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Old May 5th, 2010, 09:01 AM   #1
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Oddest WinXP thing ever...(and that's saying something)

OK, so I always let my friends who use Macs who insist on degrading me that these are "just tools" and we each use the one that suits us... As those of us on Windows know...sometimes our systems can be more of a "tool" than we'd like...

I have a Dell M90 laptop with Windows XP. A week ago it suddenly had one of those system "beeps" that is typically very loud (and has nothing to do with the sound card settings) when RAM is bad or something with the CPU is a problem...I'm not an IT guy at all so i don't know the proper name for it, but the last time I heard a beep like this, the workstation in question had a motherboard level problem and the machine was for all practical purposes, dead.

In this case, the machine is not "dead" as it does boot to Windows, my appearance settings are messed up and it doesn't load stuff like the network drivers and I can't launch software such as my antivirus...and the little YouSendIt utility not being able to load is the dialog that comes up with that system 'beep' at boot time. Any attempt to peak at disk management or any similar system utility gets me a similar 'beep' with a dialog with some variation of "I'm sorry Dave, but I can't do that..."

Oddly, I can launch an application like AE or Open Ofc and do something and save the file... I can plug in a USB drive and save the file to that, BUT I can't drag or copy/paste any files from explorer. They simply don't do anything. I wasn't able to move any data to safety through that method.

I got myself an external housing for the drive and removed it and salvaged all my data from the drive once it was connected to another machine...it seemed fine. I ran an antivirus scan on it then (mcafee) and it did find one trojan...put it back in the M90...same status. I ran sfc/ scannow before and after the virus scan as well as Chkdsk before the last pass I did with sfc/scannow...no love.

So...at this point I'm interested in two things:

First, I'd really like to get online to de-activate my CS4 master suite before I deep six this drive entirely so i can free up that activation...that's a priority

Second, I'd like to know if anyone has any insight on whether this might be a hardware issue and my time invested in rebuilding the OS might be ultimately wasted anyway...

Thanks for any ideas...I'm stumped. I like this laptop and I'd like to keep it running if I could do that.
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Old May 5th, 2010, 05:02 PM   #2
Join Date: May 2008
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beep sounds usually occur during POST - power on self test.
note that beep sound have a particular beep, e.g., short, long, long short, short long or other combinations,
google for "beep codes" and you will be able to translate what the beep sound error is indicated.

Julio Madiaga is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 5th, 2010, 08:28 PM   #3
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BUT I can't drag or copy/paste any files from explorer. They simply don't do anything. I wasn't able to move any data to safety through that method.
This definitely sounds like a windows problem and not hardware related. But you can't be sure if the Trojan did something that could have caused harm to hardware, unlikely but possible.

When you connected the drive to another system, obviously that system had its own OS running hence you didn't get any operational issues that you get on the laptop. It seems your only viable option is formatting and installing from scratch. Any other way could be very tedius and you will end up pulling your hair if you haven't already.

I am sure you can manually de-activate your Adobe by calling them.

I suggest, a clean install. It won't take much time if you do not install every single software you have on it, and let it run a resource hungry program for 24 hours, some kind of benchmarking program. If it passes, then you can invest time to get it all up and running like how it was before. If it fails, then you can decide based on the test it fails.

Free Computer Benchmark Tools to benchmark computer hardware
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