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Messages - Washbush

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Feedback & Suggestions / What did I do?
« on: November 01, 2015, 08:24:57 AM »
Hey Shane ...

It's been a long time since I talked to you.  I had some health issues, moved to a new apartment, got to know my Mac a little better and here we are.  I am getting the old Windows laptop out again.  Just a glutton for punishment, I guess.

I can't remember where I stood with you back then.  I do remember sending you a few bucks a couple times but I don't remember if I had access to the Pro version or not.  Do you have a way to check?

Also, I am way behind on the news so pardon me if I ask a dumb question.  Does your lattest version cover Windows 10? 

I hope you and the family are well and everything is going your way. 

Best Wishes,

John Washbush

General Computer Support / Win Vista wil not boot ...
« on: November 18, 2014, 02:54:18 PM »
Windows Vista will not boot.  There is power, the boot-up begins, the second fan comes on strong, and then ... it stops the bootup.  Fans are still running, so there is still power there.

I am on another computer so I can download something to a flash drive if it will help boot up the pc.  Any suggestions?


3 Support & Help / Re: Beta Repair System Restore
« on: July 14, 2014, 01:02:48 PM »
Does Beta Repair System Restore have a "closing page" or some kind of indication that it reached the end?  I ran it again last night and I am not at all sure that I made it all the way to the end. 

General Computer Support / Re: Processor Speed ...
« on: July 01, 2014, 03:39:22 PM »
OK ... that is what I have come down to.  I will move the boards from slot to slot and see if that makes a difference.  Then, I will I will see what my options are for the power supply.  After that, I (personally) am worn out. 
I remember buying this computer very well.  It was quite the thing in its day.  But, I have recently found the invoivce for my purchase and verified it with Dell Warranty.  It was March of 2003 that I registered the warranty.  I think I bought it in October of 2002.  Over the last 7 years, my daily desktop has been a Mac Pro with 32 Gig of RAM.  So, it is very, very possible that I am just expectidng too much from the Windows PC.  I just looked and I see that at this moment I have 6 windows open and I have been trying hard to keep it down.  With the Mac I never even  thought about it.  To be fair, the Mac cost 5X as much so I do expect more. 
Anyway, you have been a big help as far as keeping me interested in getting to the bottom of this.  I am going to assume that if I get to the power supply, and that is not it, then the problem is on the mother board.  I believe I have already asked you what would be involved in replacing that, and it is something that I do not want to undertake.  So, I may have to make this beauty into something that sits under my workbench and just gives me info from a DVD and plays music.  My hobby is repairing antique and vintage bb guns and pellet guns, especially old pistols.  So, I have bundles of information on CD and DVD.  It would be good to be able to access all that stuff more easily and this just might be the ticket to doing that if I keep it running off line.
I'll let you in on the final chapter of this story ...

General Computer Support / Re: Processor Speed ...
« on: July 01, 2014, 11:59:09 AM »
OK ... a quick follow up and a clarification ...
Can you come up with a list of symptoms that a computer would exhibit if a person were to keep adding power using devices until he exceeded the "safe range" of the power supply?
Would power using USB items as well as installed devices (like the firewire board and the TV tuner board) push the power supply to the point where it would be overloaded?
Finally, can you explain the relationship between the power supply reaching its usable limit and the fact that the CPU would jump to 100%?  What exactly is it that causes it to stay at 100% or fall back down to only a fraction of that.
I did nothing to the machine last night and may not do anything today.  I did learn that the DELL Dimension 8250 power supply may have an output of as little as 250W or as much as 305W.  I have had inexpensive stereo systems in the past that put out more than that ... on each channel!  So, that can't be very much.  I am thinking I might just risk it and see what I can find for the 8250 on ebay for $30 or so.  I would be willing to spend that if the computer would be usable.  In total, I still have not spent $100 on it for repairs in it's entire life!

General Computer Support / Re: Processor Speed ...
« on: June 30, 2014, 01:05:45 PM »
Haven't a clue how to go about doing that.  But, I can check this one.  Are the output numbers on it somewhere?  And, how do I know how much I need to power up the unit?

General Computer Support / Re: Processor Speed ...
« on: June 30, 2014, 12:45:19 PM »
I am working on a plan. 

