Computer Help

Question

HELP! Having a bunch of weird problems with my computer!

by xMikox / June 8, 2013 9:32 AM PDT

Hi everyone, I have been having weird problems on my laptop since about two months ago. I just came home from a trip and when I tried to turn on my laptop, everything turned weird. The start up bar on the bottom and all of my web browsers looked like the ones you'd see in older computers. My sound is also not working, it appears to be muted and no matter what I tried to do, it remains muted. Many problems will also have a pop up notification saying it is not working. Some programs will also crash out of nowhere. My computer would freeze all of the time and sometimes it would even automatically restart after being frozen for a few seconds. The internet connection also takes awhile to start up. This laptop has been broken once before and had it fixed. It was also my sister's laptop so I am not sure what exactly happened to it before. I don't think there is any antivirus software on this laptop. I just want to have a laptop that works normally since I am going to college soon and don't have the money to get a new one. I would really appreciate it if anyone can help me fix these problems and tell me what is wrong! Thank you!!!

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Clarification Request
More Info.
by Dafydd Forum moderator / June 8, 2013 9:39 AM PDT

Would help to know which model which OS etc.

Dafydd.

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more info...
by xMikox / June 8, 2013 1:23 PM PDT
In reply to: More Info.

I have a Windows Vista Intel Core 2 Duo. It is the HP Pavilion Entertainment PC. I am not sure about what is OS or any of the other things...as you can see, I am not very knowledgeable in computer stuff! but thank you for responding! Happy

Miko

All Answers

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Answer
Here're some things to do
by wpgwpg / June 8, 2013 9:51 AM PDT

First, if you don't have an antivirus on that laptop, you're almost guaranteed to have all kinds of bad stuff to've gotten into it. There're several things you can try, but save any data you don't want to lose ASAP, and be prepared to restore that laptop to factory settings. Then you can try the things below.
Install a good antivirus program. Get your antivirus program up to date and boot into Safe Mode. Note that some viruses can hide themselves from your antivirus program in normal mode, so you really need to scan in Safe Mode. To get into Safe Mode when you first power up, hit F8 about once a second until you get the menu and select Safe Mode. Then run a full system scan.
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Microsoft has suggestions and offerings at
http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows7/how-do-I-remove-a-computer-virus
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MS forum moderator Keith has some suggestions along this line at
http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_7-performance/windows-explorer-has-stopped-working/6ab02526-5071-4dcc-895f-d90202bad8b3
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If that fixes it, fine. If not, use System Restore to go back to a date prior to the beginning of the problem. To run System Restore, click Start -> Programs -> Accessories -> System Tools -> System Restore. Click the box that says Show more restore points.
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You can check for corrupted system files. Open an administrator command prompt and run SFC if the above doesn't help. Click START, then type CMD in the search box, right-click CMD.EXE and click Run as administrator. Then from the command prompt type sfc /scannow.
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Finally if all else fails, you can check the rather cryptic system event log. To do that click Start -> Control Panel -> Administrative Tools -> Event Viewer. Once in Event Viewer click on the system log and scroll through the entries looking for those flagged "error" to see if you can find hints as to where the problem could be.
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When you get your system back in good working order, I urge you to back your system up to an external hard drive and make regular periodic updates to it.
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I hope this helps. Good luck.

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System Restore
by xMikox / June 8, 2013 1:19 PM PDT

I tried to do a system restore today. But there was no restore points to choose from. I had to manually create one but that is only set for today, which means that if I restore my computer, it will just brings me back to how it is right now...But I will try to do what you suggested about installing the antivirus software and see from there...thank you for responding! Happy

Miko

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wait...
by xMikox / June 8, 2013 1:58 PM PDT

Do I have to restore my computer to factory setting before I install an antivirus software? Does that mean I will lose everything? Please help, I don't want to do anything before I am sure I know what I am doing! Thanks

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Factory Restore
by mchainmchain / June 8, 2013 5:14 PM PDT
In reply to: wait...

Factory Restore will put your computer back to the same exact condition it was in, as it was when it was brand-new.

You will lose all your files created since it was first started in original new condition as first bought.

Might be a bit difficult, given the state the computer is in now, but take as much time as you need to back up all your files onto two or more backup medias (otherwise, it is not a backup). If you lose the backed up file and did not make a second copy, you've lost that file and everything else you did not make a second copy of. Sad

After that is done, use Factory Restore and report back.

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Back Up
by xMikox / June 9, 2013 5:28 AM PDT
In reply to: Factory Restore

Do I still have to back up my files if I don't mind losing all of the files and stuff? Because I am not sure how to back up all of my files anyways haha...

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You don't have to restore to install an antivirus
by wpgwpg / June 9, 2013 5:39 AM PDT
In reply to: wait...

