Troubleshooting Computer Problems

Computers are are great tools for home and office, when they are working properly. This is a guide about troubleshooting computer problems.
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Solutions

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14 found this helpful
June 16, 2010 Flag

I love my computer but must admit that I'm not savvy on it at all. I am forever coming across a problem that I don't know how to fix and having to call HP, AOL, or somebody to help me. I found I was calling lots of times over and over for the same problems. Finally I came up with an idea and it's saved me countless phone calls.

Now when I have a problem and have to call, while I'm on the phone I take detailed notes. Then when I'm done I immediately write up the problem and everything that was done to fix the problem on the computer (or hand write it, either way). I keep a notebook binder on the desk now with lots of page protectors in it. Into each page protector goes the problem and fix. Then I stick a tab on the edge with a short "label" of what the problem was.

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This has saved me a lot of headaches and a lot of time. It's so much faster and easier than trying to call these companies!

By Cricketnc from Parkton, NC

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April 9, 2008 Flag

Just to keep my computer maintained I downloaded AOL Computer Check Up. It's free from AOL and it takes about 2 minutes when I'm turning off the computer to clean the hard drive, cache, and all temporary internet files and cookies. This helps my computer run quicker and it also has a built in spyware/adware program in it to zap these things before they do any damage to you files. So all in all it works great and it's free!

By Denise from McRae, GA

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Questions

Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

May 20, 2007 Flag

My computer has become more and more unresponsive. When I open up IE, it is slow and sometimes will sorta freeze up. I can unfreeze it if I open up another page of IE and click somewhere on that page when it loads. For some reason, when I go back to the first page I was trying to get to cooperate, it will start working again.

Sometimes when I "x out" or try to close a page it is totally unresponsive. I will do control Alt delete and it still won't close out. Most times I just have to hit the power button and shut the whole computer down and I don't mean going to the start menu and shutting it off like you are supposed to, that process is unresponsive also.

I have run anit spyware and Microsoft updates and AVG antivirus software. It just seems to be getting worse and worse.

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Any ideas?

Paula Scott from GA

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May 24, 20070 found this helpful

You could have some malicious tags or software that are acting like a parasite to IE. effectively hijacking it. try running a program called Hijack This, it is a free ware program that can be downloaded on Google and has worked for me many times before. if you can not get it up and running, you can call me at 770-573-0741 and i may have some other suggestions. My company's name is Atlanta Technical Solutions, we serve Metro Atlanta and surrounding areas.

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May 26, 20070 found this helpful

My guess is it has malware (Spyware)

Download Ad-Aware Personal SE and run it couple of times.

It is a free program.

Look on Google for URL.........jr

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February 11, 20160 found this helpful

Have you checked to make sure remote access is turned off? write down the complete address your experiencing trouble with. open tools from the top right, select internet options, on the general tab compare the web addresses. If it is identical , open a second tab type in your home pages basic address. Wait for page to finish opening then right hand click, select copy .on general tab erase the address then right hand click, paste and select use current hit apply. This is just basic things to try and regain your speed.

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November 18, 2009 Flag

For several months I have been trying to get my computer to do updates. It is set for auto update. I have turned off my firewall (and on w/anti-virus stuff off) and antivirus stuff, etc. and even though my security settings say Norton AV is off, once in a while a message pops up saying Norton is scanning or updating. And my other updates won't update.

I have had Norton AV for a while so I don't think that is what is causing it. I keep getting the error message "80072 EFD". I have followed the advice on the help menu, I have contacted the company and I just get emails saying I should get an email in 24 hours, yet I never do. It is so aggravating. My computer is less than two years old, it shouldn't be doing this.

By Tatorbug from AL

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November 23, 20090 found this helpful

Everyone, thanks for the advice. I am wondering though...my husband set up the Norton on my computer and paid in advance for like a year. Do they do refunds or will that be a total loss if I take Norton completely off? Also, I found McAfee also on my computer in addition to Norton AV and thought it was because both were on there. But that didn't help my problem when I disabled them.

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Anonymous Flag
November 24, 20090 found this helpful

I don't remember if I did or didn't get a partial refund from Norton but my way of thinking is it was worth the loss to get out from under such a bad program so I probably didn't even bother asking them. You can contact their customer service and see what they say though :-)

I am definitely not a computer guru but it seems to me that having both Norton and McAfee on your machine is wreaking havoc too :-o Disabling is not enough, one or the other needs to be completely uninstalled. If it's Norton you choose to uninstall then you will need to use the Webby link I mentioned in my previous post after uninstallation to completely remove components that still remain because, with Norton, uninstall alone doesn't remove all their components.

If you would like more information then click on that Webby link and somewhere on the page there will be a contact link to ask him his opinion. If anyone knows for sure, it's him ;-)

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Anonymous Flag
December 11, 20090 found this helpful

First of all, you never should have more then one Firewall and one Anti-Virus software program on your computer. The reason is the fact, they will conflict with each other, then you will have no coverage at all.

