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Topic:
Utter computer nightmare...
This thread has 41 replies. Displaying posts 31 through 42.
Post 31 made on Sunday August 2, 2009 at 06:57
djy
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On August 2, 2009 at 01:55, 39 Cent Stamp said...
I currently have XP Pro installed and i have no plans to change anything until im forced to buy a new computer.

If it ain't broke, don't fix it. I had XP Pro too, until I was forced to change it.
OP | Post 32 made on Wednesday October 14, 2009 at 23:52
Daniel Tonks
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So I had another one today. Different computer. It's about 5 years old, and has had Vista for a few years. Everything was fine... until a Windows Update occured at 3:00 AM.

The next day, there's no network. Reboot. Same problem. Check the back of the PC. Blinky lights on the network jack. Disconnect, reconnect the cable. Check network connections. Hmm, no network device. So I go to the device manager and everything related to network has a yellow exclamation mark. I check properties, and it said the device could not be started as "no device drivers could be found".

So I click Update Driver and have it search for drivers (since I certainly can't connect to the network to get a newer one). It comes back with "the most appropriate driver is already installed". Wait a minute, you said there WAS no device driver.

Next, I delete the device and reboot. It comes up with new hardware found. Spends about 5 minutes installing drivers. Then pops up with an error that the device could not be started as it was not responding.

OK, things aren't looking too good at this point. Figure Windows Update royally messed things up -OR- something on the PC has failed (like the network card). So it's time to run a System Restore. Select the point just before Windows Update occured; it goes through its routine and eventually reboots. Comes back with the same message that it's found a new device and is installing drivers. Um, if I restored to an earlier point that really should be back the way it was - with at minimum the non-existant driver installed. About 5 minutes later after a whole lot of disk thrashing an error pops up that system restore failed "due to an unknown error". Oh, great. Let me try to Google an "unknown error". Yeah, right.

Time to pick an OLDER restore point. I select one from a few days prior. It does its thing and reboots. The screen with the moving progress bar comes up. And stays up. Fifteen minutes later it's still there with no disk activity. I really should be seeing some disk activity. And what use is a progress bar that continues to progress when the system is dead. Nice design. So I reboot. Same thing again. Try again. This time the screen is completely corrupted and garbled. Uh oh.

Power off the system, back on, and the screen comes back up (whew), so it's now off to Safe Mode. Problem is it locks up too - doesn't even get very far, it dies during the first few driver loads. Try a couple more times, and it's remaining as dead as a door nail.

Has the motherboard failed? Hard drives? Something else? Start thinking of having to buy a new PC. Except that Windows 7 isn't going to be available for over a week. And this system can't be unavailable for a week.

As a last ditch effort I decide to try restoring a backup from my Windows Home Server (backs up once a day automatically, so there's about 18 hours missing). Use its boot restore CD and it actually loads OK. Detects the network card (hmm, looking good). Hard drives. Finds the backup server automatically on the network, identifies the PC, and actually starts the restore operation. "Estimated time remaining: 3 minutes". Wow, this should be good.

10 minutes later: "Estimated time remaining: 1 hour, 50 minutes".

2 hours later: "Estimated time remaining: 1 hour, 9 minutes".

1 hour later: Estimated time remaining: 1 hour, 20 minutes".

I've done this once before on a laptop, and it only took 20 minutes total. Is it actually working, or not? At this point I give up and let it run for the next 8 hours... come back and it said the restore completed successfully. Wow, really?

Reboot. Hey, Vista! Hey, network! Hey, everything's there and actually seems to be working.

I run a manual Windows Update to ensure that it completes successfully (it does) and so far so good.

But gee, sometimes I really hate computers.
Post 33 made on Thursday October 15, 2009 at 00:06
John Pechulis
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And that's why I and many others won't use Vista. I have a friend who upgraded to Vista from XP Media Center and can't figure out why it is continually eating up hard drive space. I haven't looked at it in person, but even with the internet connection unplugged, it still eats drive space. Haven't heard from him in a week, so I don't know if the problem is solved or not.
OP | Post 34 made on Thursday October 15, 2009 at 03:19
Daniel Tonks
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That would likely be the "volume shadow copy". it likes to use an insane amount of disk space.

According to WHS that Vista PC has 111gb of that (there's nowhere near 111gb of actual data on that system - it's just basic Vista with Office and accounting). Plus another 8gb used between paging and hibernation files.
Post 35 made on Thursday October 15, 2009 at 14:08
djy
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On October 14, 2009 at 23:52, Daniel Tonks said...
But gee, sometimes I really hate computers.

