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Sound Computer Advice!
#1
Well, I just completely violated my very first law of what to do when your computer goes on the Fritz, and I am passing this on to all of you as sound advice that will fix any computer problem over 50% of the time.

But first a little background. For the past year, since building my new computer, I have experienced several crashes and necessary reinstalls. This is terribly time consuming, is great for learning all about computers, yet is supremely frustrating, as it takes up most of an entire day to reinstall the OS, and all the software programs.

This morning, my browser was acting up, so I rebooted and I got the blue screen of death. With every reboot, I continued to get it. Even in "Safe Mode", I was only able to transfer all my data to my exterior hard drive that I use for backup. On top of everything I could not reboot from my Windows XP Pro disc. What a mess! I couldn't even reformat the harddrive.

So, after attempting all I could do naturally, I set up a plan of action. I went to Sams and purchased a new 160Gig hard drive, scooted to Tigre Direct and purchased another 'slide out tray' assembly, since I use slide out trays for all my hard drives and disc drives. BTY, this is a nice setup as I can pull out any drive I want and take it with me to another computer that has pull out tray capability.

Anyway, I got home, took the new hard drive, and installed it into the new slide in tray, and proceeded to slide it into the computer, after removing the old hard drive that was giving me all the trouble. It booted up fine and I simply formatted the drive and installed the OS. I had one slight hitch at the end, as a blue screen appeared, but I got around it and finished the install.

Then I began installing all the drivers, and software. In the process of going through the numerous reboots, my touch pad started acting up, and then on the next reboot, I got the origional screen where the computer was in the process of recognizing all the hardware, and then the screen went blank,................................and nothing happened. WHat!? I tried this several times, and to no avail.

Out of total frustration, I thought long and hard, and realized that there was one thing that I had forgotten to do. Why I did not do this first, I don't know, as it is the first commandment of computer repair when the system crashes, acts quirkey, or generally screws up.

So I turned it off, unplgged everything, and removed the side panel. Then I took it outside and blew out all the accumulated dust. Then I set it on my work table, and proceeded to remove all the cards( my modem, and graphics accelerator/video card), Then I removed my memory, and finally replaced them after wiping all the contacts. Now, I physically removed every connection to the motherboard, and all the connections to the hard drives, DVD Rom, DVD Burner, card readers, and floppy disc device. After cleaning the connections, I reinstalled each one back. Then I replaced the side panel, reconnected the cords, and turned the computer back on.

Everything worked like a charm!! I couldn't believe that I had been so "brain dead" as not to have done this first thing.

So, the biggest piece of advice to anyone here who experiences ANY computer problem is this. Remove the computer, clean it out, and remove and reconnect every connection within the computer. That one connection that you forget to reinstall could be the one that is causing you your problem. It has caused many a computer repairman AND computer user much grief in the past and is guaranteed to do so in the future.

So if you have a problem, it is pretty certain that you have a loose connection, rather than some other more complex one. Try what I did, and you will be able to fix over half of your problems, guaranteed.

Also, if you do this every six months even when you have not problem, you will probably NEVER have a problem. S6
___________________________________________________________________________________________________
"INSIDE EVERY PROGRESSIVE IS A TOTALITARIAN SCREAMING TO GET OUT" - David Horowitz

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#2
Remember to be grounded when you mess with cards, and make SURE to get rid of the dust - it can short out circuits as quickly and easily as the static discharge that's going to happen when you touch your computer without grounded yourself first.
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#3
(Thumbs in suspenders) Yeah, Yeah! (cough into fist) Yeah. I do this everytime I........eerrrrrrrr.......have computer problems. (clears voice). Yep! This is what I do every Monday........errrr.......each month. (clear voice) Good Job, John! Well done, my man. OS1 :mrgreen:
Solo~

When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty. --Thomas Jefferson
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#4
Well, I've been almost ashamed to complete the story, since it will not give me a clean ending, but I suspect that a little more truth is in order. And don't forget that what I stated above is great advice.

But I have actually diagnosed the problem accurately. And it really wasn't a dusty case, or loose connection, as I origionally thought. Here is what finally came to be the problem.

As I mentioned above, I love to use slide out trays for my hard drives. This allows me to use multiple OSs, when ever I want them, and it also allows me to take my hard drive from one computer to another if it too has the tray assembly. My second, and older computer, also has the slide out trays. I am a firm believer in them.

