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Old 12-31-2008, 10:22 PM   #1
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Default Hello! The newbie screwed up her computer.

Hey everyone, I was hoping someone could give me some suggestions to fix my issue without having to wipe it clean and start over. Sorry if this isn't the correct format for this, btw. I don't know exactly what I did (well, kinda) and I've tried everything I can think of. Anyway, to the issue.

About three weeks ago, I had downloaded various media players I found online so I could watch certain tv shows that weren't on netflix. I knew it was a pretty dumb thing to do at the time and I don't know why I went ahead and did it. I downloaded around 3 of these and also another thing that would convert videos I took on my digital camera to a format that could be posted online (quicktime files were too big). I had absolutely no computer issues until the day after Christmas, when I decided that I didn't need any of these programs (except the video converter) and uninstalled them.

Prior to the uninstall, I could have multiple IE windows running, as well as windows media player and pretty much any other program I felt like running. Nothing was slow, nothing crashed, and everything was cool.

Post uninstall, WMP started being crazy slow. I had a 30 second lag time between songs. That was annoying, but I figured it was due to the fact that I was organizing everything. Soon after, IE windows started loading very slow and eventually they all started to crash. I was constantly getting those "IE has encountered an issue and must close" windows. I was annoyed enough that I bypassed IE and started using our firefox browser instead and had no issues. Everything loaded fine in firefox, but WMP was still running slow. Bringing up any other program (word, adobe, etc) caused the computer to freeze, except I still had mouse control. CTRL+ALT+DEL was always needed to get rid of every program except firefox, because they were not responding.

I've done a disc cleanup, defragmented the computer, did a search for any programs installed in the past two weeks (to see if I missed something), reinstalled WMP, and finally did a system restore and I'm still having issues.

We have ZoneAlarm, AVG, and SpyBot on the computer. Everything is up to date and I've ran multiple scans of the computer. A couple of days after this happened, AVG did find two trojains, but took care of them and I can't remember what they were.

One thing I found today was that on a restart the computer states that it's found new hardware that it wants to install, but I'm not aware of anything new on the computer. Doesn't mean my husband hasn't added anything and I just don't know, but I seriously doubt it. I have no idea if that's related or not.

Computer wise, we're running XP. Not sure what specs you'd need, but the computer specs say it's an AMD 3000+, 1.8 GHz, 2 GB Ram. The C drive has a capacity of 176 GB and when I went to do defrag and do a system restore it wouldn't let me because it was maxed out. I mentioned this to my husband and he seemed shocked, because last he checked, there was more than enough room.


Anyone have any ideas? I think it's pretty clear I've downloaded some nonsense, but I'm at a loss for what else to do. Since this is a custom built computer, I don't want to mess with too much and my computer skills are apparently lacking.

Thanks for reading if you're around on New Years Eve!
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Old 01-01-2009, 02:03 AM   #2
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Default Re: Hello! The newbie screwed up her computer.

if you have your windows disk, put it into the cd and select the repair option.
it could be that the uninstall of those programs has damaged windows.
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Old 01-01-2009, 11:19 AM   #3
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Default Re: Hello! The newbie screwed up her computer.

The best thing you could really do is try to repair it with the Windows XP disc. If that doesn't work, reinstalling is the best way to fix it. It's not hard to do, just back up your stuff you need on external hard drives or CDs/DVDs, get drivers from the internet beforehand if you don't have the install discs, and put in the XP disc to format and reinstall. It's pretty straightforward to do. Just follow the instructions. When you come to format the drive, do a full format.
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Old 01-01-2009, 02:43 PM   #4
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Default Re: Hello! The newbie screwed up her computer.

Well sometimes you need to go into the bios and choose boot order to CD/DVD drive to make it run from the XP disc. But other than that, it is probably one of the easiest things you can do to fix your computer. Very straightforward and once you do it, you will always know how to do it. I have had to reformat my various computers 5 or 6 times. It does not take long and lets you start from scratch. Just make sure you back up any music and video files because it is very hard to remember what songs you had lol.
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Old 01-27-2009, 09:18 PM   #5
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Default Re: Hello! The newbie screwed up her computer.

Hi everyone. Just wanted to pop back in and say thank you for all the suggestions. My husband ended up repairing the computer, but if this ever happens again, I'll definitely keep in mind the option of repairing with the XP disc. The issue ended up being a trojain that was masked as a downloaded song, which is why WMP was running so slowly. We were able to delete it and repair any damage.

As a side note, we're currently in the middle of an complete wipe and reinstall on that computer, due to the fact that the computer basically imploded the day before yesterday. We had an electrical problem, in which our electricity blinked off and on 10 times in 10 minutes. It never got to the point that I could do a safe shut down of the computer and it screwed something up. The harddrive seems to be fine, but there was no way to repair it and keep our pictures and documents, so we're starting from scratch.

Interestingly, the computer I'm typing this on wasn't affected by the power issue, even though it was running with the problem occured.

Anyway, I just wanted to post what ended up happening with this and thank everyone for their help!
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Old 01-27-2009, 09:57 PM   #6
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Default Re: Hello! The newbie screwed up her computer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by splash View Post
As a side note, we're currently in the middle of an complete wipe and reinstall on that computer, due to the fact that the computer basically imploded the day before yesterday. We had an electrical problem, in which our electricity blinked off and on 10 times in 10 minutes. It never got to the point that I could do a safe shut down of the computer and it screwed something up.
You should invest in some quality surge protectors. Further more, shutting your computer off by unplugging it or holding the power button is much safer than letter the lightning and power surges turn it off for you

Quote:
Originally Posted by splash View Post
The harddrive seems to be fine, but there was no way to repair it and keep our pictures and documents, so we're starting from scratch.
Since you said it was working fine, if you (or a friend) had a seperate computer, you should have plugged it in and copied any important info off of it before you reformatted....
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Old 01-28-2009, 03:26 AM   #7
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Default Re: Hello! The newbie screwed up her computer.

I would strongly, strongly recomend you have a top drawer anti virus program running any time you're online. If you download music and videos you really need a good AV. As you learned some aholes lace the files with nasty stuff.
As for the power flickers, a surge suppressor isn't really the answer, although it's better than nothing. Get a UPS. APC makes some really solid ones that won't break the bank to buy. I have 2. One smaller one for my P4 rig by itself and the BIG daddy for my core2duo rig along with the 32" LCD tv.
I don't know where you are but Office Depot seems to have the best prices for the APC line.
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