Problems with the new laptop: how do I diagnose?

By gadgetgirl ·
Background: after a constant 18 months of niggles with the beautiful, but old laptop, I?ve ended up with a new one. Well, new sorta. It?s an ex demo Acer 4220 WLMi, with empowering technology. Spec here if you need it: (but mine is an 80Gb hdd)

This time, HOB is not getting his hands on it (despite what he thinks) and I?m looking after this baby myself so he can?t muck this one up like the other one. It came preloaded with XP SP2 which I updated immediately, and Norton Suite, which I ditched immediately as it hadn?t been activated, and I can?t stand Nortons intrusiveness. Now running MacAfee (legit) (trade pressie) Also downloaded AVG rootkit, spybot S & D, and changed from IE to FF2. There is also Skype and SightSpeed on this, so naturally I?ve done the webcam and USB phone installation, and they all run ok. Startup register is also installed.

As it?s new, there?s literally nothing else on there!

Sadly, I?m getting more issues than I know how do deal with, hence the yell for help ? pals, buddies and mates out there?. Gosh, my knees are sore??.

Problem 1. On doing this all just before Christmas, after installing FF2, I downloaded Foxmarks to get my bookmarks back. Should have read the site blog first, as v2 has loads of problems which they maintain they?ve now fixed. My problem is that I couldn?t ditch foxmarks, as it wouldn?t let me find it to uninstall it. Around the same time, I started getting slow loads on all sites, with TR being the most problematic. Despite fiddling with foxmarks and disallowing sync, loading is still slow, and I absolutely cannot get on TR from home.

Last night, I reloaded the latest version issued 8 Jan, which has stopped the main sync problem, but internet load still remains slow. And I still can?t get on TR from home.

Problem 2: I think I may be getting a duff BIOS battery ? on start up last night, the laptop reverted to 0100 01/01/04. I?ve reset, but due to unforeseen circumstances, couldn?t check before I left for work this morning. It?s no problem getting another battery, but I?m including this problem in case it?s more indicative when combined with others.

Problem 3: Last night after resetting the date/time, I went to do other things, and ended up with what I can only describe as jumping programs. No matter which program I loaded, if I altered anything on screen, it took ages to change, semi-stalled, then jumped to catch up with itself (if that makes any sense at all). Tried it on Office (new, legit, virus free) as well as a few games (which were even more problematic and jumpy, naturally)

I ran spybot and AV full scans last night, as well as AVG rootkit and Belarc advisor, none of which could find any faults/problems/issues at all, so now I?m stuck.

I have wireless access, which seems to have no problems at all (main set on floor 3, I use the laptop on floor 1) There have been no reported problems on the providers site, and none of the neighbours are having any trouble.

This laptop IS under warranty from Acer, but I?d rather get some help from you guys and do some diagnostics first, so I?m not accused of presenting them with an ID10T fault!

So ? where do I start, what do I do, and please don?t tell me I?ve got a duff laptop or you really will see a grown woman cry?..

Any help super-appreciated, but be gentle, and remember just how NON-techie I really am!



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All Answers

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well gg,

by Jaqui In reply to Problems with the new lap ...

I'll not bother saying it.
cause you know exactly what I would say don't ya.

seriously though, get a copy of PCLinuxOS and boot it up. it is a livecd, so no change to hard drive at all.
[ if pcinux is running all right, then it isn't a bad lappie, it's something in the software ]
if everything runs right, you might want to try uninstalling McAfee and switching to AVG's anti-virus.

McAfee is as bloated and slows your system down as much as Nortons.

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Jaq, dearest....

by gadgetgirl In reply to well gg,

the last time I uninstalled MacAfee, I had to format to get it to let go.....

Linux? Moi? You want a permanent ringing on your skype phone babz??!!

Seriously, it is an option, but I think it'll be my last option - hey, I'm only just getting the hang of windoze....


