Computer still crashing after diagnostic test came out fine...confused and frustrated.

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posted on Jul, 23 2011 @ 07:52 AM
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Ok I am at my wits end!! I can't take this computer much longer. It's about to sleep with the fish, literally. I have a lake in my back yard and I'm dying to see if I can toss it that far


Anyone who frequents chat will know my constant computer issues. Now they are getting beyond annoying.

About three weeks ago it stopped working, took it in and long story short it was just the power cord. I was so happy that was all it was. I had a diagnostic check done after because of the issues I have with it. They said they would check it out and if they found anything tell me. Well they said there was nothing wrong with it, no viruses or spyware type stuff.....If that is the case then WHY does it still do the same annoying crap?! I am so frustrated I could cry.

It an HP Pavillion Z E4300 Model ze4365us


This is what it says on system info: (Why can't i copy past this information either? Lame!)

Windows XP Home Edition 2002
Service Pack 3
Mobile AMD (AtlhonM) XP2200+
1.79 GHz 448 MB of RAM

I have AVG for scanning (virus and all that other scanning is a pain!) and I also have one that is from Windows. There was McAfee on it but it expired, my roommate never used this computer. It has had more use from me in 6mths than the 5 or so years he has had it. It literally collected dust.


I have IE, FF and Chrome on here. I don't use IE because it literally takes 5mins to open and it is extremely slow and closes 75% of the time with an error "Internet Explorer not responding." I fill out the little opt to report the issues EACH time and it's obvious that does absolutely nothing!

I prefer FF, never really had problems besides the "FF isn't responding" and I can't get into chat with FF
so I use Chrome. I like Chrome and the features esp since I use a lot of google features like Blogger and Picasa. However when using Chrome and ONLY Chrome "shockwave" crashes ALL THE TIME. I have googled this and it appears it is a problem one they said they are working on in 2009! It's been two years and it appears people are STILL waiting. IF there is a fix I can't find it. It also will just crash Google and say "google not responding" and then it resets and opens a new Chrome _ The other day it just turned to a blue screen with writing then RESAT all on its own. How is anyone suppose to understand that screen when it is only there for 3 seconds! I try to take pictures of error screens when they pop up but this was not possible.

I am beyond frustrated. I need to have a computer that works for various things I do and not having one for three weeks killed me! I can't afford to buy an Apple right now which is what I prefer (lesson:NEVER sell your Apple for a plane ticket, ever!) and I REFUSE to spend any more money on PC's. I had an Acer and the motherboard went in 13 months...funny because someone in chat one day referred me to a link with that same Acer saying it was a top laptop. I couldn't help but laugh, it was crap. This HP is much nicer but I'm lost as to why I still have issues when it was looked at and they found nothing.

I just want this thing to work and not have these issues. It makes it very frustrating to do anything. I have lost threads, emails, applications. I have had to take Home Depots "personality test" for a job 3 times because it kept freezing up.

So I know there are some computer geniuses here, do you have any suggestions? I know the obvious is to buy a new computer and suck it up and just get a PC but that will not happen. I will only have the same problems
My roommate will get it fixed if it needs anything like upgrades so that is fine. I dont think this is all that bad of a laptop it's 10 times better than my Acer I had. I just want it to stop crashing all the time.




posted on Jul, 23 2011 @ 08:04 AM
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a hard suggestion to get things back to normal:

1. back up important informations and files
2. format the harddisk
3. install the operation system
4. install only software you want to use

p.s.: have you tried cleaning software like ccleaner to get rid of "rubbish" ?



posted on Jul, 23 2011 @ 08:05 AM
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Your computer sound pretty old now, so it could be the thermal compound on the processor/heatsink has dried up causing the processor to over heat.

A new tube of thermal compound costs only about $10 to $15, you just have to scrape off the old dry compund from the processor and heatsink then apply a new layer.

There are also lots of video's on Youtube to show you how to do it.



posted on Jul, 23 2011 @ 08:08 AM
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every so often I like to wipe the hd and reinstall only those things that I actually am using. I am a long ways from a genius but for my money it helps with the stability



posted on Jul, 23 2011 @ 08:10 AM
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Originally posted by icepack
a hard suggestion to get things back to normal:

1. back up important informations and files
2. format the harddisk
3. install the operation system
4. install only software you want to use

p.s.: have you tried cleaning software like ccleaner to get rid of "rubbish" ?


