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Techies, please help fix my computer!

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by silentstranger, Nov 28, 2003.

  1. Sometime recently I went to a website that crashed my computer. This is nothing unusual; my comp crashes somewhat often anyway, and I actually got the link to the site from a thread here on TB...nobody else complained in the thread, so I'm assuming it's just my computer. However, when I rebooted, my comp had the following new problems:

    - My display is stuck in 640x480 resolution, 16 colors. My settings allow less options than I used to have; it tops out at 800x600, 256 colors (when before it was like 1600x1200, 16m colors or something); further, when I try to change settings, it simply doesn't work. The comp reboots itself and it's still in 640x480/16.

    - My sound doesn't work at all. None. I occasionally get clicks from the computer itself which would normally make beeps thru the speakers, but I get no sound from the speakers. I believe several video formats don't work as well.

    - My mouse cursor disappeared.

    I was able to fix the mouse problem by downloading new drivers from the LogiTech website, so that's no longer a problem. The other two issues have me totally stumped though. I tried getting new video and audio drivers from Dell's website, but none of them had any effect.

    Anybody computer-savvy have any idea what's going on or how to solve it? I've scanned with AdAware, SpyBot and a virus checker; I had several minor viruses but none had any symptoms resembling these... Please help!

  2. Have you tried running a virus scan in Safe Mode with updated definitions that you've downloaded from another computer and loaded via a CD-ROM or floppy?
  3. odie

    odie Supporting Member

    Peter!!! How the heck are you man!! Sorry I just hijacked this.

    Welcome back we missed you.
  4. I posted an answer, realized that I didn't read the post properly, then deleted my first posts. :rolleyes:

    Question, are you sure you have the right drivers for your video card and sound card?

    (Can you tell us which ones you have? I would check by using Start Menu - Run - DXDIAG)

    Another question, did you load new drivers for your monitor?

    Sounds like you got kicked into Safe Mode. When that happens, your drivers get wiped out.

    If you can provide your system specs, that would help.
  5. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    Do a backup and a clean reinstall. Saves time and you get a clean working system.
  6. Just curious - when you say clean reinstall (Which is probably your best option despite the inconvenience.), are you recommending that the hard drive be formatted before reinstallation?
  7. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    Yes. Or at least delete the system folders.
  8. Hey, the Smug One returns to post on my lil old thread, good to see you again! I have not tried this, mainly because I'm not even sure how to get into safe mode...is there a universal way to do it, or does it vary among manufacturers?

    Also, the virus checker I used is AntiVir version 6, and I downloaded it after all these problems appeared...I know, I'm an idiot for running essentially unprotected before then :rolleyes: ...you're saying it wouldn't work right if I DL'd it while not in safe mode (when the virus or whatever is presumably in memory)?
  9. Safe mode only means that network access and all but the most essential drivers are disabled.

    The way to access safe mode is by hitting F8 as soon as Windows starts loading when you boot up the computer.
  10. Reply to rabid_granny's suggestion:

    Okay, ran DXDIAG...this thing gives a LOT of info! :eek: Not quite sure what I'm looking for... First things first though; upon running the program, I got the following error messages:

    "Error: Problem getting extra display info, result code = 0x80004005 (Generic failure)" with an OK button, followed by

    "Error: Problem getting extra sound info, result code = 0x800004005 (Generic failure)" with an OK button.

    No idea what to do about those...System specs, I'll tell you what I know:
    - Dell Dimension L667r (Pentium III 667mhz)
    all-original except for a no-name CD-RW drive I used to replace the original CD-ROM, quite some time ago and without incident, and extra RAM (I'm up to 512mb, I believe it came with 128)
    - Microsoft Windows 98 (4.10, Build 2222) A
    - DirectX Version: DirectX 7.0 (
    - Display Device: Intel(R) 82810E Graphics Controller
    --- main driver: i81xdw9x.drv
    --- version: (English)
    --- Certified: no
    --- Mini VDD: i81x.vxd
    --- VDD: *vdd, *vflatd
    Monitor: Dell E770s

    According to Control Panel - System Properties, I seem to have two audio drivers:
    - Creative Sound Blaster AudioPCI 64V
    - Sound Blaster AudioPCI 64V Legacy Device

    I can post the more specific details about those if they'll be useful... I'm not sure if the video and audio drivers are original; I DL'd and installed several new ones from the Dell site to see if they would have any effect on the original problems, which they didn't...no help, but no harm either.

