Troubleshooting Computers

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Jeff Block
Jeff Block's picture
Troubleshooting Computers

If you're part of the community and you absolutely have to ask someone a computer question, post it here. with all the gadgeteers running around here, someone's bound to be able to help you.

I'm inspired to create this thread because Lorenders had a burning off-the-beaten-CE-trail question, which I've reproduced here with an answer.......

Jeff Block
Jeff Block's picture
Lorenders wrote...Does anyone

Lorenders wrote...

Does anyone know anything about Sony PCG-N505VE notebook computers? What does the following error messages mean? Could not locate a device file that may be needed to run Windows or a Windows application. The windows registry or SYSTEM.INI file refers to this device file. but the device file no longer exist. Reinstall this application. nwlink.vxd Press any key to continue. When I do, the same error message is repeated with nwredir.vxd press any key to continue, when I do same error message is repeated and nscl.vxd hit any key to continue, when I do I get a gray box with the error message "unable to load dynamic link library NWNP32.dll The system cannot find the file specified. Some or all of the following feature is not available. NetWare... What device are they refering to? I haven't removed or deleted any applications as far as I know and if I did, how can I fix problem.
HELP!!!!!!!


The Windows registry and system.ini files both contain system configuration information. On your system, one or both of these repositories must contain instructions telling Windows to load files that the system cannot find.

You will find the system.ini file in your C:\windows or C:\winnt directories, depending on your operating system. Open it in Notepad (or some other superior editor -- I use TextPad), and search for the files indicated. Remove the lines containing them. The specific files you've listed are Network protocol files you should not need (at least most people don't).

If not in the system.ini, then the commands are in your system registry. This is trickier than your system.ini, because changing it manually has the potential to really make a mess of your system. I recommend getting a computer-nerdy friend to help you in person, so that they can make snap decisions about what to delect and what not to.

GlenJohnson
GlenJohnson's picture
Couple of things here. We'd

Couple of things here. We'd need to know what's going on. Sound's like Windows isn't loading, but she never really stated that. If that was the case, then we need to know the operating system. If it was Windows 2000 or later, trying last known good configuration or booting into safe mode would be options. Just some thoughts. Would like to know what happened.

Lynne W-U
Lynne W-U's picture
My husband has a compaq

My husband has a compaq Mellenium computer that is running really slow but his computer has double my memory capability. What can we do to fix this? We have spybot and adware to clean up things.
jude10849@comcast.net

Jeff Block
Jeff Block's picture
Well, Jude, here are some

Well, Jude, here are some things to keep in mind...

Yes, the amount of memory that you have makes a difference, but it's not as cut-and-dried as you make it sound. Think of your computer as (among other things) a giant set of filing cabinets where stuff (programs, like Microsoft Word) is stored (the file cabinets are your hard drive). Your computer also contains (metaphorically) a desk, where the active user can actually work on things (this is memory, or RAM).

So, when you run a program, your computer pulls a file out of the file cabinet and puts it on the desk to work on it. The more memory you have, the bigger the desk, so the more you're able to work on at one time. If you try to work on more things than you have room for on the desk, then you (again preverbially) have to keep running back to the file cabinets to trade files. So, for instance, you want to work on file A and file B at the same time, but you only have room for one. So, you work on A, then put it away, get out file B, work on it, put it away, get out file A, work on it, etc.

The "put it away, get out another file" part of that takes a LONG time compared to just shuffling things around on the desk. So, that's why a computer works faster (generally speaking) with more memory. This is called "paging memory". A more indepth article on this subject is here.

But no matter how much memory you have, you could overwhelm your computer with more to do than it can handle. So, it's not about having a certain amount in general, it's about having enough for what you're doing. Most users will need at least 512MB (as a rule of thumb).

To check to see if you are chewing through your memory, right click on the taskbar (blue bar at the bottom), and open the Task Manager. Select the "Performance" tab. Under "Physical Memory", notice the value next to "Available". If it's too low, you might need more memory. Also, when you reboot, memory will be freed up. Best to do this check in the middle of what you're doing, not right after a reboot.

Other things you can do to speed up your computer are to defragment the drive. Select "Start->Accessories->System Tools->Disk Degramenter" to do so. And you're right that getting rid of spyware and the like helps too.

There is lots to say about these and other variables, but I've been long-winded enough. Hope this helps.

Rondog
Rondog's picture
I have a Sony VAIO PC model

I have a Sony VAIO PC model #PCV-2234 that will only allow me to log on as a guest user, I use the windows XP home edition. Any help
mbreit76@aol.com

Jeff Block
Jeff Block's picture
Is that the only account

Is that the only account available or is it the only account that actually works, you have a password for, etc?

In other words, do you see other account options on the Welcome Screen?