BTY, you can get them at Tiger Direct for about $16 for the drawer And tray assembly. That is dirt cheap, and most convenient. All I have to do is turn off my computer, unlock the existing tray, slide it out, and insert the new one, and turn on the computer, and I am off and running with Linux, or which ever OS I like.

Anyway, I needed to get some stored information from my old drive that was giving me trouble, so I decided to turn it on, go into "safe" mode, and transfer that information to my exterior hard drive, where I always store all my backup and Mp3 music, and graphics.

when I turned the old drive on, it simply rebooted without problem. I was scratching my head on that one. But after transfering the information using the normal mode, I needed to reboot as my Microsoft update automatically updated itself and required a reboot to set it up. So I went through the reboot, and it screwed up with the blue screen again. Now, I'm Really scratching my head.

But the light finally came on, and I tried out my latest theory. I turned on the computer with the new harddrive, and it booted up. Now, I opened the side panel while the computer was on, and put my hand over the rear of the slide out tray assembly, as there is a fan in the rear for extracting the heat from the hard drive. NOTHING! The fan was not working. That really means something, because the hard drive is totally encased within the drawer, and without a fan, it will quickly overheat.

So,.........I turned off the computer, disconnected all the wirings, and placed it on the work table. There I simply removed the old Drawer, and replaced it with the new one I had just purchased at Tirer Direct. I reinstalled the unit, turned it on, and Voila!, everything worked fine. So, I have a 160Gig hard drive, with a partially set up system, that will make either a great backup OS, or can be used for something else.

It's amazing that 160 Gig hard drive can be purchased for under $80 today. That's 2 gigs for only $1! Talk about cheap.

Anyway, my real problem was a malfunctioning cooling fan. And simply eliminating all the possible simple problems still solved my problems. So, if you don't keep your equipment cool, you will surely get into trouble, as I just learned.

Anyway, that is the story as it stands now. If any other problems crop up, I will let you all know.

BTY, this is good to learn, as it can certainly be turned into a nice little side business in the retirement village. All those old farts getting their computers from their children, or getting their own, and having constant problems that they will pay good bucks to have fixed. I'll bet that a savy fellow can make more money fixing old folks computers than he or she could ever hope to get from Social Security.

And believe me, I am really learning the computer ropes. I'll be a real expert just in time to come down with dimentia, and forget everything I ever learned. :roll: S6
___________________________________________________________________________________________________
"INSIDE EVERY PROGRESSIVE IS A TOTALITARIAN SCREAMING TO GET OUT" - David Horowitz

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#5
I have been reading through all of this with a slightly amused expression on my face.

Okay... Maybe a little more than "slightly". S2

Seriously though... If any of you geriatric types need help setting the clock on your VCRs, just send me a PM. S6
"Most people just want tomorrow to look pretty much like today." - Terry Pratchett
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#6
Seabird Wrote:I have been reading through all of this with a slightly amused expression on my face.

Okay... Maybe a little more than "slightly". S2

Seriously though... If any of you geriatric types need help setting the clock on your VCRs, just send me a PM. S6

Is there a emoticon for sticking one's tongue out? thththththththththhhhhhh :!:
Solo~

When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty. --Thomas Jefferson
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#7
SOOOOoooooooooo. What have we here? A couple of folks who are only able to turn the thing on, and point their antiquated Mouse around, Hmmmmm?

Well, I am in the middle of a learning process, that is challenging AND exhilarating. To me, the ability to fix a problem, without going into "tilt" mode is important. Hey, as an old fart, I take this as an important thing to accomplish. I'm not some young geek, whose cranial hard drive is only half filled.

So. Go ahead, eat your heat out! I can fix my computer, and you can't. Wink1
___________________________________________________________________________________________________
"INSIDE EVERY PROGRESSIVE IS A TOTALITARIAN SCREAMING TO GET OUT" - David Horowitz

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#8
John L Wrote:So. Go ahead, eat your heat out! I can fix my computer, and you can't. Wink1

[Image: z33.gif]
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#9
Gunnen4u Wrote:[Image: z33.gif]

LOL! :mrgreen:

John, please understand that my derision is merely an attempt to ensure job security. IT folks are the Alchemists of the modern age. It wouldn't do at all for people to learn how to service and maintain their own systems. It wouldn't do at all.

