Need computer help

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by mistmouse, Mar 27, 2007.

  1. mistmouse

    mistmouse New Member

    My desktop computer was acting kind of funny, so I tried to do a system restore, but it said I had no restore points. OK, don't know how that happened as I had used that before, so on to system know where it says it does the non-destructive system recovery from the partition on the hard drive? Well, for some reason that didn't complete, or at least that is what it said. I was able to use some things on the computer, but not the printer and everything was so slow. Plus it looked funny. So, I began the process of backing up things, which was a chore as during the process sometimes the computer would freeze and have to be restarted by using the button on the front of the tower. But, I finally saved what I could and that would be completely irreplaceable any other way. So, after all that, I am going to use my restore discs. So, I go through that process, changing discs until all 8 (computer didn't come with them, had to make them after I got the computer)had been put in when asked for. It went through the remainder of the process of supposedly doing a complete recovery, but when it got to the point of restarting, I clicked on that and it comes up to the Windows screen where the little bar shows the "bubbles" going across as it starts up, but it freezes there and won't go any further. I can't start it in safe mode either.

    Sorry this is so long, but does anybody have any suggestions? I have found some websites where I can order restore discs, but I don't have the money to do so, and that would take a couple of weeks for them to get here. I can't make a boot disk and try that method because the floppy drive on my computer doesn't work. Also the laptop I am using didn't even come with a floppy drive.

    Thanks if you have made it this far...and thanks even more if you have any suggestions.

  2. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member

    If you can burn cds on your laptop, you can get a bootable cdrom that would give you utilities that may somewhat fix the problem.

    You may need to get a windows xp or whatever operating system you have and boot from that. Did you just install vista? On an older computer?
  3. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Did you try pressing F12 as soon as you turn the computer on to get it to boot in safe mode? Keep pressing F12 until hopefully you get the start-up screen.

    I just had to do a complete system restore on my laptop a couple weeks ago. Laptops now do not come with restore discs so I had to have dell send me them and they walked me thru restoring it. It was not easy and I had to download all the drivers off the Utilities disc.

    I wish I could be more help.

  4. mistmouse

    mistmouse New Member

    Janet can you tell me where I can get a bootable CDRom? I can only find places for a floppy and I don't have a floppy drive at all on the laptop and not a working one on the desktop computer.

    Nancy that is what I was having to do before is start in safe mode and then restart and it would start up after that, then it quit doing that. I did the system recovery discs but it didn't work.

  5. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    what kind of computer is it?
  6. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member

    I hold myself not liable for In house computer nerd plays with this stuff and says this should do it. Sounds like you got bound up with a virus.
  7. mistmouse

    mistmouse New Member

    Nancy it is a Hewlett Packard running Windows XP...or at least it used to run Windows XP. :smile:

    Thanks Janet, I will take a look at those. I promise not to hold you responsible if it doesn't work, but to give you all the credit if it does. :smile:

  8. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member

    Not I have an almost 26 year old computer geek son who lives on those weird sites. How do you think I get my ancient computer fixed with duct tape and super glue? LOL.

    He has managed to keep this sucker running when I thought it gave up the ghost many times. I dont have any CD roms...they died long ago, a floppy, and one hard drive died so he piggy backed another into the case. We just pray this thing lasts until I get my disability...lmao.
  9. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    HP has a wonderful chat service where you can talk to a tech on line who can help you. They are wonderful and helped me reinstall my wireless printer even though it wasout of warranty. You can go to their support site and click on Chat with Live Tech and he may be able to help.

  10. Lothlorien

    Lothlorien Active Member

    If you can't figure it out, you may just want to take it to someone. Since you've already backed up what you needed, it doesn't take much for someone to wipe out your easy child and start it over. The cost might end up being less than ordering those discs, believe it or not. I took my easy child to someone a few weeks back and they charged 50 bucks to fix a couple things. It's cheaper and they have it for a day vs taking it to a big box computer store, where they hold your easy child hostage for a week and charge you a fortune! been there done that
  11. eaterbooger

    eaterbooger New Member

    Sounds like your hard drive has crashed/fried. You can get a new one for about 60 bucks at your local elctronics store. You need to replace it and then find a friend who has an XP operating system disk. :smile: Replacing it is not that bad.

    I am a little confused as to what 8 disks you are putting in though. If your floppy doesnt work then the entire restore should have fit on one cd rom.
  12. mistmouse

    mistmouse New Member

    Lothlorian, I may not be able to figure it out, but will have to attempt to do so as I can't afford to take it anywhere. That is why I am trying to fix it myself if at all possible.

    eaterbooger, the hard drive doesn't appear to have done a hard crash if it has crashed, as at times I can get it to respond. For instance I did borrow a friends XP OS disk and try to boot from it to format and install it and start fresh. It wouldn't go through the whole process, but after that failed, then I restarted it and it went through the setup screen it was supposed to bring up after the recovery. It was acting funny still, so I just started it in safe mode and reinstalled XP from my friends disk. For now it is working, although still not too great. However I may have a problem since when I had to authenticate XP it wouldn't let me use my product key from the side of my computer for the XP installed on my hard drive when I bought it. Instead I had to put in his product key and he says it will not let me use it but for two weeks without registering it and of course I can't register it with his product key. I don't know anybody else that has a Windows XP disk.

