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HELP! Girl's computer messed up bad Answered

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UPDATE

She said that her mom just bought two laptops to replace it. So thats good.



It runs windows XP. I dont remember the RAM or anything, it wasnt much.
25-27 gb of hard drive i believe.
well
its got a virus or something bad wrong with it.

its very slow.
i am wondering if anyone knows of very lightweight virus and spyware programs. there is around <4 gb left on the hard drive.

like i said, it cant tolerate much...

i heard that defrag only works on hard drives with 25%+ left, right?

another thing
i think somehow the explorer process is terminating.
everything goes away except the background, and the windows. Then it comes back.
virus?

and...i need answers soon. if possible.

HELP!

50 Replies

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comodore (author)2009-01-12

Avast, free any virus, spyware and all that stuff to find all the viruses and clean your computer! It works great, I use it on all my computers...

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lukethebook333 (author)2009-01-11

Here are 13 easy steps to boost the computer's speed:

Several Easy Steps to Boost Your Computer's Speed

Hope it helps!

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xACIDITYx (author)2008-08-17

Well, you are running Linux so the games don't take up much. Also, You must not have that much music, either.

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xACIDITYx (author)2008-07-23

Ubuntu may work, but if the Pc only has 20 GB of HDD space, I won't harbor that it has enough RAM to run Ubuntu LIVE.

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John Smith (author)xACIDITYx2008-07-23

yes, alright i couldnt get the CD to run as a live CD anyways i'm going to just copy and paste the installation files for: ccleaner a virus program ad aware and instructions on how to use them onto the computer. i'm then going to boot into safe mode, and run those installers. I'll then run the virus program(i know it has at least 71 infections...) to get rid of the stuff. I might run ccleaner first, i dont know. Then i'll do the disk scanner thing. Then defrag twice. Sound good? Do you think the installers will work in safe mode? Thanks!

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xACIDITYx (author)John Smith2008-07-24

That should work. Just hope that the infection isn't that bad that it infects the Virus Program.

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John Smith (author)xACIDITYx2008-07-24

well, theyre getting two new laptops, so i dont need to fix it now. Thanks for the help

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whatsisface (author)2008-07-23

Best way to get the data off is probably to get a linux distro, boot from CD and run it live, then copy any documents etc.. to a flash drive or ipod etc..

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John Smith (author)whatsisface2008-07-23

thats....possible. maybe. the ipod idea is great, i forgot you could use them as external hard drives. too bad mines an old 2gb nano. i dont know. what linux program do you think will work the best?

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whatsisface (author)John Smith2008-07-24

Anything with NTFS read capabilities. Use a Ubuntu live CD, should do what you want with ease.

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John Smith (author)whatsisface2008-07-24

tried it in our XP. it didnt work. neither did the SLAX cd or the SLAX thumbdrive... oh well. i can figure it out later.

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whatsisface (author)John Smith2008-07-24

Did you mount the drive? As I remember, if you're using it live you have to mount a HDD before accessing it. Plus, was it the latest version of Ubuntu?

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John Smith (author)whatsisface2008-07-24

you have to what?

no its not the latest
actually i dont know.

either way its a moot point now, theyre getting two new laptops.

oh well.
=]

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Tool Using Animal (author)2008-07-23

Yeesh these people like to spend other peoples money. First and most simply, Go to all programs>accessories>system tools>system restore, and restore from an earlier date. if that doesn't fix it, Then, go to add remove programs and uninstall all the crud teen girls seem to stick on their computers, remove the "search bars" the "cursors", bearshare, limewire et al. reboot go to run msconfig>startup. remove anything absolutely not necessary. reboot download and install adaware and spybot reboot hit F8 after the bios screen, boot into safe mode with networking, run spybot, run adaware reboot run windows update. Might help, however, since you said she only has a litle hard drive and not much ram, I'm going to assume she (they,whoever) installed a copy of XP on a marginal system. So go, find a copy of win2k pro, install that.

