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Tech: Dead PC? XP Professional

FreddyHeadey 16 Apr 18 - 08:26 AM
Rapparee 16 Apr 18 - 08:32 AM
Nick 16 Apr 18 - 11:50 AM
Stanron 16 Apr 18 - 03:01 PM
FreddyHeadey 16 Apr 18 - 03:31 PM
Gurney 16 Apr 18 - 05:29 PM
robomatic 16 Apr 18 - 08:38 PM
Joe Offer 17 Apr 18 - 12:15 AM
DaveRo 17 Apr 18 - 02:37 AM
BobL 17 Apr 18 - 03:20 AM
punkfolkrocker 17 Apr 18 - 07:44 AM
Mr Red 17 Apr 18 - 08:05 AM
DaveRo 17 Apr 18 - 12:59 PM
Mr Red 18 Apr 18 - 03:58 AM
Stanron 18 Apr 18 - 06:18 AM
Mr Red 18 Apr 18 - 02:54 PM
punkfolkrocker 18 Apr 18 - 03:14 PM
Gurney 18 Apr 18 - 05:12 PM
GUEST 18 Apr 18 - 09:11 PM
Mr Red 19 Apr 18 - 03:16 AM
GUEST 19 Apr 18 - 09:40 AM
DaveRo 19 Apr 18 - 11:29 AM
punkfolkrocker 19 Apr 18 - 11:49 AM
GUEST 20 Apr 18 - 03:31 AM
EBarnacle 20 Apr 18 - 06:27 PM
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Subject: Tech: Dead PC? XP Professional
From: FreddyHeadey
Date: 16 Apr 18 - 08:26 AM

on my ?ten year old Dell this morning :

"We apologize for the inconvenience..."

If I allow it to "start normally" or "last known configuration" it just sits.

In "safe mode" it produces a few lines of text, the last being
...multi 0 disk 0 disk 0 partition 2 WINDOWS system32 DRIVERS ACPI.sys

I've got the unopened Reinstallation CD "including service pack 1a".
- Is that any help to me?
- Do I need a computer shop?
- Do I need a bin?


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Subject: RE: Tech: Dead PC? XP Professional
From: Rapparee
Date: 16 Apr 18 - 08:32 AM

I suspect your hard drive has failed.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Dead PC? XP Professional
From: Nick
Date: 16 Apr 18 - 11:50 AM

https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/t/626812/how-do-i-fix-acpisys-is-missing-or-corrupted/

May or may not be connected. Do you have another machine that can access the old one so that you, or someone, can get off any information.

I guess it depends on what you want to achieve. If the machine has important stuff on I don’t think that reinstalling will do anything apart from lose your data.

I guess it also depends on how comfortable you are troubleshooting computer problems. And also whether you have a back up of anything of importance. If you have then getting it working again may be the priority.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Dead PC? XP Professional
From: Stanron
Date: 16 Apr 18 - 03:01 PM

Ten years is a good age for a PC. If your operating system has failed then you probably loose any software on your drive unless you kept all the original disks and codes. You may not have lost all your data.

A linux bootable disk should, if your bios allows booting from a DVD and if you have a DVD player, allow you to look at your hard drive. If you also have a USB drive then you might be able to copy files from your system onto that. If you are lucky your hard drive will still run enough for you to copy the files you want onto the USB drive.

This is exactly what happened to me a couple of weeks ago. I'm not sure if it was a problem with the disc, or what, but I was able to rescue several gigabytes of data and transfer it all to another machine.

If you know someone who is a bit of a computer wiz (or nerd) or who has a child or grandchild of the same ilk ask for their help. Going to a computer shop could be a bit of a gamble. A shop's best outcome will be to sell you a new computer, not necessarily get your data back.

Then again after ten years a new computer is not a bad idea.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Dead PC? XP Professional
From: FreddyHeadey
Date: 16 Apr 18 - 03:31 PM

Thanks all.
Certainly had money's worth!

I've got most valuable files ... I think
but some over the last two or three months it might be worth asking a nerdy neighbour anout.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Dead PC? XP Professional
From: Gurney
Date: 16 Apr 18 - 05:29 PM

Strange. My old XP desktop died in the same way. Infuriating, isn't it. I suspect enemy action.

I've had written notices that this W7 desktop is going to 'become unsupported.'

