Help me help a friend


Old 10-02-02, 10:21 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2001
Posts: 105
Help me help a friend

A friend is having major computer problems...

It started after a huge storm and a power outage. When the power came on, her computer screen was that of the basic set up when she bought the computer new. She can see her other programs that had been added, such as Quicken and Word97, but cannot open them. She is getting error messages such as not enough hard drive space when trying to open Quicken.

I asked for more specifics about her system, but until then...

...anyone heard of a storm or power surge having this effect?

...any suggestions at this early stage of diagnosis??


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Old 10-02-02, 04:32 PM
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Carol Stream, IL
Posts: 338
It really would help to know what OS. However, my guess is that registry got corrupted and reverted to last good one it had.
Old 10-02-02, 08:27 PM
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 232

For this, I know from experience. I once recently whent through a destructive power surge. Only my house was affected in the neighborhood. It took out most of the eletronics in my hosue including my computer, big screen tv, stereo, garage openers, cordless phones...and all.

My solution to you is have the computer technician somewhere near you run diagnostics to find the corrupted harware, or sector on hard drive, I did, and mine works perfect now.
Old 10-09-02, 01:56 PM
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I'll assume she is running Windows 9X which is known to deteriorate over time. I would look at this as an opportunity. Norton and some other utilities can be run from the CD. Assuming her CD still works run them and check the disk for problems. You can use Scandisk if she doesn't have any others. If they encounter any bad sectors they will attempt to read them and move the data to a safe location.

When done have her backup all her data files. Hopefully they were not corrupted. Then reformat all drives and then re-install the operating system and programs. Now would be a good time to upgrade to XP. I know this is a pain having done it several time myself but it is the best way to clear up any OS/software problems. It will also help detect any problems with her hardware.

Good Luck

Old 10-10-02, 07:40 AM
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Cool I would... But I preach format on stuff like this.

My sentiments exactly. If they got a year or more out of the last build itís time to format. If itís a 98.x box. This is also a good time to upgrade memory or a second hardrive so next year when you have to do this you will have all your stuff backed up. Put the new drive with the new OS build in as primary, use your current drive for the 2ond or storage drive. If you are only running, say 64 to 128 Megs of RAM kick her in the tail with another 128 or so. Memory is around $50 for 128 Megs of DIMM. The drive should be around $129 +- $20. Western Digital is what I prefer but they are all pretty much the same and the warranty would make my decision for purchase. Buy the drive local, seems to be easier to get them replaced etc. By the way, if your are thinking about a CD Burner I recommend CenDyne. I just had my burner die, just out of the 90-day warranty. Didnít actually die but would not operate in DMA mode. Anyway, CenDyne went out of their way to get this drive replace, I was impressed. Maybe thatís why they have grown so much, they know how to treat a customer. I didnít even ask to have it replaced, just emailed them about the DMA thing and they CALLED me at home to ask if I wanted it repaired! I almost fell over! Bad thing for a fat boyÖ Man Iím a long winded cuss, and yes the Big Mike moniker was given to me because I lead instead of follow unless I donít know then I move over, contrary to popular belief itís not because you hear beep, beep, beep when I back upÖ

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