Computer support/advice available (god help me)


#1

Hi folks,

I was an internal only Operating Systems/Internet Explorer/everything-else technician for Microsoft in my previous incarnation and am willing to be a resource for questions etc. I worked on Win98 - WinXP skillfully avoiding NT4 as much as possible. I’m also an experienced box cracker and have built dozens of PC’s and Macs over the years. My Mac-fu is weak now after long disuse but alcohol and anecdotes often brings back flashes.

At your service (while my sanity holds),

Landon


Cosmetics safety database
#2

Well…It’s too late to help me (I’ve already reinstalled the OS–Win98SE) but I’m very curious about a problem I had and if you’ve got any insight–

I went to the Windows Update site and MS said it had newer drivers for my modem, ethernet card and sound card. I had it install them and rebooted my machine. It wasn’t for a few days until I noticed a problem…and it took me several hours to pinpoint the promblem- Whenever a program accessed DirectX’s sound libs (ie playing a game, playing mp3s) for my sound card, the computer froze. Even the DirectX diagonosis tool froze the machine when it tried to test the sound.

Things I tried:

I went back to my old sound card driver. Still froze.

I disabled the sound card…no sound (but the 'puter didn’t freeze)

Uninstalled directx (using a driectx ripper) and reinstalled it (even tried going back to 7.0)…still froze.

I searched the web and all I could find was people posting help needed for similar situations.

DirectX was broken…and I couldn’t figure out how to get it healthy again…


#3

See what happens after long term use of micro$oft. Obviously the man
is ready for rehab. Let this be a lesson to you kiddies. And can you
believe there are actual Computer Science PhD’s using it?! Isn’t it
rather embarrassing when the regularly lose control of their machine
to a virus or feel they have no control over what the blackbox
internals are up to. Ever since I found RMS
http://www.stallman.org/saintignucius.jpg I have seen the light.


#4

Heheh,

Your experience with Win98 and DX8 is all to familiar. When DX8 first came out it had a huge bug in it that crashed most systems and DX8.1a came out a couple of weeks later with little press, etc. MS wont even admit problems with their sofware internally!

It sounds like you went through the process pretty thoroughly and came to the simple sad conclusion that is true of Win98 - reinstall the OS if you can’t solve the issue in after an hour. Often you can roll the dice and just reinstall Win98 right over the top of itself and it will replace its drivers etc. If, however, the problem is in the registry, this wont help at all.

I rarely use third party utilities to ‘repair’ MS software myself because MS software is really touchy to begin with. More often than not, seriously, the fastest and best way to repair Win98 is what we called FFR: Fdisk, Format and Reinstall.

I’ve got to run and catch a bus so I’ve been pretty brief. When we get an Internet connection at home I’ll be able to be more thorough.

Landon


#5

LOL! The FFR method I’ve used that waaaaay too often, until I discovered Norton’s Ghost. Now I have a disk image of the drive and revert back to it it anything goes wrong.


#6

That is definitely the way to go!

I haven’t tried it yet myself but it is on my list of things to get into as soon as that free time thing I’ve heard legends of comes around!


#7

How much is that Norton Ghost and can I buy it here ? In ENGLISH ???


#8

I’m still using win95, IE 5.5 and just yesterday, my CDROM and CDRW drives disappeared from my system. Also my slave D drive is ruined(to many bad sectors) so I had a bluescreen scan forced upon me at windows startup. These 2 occurances seem to have happened concurrently though I can be sure. I have disconnected the slave broken D hard drive already. So now I cannot access CD’s but computer works fine otherwise.

Any ideas?


#9
quote:
Originally posted by NrG: How much is that Norton Ghost and can I buy it here ? In ENGLISH ?????????

I only know of an English version. Norton Ghost 2000 is actually a tiny DOS app that would fit on a floppy, yet it’s saved me headaches several times. I’m not sure where to buy it but maybe a quick search on the web? Or ask a computer store laoban?


