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Author Topic: Nervous Breakdown  (Read 2623 times)
Gracey
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« on: July 14, 2004, 07:32:54 AM »

I am preparing, once again to reformat my hard drive. This will be the second time in less than 6 months....sigh

I'm still trying to decide if it's the software (ME  Undecided ) or there's actually something wrong in the hardware somewhere.

I'm afraid I'm not much of a tech when it comes to the hardware...plug it in and turn it on is about all I want to know.

Just thought I'd post here and see if anyone has any ideas I haven't already checked out:

Generally, when I turn it on in the morning it's okay, but by afternoon it starts rebooting itself, sometimes starting up in safe mode when I don't ask it to. Sometimes (like last night) it wouldn't load at all (just a big old black screen). Yesterday I started getting "system resources dangerously low" notices....what the heck? So I checked them, and they seemed okay, but apparently the computer didn't think so, lol. I uninstalled my firewall (2 days ago) because one of it's components seemed to be causing conflict (only started a couple of days ago). Then I had to uninstall my java platform (sun) because it would shut down my browser a few hundred times a day (now I can't reinstall it)

Since it's possible the uninstall of the firewall (although I've done that before) and the java platform might have caused some "missing" files, I've done a registry check & repair, and have run through a number of "system check" type programs. Nada.

Now, the constant reboot sounds a lot like trojan behaviour, but I've run scans at various online scanners (in case mine was compromised) and nothing....I downloaded some trial programs and scanned (TrojanHunter being one of the best) and nothing. Even tried a "keylogger type" program (can't be too paranoid) I've run through my arsenal of protection & privacy scanners, and nothing. I've done a manual search and nothing.  

Even called the place we bought the computer (it's only 2 years old, and it's been 2 years of nonsense) - they did say there could be a possible problem with a "capacitor" which might need replaced as they were faulty in the beginning; they just weren't sure if mine was one of the ones that particular model went into.

Well, if there's any other ideas out there, I'd be happy to hear them. It takes forever to reinstall windows and I'd rather not go there if I don't have to.

I'm also seriously considering something other than windows at this point. If I have to reload again....

Gracey



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nChrist
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« Reply #1 on: July 14, 2004, 08:22:23 AM »

Oklahoma Howdy to Gracey,

If I understand correctly, you are running Windows ME. I bought an upgrade to ME and I had nothing but trouble, so I went back to Windows 98. I think that Windows 98 is pretty stable. However, my old computer completely fried, and my new computer has Windows XP Pro on it. I was worried for quite some time, but my first impression is that Windows XP PRO is pretty good.

You definitely need a firewall if you use the Internet very much. Zone Alarm makes a free one that is excellent. It's also a must to have virus protection. If you need a free one, there are several pretty good ones on Tucows, CNet and other safe distributors of software. Regarding intrusion type problems from the Internet, SpyBot Search and Destroy is free an excellent (Available just about everywhere).

Here's a few hints that may also help:

Turn off file and print sharing unless your computer is actually hooked to a network needing it.

Set your email program to plain text only with images, scripts, and any other security setting set to high.

Never click URL addresses anywhere unless you know what they are and know they are safe.

Always virus check every program before you install it, even if you get the software from a reputable and trusted place like CNet and Tucows.

Always check for updates to your operating system. It's usually free, and new security holes in operating systems are found all the time. The same would be true of major programs you use on the Internet (i.e. browser, email/news).

Be extremely careful with instant chat programs. Use the highest security settings, read reviews, and see if you want to take the risk of using them.

I hope this helps some.

Love In Christ,
Tom
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Gracey
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« Reply #2 on: July 14, 2004, 10:35:33 AM »

Quote
I think that Windows 98 is pretty stable.

Yes, so do I...the problem is one can't purchase it any longer, and the one I had went with my old computer when I gave it away.

