Is my computer dying??

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jttheclockman

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Last couple days my computer is not loading. It gets to a certain point and then stops. I have to either reset or shut off and try starting again. Then a message comes on telling me the computer shut down because of some problem and will start again in 30 seconds and starts count down. It trys to start but again stalls. Finally 4 or 5 times I get it to load. Am I looking at the final days and be prepared for a burial or is there a common fix???
 
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Skie_M

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There are several programs you'll want to get your hands on to try to fix this issue .... Normally, when a friend is having these issues, I hand them a CD that contains a number of programs and test files as well as instructional text files telling them how each program works and how it's to be used. These programs are always free for download and use on NON-BUSINESS personal computers. You should easily be able to find and download current versions of these programs for free use on your personal system.

If these don't help fix your issues, then it MAY be a hardware problem relating to the hard drive or the motherboard, which I can't help from way over here, but here's to hoping!


This is the main instructional text files from my CD ... print a copy of it for your own reference (or pull it up on a secondary device) and download each of the programs from a reputable source, like filehippo or cnet, or better yet, you may be able to use a link to my OneDrive and get the files direct from there with the individual readme files in each directory.

1. Use First

Reboot Computer into "Safe Mode With Networking" (hit F8 a few times just before Windows starts to boot up, or whichever key combination is required for your system, if not using the exact same version of Windows)

Install and run MalwareByes Anti-Malware first (mbam-setup-1.65.0.1400.exe). Do a "Quick Scan". (5 - 10 minutes, may ask to reboot system, if it does, make sure you go back into Safe Mode with Networking)

Then install and run Avira Free Antivirus. Do a "Complete System Scan". (May take a few hours for a big hard drive full of stuff... and may also ask to reboot system, if it does, you can restart Windows in normal mode)

Next, proceed to Optional Tools.

2. Optional Tools

Install and run ccsetup323.exe to get CCleaner. This program can clean up your hard drive of unneccessary clutter and also cleans up your registry so that your computer will run more efficiently and quickly. Simply use the buttons to "analyse" and "fix problems" as needed, switching between the tab menus on the left for the different functions.

You can also use CCleaner to uninstall some programs and things, if the Windows uninstall doesn't want to properly work. Make sure that when you are fixing your registry, you allow it to make a backup in case there is an error in the registry cleaning.

Next, dfsetup210.exe will install Defraggler. This is a disk defragmentation utility that will help your files load faster from your hard drive by putting all the parts of the file back together into one location. You can opt to have this program replace the windows defragmenter utility if you want, but it's probably best not to allow it, so that you have 2 different options for disk defrag.

Adaware is a program that can remove spyware and other crap from your computer that run in the background and slows down your system. Spybotsd162 is another anti-spyware program that can help protect your system from spyware (that tracks your internet sites and usage and report these findings to 3rd parties). You can use both at the same time, but as they will run in the background you may opt to keep them off and just run a scan occasionally.


Next, you need to go online to install stuff in the next folder.


Now, that's actually as far as you PROBABLY need to go to ensure that any virii or trojans or worms and rootkits are removed from your computer. This should also clear up issues concerning unwanted programs or ads clogging up your system and errors in your computer's registry, which controls how your system runs. Last, but not least, defraggler may help with how quickly your operating system loads and runs, by re-arranging your files complete, and optimizing their location at the start of a hard drive's access areas, ensuring faster access. Good luck, and I hope it's NOT a hardware issue!
 

frank123

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Power supplies can cause this problem when they start going bad, and it isn't always apparent just by giving a quick test to the unit.

I had this problem and it was driving me nuts till I decided to put the tester on the power supply and watch it for an extended time. I found it was operating just fine almost all of the time but had an intermittent failure for a second or less on an irregular basis (but most often when it was under heavier than normal load as when booting).

Replaced the power supply and it has been operating perfectly for almost two more years now.

There are, of course, other causes in both software and hardware that can cause it, are you getting an error code of beep code when it happens? Lots of information on the internet to help explain them if you are.
 

sbwertz

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There is a program from piriform called SPECCY. It will tell you all about your computer, including the temperature of the components. Another tool to use along with the malwarebytes is ADWCLEANER (get it from malwarebytes...it's free, and runs fast. Run CCLEANER first, to get rid of excess garbage on the system, which will make the adwcleaner, malwarebytes and avira run much faster. Run them in that order. That should get rid of any malware on the system. The speccy will tell you if something is overheating.