The only thing on here I want to keep are my pictures and my resume. Everything else is replaceable. I don't download any extra programs really.

The only extra things I download are: Skype, FF, Chrome and iTunes. I try not to download anything mostly because this isn't my computer and with my last one it caused a lot of problems downloading extras.

I had CCleaner on my Acer and I could never figure it out. I would scan and then it would tell me I couldn't get rid of what was there if it was bad. I can't stand the scanning that has to be done on here, never had that on my Powerbook. It just did everything behind the scenes basically lol

As for formatting the hard disk I am NOT computer savy, I have no idea what that really means let alone how to do it. If there is a step by step guy I can use then I'd try it.


I have done a system restore on my Acer before. Can that be done on here? I think my roommate still has all the disks that came with it if so.


Thanks



posted on Jul, 23 2011 @ 08:13 AM
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Originally posted by NeoSpace
Your computer sound pretty old now, so it could be the thermal compound on the processor/heatsink has dried up causing the processor to over heat.


It DOES make a lot of noise sometimes and it does get hot. When I put it in sleep mode overnight the first thing in the morning when I open it back up it's very quiet. No noise and it takes forever to get it running from sleep mode. Once it's running it makes all kinds of noises...closely resembling a car trying to rev its engine, if that makes sense.


A new tube of thermal compound costs only about $10 to $15, you just have to scrape off the old dry compund from the processor and heatsink then apply a new layer.


Oh that sounds like a good fix. I will have my computer guy do it. I will ask him specifically for this only.


There are also lots of video's on Youtube to show you how to do it.


I don't trust myself scrapping the computer
I will look at the videos but if it's something where I have to take the computer apart, I'll let a pro do that. I am not afraid of programming stuff and learning that but opening it scares the crap out of me! LOL!

thanks



posted on Jul, 23 2011 @ 08:21 AM
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i agree, if the laptop is older than 2 years, you should open it and get rid of the dust and dirt.
that could solve the problems.



posted on Jul, 23 2011 @ 08:21 AM
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reply to post by mblahnikluver
 


Download yourself a copy of PClinuxOS 2011 and try running it live w/o installing. It's free.

If you like it you can install with a dual boot setup. I have Win XP and Linux. When booting, it just asks you to choose.

With the Xp, it could be the service pack three.

I use XP to play games.




posted on Jul, 23 2011 @ 08:24 AM
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I too recommend nuking and loading. There could be some memory or processor problems but that costs money to fix. So my first thought before spending money would be to reload the system as someone has already suggested. It is also very possible that with the age of the laptop that the registry has got so large it is almost unmanageable and slowing things down. I deal with things like this daily and when people start freaking out and letting their blood pressure spike, I have to remind them that this is the reason why we should not put so much faith in computers. They are far from perfect and should be treated as such.



posted on Jul, 23 2011 @ 08:27 AM
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Originally posted by icepack
i agree, if the laptop is older than 2 years, you should open it and get rid of the dust and dirt.
that could solve the problems.


Oh yeah it probably has that because it was on top of it and its been sitting. I will tell them to clean it as well as do the thermo thing the other member mentioned.

Thanks



posted on Jul, 23 2011 @ 08:28 AM
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Originally posted by yourmamaknows
reply to post by mblahnikluver
 


Download yourself a copy of PClinuxOS 2011 and try running it live w/o installing. It's free.

If you like it you can install with a dual boot setup. I have Win XP and Linux. When booting, it just asks you to choose.

With the Xp, it could be the service pack three.

I use XP to play games.




I am not computer savy. I would have no idea to do anything like that. I have been told many times to do a dual boot with Linux but I'm not comfortable adding programs like that. I'd mess something up lol

I have seen online that SP3 has issues...go figure!


thanks



posted on Jul, 23 2011 @ 08:34 AM
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Download this software, the free version
www.iobit.com...
and run it on deepcare scan, its a very powerful free tool and will clean/correct many errors
on your pc. Also make sure to keep windows up to date with start/control panel/windows update. Uninstal any virus software you have atm avg ect, use the the iobit uninstal from the same software I linked 'in tools section' and download windows essentials, its better than any freeware security program and is less of a system hog. Try to upgrade your ram, half gig of ram is very low. start/run type msconfig/enter go to start up section and turn off any uneeded junk, you want to minimize any programs or background sevices on that pc, ram cpu are so poor that its not gonna do much more than 1 task at a time.
Hope this helps out a little, goodluck.



posted on Jul, 23 2011 @ 08:40 AM
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Hi Mblah,

there's a couple of things I'd suggest that might be helpful. First of all, if you have MSE (Microsoft Security Essentials) then there is no need to have AVG as well. In fact, having the two installed can cause problems. (The same goes for having any two different virus/security scanners installed.) So I'd suggest you uninstall the AVG. I also used to run AVG but after installing MSE I ditched it as MSE does it all anyway.

