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PC Help! [Jun. 18th, 2007|12:17 pm]

I'm aiming for coherent...

OK. Last night, I upgraded some programs (Firefox, OpenOffice), closed all my other open programs, then rebooted. (I only reboot if I have to.)

Windows comes back up, and I go back to doing what I was before. Then out of nowhere, it shuts down. I'm not talking going on "stand-by", *shut down*. I've had this laptop since December, and only once has anything like this happened before, and not like this time. Last time, it shut down, and gave me a little crap a couple times trying to bring Windows back, and things were then fine. This time, it shut down, and when I'd try to bring it back up, all I'd get is the initial DOS Gateway screen, then it would go blank and shut off again. It's supposed to go DOS Gateway screen, then a more "graphical" Windows XP screen, then the user login screen for Windows.

Once I got a screen saying "Blahblahblah, Windows failed to load, here are your options, blahblah", but I chose "Start Windows normally". Dumb idea, didn't see that screen again till this morning, when I went back to "fixing" my laptop. At one point I was trying to look into the system settings in DOS (when I could), but it didn't appear there was anything I could do in there. As I said, I got the "Windows failed to load" + options screen once more this morning, and I chose instead "Last known good configuration", and it actually worked and got me back to a working OS. I'm on my laptop now, but I don't know if choosing that option has affected any files, either downloaded recently or overall. It looks OK, but I don't know for sure yet.

[User Picture]From: nebulosity
2007-06-18 08:36 pm (UTC)
HAHahaha. Windows sucks. Use linux. It's actually more user friendly. XP

I could recommend you a kind of linux that you could just install that will easily work for you without any special configurations. You just stick the installation DVD/CD's in the drive and just follow the instructions. It even does 99.9% of the work for you, unless you want to pick out what you want. :D Linux doesn't crash. You'd have to be a linux-junkie to make linux crash. Actually Mac OS X is superior to both, but you probably wouldn't consider it... (it's possible to install OS X on a PC now).

So.. you said, "PC help!" but I didn't see a question.... o.o
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[User Picture]From: shinwachou
2007-06-19 06:36 am (UTC)
Unfortunately telling me "Windows sucks" doesn't help me any, just makes me feel inferior, and it's something I already know.

I guess what I was trying to ask, but forgot in my "pissedoff-ness" at the computer, is if there was any way to get my PC running. I'm on my mom's PC now (POS WinME), and I found something that said "Press F8" and it'll bring up a boot menu... but it won't do that.

I've always been interested in Linux, and even did an install once (years ago)... but.. dunno why I never did get into it. I've been leaning increasingly towards open source stuff in the past few years, but I guess now it's to the point where I need an open source OS.

I'm gonna have my friend's husband look at it tomorrow, hopefully. He's an IT admin, so hopefully he can figure something out.
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[User Picture]From: shinwachou
2007-06-19 06:37 am (UTC)
And as someone else suggested, maybe it was something with the processor. Something about flaky temp sensors and/or cleaning out crud/dust in the processor. But no matter what I use (yes, including screwdrivers), I can't get the screws loose. :(
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[User Picture]From: nebulosity
2007-06-19 09:46 pm (UTC)
If that's happened to someone before, then sure, I guess that could be a problem.

However, the most common problem with software updates are the files that are called upon during boot up -- renamed/missing .dll files or other critical files. I've heard that sometimes hardware drivers can be the problem, but I've never experienced that myself.

The only thing I can think of to test whether it's the updates or not would be to completely uninstall your open office and firefox, freshly reboot the computer to check for bootup problems, and if it boots normally, then reinstall the programs fresh. That may be more work that you want to do, but it's what I would try. If you uninstall the programs and the computer STILL gives you the warning screen, then you'd want to look for a log/memory dump file to see what the problem was. Then you'd google the problem to see if anyone else has had that problem and look for something they've tried that you might want to try. That's the classic way to solve a problem, usually. There are a lot of forums out there where people talk about problems and solutions, so the chance that your problem has been seen before and been solved is quite likely.

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[User Picture]From: nebulosity
2007-06-19 09:47 pm (UTC)
Oh! Silly me. I forgot to mention that you'd want to boot up in Safe Mode to do those things. :)
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[User Picture]From: shinwachou
2007-06-20 11:28 am (UTC)
Although someone suggested it, the processor idea made some sense, especially since the initial problem wasn't the booting up, it's the fact it just shut down on me.

I can't test anything, as the computer doesn't boot at all, but it's something I probably would've done had I been able to get on. After it shut down on me like that, I managed to get it booted *once*. I installed Windows updates, and once I rebooted from that, I was going to do a full virus/adware/blahblah scan.

Blah, no wonder I hate updating things. Always screws something up. :\
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[User Picture]From: nebulosity
2007-06-20 03:11 pm (UTC)
Ah, I see. Spontaneous shutdowns can definitely be caused by overheating.

