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Computer Help?!?
Old 12-30-2006, 03:48 PM   #1
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Computer Help?!?

So... I was surfing around the web - (looking for a video clip on U-tube, and followed some links I probably shouldn't have....) when I hear that scary "my computer is downloading something it shouldn't" noise.

Virus protection didn't work. I shut everything down, as this was the only thing I could think of to do. Maybe that was a mistake.

Anyway, the Config\System file has been killed. My laptop informs me that I can attempt to repair this by starting Windows Setup with the original Setup CD-ROM.

I don't have one. This is a pet peeve - computer companies stopped giving you original disks several years ago it seems, but when things crash we are all supposed to have them. Was I supposed to have made this disk when I bought the computer or something?

I've tried to find someplace on the web to download such a beast, but all I can find is a way to make a set of floppies, and my laptop doesn't have a floppy drive.

Can I make a CD from my desktop computer whcih is also XP Home addition?

Argh. Any advice or should I wait until Tuesday and go to a professional?

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Re: Computer Help?!?
Old 12-30-2006, 03:58 PM   #2
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Re: Computer Help?!?

You should try to restore the settings to a date previous to the problem. Go to control panel then system restore and select a date from its calendar. This should fix your problem.
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Re: Computer Help?!?
Old 12-30-2006, 04:01 PM   #3
 
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Re: Computer Help?!?

Yes Corp. Burnout's suggestion is good.

Also, if you do get it back up, see if you can make yourself a copy of the restore CD's. I have seen new laptops that did not even allow this option. When I complained to the company over the phone, they said "just send it to us and we'll re-load for a reasonable fee". - I said - I am going to return the computer to Costco today instead! - Bought a Sony with ability to make a Recovery CD.
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Re: Computer Help?!?
Old 12-30-2006, 04:21 PM   #4
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Re: Computer Help?!?

Hi - thanks. Mine is a Sony, so if I ever get to that point, maybe I can make the restore CD.

However, I can't follow Corp Burnout's advice as I can't boot it at all, I only get to the first screen saying "Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt: \WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\CONFIG\SYSTEM."

Then it says to attempt repair with the original setup CD.

I tried to start it in Safe Mode and can't do that either. :P

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Re: Computer Help?!?
Old 12-30-2006, 04:31 PM   #5
 
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Re: Computer Help?!?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sheryl
Hi - thanks. Mine is a Sony, so if I ever get to that point, maybe I can make the restore CD.

However, I can't follow Corp Burnout's advice as I can't boot it at all, I only get to the first screen saying "Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt: \WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\CONFIG\SYSTEM."

Then it says to attempt repair with the original setup CD.

I tried to start it in Safe Mode and can't do that either. :P

OK, all you need is any Windows XP CD - just to boot from. Once it is booted, you should be able to do the System REstore procedure
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Re: Computer Help?!?
Old 12-30-2006, 04:54 PM   #6
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Re: Computer Help?!?

I guess I have to go to work and see if I can find and XP disk there. I was hoping I could make one from the desktop computer.

Bleah. What's worse, a crashed laptop or going to work on a long weekend?

I need to get a life!
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Re: Computer Help?!?
Old 12-30-2006, 04:55 PM   #7
 
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Re: Computer Help?!?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sheryl
I guess I have to go to work and see if I can find and XP disk there. I was hoping I could make one from the desktop computer.

Bleah. What's worse, a crashed laptop or going to work on a long weekend?

I need to get a life!
Can't you call a friend or relative that has a WIndows XP CD?
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Re: Computer Help?!?
Old 12-30-2006, 05:02 PM   #8
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Re: Computer Help?!?

Nah, all my friends live on the internet.

My friends are not that computer-oriented. I can't think of anyone else that I would want to send digging for some disk that they know they are supposed to have somewhere but are not sure where. The only people I have asked both said they didn't get disks with their computer either, and are you supposed to?

I am going skiing tomorrow, so I will probably be able to function until Tuesday... It just bugs me when I can't fix something - I tend to obsess over it for way longer than it's worth, when I should just walk away.

Obviously I have another computer, so its' not like I'm going to go into Forum Withdrawal or anything.
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Re: Computer Help?!?
Old 12-30-2006, 05:07 PM   #9
 
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Re: Computer Help?!?

OK - I understand. I am the same way!

You'll get it fixed one way or the other.
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Re: Computer Help?!?
Old 12-30-2006, 05:26 PM   #10
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Re: Computer Help?!?

Yup. Thanks for your help, and for not saying anything like, "Oooh, THAT's not good, you might as well buy a new computer."
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Re: Computer Help?!?
Old 12-30-2006, 06:06 PM   #11
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Re: Computer Help?!?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sheryl
Yup. Thanks for your help, and for not saying anything like, "Oooh, THAT's not good, you might as well buy a new computer."
Sheryl'

You don't need a new computer for sure. I second CT advice to make a system CD upon restoring your settings with the XP CD.
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Re: Computer Help?!?
Old 12-30-2006, 06:51 PM   #12
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Re: Computer Help?!?