I haven't noticed any improvement in computer performance since W98SE, but then, I don't play games on them. Much.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Dead PC? XP Professional
From: robomatic
Date: 16 Apr 18 - 08:38 PM

One thing that happens that is a cheap fix. It has happened to me a couple times on old Macintosh motherboards where there is a watch-size battery placed to keep the time and other memory settings constant when the power is off for long periods of time. Over the years this little battery dies and that renders motherboard non-bootable. Possibly on old PCs there is a similar little battery. It's quick and easy and cheap to check. No guarantees of course.

GOOD LUCK


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Subject: RE: Tech: Dead PC? XP Professional
From: Joe Offer
Date: 17 Apr 18 - 12:15 AM

I've found the best thing to do with XP computers when they die, is install Linux. The trouble is, I've had trouble getting people to use Linux, even when I give them the computers for free and they're in perfect condition. People think Linux is for geeks, forgetting that their Android phones and lots of other things run on Linux.
-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Tech: Dead PC? XP Professional
From: DaveRo
Date: 17 Apr 18 - 02:37 AM

Finding a 'nerdy neighbour' is a good idea.

Any Linux live CD (some still fit on CD if you don't have a DVD drive) will check the hardware. If you don't mind losing any data on your hard disk try the Windows reinstallation disk; it'll probably show whether the hardware has failed. But XP SP1a (!) is ancient.

I run Linux on an 12 year old laptop but I use a very 'light' distribution (Debian with xfce). You'll need a 32bit version.

It doesn't look like a battery failure. Intel computers normally start up and ask the date and time.

Small second-hand disks are cheap at CeX - a few quid...


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Subject: RE: Tech: Dead PC? XP Professional
From: BobL
Date: 17 Apr 18 - 03:20 AM

Ten years ago, hard drives used the SATA interface which is still current. So one possibility, something I did when one of my own XP systems died, is to extract the hard drive, and install it in another computer - not necessarily running XP - as a secondary drive. The bootable bits won't be used but with any luck the data will still be accessible.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Dead PC? XP Professional
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 17 Apr 18 - 07:44 AM

I actually have 2 brand new Medion XP PCs brand new and unused in their boxes,
which I had plans for, but eventually forgot existed... [circa 2002]
If I ever get them out of storage what's the chances they will actually start up and work...???

Dead batteries...???

Frozen seized up non functioning hard drives...???


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Subject: RE: Tech: Dead PC? XP Professional
From: Mr Red
Date: 17 Apr 18 - 08:05 AM

It sounds like it is a disk problem. If it is reporting from a Windows api then the disk is rotating and files are being read. But there may be soft or notso soft errors. Re-installing windows may be the answer, but with notso soft errors it is a gamble too far IMNSHO.

My reaction would be to upgrade to a newer computer and buy a USB caddy/enclosure for the appropriate style of disk - SATA or non etc. You could make it a deal with the shop that they sell you the correct one for the disk. And never let the old PC go without removing the disk - it will end up in Nigeria and they will deep scan it for data, even the deleted stuff!.

I have a stack of old disks and have, in the past, successfully run old software from them on new OS's from USB. It really depends on how married to the registry the s/w is. A lot of freeware didn't do that too extensively.

The bonus is that you could have continuity with all your old files, and probably with the installation disks for the apps you are used to, transition is less painful (a bit of a lottery, but not with your data). The new OS will be learning curve. If Win10, a big one. Win 7 if you are getting a second hand PC is a compromise. Anything older and this scenario will revisit sooner than 10 years, maybe!

Linux is not the best solution, not from a hardware problem but the learning curve and new apps and learning them. If you have a real needs for Linux then you put in the effort, if all you want to get on with what you have been doing, Linux is a challenge.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Dead PC? XP Professional
From: DaveRo
Date: 17 Apr 18 - 12:59 PM

Mr Red wrote: ...the learning curve and new apps and learning them...
Well, it depends what applications you use, obviously. On the 12-year-old laptop, which we use for financial stuff, we have Firefox, Thunderbird, LibreOffice, scanning, dropbox: all those work identically to Windows. The lightweight xfce desktop actually more like XP than Win 10 - it would take an XP user 10 minutes to get used to it.

But sure, if you need a Windows application, use Windows.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Dead PC? XP Professional
From: Mr Red
Date: 18 Apr 18 - 03:58 AM

LibreOffice, scanning, dropbox: all those work identically to Windows.

