why am i having so many problems with new computers?

Discussion in 'Computer Information' started by Ernie Werbel, Apr 16, 2007.

  1. Ernie Werbel

    Ernie Werbel Guest

    I hate to sound like one of those "older is better" people, but I am
    beginning to think that way. My first computer was a Leading Edge Fortive
    5000 with a 486 DX 2 (66 MHz) and 16 MB of RAM and Windows 3.11. I expanded
    the memory to 32MB, and in the late nineties I was still using the system
    and installed an 8.4 GB hard disk in addition to the existing 511MB one. I
    had a great multimedia setup, too with Sound Blaster 16 and a Virge DX
    graphics card. I had the system tweaked and tricked out the way I wanted it
    and everything ran smoothly. If Windows 3.11 crashed on me once in six
    months it was a lot...

    Fast forward. I finally broke down and built a new system around the year
    1999. It was a Pentium 2 366 MHz with Windows 95 and some other stuff I
    don't remember. It crashed almost once a day.

    Then in August of 2003 I built a new P4 computer with all modern parts,
    Windows XP, Radeon 9000 video card (64MB), Sound Blaster 64, and 1 GB of
    RAM. That system is still in use at my home and although it is stable, it
    is excruciatingly slow, with about 5 minute boot time.

    This past December I built a new computer. After going through three
    motherboards (defective components, compatibility issues, etc) I finally am
    using an ASUS M2N-SLI Deluxe (which I hear is really good or really bad,
    depending on your luck the day you buy it), AMD Athlon 64 X2 3800+ (whatever
    these numbers mean but I hear it is supposed to be good), Windows XP Pro,
    512 MB of RAM (will upgrade when budget allows) and a GeForce 6600GT video
    card (256MB). So we're talking pretty top of the line, not the latest and
    greatest, but it should boot and work no problem right?

    Wrong... Well for the first week everything was great but after installing
    minimal software (the usual office apps) the system is now running slow and
    takes almost 5 minutes to boot and be usable. I regularly run defrag and
    the diagnostics and it doesn't help. I am beginning to regret ever getting
    the thing.

    Has anyone else had similar experiences? Is it that the technology is
    upgrading so quickly that the manufacturers are just pumping out stuff to
    sell it even if it doesn't perform as well as it should??

    Ernie Werbel, Apr 16, 2007
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  2. Ernie Werbel

    - Bobb - Guest

    My first question: Do you have High-speed Internet ?
    DSL ? Running the ISP's software ? If yes to all , I'll tell you that my
    neighbor has Verizon DSL and loaded the software CD that came with DSL
    originally ( a year or so ago). It ran fine until 2-3 months ago and
    then would take 6-7 minutes to go from logon screen to desktop. It was
    his DSL software. At boot time it tries to go to their website/do some
    stuff behind the scenes and AFTER that all failed, THEN he would see his
    desktop. ( maybe they moved a server ?? - their helpdesk was useless).
    He was blaming the hardware too and once I removed Norton and DSL
    software it booted right up. Added Norton - it was slow again - BUT it
    was because DSL hadn't finished init yet. I uninstalled all of the DSL
    sw from his startup and added Norton in - runs fine now. From login to
    desktop in about 20 seconds.
    Start- run - msconfig - click <OK>and then go to STARTUP tab - look to
    see what's running when you logon. Uncheck all "necessary" and reboot -
    better ? - narrow it down that way.
    - Bobb -, Apr 16, 2007
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  3. Ernie Werbel

    Ernie Werbel Guest

    Thanks for the advice, Bobb. As a matter of fact, I have both Verizon DSL
    and Norton as you have mentioned. I will uninstall the Verizon software
    (don't seem to need it as I connect on my other computers w/o the software)
    and disable the Norton on startup. Hopefully this can smooth things up a

    Ernie Werbel, Apr 16, 2007
  4. Ernie Werbel

    babaloo Guest

    The common denominator is that these are all home-built systems. I have
    built many and if there is a problem it is usually something I have
    overlooked rather than the hardware. But not always.
    It is easy to overlook some basic things.
    It is possible that you do not have the correct settings in your BIOS for
    memory, bus speed etc. Too high and too low a setting can cause these
    problems. In fact it would be a good idea to review all of the BIOS
    settings. The default settings in the motherboard may not be correct. Be
    sure you understand what the settings do before you change them. There is
    plenty of info on the web.
    Do you have the right kind of memory?
    Recently I have run into defective memory chips more frequently than in
    past years. The Microsoft memory diagnostic is free and very good. If a
    memory stick is defective it usually shows up very shortly after beginning
    the test-you do not have to run the test overnight. Some RAM defects can
    actually destroy the motherboard.(not that I would ever mention how lousy
    Mushkin memory is and how they do not stand behind their warranty).
    I consider ASUS motherboards to be high quality. They generally cost a
    premium over lesser brands despite having the same BIOS, etc. The most
    bullet-proof systems I have built have ASUS motherboards.
    Video card driver problems are protean: installing the latest clears many
    Are the hard drives and optical drives hooked up properly? As you probably
    know hard and optical drives should never share a cable.
    Are you sure you have an adequate power supply? The units that come with
    many cases are essentially worthless. If they do not supply enough juice
    under load you can see the kind of problems you describe.
    While 512mbs is not alot it should be sufficient to run office apps,
    internet etc without problems. I have run Photoshop without difficulty on an
    Athlon 3200 with 512 mbs in an ASUS motherboard. This machine has never had
    a problem and is still in daily use in my office.
    When in doubt sometimes it is worth the cost to have a local computer repair
    facility look at the machine. Admittedly many of the people in these shops
    know little more than experienced system builders. But they tend to have
    tools like voltmeters and the like to check out certain components (like
    power supplies).
    Lastly some advice about your next computer: there are several smaller,
    nationally advertised custom builders who will put together a system with
    components you specify for not much more, and sometimes less, than what the
    parts would cost you and they usually offer at least a one year warranty. My
    latest and greatest dual core wonder was built that way and saved me both
    stress and $. When the dust settles around quad cores this is the way I will
    go again.
    babaloo, Apr 17, 2007
  5. this may be partly a philosophical issue.. i'll try to impart my
    experiences and sort of philosophy, as something to consider.

