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Problems with Personal Computers: This is a informative story I have been working on.
Posted by Mathax, Nov 30, 2009. 2816 views. ID = 2988

Problems with Personal Computers

Posted by Mathax, Nov 30, 2009. 2816 views. ID = 2988
This post was written in 2 minutes.
This is a Informative story I have been writing.
This has taken me about 3 months to write.
This paper is not intended to replace an experienced computer technician. I am NOT responible for the deletion of your data.
This post has been awarded 3 stars by 1 reader.
This post is Part 6 of a writing series titled My Computer Problems.

Personal computers, or PCs, can be affected by a number of problems. One of the most common ones is malware ( Malware is a name that covers a wide range of software. It includes viruses and spyware. Viruses try to get into the computer and delete system files. Spyware tends to try to steal the personal information from the computer.

Viruses are easy to classify when they are trying to get into your computer. Like the viruses that affect humans, computer viruses replicate themselves by attacking valid programs, usually .exe files. They will sometimes use your e-mail to send themselves to everyone in your address book. Once a virus is on your computer the computer will slow down and eventually crash.

Spyware, however, has many different ways to hide. There are several different types: ad-ware, key-loggers, and rogue anti-malware software. Ad-ware is the type, pop-up where web pages show up trying to sell you something, and while being annoying, are not particularly dangerous. Key-loggers do exactly what their name sounds like they log the keys you type. This can be dangerous if you do a lot of online shopping and enter your credit card numbers. Rogue anti-malware programs look like anti-virus/anti-spyware programs. They will install themselves and then will tell you that you are infected with viruses and tell you to buy the product to clean out your computer. If you buy the product they may drain your credit card and could eventually slow the computer down so that it becomes unusable.

Trojans can be classified as either viruses or spyware. Trojans (sometimes called Trojan Horses) are programs that look like they are useful. After you install them they will then proceed to do their programming. This might be opening a backdoor in your computer for hackers to get in. It can also be as simple as changing your wallpaper. The amount of damage a Trojan can do is only inhibited by the programming skills of the programmer.

When these programs are on your computer, the machine runs slow. With some of the programs you may well have your credit cards drained. It is also an easy way for programmers to do something like trying to hack into classified files. They use your computer to do it and you get the blame. This paper is not intended as a substitute for a qualified technician and the author is not liable for any harm done to your computer if you follow these steps.

The following process for removing malware is developed by Josiah Twitchell, a computer technician for C-Prompt Computers. To begin, make sure that your computer is booting to windows. If it isn't, then you need to put the hard drive from the computer in to a caddy in another computer. Then you scan with a program called Malwarebytes Anti-Malware (MBAM) ( Click on the “full scan” and click the check box next to the drive with an E:\ (or whatever letter the hard drive is named). Another free program that you could use to scan the drive is called Super Anti-Spyware (Http:// (SAS). After you install this program a small background protection that looks like a ladybug appears in the lower right hand corner of the screen. You need to double click it and that will open up the control panel for Super Anti-Spyware. When you are there you now need to click on the “Scan your Computer...” button and click the check box next to the drive with an E:\ (or whatever letter the hard drive is named). Let the scans run clean off the files that they find, restart the computer that has the hard drive in it and remove the hard drive. Now you can put the hard drive back into the computer and it should be booting up now.

If the computer still isn't booting then the next step (if the computer has a Windows XP Operating System) is to do a repair install of Windows. In order to do that, you need the original Windows CD that came with the computer. When you have that, put it into the CD drive. When it says “press any key to boot to the CD,” press Enter. When the computer finishes loading the files for the Windows installation, it will show a screen for either choosing “R” to enter into the Recovery Console or choose “Enter” to setup Windows. Hit Enter and then hit F8 to agree with the terms of the license. Then it will pop up with a screen that says “Windows has detected a previous installation of Windows.” If you would like to repair, press “R,” if not press Esc. DISCLAIMER: Serious loss of data will incur if these steps are not used correctly. Press “R.” It will then go through and replace all of the Windows files with the ones from the CD. If the computer still isn't booting then you need to make sure that there isn't a hardware problem.