Well - the last time I tried to migrate to Libre Office my macros needed tweeking and it wasn't long into the project before I hit a big brick wall and the workaround was a major one I didn't see how to implement. I predicted a major task and subtle errors so I gave up. Open Office macro language was totally different.
The lesson is they aren't fully compatible, YOU have to be. For a non-techy user pitfalls will happen when they are not looking for problems, and after they have left a trail of debris. It can happen with newer versions of (say) Word, and when I have migrated to newer versions there was always anomalies that were hard to spot. Time is needed to inspect results in case something important changed.

But sure, if you need a Windows application, use Windows.

Not need. If the user wants to carry on with as little disruption.
Of course - if they want to play at computers then why not a tablet or a phone? Or (gawd help him) a Mac**. Methinks the clue is in the OP. A person who has been using XP for 10 years is using a PC as a tool, not a journey. I could be wrong, but ...........

PS thanx DaveRo for all your knowledge on techy things. Our last exchange is a case in point. New browser, new anomalies, takes time to realise they are there. They still are, but my workaround(s) work.

**wasn't OS X the transition to a Linux/Unix type OS?


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Subject: RE: Tech: Dead PC? XP Professional
From: Stanron
Date: 18 Apr 18 - 06:18 AM

I suspect that, for many people, changing from Windows XP to Windows 8 or 10 cannot be more difficult than changing to Linux Mint with a Cinnamon desktop. Especially if most of what you do is browse the Internet and send a few emails.

Specific software can be a problem. I managed to get an old version of Sibelius 3 to just about work on Linux but eventually bit the bullet and learned to use, and appreciate, Musescore instead. I've never used macros so my transfer to Libre Office was seamless.

Some Windows stuff does work fine in the Wine environment, and some fails. To my surprise some of the Linux alternatives to Windows applications are better than the originals. For a USB endoscope the Linux program 'Cheese' worked better than the packaged Windows software. I used to do some pixel level stuff in Windows Paint. I now find I can do all that I used to do and more with the Linux program 'Pinta' (get it?).

I can remember tearing my hair out trying to get a USB TV tuner working on XP, (only to find I had to buy a new one for Vista). When my big TV died recently I found and installed the Linux 'Me TV' and had TV working on my desktop in minutes.

And it's all legally free!

The biggest difficulty for me was the drive names and the way the file structure is displayed. I've got my head around it now but the 'tree' structure displayed by Windows Explorer is about all I really miss.

Ten years ago installing Linux was for experts only. Today it is almost 100% painless. You do have to read the prompts carefully if you are installing Linux as a dual boot with another operating system but a fresh install of Linux on a clean hard drive is easy.

Oh, on boot up this morning I checked the bios date on my current machine. 2007. My PC is over ten years old. However most of that time it has not been used. It has always been my backup PC. Ready when my main PC failed, kept up to date and occasionally used to experiment with other operating systems. I will, over the next few months, get a new PC and the one I'm using now will go back to being my back up.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Dead PC? XP Professional
From: Mr Red
Date: 18 Apr 18 - 02:54 PM

I still say a casual user is better with something that has an outside chance of running the pet software he has collected & been using for 10 years.

Linux may well run a few of the apps, but I bet the one obscure app that does exactly what the person wanted, will not run on Linux. Only he will know when it is too late. IME you don't find all the problems of new OS & new S/W because you expect it to behave precisely same, because someone else thought it was. Not until a time later, when you have printed that poster, sent that e-mail or otherwise committed the result to the public. Whatever solution he chooses, he is in for a time of checking carefully, after struggling with the learning curve. It is wearying. Why compound it?
Windows 8 is not recommended by most users I have spoken to.

And wot U use an endoscope for? Looking up old friends?


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Subject: RE: Tech: Dead PC? XP Professional
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 18 Apr 18 - 03:14 PM

I found moving from win 7 to win 8.1 relatively straight forward
after going into settings, disabling most of the new crap,
and making it look and behave as much like XP and Win 7 as possible.

Win 8.1 reinstated some of the important features that win 8 was hated for dropping.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Dead PC? XP Professional
From: Gurney
Date: 18 Apr 18 - 05:12 PM

On the subject of using old software: I've found that LP Recorder works on W7, just as it did on W98 and XP. Yes, freeware for digitising LPs. So simple that even I can use it.

Unfortunately, all my editions of Nero don't.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Dead PC? XP Professional
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Apr 18 - 09:11 PM

All very interesting and techy, but can we assume that the OP has checked the obvious?

