computer constantly crashing, don't know what to do


Old 12-01-03, 10:12 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: corona Ca.
Posts: 471
computer constantly crashing, don't know what to do

-gateway computer,
-1 gig processor
-at least 192 meg ram I think
-New hard drive.

This is my mothers computer, and I am just about fed up with it. She has CONSTANT problems. She used to be running 98 ME, which is bad all by itself. However, it started to crash alot, then finally went down down. I brought the computer home, and found the hard drive had crashed hard, so I went out and bought a new hard drive.

I installed the hard drive, installed Windows XP, service packed it, etc.

My mother is STILL complaining 2-3 times a week of constant problems, aol will freeze (probably aol problem, etc). Now today explorer.exe will not load, due to some missing dll. All she says she did was turn it off last night, and restart it today.

SOrry I can't be more specific about her problems, as I usually brush her off and tell her she just doesn't know how to use a computer blah blah blah. But now I am bordering on insanity, as I can't handle her constant bombardment of computer troubles.

What can I do?? I am possibly thinking hardware problems?? Will ram cause this sort of unreliability? Is there a way to test it?

Any suggestions people? How do I get a realiable setup for a complete computer idiot?? I thought windows XP would shut her up as It is so reliable, but she has had nothing but problems.
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Old 12-01-03, 10:32 AM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Central New York State
Posts: 13,973
There is no such thing as "98 ME". You mean either 98 or ME. 98 is a better OS than ME. (ME stands for My Enemy, and is an embarassment for Microsoft.) If you have a choice, 98 is a better OS for just about anybody to use when compared to My Enemy. There is nothing wrong with a home user on an older computer using 98.

You should not have put XP on this box. It has barely enough memory to run it properly.

Did you completely reformat the hard drive before installing XP? Has this machine been connected to the internet? Has it been effected by one of the many Microsoft security flaws and is it being rebooted/crashed by a virus?
Old 12-01-03, 11:57 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: corona Ca.
Posts: 471
-Yes there is, it is windows 98 third edition formally named millenium edition, therefore 98 IS ME, and the second edition of 98 is much better than it's third edition ME.

-I agree "my enemy" is appropriately titled

-a one gig processor system running 192 megs of ram is PLENTY for XP's requirements. In fact, the minimum requirement is 128 megs of ram, which I ran for a while just fine a while back on my home pc. In fact, my personal computer at home is a pentium 3 450 mghz running 192 megs of ram (formally 128) and I have been running XP on it without a hitch since XP's introduction. It has made my lil 450 much more reliable, quicker, and more enjoyable.

-I in fact would and DO suggest XP for all home users, average or not. I have installed it on my brothers machine, my mothers, mine, and my mother-in-laws machine, all running without a hitch except for my moms (which leads me to suspect hardware failure)
WHile windows 98 had it's time, it is an unreliable ineffective beast which creates nightmares for the average home user. Now that I have installed XP on my mother-in-laws system, I have YET to make one trip to her house to fix a computer problem...(knock on wood)

-The machine in question is connected to the internet via dsl, It has the necessary virus checker, security updates, and does not reboot on it's own. I have even run adaware and spybot for what it's worth.

Perhaps I'll just have my mother throw in 512 megs of new ram and see if that fixes her problem? She is about to throw out the whole system into the garbage and replace it. Even though it is only a 1 gig machine, it is nothing more than a sophisticated email machine to her.

I wouldn't care about this too much, except that I live 35 minutes away, have my own house, and pregnent wife, and her computer is really carving a huge timeslot from me

Last edited by SafeWatch; 12-01-03 at 05:23 PM.
Old 12-01-03, 12:36 PM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Central New York State
Posts: 13,973
In all of my dealings with Microsoft products I have NEVER heard of MyEnemy referred to as 98. This does not even make sense, as MyEnemy more closely resembles XP than 98, although it is still in the 95/98 line. Perhaps this explains it's lousy working.

If this was working before and you think it will work with XP, then I would reformat the hard disk and start over with XP. A reinstallation will help you isolate a hardware problem as well.

Still, I would be skeptical with anything below 256 MBytes of RAM running ANY Microsoft Operating System. Personally I don't run with anything below 1 Gigabyte and don't recommend less than 512 MBytes.
Old 12-01-03, 03:03 PM
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it is nothing more than a sophisticated email machine to her
Why not sell it, and take the money and get an msn tv box.
Sounds like that might just be the ticket.
Old 12-01-03, 04:04 PM
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I am running Win 98 SE on a computer with only 48MB ram, and a pentium 200MHZ with MMX. I haven't had many problems, I can play need for speed 3, and a bunch of other games.

It's been reliable for me. My father is running the same OS on a computer with only a 75MHZ pentium 1, and 33MB of ram. On a 512 Megabyte hard drive!

Enough of my problems, in your case, it probably is a hardware problem. I really don't know what, But I would take it in to someone who can take a good look at it if you continue to have problems.

Oh, and take it easy on your mom. My mom and my dad are both computer illiterate, I have to re-teach them the same stuff over and over and over again, while rolling my eyes. It's hard for them, and it problaby is for your mom too.

And by the way, congratulations on the baby.

Have a good christmas.
Old 12-01-03, 04:34 PM
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Taylors, SC
Posts: 9,483
All she says she did was turn it off last night, and restart it today.
Does she go through the shut down sequence or just turn it off? That could create a problem, if she did that.

I have an old computer that is just unstable and freezes for no apparent reason. This developed after 3.5 years of heavy use. Everything but the cpu has been repaced, so it is the cpu or the board. Sometimes this happens, I suppose. I got tired of the unreliability and replaced it.

XP does seem more reliable than 98. I have had it crash only twice today. It is a big improvement over its predecessors.

Good luck.
Old 12-02-03, 03:59 PM
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Tennessee
Posts: 117

Have you looked inside the case to see if the CPU fan is running and that the CPU heatsink isn't full of dust? Also is the power supply fan running fast and not just barely moving?

If all that is OK I would unplug the machine and reseat all the boards and in particular the ram modules. You might want to get a memory test program and run a check on that RAM. There are several DOS based programs available through a google search that will allow you to do a burn-in RAM test overnight to see if you pick up any errors.

Those type of lockups many times are hardware related and can be caused my any of the above items I mentioned. You have plenty of power in that system to run XP. I have used XP on a slow 400 Mhz machine and it was stable.

One thing, was any new hardware added to the system, maybe around the time it became unstable?

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