Also, to point you to some resources, check out this article. Lots of good info on this topic there.

Strait
Strait's picture
What is the most frequent

What is the most frequent cause of a computer clock losing time each 24 hour period? I had surmised that it could need a new battery, but need confirmation from someone who knows for sure. Anyone know???

Jeff Block
Jeff Block's picture
When you say, "losing time",

When you say, "losing time", I assume you mean that the clock resets to midnight. And if that's so, then yes, you need a new battery. All computer motherboards have a built in battery which powers things like the clock (and making sure your BIOS/CMOS settings stay alive). It typically lasts forever, but it's a battery like any other and can go out.

You need to take it to someone who knows how to change it to get it fixed. Not the most trivial operation to perform if you're not very computer savvy.

You could try taking it to Best Buy to the geek squad. They'll charge you, but they'll hook you up.

mth57
mth57's picture
I have a Gateway Solo5150

I have a Gateway Solo5150 laptop. It was behind the seat of my car since November 2005. The battery was dead so I replaced it. It will not power on. No lights. Nothing. Before spending the winter in my car, it worked great. Could the cold weather have damaged it?

Jeff Block
Jeff Block's picture
Absolutely, extreme

Absolutely, extreme temperatures can damage computer equipment. Either too hot or too cold. So, you're seeing no response whatsoever to turning it on? Not even strange beeps? If that's the case, there's very little you can do to diagnose, other than to start swapping parts -- starting with the power supply.

However, if you're not too computer-savvy, might be a job for the Geek Squad at Best Buy or a geeky college student somewhere in the family.

Hope this helps. Good luck.

Larry Dillon
Larry Dillon's picture
About the slow Computer. I

About the slow Computer. I learned a long time ago that if your puter runs normal, and then it starts to take forever to get to another file or program, clean out the tempoary internet files along with the cookies or even the history files. All in the control panel under internet options. I cleanj mine out every week and Im running 1 gig of memory. Cool 

dtl
dtl's picture
Can someone please help

Can someone please help

my laptop has lost windows xp

i have tried to restartwith the cd but i have an errorr message which is

root.\system32\hal.dll file is missing

i also have loads of other error messages 1527,16081530

 

derek

Jeff Block
Jeff Block's picture
Very possible you have a

Very possible you have a virus that nuked one of the operating system's core files (hal.dll - which controls NT's hardware access layer).  You will most likely need to reinstall Windows.  Do so by making sure in your BIOS that your computer boots to the CD-ROM before the hard drive, then insert your install CD, and reboot.  "Press any key to boot from CD..." will appear.  Do so.

You can basically select all the defaults to reinstall windows.  You might try the "Repair" option when it comes up, which in theory replaces DLLs (like the one that's damaged on your system) when they become damaged.  But truthfully, I've never had much luck with this route.  You're better off re-installing.  This overlays a new copy of the OS on top of the old one.  If this doesn't work, try installing a "fresh" copy of Windows into a new directory on the drive (Note that this option does NOT mean reformatting your drive), but this will require you to reinstall the software you use (like Office, Quicken, etc).  Your data should remain in tact though.

Last resort (the beefy option)...  Backup all your data to another drive somewhere, boot to the windows CD, delete the active partition, create a new one (which inherently destroys all data on the drive), and install a completely fresh instance of Windows.  NOTE:  IF YOU DO NOT BACKUP ALL YOUR DATA, YOU WILL LOSE IT if taking this route.  Therefore, I don't recommend you do this, but rather take your PC to Best Buy's Geek Squad to do it for you.  Even then, request a CD/DVD backup of your data, so that they're forced to create backup discs.  This helps further ensure that you won't lose anything.

At any rate, once your OS is back in place, make sure you have virus and spyware software in place to protect yourself.  I use ...    

I also have a hardware firewall in place, but there are software versions of this as well.  AVG's paid version has one.  Another popular one is ZoneAlarm, but I pretty much hate that software.  I also don't like Symantec's or McAffee's virus protectors.  They all protect from viruses, but the do so by totally taking over your machine, which I don't like.  The proof is in trying to uninstall them - good luck.  :-)

Okay, that's about all I can tell you.  If you're afraid you'll get in over your head, take the PC into the geek squad - or a service you trust.  Don't risk losing all your data.

Jeff Block
Jeff Block's picture
Oh, and Larry...  On getting

Oh, and Larry...  On getting the thing to run faster...  Couple other tips...