You're not alone.
OP | Post 36 made on Friday December 11, 2009 at 02:21
Daniel Tonks
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That computer I talked about on October 14th is at it again. Went to see how something looked on it, noticed that the little popup said that updates were waiting. I said to install them. A while later I looked at download progress was stalled at 0%. Looking deeper, I realized that ALL updates since November 12th have failed to install - the log is loaded with failure entries.

To make a long story short, I went through numerous troubleshooting procedures over a period of 6 hours and absolutely nothing will work. Stranger yet, now when you shut down it tries to install 2 updates. And tries. And tries. Hours of hard drive activity and the little circle spinning. Manually resetting the system causes it to go through a "configuring updates" procedure for about 10 minutes as it boots up, then it actually will work, but shutting down or restarting starts the whole process over again.

I've given up. The system is over 4 years old - it was very nice 4 years ago - but at this point I'm guessing that it needs AT MINIMUM a complete O/S reinstall, and I don't see it worth the time. Life is too short for the hours that thing has occupied of my time.

So, time for something new.
Post 37 made on Friday December 11, 2009 at 04:58
djy
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On December 11, 2009 at 02:21, Daniel Tonks said...
So, time for something new.

I know some really good blokes, quite literally only just up the road. They even managed to get the daughter's laptop fixed.
OP | Post 38 made on Friday December 11, 2009 at 06:04
Daniel Tonks
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This is the third Windows Update-related problem on that system... each time I get it going again it lasts for a shorter amount of time. I'm sure the registry has some serious issues at this point. But it's too old to spend much time working on it, and if I'm going to go to the trouble of reinstalling the O/S it's going to be done on a brand new system.

It's my father's system, and the timing couldn't be worse as he's just about to start the year's accounting.

New system I'm putting together for him:

Intel i7-860 2.8ghz quad core
Intel DP55WG Media Series motherboard
8GB Kingston HyperX DDR3 1333MHz
Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB 7200RPM
Sapphire ATI HD 5750 Vapor-X 1GB
Plextor SATA 24X DVD-RW
Zalman CNPS9900 NT CPU cooler
Antec Sonata III mid tower w/500w
Noctua 120mm case fans
Windows 7 Professional

Not a bleeding edge speed demon, but all nice, upper-middle-end parts... the system isn't used for gaming or movies or TV, just a general work system.

Of course this happens a week after I order a new system for my mother (hers is one I built EIGHT YEARS AGO - remember RAMBUS? - and it's been running 24x7 ever since... still pretty reliable, but it FEELS like it's 8 years old running today's software). I'm not building the new one myself, it's a nice shiny HP slim system perfect for her tiny desk. :-)
Post 39 made on Friday December 11, 2009 at 15:37
GotGame
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Daniel,
Dell has a slim tower with a 21" monitor right now for $439. Why don't you get that and go out and enjoy a few beers.
Windows 7 comes with it too.
I may be schizophrenic, but at least I have each other.
Post 40 made on Friday December 11, 2009 at 19:09
djy
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On December 11, 2009 at 06:04, Daniel Tonks said...
It's my father's system, and the timing couldn't be worse as he's just about to start the year's accounting.

I also know some good accountants . . . the wife and daughter.


On December 11, 2009 at 15:37, GotGame said...
Daniel,
Dell has a slim tower with a 21" monitor right now for $439. Why don't you get that and go out and enjoy a few beers.
Windows 7 comes with it too.

Quite staggering when you think that several years ago I spend the best part of £500 on a 4x3 Viewsonic monitor (I fear a brand I'll have no more dealings with) followed by about £450 on a 4x3 Samsung.
Post 41 made on Saturday December 12, 2009 at 03:40
Ernie Bornn-Gilman
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On October 14, 2009 at 23:52, Daniel Tonks said...
...and actually starts the restore operation. "Estimated time remaining: 3 minutes". Wow, this should be good.

10 minutes later: "Estimated time remaining: 1 hour, 50 minutes".

2 hours later: "Estimated time remaining: 1 hour, 9 minutes".

1 hour later: Estimated time remaining: 1 hour, 20 minutes".

A good answer is easier with a clear question giving the make and model of everything.
"The biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place." -- G. “Bernie” Shaw
OP | Post 42 made on Saturday December 12, 2009 at 08:00
Daniel Tonks
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So true!
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