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Discussion Starter #1
Ok this is the scenario..sorry for the long post.

First my comp has been intermittently freezing up lately which it hasnt done in years. My son pointed out to me the other day that our CD drives were not being recognized. We have a regular 48x cd as the main and a burner hooked up as a slave. Now what I did was disconnect the plain CD-rom and hooked up only the burner and then rebooted. Well the burner was then recognized and performed as normal. I then shut down and returned to the original config with the plain drive as main and the burner as slave and rebooted. Well everything worked fine and I copied a couple of CDs (this is how I discovered my son was right) . Well I left the comp on and went out to the store. I returned to find that the comp was frozen again. So I rebooted and my CD-Roms were again not recognized. So I shut it down again and hooked up the Burner as the main and the Plain drive as the slave and rebooted. Again the CD-Roms were not recognized. Shut down again and rebooted with the Burner only hooked up and it was recognized. Thats the current config as I write this post.


So my questions are: Is my plain CD-Rom gone? If so why did it work once before while swapping contacts.

Is my mother board on the way out and thus resulting in the recent rash of freezing that I'm experiencing and CD-rom trouble. Its an Asus board and my comp is a P3 @ 600mhz and not overclocked with 640 meg of Sd ram at 133 bus speed if I recall. I'm not a comp Geek but I have always replaced my own upgrades or installed new hardware.

So .....Whats the diagnosis?
 

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Allan,
What's your O/S?

I suspect that spyware is probably the culprit. If you aren't running SpywareBlaster, Adaware, and SpyBot S&D, I'd recommend adding, updating, and running them all at least twice to clean up your system.

Also,my wife and I upgraded from 98SE to XP, and added Ram to total 512MB. She's running a Gateway PIII 933/133, and I have a Dell PIII 600/100. The computer repair instructor I had stated that this combination (Ram size on an older computer) was optimal with XP, and that adding more Ram might have a detrimental effect on performance. My wife's machine works fine with this combination, but after some experimentation, I find that mine runs best with 384MB.

Hope this helps.

Steve
 

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It's not necessarily spyware, especially if the computer is getting old. In my experience, computers age, just like people do. In technical terms, they start to have circuitry errors, problems with the power supply, RAM read-write errors, etc. Since PC's don't have Workstation-type error correction and the errors tend to be random, there's not a lot of things you can do to diagnose the problem.

Case in point: I had a PC that I lovingly upgraded for years, and it started to freeze/crash with increasing regularity. At that point, I put it out to pasture as a router/email server, and bought a new one.

Heck, buy a Mac Mini, they're only $499.

Simon
 

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Good point, Simon.

With the tiny circuitry inherent in PC's, especially in the processor, just the heating and cooling (expanding and contracting) generated in turning on and shutting off will begin to break up the links, which is why some owners almost never shut them down.

I'd still do what I could to save the system using all the freebies I could get my hands on, though. I'd also recommend backing up all the stuff I could on CD's before the system crashes for good.

Steve
 

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ClassicGeek said:
-snip- In my experience, computers age, just like people do. -snip- they start to have circuitry errors, problems with the power supply, RAM read-write errors, etc. -snip-
Yep. I'm 57, and starting to have all those problems... :lol:

I think another issue is that the high performance CPUs generate a LOT of heat. And PCs are big dust vacuums. I take the case off of mine a couple of times a year and vacuum it out well, especially around the fans and air intakes. Even so, if the temperature in the house gets above 80° F, my PC will shut down. The extreme heat that these generate will shorten the life of components I suspect.
 

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Agree all of the above particularly the comments about malaware.

Sometimes a good spring clean is all that is needed tho - although it is an irksome process.

1. Back up all your data.
2. Locate all the latest drivers for your components and save to a memory stick.
3. Don't forget to back-up your mail data and browser favourites.
4. Format the HDD.
5. Reinstall OS.
6. Load antivirus and firewall.
7. Update drivers from your memory stick.
8. Get back on mail and the net.
9. Download and install alll OS updates.
10. Be selective in what data you load back on from your back-up.

I forecast your PC will zip along (comparitively). :)
 

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Simple Disk Maintenance may help also (not to say that you havent already ran this route!). Search for and remove trash *.bak and *.tmp files and then run a scan disk and a defrag (if you can). To run a defrag on mine I have to kill all the background programs running by repeatedly hitting Ctrl alt del till ive turned off all by the absolute minimum required TSRs. If I don't, it'll continue to restart defrag. (Yeah - i'm still useing ME... :oops: )

I've lovingly nursed my relic along for several years (P3 833 w/256 ram and 100 gig HD - i think i have the old low speed bus <133?). I run ad-aware and update it often and have set a virus scan for once a day (and update that often also). I also do not (usually) turn my system of due to the expansion/contraction thing.

