Weird Computer Problems

Discussion in 'NZ Computing' started by Thor, Jan 2, 2005.

  1. Thor

    Thor Guest

    Yesterday the wife's win98 machine started to play up, shutting itself
    down and then not booting into windows at all but shutting down before
    it got there. Suspected a virus though AVG was up to date and working
    last time we managed to make 98 work. Decided to take the easy option
    and do a reinstall over the old one, nope that didn't work either same
    problem. Deltreed windows folder and programfiles folders as well as
    mydocs. Reinstalled, this time managed to get it running, problem
    solved I thought. Ha ha, went to install firefox, crash, was installing
    it from a downloaded copy a few days ago, oky maybe that folder is
    corrupted, delteted that one as well and reinstalled yet again. Managed
    to get it up and working meantime had taken the modem and nic cable to
    another computer. Ok installed everything thing, left it running for a
    while gave it a bit of a hammering, used photoshop the graphire etc,
    everything seemed to be working fine. Put the modem back in, no
    problems, reconnect the nic cable, crash in fact it decided that it had
    no memory chip this time. Pulled cable out, disabled the on board nic
    and put a realtek I had lying about in it, so far it has been going
    fine. I still expect that maybe the memory chip is a bit faulty and the
    onboard nic was accessing the faulty bit so to speak, but hopefully I
    have solved the problem at least in the meantime.


    --
    *~~~ The ThunderLord returns
     
    Thor, Jan 2, 2005
    #1
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  2. Thor

    Dave Taylor Guest

    Thor <> wrote in news:cr8dfm$5t6$:

    > I still expect that maybe the memory chip is a bit faulty and the
    > onboard nic was accessing the faulty bit so to speak, but hopefully I
    > have solved the problem at least in the meantime.
    >
    >


    First thing to check is CPU Fan is spinning at a reasonable speed.
    The next thing I would check is RAM, since you suspect it.
    Try this: http://www.memtest.org/
    I have found that that version just does not like to run on some boxes, so
    you can also try this: http://www.memtest86.com/

    Troubleshooting is tricky if you change more than one thing at a time, some
    might even say it is impossible ;)

    --
    Ciao, Dave
     
    Dave Taylor, Jan 2, 2005
    #2
    1. Advertising

  3. Thor

    Dave Taylor Guest

    Thor <> wrote in news:cr8dfm$5t6$:

    > I still expect that maybe the memory chip is a bit faulty and the
    > onboard nic was accessing the faulty bit so to speak, but hopefully I
    > have solved the problem at least in the meantime.
    >
    >


    First thing to check is CPU Fan is spinning at a reasonable speed.
    The next thing I would check is RAM, since you suspect it.
    Try this: http://www.memtest.org/
    I have found that that version just does not like to run on some boxes, so
    you can also try this: http://www.memtest86.com/

    Troubleshooting is tricky if you change more than one thing at a time, some
    might even say it is impossible ;)

    --
    Ciao, Dave
     
    Dave Taylor, Jan 2, 2005
    #3
  4. Thor

    Thor Guest

    Dave Taylor spake of :

    > Thor <> wrote in
    > news:cr8dfm$5t6$:
    >
    >> I still expect that maybe the memory chip is a bit faulty and the
    >> onboard nic was accessing the faulty bit so to speak, but hopefully I
    >> have solved the problem at least in the meantime.
    >>
    >>

    >
    > First thing to check is CPU Fan is spinning at a reasonable speed.
    > The next thing I would check is RAM, since you suspect it.
    > Try this: http://www.memtest.org/
    > I have found that that version just does not like to run on some
    > boxes, so you can also try this: http://www.memtest86.com/


    CPU fan is running fine, did suspect that and was the first thing I
    checked.


    >
    > Troubleshooting is tricky if you change more than one thing at a time,
    > some might even say it is impossible ;)
    >



    It has just died again and is now coming up with an unable to start
    windows ios fault.


