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  1. #1
    Ultimate Member Agent_Embryo's Avatar
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    AE's Windows Troubleshooting Guide

    EDIT!

    THIS POST IS NOW EXTREMELY OLD. IT MAY BE HEAVILY OUTDATED AND IS NOT MAINTAINED IN ANY WAY! USE WITH CAUTION!

    /EDIT!

    This is a little webpage I cooked up today, being one of the people other people will call when their PC slows down, or acts up. It's nothing new for any PC enthusiast out there, but I hope it can help some people who knows little more than how to install a program on their PC.

    If anyone has any corrections, additions or other comments, feel free to post them here or send me a PM.

    I hope someone will find this useful.

    This is mostly aimed at Windows XP, but may apply for other Windows Versions as well.

    Changes:

    2006-09-03: Edited the document, added a little something on Personal Firewalls.

    -----
    Agent Embryo's (Very) Basic Troubleshooting for Windows PC's!

    So your Windows PC is acting up? It's slow, unexpected things happen when you surf the Internet, etc, etc? There are some things you can do yourself before calling your local computerguru to have them troubleshoot your computer. These steps are easy and anyone who can install a program should be able to do these things before calling someone. Using the advice here can also prevent alot of trouble.

    GOOGLE! (or any other search engine of choice)

    Whenever you have some sort of question, go to www.google.com and search for webpages dealing with your questions first! Chances are you can find something relevant on the first page of results. This is the first thing you should do, unless something stops you from reaching the google site. If you don't do it and then later post your questions on a forum where the users regard the answers as being easy to find with a quick search, you will get answered "Google is your friend" or something similar.

    Windows Update

    Windows isn't perfect, as you may know. Security holes are discovered frequently, and updates are issued as often. Some updates are critical, some are not. Installing them all is a safe bet. Some patches have been known to slow things down however, so if your PC becomes notably slower after updating, do a little research on the patches, maybe others are having the same trouble.

    You should check for updates for Windows each month at least. Beware that the updates can sometimes be huge downloads, so doing this over dial-up is not recommended.

    Antivirus Software (AV) and Personal Firewalls

    This is a MUST. There are people who run their computer without it for years without catching a single virus. They might tell you it's not necessary to use AV software. Alright, but when you DO get a virus that AV software would have stopped, and you have to reformat your harddrive, making you lose everything on it, you'll wish you had used AV software.

    There are a number of free antivirus programs on the internet, download one and use it. One of the most popular (and in my opinion one of the best free AV programs) is called AVG, and can be downloaded from www.grisoft.com. Free of charge, free updates. You can set it up to fetch updates automatically if you like. There are others too, google "Free Antivirus" if you want to find them.

    Commercial alternatives include Norton Antivirus(or Norton Internet Security), Avast, F-Secure, Trend Micro PC-cillin and many others.

    There are also a number of online antivirus scanning utilites if you suspect you already have a virus, and don't have any AV software installed. I like Trend Micro's Housecall (HouseCall - Free Virus Scan) but you could try out a few different ones. Scan your PC for viruses if it behaves in odd ways.

    Personal Firewalls are used to block hazardous incoming traffic from the internet, and to control application access to the internet and/or network. A personal firewall can be great protection, but it can be difficult to configure for someone who doesn't know much about computers. Windows XP has a built-in personal firewall that usually works for most people. For more advanced software, there's for exampel the Norton Internet Security suite.

    Get rid of any Spyware on your PC

    Spyware is almost as bad as viruses, if not worse. This is what is said about spyware on the homepage of Spybot Search & Destroy, a program to find and remove spyware:

    Spyware is a relatively new kind of threat that common anti-virus applications do not yet cover. If you see new toolbars in your Internet Explorer that you didn't intentionally install, if your browser crashes, or if you browser start page has changed without your knowing, you most probably have spyware. But even if you don't see anything, you may be infected, because more and more spyware is emerging that is silently tracking your surfing behaviour to create a marketing profile of you that will be sold to advertisement companies.
    Spyware can cause serious slow-downs and odd behaviour on your computer. Download and install Spybot Search & Destroy and scan your computer. While Spybot S & D can find much spyware, it won't find it all. That's why it is recommended to scan your system with another program as well.

