Computer not booting up properly

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seahermit
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Re: Computer not booting up properly

Postby seahermit » Thu Apr 08, 2021 2:06 am

Well, I have done some very basic tests and can answer some of UncleB's questions.

To take the last comments first, my Samsung phone connects to internet just fine - using the Sky wi-fi on the Sky Hub and with mobile data switched off. Even though currently my Sky broadband connection on the computer is dead!

I may as well add that the landline phone seems to work fine, no problems.

When the PC is switched off: the Power light (front of router) is solid white, the Internet light is solid orange and the Wireless light is solid white.

After switching on the PC, all those lights remain the same (and likewise after logging-in and after opening the Chrome browser).

However, after switching on the PC, on the BACK of the router where the Ethernet cable plugs in, a tiny yellow light flashes fast and continuously (a tiny green light stays solid).

After logging-in, this small yellow light still flashes continuously .. but slowly. After I open the Chrome browser and try (and fail) to get internet, the yellow light again flashes furiously.

I have no idea whether this yellow light still flashes when the broadband connection is working - I rarely have a broadband connection!

I don't know if any of this makes sense to others.
Besides the Wi-fi connection, I also plugged an ordinary Ethernet cable into the router, since Sky advised me to do that.

I have to report back to Sky shortly - they are telling me to go through the online diagnostics procedure .. which I have done many times!

UncleB
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Re: Computer not booting up properly

Postby UncleB » Fri Apr 09, 2021 7:43 pm

Hello Richard, the flashing green lights are simply the router showing that there is activity of data going to and from the internet.
The computer will have some background activity while connected to it (looking for update, checking the time is in sync etc) and when you open web browser this intensifies as your request for a web page is sent and data recieved.

The fact that your phone remains connected consistently yet your computer drops the connection does firmly put the computer as the faulty item. I susepect the "driver" controller for the network card is to blame. Do you have a WiFi card in the computer by any chance? A long shot I know, but it could help eliminate the on-board network card as an issue.

Thinking of the bigger picture here, it does really look like you need to rebuild the computer from scratch (software wise). I can get you a bootable USB with the latest version of Windows 10 on Tuesday if you want so it will avoid all the big updates - drop me a private message if you want that and I can drop it off on Wednesday.

In the meantime, back everything up you want (including any favourites from your web browsers) and keep these in offline storage.

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seahermit
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Re: Computer not booting up properly

Postby seahermit » Fri Apr 09, 2021 8:25 pm

UncleB, you are a genius! Quite right - before I open the browser, the tiny orange light remains fairly solid. When I click on the Chrome browser, it flashes wildly, then calms down again when I exit. I know it all seems obvious .. but I was a complete dummy before I started on computers.

I greatly appreciate your offer on the bootable USB, may come back to you on that. I don't want to make quick decisions, trying to narrow the problem down as much as possible. What worries me is why the computer should suddenly go from performing well to crashing - and it seems too much of a coincidence that at the same time the broadband connection should take a dive. Did the Windows update exacerbate the connection problems - or maybe the connection problems are interfering with the Windows update?!

Tonight I am going to take everything apart, check it and re-connect, and I am also hoping to get a friend in to go through the settings. If it looks like the big Windows update was the issue, I will certainly take you up - and tell me afterwwards what I owe you of course.

Everything is backed up online and on a USB stick.

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seahermit
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Re: Computer not booting up properly

Postby seahermit » Fri Apr 09, 2021 8:33 pm

It seems quite reasonable that sometimes the router/Sky Hub would not perform properly, or that the PC for some reason cannot read the signals sent from the router (would explain why the smartphone worked on WI-Fi okay). But I don't know enough about it to know why ..

Will do as many checks as I can and then see where to go from there.

UncleB
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Re: Computer not booting up properly

Postby UncleB » Fri Apr 09, 2021 9:37 pm

There are many layers of technology for the 1's and 0's to pass through before your web browser talks to/from a website.

There is the hardware/chip programming of the network card, the medium it travels over (cable & connector or wireless), the physical network configuration, the operating system controlling the network settings, the software interfacing to the card (the driver), the application (the web browser) and of course all the router side as well.

Many places for stuff to go wrong, and I've been looking after all kinds of IT kit at this level for over 30 years so have seen them all go wrong over time.

No fees for this stuff - I live and breath it during the day so it is no extra hassle.

In terms of common problems, I typically look to rebuild a computer at least every 2 years, less if used a lot as it almost inevitably builds up issues over time that it slows everything down, starts crashing or generally gets messy.

It shouldn't happen in this day and age but Windows 10 has most of the same issues that all previous versions of Windows has, largely because it is an evolution and has the same core code for many things that they never really fix as it is fundamentally flawed but just usable enough. Apple Macs are a bit better but come with lots of different issues.

