Troubleshooting Computer Problems

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.

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 Cricket from Parkton, NC

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My laptop was out of warranty and I had an "unable to find driver for this platform" error which resulted in my laptop not starting up at all. I was so terrified because I have never backed my laptop and thought I would lose everything, not to mention I would probably have to pay money to get my laptop fixed.

An Apple MacBook Pro laptop computer that says "Passed" on the screen.

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13 Questions

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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.

Any ideas?

Paula Scott from GA


By (Guest Post)
May 20, 20070 found this helpful

try clearing your 'cache' open IE goto tools>options> delete files

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May 20, 20070 found this helpful

Click "Tools", then "Internet Options"
Click "Delete Cookies", then "Delete Files".
Every site and page you go to on the internet is stored, so every now and then you need to clear these or your computer will slow down.

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May 22, 20070 found this helpful

Depending on the age of your computer you may want to add RAM. Very easy and quick.

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By (Guest Post)
May 22, 20070 found this helpful

I have found from personal experience that downloading too many programs often causes conflicts with the operation system. My best advice to you would be to uninstall the anti spyware and Microsoft updates and AVG antivirus software, restart your computer and see if that helps (you can always install these programs back again later if you'd like). If this doesn't work I would go to and type in unresponsive computer or anything else that you can think of that might best describe your problem. I have found many solutions to my computer problems by doing this.
Good Luck

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By (Guest Post)
May 22, 20070 found this helpful

1. First -dump your files, cookies, and history by going to TOOLS, to INTERNET OPTIONS, then to DELETE Browsing History, Temporary Internet Files, Passwords, Cookies, etc.

2. Next - LEFT click on MY COMPUTER. RIGHT click on your C Drive. Choose PROPERTIES. Choose the TOOLS TAB. Choose ERROR CHECKING, choose CHECK NOW. A little window will come up - put check marks in for both AUTOMATICALLY FIX ERRORS, and for SCAN FOR BAD SECTOR RECOVERY. Next choose START. A little window will come up and tell you that Windows will need to restart to perform this, and would you like to schedule it for the next time you restart Windows. Choose yes. (if you are using an older version of Windows it may not make you do this). REBOOT your computer and let the ERROR-CHECKING scan run. This may take as long as a couple of hours depending on how much data you have on your computer. If you have corrupt files (not viruses) this will attempt to correct them so that they run more smoothly.

3. Next - LEFT click on MY COMPUTER. RIGHT click on your C Drive. Choose PROPERTIES. Choose the TOOLS TAB. This time choose DEFRAGMENTATION, then choose DEFRAGMENT NOW. Another window will come up, choose DEFRAGMENT again and let this run. Again this might take an hour or two. When it is done, close the windows. DEFRAGING is like sliding all the hangers in your closet over to make space and allows the computer to run through your files quicker and more efficiently.

Depending on how much you use your computer, you might do #1 daily (or at least weekly)

#2 and #3 weekly (or at least monthly).

If you haven't already gone to WINDOWS UPDATE (look in your programs menu) and set it to automatically update Windows and Internet Explorer I really recommend that you do so. Windows tweeks its programs frequently and it will help things run better.

If after doing ALL of that, you see that you are still having problems, it may be that you do need more RAM (extra space for multiple programs to run in the background) or it may be possible that your hard-drive is getting close to failure. In either case -be sure and back-up files that you want to keep so that you don't lose anything important to you.

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By (Guest Post)
May 22, 20070 found this helpful

One additional comment - Doing a hard shut-down such as you talk about can corrupt files. If it continues to do this after you have error-checked and defragmented, my guess is that your hard-drive is getting ready to fail. Hard-drives can vary in life-time but they are mechanical and will eventually fail. Be sure and back up your data as soon as possible.

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May 22, 20070 found this helpful

You didn't state if you have cable or dial-up, if you have "cleaned" your machine, or if you are talking about IE 7 or not.
If you have not cleaned-- please run your de-frag program-- you may need to do it more than once if you haven't done this in a long time.
Then try IE 7 again. and see how it works.
I also run CCleaner that has a freeware version-- it has stopped a lot of junk being left on the machine and causing problems.
good luck

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May 23, 20070 found this helpful

WOW!!!!! THANK YOU GUYS FOR ALL THE DETAILED HELP! THINGS SEEM TO BE RUNNING MUCH BETTER. Thank you for your time typing all your recommendations in...


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May 23, 20070 found this helpful

uh oh, IE7 still had bugs last I knew. I had installed it back in the winter and my computer started doing really bad stuff and running weird. A friend on messenger told me by chance they had installed IE7 and it crashed their whole system. they had to uninstall it and go back to the older version. I actually ended up calling microsoft and they uninstalled it for free and helped to fix my computer. Google microsoft and get their phone number and call them. Anyone thinking of getting IE7 might want to wait until the bugs are out of it.

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May 23, 20070 found this helpful

Try using Firefox until you get the IE situation fixed.
You will have less crashes. It's free.

You can transfer your favorites to Firefox. Also free.

IE 7 is not compatible with some services, like math labs for college students. Go back to ie 6. Unfortunately, the math lab I use won't take Firefox, so I stay with ie 6 and when it acts up, I go to Firefox.
The favorites transfer will probably just send favs to Firefox and not the other way around, which means that if you want to bookmark something for use in both, you'll have to do it from ie - unless this has changed!
The transfer that I used I couldn't find, so I am suggesting the above one instead - but I haven't used it. It had a name like, "old favorites". I had a bunch of IE problems until my son switched my computer from win 2000 to win xp. Made ALL the difference in the world.

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May 23, 20070 found this helpful

PS: While I was still using win 2000, I bought a subscription to PC Doc Pro - worth every penny. It cleaned up the messed up registries and no doubt helped in other ways, too.
Son thought it was a waste at the time, but when I now run a scan it points out the registry problems, so win xp notwithstanding, it is still helping as far as I am concerned. Wish I'd found it sooner. Bought a double subscription because I also use it to clean up my daughter's laptop when it crashes (less expensive than taking the laptop to a repair shop so it pays for itself just with this feature).

To keep my computer healthy, I run these programs:
1.PC Doc Pro
2.Crap Cleaner (free shareware)
3.Trend Micro Anti-spyware
4.disk defrag
5.disk cleanup

PC Doc Pro is

Crap Cleaner is at

Trend Micro anti spyware I bought at Fry's, but can no doubt be purchased online or elsewhere - I waited until they ran a sale - they had a free anti-spyware scan I'd use, annoying to download each and every time, but was glad to have it.

Good luck.

My problems disappeared with win xp and reformatting the hard drive (which unfortunately required re-formatting at least some 4 times under win 2000).

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By Dustin Smith (Guest Post)
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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By Jr (Guest Post)
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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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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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.

By Patti from Ewing, NJ

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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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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 Mary Ross from Tucson, AZ

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

By Gerry

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July 13, 2011

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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August 16, 2008

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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June 13, 2015

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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August 17, 2014

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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April 9, 2008

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.

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