Author Topic: Computer Challenge!  (Read 10946 times)

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thefemnazi

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Computer Challenge!
« on: October 08, 2005, 05:46:26 am »
Alright, I'm paying back a favor for a guy who helped me get a sweet job earlier this summer.  He got a computer and it shat out on him, and he needs an answer!  So, I told him what i think is wrong, and I also told him I'd post the issue here so all of you who are smarter than me can take a crack at it.  Remember, all answers must be in language that you would use to explain computers to your parents, because he's of that generation and I'm going to be showing him verbatims.  :)  Who likes a challenge?

Seriously, thought, I would really appreciate the help.  He's a really nice guy and it's a brand new freaking computer.

When booted up, the computer tells him that it has had a fatal error, and that Windows cannot start because te registry could not be updated.  The error is located in C: Windows setuperror.log

It also spits out this number/code thingy:  3DFEAIDF

I told him that I believe the OS didn't install properly, and that he needs to slate and reinstall Windows XP.  Am I right?  I'm perfectly willing to accept a no for that....Please Help!
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trekkie1701c

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Computer Challenge!
« Reply #1 on: October 08, 2005, 11:51:12 am »
Sounds like he needs to reinstall it.  Windows messes itself up every now and then.  If he asks you why, tell him that Microsoft is evil and want a whole lot of money for almost no work (Come on - $200 for an operating system?  I can get one that works better for free!)

Did he do anything to the computer right before this happened (such as reorganized files in any directory - I've heard of idiots messing with system files and reorganizing them) or delete anything to gain space (friends dad deleted this large directory called "Windows" because he never went into it, so he assumed it wasn't neccisary).
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thefemnazi

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Computer Challenge!
« Reply #2 on: October 08, 2005, 07:33:56 pm »
no, it's a new dell.  Right from the factory, and it shat itself.  If it doesn't re-install, (Cuz he has the software discs), is this a sign of hardware failure?
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thefemnazi

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Computer Challenge!
« Reply #3 on: October 08, 2005, 07:36:04 pm »
specifically, the harddrive?
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trekkie1701c

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Computer Challenge!
« Reply #4 on: October 08, 2005, 08:03:03 pm »
Wait - a Dell?  He's in trouble.  From my experience, Dell computers don't like reinstalling Windows for some reason (tried going through it with a friend of mine and it didn't work.  Even made sure the BIOS was set to boot from the CD-ROM drive).  If it's still under warrantee, I'd suggest trying to get it replaced.
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Xepher

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Computer Challenge!
« Reply #5 on: October 08, 2005, 08:40:22 pm »
Dells are just fine... a little propritary in some hardware, and they tend to put too much junk software on at the factory... but good machines. I've reinstalled windows on dozens of them in the past couple months alone. Registry errors like that usually have one of two causes. The first is hardware failure... the drive/controller/powersupply/goat is going bad. The second is a virus of some sort that's hurt things. Dell should've given him some disks to reinstall the OS with. If you boot off the windows disk, there should be an option somewhere in the process for a "repair install" that will replace all the system files and such while leaving the rest of the drive (and his data) intact. If he doesn't have anything important he's worried about losing though, I'd suggest that you delete the partition (during the install) and create a new one. Those options will be at the "pick a location" bit during the install. That'll ensure that everything starts off clean.

If you could actually get it to boot currently though, I'd tell you to go right-click "my computer" pick "manage" and then go to "event viewer" and look in the "system" section for any disk errors. If you see a bunch of errors about "bad blocks" then that's a good sign the drive is failing. I normally wouldn't expect that on a brand new machine... but then again, I've seen it a couple times on a brand new machine, and the two new drives I just got both seem to be bad from the factory as well. I'm on my laptop right now as I watch the drive diagnostics throw out errors on the desktop.