In terms of anti-virus software, the one that comes with Windows (Defender) is currently the best of breed for this function - no need to buy any product with all the claims they make (Norton etc).

Do you feel confident in opening the computer to install another disk drive? I can loan you a solid state disk with windows pre-installed so you can test it without touching your existing setup.

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Richard
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Re: Computer not booting up properly

Postby Richard » Sat Apr 10, 2021 8:57 am

1.
I would switch the modem/router off and then back on again, after 30 seconds) to reset the system, flush the caches, etcetera.

2.
Right-click on the network icon in your task tray at the bottom right-hand corner. Click on “troubleshoot problems” Windows will attempt to automatically diagnose the problem and will try to fix it for you. If Windows is unable to fix your problem, it will in some cases tell you what the problem is. You can search online for a solution to this problem online or you can ask experts.

3. Refresh your browser.

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seahermit
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Re: Computer not booting up properly

Postby seahermit » Wed Apr 14, 2021 2:45 am

I am sorry about my delay replying to this, have been unwell and couldn’t face up to the mess! I will keep things as short as I can but, as far as I can tell at present, most of the problem has been the devestation caused by big Windows updates without any serious faults on the computer itself. I am furious that this has happened, I must get some back-up devices to reduce the disruption in future and some alternative ways of connecting to internet.

After more than two weeks, yet more Windows updates today but gradually things seem to be working again including internet.

Word is OK, all the desktop shortcuts seem to be working, I have uninstalled my Dropbox app and downloaded that again – that now works properly.

It wasn’t possible to check Task Manager or any of the processes going on internally, because the whole computer froze. But the shortcuts into Task Manager now work:

Under Processes/CPU, Word displays 1%, so hardly a problem there it seems.

Under Processes/Memory, the total memory being used is around 41%. There doesn’t seem to be anything using an excessive amount of memory.

Under Task Manager/Start-up:

Cortana is “Enabled”, the Start-up impact is “Not measured” – it was disabled previously, can I safely do that again?

Dropbox is “Enabled”, the Start-up impact is “High” – I don’t frequently copy stuff into Dropbox, so surely that doesn’t need to open at all at Start-up?!

Everything else (a few apps) are quoted as “Low”


I also went into Updates and Security - a number of small updates were still waiting, which I downloaded. And I checked Windows Defender – seem to be no problems.

I have found some info on doing a clean boot, disabling all start-up programs etc. – seems a big step and I may get some help with that.

Equally, I don’t think I am up to installing another disk drive or an updated version of Windows – the latter shouldn’t be necessary of course if everything had worked alright, but maybe I should still do that and start again?!

I don’t know how to follow Richard’s suggestion of “refreshing the browser” – I have a feeling that the Chrome browser was updated a few weeks ago.

Thank you for all the help, it has been quite a nightmare of course, worst problems I have ever had. I still need to check out several things and I haven’t closed everything down, unplugged the router etc. – but will do that soon.

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Richard
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Re: Computer not booting up properly

Postby Richard » Wed Apr 14, 2021 11:41 am

My 'Cortana' is disabled on startup with no ill effects.
I don't see 'dropbox' on my startup at all.

Also try to limit the number of tabs (windows) open at the same time.

Privacy is probably Chrome’s biggest weakness as a browser. Google is well known for collecting all the data it can on its users, and its entire business model is based on using that data to generate revenue through ads.

You don't have to unplug the modem, just switch it off and then on, after a short while, using the button on the unit.

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seahermit
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Re: Computer not booting up properly

Postby seahermit » Thu Apr 15, 2021 2:51 am

I meant to work on these problems tonight, but other technology issues intruded. However, my Dropbox app failed to work properly again, so I have uninstalled that again (which of course removed it from the Start-up list) - in future when I want to upload files to Dropbox I will have to do it the long way round and click the Dropbox bookmark.

I have also disabled Cortana from the Start-up apps - don't know whether those acts will make a noticeable difference to Start-up speed.

I see people walking down the street shouting at their smartphones - I have no interest at all in Cortana, Google Assistant, Alexa or Bixby (on my Samsung phone) - if I want to research something, I would rather work it out myself than rely upon AI. And all those apps add to the personal info which they accumulate somewhere online - bet it's quite hard to ever delete anything.

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Richard
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Re: Computer not booting up properly

Postby Richard » Thu Apr 15, 2021 7:05 pm

Chrome will gather all the data it can on your activities.
As for Dropbox, I have never found it useful.
Dropbox is some sort of 'cloud' storage system and it is a popular target for cyber attacks.
It is supposedly better than using an email attachment to send files but I would rather be given that choice than a system I do not find easy to manage.
Then there is Google drive and a host of others.
Life used to be so simple!


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