i'm posting this for my sister:
Dell Dimension 8200 Series, Pentium 4 Processor at 1.7 GHz, 256MB RDRAM, 40 GB Hard Drive
Problems with my PC:
1. About 3 years ago, I tried to upgrade from Windows ME to XP, but was never successful. Then I started to notice that my PC has become excruciatingly slow. I recently changed from Dial-up to DSL, but that still does not help. What are some steps that I can take to clean up my PC and increase performance (with minimal cost)? Is it possible that I "half-installed" XP, and that it is sucking up hard drive space or memory? How can I tell if this is the case, and how can I fix this problem? I have been advised that XP would probably be better than ME.
2. When I boot up my computer, numerous applications start up. I do CTRL-ALT-DEL to obtain a list of running applications:
Then when I try to go online (Verizon DSL), it seems there's not enough memory. A message comes up which says the DSL is "not responding", and often times it will lock up. In order to avoid this, I have been trying to close down at least 10 of the above listed applications prior to opening up the DSL. This seems to help, but is not very efficient, and is not solving any problems. It also seems that although I have closed out numerous applications, they seem to restart at some point during my work session. How can I tell what all these abbreviated application names are and whether or not I need them to run at startup? Can I prevent unnecessary applications from running upon startup?
3. After working on the PC, I cannot leave it on overnight, or even for a few hours. When I return to the computer, the AVG program is trying to get an update, and therefore trying to establish an internet connection. When I try to connect to DSL, the PC totally locks up. I am assuming this is because of all the applications that are running (as described in #2 above). I get a blue screen with an OE exception error message. Occasionally, repeatedly doing CTRL-ALT-DEL will re-boot the computer, but more often than not, the PC locks up, and I have to physically hardboot the PC, which I understand is bad for it. This happens pretty much every day.
4. After experiencing #2, the PC tries to run ScanDisk. This program no longer works on my PC. It gets hung up after several hours of running. I end up hitting <Cancel>, so who knows whether my drives are "clean" or not. I have also tried on several occasions to de-fragment my hard drive, which also requires ScanDisk to run. These attempts are also unsuccessful.
5. I have been trying to go onto www.download.com to download new firewall software (mine had recently expired). I have been unsuccessful and have received several error messages stating that "Microsoft Internet Explorer has encountered a problem and needs to restart." I do not know why I now cannot get onto this website, as I did not have this problem a month ago.
Please help! Thanks.