Worth a try, but disconnecting the HD cable(s) and firmly reconnecting can work wonders. Not rocket science, but vibration from the fans and the disc itself can cause connectors to work loose over time. Ditto the RAM.

I was conned by a techo into buying a new PC when I had a similar failure and message. A year or more later, I gave the old PC to a friend who did just that, and it powered up no problems. Still using it 3 years later....

Not saying that the OP shouldn't upgrade. Unfortunately XP has had its day and likely to fail eventually, but still useful especially for off-line tasks and with all those wonderful programs that W10 or Linux doesn't like.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Dead PC? XP Professional
From: Mr Red
Date: 19 Apr 18 - 03:16 AM

Checking the hardware is a good wheeze. If the PC is useless, nothing to loose.
I would say be methodical and do one thing at a time and try the switching on after each prod. Or keep meticulous records. I wouldn't but then I am a techie, and would structure from perceived priorities. Someone less confident would need a methodology that assumed little knowledge. I would give it no more than a 20% chance of improving things, but I would do it.

Changing the clock (etc) battery would not be an expensive safegurd. After the above.

It is interesting, when I was designing with industrial PCs the motherboard was not especially industrial, fairly ordinary. But every connector had hot-melt glue blobbed strategically to hold the connector in place.

FWIW I have just read an article on why Win10 is better than 8 or 7. and the only possible actual advantage they put forward was the inability to switch off updates. Which is not an advantage IMNSHO. I have had updates crash an hour's work in order to auto update. I now update Win7 at switch-off, if appropriate. And updates are rare now. All other listed Win 10 advantages were Xbox or something marginal like "bit" faster on some but not all apps! But if you are buying from new Win10 is wot U git.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Dead PC? XP Professional
From: GUEST
Date: 19 Apr 18 - 09:40 AM

But easiest test to see if h/w is working is usually a live Linux cd...


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Subject: RE: Tech: Dead PC? XP Professional
From: DaveRo
Date: 19 Apr 18 - 11:29 AM

Mr Red wrote: the only possible actual advantage [of Win 10] they put forward was the inability to switch off updates. Which is not an advantage IMNSHO
I suppose ideally an operating system should enforce updates on everyone else, but not me ;)

There are quite a lot of extra security features in Windows 10. (Google for KASR, VBS, or HVCI for example for the gory details.) Mind you, some of the most effective need a modern PC and won't apply to machines sold with Win 7 which have been updated. Others require Win 10 enterprise, which won't come 'free' with a PC.

Last year's Wannacry ransomware affected Win 7 machines mainly.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Dead PC? XP Professional
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 19 Apr 18 - 11:49 AM

If someone was in the market for a top quality specced PC or Laptop
sold for specialist audio recording and editing,
which would be the most likely version of Windows factory installed today...???


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Subject: RE: Tech: Dead PC? XP Professional
From: GUEST
Date: 20 Apr 18 - 03:31 AM

punkfolkrocker wrote: I actually have 2 brand new Medion XP PCs ...[circa 2002]...what's the chances they will actually start up and work...???
Pretty good. If the batteries are flat they'll ask for the date every time. There are versions of Linux that would work. Any modern application would run rather slowly - if there was enough memory to run it at all.
If someone was in the market for a top quality specced PC or Laptop sold for specialist audio recording and editing, which would be the most likely version of Windows factory installed today...???
Almost certainly Win 10 home or pro. Avoid Win 10S if offered.

I doubt if the version of Windows makes much difference - unless you need >128GB of memory - see here.

You'd want as powerful a processor as you could afford, with the ability to process several things (channels, whatever) in parallel. But as far as I'm aware all versions of Windows can use whatever facilities the computer has.

If Win 10 pro is only a few quid more then I'd get it. The extra features - e.g. bitlocker - might be useful.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Dead PC? XP Professional
From: EBarnacle
Date: 20 Apr 18 - 06:27 PM

From what you are telling us about the age of the computer, a new Cmos battery should be considered as long as you are in there.

I was discussing Windows 7 vs. windows 10 with a friend today and his comment was that despite Microsoft's statement that Windows 10 is the final program, to be infinitely updated, don't count on it. New programs are how companies generate income. As the revenue stream from windows 10 dries up expect another new program, at least in name.

2020 may or may not be the end of support for 7 but there will be more operating systems to buy.


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