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Hardware or software problem?


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#1
andybtruckin

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I am trying to diagnose and fix my kid's computer. It is an older Dell P4 2.4g with 1 gig of Rambus memory running XP Home. I'm posting from my computer not the one with the problems.
It was running fine up until a few days ago when the colors went screwy. Everything would be pink. My son would repeatedly reboot until it worked. Manny many times he just used the reset button.
Then it slowed way down.
I replaced the video card and all is good with the graphics but the computer is still way slow.
CPU usage stays pegged at 100%. It takes 5-10 minutes to boot. I ran chkdsk in safe mode and it didn't report any problems.
I am running Spybot on it in safe mode but it's taking forever. It's been 12 hours now and it's about a third of the way through with no problems reported.
Norton antivirus is on the comp with scans run every night.

At this point I don't know if it's a software or hardware problem. Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated.
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#2
Artellos

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Software is defenitely easier to troubleshoot.
I'm not completely sure if this can be a malware issue.

I belive we can find this in either the startup or the services.
Ok, so lets find the crulpit!
Note: This process might take a while and requires multiple reboots.
  • Go to start and hit "run"
  • In the white box type "msconfig"
  • A window will pop up, go to the Startup Tab.
  • In the bottom right, select "Disable All"
  • Please reboot the computer.
  • Follow steps 1 to 3 again.
  • Now turn on 1 or 2 startups and reboot again.
  • Keep doing this until your problem comes back.
  • Once the problem comes back it should be the program you turned on Last.
  • Please tell me which program this was and how the whole process went.

(It is also possible ofcourse that it still keeps giving the problem. Report back and we'll move on to the services.)

Regards,
Olrik
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#3
andybtruckin

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Thanks for the reply.

I went to msconfig and disabled everything in startup. No change.
Checking taskmgr to see what's using the cpu it is split between taskmgr and whatever app I try to run. If I run taskmgr with no other apps taskmgr will use 90-100% of the cpu. If I open firefox taskmgr and firefox will both use ~90%
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#4
Artellos

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Ok, on to digging in services then.
Note: This process might take a while and requires multiple reboots.
  • Go to start and hit "run"
  • In the white box type "msconfig"
  • A window will pop up, go to the Services Tab.
  • In the bottom tick the box "Hide Microsoft Services" then select "Disable All"
  • Please reboot the computer.
  • Follow steps 1 to 3 again.
  • Now turn on 1 or 2 Services (While Hiding Microsoft Services) and reboot again.
  • Keep doing this until your problem comes back.
  • Once the problem comes back it should be the service you turned on Last.
  • Please tell me which service this was and how the whole process went.

Please keep your startups Disabled while doing this.

Regards,
Olrik
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#5
andybtruckin

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Startups and services disabled. No change.
CPU still at 100%. Taskmgr still using most of the cpu.
Took alost 2 hours to reboot twice.
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#6
andybtruckin

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Anyone care to chime in here? I'm about to give up and scrap it.
I've run chkdsk, disabled everything through msconfig, run norton and spybot and it continues to crawl along maxing out the cpu.
I've pulled the ram and run it with differnt configurations to try and rule out a bad dimm.

Could this be a hardware problem fro my lid'd repeatedly hard crashing the machine? And what would the most likely culprit be?

Thanks,
Andy
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#7
Artellos

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Sorry for my slow reply.
Some Real Life issues came between.

Can you try to boot into safe mode:
  • Reboot your machine.
  • After you hear the first beep keep tapping F8.
  • You'll get a menu up and should be able to select safe mode.

Booting safe mode is the last thing I could think of troubleshooting Software.
After that we can run memory tests and rule out if your hard drive isn't failing.

Regards,
Olrik
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#8
snooker

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Try to uninstall Norton garbage and use a free one to check , make sure to really uninstall all of Norton and see how it goes afterward

http://service1.syma...005033108162039

Edited by snooker, 16 May 2008 - 06:45 PM.

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#9
andybtruckin

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Booting safe mode is the last thing I could think of troubleshooting Software.
After that we can run memory tests and rule out if your hard drive isn't failing.

Regards,
Olrik



Thanks for the reply.
Everything I've done has been in safe mode.
I've run chkdsk and nothing bad was reported.

Earlier today I used the original Windows disk to repair the OS as detailed elswhere in the forum. I'll know if it helped when I get home from work tonight. I also bought a cpu from ebay to try later next week.
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