    --
    *~~~ The ThunderLord returns
     
    Thor, Jan 2, 2005
    #4
  5. Thor

    Thor Guest

    Dave Taylor spake of :

    > Thor <> wrote in
    > news:cr8dfm$5t6$:
    >
    >> I still expect that maybe the memory chip is a bit faulty and the
    >> onboard nic was accessing the faulty bit so to speak, but hopefully I
    >> have solved the problem at least in the meantime.
    >>
    >>

    >
    > First thing to check is CPU Fan is spinning at a reasonable speed.
    > The next thing I would check is RAM, since you suspect it.
    > Try this: http://www.memtest.org/
    > I have found that that version just does not like to run on some
    > boxes, so you can also try this: http://www.memtest86.com/


    CPU fan is running fine, did suspect that and was the first thing I
    checked.


    >
    > Troubleshooting is tricky if you change more than one thing at a time,
    > some might even say it is impossible ;)
    >



    It has just died again and is now coming up with an unable to start
    windows ios fault.


    --
    *~~~ The ThunderLord returns
     
    Thor, Jan 2, 2005
    #5
  6. Thor said the following on 2/01/2005 10:04 p.m.:
    > Yesterday the wife's win98 machine started to play up, shutting itself
    > down and then not booting into windows at all but shutting down before
    > it got there. Suspected a virus though AVG was up to date and working
    > last time we managed to make 98 work. Decided to take the easy option
    > and do a reinstall over the old one, nope that didn't work either same
    > problem. Deltreed windows folder and programfiles folders as well as
    > mydocs. Reinstalled, this time managed to get it running, problem
    > solved I thought. Ha ha, went to install firefox, crash, was installing
    > it from a downloaded copy a few days ago, oky maybe that folder is
    > corrupted, delteted that one as well and reinstalled yet again. Managed
    > to get it up and working meantime had taken the modem and nic cable to
    > another computer. Ok installed everything thing, left it running for a
    > while gave it a bit of a hammering, used photoshop the graphire etc,
    > everything seemed to be working fine. Put the modem back in, no
    > problems, reconnect the nic cable, crash in fact it decided that it had
    > no memory chip this time. Pulled cable out, disabled the on board nic
    > and put a realtek I had lying about in it, so far it has been going
    > fine. I still expect that maybe the memory chip is a bit faulty and the
    > onboard nic was accessing the faulty bit so to speak, but hopefully I
    > have solved the problem at least in the meantime.
    >


    A little paragraphing helps.

    Lets see if I have this right

    The intial fault was the machine shutting down (not rebooting and
    stalling on start up but actually go through the shut down process)?
    Your description of the intial fault is not too clear to me.

    You did attempt an over install, which failed.

    You deleted the Windows, Prog Files My docs dirs and sub dirs and
    performed an install. (must ask why you went down this path, a reformat
    and install would probably have been as total or did you have a data
    store other than my docs that you needed to preserve?)

    A reinstall performed okay till you attempted an install of Firefox.
    A second attempt with a fresh source file allowed you to install firefox.

    Now here it is a little murky did you remove the modem or just the modem
    cable, it is clear you removed only the network cable not the Netcard.
    Opps clue from a bit further down tells me you did remove the modem.

    Now at this point it appears you have no Network cable connected and the
    modem removed and have been sucessfull in getting it running stable?

    Reinstalling the modem produced no problem

    Connecting the netcable to the system produced a faulty, the first solid
    indication of a possible cause.

    You say "it decided that it had no memory chip this time" Now what was
    the indication that makes you say that, I suspect that what made you
    think this is actually an address space error report?

    You have disabled the onboard netcard and added a new card and it has
    been stable since.

    I suspect you will have no further problems, it is quite common for
    Network cards to fritz and attempt to address memory addresses that
    conflicts with other things, which is what the intial (poor) fault
    description lead me to.

