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I've been frustrated with my computers,none of them will work satisfactorily ever since I went with Verizon FIOS internet...(not that they worked great with dial up and AOL,but at least they were better than now!)..

The "newest" one is a Dell Optiplex GX150 model...the others are of unknown brands and are probably a pile of parts assembled into a computer by previous owners...I dont have the "administrator password" to any of them...which limits what I can change or do on them..

My beef is they all "hang up" while using them,they refuse to move to the next page,or respond to the mouse,and will give a "not responding" message...then suddenly they'll suddenly start working again..click onto another thread and the same thing happens--sit there and wait 5 minutes for it to move!.....the DEll might work ok on some websites better ,like craigslist,but on others like MTF,it does this the worst...it also seems to work better when first fired up,the not responding gets worse after its been on awhile...(the 2 fans are working ok though)..

I was told its because they are all "too old" and no one upgraded the windows service packs in them --"SP2" is the highest SP installed on two of them...I'm running Windows XP pro in both...(one says it has a "counterfeit copy of windows" that cannot be upgraded too,so that might be the problem with that computer)..I find it strange they all act the same though...

Dont know exactly what processer they have,probably a pentuim 2 or 3,
I cant seem to find any specs on them in the "system info" listings..

I've tried several times to get the windoews SP3 to upload,it says to "upgrade the browser" first..but IE Explorer wont upgrade from the IE6 program installed in them,nor will Mozilla,Firefox,or Google Chrome...sometimes they appear to be loading right,but when it goes to finish I get a "entry point not found" message...

I'm probably doing something wrong,either that or maybe these are just too darn old to be using online any more??...I tried going to the DEll website to see if they had any assistance,nothing there seemed to work either...

Should I just put these in a dumpster ,or bother having someone who knows what they are doing try fixing them?--rather not waste money on old junk,be better off putting it towards a newer computer.....I put an ethernet card in the ones other than the DEll so I could plug them into the router,to see if either of them was any better,but they are worse,if anything...and how do I know its not the router or verizons server causing the not responding problem?..

Any advice will be appreciated...but remember I'm better at plugging things in than doing "tech work"...I can take a computer apart and put it back together,but I am not good at trying to "program" one or make changes to them really...
 

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If your internet service provider is slowing you down......test by doing speed tests. If your provider is a cable company, or a land line, or a cellular "stick" they might have "slow times"........where uploads and downloads are balky, especially video-rich content.

Your internet security, like Norton, may be slowing you down, occasionally, especially if there is some security issue currently circulating on the net.....sometimes if that hasn't been upgraded, it becomes slower too.

The browser.....sometimes the main reason for slowness....update it, but remember that your operating system will dictate the level to which this can be supported, so that may be the reason why your browser(s) will not upgrade. The operating system(XP?) is not allowing it.

I would suggest that you talk to a computer person, and see if a newer operating system is worth loading into one of your computers, then you will be able to upgrade some of your software, including your browsers, cause the newer versions only will work on newer systems.
 

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Wow TH.. You sound like you found all the parts for this machine at a junkyard or a garage sale!! IE6??? Wow..

Haven't heard that in a long time!! Being that you don't have the admin P/W does tie your feet & ears together pretty much.. I remember there was a way around it but you would have to get into the nuts & bolts and remove a jumper on the MB if I remember right..

What version of Windows are you using? Click on 'Start' then click on 'Settings' then click on 'System' and a box will show up and give you the information you need to figure out what machine/system you are running.

If it's 98 or older- forget about it and either struggle with what you got or find a newer 'project-puter' I tossed out my old Puter a long time ago but I think I have a window 98 install disk and you can do an F-disk and throw everything out and start fresh.. It still is prehistoric though.. Maybe someone without an archaic OS can find you a newer model.. Talk to the 14 YO neighbor kid.. He may have what you need collecting dust in his closet?? Lots of the older stuff is around cheap.. Try and find one that either uses Vista or 7 and you should see a great improvement.. Also get the Admin P/W when you get it and you can fix any software glitch and dump the unwanted bloat-ware.. once you do that- Ditch IE and install Chrome or Firefox. It will work faster because less system resources are used from crap running in the background.:goodl:
 

