7 yr old computer, is it dying?

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posted on Feb, 19 2008 @ 08:42 PM
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I have a 7 y.o. Dell, Dimension 4500, Pentium 4 CPU 1.8 GHz, 768 RAM (I had to add some memory, and was doing it as cheaply as possible)

I have plenty of room on my hard drive--using far less than half-- no movies, music or games.
Running current version FF, occasionally Opera.
Using up-to-date firewall (Sygate), virus (AVG) and Threat Fire. Just did alternative virus scan. Today ran AVG Rootkit. I also use WinPatrol.
All my MS Updates are up to date.
I run it 24/7.

For the last several weeks, odd things have been going on.
A couple of mornings the clock was off by hours.
Lately, and not often, the computer will completely freeze. Cannot bring up Task Manager. (Did it today when a page for a local site wouldn't load on Opera. )
Or, CPU freezes at 100%. When no one is using it, just background programs running.
Another odd thing, if you try to change the desktop background, you either have to go to the control panel or wait until you restart the computer.
Another odd thing I just say, almost ALL of my processes in the Task Manager say 00:00 for CPU time.....WTF does that mean

Is this a sign the Hard Drive is going?
Any other idea what could do this?
What are the signs of HD failure?

If my HD does go, would it pay to try to buy new parts (i.e., harddrive), and is anything reusable from my current setup?
Is six years a long time for a computer that has been treated relatively kindly
If I do get a new computer, will my ISP recognize the new computer, or do you have to call the cable guy?

I hope one of you computer savvy types will be able to please give me some insight, information here.
I hope to avoid being stranded without a computer. I don't like not knowing what may be happening.




posted on Feb, 19 2008 @ 08:48 PM
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The time being off seems like a mobo issue to me. Could be as simple as a clogged up fan over your processor and replacing your cmos battery. However, since it's 7 years old anyway, you might as well get a new one.

If you're running XP, you can run the Files and settings transfer wizard (FASTwiz)
Run it and save the export to your desktop. Then, buy an external drive enclosure. Plug your current HD into the drive enclosure, and connect that to your new computer. Run the FASTWiz again and import from your export on your old desktop.



posted on Feb, 19 2008 @ 09:42 PM
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FASTWiz, huh, gotta check that out, just in case


I also saw something on a geeky form, telling me to check the events viewer log in Admin Tools.
I'm getting errors and they are telling me I have "bad blocks" on my disk






posted on Feb, 20 2008 @ 01:09 AM
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Originally posted by DontTreadOnMe

I'm getting errors and they are telling me I have "bad blocks" on my disk


It means your hard drive is having a bit of trouble reading some areas of data.

You can generally clear it up by running chkdsk /f /r from the command prompt.

That should put you back in business for awhile.
Still, you may want to begin to plan for a new hard drive in the near future.



posted on Feb, 20 2008 @ 01:18 AM
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I can't see the problem being an HDD problem. Sure it's not impossible, but usually a dying HDD tells you in not very subtle ways that it's dying.

What I do see is several different (not related) problems. When a computer clock loses time in the form of minutes it is usually a sign of a failing CMOS battery or can be caused by too many background applications running like anti-virus programs and so forth that run all the time your computer is on.

If you want to you can let the PC keep its own time up to date. Windows XP can synchronize a PC with (so-called) atomic clocks connected to the Internet. To turn on the feature double-click on the time in the system tray, then click on the Internet Time tab. Make sure the "Automatically synchronize with an Internet time server" is checked.

One thing I've learned is that it's never, ever a good idea to run a PC 24/7. They need "breaks" too, you know. Don't be such a meanie!
Remember that your PC writes and reads all kinds of instructions to all kinds of memory devices (RAM/ROM/Virtual memory/etc) every single millisecond. The more it reads/writes over "older information" the bigger the chances of data-corruption and in the whole process the stability of your system deteriorates. A re-boot/"power off" every now and then lets your PC clear all the over-used memory devices.