You can uninstall AVG by going to Start > Control Panel > Add or Remove Programs, then click on AVG and uninstall.

The second and possibly major issue is your computer's registry. After a while, the registry gets lots of junk in it and it needs to be cleaned up and fixed. I use the Eusing Free Registry Cleaner. You can d/l it from their own site here or from places like FileHippo or MajorGeeks. Good product and easy to install and run, and it automatically backs up a copy of the registry as well. (This is important.)

It is very important to run scans on the registry occasionally. This is the part of the system that effectively keeps track of where everything is, and it functions something like a cyber filing cabinet. After a while, various bits of data that show where files, folders, programs etc are get moved around, other bits of data in the registry are for things that no longer even exist on your computer, and so on. Cleaning up the registry makes the computer's processes run faster, more efficiently and more reliably.

Also, whenever you uninstall any software, the registry should be cleaned up because it's common that bits of the software's registry data will stay in the registry and they need to be removed.

About CCleaner: this is also an excellent product and I'm puzzled why you had issues with it. Perhaps you had a buggy version. I keep mine up to date and use it daily to clean out junk from the system. It could well be that you have many MB of garbage data sitting on your hard disk (and also cluttering up the registry), and using CCleaner to remove it all will definitely help. So I'd strongly recommend you d/l and install the latest version of CCleaner and use it. Yes, I know it's a pain doing scans but once the worst of the rubbish is removed the computer should run much better.

If all else fails then reinstalling the operating system is the way to go, but it's worth trying these other options first.

Best regards and I hope this helps,

Mike
edit on 23/7/11 by JustMike because: A typo



posted on Jul, 23 2011 @ 08:40 AM
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Originally posted by Skewed
I too recommend nuking and loading. There could be some memory or processor problems but that costs money to fix. So my first thought before spending money would be to reload the system as someone has already suggested. It is also very possible that with the age of the laptop that the registry has got so large it is almost unmanageable and slowing things down. I deal with things like this daily and when people start freaking out and letting their blood pressure spike, I have to remind them that this is the reason why we should not put so much faith in computers. They are far from perfect and should be treated as such.


Haha sorry I'm one of those who freaks out and panics at the same time


I never had computer problems before with my computers but I always used Apple.
It's a long story why I don't have one now but I will eventually get another because these issues drive me bonkers.

I try and talk nice to it but it doesn't work. It is secretly trying to cause me to complete go insane...its working


When you have spent hours typing something out and you lose it because "oh snap shockwave crashed" it causes rage and high blood pressure. I don't have Word so I can't type and save there, my roommates ex uninstalled it when she did something to it a few months ago before I used it. I have tried to download other programs like word but they crash too.....seriously I have the worst luck with computers it's not even funny.

Thanks



posted on Jul, 23 2011 @ 08:41 AM
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It's a laptop that is past it's prime.
Time for another one.
Sorry



posted on Jul, 23 2011 @ 08:55 AM
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Back up pics & docs -
MAKE sure you have the driver disc for the pc - if not go to HP website for this device and download some of the main drivers for this device like chipset, network etc - because once you have wiped the drive most of these will need reinstalling and without at least the above 2 drivers you can't get on the Internet to download the rest of them along with subsequent windows updates
ALSO make sure you have the licence code for windows - if the stickers not on the case use "keyfinder" free utility that will show your licence code...
pop xp cd in drive
Reboot pc - it should say do you want to boot from cd (if not press F2 or del to enter BIOS and change the boo options to boot from cd)
Boot off the XP disc and it will show you the C drive with your OS on - if you choose to install on this it will tell you there is already an install present and show you the options to delete this then confirm deletion.
Do this - be prepared to spend the best part of a day coming back to the pc to keep installing windows updates..
At this point you can install remaining apps.