  1. Defragment your computer once a month or so.  Let it run overnight, cause it takes forever.  Plus, you can't USE your computer while it's working, because it restarts every time you do something that causes a write to the disk (which is all the time if you're working on it).  In XP, you'll find a link to the disk degragmenter tool in your start menu under Programs -> Accessories -> System Tools.  For more help, see this article on Microsoft's site.
  2. Get more memory.  You know all those updates from Microsoft that keep downloading onto your computer?  They make it more sophisticated, which means that it takes more computing power to run everything.  Plus, you're upgrading little stuff all the time.  New versions of your media players or Macromedia Flash or Quicken (once a year) or whatever.  Newer software always means beefier software, and the quickest way to get more performance out of your box is more memory.  (I'm about to publish an article that explains why; I'll link to it soon.)
  3. Rebuild your box once a year.  Nobody wants to hear this, but...  Every 12-18 months, have a geeky member of the family or the Geek Squad backup all your data, reformat your drive, and reinstall your operating system and other software.  This cleans out the system completely.  It's necessary because computers just slow down all the time.  Consider this akin to routine maintenance on your car.
  4. Acknowledge that a PC has a lifespan of about 4 years.  After that, it's getting to the "old junker" stage (roughly equivalent to your '83 el camino), and you should begin to consider a new one.  Given that you can replace the thing for like $400-600 bucks (for a basic model - no all-powerful gaming station or anything), this really isn't that big a deal.  In fact, options for leasing computers instead of buying them are becoming more interesting.  Worth at least checking out.
LordKevinT
LordKevinT's picture
Does anyone know how to clean

Does anyone know how to clean up a computer so that you can get rid off anything that could be a problem because there is a computer shop that can do this where I live but it costs $100 to clean the computer. A problem I'm facing right now on my computer is at random times the internet stops working, the desktop icons dissapear, the start menu goes away too, but anything not in an internet window will still work perfectly fine. I would really like any help I can get.

Larry Dillon
Larry Dillon's picture
Sounds like a virus or mal

Sounds like a virus or mal-ware problem, I usually use several different types of mal-ware and virus protectors. Do not use a registry cleaner unless you know what you are doing, some techs may disagree but i have seen registries get messed up because the registry cleaner saw no association with a few files before you and got rid of them. Good Luck

Shinigami71
Shinigami71's picture
Hey guys, having a problem

Hey guys, having a problem with my not-so-old video card.... well I assume...

My computer crashes say.... 5-10 minutes into pretty much any graphic intensive application [CS:S and WoW and such]

My friend thinks it's the graphic card's heatsink but I don't know and I'm not about to ruin my graphics card.... btw this is a recent issue, wasn't happening with the same video card about a month ago...

Any help Plox?

SexyAfter40
SexyAfter40's picture
Hi Guys,

Hi Guys,
I'm lost & need help....I pulled out an old PC from my son's things I have it up & running. My problem is it's running off an old window's 98 it working.... when i go on-line ,within 20 minutes it crashes & i have to keep stated it over then i have to restart the computer over & i get an error message saying Unable to load dynamic libarary NWNP32.dll Netware is not avaliable
I also seen an error message SPYWAREHANDLER.DLL file is missing export ADVAPI32.DLL EnumServicesStatusExA I'm trying to get the PC up to date for my daughter who's in her last year of high school,Can u please help I'm new to the computer so please B gentle LOL
Thank U
Apperciate ur help
SexyAfter40

snypy
snypy's picture
Hello,

Hello,

This maybe hard to solve since developers do not program their software to run on your version of windows. If you do not want to change your windows version (to XP or new Win. 7) then I'd recommend you to run registry cleaner. This one would be great http://www.liutilities.com/products/registrybooster/ ; however, it does not support Win. 98 (it can run though). Next candidate: TuneUP utilities - this soft is kinda good offers many tools to repair your pc. http://www.tune-up.com/download/ not sure whether this version will work on your pc or not, you may need to try 2003 - it is on their pages too. Just try the trial and you'll see. If you install it successfully, look for 1-click-maintenance (perhaps on your desktop) or registry cleaner (when u open the program) (after that reg. defrag)

Do you have some kind of anti-virus / anti-spyware protection? If so, make sure it is up-to-date and run full scan of your pc. You can download some trials on the net in case you have none - I'd recommend you McAfee but it is your choice.

another possible solution would be download of the dll file ( http://www.dll-files.com/dllindex/dll-files.shtml?nwnp32 ).

Also, what browser do u use? IE? Theoretically, if it crashes only when you browse the net, then you may try different program for that: Firefox or Google chrome are quite stable and easy to work with.

Important is: When you are not on the net, does it crash too? when the net is running and you do not use it, does it write those errors? (does your ISP / router have firewall?) Also, when has it started to happen - after some Win. update, a program installation, etc.?

Good luck ;-)

snypy
snypy's picture
Shinigami71 said:

Shinigami71 said:
Hey guys, having a problem with my not-so-old video card.... well I assume...
My computer crashes say.... 5-10 minutes into pretty much any graphic intensive application [CS:S and WoW and such]
My friend thinks it's the graphic card's heatsink but I don't know and I'm not about to ruin my graphics card.... btw this is a recent issue, wasn't happening with the same video card about a month ago...
Any help Plox?