All that said, 7 years is a good lifetime for a PC. It won't give you the same kind of performance you first got out of it, and it's going to go downhill from here. I usually get about 4/5 years out of a PC. It's really worth it to invest in that new PC you've been eyeing, and these days they're so cheap they're giving them away by the dozen a dollar. Buy the new PC while you still have all your data.

Usually there aren’t any issues when you buy a new PC with the ISP. It's usually pretty straightforward plug-and-play. At the most it will cost you a phone-call to the helpdesk.



posted on Feb, 20 2008 @ 03:43 AM
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Originally posted by DontTreadOnMe Lately, and not often, the computer will completely freeze. Cannot bring up Task Manager. (Did it today when a page for a local site wouldn't load on Opera. )



Hmmm. that's odd. Mine has done this about 3 times in the last week... always while online...

As for the background tasks.. Mine used to run at 50% cpu for no reason,but fixed it when I dloaded and ran SMITFRAUDFIX.EXE.

It's only a year old so I dont think yours is dying yet.Maybe some background mischief though.

Try getting PROCEXP.EXE too.. it gives you a better task manager to see whats going on inside there

Best of luck with it.



posted on Feb, 20 2008 @ 03:47 AM
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Originally posted by Gemwolf
One thing I've learned is that it's never, ever a good idea to run a PC 24/7. They need "breaks" too, you know. Don't be such a meanie!
Remember that your PC writes and reads all kinds of instructions to all kinds of memory devices (RAM/ROM/Virtual memory/etc) every single millisecond. The more it reads/writes over "older information" the bigger the chances of data-corruption and in the whole process the stability of your system deteriorates. A re-boot/"power off" every now and then lets your PC clear all the over-used memory devices.


Ooops!!.
I thought they were like lightbulbs. They last longer if you dont keep switching them on and off.
I think mines only been shut down 5 times in the last year



posted on Feb, 20 2008 @ 06:50 AM
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reply to post by makeitso
 


*YIKES*
I haven't defragged in a long time, probably would help at this point, thanks.



posted on Feb, 20 2008 @ 07:01 AM
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7 years old???
Sorry, but it died 5 years ago and has just been holding onto the last spark out of loyalty.

They are only built to last 1 year, and obsolete after 2.5.

If your clock is off, probably the bios battery is going, or the cmos is corrupted.
Battery? easy---corrupted cmos? not so easy.

Nice thing is that computers are currently pretty cheap, and you can walk into Wallmart and pick up a new one for about the same price it would cost you to get the old one fixed------under $500.
Problem with old computers is the same as with old cars---after a certain point they nickel and dime you to death.



posted on Feb, 20 2008 @ 07:17 AM
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Originally posted by gotrox
7 years old???
Sorry, but it died 5 years ago and has just been holding onto the last spark out of loyalty.

They are only built to last 1 year, and obsolete after 2.5.


Nooo way.
I still have my old p3 700mhz running stable music software on windows 98(cubase 3.5 lol)

When I'm not using it I use it to block the hole in an old disused fireplace



posted on Feb, 20 2008 @ 07:19 AM
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One other thing----1 antivirus----1 firewall----1 antispy/malware.

If all are running on access scanning, and you have 2 or more in each catagory, it will lock you up, just too much work on a single core cpu and low ram. A good cleanout and defrag ( in that order) will always help out an aging system----or kill it off finally .


I prefer WinTools.net

Not only will it clean out old files, log files, temp files etc, it will also clean out the registry, gives a startup modification page to disable all those pesky tsr's that don't get used, a privacy cleaner to delete all those stored pages upon pages of cached webbies, recent documents, and however many weeks or years of website histories.
Also has a very nice net tweaker to tweak your particular connection type.