First, I am going to the store and buy a 12 Pack of Guinness.

Then, the computer is going on my workbench for some open heart surgery.  I think I mentioned that I took out four sticks of memory that totaled 750Meg (+/-) and replaced them with four new sticks totaling 2Gig.  Then, I took out the video card, that only had a very small amount of memory and put in a new one that has onboard memory of almost a Gig.  Then to took out three old cards that were in it since the beginning ... a 3 port firewire card, an old modem from dial-up days, and that screwey analog TV tuner that never worked anyway. 

The rest of the time I have been updating every driver in it, and running anybody's software that is guaranted to solve all my problems.  Only, I still have the problems.  (I am not even thinking about your stuff because I read the disclaimer!)  :<)

I am going to take the two cards that are left and try them each in every available slot.  Same for the memory ... I will rotate them through all four slots.  I also have the old video card.  I'll give that a go. 

If none of that helps, I think I will give up.  Two months of tinkering on something almost every day is enough, even for me ... the poster boy for Never-Give-Up. 

By the way, this morning in booted up the computer, and before doing anything else, I hit the Task Manager.  Nothing was running but start up stuff.  The CPU was at 100%.

I'll send you one final report maybe tomorrow night or Wednesday.  I feel like I am drifting, my space ship warp drive is destroyed, my shields are all down and this will be my last transmission home.  And, the Romulans are coming.


General Computer Support / Re: Processor Speed ...
« on: June 27, 2014, 12:55:10 PM »
Bad news I am afraid.  In Safe Mode only, it still does all the same things.  I took a look inside and found an old modem card, a card that added three Firewire ports, and that old analog TV tuner card.  I removed all three, removed the software, rebooted and nothing has changed.  With no Internet connection, I tried playing a DVD .... same problem as streaming video - all jumpy, jerky, can't see or understand anything.  Same for a video file on the hard drive. It still runs very, very slow, makes me type incredibly slow, won't shut down on reboot, just goes to the white screen and comes to a halt for no apparent reason, and sometimes even the task manager won't shake it loose.  Once my hand slipped and I hit two keys on the keyboard at the same time and it froze up. So, now there is no card other than the video and sound cards.  Ran SysMec full boat, it says everything is fine, but the computer still seems to let the CPU go to 100% for some reason I can't see or find.  Is there a little program to analyze the motherboard?  Should I uninstall the CD and DVD drives and see what happens?  I just have run out of ideas. 

General Computer Support / Re: Processor Speed ...
« on: June 21, 2014, 10:43:47 AM »
I do not have a non-Microsoft antivirus on the computer at this time.  I did at one time, but not now.  Only the "regular" Microsoft stuff is running.

How does it work in Safe Mode?  As near as I can see, pretty much the same as it does any other time.  It will not restart.  But , in Safe Mode, it will not shut down either.  I used Safe Mode with Internet Connection.  I opened Firefox, the CPU went to 100% and stayed there until I closed it.  Without anything running, it appears good ... CPU - 2%, Memory - 22%, Network - 0% with 25 or 26 processes and services running.  With Firefox running, CPU - 100%, Memory - 38%, Network - varies between 2% and 4%, but never more than 4% with 31 processes and services running.

So. It looks like it is a hardware problem.  After running test after test, can I assume it is not the hard drive?  It is a SMART drive, all is well, and it never goes over 104 degrees F, and is usually in themid 90's.  On the hottest day, when the room is 80+ degrees, the hard drive stays right at 100 F, give or take a few degrees.

I am running a USB trackball, a USB wireless keyboard, a USB printer, and a pair of USB Bose speakers, and a USB Bluetooth dongle, all of them on the back side.  One USB port is empty on the back, and two are empty on the front.

However ... I have something called TV2000 installed .... it is an analog TV tuner ... no good any more ... I just unplugged the power to it but never took it out of the case.  Software for it has been removed for some time.

I checked Device Driver and fount two things ... it shows an alert for an "Unknown PCI Device".  It is so unknown that even I don't remember what it was .  However, it has been disabled for some time. 

The second item is the Bluetooth Dongle and it has an alert also. It was not disabled, so I took the first step and disabled it.  I'll see what happens next.