    I have heard that technology since 2000 tend to break quicker. It's
    alot cheaper than it was pre 1995.
    Some think buying more at lower price, evens it out.

    Perhaps laptops have a longer life than desktops.

    You might want to check the cooling.

    If they're second hand, then more usage, so would prob die quicker.

    I built one comp where with win98 it didn't crash but with winxp it
    did. Win XP was more sensitive. It picked somthing up in event viewer,
    I think about the CDROM having a bad block(can't remember if changing
    CDROM,CD or IDE Cable or avoiding that IDE connector, fixed it).
    People say Win XP is more stable, yet people keep posting about it
    freezing and everybody knows now to look in event viewer for the red
    Xs, it's a common problem.

    If one sound card or video card doesn't work, I can change it in 5
    min, it's nothing. No big deal at all. HDD going is a problem if stuff
    isn't backed up.

    For a comp not to crash and bother me. All I need is a quality MBRD
    and working processor.. I don't really consider anything else breaking
    to be a "crash". I don't play games, I don't need a good video card.
    Any video card - without a fan - will do. Any sound card will do(none
    have fans).

    I have an ethernet card for if the ethernet port doesn't work
    (sometimes they don't work 'cos not exactly the right MBRD drivers.
    Or, other times they just don't work)

    You need redundant parts. I don't like changing MBRD or CPU though.
    Changing MBRD , involves putting the Heatsink back on the CPU, and if
    the MBRD is different, can mean you need new parts. If MBRD is the
    same, then it should be a new MBRD, not second hand.
    Changing CPU, if done with polythene gloves,99% IPA, Arctic Silver
    paste, a razor blade, .. Well, it's a job. Maybe water and a tissue
    will do! And, I have found putting a heatsink on P4 Socket 478 to be a
    struggle. Often easiest taking the MBRD out onto an anti static bag
    with a light shining over it. Trying a few times without paste to get
    the nack of not messing it up, then, I do it putting the arctic silver
    paste on and getting it right.

    Anything else is fine to replace. Get used to it!! But I think maybe
    you've had some bad luck. If you've got all good make new parts and
    had a faulty MBRD. Though the warranty should cover that.

    Replacing anything else wouldn't cause me to bat an eyelid. HDDs can
    be a nuisance, with screws , and backing up data. I use thumbscrews.
    And USB-IDE adaptors (or USB enclosures if you want) are quite good.
    One issue of USB-IDE adaptors that just occurred to me that I haven't
    written of in a post, is that one should / I should use a USB Ext
    cable. 'cos the USB-IDE adaptors usually are about 6" long from the
    USB end to the IDE end. So, one has to "build something" e.g. stack
    books up, to rest the HDD on - outside the comp.

    Since I can replace things. Compatibility isn't much of an issue for

    Like with software. If one doesn't work I use another. I can have
    both. With HW, it may be one on a shelf and one in my computer.

    For my internet connection I have an MBRD ethernet port , an ethernet
    card, a PCI DSL Modem , and a backup 56k modem. I've had bad luck all
    the time with routers. But recently I think i've run into some good
    Bad ones first.

    People keep recommending linksys, maybe it's just a US thing.
    My few friends that i've spoken to in UK have moaned about linksys.
    They've all got them because they read on the internet they were good,
    and they turned out to have issues. Needing rebooting. Port forwarding
    nto working. (though the latter may have just been a firmware issue. I
    found that eventually it needed rebooting anyway! so may have
    overheated too)

    I hear good thinsg of netgear.

    But I've seen a company that uses Zyxel without needing to reboot them
    ZyXEL Prestige 600.

    Somebody I know that had many bad experiences with Linksys, said 3Com
    were great.

    I've heard that the Draytek Vigor is good (Draytek may just be a uk

    I called Zen and they agreed many routers have issues. Check their
    page. They sell and support Speedtouch routers. They say they haven't
    had problems with them. Not very geek friendly, but they work. Though
    recently, after a year or so of use, they lose connection temporarily,
    maybe for 2 minutes. I assume it's my router rather than my isp..

    Anyhow, I have the PCI DSL modem, and the 56k modem, which saved me
    from my linksys!

    So, you can always deal with problems with redundant parts. I actually
    bought 2 speedtouch routers, though one vanished.

    I like to keep a running list of good makes or router.

    People say bad things about Belkin . I don't use them, but some people
    whose comps I fix do use them (sometimes they get things without
    asking me, then call me when things don't work out). At least Belkin
    tech support is open 24/7 and they are good if you need to send it
    jameshanley39, May 6, 2007
  6. Ernie Werbel

    Wizard Guest

    Christ! what nonsense!

    Wizard, May 7, 2007
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