Maybe it's time to go PC shopping tho (for me anyhow!)?
vr,
pedz
 

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Allan,

First thing to do is like said before, backup all you data first. Since it's an intermittant issue, it'll probably be VERY fun to diagnose. I'd do a OS reinstall and see if that corrects the issue. That way you eliminate software as being the problem. Be sure to leave off all external devices other than mouse, keyboard, and monitor.

If the problem persists the next step, flash the bios to the most current release. Reseat all hardware including PCI/ISA cards (video, sound, modem, etc), memory, processor, and power connections.

Try swapping the IDE ribbon cable from the CDROMs to the hard drive and see if it causes the hard drives to fail instead of the CDROM.

If lockups persist, remove any internal PC cards not required to boot (sound, modem, etc).

If it's still locking up, you'll need hardware diagnostics. Unless you have a local geek to work with, you're often better of at this point to replace the PC than "shotgunning" and replacing parts. Typical problems for lockups from this point are: power supply, memory, processor, motherboard, and HDD.

If you do buy a new PC, I never buy the 'latest and greatest' on the market. Buy the lower end PC and save the extra cash. Unless you need the extra processing power for a specific reason, you're better off saving the difference and replacing the PC in a couple of years with another lower end PC.

If I can be of any help with troubleshooting, just give me a hollar.
 

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the bill meister is 100 percent correct (all others have good stuff too!).

also tho...short-o-dat

i also recommend running a personal firewall... a freebee like zonealarm too.

i do.

again - pedz.
 

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Sounds like symptoms observed on my machine months ago -- not recognizing drives & such. Curiously enough the entire problem was due to corrosion on the cable contacts. Just unplugging and replugging them was enough. Having said that, even if this solves the immediate problem, I think all the other suggestions on this string are excellent strategies too.
 

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Stormsteed said:
I just went through this problem. My O/S was Windows Me...I did everything! ... updated RAM, installed anti-virus, the the Spybot and Adaware scans, etc. The systems was sluggish and slow and kept freezing. I even reinstalled the O/S. Then I went and bought Windows XP to see if installing that over everything would help, and although it helped some, there were some root issues with IE that I kept getting reminders for and no searching for updates helped.

Finally, I did the reformat and reinstall (after backing up all my personal documents). Since I bought XP update, I had to reinstall back to the original O/S the computer came with. It took some time but I got all the "garbage" off the hard drive. And I'm happy to report that my computer is now 100 million percent better than it was. No freezing, no crashing, much better performance, etc.
Stormsteed,
XP Update is really the total package. When you reformat, go ahead and start with the XP cd. It'll ask where the old O/S is, at which time you simply put in the old cd and tell it where it's at. Clean install with XP is the only way to go (and the only way that works!).

My wife and I both did the upgrade and had nothing but problems. Like, hundreds of bugs per boot-up. After the clean install - I love my XP!

Steve
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Lots of good advice people thanks.

More info for you all. I'm running MS 98se , comp is a [email protected] 600/133 with 640 MB of ram.
I installed a new HD about 4 weeks ago , Its a Western Digital @ 80 G and has 67 G freespace. I defrag every Saturday night. I run zonealarm as a firewall and run adaware on a regular basis. I run AVG for virus scans. My comp does get turned of on a regular basis and I think its about 4 years old now. I thought about oxidation as well on the pins and I clean the dust out of mine every 6 months.
I'm going to run with only the Burner hooked up for a few days to see how the comp reacts.


Seatec..........Blasphemy!!!!!! How could you even suggest selling my Burg. :boxing: Just for that I'm going to do my Halifax Snow Dance :pottytrain2:
 

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I have a dumb question -I guess the answer is no, but I'd like to be sure -
I have dial up, thinking of going to broadband
Question - after I get broadband can I cancel my regular phone service and still be hooked up ?
 

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Yes.

The answer is no.

:?

Broadband runs through your phone lines. I doubt if the provider would let you keep the high speed internet and dump the phone service, though if that's what I wanted, I'd ask anyway.

Steve
 

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It depends. DSL runs through phone lines. Cable runs through cable lines. Well it used to be that simple, and some places it still is. In that scenario, if your HSI is cable based - yes you could ditch the phone line.

My provider (Cox) supplies phone service, cable, and highspeed internet (which is cable based) - all through one line. If I asked them to drop phone service would they let me keep cable and HSI? I dunno. Technically they could do it, but they might object.
 
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