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user

well its a pretty basic computer. she doesnt have a bunch of that stuff on there, actually. I forgot about msconfig, i will do that. Another thing, i think i am going to uninstall the virus program on there, because you cant turn it off. I mean, if you X it out, it just minimizes. What is safe mode with networking? thanks

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user

Safe mode is a boot option brought up by hitting F8 between the bios screen and the loading windows screen, it may take a few tries to get it, it loads windows with the bare miniumum to run, if you run spybot etc. in safe mode they have a better chance of catching the spyware. Networking just means you can get online to update. Of go Spybot advanced mode>Settings>System Start>Automatically run once at next system start. Close out spybot and reboot.

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that's Or go Spybot advanced mode>Settings>System Start>Automatically run once at next system start. Close out spybot and reboot.

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Oh yes, additionally get rid of Norton of Macafee if on there.

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user

i had symntec on mine...i hated that crap. I uninstalled everything. I then put on AVG and some other stuff. I might even uninstall that because its wanting me to buy the newest version.

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Labot2001 (author)2008-07-24

Buy a new one.

Whhaaaaaat?? :D

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forgesmith (author)2008-07-23

i heard that defrag only works on hard drives with 25%+ left, right?
Nah, it'll work with less, just take much longer without much HD space to play with. Of course there's probably lots of stuff you can wipe off ot it, like the Restore directory, which you might want to do anyway in case the virus contaminated it. Now after running defrag once, run it again. With space opened up after the first pass the second one can do some more work faster, especially if it hardly had any the first time.

another thing
i think somehow the explorer process is terminating.
everything goes away except the background, and the windows. Then it comes back.
virus?
Very low system resources, the graphics get screwy like that. If the CPU (thru Windoze) does a lot of processing for the graphics, when resources are low it doesn't update all the graphics fast enough, stuff disappears and comes back.

Sounds less like a traditional virus, more like worms and spyware eating up resources. Or it could just be it's XP on an old computer with little memory. As the HD filled up there was less room for virtual memory, and what was available got too fragmented to be much use.

ScanDisk then defrag, see what that does. Then delete unneeded stuff, see if there's more improvement. If so, then virtual memory might have been the issue.

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John Smith (author)forgesmith2008-07-23

Alright, thanks. I'll do the scan thing too. How do i get to scandisk? Hmmm.....I dunno. I know i can get it to work better than it is now, but how good i can get it to work is beyond me. also: She had been getting the blue screen of death, repeatedly, yesterday. I think she said it said something about a memory dump. The thing is, it didnt shut off. I dont know if that is normal.

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John Smith (author)John Smith2008-07-23

does ccleaner work the same as disk cleanup? It also has some kind of registry repair? I dont know. I'll use the windows programs for now, but once i get it running smoothly again, i'll put in the other programs.

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xACIDITYx (author)John Smith2008-07-23

CCleaner is disk cleanup and more. I've heard stories where CCleaner cleared up 5 Gigabytes of hard drive space.

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John Smith (author)xACIDITYx2008-07-23

first time i ran it i got off 4.4gbs.

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John Smith (author)xACIDITYx2008-07-23

yeah i love it, that program is great. I need to run it more often.

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forgesmith (author)John Smith2008-07-23

How do i get to scandisk?
Quick way: Start -> Run -> (type in) scandisk, it'll run. It's a standard Windoze program, the system should already know the path to it.

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xACIDITYx (author)2008-07-23

Make her purchase a large external hard drive, back up, and wipe the Hard Drive. Then reinstall Windows. Once she has an external hard drive, she should be able to install most if not all programs to it.

If nothing else, purchase a new hard drive that's more than 20 something GB from NewEgg like this and just toss the old one.

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John Smith (author)xACIDITYx2008-07-23

i dont think she wants to buy anything. i'd buy it for that use and my own use, but...i'm saving up for a mill, and its $975. Then almost $500 of acessories...i dont have the money to spare. but maybe, just maybe i can get my parents to get one. we really do need one. thanks

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xACIDITYx (author)John Smith2008-07-23

Okay. All I can say is that you might as well get a larger hard drive because in this day and age, you can't do much with 20 GB of space.