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um, gg

by Jaqui In reply to Jaq, dearest....

pclinuxos, dead easy.
running it off the cd without installing anything:
login name root
password root
[ and this is displayed right in front of you at the login screen ]

double click the configure computer icon
pick networking on the left menu in the window that opened.
select add wireless connection and keep clicking the ok button until you get back to the starting screen of networking.
done, online with wireless.
[ if chipset supported ]
if you don't get apps like firefox playing games on you, then it's software in windows causing the problem.

to go back to windows, reboot lappie and take the cd out of the drive when it opens.
windows will boot up and never know linux was there, it was in "stealth mode" hiding from that evil monster called windows.

edit for typo

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GG dear

by Tig2 In reply to um, gg

I'm going to step in with Jaqui on this. Run PCLOS from the CD and the computer will never know it was there. If you decide you like it, you can install it later.

Go now to Download CCleaner (free). Install that baby where you can find it easily- it will put an icon on your desktop.

Now we're going to kill Mc Affee. First, go download AVG Free. Do not install it, just do the download. Now go to add/remove and remove McAffee. Yes, I know that there are still hooks. We'll get those in a second.

Right now, consider uninstalling FF. We'll reinstall it in a minute using a fresh download. This time we'll leave Foxmarks well alone.

Okay, new experience time. Open CCleaner. Go to the registry. Tell it to find issues. It will, I guarantee it. Now hit the "Fix issues" button. It will prompt you to backup the registry. DO THIS. Put the backup on your desktop where you can find it. Now fix issues. Do this over and over (on the second and subsequent passes, you don't have to backup the registry again) until it finds nothing else. Now reboot.

When you are back to your desktop, you can toss the backup of your registry in the bin. You don't need it.

Now install AVG and reboot.

If you have decided to reinstall Firefox from a fresh download, now is the time. Download and reinstall. Do not add Foxmarks this time. Reboot.

You should be pretty close to fresh at this point.

Get that BIOS battery replaced if that is called for. If you think it is failing, it probably is.

Peer me if there is anything else I can help with.

Edit- typo

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"We're not worthy! we're not worthy" !!!!

by gadgetgirl In reply to GG dear

thank you for knowing I needed step by step destructions, Tig!

You are an absolute life saver!

Don't worry, I won't touch foxmarks again with the proverbial barge pole. There was me thinking I was doing myself a favour saving my bookmarks like that.....

I'll start this tonite as soon as I get in - if I get back online (this is me being practical, not a pessimist, I know me and anything electrical!) I'll let you know how it goes.

Dammit, Tig, that's ANOTHER martini I owe you!


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Not to worry

by Tig2 In reply to "We're not worthy! we're ...

Is your old lappie still able to get to the internet? If it is, you may want to have it close. I should be on most of the day today as I want to hear the News Digest Week in Review- if you can, check it out. Sonja usually has it up by noon local.

Anyway, if you run into problems, just ping me.

Something I thought of after I posted- go to Windows Explorer by right clicking the "Start" button. One of the context options is "Explore". From wherever it opens to, find the "Programs" folder. When you open that, you should see folders for all programs. After you have removed McAffee using add/remove, go to the Programs folder and look for one called McAffee. If you find one, delete it.

After you have done that, run your CCleaner.

Sometimes programs don't leave gracefully. McAffee and Norton are notorious for that. Fortunately, CCleaner give you a way to give them the boot.

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the old lappie

by gadgetgirl In reply to Not to worry

was sold before Christmas (went to a good home, I insisted....!) but the upstairs office one is ok, and if necessary I will physically remove HOB and hijack it!

Noon local. O- - - - - k! That's 8pm mytime - I think - oh, bugger, I've lost it again!


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by DMambo In reply to GG dear

Can't beat it. Works every time. Highly recommended!!!!

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thanks, DangerMouse!

by gadgetgirl In reply to CCleaner

Happy New Year!


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I've never had a problem uninstalling McAfee.

by OnTheRopes In reply to Jaq, dearest....

I'll occasionally use it to scan someone else's pc and then use CCleaner or Add/Remove Progams to get rid of it. <br><br>
As for reasons to uninstall it you might want to read this post:

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