Advice needed to sort out loads of problems

  MidgetMan 09:10 02 Nov 2004

need some help and guidance to sort out my wifes friends PC, was called at work to see if I could "have a look" at a friends PC, she was having trouble logging onto web sites and i was told she was having "jaffa script probs". Stopped of on way home and started to have what I thought would be a quick look. Now as we all know there is no such thing as a quick look where PC's are involved and so it turned out to be.!!

She has got a fairly new PC (bought in Oct last year) running xp home but apart from that I have no idea. List of probs follows.

1) booted up and it took 5 minutes to load everything.

2) Took 3 minutes to connect to internet (using Tiscali dailup)

3) only connected at 40kbs and downloads were running at 1.5 kbs

4) the installed version of Norton (which has expired) shows definitions were last updated dec 2002 (even though bought in Oct 2003)

5) whole machine running very sluggish.

I managed to determine that she had 6 tiscali dailup connections on the machine, so I deleted all but one which I made default, this sped up the connection time but did nothing to the connection/download speed. Have determined that she has only got 2 phone extensions so ruled out gain loss. I also determined that she has got alot of spy ware on but could not download ad aware to clear as the d/load so slow.

My questions are: i have downloaded ad aware/spy ware blaster/avg onto a disk which i will install this evening (hopefully) these will i hope at least clean up the machine to some extent, I also intend to uninstall Norton and need to know how simple this will be on xp and whether it will cause problems.

I assume that all 3 progs will run ok on xp as I have not had alot of dealings with xp (me man myself).

Is there any way to speed up the connection/download speed or will cleaning up the PC do this??

Is there anything else I should be looking out for while I am there?? not even sure if she has got SP1 loaded, how can you tell?? should it be installed? and if so can it be downloaded onto cd and installed that way?

Any help advice gratefully received.


  Androcles 09:30 02 Nov 2004

Hello MidgetMan,I used to be on Tiscali dialup and it was always slow,but mine was a bit faster than this one 4-5kbs.I think the three programs you mention should protect from virus and malware,but you should install a firewall as well ie.Zone Alarm:-click here;jsessionid=A1FhYWELHTDV9sW5Q0YllUTkDtgUAhmwapzuTnBnIIeF2kmBkdCA!1528543897!-1062696905!7551!7552!-1482804765!-1062696904!7551!7552?lid=nav_za
Zone Labs: or Sygate:-click here
Sygate Personal Firewall .After that download this little program:-click here
CCleaner - Crap Cleaner software download and run it this will clear your temporary internet files and lots of other rubbish,it,s simple to use and safe.
Hope some of this helps.Regards.

  JIM 09:44 02 Nov 2004

your friends PC is in trouble if as you describe.
The time taken to check out and try to fix the unknow, Poss with other software may not be worth the trouble.

Sounds as if running without any antivirus and services packs being on the internet may have led to more than a little problem or two.Save your self a lota poss problems and time and do a reformat and reinstall.This will produce speed and proper internet connections after loading antivirus and spyware tools before going online for service pack etc.May take a little time but what you describe so far could take longer and poss no joy.

I would suggest you may be better asking someone with a litte more knowledge to to assist,if you feel dubious on this occasion. No dis-respect intended.


  temp003 10:10 02 Nov 2004

Ad-Aware, AVG and Spyware Blaster will run on XP.

Uninstalling Norton should be simple. Do that before you install AVG (although, if you uninstall Norton, then reinstall it, you'll get back the normal subscription period, 3 or 12 months depending on whether its OEM).

If there are so many problems, it might be a good idea to boot into Safe Mode to do your scans and cleanups.

I tend to agree with JIM, though, that it might be quicker to do a format and reinstall. Make sure though that important stuff is backed up first, and ALSO, your friend has all the necessary CDs, internet account password at hand for reinstalling XP itself and any programs he or she uses. If not sure, don't reformat.

  Graham ® 10:17 02 Nov 2004

SP1, Start, right click My Computer, Properties. SP2, pick up a CD at Comet, PCWorld, etc.

  MidgetMan 10:39 02 Nov 2004

Thanks for the replys, I am very loathe to do re-mormat etc as it is not my pc and I have never done that with XP, also mate is a bit scatty chances of her even knowing what the backup disks are let alone being able to find them is a matter of conjecture!, any other suggestions??

  Dan the Confused 10:55 02 Nov 2004

Tuneup Utilities is a good prog for cleaning & optimising PCs. It's a 30 day free trial so worth a bash, just run everything on it and see how you get on. click here

  PA28 14:26 02 Nov 2004

Go for the clean install option if you can. Otherwise suggest you run.

Chances are that even after you've cleaned everything up you're going to be left with a wobbly system for which you'll take the blame when it eventually collapses.

Get your scatty mate to put the thing into PCW for a "tune-up" - they'll earn their £40 here by the sound of things and you'll be in the clear!!

  Diemmess 15:46 02 Nov 2004

Here's my 10cents worth. Stay off the net for the present and it will be at least a half-day job.

Uninstall Norton, and all the other protective programs. Also all other programs which are no longer used

Run CCleaner if you have it, or take a CD with the installable download on it, and Zone Alarm too for later.

Any other brainwaves you may have which can really speed bootup.

Accept the slow Internet connection which should be at least 3Kb by now, and download AVG.
Run AVG, and configure it to update automatically to avoid the nonsense of no virus protection.

All this will involve time and seemingly endless rebooting, but it should avoid a total reinstallation which is baby, bathwater and all.

  polish 16:07 02 Nov 2004

formating would be ideal also something simple but have you tried defrag as well as the above suggestions

  MidgetMan 17:22 02 Nov 2004

Thanks for that advice, I already have got adaware-spyware blaster and avg on disk ready to load up, kinda had it mind to stay of net until really needed as not sure if she has got nastys etc, am really hoping that i can avoid re-format etc as not convinced need to do that as yet.

polish, good idea will do that after have uninstalled norton,

would it be worthwhile loading reg clean as well?? dont really want to get into the realms of loading buckets of stuff to solve what, at the end of day may not be as traumatic.

many thanks for all the ideas so far

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