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Author Topic: I need to fix my laptop
katharina
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I have an old laptop that I bought used a few years ago. It isn't cutting edge, but it doesn't need to be - I use it only for internet and for writing papers in Word, so it should be fine.

However, it has become excruciatingly slow. It takes almost ten minutes from when I turn it on until the hourglass dissapears and I can use it. Opening a browser and Word at the same time causes it to freeze up. SpyBot Search and Destroy is on the computer, but when I try to run it, the computer crashes.

Clearly it has problems, but I would dearly love to fix it rather than get a new computer. Can I take care of it in less than an hour? If it takes more than an hour, is there a place I can take the computer in for a tune up to get it at least functional again?

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Jon Boy
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Under an hour? Hard to say without knowing what's causing the problem. I'd start with an online virus scanójust google "online virus scan" and you should find several.

What operating system are you using? When you hit Alt+Ctrl+Del and bring up the Task Manager, do you see any programs using a lot of memory?

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katharina
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Doing an virus scan crashes the computer.

I'll try the memory thing.

I'm serious about the one-hour time limit. I bitterly resent all time spent working on the stupid computer and will happily pay for someone else to do it. Who can I pay to fix it? Some big box computer store?

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Dan_raven
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First run some virus checkers and ad checkers. That might clean it up a bunch.

Then do a defrag. All simple steps you should be able to do for free.

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MattP
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quote:
Doing an virus scan crashes the computer.
Doing a virus scan with your current virus software causes a crash. I'd try a different virus scanner and/or re-install your current one. If it's really far gone though, you may need to reinstall the operating system. That'll take more than an hour for sure, and if you bring into a shop to have it done they'll probably need you to also bring in the OS install disc.
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katharina
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What shop? Where do I take it? I hate this computer and refuse to fiddle with it anymore.
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Jon Boy
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Defragmenting is seriously overrated on XP machines, which I'd assume is what she has (unless it's really old). It's far more likely that she's got malware problems.

It looks like having Geek Squad or Firedog tune it up will cost at least $200. How old is this laptop? That might be more than it's worth, but maybe you'd still rather do that than spring for a new computer.

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pooka
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I used to have a similar sounding problem and my husband and his geeky friend from work spend hours and hours and never found anything. It took 9 minutes for it to give us anything but an hourglass when we tried to move the cursor onto the start button. If a program had a shortcut on the desktop, we could use that to start it.

We wound up backing up our most needed files and installing a new hard drive. I asked some people on sakeriver about it, in the General Geeky Thread, I think.

Also, he got me a laptop that runs XP for $50 off e-bay last year. It has a couple of flaws (like, always has to be plugged in, and the pointer device is no good for games (such as minesweeper).

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Sterling
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If the original OS disks are available, it really sounds like a complete sweep-and-reinstall is in order. It would probably take more than an hour, but it's not time that you have to be constantly at the computer- just look in on it every fifteen minutes or so to see if it needs input. Do you have means to get anything you want to keep off of the hard drive?
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MattP
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quote:
What shop? Where do I take it?
Preferably to your closest computer proficient friend. Otherwise, look for a local computer shop to do it for you. Best Buy and Circuit City can probably do it as well, but I would expect them to be more expensive than a mom&pop shop.
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Farmgirl
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Kat - what anti-virus software are you currently using on this machine? and what version of it?

McAfee recently had a problem with their newest version maxing out the CPU on update, and they have a fix out for that. I know that affected a few people I know.

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lem
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Are you running a scan in safe mode? press f8 during boot up to run your cleaning programs.

Also install ccleaner (yes 2 "c"s), run it in safe mode, and defrag.

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Jhai
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What are you willing to pay? Abhi could almost certainly fix the issue, or do a reinstall if it's needed (we have XP cds), and we're in Arlington...
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scholar
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Not related to the actual question, but I have 3 computers with xp (all legally purchased), and can only find one of my xp cds (for my newest laptop). I want to reformat the old laptop and am concerned that using the new cd may cause problems with getting windows updates on my new laptop (the old one would still be getting updates I think). Is that a legitimate concern?
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MattP
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If it's the same "flavor" of XP (Pro vs Home vs MCE) and you have a key printed on a sticker on your laptop, you're fine. Also, if it's an OEM version that doesn't require a key to be entered, you're fine there as well. The only problem would be trying to use a key from one version of XP on a different one (it won't accept it) or using the same key on two installs of XP on two different machines (it'll look like piracy to MS unless you have a key that's been set up for multiple computers - yours probably is not).
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BandoCommando
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quote:
Originally posted by scholar:
Not related to the actual question, but I have 3 computers with xp (all legally purchased), and can only find one of my xp cds (for my newest laptop). I want to reformat the old laptop and am concerned that using the new cd may cause problems with getting windows updates on my new laptop (the old one would still be getting updates I think). Is that a legitimate concern?

It is also possible to retrieve the current key being used on your OS. (Do a google search for retrieve XP key. I think there may be some freebie apps that do this for you, but be careful to avoid malware, viruses, etc.)

I'm not a legal expert on this kind of thing, but it seems to me that if you are using the original key that you legitimately 'own', you should be in the clear.

It doesn't matter which CD you use to install the new copy so long as it is the same "Flavor" as was previously stated. The keys are not tied to any particular disc.

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scholar
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Drats- they are different flavors. [Frown] But maybe one of my friends will have the right flavor. I actually have one pro, one mce and one home.
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Javert Hugo
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I found a place called MetroTekSolutions in Fairfax that said they could fix it for $60. I can also get a better antivirus from work for use on my home computer, so I think I'm going to uninstall the present program, install the work software, and take the computer to the MetroTekSolutions place. [Smile]
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Jon Boy
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Good luck. Hopefully they can get it working again.
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