    I suspect you put yourself to a lot of wasted time with over installs
    and reinstalls to no purpose.

    All i can say after reading and decoding your prose is that I am glad
    you were not doing this for a paying client.




    --
    >>Follow ups may be set to a single group when appropriate!

    ======================================================================
    | Local 40.9000°S, 174.9830°E |
    ======================================================================
    "I used to jog, but the ice kept bouncing out of my glass."
    Only Irish coffee provides in a single glass all four essential food groups
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> alcohol, caffeine, sugar, and fat <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<
     
    Collector»NZ, Jan 2, 2005
    #6
  7. Thor said the following on 2/01/2005 10:04 p.m.:
    > Yesterday the wife's win98 machine started to play up, shutting itself
    > down and then not booting into windows at all but shutting down before
    > it got there. Suspected a virus though AVG was up to date and working
    > last time we managed to make 98 work. Decided to take the easy option
    > and do a reinstall over the old one, nope that didn't work either same
    > problem. Deltreed windows folder and programfiles folders as well as
    > mydocs. Reinstalled, this time managed to get it running, problem
    > solved I thought. Ha ha, went to install firefox, crash, was installing
    > it from a downloaded copy a few days ago, oky maybe that folder is
    > corrupted, delteted that one as well and reinstalled yet again. Managed
    > to get it up and working meantime had taken the modem and nic cable to
    > another computer. Ok installed everything thing, left it running for a
    > while gave it a bit of a hammering, used photoshop the graphire etc,
    > everything seemed to be working fine. Put the modem back in, no
    > problems, reconnect the nic cable, crash in fact it decided that it had
    > no memory chip this time. Pulled cable out, disabled the on board nic
    > and put a realtek I had lying about in it, so far it has been going
    > fine. I still expect that maybe the memory chip is a bit faulty and the
    > onboard nic was accessing the faulty bit so to speak, but hopefully I
    > have solved the problem at least in the meantime.
    >


    A little paragraphing helps.

    Lets see if I have this right

    The intial fault was the machine shutting down (not rebooting and
    stalling on start up but actually go through the shut down process)?
    Your description of the intial fault is not too clear to me.

    You did attempt an over install, which failed.

    You deleted the Windows, Prog Files My docs dirs and sub dirs and
    performed an install. (must ask why you went down this path, a reformat
    and install would probably have been as total or did you have a data
    store other than my docs that you needed to preserve?)

    A reinstall performed okay till you attempted an install of Firefox.
    A second attempt with a fresh source file allowed you to install firefox.

    Now here it is a little murky did you remove the modem or just the modem
    cable, it is clear you removed only the network cable not the Netcard.
    Opps clue from a bit further down tells me you did remove the modem.

    Now at this point it appears you have no Network cable connected and the
    modem removed and have been sucessfull in getting it running stable?

    Reinstalling the modem produced no problem

    Connecting the netcable to the system produced a faulty, the first solid
    indication of a possible cause.

    You say "it decided that it had no memory chip this time" Now what was
    the indication that makes you say that, I suspect that what made you
    think this is actually an address space error report?

    You have disabled the onboard netcard and added a new card and it has
    been stable since.

    I suspect you will have no further problems, it is quite common for
    Network cards to fritz and attempt to address memory addresses that
    conflicts with other things, which is what the intial (poor) fault
    description lead me to.

    I suspect you put yourself to a lot of wasted time with over installs
    and reinstalls to no purpose.

    All i can say after reading and decoding your prose is that I am glad
    you were not doing this for a paying client.




    --
    >>Follow ups may be set to a single group when appropriate!