Norton's has a removal tool on their website to remove all of there software from your computer and it works very well.

I was a Norton's user for many years, but I had a terrible time with them and got myself two Great Free Software Programs. Firewall - Zone Alarm. Anti-Virus - Avast. Never looked back. Have been using these two programs for 6 years now. Excellent Free Programs. Have any questions, Please post back.

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April 27, 2011 Flag

I have a Dell laptop Inspirion, and I'm on AOL 9.6 which is compatible with my system. As I type I am accidentally hitting possibly the space bar and or other keys and my cursor jumps to some previous place in my email, though it also happens in Word Perfect. I've never had this problem before with other computers.

Is this what "sticky keys" are? Is this just a glitch in the system? It's so frustrating since I write a lot while reading from my notebook. I have to keep looking at the computer to make sure the cursor didn't jump back and mess everything up. Any suggestions? Or is it just this computer?
Thanks for any help or suggestions.
Patti

By Patti from Ewing, NJ

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May 1, 20110 found this helpful

I have a Compaq laptop and I could never figure out what was going on. This makes sense- brushing up against the touch-pad. I use a mouse but when I'm replying to email or posting on a forum my cursor will skip back through what I've already typed. I'll have to try putting tape over it and see if that helps. Thanks for that suggestion!

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May 1, 20110 found this helpful

I have the same problem, but I am NOT hitting my touchpad. I also have a Dell. Another things that I don't like: when I hit my Caps Lock, it loses it's place! Very frustrating.

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May 5, 20110 found this helpful

Thank you Tapestry Lady, for that tip. It sounds better than anything else I've tried or heard. And thanks for the solidarity from everyone else. It IS frustrating isn't it?

smiles.

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October 17, 2011 Flag

My computer keeps jumping around. I can't write a complete sentence. What could be the problem?

By Gerry

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October 17, 20110 found this helpful

Without more information I can only make a guess. Check that everything is plugged in tightly. Plugs, esp. for keyboards and mice, will work loose if moved around very much. Hope this helps.

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October 17, 20110 found this helpful

If this is a laptop with a touch pad the palms of your hands could be making the cursor move.

If this is a desktop borrow a keyboard and mouse and see if it does the same erratic movement with the new devises. Be sure to get the same type of devises. If you have PS2 don't replace them with USB and vice versa. If the same results occur borrow a different plug in type. If you have PS2 replace them with USB.

Also... it is unlikely but try replacing one devise at a time, There could be a conflict in the devises. This would eliminate that. If it only turns out your mouse is causing all the problems then just replace it.

Worse case scenario you may have to reinstall windows. If there is a conflict in the IRQ ports changing the devises might not fix it.

Good luck.

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October 18, 20110 found this helpful

Have you recently updated or upgraded your browser or OS (operating system), and are you on Internet Explorer with a Windows operating system?

If yes, go up in the tool bar and hover the curser over the icons until you find the one that says something about compatibility-I think you may be having 'compatibility' problems since the update/upgrade.

I'm on a Mac now, but when I was on a Windows OS and did updates or upgrades I would have to adjust the compatibility because I would have the same problem you are describing.

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July 13, 2011 Flag

I can open my emails, but as of yesterday I can not delete, forward, reply, or send. Those options are not loaded; even the update option won't work.

By Chris

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July 13, 20110 found this helpful

What email software are you using? Is your email service on a website like hotmail or yahoo mail? What operating system are you using if you use email software? If you use a web based email what browser do you use and what version is it?

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July 13, 20110 found this helpful

What email software are you using? Is your email service on a website like hotmail or yahoo mail? What operating system are you using if you use email software? If you use a web based email what browser do you use and what version is it?

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July 17, 20110 found this helpful

E-mail your server and ask this question. They will have a better answer on how to solve your dilemma.

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0 found this helpful
November 6, 2008 Flag

My computer is low on memory and is very slow. Can anyone tell me how to clean it off? There are a lot of things on here I don't use. Thank you.

Peggy from Canastota, NY

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November 6, 20080 found this helpful

My computer recommends C Cleaner.

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November 7, 20080 found this helpful

Your problem is not your "computer's memory".

I'm not being a smart aleck here, just bare with me.

Your computers memory (or RAM) is wiped clean everytime you turn off your computer. Your problem is probably two fold:

1. Your hard drive is full, one of the other posters is correct in that you need to go to the control panel and use the add/remove programs menu to remove anything you don't use often. This will not speed up your computer though, it will just give you more hard drive space, it could give windows more room for a swap space but that probably won't result in blazing fast speed.

