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Thread: Need some help

  1. #1
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    Need some help

    I am working on my mother-in laws computer. Most of her *.lnk files have been removed from her desktop.

    Also I cannot get any of the programs to run without using the 'pick a program screen'. I ran ad-aware, CWShredder, mcafee virus scan. Has found some files, I am thinking that I might need to do a re-install of her operating system.

    Need some help.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator: GMT Zone nihil's Avatar
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    Hi, and welcome to AO

    I would like a bit more information:

    1. What operating system?
    2. How old is the computer?
    3. Hard drive size & RAM memory (just to give me a mental image of the beast )

    .lnk files are very small and contain shortcuts, as I am sure you are aware.

    What you describe does not sound like malware activity............they usually try to hide, and this is a pretty obvious demonstration of a problem?

    Without any further information my first call would be that the hard drive is on the way out, and has corrupted stuff

    Cheers
    If you cannot do someone any good: don't do them any harm....
    As long as you did this to one of these, the least of my little ones............you did it unto Me.
    What profiteth a man if he gains the entire World at the expense of his immortal soul?

  3. #3
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    Old Hewlett Packard. Running WindowsXP.

    Can't say the hard drive size or memory. Cannot get system info to come up. But it's a pretty old computer.

    Should I try and salvage it, or just say 'no we can't do anything, bar from getting a new computer'.

  4. #4
    Super Moderator: GMT Zone nihil's Avatar
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    Well,

    I would not write it off. If you go into "system information" or whatever......through "control panel" (sorry I don't have an XP box running at the moment) you should see what you have.

    I still suspect the hard drive, you might like to open the case and have a look to see what it is?

    If the thing will run WinXP it must be reasonably powerful?

    Remember that you can recreate the shortcuts manually..............try doing that to begin with.........also try running chkdsk and set it to give you a report (advanced options?)...........are there any "bad sectors"?

    My initial thoughts are that it might be better to spend $60 repairing it, than $600 on a new one?

    It is the old repair/replace/refurbish equation?............that is why I wanted to know a bit more about the machine.

    Cheers
    If you cannot do someone any good: don't do them any harm....
    As long as you did this to one of these, the least of my little ones............you did it unto Me.
    What profiteth a man if he gains the entire World at the expense of his immortal soul?

  5. #5
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    I think that it's within specs to run XP, but the problems arose after a thunder storm. Granted she said it was off, but that doesn't protect it much from power bumps. I think I will go the replace the harddrive route. It's about 5 yrs old so it's probably ready for a new one.

    Thanks for the response though.

  6. #6
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    I think that its a bad idea to just start replacing the thing, maybe it just needs to be formatted. you gave us very little info and if you start tossing around parts you are likley to spend a bunch of money for no reason. Sounds to me that you are just being lazy, and not wanting to do the trouble shooting. No offense.

    The problems you described could be casued by alot of things. you said its missing shortcuts, in xp it is possible to remove shortcuts from the desktop, maybe that is the casue, there are alot of factors you arent looking at, and a lot of diagnostics you could run to find the real reason for your problems. Sure a new hard drive would probably fix it, becasue then you will have to reinstall the os (which in it self could be the problem) and you would set everything back to default (which you can do without a reinstall) etc.
    Everyone is going to die, I am just as good of a reason as any.

    http://think-smarter.blogspot.com

  7. #7
    Macht Nicht Aus moxnix's Avatar
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    dodd3256, like nihil said there are several things that you should check befor just scrapping the system.
    1. Get the information he has requested. Easiest way to do that is to click on the 'Start' button and then right click on the 'My Computer' on the start list and choose 'properties'
    2. run a disk defrag and chkdsk which you can get to by just clicking on the 'My Computer' (in the Start menu) and then right clicking on the hard drive, choosing properties again and then 'Tools'.(I would run both the surface scan and the fix errors parts of the chkdsk function myself......it is called 'Error-Checking' on the XP menue btw)
    3. Try to create some short cuts (desktop) by opening up your 'All Programs' list and right clicking on any of them and choosing the 'Send To' option on the popup menue and then 'Desktop (create shortcut).
    4. then come back and let us know what happened.
    \"Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, Champagne in one hand - strawberries in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming WOO HOO - What a Ride!\"
    Author Unknown

  8. #8
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    Lazy!?