    As for the 8 disks, when I got the computer it didn't come with disks for any of the preloaded software, so I had to make recovery disks for all the preloaded software. It is one of the first things it asks you to do after setup, and it then puts all the software including the OS software, all drivers and application files and such onto the disks. It told me at the beginning I was going to need 8 disks. So, that is what I was trying to do a system recovery from...or what it called a destructive system recovery as I would lose all data on the hard drive. That did happen, but like I said after that was finished it didn't initially come up with the setup froze up. During my attempts to boot from the XP disk of my friend's, it finally brought up the setup screen on restarting after it froze. So, its days or hours are limited, but I can't afford a new hard drive or OS software so I guess I will hope it has more days left than I think.

  13. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member

    Mist....let me know if you cant find any xp disc...I may be able to help. We may have one or...may be able to find you a product key somewhere. You just never know (evil grin).

    Were you able to burn those cds?
  14. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member

    Oh and big a hard drive would you need? Go on and join that and ask for a used computer...any kind and harvest the hard drive and install that and just scrap this one. Are you up for this much work? I can have Billy call you over one weekend when you get a scrap computer and walk you thru it all.
  15. eaterbooger

    eaterbooger New Member

    Ok while things are up and running a little maybe you can start with a chkdsk. It will scan the hard drives and repair them. Repair is actually kinda vauge because all it does really is puts bad sectors asided (in a matter of speaking) so that data doesnt get stored on them. It might be a temp fix but it should buy you some time.

    Go to start--->run----> type "chkdsk /r"
    It should tell you it cant do it cause the volume is being used. And asks if you want to run chkdsk upon next restart type "y" for yes and then restart the easy child. It will take a while!

    Sorry if this is broke down too simplified I just dont know how much computer knowledge you have so I always just break it down for people. :smile:

    Also as far as the XP disk there is a work around. There is nothing that says your friend can not have his XP on 2 different easy child's. So hopefully he is a "good friend" :smile: I actually have a registered copy of XP at home and then one across town at my sisters house...even a registered copy in California. I guess I am a "good friend" to a few people!
    Someone else suggested getting another serial key and to be honest I have never had much luck with that. Kinda like yours didnt work with his disk. The disk is set up to take only certain serial keys. I kinda confirmed this about 8 months ago when I lost my key and had to call Microsoft for it. (it costs 20 bucks) It took them a while to generate a key and so I asked the lady "whats taking so long" and she said she had to generate a key that my cd would accept. They look up the info of the disk and then generate a key based the encryption of that disk.

    Anyway try the chkdsk. Watch it if you can and see how many errors it detects. If there are alot its only going to be a matter of time before you start having problems again. But it should buy you some time so you can maybe save up to buy a hard drive. You situatuion sounds alot like one I went through one time. Eventually the hard drive crashed and upon doing a reformat it wouldnt even mount or accept an operating system.

    Also if you get this to work try to limit the number of restarts you do with your computer. I know some people hard hard pressed to turn thier computers off but leave it on and just let it go in stand by mode. Turning your computer on and off is actually hard on the hard drive as it has to scan more to load the OS.

    With mine I had a over heating problem and the easy child would just turn off by itself. Since I already had HD problems to begin with the restarting of the hard drive is what finally did it in. One morning I woke up turned on the easy child and got "no operating system found" and when I tried to put it back on there I basically got the ":censored2: you" freeze up screen. You know the screen...the one where you see the Windows screen and it just sits there teasing you!
  16. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member


    Could you maybe stick around and be our resident computer expert? The information you gave was very informative. I just restored my entire computer last month using discs that dell sent me because I kept getting the blue screen of death and after running the chkdsk and trying all sorts of things, they couldn't figure out the problem. After restoring the computer I still got the blue screen so they sent me a new hard drive and helped me load everything back in and it works great now. It use to take about 5 minutes for everything to load and it now loads in about 20 seconds. I'm thrilled with the results even if it took two weeks to get it running again.

    Anyway you sound very knowledgeable and I hate talking to India(nothing against them, we just don't communicate very effectively together). The Dell tech I finally got after several others that I couldn't understand, was from Okla and he stayed with me for over a week helping me and calling to check up. I love him but I could grow to love you too LOL.

  17. mistmouse

    mistmouse New Member

    Janet, If you had an XP disc that had a product key associated with it that isn't going to tell me I can't use it in a few weeks, that would be great. As for replacing the hard drive, I have done that on a different computer years ago so might be able to figure that out, but again I will need a copy of XP so I can install an operating system.