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I still run XP Pro on several of my 7 year old computers including the one I'm typing this one. Still works great. I did switch to AVG free anti-virus as it does take up so much memory and does a great job of protecting my computers. I also run Google chrome as IE is a big memory hog. Run your disk clean-up tool and defragment it - they will help a little with speed as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I got these computers second hand,when the previous owners decided to buy newer ones...(and they were working fairly well on dial up with AOL)....one of them that wont boot up windows now at all,I paid 225 bucks for many years ago,that one has Windows 2000me installed,that one was probably the best working one out of all of them--when I turn it on now I get the usual screen that shows the programs loading,but it says "80 condutor cable not installed"..and it wont boot windows up past the first page with the logo on it despite trying safe mode,etc...I guess the hard drive is toast..I have some spares to try,but dont know what to set the jumpers at --the cables all look fine to me and are all plugged in...I cant get the cd to turn on to try reloading windows on it either,probably my ignorance,I'm sure someone else could do it in 30 seconds..that one might have some IE explorer installed newer than the 6.0 version...

The Dell was the only one that had a built in ethernet jack,all the others only had dial up modems...thats why I spent 3 bucks for a used ethernet card to try those on the router,hoping one of them might be better,but they all act the same...

I do have the AVG free virus program from Microsoft on it now,if anything, adding that only slowed it down worse--but I see there is some memory still left,it has two 128 mgz sticks in it now,its not like the memory is maxed out...the CPU might be though??...

If I try using the task master to delete the program it gets hung up on,it still wont respond most of the time...I get the "send microsort an error report" message and have to log back onto IE again...


...I realize they are all probably 10 years old or more,but a few guys I have talked too say the DEll Optiplex isn't a dinosour and should be able to be upgraded--the other ones probably are though,not worth fooling with..but I haven't had any success trying to get the SP3 pack or different browser to install on it...I haven't had any prompts saying I need the administrator password pop up,so I assume you dont need it to do so,but maybe I'm wrong?...

I'm only trying to get one of these working better because I cant afford to go buy anything better,when I may soon be lacking a home to plug a computer into or an internet provider!....but I'm getting very tired of wasting so much time trying to read the posts here and on a few other sites that takes hours,when I could be done in half an hour...I'm beginning to wish I'd went for a "mobile" internet connection like the net zero 4G that works anywhere (for 10 bucks a month,Verizon has been charging us 54.99!)--,and got a newer laptop or "tablet",I see those for sale cheap at places like Big Lots...since I might not be living here much longer I should have a "portable" computer thats not tied to an outlet and cable access I suppose...I'd like to at least be able to go online while I'm still able to live here...

I probably should just cannibalize these antiques and use the cd player and power supply to add a cd player to my garage's stereo system,and cash in the rest for scrap...get the magnets out of the hard drives too....I hate getting rid of anything that might have some use left in it though too..
 

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for more memory right click the desk top click properties go down the list to memory
this is your hard drive so only set it to like 2045 if you have that much left
it is slower than the reg memory but helps alot
as far as a browser i use opera
linux/ubuntu would like me to use fire fox but i cant get off the pot with it

john someone correct if im wrong on 2045 being 2 gigs
its been like 7 years now
 

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Those are all _really_ old. Even the Dell Optiplex, its an old P3 and it maxes out at 512mb ram according to Crucial.
http://www.crucial.com/upgrade/Dell-memory/OptiPlex/OptiPlex+GX150+Series-upgrades.html
Two 128mb sticks means the box is running with 256mb of ram... that's basically enough for the operating system.
I'm going to guess that the box is stalling because you've used all available ram and its using the harddrive for it instead... which is a tremendous bottle neck, even on the new boxes.
For reference, the low end new boxes are shipping with 4Gb, 8x that box's max and 16x what you currently have in it. When I'm using Firefox it regularly hits 1.5Gb of ram usage, browsers are pigs (and I have entirely too many tabs open).