Failure to boot is usually not a malware problem, however, but a hardware problem. Possibly a power supply or a hard drive that is beginning to fail, and has a faulty boot sector.

Is this a desktop or a laptop? What brand? How old?
 
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Skie_M

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Well, starting the system in safe mode removes the turning on of a lot of non-essential programs during the boot process .... the problem with running something other than a virus checker or malware removal first is, if it IS infected, then ccleaner's cleanup ability will be compromised, and everything it opens to check will then get infected. This is why you run the antivirus first to ensure that the system is clean.

Once you get past the antivirus checking and it's all cleared, then you re-boot into normal operation mode and run ccleaner to check and repair the windows registry, clear up your extra clutter on the hard drive for more virtual drive space, and remove unwanted programs.

These days, the antivirus also checks for and removes some malicious types of programs and adware, as it recognizes them as things you don't want in your system eating up resources and slowing it down, which is a good thing. The problem is that this issue sounds like it may be a boot sector bug that is causing intermittent problems.


Oh ... I just remembered! A few years ago, I was diagnosing some really WIERD intermittent issues on a PC that would occasionally just not even start. I found that the system was clogged with adverts and minor malware along with one serious malware (windows defender plus). Occasionally, the computer would randomly shut down (flat out turn off like the power went out!) I was curious about what the issue could be that would cause that, so I opened up the case ..... I found that most of the connectors on the motherboard and to the drives were coming loose! After securely plugging everything back in, no more random shutdowns, and I was able to clean the system up and get it working properly again. Why were the connectors loose? The computer was located less than 1/4 of a mile away from an artillery test firing range (Fort Sill, Oklahoma). The vibrations were loosening the connections.


Check your hard drive connectors, ensure they are not dirty and not coming loose! :)
 

jttheclockman

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Well I guess I need to add some info. The computer is an older desk top and in fact Sharon has helped me solve quite a few problems over the years with this computer. It is a no name built from pieces by a person over 10 years ago. I am still running Windows XP 64 which is no longer supported so getting those files for malware checks is not possible. I have tried in the past. It probably is a hardware problem. I will do a complete clean out and check of connectors. I may run it into a computer shop to at least have it diagnosed and tell me what it would cost and see if it is worth the effort to fix. I would have changed over to windows 10 but afraid to lose everything. I have downloaded files to a seperate drive in case of complete failure so I still have photos and files I need. I know this will cost at least $50 to even look at. This is a problem that just cropped up with no warning.

So lets take it to next level and it is too costly to repair, what should I be looking at for a desk top computer. I do not want a lap top. What brand, systems, programs, memory, processor and any other info would be helpful to move onto the next age.?? I am not a computer person so please make it simple to understand.

I do thank everyone for the help.
 

Gary Beasley

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I liked XP and when it came time to upgrade I went with Win 7, which seems way more stable than XP and runs most anything. I got a dos emulator to run the few dos programs I had left that were worth keeping. I hate Win 10 no matter how good they say it is, its layout and useability feels totally backwards to what I was used to.
 

jttheclockman

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I liked XP and when it came time to upgrade I went with Win 7, which seems way more stable than XP and runs most anything. I got a dos emulator to run the few dos programs I had left that were worth keeping. I hate Win 10 no matter how good they say it is, its layout and useability feels totally backwards to what I was used to.
I have heard this too. :)
 

Skie_M

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Well ... exactly what are you looking for in a computer?

Something cheap and reliable enough to do simple browsing? (go to a pawn shop, buy a recently manufactured laptop for under 200 bucks that has a good looking power supply .... an acer would be awesome)

Something cheap and reliable enough to do simple CAD work, like with SketchUp? (same answer as before, but up the max you wanna pay out to perhaps 300, and find one with not only a recent manufacture (windows 10 pre-installed) but also has a decent graphics chipset and a decent amount of RAM) ... Note that this will also easily handle the browsing requirements and picture processing as well.