If, however, it is booting, then you need to login and use a program called ATF Cleaner to remove the temporary files. Temporary files are where saved web pages are stored. Viruses and Spyware like to hide in the temporary files, and getting rid of them doesn't hurt the computer any. The next thing to do is to install Malwarebytes Anti-Malware and scan with it. After the scan is done you need to clean the items and restart the computer. Following the scan with MBAM you need to scan with Super Anti-Spyware. You now need to restart the computer again. The computer should be clean of malware now. If it is not, then you can run another program called Spy-Bot Search & Destroy. This program is free, but unlike MBAM and SAS, Spy-Bot has a set list of files and programs that it goes through looking for instead of types of programs to look for. Spy-Bot also doesn’t have a option to buy it for real time protection, it also doesn’t have the ability to scan a hard drive that is in another computer.

Now if there is a hardware problem, then you need to identify which part is causing it. (This is an advanced step.) The first thing to try is to boot to the Windows CD. When you put it into the CD drive and start the computer, there should be a screen that says “press any key to boot to CD.” If there isn't, then you need to go into the Bios by pressing “delete” at the first screen. Now that you are in the Bios you need to move the tab at the top over to the “boot” tab and go down to the boot sequence. You need to move your CD drive up to the top slot. Now it should show “press any key to boot to CD.” When it gets into the “Windows XP Setup,” hit the “R” to enter the recovery console. When it asks what copy of Windows to repair, hit 1 and then type in your administrative password and press “Enter”. Then type in “chkdsk /r” this will run a scan on the hard drive to test for errors.

The other test you can run is on the memory. In order to run that, you need to download the Microsoft Windows Memory Diagnostic Tool ( Burn the file to a CD with your CD burning software. Or you can use Windows Vista or Seven (but not XP). Put the CD into the sick computer. The computer should automatically boot to the CD. If it shows errors then you need to replace your memory.

However, if your computer isn't booting at all, the first thing to see is if it beeps any before it turns on. If it does, then you need to check and see that the memory is seated in properly and that the graphics card is seated properly. BEFORE you go inside the computer to make sure everything is seated, make sure you disconnect the power cord so that you don't get electrocuted. One of the other reasons that a computer would beep and not turn on is because the Central Processing Unit (CPU) is overheating. In order to see if the CPU is overheating, you need to remove the cover from the computer and vacuum out the inside of the case. Next you need to remove the heat sink from the CPU and vacuum that out. After that you need to wipe off the bottom of the heat sink and put new heat sink compound on the CPU and put the heat sink back on. Also you need to put the side of the case back on. If the computer still isn't booting up or giving any video then you should check the power supply. The cheapest way to check that is to just replace the power supply. There are Power Supply Testers out there, but for just one use buying a new power supply is cheaper.

If that doesn't work then the motherboard is probably dead. Unless, of course, the power is out. If the motherboard is dead, then you need to find the brand and model of the motherboard. Find one online and buy it. Be careful where you buy it. Some of the sites out there aren’t legitimate. Some sites that are legitimate are,, and There are other sites but these are the most well known. Then when it arrives, you need to remove the old motherboard from the computer and put the new one in. In order to remove the old motherboard, first you need to open the case. Then you need to remove all of the cables from the motherboard. You also need to remove the modem, network, sound, and graphics cards. You need to remove the memory, CPU, and heat sink from the old motherboard and attach them onto the new one. Then you need to remove all of those little screws that attach the motherboard to the case. Now you can take the old motherboard out of the case and put the new motherboard in. You need to attach the new motherboard to the case with those little screws you just removed from the old one. Now you need to attach all the cables in the proper places (see motherboard guide for details). Now you need to attach the cards and the computer is done. If it still doesn't work then you need to look into buying a new computer.


Twitchell, J. A. (October 2009) Personnel Interview.

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Copyright 2009 Mathax. All rights reserved. has been granted non-exclusive rights to display this work. For permission to reprint this item, please contact the author.

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This post is Part 6 of a writing series titled My Computer Problems.
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