If you don't want to spend the money for new I'd recommend searching craigslist for a Core2 Duo box, they're a few years old now but still very peppy and should last a long time. Get a full setup if you can, keyboard mouse monitor. Your current computers are old enough they're probably using PS/2 for keyboard/mouse and some of the newer desktops nolonger have those ports. Same with the VGA monitor port, most everything is HDMI now.
You can pickup a keyboard/mouse combo for $20 if you'd rather not use used - [Newegg]

This is pretty handy if you'd like a guide to the various ports- http://th04.deviantart.net/fs48/PRE/i/2009/198/3/c/Computer_Ports_by_doctormo.png

I hesitate to say it, but if your primary computer use is a webbrowser you might grab Ubuntu linux's XFCE spin and give that a try before you toss the boxes.
http://xubuntu.org/
You can burn it to a CD or write it to a USB stick... I'd go with CD though, those boxes should have USB but its likely USB 1.1 which is sloooow.
https://help.ubuntu.com/community/BurningIsoHowto
https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Installation/FromUSBStick
The XFCE spin is lighter and will run better on your old hardware, the install process is a simple click through, just use the defaults.
Just something to play with, though back up anything you want to save to a usb flash drive before messing with it.

Oh, and if you have an Win XP CD just use http://www.belarc.com/free_download.html to retrieve your key
I wouldn't bother with antivirus, it'll slow down that box worse than a virus would and its all reactionary anyways -- they don't block new viruses. Just restore Windows, update it, and then keep it up to date and stay off questionable websites.
That, or give Ubuntu a try. No known linux viruses in the wild and it should run a little better.

Jumper settings on the hdd are usually labeled directly on it. iirc it varies with brand, but you'll want to set the hdd as Single, Master, or Cable Select. Make sure anything else sharing that cable is either Slave or Cable Select... or just remove everything else off that cable.
This may help - http://www.mfslive.org/images/wd_jumper.gif
 

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Can you ask a friend to burn you a copy of Ophcrack live cd? With this cd you boot up computer and it will get the password for you. Since you do not have admin rights its not possible to burn cd's in xp.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
An update...

I have discoverd that the internet explorer program seems to be my problem,on both computers ,when it stops responding and I right click the task manager,I see IE is using 98% of the CPU's ability...if I watch it awhile,it'll suddenly "blink" the page like it started responding again,and the CPU usage quickly drops down to below 20%...

I tried downloading the "free" malwarebytes program and let it do a scan,it came up with about 175 "registry errors"...I let it go ahead and "fix" the 50 errors it'd do for "free",and opted to keep the remaining errors,because I cant pay for anything right now...

It worked MUCH better for a few minutes,but soon went right back to the "not responding" BS,and the task magager shows IE is doing the same thing again...seeing TWO computers are both doing this,I dont know what to think or blame...viruses??...spyware?..or just old JUNK that should be run over and set on fire?..I'm about to do just that...

GT-80 had the right idea,using the computer cases like mine for concrete ballast weights on tractors!...:mad:..seems thats all they are good for now...
 

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you can type in /in the startup menu (msconfig}click enter
look for startup programs turn off what you do not use
like windows defender it seems to like to run all the time
you will need to restart the computer

john
 

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's just what happens to Windows over time.
If those boxes are still on their first copy of Windows it is what it is -- I mean, they're not even fully updated.
Windows dies over time, the registry gets cluttered and broken, it accumulates various bits of cruft and malware etc. I know people who used to reinstall XP every year or so. One swore by reimaging every six months.

Explorer running away is a problem. Explorer in Win XP is not just your webbrowser, its your file browser and pretty well ingrained into the system. Likely means its rather well infected with something undesirable.

I believe you found a fake copy of malwarebytes. It should never, ever ask you for money after a scan.
Although they do require a license for business use the personal use version is completely free. You can opt for their 'Pro' version which has real-time screening etc, but 's not necessary.
When in doubt, just use download.com - http://download.cnet.com/Malwarebytes-Anti-Malware/3000-8022_4-10804572.html

Spybot has (had? haven't used it in a while) a very good startup editor. Its probably under Advanced Tools or something. It labels what is required, what's normal, and what's bad. http://download.cnet.com/Spybot-Search-Destroy/3000-8022_4-10122137.html

That said, you'll never get any of those old installs entirely clean. Most IT shops don't bother with cleanup, just wipe and reimage - it really is the only way to be sure.
You're going to spend more time cursing and banging your head against those boxes than just taking the hour or so it'll take to put a fresh copy of Win XP on it.
See the Belarc link above to retrieve your XP key (I'm assuming it works without admin?) or use Ophcrack as Chuck mentioned. If you have the original install media you shouldn't even need a key, if you have a generic Win XP disk you will.

