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Dell Inspiron Laptop

squidtrap

Registered
Last Subscription Date
10/08/2018
HELP- as usual my laptop is running like CRAP. I am running windows 8.1 and firefox for my browser (just updated)

everytime I try to open firefox it asks to make changes which I say YES, but it still wont load.

while not on firefox trying to fix whatever it wont scan for trouble, wont let me delete or update files, wont let me do any windows updates, basically about ready to take hammer to it.

once in a while firefox will open, and sometimes explorer (more often) than firefox will open. on firefox if I hit a wrong command it freezes and only thing that will work is un-plugging it and removing battery.

from the control panel I have tried windows updates (nothing) removing files(nothing) searching for problems(nothing)doing a system restore to a previous date (nothing)

im far from a computer person but can get around. I really don't use it for anything but e-mail and surfing the net. can anybody think of a solution,or is there a free or inexpensive solution? now its cheaper to just buy a new one on a good sale, thanks Ed.
 

gnucklehead

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
07/13/2019
Re: Dell inspiron laptop

Do you have resources or a friend that can download a CD image and burn it to a disk? Some tools can be installed on a USB stick, but in either case you still need to interrupt the normal boot process to get your computer to boot from a different media (might involve getting into the BIOS). Once the recovery tool removes/quarantines corrupted files, the system may not boot your win8, and it's anyone's guess if windoze recovery will work so be prepared for a clean re-install.

I've used the AVG rescue CD extensively but the BitDefender option might be easier for your to copy important files that you need to recover.. Graphical/LiveCD can be sloooooww but more intuitive, generally.

https://www.techsupportall.com/best-bootable-antivirus-rescue-severely-infected-computer/
https://www.lifewire.com/free-bootable-antivirus-tools-2625785
 

s100

Registered
Re: Dell inspiron laptop

gnucklehead's advice sounds good and like him I suspect you are looking at a clean reinstall. If you need to go that route I would strongly suggest you check into one of the Linux variants. I am using Ubuntu and have done for quite a few years now. I have also used Linux Mint for applications where a "lite" OS is desirable, and found it to be a good choice as well. The only problem with Linux machines comes up when you want to run some specific commercial programs (like tax s/w). I confess I have a Windows 10 machine that I keep specifically for that purpose and other private data stuff like other financial and personal records, etc. This machine NEVER goes on line so I don't have to worry about virus s/w or getting data thefted.

In every other way the Linux machines are great, and there is tons of FREE software available to run on it, should one wish to do so. Many times that s/w may be modeled on Windows applications but ends up actually being better and more functional.
 

squidtrap

Registered
Last Subscription Date
10/08/2018
Re: Dell inspiron laptop

gnucklehead/s100- thanks for the ideas. Something is weird im on explorer right now and the stack is running just fine and FAST, compared to what im used to.

got to go with the wife and will be busy for a few days, will start messing with is when I can squeeze in time. I am thinking firefox is part of the culprit, might try (if computer lets me) to uninstall it completely and see what happens.

Like I said there is NOTHING whatsoever on computer that is needed other than some of my wife's pics and documents from when we only had one laptop. If all else fails, and computer will allow me to, at worst I can reset to factory settings (even that will be tough for me) cause I am a total computer idiot. Even my smartphone is WAY above my league, only have it because its one of my sons expired ones (I phone 5s) I just don't evolve with technology, still listening to 8 tracks :O
 

Thaumaturge

In Memory Of
Age
69
Last Subscription Date
07/12/2019
Re: Dell inspiron laptop

First, from command line run "mrt". (Malicious software Removal Tool).
Doc
 

gnucklehead

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
07/13/2019
Re: Dell inspiron laptop

Losing Win update and system functions is concerning, but I can say that the latest Firefox "Quantum" is a huge resource hog (Linux included), especially coming out of a password-locked screensaver .. It may still be running even though the window has disappeared. Firefox (and/or Windows and security software) might just need more time to complete what it's doing, so maybe just let it sit a run for some hours. Some system tasks are hidden from you, being started from some other process.
 

