computer dying? any cure?

    • JimC6
      JimC6
      Bronze
      Joined: 01.04.2011 Posts: 458
      Wonder if anybody who knows much about computers can help me, I have tried googling for help but don't really know what terms I should be asking for.

      I have been having problems with my computer lately and it seems to be on it's last legs, I noticed probably about 2 weeks ago when I turn it on and enter the password to log in that it was taking longer and longer to load.

      Well the other day it never logged in at all, once I typed my password it just said loading, I left it for about 10minutes before turning it off and trying again, then it worked.

      And now today when it logged in the screen was darker, like I had turned the brightness on my monitor down low and I could barely see anything. Everything seemed to work normal apart from it being harder to see until about 15minutes from turning it on it suddenly came up with a bright blue screen covered in white writing saying something about memory dump and a load of numbers, it rebooted before I could read more than that.

      It loaded fine after that but is still a little slow.

      I have windows Vista and think it may have been down to an update that they did as I am sure it started happening one day after a big update (where they say installing 1 of 6 please do not shut down or unplug your computer).

      Does anybody know if this could be the right cause or is there something deeper wrong? Any help would be very appreciated.
  • 12 replies
    • Arron63
      Arron63
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      Joined: 08.01.2011 Posts: 86
      If you have a backup source for important files you could always reset your computer to factory settings.

      Not much help, but I hope you get it sorted :)
    • VorpalF2F
      VorpalF2F
      Super Moderator
      Super Moderator
      Joined: 02.09.2010 Posts: 8,904
      Diagnosing symptoms from afar is a tricky business.

      One of us may come over all helpful and give you incorrect advice.

      But I will try.

      First, make sure you have backed up any data that you created that exists nowhere else. This is vital.

      Secondly, back up any configuration data that you may wish to keep.
      This is good because it will help you get back to your current conditions a lot faster, but it isn't the end of the world if you must set everything up again.

      Run a memory diagnostic -- I use MemTest86+ -- and run it for several hours, the longer the better.

      While this is running feel with your hand to see if the computer is getting overly hot. If it is, download the repair instructions for your unit -- if available -- and open the case and use canned air to clean out any dust.

      The video symptoms are worrisome.
      This could indicate problems with video circuitry.

      In case the problem is software, there is a list of things you can try here.
      I have not had good experience with any of the "speed up my pc" things that are advertised all over the web. Some may indeed work, but some have reportedly caused disasters, and how to you know until the disaster hits.

      One thing I can't help you with is your hard drive, since diagnostics can vary from manufacturer to manufacturer.

      You might be able to download some HD diag tools from the maker's web site. Their tech support staff might be able to help too.

      Please note that a lot of the above is my own personal opinion.
      Others may have different opinions, and it is up to you to sort them out.
      If there is a local shop that you trust that can take a look at it for a reasonable cost, that may also be a worthwhile step.


      Good luck,
      --VS
    • JimC6
      JimC6
      Bronze
      Joined: 01.04.2011 Posts: 458
      Thank you for the replies guys. I only use this computer for playing poker on so don't really have any real important data or things like that.

      Sometimes my computer does get hot after just 5-10minutes but then other times it doesn't get very hot at all even after an hour.


      I was thinking that I was looking after my computer quite well as I only use it for max 4hours at a time and shut it down for at least 2 hours before using it again. But it seems something is wrong.

      I will try all the things you have suggested I really appreciate the help.
    • BObamaJr
      BObamaJr
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      Joined: 29.01.2012 Posts: 232
      Buy a Mac
    • NightFrostaSS
      NightFrostaSS
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      Joined: 25.10.2008 Posts: 5,255
      Originally posted by BObamaJr
      Buy a Mac
      Lasted me a year
    • YohanN7
      YohanN7
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      Joined: 15.06.2009 Posts: 4,084
      No, you should perhaps buy a fan? If the thing is more quiet than usual, then you may have a problem with the fan. (Inside the computer goddamit, not in the ceiling.)

      Resetting an old computer to factory settings is an absolutely last resort. The second to last resort is to reinstall software or format the hard drive. Thats the advice of software vendors trying to blame errors on other software vendors.

      The first resort is to ask somebody who knows to fix it (for a buck or two). Resort zero is at the top.

      /Johan = :f_confused:
    • YohanN7
      YohanN7
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      Joined: 15.06.2009 Posts: 4,084
      One of the more common reasons for performance problems is automatic updates of dot net. The downloads usually don't take long, but then you may be in for yours or days of CPU and harddrive grinding.

      Bring up the Task manager, look for the processes that are working with high CPU. Kill them. You take it from there (well you did know how to google).

      /Johan = :f_confused:
    • JimC6
      JimC6
      Bronze
      Joined: 01.04.2011 Posts: 458
      A bit of an update, I moved my computer from my room to the dining room as the table is bigger and if was going to take the cover off it would be easier.

      I turned it on down there and wasn't connected to the internet and it loaded like new with no problems.

      Set it back upstairs after a quick dusting and the problem is back. So I guess it must be some kind of update or some program connecting to the internet slowing it down.



      I started task manager and there is a lot of processes taking up many thousands of K memory but I have no clue what they are and which would be safe to kill?
    • YohanN7
      YohanN7
      Bronze
      Joined: 15.06.2009 Posts: 4,084
      All are safe to kill! None of them likes to be killed, but that's another story. The worst that can happen is that you have to reboot again.

      Use trial and error. Perhaps google (on process names) to get a little feeling.

      This approach is blatant and rude. But since you are inexperienced, it's a time saver for you. Keep us updated ad I'll try to help out. Once the problem is narrowed down there are more subtle measures.

      EDIT: One more thing. try first to kill the ones with high CPU. If you don't see a column for using CPU, the you can configure the task manager to show it using "Show->Choose Columns" or something like that in the menu.

      /Johan = :f_confused:
    • JimC6
      JimC6
      Bronze
      Joined: 01.04.2011 Posts: 458
      Thanks a lot for your help I will try this tonight as I'm playing no poker and will see what happens.
    • VorpalF2F
      VorpalF2F
      Super Moderator
      Super Moderator
      Joined: 02.09.2010 Posts: 8,904
      Originally posted by JimC6
      I turned it on down there and wasn't connected to the internet and it loaded like new with no problems.

      Set it back upstairs after a quick dusting and the problem is back. So I guess it must be some kind of update or some program connecting to the internet slowing it down.
      Don't overlook the possibility of a virus/trojan the is using your computer as a zombie.

      Make sure your patches and AV software are up-to-date.

      "Hijack this" (http://free.antivirus.com/us/#cleanup-and-prevention) is a free tool that you can use to document what is currently running on your computer.

      Disclaimer: I have not used it since it was taken over by Trend Micro.

      There are forums all over the web where you can learn what each process is and does.

      Good Hunting...
      --VS
    • JimC6
      JimC6
      Bronze
      Joined: 01.04.2011 Posts: 458
      Not having the internet plugged into my computer when I switch it on seems to solve it, then when I plug it in once it's switched on everything seems fine.