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How to figure out what is the core problem when lots of things don'

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It's a process (an algorithm) that I would like to have, to apply to this and other situations.

I've had this computer* for a few months and it's just one problem after another. My ultimate question is this: How do I get to the bottom of it? How do I figure out exactly what is the real problem? After having it for a month, I completely erased the hard drive and reinstalled from the recovery disks that came with it. The very next thing I did was go on line (probably to update something) and had the same problem as before I erased the hard drive: IE 7 freezing frequently and intermittently. I uninstalled IE 7, which took me back to IE 6. Same freezing problem.

I "solved" that problem by installing Firefox. But that's just the beginning. Programs are always crashing, freezing, shutting down. Even things like Windows Explorer! Spell check in Word doesn't work (highlights 'and' but not 'originla').

I could spend time practically every day trying to fix the problem of the moment, but I really don't have the time (or expertise) to do that. Who does?

what I really want to know is how to figure out what is the core problem? Is the hard drive is a lemon? Or are the original installation and recovery disk lemons? Or???

I'll just add here that some of the software (purchased by me) is stuff that I used on my previous computer with no problems EVER. So I don't believe that all of a sudden it's all of my software.

And I have excellent computer maintenance/housekeeping skills (anti-virus, spyware, etc.), so I know my computer is not infected.

Thanks for your help,

*Toshiba Satellite A105-S4364 laptop
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Neil Jones

Neil Jones

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Problems like these are often software based, but they can also be hardware based as well.
If the problem has been there ever since you bought the laptop, its almost certainly a hardware issue, and if its still under any warranties you should use them. The recovery CDs are virtually guaranteed to hold working copies of XP but they're no good if the physical hardware is faulty if they go the same way every time. If you never had problems on previous systems that are now occurring on this one, that also points to hardware problems.
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