Looking for light gaming, graphics loading, downloading of video files for playback and light editing? (see previous laptop/computer, should be able to handle it .... and then upgrade the hard drive to a larger one to hold the extra data. Note that the previous is just a laptop, as well as the one before it. Most pawn shops wont even take an actual desktop tower anymore.) max you'll want to spend on something of this nature, and keep in mind that you wont get to use it much since your kids will want to spend every waking moment gaming on it .... around 400 - 500 dollars total. You may also just want to invest in an external hard drive that you can move about between systems that you keep your personal files on, though a decently sized thumb drive would handle that even more securely. I've gotten 128gb thumb drives for under 50 bucks. That's plenty of room for pics, music, and personal files.

Something to do serious gaming or video editing on? (believe it or not, video editing is just as demanding on a CPU and GPU as serious gaming graphics engines ... you're looking at something nobody in their right mind would pawn, therefore you'll be building from scratch or getting one built for you.) These will cost you upwards of 1000 dollars for a serious gaming rig. Contact a certified nutcase or R.E.A.L. NERD near you. (might be both...)


Anyways, as you can see, lots of various options for picking up something that will at the very least, do the job you need it to do and not a whole lot more. Used computer shops can be shopped at for discrete parts, sometimes they sell re-built systems fairly cheap ...

Pawn shops carry the risk that the laptop you buy if it's not turned on when you see it may be locked with a password ect ... may be stolen ... so keep that in mind. You wont run into that problem at a used computer shop.

You also wouldn't run into that issue with a build from scratch system either. If you really want a desktop system (easier to work on to replace discrete components), then you can order the tower as a basic system from some place like TigerDirect or NewEgg and they'll ship it to you ... hook up your existing monitor and keyboard (or replace with new ones) and you should be good to go for many years. You can probably buy one for under 200 bucks.

I mostly mention the pawn shop offerings for another reason entirely, however, even with the inherent risks of buying something that might have been stolen or locked ... (double check it, of course). The laptops they are selling for under 200 bucks .... originally sold for over 1000. The higher end ones for 300 to 400 bucks ... may actually be older GAMING laptops that retailed at over 4000 dollars. Something like that would be portable, easily handle just about anything you throw at it, and be reliable for many years.
 

Skie_M

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https://www.arrowdirect.com/lenovo-thinkcentre-m81-3-1ghz-i5-4gb-320gb-drw-windows-10-pro-64-sff-computer-b/ looks like it may be a decent choice if you decide you need to go this route.

Lenovo ThinkCentre M81 3.1GHz i5 4GB 320GB DRW Windows 10 Pro 64 SFF Computer B
Product Overview

Condition: Used
Brand: Lenovo
Processor Type: Intel Core i5 Gen 2
Operating System: Windows 10 Professional 64 Bit
Processor Speed: 3100 MHz
Memory Installed: 4 GB
HardDrive Size: 320GB
HardDrive Type: Serial ATA
Item Brand: ThinkCentre M81
Form Factor: Small Form Factor


It has a serial ATA hard drive (decently fast storage, 320gb of space, which is more than enough for typical family usage, online browsing, media serving, but not enough for serious video file storage at all).

The processor is an Intel Core I5 2nd generation 3-core or 4-core processor, which can split the work load between the internal cores to make things go faster. 4 GB of RAM is more than enough to run Windows 10 and do light CAD work with SketchUp.

It has a small form factor footprint, which means it's easy to fit on or next to a desk (dont keep drinks nearby, of course).

Not 100% familiar with Lenovo brand, but I would avoid Dell and HP like the plague... and that's about all they offer there is those three brands.

The reason you avoid Dell and HP is ... proprietary parts. If something goes wrong or you need to change out a part, the ONLY way is to buy a used part online or go back to the manufacturer ... and since those are the ONLY sources, they can charge whatever the hell they want and YOU HAVE TO PAY IT OR GO WITHOUT YOUR COMPUTER. Plus, later down the road, when you upgrade to a new system, the parts from your Dell or HP WILL NOT FIT THE NEW COMPUTER EITHER. So you can't just migrate your parts over and upgrade piece by piece. You have to go to the expense of replacing the entire CPU tower in one go.


Let me look online and see if there's anything similarly bad about Lenovo .... though I think it's an IBM brand.