I would then suggest getting a USB drive and "easeus" disk image freeware - you can then create a "clean" image of your disk to restore in the event of a future issue.

Hope this helps - there is no other solution worth bothering with.
As an add to this I would definitely clean out case with a can of compressed air and add thermal paste to the CPU as well - just ve careful with this as you could damage mainboard if the screwdriver slips when taking the CPU fan off..

Good luck - post back if need anything else?



posted on Jul, 23 2011 @ 08:55 AM
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reply to post by mblahnikluver
 

Ok... Stop downloading other programs to find out what's wrong with your computer. Use Windows error logs to see what the problem is. Keep in mind that it has been a while since I've used xp so there might be some slight differences.
1. Start, hover pointer over "My Computer", R-click and select manage from the dropdown.
2. Select event viewer in the left pane.
3. Select Windows Logs
3. Click on System
4. When the logs populate, click below the scrollty bar to go one screen at a time. What you are looking for is a red X at the left side of the middle pane. The best way to do it is to note the exact time that windows crashed and look for something around that time. When you find a red x (Critical Error) note what it says under the general tab in the bottom window of the middle pane. If you get a 0x00000 type error google it. It will give you a clue about what program is causing the problem. If it doesn't then check out what was starting up right before that critical error. Windows will log every action, so if a program or service is starting up, it will be logged. Find the offending program and disable it under msconfig and restart. If it's a program you can live without delete it. If you can't live without it, uninstall it and reinstall. Most likely if it's not a hardware issue you will be able to figure out what is causing the problem.
Good Luck!



posted on Jul, 23 2011 @ 09:09 AM
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You're in luck, Mblah. This is my area of expertise.


First and foremost, that computer has nowhere near enough memory to run Windows XP and do anything else on the computer at the same time.

What's causing your lockups and Firefox/IE or any other program to say "Not Responding" is since you don't have enough memory, the computer has to use the virtual memory on the hard drive constantly. Basically what's going on is called hard drive "thrashing" where programs have to keep being moved from memory to the hard drive, then the hard drive back to memory. This back-and-forth swapping of programs from memory to the hard drive and back to memory is what is mainly causing your lockups, thus causing programs to "Not Respond".

It takes a long time for programs to be written to the hard drive from memory and vice versa and that's what all of your computer resources are constantly waiting on.

Furthermore, your computer has an on-board video card, and that is taking up even more of the amount of memory that computer has.



At a minimum, these are the things you will need to speed up that computer:

1.) More memory.
If you were to put 2 GB (gigabytes) of memory into that computer, that would solve half of your problems. For that computer, it only has 2 memory slots, so I would get two 1 GB memory sticks (to equal 2 GB).

For the sake of having a source (and price), I'd get two of these.

2.) New harddrive.
The hard drive in that computer is a 4200 RPM hard drive and is a very slow hard drive. I'm not sure if that hard drive is an IDE Ultra ATA100 / ATA-6 or an IDE Ultra ATA133 / ATA 7. Best Buy's Geek Squad or any other computer store should be able to tell you what kind of hard drive interface is used in that laptop. Since I can't see the laptop, I can't tell.

If your hard drive is:

IDE Ultra ATA100 / ATA-6 - I'd get this hard drive.

IDE Ultra ATA133 / ATA 7 - I'd get this hard drive.

Either hard drive above will be faster than what you have now.


Also, if your laptop didn't come with a Windows XP CD, then you'll need to buy one (if you get a new hard drive). You can get it from here.

Best Buy or another computer store might be able to get the Windows XP recovery files off of your hard drive and put them onto another hard drive so that you can reinstall Windows without having to buy a CD.

If you do buy a Windows XP CD, then you'll need to also download the drivers for your laptop. You can get those from here.

Don't worry about downloading the "BIOS" or "Firmware" drivers. Everything else you will need if you purchase a new hard drive and a Windows XP CD to install a fresh copy of WIndows XP. Also, install them in the order they are listed on the downloads page.


I think that's about it. New memory and slightly faster hard drive will make that laptop go as fast as it's going to go. The CPU is a single-core and pretty slow, so don't expect miracles. But your lockups and "Not Responding" problems will go away. And the laptop will be a little more manageable.

I hope I explained it in a way that is understandable. Any questions, feel free to shoot.