As long as your computer is in a usable state, you should be able to install an antivirus program. Of course if you don't have anything on the computer you mind losing, it would probably be easiest to restore to factory settings. Remember that you'll have to install any software that wasn't on the computer when it was brand new though. Also the first thing you should do after restoring to factory settings is to install an antivirus program and get it up to date.
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Good luck.

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Antivirus Software
by xMikox / June 9, 2013 6:03 AM PDT

Which antivirus software do you recommend me installing? Thanks!

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if you are gonna
by itsdigger / June 9, 2013 6:14 AM PDT
In reply to: Antivirus Software

restore the computer to factory condition, install all of the Windows updates before you install an anti virus

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There're plenty of AV choices
by wpgwpg / June 9, 2013 6:14 AM PDT
In reply to: Antivirus Software

First, you should check with your Internet Service Provider to see if they offer a free antivirus. If not, there're several free ones including AVG, Avast, and MSE (Microsoft Security Essentials). After that there're all kinds of packages you can buy including Norton, McAfee, Kapersky, Nod32, Webroot, Panda, Trend Micro, Bitdefender, Zonealarm, and others. You can find a list of these at Amazon
http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=sr_pg_1?rh=n%3A229534%2Ck%3Aantivirus&keywords=antivirus&ie=UTF8&qid=1370808760
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I use the free Norton one from Comcast on my laptop and free AVG on my desktop.

Good luck.

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Answer
FULL DETAILS
by Willy / June 8, 2013 11:55 PM PDT

You offered your laptop is an HP entertainment model, but no real model#. Its important because some HP models have a history of being bad. look on the bottom of laptop and locate the decal/sticker with model# and report back. Don't even try a factory restore yet until that info is present. I suggest further that nay discs that were part of HP laptop be available should anything further have to be done. Don't put yourself into a corner, if you want this HP laptop to work reliably.

tada -----Willy Happy

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Model #
by xMikox / June 9, 2013 5:26 AM PDT
In reply to: FULL DETAILS

Here are all of the details I found on the back of my laptop:

Product: HP Pavilion dv4-1283cI
1 year warranty
s/n: CND91340FG
p/n: NM039VA #ABA

And I don't mind losing everything on this laptop. It used to be my sister's and most of the stuff on here are hers. I already transferred all of my own documents and photos into my USB drive. So will factory restore still be harmful? Will it even fix my problems though? Thanks so much for replying Happy

Miko

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Recovery process
by Willy / June 9, 2013 5:55 PM PDT
In reply to: Model #

A typical factory recovery/restore will return the laptop to day-1, when brought new. You will still need to get any newer drivers and also the MS updates to complete the restore. It will format and thus delete the current install. I strongly suggest you visit the HP support website and review the restore/recovery process. Doing all this will be a clean slate as it were. I also recommend you do a proper back-up using the HP instructions, "if" still available to that laptop as that was an 1-time deal to create the back-up and/or recovery discs. If you don't have these discs, then you better have the 2nd partition on the HD where it resides. That should all be explained to access and start the recovery process. Just be aware of any prompts, because you don't want to totally wipe the "whole HD" just the "C" drive, because the "D" drive the 2nd partition has your HP recovery s/w there. Either that or the discs, so be sure if you have it. Hopefully, doing all this will resolve your current problem and it probably needs to be done anyways because you want to make it your laptop now. Again, the HP restore/recovery process will explain what needs to be done and expected results. Below is a link to HP support:

http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/product?cc=us&lc=en&dlc=en&product=3925096

Will this resolve your current problem, it should. Provided you have no real h/w fault. Any s/w or corruption can be recovered doing the restore/recovery. Just be sure to finish that and then do MS updates and get latest drivers or at least check the status within device manager. from your previous post don't confuse the restore feature of the OS with recovery/restore as in reloading the OS. The other is returning to a "restore point" which isn't the same fully reloading the OS. Plus, it seems that didn't work anyways.

Last, I certainly hope you use some anti-virus s/w whether it be free or you pay for it. if you pay for it, it's really worth the cost and effort. A good freebie i use is Avast free. If you haven't already, get it to scan your laptop after installing and allow it to do a "boot scan" when it requests it. This all takes time but you may want to do this before anything else if you're infected or malware problem. If you don't have a AV pgm., then get this or another should you actually do a restore/recovery of your laptop for use later.

tada -----Willy Happy

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Answer
Tips for laptop
by heatherjung / June 10, 2013 7:34 PM PDT

May be there is some moisture in your laptop due to not used for a long time so just try to remove its moisture first then after that format it. I am sure that you will get your laptop in its real working form as it is before.

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Answer
Weird laptop issues
by pauly1651 / June 11, 2013 10:18 AM PDT

If you have saved all the data you want, and have the restore discs, then I suggest you load those discs and restore the laptop. Either that or you could get a new hard drive, install it, load Windows on as a fresh install. Poof! The laptop is running right again.
Oh, and make darn sure you install a good, honest, clean running anti virus on it. This is very important, as others have pointer out. AVG, Avast are both free and are good.

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