Hi,

try to check temperature of your graphic card ( Everest is one of the best softs for that: http://www.softpedia.com/get/System/System-Info/Everest-Home-Edition.shtml -> open it -> computer -> sensors -> GPU + CPU). Does it crash in 3D only or also in 2D (playing movies, etc)? Check it in an idle mode and then play some game and post temepratures here (°C).  What graphic card do you have? model + manufacturer + your OS.

snypy
snypy's picture
LordKevinT said:

LordKevinT said:
Does anyone know how to clean up a computer so that you can get rid off anything that could be a problem because there is a computer shop that can do this where I live but it costs $100 to clean the computer. A problem I'm facing right now on my computer is at random times the internet stops working, the desktop icons dissapear, the start menu goes away too, but anything not in an internet window will still work perfectly fine. I would really like any help I can get.

Do u have anti-virus / anti-spyware? Make sure it is fully updated and run test - if you do not have McAfee offers free trial (home edition 1-year free of charge if you register) - Presonally, I cannot recommend you NOD32 because I was not contented with it. Then, as I wrote above, install registry booster or tune-up. (I am not sure about the trial of reg. booster) They are pretty safe and you need not to worry. everytime you do sth they make backups so you can restore your computer  in case something goes wrong - I use them for a long time and I have never encoutered a problem.

Also remember use ONLY ONE anti-virus on your computer - 2 won't help you and your computer may not start at all. Most anti-virus programs have anti-spyware included - if you use Win. Vista then you've got Windows Defender anti-spyware installed and updated automatically (just run scans).

Another option - re-install your computer, it is not as hard as many people think it is. It'd definitely solve your problem. - but it may not be necessary.

eric vista
eric vista's picture
HI

HI
JEFF
I HAVE A COMPUTER PROBLEM THAT WHEN YOU SWITCH IT ON YOU GET 3 PEEPS AND AFTER 1 OR 2 MIN YOU CAN HERE THE HARD DRIVE WORKING THEN THE COMPUTER SHUTS DOWN

ericwandaholly@optusnet.com.au

eric vista

Larry Dillon
Larry Dillon's picture
the three beeps is an

the three beeps is an indication that there is a problem detected, last time I had this problem with the exact same symptoms I found out one out of two of my memory cards had a problem, how I found this is I took out one of then turned back on had the same issue, so I took out the other memory card, reinstalled the one I took out, turn the computer back on the computer turned on and booted up normally, took another 512 card from another computer and Everything was back to normal! but I learned from my computer classes a bad CPU fan can also cause this or a bad hard drive, bad floppy also(REMEMBER those)?I have also had a bad power supply once cause this. I have loads of these extra parts as I will buy old or broken computers sometimes so I have lots of extra stuff to try different things Maybe Jeff has a more technical way to troubleshoot your tower!!??
Larry Dillon

eric vista
eric vista's picture
larry

larry

thanks for the replay as soon as i have a chance to try what you said i will get back to you if it works

eric vista

eric vista
eric vista's picture
HI

HI
LARRY
THANK YOU FOR SOLVING THE PROBLEM FOR ME ABOUT THE 3 PEEPS I INSTALLED THE NEW
MEMORY AND NOW IT IS WORKING.

JUST A NEW PROBLEM ON THE OTHER COMPUTER THEIR WAS 6 CAPS POPPED PUT 6 NEW CAPACITORS THAT THAT FEEDS THE VOLTAGE TO THE CPU NOW WHEN I SWITCH IT ON
THE STANDBY LED LIGHTS UP AND THE COMPUTER WILL NOT WORK CAN YOU PLEASE TELL ME WHAT THE PROBLEM COULD BE.

ERIC VISTA

abrahampaily
abrahampaily's picture
my sony computerPCV-RS-2234

my sony computerPCV-RS-2234 used hitachi hard dr.HDS22512VLAT20 tried to run the discovery disk.after start up disk disk one is working,but in 2'nd disk it coming only up to 22% then stop.How can I make it.Please Win.XP is programe.Thanks,

Abraham.

Mason Electronis
Mason Electronis's picture
I have a HP Pavillion Desktop
I have a HP Pavillion Desktop Computer 700N.  When the start  button is pushed the Pwr. supply fans runs but the cpu cooling fans do not.  I have +12 and +5 volts from the pwr. supply.  I have taken this computer apart and completely cleaned it thinking it could be heat related.  No change.  There is no post at all.  I can hear the hard drive do something but then all is quiet.  I am an electronic tech.  and have worked on both desktop and laptops in the past.  Never seen this before.  Is the cou bad or the motherboard.  HELP!!!!
 

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