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Thread: Computer ground to near halt

  1. #1
    XT
    Guest

    Red face Computer ground to near halt

    Hi all.

    I'm helping a friend fix a computer problem. His computer is a brand new PIII, 64 megs ram, hdd has 6+ gigs avail., running Win98SE. He's also running Norton Disk Dr and anti-virus.

    He was surfing the web, and locked up. Not knowing what to do, he hit the 'reset' button on his cpu--it sounds like probably multiple times.

    His Norton Disk Doctor did a scandisk at reboot. It found a couple of lost clusters, with reportedly nothing in them, but he made an 'undo' diskette just in case (as suggested by disk dr).

    The hdd was then reported to be OK.

    Windows WILL BOOT UP. However, it takes 15 minutes or so. The mouse is glitchy. Everything you try to do is delayed: if you simply try to open Windows Explorer it has to sit and think about it for a several minutes!

    It's acting as if there are no resources available. If you check system resources, however, they are 98% free. As mentioned, there is also plenty of hdd space.

    I went over to help him. We did another scandisk. The scan disk took approx. 30-45 minutes to run, delaying for a long time on checking directories.

    We did not elect to check the disk surface.

    Everything checked out fine, but the computer still barely runs.

    If you start into "safe mode", the computer still takes forever to boot, and acts as tho it's under heavy load. You can barely move the mouse, and all actions are greatly delayed.

    You can disable start up items, and it doesn't seem to help.

    I also ran a scanreg from dos. Scanreg found no problems.

    The only unusual thing I saw was when I looked at device manager in control panel to see if there were any conflicts. There were NO conflicts. But, the FIRST time I looked, however, I saw hdd and floppy disk drives (or controllers, don't remember which) installed MULTIPLE times. Later in our 6 hour troubleshooting session, I decided to revisit device manager and possibly try removing the extra installs...but they were now fine! Each item was listed only once. This may be a clue.

    Again, it is difficult even to poke around on this machine at the speed it's operating at...it probably took 30 minutes to boot up, open control panel, open device manager.

    I'm looking for any suggestions. Could there be a hardware problem, caused by the hard reboots?

    Could it be a virus, that just happened to kick in and lock him up, that is now robbing all resources even though the computer doesn't show that?

    Or is it a corrupted file or registry issue? Will we need to try reinstalling win98se?

    The last thing I can think of to try before giving in to a reinstall (lol) is to perhaps go back to a previously saved registry (user.dat and system.dat) and see what happens.

    I have found all kinds of troubleshooting info related to startup or shutdown problems, but all are related to absolutely not being able to boot windows. In this case, windows WILL BOOT, but the computer is running at probably 2 mhz....slower than molasses....as if it has NO resources.

    Any suggestions, anyone?

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Senior Member bug's Avatar
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    Lightbulb

    reformat and reinstall from srcatch. Gonna be allot faster in the long run Would seem that something is corrupted on the HD. W98 just took a dump....

  3. #3
    7
    Guest

    Talking

    Why is everyone's solution to reinstall and reformat? oh yeah, 'cause it's windows
    Although reinstalling and reformatting will help you in almost any case, it's a pain. I would try just doing a reinstall minus the reformat that way if it works, you don't have to reinstall every program agian. If it doesn't work still, give it a flying elbow.

    ------------------
    You don't stop playing because you get old, you get old because you stop playing.

    [This message has been edited by 7 (edited 10-03-2000).]

  4. #4
    Senior Member bug's Avatar
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    Wink

    Doesn't take all that long, with some practice. I can reformat and reinstall, with W98 up and running, with all the updates D/L and installed in 2 hours

  5. #5
    XT
    Guest

    Post

    THANX for the replies so far, gang.

    So far, sounds like there may be something corrupted...and the symptoms aren't something obvious.

    Looks like I could try re-installing win98 over the top, and if that doesn't work, fdisk and start over.

    Thanks for the replies, and if anyone has any other suggestions, please reply!

    Thanks again, all.

  6. #6
    Sid
    Guest

    Post

    Sounds like you have a user.exe file that has been corrupted. Click start then run and type in SFC. Start scan for altered files! Sorry about the click routine, I guess its habit.

  7. #7
    Sid
    Guest

    Post

    Hell while your at it, go to the startup menu and go to safe mode command prompt only and do a chkdsk. Let me know what the system memory is and I'll check for a virus for you.

    Sid

  8. #8
    ***ScrUm***
    Guest

    Lightbulb

    sounds like this could be a MEMORY issue as well! Bad RAM, If you have 2 sticks of memory in your computer try taking one out and see if the PC boots better . Its worth a try! My Boss just had the same exact thing happen to him and it was bad ram . I hope this helps some

    Oh BTW , Be very carefull when useing SFC because ,some files may be displayed as corrupt, and they have just been modified especialy the user.exe

    Good luck
    Hope this is of some use to you

  9. #9
    ***ScrUm***
    Guest

    Exclamation

    MEMORY!! its the easiest thing to do first

    I have found all kinds of troubleshooting info related to startup or shutdown problems, but all are related to absolutely
    not being able to boot windows. In this case, windows WILL BOOT, but the computer is running at probably 2
    mhz....slower than molasses....as if it has NO resources.

    Any suggestions, anyone?


    After all RAM is what makes the computer zip through applications and if that ram is no longer ther well.... either will be the apps performance!
    good luck man!

  10. #10
    aaqm
    Guest

    Post

    There is a bug in every version of Internet Exploder that can cause this behaviour. It has to do with the fact that IE looses track of the files in the cache folder. Every machine I have seen can up to tens of thousands of lost files in the TIF folder.

    Windows sure knows the files are there, it is slow as dirt with over 2,000 files in any folder.

    Instead of reinstalling Windows, reboot to DOS, run SMARTDRV, then DELTREE C:\WINDOWS\TEMPOR~1\CONTENT.IE5\*.*

    Go have a meal while this cleans out the trash... Don't do this if SMARTDRV doesn't load, it can take HOURS to delete thousands of files without it.
    Al

    ------------------
    m a c 3 5 8 @ n e w s g u y . c o m

  11. #11
    Amro
    Guest

    Post

    hi, this will sound dumb, but in the past i've had this same problem - have you tried reinstalling the DRIVERS for the harddrive in device manager? if not, do so. why? there are 16bit drivers.. realmode drivers that will be used sometimes (don't ask how they get there i dunno, but they do sometimes) and they slow the HECK out of anything and everything running. reinstallin the drivers (w/ 32bit windows ones) will usually fix it. try that before u format.

    later,
    Amro

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