Quote
You definitely need a firewall if you use the Internet very much. Zone Alarm makes a free one that is excellent. It's also a must to have virus protection. If you need a free one, there are several pretty good ones on Tucows, CNet and other safe distributors of software. Regarding intrusion type problems from the Internet, SpyBot Search and Destroy is free an excellent (Available just about everywhere).

I have all that and more...Sygate PF (what I use) leaves a lot less mess to clean up in the registry than Zone Alarm (and ZA can really suck up system resources), but ZA is easier to use. Right now I haven't reinstalled the firewall, but our router acts as a hardware firewall, and I have a load of download protection (Spywareguard, Spywareblaster & immunization function as well as bad download blocker in Spybot; Registry Protect and a few others - I used to volunteer assistance at the forums for SpyBot at Net-integration).

Quote
I was worried for quite some time, but my first impression is that Windows XP PRO is pretty good.

WinXp is probably one of the best OS that MS has come out with; inherently stable, from what I could see. I can't say anybody I know has had a real xp problem...some very minor things where the settings were wrong, not really the software. If I knew for sure I could 'disable' the "call home" feature I might go that way....

Quote
Turn off file and print sharing unless your computer is actually hooked to a network needing it.

I do have a small network here....the other computer is fine.

Quote
Set your email program to plain text only with images, scripts, and any other security setting set to high.

No can do....I do a lot of graphic type stuff which I need to send/receive by mail, but I do have excellent protection for my email. Stuff might come in to the ISP server, but it doesn't get downloaded if I don't want it (FrontgateMX mail filter RULES!)

Quote
Always virus check every program before you install it, even if you get the software from a reputable and trusted place like CNet and Tucows.

Yea, that's for sure.

Quote
Always check for updates to your operating system. It's usually free, and new security holes in operating systems are found all the time. The same would be true of major programs you use on the Internet (i.e. browser, email/news).

Yeah, it's a good idea, although if you've got ME, I'd hesitate to recommend that. An "unupdated" ME actually runs smoother and with less problems, but it's hard to keep IE properly updated unless you do the updates.

Quote
Be extremely careful with instant chat programs. Use the highest security settings, read reviews, and see if you want to take the risk of using them.

Don't have any....downloaded 1 (Trillian) which will work with the most popular ones (like AIM, Yahoo, MSN, IRQ etc.) but unloaded it because I don't use chat. I only have one person I neet to contact that way....so I just use AIM express (no download of programs). Haven't been to a "chatroom" in a looong time....way too many trolls.

These are all excellent suggestions, Tom. Thank you. I have already tried pretty much all of them...having volunteered and learned at an internet/computer security site for almost a year I am reasonably "net savy" and "security conscious", it's just this darn computer. I've got no problems with the other one.

Looks like it might need  a trip to the doctor....    Smiley

Gracey
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nChrist
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« Reply #3 on: July 15, 2004, 01:39:12 AM »

Oklahoma Howdy to Gracey,

Sister, if you need Windows network functions with the other computers, I think you are stuck in a Windows world. I don't have a clue about Linux networking functions, but I do know that many are running large networks on them. You know that would mean changing the operating system on the other computers too, as far as I know.

I did check some prices once on Linux type operating systems. I also read reviews about the various kinds of software that came with the system. It was IMPRESSIVE. The prices were almost like paying for media, packaging, and shipping (ridiculously low). I bet you could do Linux on all your systems and spend half what you would on Windows.

I just started using Open Office every day. They also have a version for Linux. It is excellent and free. It's also completely compatible with Microsoft Office, so I'm sure that Bill Gates has fits every time he hears about Open Office.

I really considered going with Linux when my computer fried recently. However, I found a door buster price on a computer that already had Windows. It's really just as well because I don't know how much I would have enjoyed trying to learn an entirely different operating system again. I had enough trouble going from DOS to Windows 95.   Grin  The change to 98 wasn't bad, and the change to XP is going to be less painful than I thought.