    On the sites you gave me there is lots of information, but the disks you can burn have so much on them I am not sure I would know how to use them as they aren't just the same information that is on a boot disk (floppy).

    eaterbooger, I tried doing the chkdsk/r you mentioned, but it said it didn't recognize it. I did a search for chkdsk/r and it found nothing by that name. I then did a search for chkdsk and came up with three hits on that. So I went to start, run, and typed in chkdsk and hit OK and it brought up the black DOS screen and ran through three steps, but it took place without restarting and only took about a minute to do and then the screen closed before I could see what it said after step three completed. Guess that wasn't the same thing you were talking about. I went into easy child Doctor that is one of the HP tools and told it to do a hard drive test and it is performing that now, but it only shows a progress bar and will give me the results of the test once it is completed.

    I have a question for either of you you have any idea why it wouldn't let me format and install from the Windows XP disc my friend loaned me? I mean he told me all I had to do was go into the BIOS and change the boot order where it would boot from the CD, then restart when it does that. Supposedly it is supposed to boot from the CD and will format and install Windows XP from his disc, which means of course I would lose everything on the hard drive, but would have a fresh start.

    What happens is it did boot from the CD, then it goes part way through the steps(loading some things, which I guess is what it needs to put on there so it can format and then install the OS), but then it comes up to the blue screen that says "Windows XP Home Edition Setup" at the top, and then at the bottom on a white status bar it says "Examining 57276 MB Disk 0 at Id 0 on bus 0 on atapi..." and it freezes there. My friend says it is supposed to come up and ask me about setting up partitions and all. On one attempt to boot from the CD, it did eventually get to that screen, but while I was calling him and asking him if I needed to delete D drive which was my recovery drive it created on my C drive (don't have two hard drives in it)and found out from him that yes I needed to delete C and D and tell it to create a new partition and just have C, it froze up again and I never got it to go past what the examining stage again.

    If I do get a new hard drive will I be able to install XP from my friends disc and run it since as you say he should be able to use his on more than one computer at his house? Would I just get around that by not registering it on my computer which just means I am not able to get updates and such?

    I just really need to get it working if at all possible as it is the one my daughter uses to do homework, and she has it written into her IEP that she does her homework (except math) on a home computer since her handwriting is illegible.

    Thanks for all the replys and help so far.
  18. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member

    Mist....I am going to have billy come read this while I go to therapy and tell him to PM you.
  19. mistmouse

    mistmouse New Member

    I had a long post typed and then lost it, so I will just try to recap what I had typed.

    Janet, If you have a Windows XP disk with a product key that I can use, that would be great. As for replacing the hard drive, I did that one time years ago on a different computer, so I might be able to figure that out again. Of course I will need an OS to install. Ask your son if I do get a different hard drive can I use my system recovery disks that I have to install the OS and other software, or is it possible those disks are also corrupt?

    eaterbooger, I tried what you said with the chkdsk/r and it says there is no chkdsk/r on my computer. I did a search for chkdsk/r and it says not found. I did a search for chkdsk and it came up with three things. I then went to start, run and typed in chkdsk and it brought up the black DOS screen and ran through a three step process, but it didn't take but a few seconds to do and then the screen closed so I don't suppose that is anything like you were talking about.

    I went into to HP tools and went to easy child Doctor and ran the long hard drive test, and it says it passes all portions of that.

    Can either of you tell me why it wouldn't let me boot and format from he Windows XP disk my friend loaned me? According to him I was to go into the BIOS and change the boot order so it boots from the CD and then it would come up with the screen asking me if I wanted to keep or delete partitions already on the hard drive. At that point I was supposed to tell it to delete C and D with D being a portion on C that was created for recovery, I don't have two hard drives. Then I would tell it to create a new partition and that would be D. At that point it would format and go through the process of installing Windows from his disk. However it only went through part of that process. It came up with the blue Windows Setup screen and on a white status bar at the bottom it showed it loading drivers and some other stuff, no problem there. The next thing is it goes to a blue screen that says "Windows XP Home Edition Setup". The white status bar at the bottom says, " Examining 57276 MB Disk 0 at Id 0 on bus 0 on atapi..." and it freezes there.

    I really was hoping to get this computer working since my daughter needs it to do homework since she has accommodations in her IEP for typing her work, except math, because of her handwriting being illegible due to visual/motor deficits and other things.

    Janet I will check into the freecycle, but we are in a small rural town and I don't know if that will be of any help to me.

    I appreciate the replies and help given so far.
  20. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member

    This is Billy Janets oldest she left this up on here and ive read the post
    first im not really sure what your level of experience with the daemons that seem to appear in computers from time to time is
    but i believe what she meant chkdsk /r /f don't forget the spaces
    as to those cds the hirens cd has an anti virus on it and while they aren't that common there are still viruses that can infect the parts of your computer that would survive a format
    if you consider your self a more patient than most novice computer users you could actually look into using an alternative operating system namely a *nix variant a windows user friendly version is actually called xandros

    i used it a little a while back and if you are willing to learn and read it could be fun.
    i cant really recommend you do anything that would be illegal but maybe you could get a friend who has a student in college to pick you up a copy of windows xp or vista for student evaluation i know my school did this for students in the IS dept.