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Thread: Computer help desk

  1. #361
    Staying Afloat speedbump's Avatar
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    Help! With the exception of my Mozilla browser open, everything on my computer screen is blank (my desktop picture is there). No icons, no toolbar, no nothing. If I minimize my screen, I lose it.

    This started about two weeks ago and happened rarely. Today it has happened three times in the last hour (I would reboot each time). I also noticed a WinFix pop-up and conveniently, my Norton doesn't quarantine nor fix it. It just tells me that there is a problem and gives me a link to fix it- except the link doesn't instruct me on how to fix it. It just explains what it is. I've never had a pop-up using Mozilla which leaves me baffled.

    I ran Norton and also Trend Micro Housecall. Nothing. Has anyone experienced this before and if so, how did you fix this? Thanks.

    ETA: nevermind. I forgot that I had 'HijackThis' and was able to get rid of the winfix program.
    Last edited by speedbump; 08-31-2006 at 10:13 AM.
    You got to cry without weeping. Talk without speaking. Scream without raising your voice.- U2

  2. #362
    Leo
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    I can't be entirely sure, but it sounds like Explorer.exe itself is crashing. There are a lot of reasons why that could happen. Your hard drive or memory could be going bad, or something could be wrong with the Windows install itself.

    Did something change with this computer since two weeks ago? Were any applications installed/uninstalled, or any pieces of hardware removed/added? That could be the problem.

    Unfortunately, fixing something like this is not always easy, if it's even doable. I'd run MemTest86+ (http://www.memtest.org/) to test the memory and see that it hasn't gone bad, but that's unlikely. If the hard drive is old (five or more years), that could be a culpirt too. Beyond that, the best choice may well be to reinstall Windows.

  3. #363
    Staying Afloat speedbump's Avatar
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    Leo, the only thing I installed was the upgrade to Mozilla.
    You got to cry without weeping. Talk without speaking. Scream without raising your voice.- U2

  4. #364
    Leo
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    Sounds like you may not have much choice except to run Memtest and, if needed, reinstall Windows.

    One thing I forgot to ask: how are the system temperatures? It's possible something could have gone wrong (broken fan, etcetera) that's causing your system to overheat and be unstable.

  5. #365
    Staying Afloat speedbump's Avatar
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    I'll check out Memtest but since I ran HijackThis and got rid of the WinFix adware, my computer is flying. I'll see how it holds up for the day.
    You got to cry without weeping. Talk without speaking. Scream without raising your voice.- U2

  6. #366
    Hypermediocrity Amanda's Avatar
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    Help!

    All of my mp3's are skipping, like they're on vinyl or something. I did some searches, and tried messing around with dxdiag, to no avail. I even downloaded winamp instead of using the Windows Media Player I've always used, and no, they're still doing it. This just started out of the clear blue sky a few days ago, and UGH. WHY WHY WHY WHY WHY?!?!?!

    Anyway, any help would be greatly appreciated.

  7. #367
    Leo
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    Amanda, is it only for MP3 files, or for all audio? It's possible that a) the codec for playing back MP3 files has somehow become broken, or b) the drivers for sound themselves are broken.

  8. #368
    Endlessly ShrinkingViolet's Avatar
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    Amanda, I know someone who recently had the same problem. It was the cable between the computer and mp3 player. Apparently, it had been run over too many times by his chair.

  9. #369
    Hypermediocrity Amanda's Avatar
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    SV, if only it were that simple. I don't think I made this clear in the original post (blind, seething rage will do that to a girl ), but it's not an external player that's the problem. It's just my computer's media player, and it's making me nuts.

    Leo, I tried playing a video (mpg file, I think), and it did the same thing. I also should clarify that it isn't skipping, it's stuttering. I don't know if that makes a difference, but I might as well be accurate. I added more memory, which seemed to help a little bit, but it didn't make the problem go away. I don't know where to go from here (every time I see the word codec, my eyes glaze over, because I don't know how to find the right one, etc. ), other than just punching my computer a lot.

  10. #370
    Leo
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    Hmmm... I honestly have no idea what's wrong. One thing that might fit is if you have some sort of malware that's tying up your computer, which means that when it does try to play an MP3 it doesn't work. There are a lot of things that could go wrong, though.

    Here's a definite test of whether all audio playback is fouled up: go to the directory "C:\Windows\Media". You'll find a lot of audio files there, none of which are MP3s. Try playing those back, and if the skipping/stuttering still happens, all your audio playback is fouled up, not just MP3s.

    One more thing to try: play an MP3 (while doing nothing else), then while it's playing hit Ctrl-Alt-Delete. The Task Manager will show up. Check the CPU usage graph (which is under the Performance tab). It should not be anywhere near 100% - if it is, you've got a big problem.

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