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Old 05-01-2007, 10:11 AM   #61
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Boy I'm an idiot. Here'* what ya do:

Go buy a hard drive.

Remove your old one. (Actually, all you have to do is unplug the IDE and power cables).

Install the new one.

Reinstall your OS from your install set of CDs. Update everything via windows update

(and I mean everything, excpet perhaps things that come up as optional. There are like 77 critical updates you have to go through after you get SP2 loaded).

Install an anti virus.

Put your old drive back in (it will show up as D: probably). You may have to set a couple master/slave jumpers, I can help ya with that if needed. But it will be explained on the data sheet that comes with the new hard drive.

Copy your old data files back over to C:. (Word, Excel, etc). Don't try to copy any program files back over (like out of the program files drectory. Won't work).

Disconnect the old drive.

Wait for a couple months. If you find you aren't missing anything, hook the old one back up, format it, and now you have 2 hard drives.

If you don't have the $ for a hard drive, I'll ship ya one.

It'* my experience that when a PC gets to the state yours is in, the best thing to do is start over from scratch with the OS. I do mine about every 9 months.... and I NEVER download any programs from the internet, or install anything I don't absolutely need. Windows, while it has it'* good points.... is still pretty much the sux. Don't get me wrong, I'm not a Mac bigot.... it'* just that for some reason windows turns into a 1000 lb non functional peice of bloat, IMO.
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Old 05-01-2007, 10:31 AM   #62
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I don't know that a reinstall would help at this point. Hijack this and msconfig show nothing out of the ordinary. Nothing that would cause his boot issues especially. Unless we can confirm it is an OS issue, reinstall sounds a bit extreme/difficult.

Next trick would be a boot log, and check your frickin' memory modules, dangit!!
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Old 05-01-2007, 10:41 AM   #63
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MOS95B
I don't know that a reinstall would help at this point. Hijack this and msconfig show nothing out of the ordinary. Nothing that would cause his boot issues especially. Unless we can confirm it is an OS issue, reinstall sounds a bit extreme/difficult.

Next trick would be a boot log, and check your frickin' memory modules, dangit!!
Yeah, I agree. I guess I've gotten so used to reinstalls I don't even think about it anymore. One nice thing though - if there is a hardware problem, it will show up during install. Plus there is a certain 'clean feeling' I get with a format. I dunno..... it takes me about an hour from a blank hard drive to get back to 100%, and 30 minutes of that is waiting for the format to complete. Some other things to consider - if this is a virus problem, most of them disable any anti virus protection/virus definition updates, and quite possibly, any diagnostic software you may install.

I dunno man... this thread has been going for a while now.... a complete install could have been completed long ago. No disrespect, but I still say go with the reformat.

Edit - plus the files and settings transfer wizard is a pretty cool gizmo, saving all your bookmarks, customizations, etc.
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Old 05-01-2007, 11:18 AM   #64
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Yeah, I do reinstalls all the time myself. Just kinda scarey recommending it to a non-tech. I wasn't trying to say do not do it, just playing devil'* advocate and continueing to offer potentially non-destructive options.

This would definitely narrow the problem down, if not fix it altogether (barring hardware problems). It'* not impossibly hard, but even an experienced tech can make an oopsie.

J'* idea of fresh, clean hard drive, then copy over from bad drive would be the absolute easiest way to do it without losing information. If you do decide to go this route, please ask for an use advice given.
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Old 05-01-2007, 02:03 PM   #65
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Guys, guys, guys.....

I can handle reformatting and all that stuff.... I've done it multiple times on this machine. If I need a new hard drive, I'll snag one and do what you guys are saying with the reinstall. I have the XP installation CDs, so it wouldn't be a problem. The reason I haven't done that yet is because I don't believe it is necessary. I've seen many reasons to believe it isn't a corrupt hard drive or some kind of virus/spyware, so I'm leaning toward memory. It would get me absolutely nowhere to buy a new HD and "wipe the slate clean" if I still have bad RAM.

So, nobody saw anything alarming in the Hijack This log? Excellent. So back to my other question: How should the machine act during a memory test? If I pull one stick of RAM, what should I notice happening if the stick is good or bad? Should it start up faster if I pull the bad stick?

Thanks for the help, guys. If I need to format/reinstall the OS I will, but not yet. This computer started up very quickly a matter of days ago, so something has changed recently and it doesn't seem like a bad HD or spyware. I'll get to the bottom of it!
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Old 05-01-2007, 02:08 PM   #66
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If you pull a stick, you should get an message from the BIOS saying "something has changed" more or less.

Then when windows boots, you'll see less ram and it should take a bit longer to boot.

One other thing - in BIOS, you can set an option to do a ram check (quick boot or something like that) at boot. Enable (or rather, disable quick boot) it if it'* disabled. When it boots, you'll see a counter as the ram is examined.

Then do the same thing with the other. If you have a bad stick, it will fail at the ram check or windows load.

Sorry if some of this has been mentioned, I've not read every post in this thread.
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Old 05-01-2007, 02:31 PM   #67
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One other thing, if it'* not been mentioned:

Pull every card that isn't essential. Sound, network, modem, video (If you don't have an onboard video adapter), etc. You want to eliminate every possible contributor.
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Old 05-01-2007, 08:44 PM   #68
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Well theres nothing in your hijack this! log.

How much memory is installed?
What size is your harddrive and how much is free?
If free spaceis getting low, have you run defrag?

I know you've run chkdisk, but have you done it from safe mode? In safe mode this will take an extrordinarily long time. Mow the lawn, wax the car, go see a movie.. after all that it just might be finished. LOL (he thinks I'm kidding)
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Old 05-01-2007, 08:53 PM   #69
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Quote:
Originally Posted by big_news_1
Guys, guys, guys.....

I can handle reformatting and all that stuff.... I've done it multiple times on this machine. If I need a new hard drive, I'll snag one and do what you guys are saying with the reinstall. I have the XP installation CDs, so it wouldn't be a problem. The reason I haven't done that yet is because I don't believe it is necessary. I've seen many reasons to believe it isn't a corrupt hard drive or some kind of virus/spyware, so I'm leaning toward memory. It would get me absolutely nowhere to buy a new HD and "wipe the slate clean" if I still have bad RAM.

So, nobody saw anything alarming in the Hijack This log? Excellent. So back to my other question: How should the machine act during a memory test? If I pull one stick of RAM, what should I notice happening if the stick is good or bad? Should it start up faster if I pull the bad stick?

Thanks for the help, guys. If I need to format/reinstall the OS I will, but not yet. This computer started up very quickly a matter of days ago, so something has changed recently and it doesn't seem like a bad HD or spyware. I'll get to the bottom of it!
One other thing you might try- if you can get past the splash screen.

1. Delete your swap file: Control panel->System>Advanced->Performance->Settings->Advanced->vitrual memory->Change->No page file

2. Reboot

3. Defrag

4. Reenable your swap file, probably best to go with the defaults, but it depends on how much ram you have. 1.5 x ram is the recc default.

5. Reboot

Also, if your drive is nearing capacity - performance will be severly degraded.
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Old 05-02-2007, 03:59 AM   #70
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I'll give this stuff a try ASAP. Didn't get around to checking RAM today due to being busy at the airport. Tomorrow will be much the same. But I will post as I try some of these things and narrow down the problem.
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