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computer problem

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by floydbass, Feb 26, 2004.

  1. ok, heres the deal, on my computer the start button does not work anymore, and programs, thats sI use dont show up on the tool bar, and thew clock dosent work. Its like the toolbar and start buttons, are frozen. what is the problem and how do I fix it?
  2. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2001
    Olympia, WA
    Typical TB response to this: "Re-install windows"....hehehe

    Your wait time for a helpful response won't be long. We have some smart computer guys here at TB. :D

  3. unharmed

    unharmed Iron Fishes

    May 19, 2003
    London, England
    I'm a smart computer person. Well I used to be anyway. I say: "re-install Windows". If that doesn't work then buy a Mac

  4. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2001
    Olympia, WA
    My dad had a problem with his P2 last week. He was told by some shop to re-install Windows. Man, I am learning about computers right now, and going to school for it soon. If all I need to know is how to install Windows, then I can start working right now.

    BTW, my dad ended up buying a new Dell since he didn't want to deal with re-installing Windows. Some guy in our town sells brand new 8200's for $450.

  5. unharmed

    unharmed Iron Fishes

    May 19, 2003
    London, England
    In all seriousness, re-installing the OS is a perfectly valid troubleshooting technique in a Windows environment. It's a result of using a closed system where it is very difficult to isolate problems coupled with M$ OS's tendency to deterioate over time until they get to an unusable state.
  6. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2001
    Olympia, WA
    Yeah, I know what you mean. My personal experience, and what I have learned so far, is that most problems can be solved before it gets to that point. I will admit though that I have come across a few issues that only a re-install would solve. Most of those problems seem to pop up right about the time a new version of Windows becomes available!! :D

  7. unharmed

    unharmed Iron Fishes

    May 19, 2003
    London, England
    Yeah, funny that. :meh:

    IME, the newer, NT-based systems (2K, XP) will just keep on running if tended with care but the older, 9x ones will eventually fall over no matter what you do.
    I'm trying to find a link to a study where they just left some freshly-installed machiens with different OS's on, not doing anything for long periods of time. The Windows one (Win98SE IIRC) crashed hard after about a week with no user interaction whatsover. :rolleyes:

  8. jivetkr


    May 15, 2002
    Windows operating systems in general are miserable at memory management. When most of the memory is in use, PC's will behave very poorly & freeze or crash.

    For example, my win98 PC at home could run fine for a 1/2 day, but beyond that I need to re-boot to release the memory. & its a far cry from the first day I got it. I've had to re-install windows more times than I can remember.

    Win2K & XP are much better at this than the previous OS. None are anything close to the new MAC OS which is based on a UNIX OS.

    To answer your question though, you could press control+alt+delete & see what processes are frozen. Then you could try booting up in safe mode & uninstalling those programs.

    If that doesnt work, re-install the OS.
  9. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    In a lot of cases it's simpler, easier and faster to reinstall than spend hours and hours to find some weird error. Simple as that.
  10. wulf


    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    Unless your wierd error is caused by something like a failing disk drive or other hardware error. If you reinstall and it starts flaking again quite quickly it may not be the software entirely at fault.

  11. ChenNuts44


    Nov 18, 2001
    Davenport, IA
    Worth quoting. I haven't rebooted My XP machine (aside from prompted updates, and even then only half the time because I'm working) since the beginning of this school year. No crashes, no slowdowns, etc.

    IME, problems tend to be due to hardware. If you spent equivalent money on a PC that you would to buy a Mac, chances are that your machine is going to contain some quality hardware. I'll wager that in this case, you won't be having any problems, regardless of OS. Even Mac would have problems if it had crappy hardware.

    Again, mediocre hardware = trouble.

    Quality hardware = quality experience, no trouble.
  12. Sundogue


    Apr 26, 2001
    Wausau, WI
    What operating system do you have?

    If you have Windows 2000 or Windows XP, reboot your computer and keep hitting the F8 key (the function key at the top of your keyboard) while it is in the black BIOS boot up screen.

    You will eventually come up to a Boot menu with options. Use your up arrow and choose "Last Known Good Configuration". That may resolve it. If you have XP, you can also use System Restore and set back your OS to a point where it did work.

    If you have Win 95 or 98, reinstall. It should just overlay the OS and keep all of your settings. If you have Windows ME, junk it and buy a new operating System.
  13. Do you get same problem in safe mode? How about straight after a restart? Did you install anything recently? Have you tried restore points?

    "If you have Windows ME, junk it and buy a new operating System."
    Amen. ME => :spit:
  14. BertBert


    Nov 9, 2002
    Or you could UN-install Windows and put on Linux, which is free. I use it almost exclusively at work and 100% exclusively at home, and it is not only free but tons better than Windows at practically everything. It has something of a learning curve, but in the process of learning you'll become more computer-literate and in control of your computer system. Most Linux distributions come with hundreds -- literally -- of programs ranging from office suites to games and music programs. The office software OpenOffice is fully compatible with MS office.

    I use Mandrake Linux at home and MEPIS Linux at work. Mandrake is more user friendly; MEPIS has a better software management system.

    Also check out LinuxQuestions.org for more Linux newbie info.
  15. BertBert


    Nov 9, 2002
    Windows ME = Windows Mistake Edition.
  16. LiquidMidnight


    Dec 25, 2000
    Man, I don't buy a new car just because I don't feel like changing oil. Sorry, I don't mean to be disrespectful of your father, but I don't know what to say about that.

    And I agree with the comment about hardware being a big factor in computer failure. I remember the IT company I use to work for would buy this one type of computer off a local company. Sometimes we would get computers with athelons and sometimes they would have celerons. The athelons were nothing but trouble; they wouldn't detect all of the drivers during an OS install (while the celerons would for some reason) and sometimes, out of the blue, they would do really strange things, like quit detecting the hard drive during boot-up. One day I told me boss, (after one of these computers failed at a clients for the millonth time) "We have to look for another supplier or start building these computers ourselves. With all of these computers failing everytime we drop one off at a client, we're starting to look like asses"
  17. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2001
    Olympia, WA
    That's OK, you don't have to say anything. Spending several thousand dollars on a new car, and spending $450 on a computer aren't really the same thing. I understand the principle of what you are getting. To be honest, I said kind of the same thing to my dad at first.

    But, the old computer my dad had was worth about $200. So, in his eyes, it was not worth it to take it to a computer repair shop and have some tech work on it. The repair cost could have easily exceeded the value of his computer. My dad is "old school", far from tech savvy. He is good at solitaire, and editing his digital pics. So the task of re-installing his OS was something he was not comfotrable doing. Besides, in the same amount of time that would have taken, he could drive across town and get his new system. When this local guy offered to sell my dad that Dell, he jumped on it. By the end of the day, my dad had a sweet new computer that was 100 times better than his old one.

  18. CaKe420


    Feb 27, 2004
    Try deleting some unused documents, or software...that could possibly be taking up to much memory unabling the start menu to respond. Has happend to me once.
  19. LiquidMidnight


    Dec 25, 2000
    Oh, okay Mike, I dig what you are saying. I guess if you're running like a 233 and don't know how to do an OS reinstall it probaly would make more sense to buy a brand new one. Espcially since computers have come down in price in the last couple of years. (God bless Tigerdirect)
  20. Agreed.

    Excellent point!

    I'd run NT4 over win98 any day.


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