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Doctor! Doctor! Diagnosis needed. Please help.


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#1
san254

san254

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System:
Dell Dimension B110(purchased approx. 7/2006)
Pentium 4 Celeron Processor(2.53Ghz)
160GB HD
512 MB RAM
D-Link Wireless Router

1. About 2 weeks ago I had been running an antivirus software on my C drive and when the software finished scanning the hard drive it asked me if I wanted to scan the memory which I chose to do and retired for the evening. Don't know if the scan had anything to do with the subsequent problems but thought I'd mention it as that immediately preceeded what came next.

2. The next morning I found a black screen and a black screen when I rebooted. Coincidentally, we had a Comcast cable technician coming to the house that day to inspect/replace our cable modem we'd had problems with and he volunteered to look at my computer. After looking at it he recommended that I reformat the hard drive and reinstall the Windows XP Pro OS. I did this and was able to reboot successfully and bring the PC back to its desktop BUT with continuing problems.

3. I can successfully log on to the internet but at dialup or slower speeds

4. Anything on the screen appears as though it's being viewed through a magnifying glass. Attempts to go to Control Panel-->Display-->Settings and increase the screen resolution setting failed as the little ticker that you move to the right WILL NOT move at all. Color Quality is also stuck at 16 bits.

5. So I went to look at my processor performance and using Control/Alt/ Delete brought up my Windows Task Manager and clicked the performance tab and found out the CPU is pegged at 100%. Ordinarily, it would be in the 8-10% range.

6. So I thought my memory might be corrupted or damaged in some way and after indentifying the appropriate type, I replaced the memory with a new 512 MB RAM stick. The CPU usage is still pegged at 100% and the resoution settings are inoperable.

7. Next I thought maybe my CPU is overheating and causing the problem so I downloaded some software that monitors fan speed and temperature. CPU temp is 33C.

8. So that's where I am right now. By virtue of the process of elimination, it seems to be down to either the processor or the motherboard. Seems to this layperson/amateur that if the motherboard was damaged I couldn't access the internet even at the glacial speeds I'm able to now. I've had a mobo crash before and that computer wouldn't do anything.

9. Am I missing anything here? Is there something else I should have done or checked? Please help my pitifully sick computer.

THANKS!

Edited by san254, 21 January 2008 - 08:35 AM.

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#2
Neil Jones

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1) Doubtful.
2) Okay...
3) Provider problem?
4) Missing graphics driver.
5) CPU Usage is dependent on what's running.
6) You'd have known about it long before now if the memory was faulty.
7) Again, you'd have known about it before now if it were overheating.
8) Sounds more like you're missing a bunch of drivers. Go to the people who made your board, look your model number up and see what they have for grabs. Then go to Device Manager -> (Start -> Right-click My Computer -> Properties -> Hardware tab) and see what's missing. Download appropriate ones and then source drivers for the other bits. Programs like Aida32 and Everest will give you clues as to what's in the computer.
9) See number 8. Then see number 9 again.
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#3
san254

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Thanks so much for your response.

Now, to your suggestions.

"CPU Usage is dependent on what's running."

Therein lies the problem or so it seems. Since formatting and reinstalling Windows XP Pro, the system is running a small fraction of what it was before the problem occurred. Yet the processor is still pegged at 100% usage when before it normally used between 8 and 10%. What might cause that other than a bad processor?

"Sounds more like you're missing a bunch of drivers."

Well fortunately I have the Windows XP Pro reinstall CD as well as the five CDs that contain the drivers which came with the computer when I bought it. I thought I had installed them correctly but will go back and check and reinstall if necessary.

Assuming the drivers are correctly installed, do you agree or not that the genesis of the problem is likely a malfunctioning processor that needs to be replaced OR are there other items that need to be checked first? I really don't want to spend the money on a new processor only to find it is an unnecessary purchase.

Thanks again for your help
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#4
Neil Jones

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No I don't agree.
If it was a faulty processor it would have done this before you wiped it.

Something that has been installed is hogging the processor time. That's all it can be. It's most likely an incompatible or older driver.
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