Friday, 27 May 2011

I'm cursed!!!

Or this computer is cursed. Probably the computer, since people always say the user is the problem :P

Ok .. deep breaths .. let's try and explain from the beginning. 
Incidentally, anyone actually reading this, I'm not seeking help. I have posted on forums for help with these issues; the quick fixes are NOT the answers.

This computer was purchased from ebuyer.com last June by my husband for myself:
ASUS X5DIJ Notepad PC
Windows7 64bit
4GB RAM
C: = 58.2Gb ... 16.1GB free
D: = 160GB ... 131GB free
Graphics: Mobile Intel(R) 4 Series Express Chipset Family
DVD: HL-DT-ST DVDRAM GT30N

Beautiful whizzy computer to start with. After about a month I noticed that it was slowing down. I hadn't realised that the C drive was so limited, and had installed everything I'd added to the machine on the C drive, so it was understandable that it slowed down. So, I uninstalled most of what I had installed and re-installed it on the D drive.

The computer was still slow. I was having other problems too though. 
- The sound always worked when turning the computer on, but frequently it'd stop working while the computer was on and being used. 
- Programs wouldn't respond the first time I asked them to open, so I would have to ask them twice, and then multiple editions of the program would open. I have always known obviously that you're supposed to wait for a program to respond, but when it doesn't respond after ten minutes you do tend to think you didn't click it properly the first time. (I am not exaggerating).
- The computer was stalling. Typing would be delayed. Clicking things would be delayed. There was a delay when switching between programs. When typing in IM messages would take a few seconds to be sent. You get the idea.

I had no idea what to do to start with. The computer didn't come with installation disks, and as far as I could tell had no hidden partition with the installation files on it. I had rescue disks, or whatever they're called, that Ian created when the computer first arrived, but no idea what to do with them. One of my friends did a little research online and discovered that Asus has an inbuilt functionality that allows you to return the computer to factory settings. So, a few months ago, I returned the computer to factory settings for the first time.

I had backed up my D drive in case returning to factory settings erased it, but it did not. What had not occurred to me that time around was that by not erasing the D drive, it left all the programs I'd installed there, still there. So, when the computer started to stall almost immediately I was at first puzzled. I talked about it a bit with another friend, and started to realise that the computer may be struggling with loading programs from the D drive, as it has to run them on the C drive. My hands are somewhat tied by the limited space on the C drive though. So, once again I returned the computer to factory settings, and I deleted all of the programs from the D drive this time.

This time, I decided to install programs at no more than one each time I had the computer loaded, so that I'd be able to see if any particular one was causing the stalling. The first couple of days I just did that, used my email, and probably Facebook or whatever. A day later I suddenly realised that I was unable to save files. With a bit of experimentation I found that I could not save files to the folders in my D drive. I could create new folders, but couldn't save into them either. I could save to the D drive itself and the C drive though. The folders for some reason were marked as read only, and no matter what I did they returned to read only.

Now, as an aside. When the computer first arrived Ian gave it the same name was my PC. Only once have I had both my PC and laptop on at the same time, but when I did they were clashing with each other on the network. So with the last re-install I had decided to change the name of the computer .. just to solve that little issue you know. Well, as it turns out, the D drive was looking for the computers previous name, and there's no way to teach it the C drives new name without reformatting it too *sigh*. Soooooo .. once again, I returned the computer to factory settings, and gave the C drive the name it had previously again!

So, while I've solved a problem I created, I've not solved any of the original problems, and new ones are cropping up!

My DVD drive is not working. Not only is it not reading my CDs, but when I then try to use CDs that have visited this computer, in another computer, they are coming up as being blank. I've lost my copy of Photoshop and Office because of this :( I dare not put any other disks near the machine. Apparently it means the laser is pointing the wrong way, or something like that.

So, when my step mother sent me the information for updating the art groups website, I was faced with somewhat of a problem. I couldn't install Frontpage (don't laugh .. I love that program), and being completely brain fogged stood very little chance of hand coding it. I tried downloading the trial version of CoffeeCupinternet *scowl*. This meant I couldn't upload the pictures for the website to Photobucket (our hosting space is very limited). So I came back to this laptop, uploaded all of the pictures to Photobucket, saved all of the urls for the pictures, and the dimensions of the pictures, to a notepad file which I then took back to my old laptop. On the old laptop I could then create the updated website files, all be it without seeing whether the pictures worked or not. Saving it to the external harddrive again, I then uploaded it from this laptop. Surprise surprise ... the website didn't work. Being way too foggy to understand what the frell was going on, one of my friends had a look and worked it out for me; in creating the files on the external hard drive Frontpage had decided to give the full hard drive urls for each link. Pfffft. So a bit of hand coding was required, but thankfully not much. Website fixed.

Meanwhile CoffeeCup HTML Editor. I absolutely love CoffeeCup. They make fantastic software, extremely easy to use, and very cheap. I've never tried their HTML Editor before though, so I decided to give their trial version a try. Downloaded it. Problem .. it no workee. When I try to use the visual editor part it all freezes up. I have reported the problem, and they are working on it. It is just my luck though that I have managed to encounter a problem that they're vaguely aware of, but haven't worked out the cause of yet. Hopefully my dire straits can help them fix it though.

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