That's where I am today.  And, the F-1 race in Austria is tomorrow morning.  Wish me luck.

John   :thinking:

General Computer Support / Re: Processor Speed ...
« on: June 20, 2014, 12:13:58 PM »
Shane ... I am ready to quit.  In two months I have still not been able to get at the causes of the two big issues ... the system won't reboot and now even Windows Vista "is not responding" from time to time with the CPU at 100%.  Today I tried to reinstall Windows and there is no way to do an upgrade, only a clean install.  Everything runs incredibly slow, starts and stops, jerks, and just plain comes to a halt.  Cont-Alt-Del is the only thing that will get it going, other than to wait for who knows how long. 

Is there any way to go in and repair Windows Vista?  Or, what if I created a new partician and tried to install a clean version in it.  Would that be possible?


General Computer Support / Re: Processor Speed ...
« on: June 09, 2014, 08:20:59 PM »
Hi Shane ...

I just realized why I have been thinking about Alan Ladd lately.  :>)

I decided today that this computer has until midnight next Sunday to shape up or out it goes.  I have exhausted all of my patience.

Well, there are fewer and fewer options every day.

Tomorrow is BIOS day in southern Indiana.


General Computer Support / Re: Processor Speed ...
« on: June 09, 2014, 11:16:54 AM »
That is really great!  You get A+++ and 100 bonus points.

I hear you say bios several times.  I have not touched the bios since I took the computer out of storage.  But I did before I put it away.  I'll see what I can learn re: bios settings, clock speeds, etc.  Everything else you have mentioned I have double and triple checked.

One more question .... since almost everything is on the hard drive, is it a big deal to replace the motherboard?


General Computer Support / Processor Speed ...
« on: June 06, 2014, 04:21:26 PM »
Here is an End of the Semester Bonus Exam for you ....

1.  What conditions might act on the processor and cause it to run slow?

2.  What actions can be taken to cause a slow processor to run faster?

3.  In a machine with multi core, multi processors, can some of them be disabled somehow?

Bonus Bonus Question  (25 Points)

What would cause a machine to not complete a shutdown but only if it is asked to reboot?  If it is told to simply shut down, it does so properly.  (Hint:  There are four green lights on the back panel that are labeled A, B, C, D.  When told to reboot, the computer shuts down the display and goes no further.  At that point lights A and C are green, lights B and D are yellow.)

Hand in your test answers before leaving.  Best wishes for a great Summer Vacation!

Professor Jobs

General Computer Support / Re: "Shockwave has stopped working ...
« on: June 03, 2014, 05:21:54 PM »
Over the last few months, I have used IE, Firefox, Chrome and Safari to see if any of them behaves any differently than any other.  Even though I do have some issues with Firefox, it looks like I will stay with that now.  And, that is what was running today when I got that message again.  I almost think that I got that message at least once with each of them.  I am presently using Thunderbird for email but I am going to look for something else. 

General Computer Support / Re: "Shockwave has stopped working ...
« on: June 03, 2014, 02:32:28 PM »
Hi ... I have Adobe Shockwave 12.1

Also, I have two FlashPlayers ... 12.1 Active X and 12.1 Plugin.


General Computer Support / "Shockwave has stopped working ...
« on: June 03, 2014, 12:47:53 PM »
I have been seeing this message quite often lately ... "Shockwave has stopped working." It goes on to ask me if I want to close it or wait for it. 

I have always had problems with anything from Adobe.  Is there something I can do to fix this?  Better yet, is there something else that I can use in place of Shockwave?



Should it be set on "automatic" or should it have a specific size specified?

Shane ...

Would it help to eliminate the virtual memory and close the page file completely? 

I am having the same problems mentioned here but to the extreme, with a Dell 8250 running Vista.  In the past month or so I have increased the RAM from something around 612mb to 2GB.  I have increased the on board video memory from almost nothing to 512mb.  I have run every single test or repair available where ever I could find it.  Everything says my system is in ultra-excellent shape.  Yet, I still have to wait forever for a page to load, to be able to use the mouse on a new page, to be able to to do almost anything.  The truth is, I am about to virtually pull my virtual hair out. 

