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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Extra thumb ....

by gadgetgirl In reply to Woha a talking/singing

as a thanks for the back up reminder!


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There should indeed be a restore partition...

by boxfiddler Moderator In reply to Oh boy ... or

Acer Empowering Technology eases the process of restoring to factory settings. It also allows one to burn bootable disk/s that will restore factory clean.

It's pretty straightforward to use... But I don't remember exactly how and have disabled the software after burning the disks.

Also, Acer posts a fairly decent users manual at their website in pdf format. Sorry, can't get to it at the moment, doing the really slow dialup thing.

At any rate, GG, before you disable the Empowering Technology software, burn the restore disks! (See post below.)

Thanks for the reminder, Rob. :)

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Boxy, you've been a Godsend.....

by gadgetgirl In reply to There should indeed be a ...

and you'll get another thumb further down the list.

I'll reply to your 4220 post with what I've done for future reference (for both of us!)

Thank you. Sincerely.


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That's the

by rob mekel In reply to There should indeed be a ...

word I was asking myself about, hidden or restore partition. :)

Long time ago since I did this kinda engineering on hard and software :)

Oh, YW fiddler. Sometimes I even have to remind myself to these kinda things :)


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I have to agree with Jaqui

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

About a lice linux cd to diagnose the problem. Right off, I would guess bad cmos battery and a twitchy stick of ram. Of course, it could just be that it all needs to be reseated as opposed to replaced. Pull out the ram, clean the contacts GENTLY with a pink pencil eraser, and put it back in. Check that the HD is in good etc.
Memtest+86 willlet you know in 10 min or so if you have a truely horrid stick of ram.

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Checking RAM

by seanferd In reply to I have to agree with Jaqu ... <br>
Microsoft Memory Diagnostic, for when your system has no problems with RAM, but Windows might.

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Now thats good to know.

by Dumphrey In reply to Checking RAM

I would give you a thumb if I could.

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another tool stashed....

by gadgetgirl In reply to Checking RAM

thanks, Sean - solution to this particular problem below...

good tool, though, kept for future reference, along with a helluva lot of other stuff on here!


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by seanferd In reply to Checking RAM

Thanks GG! My very first thumb. Aren't you considerate, even if my suggestion was a bit off on a side track.

Thanks to Dumphrey also, for the comment.

I've been thanked before, mostly in discussions. Never gotten a thumb for a question, though.

Glad to see that the problem was resolved. Boxfiddler is pretty good, no? Everyone else here pretty much rocks, too.

edit: sp

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by boxfiddler Moderator In reply to Wow!

Thank you seanferd! :)

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