TechSpot

various XP problems, not sure where to start...

By wiss22
Sep 7, 2007
  1. so, as the title says, i'm not sure where to start. how about with the problems i was having...

    i've got a dell inspiron laptop (details at the end of this post).

    i was getting the blue screens... errors about kernels and stuff (i have the details written down at home). i panicked after having lost my desktop's hard drive last december, so i cleaned everything off of it. and i started using the other account. the problems only seemed to happen when i used my account ("carrie"). i did some scans and cleaned it pretty well, i figured. so i started using the other account ("ben").

    since then, i've only gotten that message while logged on as ben once.

    it was working just fine for about 3 months. now the start up is soooo slow. i'm talking like 4+ minutes of the windows logo with the little bar that goes across the bottom. i don't use norton. i got rid of that as soon as i started visiting techspot.

    once i log on, it takes a long time to be able to do anything. i was using AVG but it started everytime i turned on the dang thing, and did a scan which really slowed down my ability to use the computer for the first hour it's on...

    i ran norton utilities (launched from the cd), and the disk doctor didn't find anything, but the windoctor found almost 300 problems (mostly with activex controls, etc.) and was able to fix them all. but that didn't speed up the startup time.

    so i uninstalled avg to see if that had anything to do with the speed. it doesn't. i downloaded that boot program, but i have no idea how to use it. so i started using random (certified, legit) scanning programs from uniblue. uniblue found over 100 instances of spyware in cookies and my registry, so i removed them. i also tried their registry scanner, which found over 700 problems. of course you have to buy their software to fix those errors, so i went to download.com and found a free, recommended program to fix the errors.

    it's still slow as heck.

    i downloaded hijackthis, but i'm not sure if that will help me. i don't understand what minidumps are, but i would be willing to learn about them and post one!

    i know everyone comes here with problems, so i hate to be another one, but here i am. i know i should just take the laptop in to have it looked at, but right now it's my only computer at home and i'm getting married in 16 days, so i desperately need it to last me at least until after the honeymoon! (gotta clean off the memory cards each night - and in my case, burn them immediately onto cds for backup!)

    i'm hoping there's something obvious i'm missing or haven't tried yet so i can prolong the dang thing for just another month or so.

    thank you sooo much in advance!!!

    carrie


    Inspiron 2200
    Intel® Celeron® M Processor 360 (1.40 GHz/1MB Cache/400MHz FSB), Microsoft® Windows® XP Home Edition
    Inspiron 2200 Intel® Celeron® M Processor 360 (1.40 GHz/1MB Cache/400MHz FSB)
    Memory 256MB,Onboard Shared DDR,1 DIMM
    Hard Drive 40GB Ultra ATA Hard Drive
    Operating System Microsoft® Windows® XP Home Edition
    Network Card Integrated Network Card
    Modem Internal 56K Modem
    Combo/DVD+RW Drives 24X CD Burner/DVD Combo Drive
     
  2. Daveskater

    Daveskater Banned Posts: 1,687

    open hijack this, click scan and save a log file then post your log as an attachment to this thread and we'll take a look
     
  3. wiss22

    wiss22 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    ok! thank you so much. i will do that as soon as i get home from work (and wait until i can get the thing started)!
     
  4. Daveskater

    Daveskater Banned Posts: 1,687

    that's ok, it's what we're here for :)
     
  5. wiss22

    wiss22 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    ok, here goes!!
     
  6. Daveskater

    Daveskater Banned Posts: 1,687

    i don't think i can see anything nasty in your log, but try downloading and running spybot s&d and defragment your hard drive. you could also try running the windows hard drive error checking utility, it only takes a minute :)
     
  7. wiss22

    wiss22 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    thank you so much! i had it on the carrie account, but can't find it on the ben one. i'll reinstall it.

    do you see any harm in deleting the carrie one (which was probably set as administrator...) if i've moved files to cd?
     
  8. Daveskater

    Daveskater Banned Posts: 1,687

    i don't think it would hurt if you've backed up your important files. make sure you set up a new administrator account though and use a limited one for general use, this helps prevent spyware from installing itself

    running a virus scan on your "ben" account would also scan the other accounts on the pc, as it scans the whole drive, so you can see if there is anything bad anywhere on the pc.

    another option is (if you're getting BSOD's) that your pc doesn't like a program that you've put on it. i can't really explain it better than this but it happens sometimes with laptops. my dad put AutoCad 2002 on his laptop and he continually got BSOD's after that
     
  9. wiss22

    wiss22 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    ok. maybe i'll leave it and just use the ben account like i have been.

    i ran everything you suggested but start up is still slow :( i guess i should be happy that there isn't anything major wrong with it... it's just so frustrating!!
     
  10. Daveskater

    Daveskater Banned Posts: 1,687

    if it came to it then you could do a format and reinstall which would be like having a new pc again (near enough anyway ;)) but if you can live with it like it is then you don't have to do it
     
  11. wiss22

    wiss22 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    thank you!!
     
  12. Aolish

    Aolish TS Enthusiast Posts: 171

    I'm guessing its a combination of things here:

    first off... realize that Dell is probably one of the worst companies when it comes to preinstall software bloat. They literally stuff there machines up with so much useless crap that most ppl probably wouldn't use. Add all that + Norton bloatness they love to install and you got yourself an already slow machine right when the customer gets it. To add insult to injury they don't even bother defragging the drive. :confused:

    Second, all the years of stray files, drivers, miscellaneous softwares, and registry entries that get collected (uninstalling/reinstalling programs) can collect in the system making it unstable and slow. The more you use your laptop/pc as time passes the more junk it collects. Just look at the amount of stuff you already removed. More then likely there are a lot more.

    Third, and probably the most important is the fact the laptop you have only has 256MB of ram (SHARED!). Most people here would agree 512MB should be the absolute minimum in running XP much less 256MB of ram. On 1GB an XP system just flies! Consider upgrading the ram or do a fresh format of the laptop.
     
  13. wiss22

    wiss22 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    thank you so much! once all the wedding projects are done and we're back from honeymooning in mexico, adding RAM and doing a fresh format will be at the top of my list!

    i love techspot. you guys rock!
     
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