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HP 533w on XP home -- running in a slow time warp. Help!

by toodvs4u / October 29, 2004 12:25 AM PDT

Sorry for the long post, I'm at witt's end here.

My cousin's computer has gone haywire after the warranty expired (of course). I've been tyring to help her get it going again but it seems each time I fix something and return the machine to her -- a new problem crops up. She does not want to reformat the HDD at this time -- although that is about my last solution. I think there is a hardware problem because I pulled out her HDD and tried one of mine with Xp Pro just pulled from a working machine and it would not boot properly either...


Act 1:
At first computer would not boot. Keep flashing error message : windows\system32\config\system file missing and then trying to reboot. She could not find her restore disks at this time. Based on research in various forums, I advised her that she needed to find her restore disks and that she may want to replace memory and/or motherboard. She decided to buy a second stick of 256MB ram. While waiting for this to arrive (bought from Crucial) she used a friend's restore disk (from a Dell) and got her computer booting again. She still wanted me to install ram.

Act 2:
As she lives off her cell phone and does not have internet, I bought tower home with me and installed ram. System booted fine for about an hour and then started slow time warp problem where you click on something and it shows up 10 minutes later. It did not do this in safe mode - so I ran an anti-virus check and found 11 instances of Sasser b (I believe). I ran Maxtor's Powermax to test HDD, fine. I installed Norton systemworks 2003, Adaware Se home, and Spybot (I run both on all my machines), Scanned for everything. Installed all Windows and Antivirus updates. Machine running fine, fast and happy. Send machine home. Thought I was done with it.

Act 3:
She calls again. Computer is in slow time warp, this time even in safe mode. She still does not want to reformat HDD. I'm going over there today to see. I still have the feeling this is a hardware problem, either motherboard or memory. From what I seen on various forums this particular machine is not good, lots of folks seem to have problems with it and when they replace the motherboard the problems go away. I've pulled all of the startup programs like Office but I will check msconfig -- If I can get into it. I will also try running it on just the new ram -- any other ideas would be greatly appreciated...

Celeron 2.0 GHz

400 MHz Front side

Socket mPGA478

Motherboard Trigem Glendale chipset: 845GL

2 sticks 256MB DDR Pc2100

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Re: HP 533w on XP home -- running in a slow time warp. Help!
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / October 29, 2004 10:00 AM PDT

As you say it might be a motherboard or other hardware problem and if it is, I'm not clever enough to help you there.

But something struck me. You said she is not on the internet , but you found 11 instances of the Sasser b (or whatever) virus.

If she's not on the internet but her computer had viruses, they must be coming from somewhere, eg infected floppy disks or CD's.

Therefore, when you cleaned her system and returned it to her, did she then re-infect the computer from those same disks?

If so, perhaps those same viruses are slowing her system down again.

Just a thought.


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Re: HP 533w on XP home -- running in a slow time warp. Help!
by roddy32 / October 29, 2004 10:30 AM PDT

She might have also tried system restore for whatever reason and if that wasn't disabled and reenabled after the viruses were removed, they would have come back. This is just something to add to what Mark and reefurbb have already said.

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good question from markflax....
by reefurbb / October 29, 2004 10:19 AM PDT

The problem with cleaning viruses and spies is that files may have been deleted because they couldn't be cleaned. That may have been a delayed hit from Act 2.
Safe mode slow running is a serious problem.
Norton Utilities (in system works) allows you to add sensor windows, namely processor useage. This will show whether the processor is running max or not. I saw one PC with a spy I can't remember, that ran 98% and up almost all the time. When cleaned and even deleted from Program Files, it reinstalled itself. I had the name and could delete from registry for a final fix.
I had a friend that kept messing up the PC with malware, so I quit doing it for free because she wouldn't be cautious as I advised.
That's what IT guys are for...

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Re: good question from markflax....
by toodvs4u / October 29, 2004 4:34 PM PDT

Thanks for the input.

I believe the viruses were from several months ago when she was surfing the internet.

I made a housecall and the situation was nowhere as intense as she made it sound. System was running slow but stil responding.

I ran Norton System works (no viruses found but lots of registry errors.)and reinstalled her soundcard. I also pulled out her Office XP and replaced it with Office 2000. Part of her problem was that Office Xp was trying to have her register online. It was running fast and happy again. Cross fingers for duration!

I think I'm getting her a new motherboard for Christmas-- LOL. And I'm buying myself that tshirt I saw that said "No, I won't fix your computer."

Thanks again for all the great suggestions

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Re: good question from markflax....
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / October 29, 2004 10:01 PM PDT


Good work toodvs.

I hope it keeps working ok.


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