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John Smith (author)xACIDITYx2008-07-23

yeah. She and her mom are the only ones who use it. They only use internet explorer, and...she uses AIM. thats about it. so they dont have much of a need for a bigger one(although i agree with you). thanks

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xACIDITYx (author)John Smith2008-07-23

Oh, well if that's all...

A flash drive would even suffice. You can run Pidgin or trillian from one. And even firefox.

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John Smith (author)xACIDITYx2008-07-23

i'm going to re-try putting SLAX on one of my flash drives. hopefully i can do somethin with that....

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xACIDITYx (author)John Smith2008-07-23

Yeah, cool. Let us know how it goes.

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John Smith (author)xACIDITYx2008-07-23

slax didnt work on a cd, and isnt working as of now on my thumbdrives.

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xACIDITYx (author)John Smith2008-07-23

That sucks. Have you tried pendrivelinux?

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John Smith (author)xACIDITYx2008-07-23

nope what about ubuntu(?) i have a cd of it right here.

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dsman195276 (author)xACIDITYx2008-07-23

ya, i used to run fire fox off of my flash drive.

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xACIDITYx (author)dsman1952762008-07-23

I run it off my flash drive, as well as Skype and Trillian.

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NachoMahma (author)2008-07-23

. I would: 1) Back up any important data 2) Reformat the HDD and start from scratch.

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John Smith (author)NachoMahma2008-07-23

that would be ideal, but...its so slow now that i dont know how much information could be salvaged. I mean, it works, its just so slow it takes forever to do anything. I might do that eventually. It needs to be done for SURE. I dont have a USB hard drive though, and i dont know how to do it if i dont have one of those. She had been getting the blue screen of death, repeatedly, yesterday. I think she said it said something about a memory dump. The thing is, it didnt shut off. I dont know if that is normal.

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forgesmith (author)John Smith2008-07-23

You would need a second internal hard drive, erased clean, with a fresh WinXP install, put on the anti-virus and anti-spyware software, then put that in her computer first as the only drive. Run some stuff, verify the system is running faster. Then make that the master, make the old one the slave. Run the anti-everything from the new main drive against her hard drive, which should now be drive D:, then ScanDisk and defrag. Worst case will be salvaging from the old to the new hard drive, but that should hopefully fix the old one.

Offhand I doubt any virus will infect from slave to master, provided you do nothing to even look that the old HD is there and immediately release the anti's. But you can also burn the anti's on a CD then run them from the CD on an old CD-ROM drive, since it can't write to the CD it can't infect. Likewise you can boot from a CD with a CD-ROM drive and stay protected.

In any case, refurbished / recycled HDs are dirt cheap on eBay these days at larger sizes than she has. Heck, they're throwing them away these days. You could grab one easily.

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John Smith (author)forgesmith2008-07-23

erm.... a little too much computer stuff there, and a bit much more work than i think is necessary. although if i cant get it fixed...clean XP install it will be. i'm thinking at the moment, worst comes to worst, i run linux on a live CD. Can i run virus programs on that that will find the viruses? Another thing. Whats the deal with running in Safe mode? Can I install the virus programs in safe mode, scan in safe mode, and do all that in safe mode? What about the scandisk? And disk cleanup? Defrag? thanks!!

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xACIDITYx (author)John Smith2008-07-23

I don't think you can run virus programs through linux unless you have a virus scanner on linux. And even then, I'm not sure it will scan Windows Partitions. It's worth a shot, though, and may work.

You should be able to do all of that in safemode.

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dsman195276 (author)xACIDITYx2008-07-23

um, you can do everything in safe mode. just your drives don't work.

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John Smith (author)dsman1952762008-07-23

what do you mean the drives dont work?

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dsman195276 (author)John Smith2008-07-23

in safe mode all your drives are disabled, as in you can't use them. like your CD drives and usb drives. so you can't install a disk.

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John Smith (author)dsman1952762008-07-23

ah so i'd have to install the spyware and other programs first from a flash drive, restart, and boot into safe mode to do the scan and stuff...(i'd restart anyways).

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