** Edit to add: You don't need a new hard drive to speed up that computer. The additional memory alone will help a great deal and stop most of your lockups. However, a little bit faster hard drive and fresh install of Windows will also add a little more speediness to that computer as well.



**Edit to add Part 2: The reason why the diagnostic tests came back fine is because there is actually nothing "wrong" with the laptop. It just has insufficient memory, a slow processor, and a slow hard drive. Windows XP requires 512 MB just to function and that's all your computer has installed. Your on-board video is taking up some of that memory, so that's even less memory for Windows XP to even function properly, let alone trying to run any other program like a browser or chat application.





edit on 23-7-2011 by _BoneZ_ because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 23 2011 @ 10:06 AM
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reply to post by mblahnikluver
 




I have AVG for scanning (virus and all that other scanning is a pain!) and I also have one that is from Windows. There was McAfee on it but it expired, my roommate never used this computer. It has had more use from me in 6mths than the 5 or so years he has had it. It literally collected dust.


Just haw many anti-virus programs do you have? You can only have one, and that one will automatically see the others as a virus. Tell you what. Download Microsoft Security Essentials. Got your your control panel, and un-install all other anti-virus programs, all of them. Restart the machine. Install Microsoft Security Essentials, do the update, and a short scan. This should take care of your problem. If the machine still crashes, it is most likely a Registry error. If that is the case, you may need a fresh install of Windows.



posted on Jul, 23 2011 @ 10:49 AM
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Mblah, I see there are alot of mixed responses here. I'll respond to others' responses here in this post so you can get an idea of who is giving you the correct advice that you seek.



Originally posted by icepack
1. back up important informations and files
2. format the harddisk
3. install the operation system
4. install only software you want to use

The above would still bring Mblah back to where she is now because her laptop does not have enough memory to run Windows XP and run any other program at the same time.



Originally posted by NeoSpace
Your computer sound pretty old now, so it could be the thermal compound on the processor/heatsink has dried up causing the processor to over heat.

If the computer was overheating, it would continuously shut down and not start back up until the CPU is cooled enough.



Originally posted by icepack
i agree, if the laptop is older than 2 years, you should open it and get rid of the dust and dirt.
that could solve the problems.

It won't solve any of her problems, but it will help with better airflow and cooling inside of the laptop.



Originally posted by Skewed
There could be some memory or processor problems but that costs money to fix. So my first thought before spending money would be to reload the system as someone has already suggested.

And since the laptop barely even has enough memory to run Windows XP, let alone any other programs or apps, this solution would still leave her at square one where she is now.



Originally posted by Atzil321
Download this software, and run it on deepcare scan, its a very powerful free tool and will clean/correct many errors on your pc.

Her computer barely has enough memory to run WIndows XP, let alone installing another scanning program. Her computer isn't experiencing tons of errors. She is experiencing lockups and "Not Responding" messages because her resources are tied up waiting for programs to be written to and from the hard drive, and to and from the memory.

Adding more memory will keep programs in the memory and stop the hard drive thrashing.



Originally posted by JustMike
First of all, if you have MSE (Microsoft Security Essentials) then there is no need to have AVG as well. In fact, having the two installed can cause problems.

The above is true, however I don't recommend using MSE at all. It is buggy, and takes up way too many system resources. I recommend AVG Free or Avast Free (I use Avast). Avast takes up very little resources and is adequate for any antivirus needs.



Originally posted by The Utopian Penguin
It's a laptop that is past it's prime. Time for another one.

This is true. However, if one can't afford a new laptop, the only other thing to do is upgrade the one you already have.




Originally posted by facchino
there is no other solution worth bothering with.

Reinstalling Windows will bring her right back to square one since her laptop does not have enough memory to run Windows and any other program or app. So, there are plenty of other solutions to look at except reinstalling Windows at this point.



Originally posted by autowrench
Tell you what. Download Microsoft Security Essentials.

Again, I highly recommend not using MSE due to the bugginess and amount of resources that program takes up.


That laptop needs more memory at minimum, new memory and a new hard drive at maximum.


I've been doing this for 15+ years. I've been to college for this. This is what I do. Any college-educated, and experienced computer tech should've given you the correct answer right off the bat, and should've immediately recognized the lack of memory that your computer had.

But, I can't tell you who to listen to or not to listen to. All I can do is give my professional opinion and hope you make the right choice.





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