I will try your suggestions but I think I need an Extreme Makeover for this thing.  Can I just reload Vista again right on top of the present one?  It was an upgrade to begin with.  Would that help?


19 Support & Help / Re: Beta Repair System Restore
« on: May 23, 2014, 12:07:01 PM »
Doing regular maintenance today and saw the Beta so I ran it.  All I can report is that it seems to have run all the way to the end without any difficulties. 

I have developed a little routine to go through when it starts getting cranky.  I use Cont-Alt-Del until that is not so effective.  Then, I run both Big Tweek and Little Tweek.  When that starts to wear off, I start the Total Complete Do Everything from System Mechanic Pro with it set to shut down when finished.  Then, I go to bed.  In the morning I start all over and I get one good day, one pretty good day and one struggling and annoying day.  During those three days, I will have shut down and rebooted about 6 or 8 times. 

At the moment, the CPU is running between 60% and 75%.  It is bouncing around.  The two big hogs on the services list are Firefox and Thunderbird.  The third is CCC ... Creative Control Center.  That is ATI stuff for the video card.  The good news there is that I will change the video board later today and get rid of all of the ATI program files and drivers.  Maybe that by itself will help. 

Would it be possible that there is so little memory on the video board that it's need just backs up through the whole system?  Maybe it causes increased use of the virtual memory that is so darn slow?  Do you think that I should change the video board right away to see if that will help?  I was thinking that I should solve the issue before I stick in some more possibilities for new trouble.   ::)


I just acquired a new video board with more grunt and I am looking forward to putting it in.  But, this same old problem is driving me nuts and I think it should be fixed first.  Here is what I know ... a.) the computer will not reboot.  When asked to reboot, it runs through the shut down process but, at some point, the monitor is shut off but the keyboard isn't.  There it sits.  I then shut down and restart by hand.  b.)  I get messages saying "Such-n-such is not responding".  It could be Firebird, it could be Pandora, it could be anything.  This morning it was Google Mail.  Sometimes it get's going on its own, but usually I have to Contol-Alt-Delete.  c.)  I think that there are problems in the services and whatever all is running in the background. d.)  When I check, I find that a lot of what is going on is related to the CPU running at 100%.  It somehow creeps up to 100% and gets stuck there.  I know that means that there is a problem but I have absolutely no idea what to look for.  I would like to shut down a lot of the services, but I have no idea what they are.  (Might be a need for a fix in this somewhere.  I can't find any help on which services to leave on and which to turn off.) 

I have tried all the common cures for slow, jumpy video, siezes, etc and nothing helps.  I have run test after test only to see "No problems found."  It seems that when I run System Mechanic Pro, it helps but the assist doesn't last long.  In two or three days I am back at the problem again.

Any suggestions?


OK, no problem.

Other than I need to get to the one person Post Office we have near here and it closes at 4:00pm.  I will check out the Registry tonight.  I will also see if I can figure out how to do a screen shot as that will make it easier.  I will do that tonight when it is quiet and I am less likely to make a mistake.  We can pick up on this tomorrow, if that is OK with you. 

I appreciate your help more than you know.  So, most sincere thanks. 


Nope.  No other other.  Only one simple "Other" and that is it.  However that menu does have a Properties at the bottom and clicking on that gives me options and all of them are for the Start Menu.  In fact, I felt yesterday that "All Programs" was probably more important than the Start Menu and it literally isn't present anywhere that I could find. 

OK ...

When I right click on "All Programs" I have only one "Open".  Clicking on that gives me another file called "Programs" and clicking on that gives me exactly what is showing under All Programs now. 

The string is something like "...Computer\LocalDisc (C:)\Users\John\Ap Data\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Programs ... and then under Programs are folders: Accessories, Administrative Tools, Maintenance, Startup(which is empty) and  In addition there are two shortcuts, one to Windows Mail and one to Windows Media Player

Wow.  This is interesting. 

In the first case, (C:\Program Data ... Start Menu\) there is an additional folder there called "Programs" and in it are the items that do now show in All Programs and some of the missing ones, but not all of them.  In fact, I would say "a few of the missing one's".  The string should say "C:\Program Data ... Start Menu\Programs\", I think. 

In the second case, (C:\Users ... Start Menu\) there is nothing at all by the name of "Start Menu". 

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