    AdAware http://www.lavasoftusa.com)
    SpywareBlaster SpywareBlaster® | Prevent spyware and malware. Free download.
    Microsoft Defender Computer and Internet Security | Microsoft Safety & Security Center (credit to Bill in SD, CA)


    For more on common spyware solutions, have a look in this thread:
    http://www.techimo.com/forum/t114250.html - thanks to vass0922

    A way to avoid much spyware trouble is to change what browser you use to browse the web. Good alternative browsers are available here:
    www.mozilla.com
    www.opera.com


    Trojans

    Programs designed to get into your PC and run some sort of service, or spy on you, or completely take over your computer, Trojans are usually included when scanning your system with Antivirus software. Some might not be found however. Sometimes downloading and scanning the computer with something like The Cleaner (MooSoft Development, Home of The Cleaner) can reveal that you have trojans on your computer and remove them. If you do have trojans, it might be because your software has security holes. Refer to the "Windows Update" part on this page.

    So now we have updated Windows, and scanned the computer for any viruses, spyware or trojans that may cause trouble. Maybe we found some problems, maybe not. Time for the next part.

    Recently Installed Software

    Did you install any new software recently, that may cause problems? Many Programs and Games need updates and patches just like Windows. Check the developers homepage to download patches and updates. If you have system restore activated you can try restoring to a point where the computer worked.

    Drivers

    Maybe you updated your device drivers for something recently, like your Graphics card, or your soundcard? Nvidia, for example, use the same driver package for all their Graphics cards, from the TNT GPU series up until today's newest cards. Some newer drivers may cause older graphics cards to run slow. Test some different versions of Graphics Drivers (ok you might want to call your local computer guru now, if you think this is your problem and if you feel experimenting with the drivers is a pain or a bit beyond what you feel comfortable with).

    As a rule of thumb, your drivers should all be the latest version, but sometimes there's problems with certain versions of different drivers not working properly together. But again, try to have the latest drivers available. Below is a list of links to different manufacturers' sites where you can download drivers. Avoid downloading drivers from sites collecting drivers as much as you can. You never know what might be in there with the drivers.

    Manufacturer Links:
    Nvidia(Graphics and Chipset): Welcome to NVIDIA - World Leader in Visual Computing Technologies
    ATI(Graphics): Advanced Micro Devices Inc.
    VIA(Chipset): http://www.via.com.tw
    Intel(Chipset, Graphics, NIC, anything Intel basically): Laptop, Notebook, Desktop, Server and Embedded Processor Technology - Intel
    SIS(Chipset): Welcome to Silicon Integrated Systems Corp.

    Still not working right?

    Ok, so now's the time to call for help. Call the support/helpdesk for your computer, or call your local computer superhero. Good luck!


    I hope this will help you solve your problems, if it didn't I'm sorry. If it caused more trouble, I'm sorry. I can take no responsibility for any of the programs I've linked to messing up your system worse than before.
    Last edited by Agent_Embryo; June 29th, 2012 at 12:25 PM. Reason: Outdated post

  2. #2
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    great page! an asset to the TIMO community!

    although most info on that page is of a general nature, it's a great way to introduce the tech issues affecting non-tech-savvy individuals in an easy-to-understand way.

    great job!

    ~Branson
    I'm an Eagle Scout! (1997)

  3. #3
    Ultimate Member Agent_Embryo's Avatar
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    Cool, thanks

    It's hosted on my home webserver, so you know if it's not reachable.

  4. #4
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    I
    Last edited by Lilbeah; October 31st, 2004 at 04:18 PM.

  5. #5
    Smile. It's easy. :) paul9's Avatar
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    you may have an incorrect tv standard set. look thrugh your manual for info on how to change from ntsc to pal mode or vice versa.

