version 3.6.28 (I hate the newer versions for which one can not control updates. And all Java has been removed from this machine. FF runs with NoScript, Ghostery. AdBlocker Plus, Cookie Culler.  Settings and practice destroy history, cookies and the cache regularly. And I have put in FW block list with IP blockers for 200,000 to 300,000+ IP's which does include Utube, Facebook, & the like.  No Adobe products left on the machine either.  So I am doubting that I am that vulnerable to end up "collecting" anything bad now.

 

Most of the other programs that I use are a mix of shareware, freeware & purchased specialty programs.  I did get this machine fairly loaded up to the way I usually have my main access machine set.  Including purchased items like Foxit Phantom pdf writer, TeraByte backup, etc.  I was just about ready to install my photo handling programs when I found the issues with the XP services. 

 

Due to necessity this machine has been being used for most all of my communications, since its initial cleaning.  As I said initially in this thread, I unexpectedly lost my entire main machine due to a power supply failure that took out its mother board. And at the time, I did not have an equivalent  back up machine available.   Just have one smaller rather limited machine that had not been being used online.  The back up box for my main machine was/is still sitting as pieces to be assembled.   Pretty bad form I will admit.

 

Btw among the first things I did was to completely get rid of the McAfee on this machine and install my Outpost & Nod32. So that's been in place since early on.  I also use non-MS file handlers like Total Commander to do the setups, directory creations, file location etc. 

 

Probably a longer answer than you might have wanted.

 

Sam177


Edited by Sam177, 03 November 2013 - 11:39 AM.


#11 cryptodan

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Posted 03 November 2013 - 11:41 AM

I would rely upon using Windows File Management and ditch third party applications, as they can have undesirable effects within the Windows Operating system.

I would also consider switching to an IMAP Service such as gmail or yahoo where you can always have access to your email anywhere in the world and from any computer.

Outpost is notorious for being a problematic application especially if a single file gets corrupted.

#12 Sam177

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Posted 03 November 2013 - 11:50 AM

rotor123,


Thanks for your reply.  I thought that Win 3.1 was too early for this machine.  But among the items that I got with this were a set of 3.5" floppies for Win 3.1.  And with the services being different than those normally expected for XP Home, I wondered if this had been an upgraded to XP.  Guess it was not.

 

I did find that in the box of stuff that came with the machine, there are three Dell disks and a never opened CD for Basic Office 2003.  So one issue for the rebuild solved.  I can install the 2003 Office now.  Am not sure what is on teh Dll disks.  But it looks like one of them has the original drivers.  Another says t has support, AV`, MultiMedis, & Internet software.,  The third says it has the reinstall for Sonic Record Now.  So at would seem that at least the first cd will be useful, for the system drivers.   Though I guess I need to get updates for those drivers.

 

Not sure what to do for the box's Nic set up or the setup for the modem/fax that it has.  But it seems I am moving ahead to being able to do the nuke & rebuild.

 

Sam177



#13 Sam177

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Posted 03 November 2013 - 12:07 PM

Madman,

Thanks for the suggestions.   But I generally stay as far away from Windows file handling as possible.   I run partitioned drives with all info & data stored in specific locations on non-OS partitions with detailed file structures that I create.  It's very useful for keeping track of things, backing up, etc.  The main partition generally contains just the OS and main programs.  Page file is on its own partition (use a separate HD when I have  a drive slot available).  These main machines of mine end up handling a lot of stuff running 2 to 5 terabytes of drives at times.  They end up being fairly large systems.

 

As to Imap:  I've thought about it, and I could do that thru the email host we use (not my ISP, btw).  I just don't have that much need for portable non-PC access.  But as to Google mail or Yahoo mail.  Never Never Never.  Way too invasive & not at all secure.  If they want to send me specific ads, they should be paying me the $47 bucks that is the stated price-value of my information (for each access).

 

On OutPost yes it can be tricky.  But it's the most effective least invasive FW that I have found.   I still do not like or trust "security suites".  Too much bloatware out there. 

 

But I do appreciate your observations.

 

Sam 177



#14 cryptodan

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Posted 03 November 2013 - 12:20 PM

Windows is far better at handling its own file system and files then any third party appliation can, and having the pagefile off on its own drive is very detrimental to overall performance of windows. Also all your programs and applications should be on the main windows drive and not off on their own, as when you lose windows the supposed ability to gain access to those programs is moot due to the registry. You would have reinstall or repair those applications.

I have fairly large systems and dont use any third party applications like total commander to manage my files.

And google is a great mail service despite what people say. I have been using it for the last 4 years, and find it to be very secure, and with 15 gigs of mail storage youll never run out and you can use google drive to store documents.

#15 Sam177

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Posted 03 November 2013 - 01:50 PM

Madman,

I do not want to argue with you about this.  But my experience is contrary to what you are reporting.  It's hard to beat a dual page file handler like Total Commander, for instance.   My page file can be erased and returned to one continuous file at every shutdown/startup.  The OS directory is smaller and can more easily be defragmented.  My data is separate from the heavily written to OS partition.  All temp files are moved off the OS drive to additionally reduce fragmentation.  Regularly changing email,files and documents are on one partition.  And my seldom written to information is safely on yet another set of partitions.  I find it a lot easier to manage.  I do find it a lot easier and I can easily securely find things that I need as well as maintain backups of specific things.  Overall it makes using the machine faster for me.

 

But the issues here relate to getting this Dell back into form.  I doubt that it has even the power supply to run the scale machine I usually use.  But it will be nice to have this machine working while I go about building my replacement "main machine" and the new Barn Burner that I intend to use for my photo work.  That machine will have separate drives for a lot of things just to increase speeds by making for faster access to CS5/6 photoshop processing. 

 

So I'm now looking around fro hints as to how to go about the rebuild of this box using one of my XP-Pro CD sets and what Dell drivers I need to find.   And what ones I already have with the 3 Dell cd's that came with this machine.

 

Thanks for your help.

Sam177






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