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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thanks, Ropes - also

by gadgetgirl In reply to I've never had a problem ...

proves that the search still isn't that good on here - I did a search on slow internet before I posted the question.....

Yup, MacAfee is a definite goner.

Last time I ditched it, it really wouldn't let go. Downloaded AVG and it couldn't run because MacAfee still had control.....

By the time HOB had finished, you just know the whole thing needed a rebuild, don't you?!

thanks again


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Link to

by Dumphrey In reply to thanks, Ropes - also

the McAffee removal tool.

That should get it out for you. I have never used it, but I use the Norton counterpart almost monthly.

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Thank you muchly!

by gadgetgirl In reply to Link to

I have every intention of printing this entire thread out before I leave work so I know what I'm doing in case I STILL can't get on to TR from home for any reason.

Thank you, that's a tool I'll stash for future reference too!


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For reference

by Dumphrey In reply to Thank you muchly!
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McAfee Removal Tool

by seanferd In reply to Jaq, dearest....
If you do decide to get rid of it.
edit: Sorry, I see this was already posted.

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McAfee is horrible

by jdclyde In reply to well gg,

check out the memory usage at bootup and you will be sitting around 400mb instead of the 150 to 200 on a normal xp install (running av and firewall).

And Jaqui, your wrong. Mcrappy is even worst than norton.... :0

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Oh boy ... or

by rob mekel In reply to Problems with the new lap ...

should I say: Oh woman

Not the right time to get in to this kinda trouble. Meaning I can imagen to spent my time on Christmas holidays better then worrying about a new laptop and how to get the ...* thing working properly.

Just a idea:
Is it an option to start from scratch?
As you said it came preinstalled as an ex demo. May be there is an hidden system drive that allows you to re-install the whole OS.
To check if it's possible on start-up there will be displayed some options on how to get in to preinstall mode or ... look up in the manual how to get there ... and last but maybe try it first call, email, the reseller on how the get there.

If this is possible, a good thing to do is to re format the damn thing or if the laptop came with the disks ...still possible alltho pre-loaded OS was on the system hard-format of the disk. Be sure you have the right tech-info before hard-formatting the disk :)

Bummer it is GG. But look on the bright side ... some of the peers will have a good time ...* helping you


* fill in the right wordy
can't even type right ... so why should she take notice of my penny

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by rob mekel In reply to Oh boy ... or

Take Jaqui's note in consideration it's a good one :)

And more don't make the same mistake on installing bad ambiguous shonky software.

Have fun recovering from ...* :)


*fill in the right wordy

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Rob, you do make me laugh!

by gadgetgirl In reply to Oh boy ... or

It sounds as if your keyboard has gone dyslexic, the same as mine today!

thanks for the info - I'll check for hidden drives etc. tonight!

Happy New Year!


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Woha a talking/singing

by rob mekel In reply to Rob, you do make me laugh ...

keyboard :) That'll be the day. :)

I know my typing isn't the best there is ... but WTH if it gives some fun


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