2. What I really recommend here is that you re-install windows. What happens is after using your computer for a year or so you install programs that write to the registry etc. The longer you use your computer the more registry entries (even after using the un-install features) and the slower your machine will run.

If you re-install windows (and make sure you do a destructive re-install where it erases your hard drive and then install windows, this will require that you back up all of your data before you begin) it will be as if you just got your computer "brand new". It will probably run much faster, as fast as the day your bought it. You CAN NOT speed up your computer through the use of memory managers or other software, the only options are to add more memory (and don't go to bestbuy etc. find someone local, maybe on craigslist to do it for very cheap) and/or do the windows re-installation routine.

Good luck

Editor's note: Make sure you have a good back up of all essential files before doing anything.

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November 7, 20080 found this helpful

Check you history settings if it is not set to automatically do it every so often you have a TON of past sites visited.

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August 6, 2009 Flag

For some reason my computer won't let me load any software. I can't retrieve pictures from a disk, I can't load Digital Image (which worked fine on my other computer), nothing loads from my CD reader.

When I try setup.exe I get a "not found" message, and I don't seem to have Setup Wizard at all, even when the disc I try to run has it. What's going on, and how do I get my computer to read things?

By Chiismychi from Tucson, AZ

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August 6, 20090 found this helpful

To address a computer issue, you need to specify crapple or windows based. But, it seems you can't get anything to be read in your disc drive, so the drive might be bad. If it is just a cd drive, they are pretty cheap and easy to replace. DVD drives cost a bit more but are also easy to replace.

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August 7, 20090 found this helpful

Search "Device Manager" and check the cd component from there.

If that doesn't work, then do a recovery but back up your stuff on a flash drive first.

If that doesn't work.....take it to a repair shop.

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August 12, 20090 found this helpful

THe CD/DVD drive may be toast. If the device is not found, think about how old the drive is. It may be as easy as spending a few bucks to get a new one.

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August 17, 2014 Flag

How can I find what Windows has done with my desktop gadget clock? After an update the whole thing disappeared and seems to be nowhere on my computer. The gadget app was my clock.

By Anne S from Bradford UK

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August 17, 20140 found this helpful

Go to START, type in Desktop Gadgets and it should appear above. Click on it, then right click on the clock you want and choose ADD. (Or if that does not work, choose Restore Desktop Gadgets and do the Add process) Hope this helps.

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August 16, 2008 Flag

My computer freezes up no matter what I am doing on it. I have tried everything and it still freezes. Help.

LaVerne from Louisville, KY

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September 18, 20080 found this helpful

More than likely it's from excess heat, bad memory (RAM) or hardware component like a video card or motherboard that's overheating. If there were a short circuit, the computer would turn off. The only way to test this is by swapping your components with good/trusted components. If you don't have spares you can ask friends or go to computer repair/geeksquad type place. Also make sure that your fans are still running- heat will lock up a computer fast.

I'm assuming you haven't deleted system files, I'm sure it's hardware then. But if you think it's a system file / software thing, then (in windows), there is a program called SFC system file checker in windows or windows/system32. run that from command line (start->run->'cmd', then cd c:\windows\system32, then sfc /? to get the options. You want to check all. It may ask you to restart..

Defragging doesn't really do anything but make some file run faster. It's better to run a system scan on the files first then defrag as others have suggested.

My credentials are I was an IT desktop tech for 10 yrs, 8 yrs ago and now I'm a programmer, not some bum off the street about computers.

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December 5, 20080 found this helpful

I have had this same problem for a while and there are a couple of different things you can do to fix it. First, make sure you don't do a lot of clicking with the mouse. If you click once, be patient because the more you click the slower your computer will proccess information. Also make sure you keep your computer healthy by deleting cookies, clearing history, ect. Just go to the "tools" bar when you open up internet explorer, then go to "internet options" and you should see it there. Another thing you can do is go to "start", then "all programs", then "accessories", then "system tools", then "disk clean up" and "disk defragmenter". Defragmenter should run automatically but if it doesn't make sure you set it up so it does. Disk Clean up you have to do automatically and it just clears up stored stuff on your computer that is not needed and taking up space. The last thing I know of is make sure you don't have 2 anti-virus programs working at the same time. This is a sure way to get your computer to freeze up a lot, so close one if you do. Anyways, hope I helped out!

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December 6, 20080 found this helpful

This may not solve the situation, but I thought you might want to know about Spyware Terminator. It's free and seems to be a very good program. Was recommended to me by someone who knows computers. I originally got it at Web Crawler.

www.spywareterminator.com

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June 13, 2015 Flag

I have a 2 1/2 year old Gateway computer and as of late, the computer starts to hum after about 45 minutes. I assumed it is the fan and that it needs cleaning. Now the technician said, it might be something else. I do not know his reputation and I had some bad luck the last time. Has anybody had the some problem and can give me some advice?

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