If you're not expecting more than a computer to browse the web with that hardware is alright. Not great, not really even good, but alright. Restore Windows or give Linux a chance and you might be surprised at how much life those boxes have left.

The $35 RaspberryPi (http://www.raspberrypi.org/faqs) is about on par with that Optiplex and it runs Debian reasonably well.

If you don't want to do that junk them.
That, or setup http://xkcd.com/350/
 

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I remember there was a way around it but you would have to get into the nuts & bolts and remove a jumper on the MB if I remember right..
That's to clear the CMOS on the motherboard. It won't have any effect on the admin password. There are utilities out there that allow you to boot to a Linux shell and edit the password hives in the registry, but unless you know what your doing, I wouldn't suggest it.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I'm using the "other" computer now,which is no better than the Dell really,probably older and a no name brand with an "Acer" memory card (only has one installed ,256 MB) and it also shows a Windows "counterfit copy" was installed previously and didn't pass the windows validity test--therefor no updates or service packs can be installed now (It does have SP2 installed however,while the DEll only has SP1)..it doesn't have the floppy disc or CD drive hooked up ,so I couldn't run a disc in it anyway even if I had a Windows XP disc handy (and knew how to wipe it clean and do a re-install)...I do have a Windows 98 cd,but I think I'd be stepping backwards even more trying to go with that program...

Despite the woes I'm having,I can still read posts and send posts here and on a few other websites I am a member of,some others I get a "internet explorer cannot open this page" error message...I have not been able to create a new e-mail account on outlook express,or any other site,so all my friends I used to keep in touch with have been left wondering where I went after I had to close my AOL account a few months back...

I agree I am peeing in the wind probably,trying to improve these outdated computers performance,and it may just as well be I forget about trying too ......I was just hoping I could speed them up a bit by getting IE to stop hogging all the processor capacity...


I got BAD news yesterday about my mom....
My mom is on her last breaths at the life care facility,I got a call from them yesterday to tell me they no longer feel she should go back to the hospital again,that it will do her more harm than good in the end--and she has signed papers stating she doesn't want to be hauled there again,after being admitted 4 times in three weeks...her breathing has again become labored and difficult,after showing some improvement last week when she was sent back to life care--and she has been given morphine ,so its only a matter of days or maybe weeks,before we lose her...:(

....and then I wont have to worry about having a computer or posting here any more,because it's unlikey I'll be able to stay in her home for long after her passing,with no income or money left to fall back on,or pay the taxes and utility bills and other expenses...the Verizon internet will likely be the first think to be cancelled,since we're having a billing dispute with them....
We'll be lucky if the house isn't taken by creditors and/or have leins taken out on it...shes made no plans for her funeral,the estate,nothing...its a huge headache, and I'm not emotionally able to deal well with the situation at all...
 

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Sorry about your mother but if she is still of sound mind you can call a lawyer to come to the house and write a will and sign it with witnesses. Most are more than willing to assist in that detail. You do need to move fast because once she passes all her assets and accounts will be frozen by the bank and state. All monies and other income or safety deposit box contents are inventoried and without a will the state becomes involved in the mater. Paying even the funeral costs will be a problem. This is why everyone that owns property or finances needs a current will. Her wishes are then followed by the executor or personal representative depending on state. First thing tomorrow jump on this and get a will written. I have help families get this done at the last minute to avoid the problems.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I doubt she will be in any condition to read,sign,or be considered in control of her faculties now,it is way too late...she is in a life care facility,she's been unable to be in her home since april 20th at least...she hasn't been lucid for several days and will likely stay that way....:(


I dont think she'll live more than a few days if that...it will be a shame if what you said comes to pass,to see all my dad worked for be conficated ,and me lose all I worked hard for too.......but we tried telling my mom that for years,to get the house in a trust,or at least make a will,or leave a letter explaining things that are "planned" so she'd have them the way she wanted,etc...but she refused to discuss anything like that with any of my siblings or myself...(that I know of anyway)...perhaps she did have something in a safe desposit box at the bank,but I doubt it...

I think its too darn late to do anything about it now...and even if she were able to talk and think,I doubt she would discuss anything,we tried talking to her 2 weeks ago at an evaluation meeting at the facility and she just flat refused to talk about it...it was difficult enough getting her to sign a health proxy...
 
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