Least not for me. S6
"Most people just want tomorrow to look pretty much like today." - Terry Pratchett
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#10
What is interesting is that at one time a couple of years ago, the very thought of having my computer crash and burn, was thoroughly intimidating. But luckily, I have a friend who has helped me through all this, and I am not the same computer person I used to be.

And having built my first computer, that was the watershed. I'm still a novice with working in the BIOS section of my motherboard, but I am going to tackle it next, as I have no problem getting in and out of it easily. It gives me a true sense of power that I am not a slave to the system anymore. When something goes bad, I don't panic. I just make sure that all my data is saved, and then go right to work fixing the problem, knowing that it helps me learn more about how to be self sufficient with the computer.

It really does give one a true sense of power. I kid you not. Wink1
___________________________________________________________________________________________________
"INSIDE EVERY PROGRESSIVE IS A TOTALITARIAN SCREAMING TO GET OUT" - David Horowitz

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#11
John L Wrote:It really does give one a true sense of power. I kid you not. Wink1

[Image: z33.gif]
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#12
Gunnen4u Wrote:[quote="John L"]

It really does give one a true sense of power. I kid you not. Wink1

[Image: z33.gif][/
quote]
I've gotta have that thing you've got there, Tait. Funeee.
Solo~

When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty. --Thomas Jefferson
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#13
he got it at Speak Free USA. I think he is a moderator there. I could be wrong though.
___________________________________________________________________________________________________
"INSIDE EVERY PROGRESSIVE IS A TOTALITARIAN SCREAMING TO GET OUT" - David Horowitz

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#14
John L Wrote:he got it at Speak Free USA. I think he is a moderator there. I could be wrong though.

@ John,

I am. S2

@ Solo,

here is the image link:

http://forums.speakfreeusa.com/forums/im...es/z33.gif
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#15
Gunnen4u Wrote:
John L Wrote:he got it at Speak Free USA. I think he is a moderator there. I could be wrong though.

@ John,

I am. S2

@ Solo,

here is the image link:

http://forums.speakfreeusa.com/forums/im...es/z33.gif
I've already tried that link after posting, but I also want the whole thang lik all the other pictures. Do I have to be a member to get to these? Will try John's link now. Oh BTW, do I know Major I?????? S5
Solo~

When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty. --Thomas Jefferson
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#16
SoloNav Wrote:
Gunnen4u Wrote:
John L Wrote:he got it at Speak Free USA. I think he is a moderator there. I could be wrong though.

@ John,

I am. S2

@ Solo,

here is the image link:

http://forums.speakfreeusa.com/forums/im...es/z33.gif
I've already tried that link after posting, but I also want the whole thang lik all the other pictures. Do I have to be a member to get to these? Will try John's link now. Oh BTW, do I know Major I?????? S5

i can't get the thing to show up, just this URL

[url=http://66.98.134.222/forums/images/smilies/z33.gif[/url]
OK, that didn't work either.

http://66.98.134.222/forums/images/smilies/z33.gif
Drat! that didn't work either.

:z53:
I giveth up.
Solo~

When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty. --Thomas Jefferson
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#17
You need to wrap it in image tags.

It works if you click on the link.

Do this:

[img] <the link I gave> [/img]
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#18
Gunnen4u Wrote:You need to wrap it in image tags.

It works if you click on the link.

Do this:

[img] <the link I gave> [/img]
[Image: happybounce.gif]

FUN! FUN! FUN!
oH WHATa beauTIful moRNING...............I'M GONNA HAVE SOM FUN....

NOTE: I want everyone who reads this to know that I came back up to this post and did it correctly AFTER it not being done correctly the first time!
Solo~

When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty. --Thomas Jefferson
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#19
SoloNav Wrote:
Gunnen4u Wrote:You need to wrap it in image tags.

It works if you click on the link.

Do this:

[img] <the link I gave> [/img]
[Image: happybounce.gif]

FUN! FUN! FUN!
oH WHATa beauTIful moRNING...............I'M GONNA HAVE SOM FUN....

[Image: misc.php?do=getsmilies&wysiwyg=0&forumid=30]
HEY! THAT DIDN'T WORK.
[Image: misc.php?do=getsmilies&wysiwyg=0&forumid=30]
Solo~

When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty. --Thomas Jefferson
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#20
[Image: angry-smiley-044.gif]

[Image: violent-smiley-017.gif]

What some folks do in the bedroom:

[Image: action-smiley-073.gif]
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