  6. #6
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    some body please help when i ins-tall software it come with
    16 bit Windows Subsystem
    ---------------------------
    C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\AUTOEXEC.NT. The system file is not suitable for running MS-DOS and Microsoft Windows applications. Choose 'Close' to terminate the application.
    ---------------------------
    Close Ignore what can i do--------------------------
    ---------------------------

  7. #7
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    1. sounds like you're trying to run a really old app on Windows XP. You should be able to right click the executable and say to run it in compatiblity mode for windows98 or something
    2. You should start a new thread so you can getter help.


    AE.
    #Still not working right?
    Go on TechIMO! lol

    For the spyware page.
    you can check this thread for more info
    http://www.techimo.com/forum/t114250.html
    or clean up the data and create a new page on it with the info.
    Helicopters don't fly; they vibrate so much and make so much noise that the earth rejects them.

  8. #8

    corrupt operating system and office

    help me with this one...when i boot the computer it opens but i cant reinstall the operating system and even the microsoft office.its prompting me to select the appropriate program...the documents also...what do you think is the best for this?

  9. #9
    Supporting our military Bill in SD, CA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rvgarcia0528
    help me with this one...when i boot the computer it opens but i cant reinstall the operating system and even the microsoft office.its prompting me to select the appropriate program...the documents also...what do you think is the best for this?
    Welcome to TechIMO!!

    Start a new thread for this.


    Bill in SD, CA
    *****
    The final legacy of the United States will be that in the end liberalism shamed & destroyed the heritage of this great nation. How sad as I see no turning back. When in Rome ..

  10. #10
    Supporting our military Bill in SD, CA's Avatar
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    AE, very nice indeed!!

    Add MS's AntiSpware Beta 1 to your links.

    Bill
    *****
    The final legacy of the United States will be that in the end liberalism shamed & destroyed the heritage of this great nation. How sad as I see no turning back. When in Rome ..

  11. #11

    Exclamation Diagnose XP - A Windows XP Diagnostic Guide

    Here is a more indepth guide:

    Diagnose XP - A Windows XP Diagnostic Guide

    "The following guide will help you troubleshoot the most common causes of system problems.

    Diagnosing System problems can be very complicated and time consuming. There are no simple solutions. Windows XP systems should never Lock-up (freeze), display Blue Screen Stop Errors or Randomly Reboot. These are all warning signs something is wrong or misconfigured with your system."

  12. #12

    solution

    Quote Originally Posted by rvgarcia0528
    help me with this one...when i boot the computer it opens but i cant reinstall the operating system and even the microsoft office.its prompting me to select the appropriate program...the documents also...what do you think is the best for this?
    i installed avg anti virus.the virus corrupted its system

  13. #13

    same problem cannot install program

    Hi i have the same problem as bonphuong and it is driving me nuts. when you say right click on exe how do you get to this if you are loading from a cd. I am trying to install a legal accounting program and cannot.
    any help would be nice, thanks in advance

  14. #14
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    i just bought a game and my computer meets all of the requirements...but im guessing theres a problem with my windows installer...because i get an error message every time i try installing...any help would be nice

  15. #15

  16. #16
    Senior Member buckaro's Avatar
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    Hey, soz to be grave digging(but hey, it is stickyfied ) but i thought i'd just say you should put something up there about firewalls. As most people know, XP's OS really isn't very good, a good firewall is essential for anyone on the internet or even on a home network IMO.

    Anyway, nice little post, if everyone took just those steps it would save us a whole lot of hastle, time, and money!

  17. #17
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    goood job man

    Fine job done double thumbs up for u
    DemhaTec

  18. #18
    Hey dem. Don't know how you found this post but it's like 6 months old . If AE is interested in keeping it updated I'd suggest getting rid of windows defender as it is now a piece of crap. ms has most deff ruined that one. You could add grisoft antispyware (formerly ewido) if you need a replacement .

  19. #19
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    I agree, it would be nice to update this thread even for new members.

  20. #20
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    reboot and select proper boot device or insert boot media in selected boot device

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