December 18th, 2004, 12:15 PM
Unexpected quitting of Windows explorer
I normally use my Linux box and Mac at home, but I've been doing some "Christmas" cleaning and lo and behold a windows box was found, abandoned long ago! My mom spotted this and was quite keen on using this to check her email, write letters and stuff like that. I turn it on, and try to make her a new account, but Control Panel doesn't open. Neither does Explorer.exe, IE, or anything of any actual usefulness (I think that was why I abandoned windows in the first place).
This is getting to be a bit of a pain. I did a CHKDSK (with and without /f parameter) and got nothing better. Could someone please help? I run XP on a basic Dell, Pentium 4.
Thanks in advance,
P.S. I was wondering; would this be a hardware or software problem? If it's just software, a clean install of Windows is not a big hassle.
December 18th, 2004, 12:29 PM
Off-hand it's hard to say. Did you by any chance clean the inside of the box? Perhaps the dust bunnies are playing havoc with things.
I'd suggest that to truly eliminate OS issues is a clean install. The other thing is how much RAM and how fast is the CPU. Not enough RAM may make XP unhappy (so to speak). Which harddrive manufacturer/type is it? Have you tried their specific harddrive diagnostic disk? Do you have an AV bootdisk?
December 18th, 2004, 12:36 PM
Where has the box been kept?..............frost and thaw do them no good at all
It is a Dell P4? what model?
It runs XP?
At this stage I would go for fdisk and re-install.............get zone alarm and install that before going on the net and updating Windows, otherwise you will be infected in a few minutes.
Good luck............please keep us informed
And a merry Christmas
December 18th, 2004, 12:38 PM
No, I haven't ever opened this one up; that's one thing I haven't tried before!
This computer is pretty old and slow: the thing only has 256 mb of RAM and a GHz. Overall it's a pretty darned slow thing.
I'm not sure (and can't find out) what manufacturer type the harddrive is. Its got 30 gb of room, but I can't see why that would make a difference. Nope, I haven't tried a harddrive diagnostic disk/AV bootdisk nor do I know what it is!
I could get it if it would help; thanks for the help so far!
December 18th, 2004, 12:42 PM
I'd say open it up. But before you do that, purchase a can of air (you can get them at any computer shop). Them dust bunnies is evil creatures and are probably just causing all sorts of trouble.
Once you've opened up the box you should be able to find out the hard drive manufacturer and the make of the drive. Some hard drives are known lemons so finding out which one it is can help eliminate that. Manufacturers create special disks that can be used to check the HD (even more than chkdsk). You have enough ram and the CPU speed is ok (granted it'd be a bit slow if you're used to faster -- I have a 600mhz with 192MB of RAM for XP and it works fine; you're mom would probably be fine with it for internet usage).
AV bootdisks are disks that boot up the system and run AV from the diskette. Sometimes being overinfected can cause issues with bootup and this ensures nothing is running while the AV is.
December 18th, 2004, 12:42 PM
I haven't kept this in snow either; I live in Hong Kong!
If I just need to reformat that's cool. I'm guessing fdisk is 'format'? Correct me if I'm wrong, I suck at these things. I can just do that in cmd, right?
Thanks for all the help!
Cheers (and a merry Christmas to you as well),
December 18th, 2004, 01:39 PM
fdisk is used for partitioning the disk. format for erasing existing file structures. You can also look for a tool online called delpart for deleting partitions such as NTFS, Linux partitions, etc. through dos.
This Microsoft article might help you: http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/u...october07.mspx
December 18th, 2004, 01:42 PM
You won't be able to use fdisk or format from cmd, because you can't format from the hard drive you are on. You should use a windows install disk or something like that and boot from it, then format it.
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December 18th, 2004, 04:04 PM
Ahhh, I understand. D'oh! That's cool.
Thanks for all the help and tips!