DCAmp

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
02/17/2020
Re: Dell inspiron laptop

I had somewhat the same problem. When I was able to get in ,I installed a new antiviruse program. It turned out to be AVG was the problem.
 

uglyblue66

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
11/07/2018
As for cost, I was given a HP probook I think it is, laptop that was several years old.It sat here a year or 2 and I decided to see if it could be refurbed for my use.
65 bucks later at the computer shop and it has 7 on it with all the update crap turned off and just basic stuff.
I hope to get a email program loaded on it sometime to replace Outlook express like I use on this old machine.

I later went by the shop and he had about 6 laptops, about 75 apiece ready to use.
So money wise, at least if your laptop is caput it is not a horrible replacement cost.
 
Linux is ok but for out of the box use and general life you can get out of a computer without having to do much to it a apple computer is great.
I have a 2009 model only thing i have done is replace a bad hard drive last year and its still going without all the antivirus crap windows has.
If it goes beyond ten years in service i think thats great could never get a windows laptop to last that long.

Its worth a look, you still may need windows if your running special programs but you can do that on dual boot on a mac to run those too.
 

Harry

Administrator
Staff member
Download a copy of the Chrome web browser and see how that goes. My Firefox got pretty slow with the latest upgrade. Chrome beats it!
 

squidtrap

Registered
Last Subscription Date
10/08/2018
i think that is where my problem started was after firefox insisted i do an update. after that i looked at the firefox files and they are a mile long, and some BIG ones to, not that i dont have room.

when i can im going to delete firefox i think, and re install it, but first, it needs to let me. every time try to delete/change file it freezes.

if it will delete im going to run on explorer for a while and see how it reacts, and proceed from there. thanks Ed.
 

Power

Registered
Download a copy of the Chrome web browser and see how that goes. My Firefox got pretty slow with the latest upgrade. Chrome beats it!
Run a few sessions, and check how many tracking cookies, location detectors and other spyware Chrome allows. I got 542 in 3 hours of just reading e mail and visiting stack.
 

mihit

Registered
I will offer a second vote for linux.
Any linux distribution > any windows version.

If you insist on Windows, a clean, streamlined, de-bloated install of 7 (as has been recommended) is your best option.

If you insist on persisting with your current install, use Windows' "add/remove" (if 8 still has it) to remove any and all programs you don't need, including Firefox since it's causing trouble.
Then find, download and run a program like CCleaner to get rid of all the stuff that Windows misses with it's "uninstall". - You will probably be safe deleting everything CCleaner finds, wether it was related to the programs or not.
Download a redistributable installer for firefox, or find a better/lighter browser.

Disable all StartUp programs, visual effects, and wankery. You can probably Google "How to make Windows run better than a sack of $hit" for more optimisations.
...All that hassle can be avoided with Step 1 though. Save the files you need to your 5.25" floppies and then copy them back once linux is installed.

---------- Post added at 10:09:42 PM ---------- Previous post was at 10:01:27 PM ----------

. Many times that s/w may be modeled on Windows applications but ends up actually being better and more functional.
I think you'll find it's usually the inverse: Microsoft tries so hard not to copy open-source stuff (they've been sued for thieving code before) that they end up making inferior copies of other programs. (FOSS,Nix, mac, lotus, netscape, IBM...)

Of course writing software for windows is like trying to build a sandcaslte with gravel and a hammer, but that's another story.

---------- Post added at 10:11:48 PM ---------- Previous post was at 10:09:42 PM ----------

Squidtrap, what you need is a patient lad under the age of 30!
Offer beer.
 

squidtrap

Registered
Last Subscription Date
10/08/2018
finally got back to this stupid computer, deleted firefox, and installed chrome.

it is running WAY faster, almost like new, but still wont troubleshoot ANYTHING, or check compatibility. also will not troubleshoot anything, always get error (problem preventing troubleshooter from starting) running windows 8.1

guess the only other option is to backup everything and scrub it back to original???
 