And no, you probably don't have to call your cable provider for a new box, even if they go by MAC addie, just copy the old one down and change the new one to it.



posted on Feb, 20 2008 @ 07:31 AM
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reply to post by AGENT_T
 



Sure--I gots an old summitorother that was bought in 80 sumpin--cost 7 grand and only runs dos from a 5 1/4 floppies.
Also have an Apple 2 that still boots, and the original mouse, monitor and keyboard.
6 or 7 in the garage from P1's to celeron 1.3's, and the one by my bed is a Gateway AIO running an AMD 400.

But I also have boxes of parts no longer manufactured for most of them.

But I run Cakewalk 7.02 offn this one, a Phenom with 4 gig ddr2 @ 1066, 750 gig Sata 300, Radeon HD3870, and M-Audio 10/10 with a '___'-8VL as my mixer. Not to mention a 22" 2ms lcd.



posted on Feb, 20 2008 @ 09:38 AM
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reply to post by DontTreadOnMe
 


dtom,

Back blocks refers to parts of the hard drive which cannot be read and written to.

What this means is back up ALL your data (music/movies/documents...) to something else.

Expect your hard drive to soon be failing, you must not waste time before you do your backups-waiting could result in drive going fully bad or your data being correpted/unrecoverable.



Dtom, feel free to u2u me any q's or for help.



posted on Feb, 20 2008 @ 09:58 AM
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reply to post by DontTreadOnMe

For the last several weeks, odd things have been going on.
A couple of mornings the clock was off by hours.

 


I detect alien abduction possibly occuring here. Aliens are logging into ATS on your pc to analyze your browsing history and temp files for ATS activity. Whats even worse, they maybe posting cryptic bs on your account. With that, give us a sign this is really you communicating your pc problemo with us.

My advice, get an intel duo quad core and live!



posted on Feb, 20 2008 @ 10:35 AM
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i would say just backup your stuff and reinstall everything. a lot of problems are just software issues that sort of evolve over time. installing/uninstalling apps leaves junk behind, apps that replace or insert files that may or may not cause flakiness...

assuming the hardware itself is all fine, then you would probably benefit from doing a reformat/reinstall. it's sort of drastic i guess, but if all else fails...



posted on Feb, 20 2008 @ 10:58 AM
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Originally posted by makeitso
You can generally clear it up by running chkdsk /f /r from the command prompt.


Better make that chkdsk /f /v /r /x



posted on Feb, 20 2008 @ 12:35 PM
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Originally posted by Beachcoma
Better make that chkdsk /f /v /r /x


Hi Beach,



/V
On FAT/FAT32: Displays the full path and name of every file on the disk.


Why would you want it to list every name of every file?
Presuming he has FAT/FAT32 that is.


/X
Forces the volume to dismount first if necessary.


I thought the reboot took care of the dismount?



posted on Feb, 20 2008 @ 02:09 PM
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Oh yeah... that V option isn't really necessary. That's my own habit... I like to see what the program is doing at that point (plus I was assuming NTFS). As for the X option... it allows you to run chkdsk on the other drives without a reboot. To run it on C: you've got to reboot anyway.



posted on Feb, 20 2008 @ 09:19 PM
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Originally posted by gotrox
One other thing----1 antivirus----1 firewall----1 antispy/malware.


And no, you probably don't have to call your cable provider for a new box, even if they go by MAC addie, just copy the old one down and change the new one to it.


Yeah, I kinda knew that, especially about the firewall and antivirus.
But, running SpywareBlaster and AdAware has never cause me any problems. There are some problems that do cause MAJOR grief if you run them together, been there....


Thanks for the tip about the addie,



posted on Feb, 20 2008 @ 09:24 PM
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reply to post by mrmonsoon
 


Hey, mr monsoon, you sweetie, thanks for that info about "bad blocks". It;s kinda what I feared to be the case. LOL, ried to do a defrag last night and damn neared thought I killed it.
Got verrrry slow, froze, took a verrr long time.

Will work on backups this weekend, what is the masic stuff to copy. Obviously any Word files, pictures. I do have an thumb drive with some stuff on it and use Mozy for offline picture storage.
I figure just make a list of the software I use and reinstall.
Figure to install the firewall and antivirus first.





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