So you can't boot it right now?? If it's a heat problem, once it cools down, it should definitely boot back up, unless you cooked your hardware or something. o_O;;
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[User Picture]From: shinwachou
2007-06-22 04:49 pm (UTC)
I had my PC looked at, and it was the hard drive that failed.

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[User Picture]From: nebulosity
2007-06-22 05:25 pm (UTC)
OH NO! That's terrible!!

Why oh why couldn't it just have been the power supply or something???

I'm sorry, honey. ;-; Did you lose anything important?
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[User Picture]From: shinwachou
2007-06-22 10:55 pm (UTC)
I was wishing it was something other than the hard drive, as well.

For once a PC broke on it's own accord. har har har

I gotta call Gateway to get a replacement HD. Can't until I get my laptop back from my friend's husband, which was supposed to be today, but ehh..

Her husband said there's a slim possibility once I get the replacement, he could try to switch the connector board (?) from the new HD onto the old, in attempt to recover any of my data.

I had over 140GB of music and videos (mostly the former), that took a long time to DL and aren't easy to get again somewhat. And many lists that would boggle my mind to re-do over. Et cetera.
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[User Picture]From: nebulosity
2007-06-19 09:32 pm (UTC)
Unfortunately telling me "Windows sucks" doesn't help me any, just makes me feel inferior,

I was just saying, "Windows sucks" in a humorous manner, and considering your frustrations, I thought that you would laugh along. I never even thought that it would make you feel inferior, because that was not my intent *at all*. I'm sorry about that.

I really wish I could help with your computer since I like doing this kind of stuff. If the loading screen says "press F8 for boot screen" and you press F8, but the boot menu doesn't come up, I can't figure out for the life of me what you could be doing wrong or what could be wrong with the computer (besides maybe a bad F8 key, or not pressing fast enough?)

I guess the reason I suggested linux was because your entry came off as very well-informed. What I mean by that is, it seems like you tried a lot of potential ways to solve the problem, but that Windows was just being troublesome. You did all the things that I would think to do (besides reinstalling Windows), so at that point I thought I'd throw linux out there as an idea. I know that people can spend hundreds upon hundreds of dollars to have tech people fix their Windows machine, and sometimes they either 1) tell you what you already know or 2) fix it in a way you didn't want (ie. reinstall windows rather than restore the system you had installed, when you yourself could have done that). You're lucky that you have a friend who might be able to help you.

There are some repair disks out there with tons of utilities that Windows junkies use to fix all kinds of problems with Windows; I know of two, but the only name I can think of right now is "Super PE." I've used those disks once or twice before, but I haven't made use of all of the utilities available. They're really straight forward, and some of them are bootable CDs. These are the utilities that Wil used when he fixed people's computers weekly.

Good luck with your computer. I hope your friend can help you out! :D
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[User Picture]From: shinwachou
2007-06-20 11:24 am (UTC)
I do have to apologize for snapping in the beginning of my comment... it was totally uncalled for.

:o What Linux installation do you recommend for a beginner? The only reason I suppose I never kept at Linux, is because I couldn't figure out how to get it to connect to the internet.
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[User Picture]From: nebulosity
2007-06-20 03:09 pm (UTC)
I do have to apologize for snapping in the beginning of my comment...

You don't have to apologize. I understand now that I need to remember to keep my comments helpful rather than unhelpful, but I was just surprised because you and I have been friends for so long that I was sure you would know I wouldn't EVER say anything to hurt your feelings. *hugs*

If you don't want to have to fiddle with getting internet (or anything else for that matter to work, I would recommend Ubuntu (pronounced: oo-boon-too). I've installed it myself and it seems it's the only linux that really tries to do all the work for you. Even their motto is "It just WORKS," and it's true as far as I've used it. Ubuntu has TONS of updates all the time, which means that people are working hard to get out the bugs. Not only do the provide updates to fix problems, they provide COMPLETE documentation, and even a forum that you can join where people are always talking. You can ask a question and you pretty much always get help. I've used the forums myself. The installation is a peice of cake. I even found you a walk-through that was written for the current version (7.04 "Feisty Fawn") for someone who is naturally a Windows user.

And remember, I'm a linux "computer technician" at work. There is a very good chance that I can answer a lot of your questions.

If you decide that you don't like Ubuntu for some reason, there are SO MANY other kinds of linux out there. Take this quiz; it'll tell you what linux is best for you.

I personally don't prefer Ubuntu, because I like more of a challenge. I like figuring out how to configure the display, I like hand-installing drivers and compiling my own programs. I like Fedora Core, CentOS, Scientific Linux, and Slackware.

Let me know if you have any questions!
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[User Picture]From: shinwachou
2007-06-21 12:24 am (UTC)
I have to apologize though, because you're right about what you said in another comment. I took some frustrations I had indirectly on you. :( *hug hug*

I'll look into Ubuntu, thanks! :D
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[User Picture]From: comatosedreamer
2007-06-18 09:56 pm (UTC)
No, the option "use last good configuration" reverts changes to your operating system. It doesn't affect things like documents and such.
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