You just might try Linux if you're at a point where you have to spend money. You won't have to spend much to try Linux, and there are tons of folks making it better by the minute. It's about time there are other choices than Microsoft. Microsoft is trying to hold all of us hostage and make us buy all new software every 5 years. Well, I'm not going to cooperate. The operating system was already on the computer, but I'm using quite a bit of excellent freeware.

Good luck.

Love In Christ,
Tom
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Gracey
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« Reply #4 on: July 15, 2004, 07:57:28 AM »

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Sister, if you need Windows network functions with the other computers, I think you are stuck in a Windows world. I don't have a clue about Linux networking functions, but I do know that many are running large networks on them. You know that would mean changing the operating system on the other computers too, as far as I know.

Linux will do networking and I have considered it...I really don't like to give MS any more of my business, nor any more of my privacy.

The problem is the other computer is a factory loaded IBM laptop and I'm a little hesitant about changing the software: if you don't have what it was loaded with when you purchase it, you don't have a warranty, so for now, it stays as is (although I do have to say that the Windows 2000 Pro loaded on it seems very stable).

Quote
I had enough trouble going from DOS to Windows 95.

Oh, yeah, I hear ya! I had the same problem...took forever to learn DOS and by the time Win95 came along, I knew DOS so well I could use it in my sleep. I was very resistant to Windows...

Quote
It's about time there are other choices than Microsoft. Microsoft is trying to hold all of us hostage and make us buy all new software every 5 years. Well, I'm not going to cooperate.

I'm tryin not to cooperate either....I'm looking into free BSD and the GNU project, but there's not much programming that's available for running with BSD and I sure don't want to have to replace all my graphics programs.

I do use a lot of free stuff too...nearly all my security programs are free - the good kind of free (although, donations are helpful to the programmers) - where they actually keep improving it and updating it. Some of my graphics programs are good free ones too....I was using 602PC Suite (a free office suite, much like Open Office), but a friend gave me his MS Office which he no longer used, and I need the "Power Point" function in it. And I would really be lost without my E-sword. So, it looks like I'm gonna be stuck in a windows world, but if so, I'm gonna do it on my terms, and NOT theirs. I already shutoff their "autoupdate" feature, but it's mighty sneaky....keeps trying to go home anyways, hence the firewall. It doesn't get out unless I want it out    Grin

Thanks for all your help.

blessings
Gracey
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Kristi Ann
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« Reply #5 on: July 15, 2004, 05:05:57 PM »

YIKES Gracey, I am so sorry for your problems  Cry

Most computer's are IBM compatible now sort of..

I use Windows XP Home Edition, only problem though it comes with NT technology, so, some older programs for Windows will not run at all.  Sad

I hope you get your issues fixed Gracey!! If I can help in anyway, please let me know, okay...  Grin


Blessings Sis,  \o/

KristiAnn
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Gracey
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« Reply #6 on: July 15, 2004, 05:29:44 PM »

Thanks Kristi - I am up and running for now. Today it seems fairly stable (at least as stable as ME can get). I don't know quite what I did, but I fiddled around for 3 days and so far, so good.

Quote
I use Windows XP Home Edition, only problem though it comes with NT technology, so, some older programs for Windows will not run at all.

This is one of the reasons I don't really want to switch to xp, the other is:
 http://microsoft.toddverbeek.com/os.html
(the paragraph at the top)

Pray for me  Grin

Gracey
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Kristi Ann
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« Reply #7 on: July 15, 2004, 05:45:10 PM »

Thanks Kristi - I am up and running for now. Today it seems fairly stable (at least as stable as ME can get). I don't know quite what I did, but I fiddled around for 3 days and so far, so good.

Quote
I use Windows XP Home Edition, only problem though it comes with NT technology, so, some older programs for Windows will not run at all.

This is one of the reasons I don't really want to switch to xp, the other is:
 http://microsoft.toddverbeek.com/os.html
(the paragraph at the top)

Pray for me  Grin

Gracey

Praying Gracey!  \o/
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