Checked ... fully upgradeable with off the shelf parts and components ... should be easy to upgrade to 16gb of RAM if you ever wanted to ... apparrently they swapped the hard drive out for a 320 rather than the 500 that usually comes with it straight from IBM. Anything you put in it that is from a retail store should work properly unless it has the Dell or HP logo anywhere on the box.


I also forgot to mention ... this is just for the tower case/powersupply that comes with hard drive, motherboard, RAM, CPU .... you'll need to re-use your current monitor, keyboard, and mouse ... possibly also your current power cord, as it SHOULD be detachable and just plug right in. Their price on this nice little machine? 109 bucks. It has a B rating though, probably for cosmetic concerns. The photo seems to be a stock picture, it MAY NOT come with an optical drive, but as long as your current system is NOT Dell or HP, you can actually move your optical drive over to the new computer... it'll take it and run with it! :)

Also .... on top of the 109 bucks, they offer free shipping ... not a bad deal at all!
 
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jttheclockman

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If you go by what you are saying they all just about use the same stuff except the brand name changes from what I started reading.
 

Skie_M

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Oh ... new update ... did a little digging on that site, this is what's further down on the page ...




So ... awesome! just cosmetic defects and you get the power cord, Windows 10, USB keyboard, USB mouse, and software registration for your legit copy of Windows 10.




HP and Dell are companies that use proprietary hardware tech ... it is NOT compatible with normal store-bought stuff ... Lenovo is straight from IBM, and they use off-the-shelf stuff you can buy in those stores. It's totally different.
 

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randyrls

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Failure to boot is usually not a malware problem, however, but a hardware problem. Possibly a power supply or a hard drive that is beginning to fail, and has a faulty boot sector.

To join the thread; Power supplies have a pin on the supply called "Power Good". During the startup process, the power supply will raise this pin to show that all power voltages and "rails" are at the correct voltage. The BOOT Process will check this signal to verify the proper operation of all the voltages. This takes about 1/2 second, but if the power supply isn't up to snuff or takes too long to stabilize, the whole boot process stops and doesn't continue. This may be caused by loose power connectors, so check that first. If the computer works and does what you want, replace the power supply.
 
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jttheclockman

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Failure to boot is usually not a malware problem, however, but a hardware problem. Possibly a power supply or a hard drive that is beginning to fail, and has a faulty boot sector.

To join the thread; Power supplies have a pin on the supply called "Power Good". During the startup process, the power supply will raise this pin to show that all power voltages and "rails" are at the correct voltage. The BOOT Process will check this signal to verify the proper operation of all the voltages. This takes about 1/2 second, but if the power supply isn't up to snuff or takes too long to stabilize, the whole boot process stops and doesn't continue. This may be caused by loose power connectors, so check that first. If the computer works and does what you want, replace the power supply.
Thank you. Once computer has booted and loaded everything works fine. It is just the start up will take a couple tries and this never did this. I will look inside today and clean out and check all connections. Hopefully it is something simple and even just replacing that part would not be too expensive as opposed to getting a whole new system. This computer has worked well for me with the help of people such as yourself and Sharon helping me solve basic problems over the years. I do not use computers much so I do not need a gaming machine or anything that big. Thanks again everyone.:)
 

Gary Beasley

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You might also try the Norton Power Eraser, I think its a free download. There may be bugs in the startup from malware. Ive used it several times on my old beast and it helped quite a bit.
 

Sylvanite

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Let me look online and see if there's anything similarly bad about Lenovo .... though I think it's an IBM brand.
...
Anything you put in it that is from a retail store should work properly unless it has the Dell or HP logo anywhere on the box.
FWIW, IBM sold it's personal computer division to Lenovo in 2005, and hasn't made PCs since. Lenovo is a China based company.

Most PC components, such as SATA drives, DIMMs (if the speeds/sizes match), and PCI devices will work in any brand of PC, including Dell and HP. I've upgraded memory, disks, etc. in my HP and Dell desktops and laptops several times.

Regards,
Eric
 

jttheclockman

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Back on Line

Just wanted to update those that responded to my question. It was the power supply that went bad. Had it replaced and now everything is working the way it use to. It loaded real fast. So for now we are happy again and maybe get a few more years out of this computer.

I want to again thank all that responded here and in PM. We are back on line.
 
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