    ======================================================================
    | Local 40.9000°S, 174.9830°E |
    ======================================================================
    "I used to jog, but the ice kept bouncing out of my glass."
    Only Irish coffee provides in a single glass all four essential food groups
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> alcohol, caffeine, sugar, and fat <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<
     
    Collector»NZ, Jan 2, 2005
    #7
  8. Thor said the following on 2/01/2005 10:04 p.m.:
    > Yesterday the wife's win98 machine started to play up, shutting itself
    > down and then not booting into windows at all but shutting down before
    >


    This may save you a little trouble next time you attempt a repair of a PC.

    Regardless of how much schooling you have, there are certain undeniable
    factors that should be followed to successfully diagnose and repair a
    troubled PC while maintaining a healthy business environment. Any tech
    worth their salt will know that to vary from these techniques can
    quickly offer up disastrous results. You should understand that
    troubleshooting is so much more than just having skills to resolve
    specific problems. There are certain methods of dealing with things that
    keep your workday from coming to a crashing halt because you overlooked
    something. So let's take a look at some methods that will keep things
    from getting out of hand before and during the repair process. Please
    keep in mind that the following are not necessarily in any particular order.

    Know thy enemy!
    Before beginning any repair project, know what you are getting into. The
    last thing you want is to jump right in only to discover that repair job
    is a Mac or it's a PC running Linux. This may not be a problem if you
    are competent in both of these areas, but not all techs are.

    Ask the right questions.
    Try to recreate the exact moment when something wrong in your mind by
    asking questions like, "What was installed last? Any new hardware, file
    sharing, power surges/outages, etc?" Obviously, the questions will be
    reflecting the situation. You would not ask about power surges if the
    problems are OS-based in nature, so you get the general idea.

    Have your client show you.
    I always make it my own personal practice to have my client show me what
    they are experiencing. This may seem silly, but it guarantees that
    nothing gets missed. It also does not hurt to take notes while your
    client is explaining the PC's symptoms. Not only does it give the
    appearance of really being on the ball, it also enables you to have any
    needed information for after your client leaves.

    Back up their data.
    I will argue this 'til the cows come home. No matter how "simple" your
    repair is expected to be, cover your butt and have their data backed up.
    If you are unable to boot into their OS to save their data, slave their
    hard drive or use a bootable recovery tool like Knoppix Linux and a CD
    writer.

    Don't be in too much of a hurry.
    The worst thing in the world is to have your client come to you after
    you "fixed" their PC only to claim that its problems returned as soon as
    they got it home. Triple check your work. Yes, it takes more time that
    way but it shows that you are someone who understands that there is more
    to being a professional than just having technical knowledge in a
    specific area of expertise.

    Get it in writing!
    This covers your butt as much as it helps your client to understand
    their own rights and responsibilities. Using a form that has prices and
    time constraints inked out clearly will show your client that you are
    not out to fleece them for every dollar. In the agreement, you should
    also make it clear that it is the client's responsibility to have their
    data backed up ahead of time. If this is not possible, they need to be
    made aware IN WRITING that you will do your best to prevent data loss,
    but ultimately are not responsible if such data loss does occur.

    See? There is much more to PC repair than just having "mad skills."
    There is a code of conduct and, sometimes, unspoken techniques that will
    help to keep your repair business running smoothly and your clients
    confident in your ability to resolve their PC's ailments.

    --
    >>Follow ups may be set to a single group when appropriate!

    ======================================================================
    | Local 40.9000°S, 174.9830°E |
    ======================================================================
    "I used to jog, but the ice kept bouncing out of my glass."
    Only Irish coffee provides in a single glass all four essential food groups
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> alcohol, caffeine, sugar, and fat <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<
     
    Collector»NZ, Jan 2, 2005
    #8
  9. Thor said the following on 2/01/2005 10:04 p.m.:
    > Yesterday the wife's win98 machine started to play up, shutting itself
    > down and then not booting into windows at all but shutting down before
    >


    This may save you a little trouble next time you attempt a repair of a PC.