    Any other necessary info, let me know what and how to get it...I'm trying to avoid the whole "format and reinstall" idea; I know it is probably the best way to go but I simply don't have the time for such a drastic measure at this point...:meh: Thanks all

    Edit: accidentally posted before I was done :rolleyes:
    Edit 2: clarification
  11. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    OK, it seems you messed up your DirectX. Try to repair it by installing DirectX 9.0b from the M$ website.
    If that doesn't work, do a fresh install.
  12. Done, and no dice :( The new DX version didn't affect any of the audio/display problems, and I got a new error message upon starting Windoze after installing the new version, along the lines of "DXDLLREG performed an illegal operation and will be shut down" blah blah, plain vanilla invalid page fault in KERNEL32.DLL ...nothing I haven't seen before, but it's obviously associated with DX. I have a feeling I should probably just start over anyway with WinXP considering all the little performance issues I have on a regular basis, now my hand is forced.

    Any other suggestions are still appreciated though, as I won't have the time to backup and reinstall for a couple weeks since this semester is about to get really crazy :( (I'll be trying Peter's suggestion, but that might take some time as well) Thanks, peace
  13. CamMcIntyre


    Jun 6, 2000
    Hi, i tried to reformat my harddrive except apparently i have forgotten the commands. Is it c:\format or what?

    I went through last time my computer was acting up [we had several viruses and i got really ticked off] and got the virus fix-found out if they were the kind that can still be there after a format, so i formatted the drive a good 2-3 times in hopes that all would be wiped out. I then reinstalled Windows and other than my sound not working for awhile it was good-i had a computer techie friend fix my sound and he ended up giving me a new sound card for cheap.

    Now it's acting up again since i think it's the win.ini file has been corrupted or is messed up somehow. I tried to install a printer on our computer and it would always freeze up at that point so i emailed the printer company and they said that the file must be corrupt. Is there a way i can just fix this file or am i SOL?

    Thats all and sorry for the partial hijack.
  14. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    format c:

    But I recommend booting from the Windows XP CD and during installation you get the option to format.
  15. Sorry about making you sift through the DXDIAG stuff. I use it to grab a snapshot of a computer system - most of the information I ignore...I only read the stuff in English, not computerese.

    Perhaps you could try installing different drivers:

    Intel(R) 82810E Graphics Controller - Drivers from Intel

    I did a search of the Intel website using the name of your graphic chipset. I don't think you have a stand-alone graphics card but a graphic card that is integrated with the motherboard.

    I did a search for "82810E" and selected Windows 98. Maybe you could try installing one of these drivers. As for the sound, I'd need to check a bit more but I think your sound card would also be part of the motherboard as well.

    I'm not sure how DirectX9.0 will react with an old (and unsupported now?) operating system (Windows 98).

    Also trying grabbing the Dell monitor driver for the E770 model. I'd do it for you but I'm leaving work (it's 5pm!).
  16. Marley's Ghost

    Marley's Ghost Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 9, 2002
    Tampa, FL
    I had a problem recently where my bootup always failed when when windoze loaded. I could not even go to safe mode. The XP repair utility crapped out too. I intsalled a new 40 GB HD which I got for 30 bucks, put XP Pro on it and all by iteslf during setup it found the old drive and repaired it with no data loss!!!:hyper: :smug: Now I have 80 GB of disk!

    Not sure if this helps you, but it might.
  17. CamMcIntyre


    Jun 6, 2000
    do you know if Windows 98 Plus offers that option?

    That's all and thanks.
  18. Isn't Windows 98 Plus an add-on? You would still be using Windows 98 or 98 (second edition).

    I found some instructions for installing Windows 98: Windows 98 Install .

    That help?
  19. CamMcIntyre


    Jun 6, 2000
    Thanks Rabid. I forgot that the Plus part was an add on. That's all and the link did help. :)

    edit: i think i'll do the reformat/reinstall tomorrow night.