    Don't think so. No offense taken.

    dodd3256, like nihil said there are several things that you should check befor just scrapping the system.
    1. Get the information he has requested. Easiest way to do that is to click on the 'Start' button and then right click on the 'My Computer' on the start list and choose 'properties'
    2. run a disk defrag and chkdsk which you can get to by just clicking on the 'My Computer' (in the Start menu) and then right clicking on the hard drive, choosing properties again and then 'Tools'.(I would run both the surface scan and the fix errors parts of the chkdsk function myself......it is called 'Error-Checking' on the XP menue btw)
    3. Try to create some short cuts (desktop) by opening up your 'All Programs' list and right clicking on any of them and choosing the 'Send To' option on the popup menue and then 'Desktop (create shortcut).
    4. then come back and let us know what happen
    OK. I will answer these. Not at her house now. Was going back tomorrow.

    1.Here is the start of problem. Upon boot-up windows comes up. Desktop has icons that represent links(we know the story). Except most of the icons are not showing the program icon that it should. (did that make sense). They are generic icons instead, Clicking on them does nothing, will not execute. No problem I say, just do a 'run' from start-up for what ever program I want. Ahhh, instead of running the program the open with dialog window comes up. No problem here I'll just run it from the window. Nope I have to browse to the .exe file and open it that way.Hmmm. Answer this one for me. OK, system info no problem. Well start menu comes up->conrol panel-> system. NOTHING! No execution.But I know this computer is at least 5 yrs old. 10 Gig HD maybe, 256MB memory. If I'm guessing.

    2.Didn't think about running the defrag or sandisk, because of #1. But I will try it tomorrow.

    3. Will try this. But on further looking into her Windows folders, ALL exe files icons are generic, with no execution. There were no Boot-Up errors for missing .dll files or anything. I ran netstat -a but did not see anything different. I turned off some of her services. (Strange that I could get that), Like the UPnP, Messenger, Telnet, Telephony, which had remote connect stuck on. Could not close out telephony because of this program.??

    I don't know what she did, where she went or to what extent her Internet surfing was to get this on her computer. She is not computer knowledgeable at all. And I have tried numerous times to tell her what to do and where not to go. This is really weird for me.

    We talked about pullin out the hard drive, but then I thought if we were to do that, I wouldn't have solved it. It would just be as easy to reformat so XTC46, was three steps ahead of ya.

    Any thoughts on how to tackle this tomorrow just on this knowledge so far. I also did a safe mode adware/spyware run.

  9. #9
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    if it is showing generic icons then it has lost its file assciation, if it is doing it for all of them, then something got seriously fubared. you said you did a spyware/adware run...did you do a viris check? not that it will help much at this point. I would suggest possibly running a repair rather than reinstall at this point (that way you can try and salvage any needed data) if there is nothing of value on the box fdisk and format the puppy.

    or boot from a niec bootable cd and run some diagnostics on that HD, many are up for download for ree and come with some kick ass tools (a list of bootable cds was posted in the last week or two, do a search for it)

    from here you should have a pretty good idea what the problem is. it sounds like a fubared HD, and I didint mean to come off rudeor anything, I just didint want you to run off and send cash if its un-neccessary. Besides you will learn a whole bunch and possibey get some new tricks to toss under your sleeve after this adventure.
    Everyone is going to die, I am just as good of a reason as any.

    http://think-smarter.blogspot.com

  10. #10
    Super Moderator: GMT Zone nihil's Avatar
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    Hmmm,

    1. I don't think that it was the thunderstorm as the power supply provides a fair bit of protection and I would have expected other components to be damaged as well. The usual victim is the modem, as it has a direct link to the communications line.

    2. I am also not inclined to suspect malware (you may have some, so do check) as it tends to want a fully functional machine to do its dirty work/pass itself on etc. The only exception would be a "vandal", which is intended to trash machines.

    3. This means that we have a corruption scenario as has already been mentioned. I agree that running the Windows recovery option might help, as it may well reset your standard associations.

    4. I would certainly do a surface scan on the hard drive, if only for your own peace of mind. The reason I suggested looking at the HDD was to find out who made it so that you could also run the manufaturer's diagnostic tools............these tend to be more thorough than Chkdsk

    5. This may sound a bit weird but is the HDD still showing as "C" and are there any paths in the properties of the generic icons?............I am wondering if you have lost your access paths as well as your associations?

    6. If the drive is OK and the repair option does not work, I would save personal files and do a reformat/reinstall.

    7. If the drive shows bad sectors then I would immediately replace it. Hopefully you can then connect the old drive as a slave and recover your data.

    Cheers
    If you cannot do someone any good: don't do them any harm....
    As long as you did this to one of these, the least of my little ones............you did it unto Me.
    What profiteth a man if he gains the entire World at the expense of his immortal soul?

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