Thanks again guys.

I'm just glad I recently backed everything up. I have not been to good about that in the past.
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Re: Computer Help?!?
Old 12-30-2006, 09:37 PM   #13
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Re: Computer Help?!?

So, do certain brands of Windows computers include restore discs? I've heard of this issue before, and it seems crazy to not get restore discs. I'd like to know in case someone asks for an opinion on a new purchase - I could at least tell them what to avoid.

My Macs always come with a full set of restore disks - they come in handy of you experience a hard drive failure. I sure would not want to be w/o them.

-ERD50
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Re: Computer Help?!?
Old 12-30-2006, 11:01 PM   #14
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Re: Computer Help?!?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ERD50
So, do certain brands of Windows computers include restore discs? I've heard of this issue before, and it seems crazy to not get restore discs. I'd like to know in case someone asks for an opinion on a new purchase - I could at least tell them what to avoid.

My Macs always come with a full set of restore disks - they come in handy of you experience a hard drive failure. I sure would not want to be w/o them.
My most recent experience is with Dells. They used to include restore disks, but now they have a restore partition on the hard drive instead (a norton ghost image). It's actually pretty handy to use (I reimage whenever I sell off one of my old laptops).

I googled to see if Sony had some similar capability, but it doesn't look good. This is as close as I got to help for Sheryl:

link

Sheryl, if you get desperate, PM me and I can loan you an XP setup CD (but I don't have any Sony-specific drivers, which you'll need).
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Re: Computer Help?!?
Old 12-31-2006, 09:54 AM   #15
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Re: Computer Help?!?

Quote:
Originally Posted by wab
My most recent experience is with Dells. They used to include restore disks, but now they have a restore partition on the hard drive instead (a norton ghost image). It's actually pretty handy to use (I reimage whenever I sell off one of my old laptops).
And, I assume you can burn your own boot-able restore disk from that partition?

I agree that a separate partition is a good thing. I always re-partition my Macs when I get them, and install a very minimal system on one small partition (3GB) - I could always boot from that to do disk repairs on the main partition, or other troubleshooting. From what I've heard, that 'restore' function in Windows, based on that separate partition is actually quite good. I'd like to see Apple include something similar.

Considering all the free promotional CDs and DVDs I get in the mail, I wonder what these companies are thinking by not including one with a computer purchase? Maybe it is a weak attempt at anti-piracy? If so, like most of those attempts, it inconveniences the honest person, and does almost nothing to stop a thief.

-ERD50

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Re: Computer Help?!?
Old 12-31-2006, 01:22 PM   #16
 
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Re: Computer Help?!?

Quote:
Originally Posted by wab

I googled to see if Sony had some similar capability, but it doesn't look good. This is as close as I got to help for Sheryl:
I have a Sony Vaio and while it did not come with recovery disks, it had a one time program to let you build them yourself. Pretty simple and after you recover, you can just delete software that you don't want.

I think if she get a WIndows XP CD just to boot the system, she'll be able to run the program to build the recovery disks. MY guess is that once she gets the system booted, she can restore to last week with the windows XP system restore procedure and will probably be OK.
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Re: Computer Help?!?
Old 12-31-2006, 01:39 PM   #17
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Re: Computer Help?!?

With the computer off.
Hit the on button and immediately start tapping the F8 key.
That will bring up a screen allowing you to do several things.

Try Boot to Safe Mode and then look for some file that was created when it originally was turned off by you.

or.

Try Restore to Previous Known Configuration


I'm not on that screen, so those as just from memory.

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Re: Computer Help?!?
Old 12-31-2006, 01:45 PM   #18
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Re: Computer Help?!?

When you get it fixed, make sure you are not only running a virus program, but a software firewall as well (ie. Zonealarm which is free) and also don't use Internet Explorer. Use Mozilla's Firefox browser. It won't let that stuff happen.

Good luck.
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Re: Computer Help?!?
Old 12-31-2006, 02:15 PM   #19
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Re: Computer Help?!?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trek
and also don't use Internet Explorer. Use Mozilla's Firefox browser. It won't let that stuff happen.
Is FireFox really that much more secure than IE on Windows?

If true, I find it fascinating that some rebel herd of open-source programmers can produce a more secure product than Microsoft has been able to ship. Microsoft has billions in revenue and billions in the bank to throw at security - and Gates claimed that security was a big priority back in the year 2000.

-ERD50

PS - I don't mean to come across as an Apple zealot, I think Apple has major issues too - I could write a book. But, I am amazed at some of the things Windows users put up with.
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Re: Computer Help?!?
Old 12-31-2006, 02:26 PM   #20
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Re: Computer Help?!?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ERD50
Is FireFox really that much more secure than IE on Windows?
Yes, especially on Windows.
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