    Regardless of how much schooling you have, there are certain undeniable
    factors that should be followed to successfully diagnose and repair a
    troubled PC while maintaining a healthy business environment. Any tech
    worth their salt will know that to vary from these techniques can
    quickly offer up disastrous results. You should understand that
    troubleshooting is so much more than just having skills to resolve
    specific problems. There are certain methods of dealing with things that
    keep your workday from coming to a crashing halt because you overlooked
    something. So let's take a look at some methods that will keep things
    from getting out of hand before and during the repair process. Please
    keep in mind that the following are not necessarily in any particular order.

    Know thy enemy!
    Before beginning any repair project, know what you are getting into. The
    last thing you want is to jump right in only to discover that repair job
    is a Mac or it's a PC running Linux. This may not be a problem if you
    are competent in both of these areas, but not all techs are.

    Ask the right questions.
    Try to recreate the exact moment when something wrong in your mind by
    asking questions like, "What was installed last? Any new hardware, file
    sharing, power surges/outages, etc?" Obviously, the questions will be
    reflecting the situation. You would not ask about power surges if the
    problems are OS-based in nature, so you get the general idea.

    Have your client show you.
    I always make it my own personal practice to have my client show me what
    they are experiencing. This may seem silly, but it guarantees that
    nothing gets missed. It also does not hurt to take notes while your
    client is explaining the PC's symptoms. Not only does it give the
    appearance of really being on the ball, it also enables you to have any
    needed information for after your client leaves.

    Back up their data.
    I will argue this 'til the cows come home. No matter how "simple" your
    repair is expected to be, cover your butt and have their data backed up.
    If you are unable to boot into their OS to save their data, slave their
    hard drive or use a bootable recovery tool like Knoppix Linux and a CD
    writer.

    Don't be in too much of a hurry.
    The worst thing in the world is to have your client come to you after
    you "fixed" their PC only to claim that its problems returned as soon as
    they got it home. Triple check your work. Yes, it takes more time that
    way but it shows that you are someone who understands that there is more
    to being a professional than just having technical knowledge in a
    specific area of expertise.

    Get it in writing!
    This covers your butt as much as it helps your client to understand
    their own rights and responsibilities. Using a form that has prices and
    time constraints inked out clearly will show your client that you are
    not out to fleece them for every dollar. In the agreement, you should
    also make it clear that it is the client's responsibility to have their
    data backed up ahead of time. If this is not possible, they need to be
    made aware IN WRITING that you will do your best to prevent data loss,
    but ultimately are not responsible if such data loss does occur.

    See? There is much more to PC repair than just having "mad skills."
    There is a code of conduct and, sometimes, unspoken techniques that will
    help to keep your repair business running smoothly and your clients
    confident in your ability to resolve their PC's ailments.

    --
    >>Follow ups may be set to a single group when appropriate!

    ======================================================================
    | Local 40.9000°S, 174.9830°E |
    ======================================================================
    "I used to jog, but the ice kept bouncing out of my glass."
    Only Irish coffee provides in a single glass all four essential food groups
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> alcohol, caffeine, sugar, and fat <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<
     
    Collector»NZ, Jan 2, 2005
    #9
  10. Thor

    steve Guest

    Thor wrote:

    > I still expect that maybe the memory chip is a bit faulty and the
    > onboard nic was accessing the faulty bit so to speak, but hopefully I
    > have solved the problem at least in the meantime.


    Sounds like either flakey ram

    or....

    a hard drive developing amnesia. If you allocate any actively used files
    into the patch of 'forgetfulness'......it won't work when you need it
    to. :)

    How old is the system? If more than 3 years, then things could be beginning
    to pack up on you. If more than 5 years, then it is even more likely.

    Win98SE is fairly stable. It's my favourite Windows for a balance between
    user control and stability.....but a Win98SE system with loads of varied
    software could start to come unwound after more than a couple of years and
    need a complete format and re-install to a bare drive.....if only to
    discover those dead patches on the disc. :)
     
    steve, Jan 2, 2005
    #10
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