Power

Registered
Our Dell laptops came with "re installation" DVDs. All the motherboard drivers for that specific model are on DVDs. Saves a lot of time & effort. COA is on back of DVD envelope.
If you are going to do a clean install, make sure whatever you save is not infested, so you don't infect your machine again.

I would do a low level format to make sure HD is clean. There have been discussions on this forum about this in past. Some people do not think drive can be truly cleaned (boot sector 0) and install a new hard drive, scrapping old one.
 

squidtrap

Registered
Last Subscription Date
10/08/2018
when you buy a new computer now you dont get any (re-install discs) at least i have not w/ either my dell or hp. dell is about 6 YO and hp is new. they want you to make them from the start.

w/the dell i called them and insisted they send them and they sent a thumb drive, so i at least have that.

after many searches this seams to be fairly common, and i have not found anything that will fix it. going to try the new HP and see what it does.

Power- thats my concern, if i do a clean install will my problem be fixed?? right now all is good, running great on chrome, firefox deleted. so at this point really dont need troubleshooter. might just leave it for a while, who knows.
 

mihit

Registered
. Some people do not think drive can be truly cleaned (boot sector 0) and install a new hard drive, scrapping old one.
"Some people" are misguided about the physics of persistent data storage on magnetic platters.
Windows may not offer the tools to do it, but a drive can absolutely be zero'd from byte 0. Modern drives will have no residual magnetism that could be recovered, even forensically.

For historical reasons the MBR ("boot sector") is 512mb at the beginning of the drive. Also, absolutely able to be zero'd.
(Or, more securely, written with random data for 7 passes.)

---------- Post added at 09:47:18 PM ---------- Previous post was at 09:21:48 PM ----------

if i do a clean install will my problem be fixed?? right now all is good, running great on chrome, firefox deleted. so at this point really dont need troubleshooter. might just leave it for a while, who knows.
"if it ain't broke..."


(though "some argue" that windows is broken from the ouset, and trying to fix it is like bailing out your dinghy with a collander)

If you can be bothered reading it: https://itvision.altervista.org/why-windows-10-sucks.html
But I'm sure you could find equally scathing reviews of pretty much anything. Windows deserves it, though.

---------- Post added at 10:16:37 PM ---------- Previous post was at 09:47:18 PM ----------

I think this is quite good
 

squidtrap

Registered
Last Subscription Date
10/08/2018
mihit- started reading and it basically sums windows up. Love the pics, think im going to just leave it alone for now.
 

Power

Registered
As posted previously, I was a Microsoft certified re builder, so know how to completely wipe a drive. We bought 2 machines whose only purpose was to quickly wipe drives to DOD standards, including track 0.

We have had this discussion before, and some people on this forum believe drive cannot be completely sanitized, so destroy old one and install new one.

---------- Post added at 12:05:05 PM ---------- Previous post was at 12:03:17 PM ----------

mihit- started reading and it basically sums windows up. Love the pics, think im going to just leave it alone for now.
I agree.
I would run a couple of good cleaners. CCleaner, superantispyware, IObit malware fighter are my favorites.

---------- Post added at 12:12:54 PM ---------- Previous post was at 12:05:05 PM ----------

when you buy a new computer now you dont get any (re-install discs) at least i have not w/ either my dell or hp. dell is about 6 YO and hp is new. they want you to make them from the start.
Yup. Wife got a new Lenovo. No DVD's. However, a few years ago, they were included. HD has a restore partition. I could have them mail me DVD's, but instead decided to make a set of restore discs. I did it right out of the box, before it ever saw the Internet.
 

squidtrap

Registered
Last Subscription Date
10/08/2018
Power- already ran CCleaner,will try the other ones you recommend also. No firefox,only chrome and its running like new, just wont do the stuff mentioned, but that is not a big deal as long as it runs, :D Ed.
 

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