#10
quote:
Originally posted by panda: I'm still using win95, IE 5.5 and just yesterday, my CDROM and CDRW drives disappeared from my system. Also my slave D drive is ruined(to many bad sectors) so I had a bluescreen scan forced upon me at windows startup. These 2 occurances seem to have happened concurrently though I can be sure. I have disconnected the slave broken D hard drive already. So now I cannot access CD's but computer works fine otherwise.

Any ideas?


Maybe try disconnecting the CDROM…booting windows, turn off the PC, reconnect and reboot?

Try slaving it off your ‘C’ drive?

Another thing to try is getting a win98 boot disc that will automatically “find” and install CDROM drivers in DOS mode and see if it actually does “find” your CDROM drive. If not, it could be your the IDE bus on your motherboard died…or simply the IDE cable…or even the drive itself.


#11
quote[quote] How much is that Norton Ghost and can I buy it here ? In ENGLISH ????????? [/quote]

Bought an English version of Norton Ghost 2002 in Nova (top floor) for around TWD2000.
It’s working great. Noticed however that you can make backups of NTFS volumes but cannot backup to NTFS volumes


#12

How about using the disc compression function in win 95 to free up some space on my quickly becoming full c drive? SOmebody once told me to never try to compress a drive. Any opinions?


#13
quote:
Originally posted by panda: How about using the disc compression function in win 95 to free up some space on my quickly becoming full c drive? SOmebody once told me to never try to compress a drive. Any opinions?

It’s okay, but drives are so cheap, why bother?


#14
quote:
Originally posted by panda: I'm still using win95, IE 5.5 and just yesterday, my CDROM and CDRW drives disappeared from my system. Also my slave D drive is ruined(to many bad sectors) so I had a bluescreen scan forced upon me at windows startup. These 2 occurances seem to have happened concurrently though I can be sure. I have disconnected the slave broken D hard drive already. So now I cannot access CD's but computer works fine otherwise.

Any ideas?


Are you sure your D drive isn’t a Master on 2nd IDE channel? If that’s the case then your CD ROM is dead 'cause you haven’t changed the jumper to make it Master (instead of the dead D drive).


#15

I agree with prezzy. My first thought on your drive problem was that your IDE chain wasn’t set correctly after removing the broken drive. Changing the CD from a slave to a master isn’t difficult if the drive has a sticker showing which position to put the jumper. If it doesn’t, fortunately there are usually only 3 possible positions of the jumper and of those we know the current one is wrong. All you would need to do is move the jumper over to the next pair of pins and reboot. If the CD drive shows up in the bios list of connected devices you’ve got the right one. If not, try the last jumper setting. If none of these work, then the drive may be fried. In any case, give this a try and let us know the results.

As far as using compression utilities on a hard drive, they are notorious for toasting data. Additionally, if you have a hard drive that is running out of space, that usually means it’s a couple of years old to begin with. If this is the case, you should backup all your data and buy a new one.

I know it seems like curing the headache by chopping off the head but remember, it is not a question of if a drive will fail but when. Hard drives can reasonably be expected to work reliably for about 2 to 3 years, but beyond that you are rolling the dice. I use my hard drives until they fail, BUT, I backup all my data fairly often. I have lost drives before but never lost more than 3-4 days worth of data as I backup my files every 5 days or so. You always have to ask yourself, “If my drive died right this second, how much would I lose.”

A quick note on the chimera of data recovery from a dead hard drive. When a drive dies, it can be taken to a data recovery buisiness. In the US it costs about $1000.00 per gigabyte and the whole drive must be done. So a tiny 4 gig drive will cost you $4000 even if you only used part of it. Additionally, usually about 70-80% of the data is actually recoverable from the drive. On top of that, the 70-80% is not 70 - 80 files out of 100 but 70 - 80% of any one file. Sometimes you get lucky and recover complete files but I’d rather use up my luck buying lottery tickets.

Cheers,

Landon


#16

Thanks for the help.

I tried uplugging drives, rebooting then replugging and rebooting but it didnt make any differences. Cannot play around with the dip swithces cos not familiar with the guts of my computer so guess I’ll take it to a technician to get it done.