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Callunna
Revolving Grey Blob


3044 Posts
Posted -  17/12/2010  :  10:26
Over the years I've not done so bad when it comes to working with computers, and most times I can eventually fix things up when it all goes pear-shaped.

Yesterday my Mac went not just pear-shaped but a complete fruit pudding with meringue and custard. Over the past few weeks it had been getting slower and slower until it said: "You know what? I can't be bothered anymore. I quit." And it did.

Fortunately there's a thing called Time Machine which regularly backs up the OS and all files to an external drive, so I wasn't too nonplussed.

Unfortunately my Mac refused even to start up. Missing its core thingies or something.

No probs - just re-install the OS from the original discs. Almost there - the discs were a bit out of date but I could easily update the version from the internet.

Went to restore all my settings, files, programmes, etc from Time Machine. Unfortunately my finely tuned and slimmed down original system had bloated by about 20GB when reinstalled - and my drive didn't have enough space on it to complete the job.

Grrr.  

My backup drive (1TB  capacity) is also getting full so it looks like I'm going to have to buy another to dump my data into, then give it all a good clean out.

On top of that, once you start messing with reinstallations, I find much of my work software needs reactivating from the software companies - it's going to take me absolutely ages to get back to where I was a few, happy and organised days ago.

I hate computers. 
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Gloria
Senior Member


3581 Posts
Posted - 09/08/2011 : 09:35
Help please. As most of you know I am almost computer illiterate so you will have to speak slowly to me-----I have a problem.
I have a 5yo Dell laptop, Orange wireless, windows XP. I only store my family tree info on it, I don't download music, it is used every day and when in use I have it plugged into the mains so that the battery doesn't die out. My problem is that it is suddenly going slower and slower, in fact last night it struggled to turn itself off. Is a new one if the offing or can I resurrect this. I had an "infection" a few weeks back, took it to the menders, he sorted it and added Norton Anti Virus.
Many thanks for any help
Gloria


I'd be dangerous with a brain!!!!!
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panbiker
Senior Member


2300 Posts
Posted - 09/08/2011 : 09:49
Looks like you could have some form of malware Gloria. I had a similar problem on my XP based Laptop. One of the problems of XP it is wide open to attack. A single Anti Virus product may nor be able to fend off all the nasties that are lurking out there.

I found this on the internet:

Advance System Care 4

There is a free version that you can download. It certainly refreshed my laptop when it had become so lethargic that it was almost unusable.

I have Antivirus and Malware programs which I use on a regular basis but even then the holes in the XP system still let some of the rubbish in. It may be useful to you.


Ian Go to Top of Page
Big Kev
Big


2650 Posts
Posted - 09/08/2011 : 09:50


quote:
Gloria wrote:
and added Norton Anti Virus.

Depending on the "spec" of the machine the AV program could be your problem. Pluggy's probably the best man for the job...


Big Kev

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Callunna
Revolving Grey Blob


3044 Posts
Posted - 09/08/2011 : 10:53
quote:
Gloria wrote:
 it is used every day and when in use I have it plugged into the mains so that the battery doesn't die out. 
Glo - this is not a good thing to do. 

The battery lasts longer if you let it run down - in other words, occasionally use it unplugged until it gets fairly low, then re-charge it.

I speak from experience - I think I posted a photo of my overcooked laptop battery earlier in this thread (or somewhere on OG). I was lucky it didn't burst into flames while I was out. 

My mum has given up on her laptop - too many error messages popping up and she can't afford to pay the person who supplied it for it to be fixed. Very sad. It has totally knocked her confidence to bits and now she just wants a computer-free life.


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Tizer
VIP Member


5150 Posts
Posted - 09/08/2011 : 12:02
quote:
Callunna wrote:
My mum has given up on her laptop - too many error messages popping up and she can't afford to pay the person who supplied it for it to be fixed. Very sad. It has totally knocked her confidence to bits and now she just wants a computer-free life.
And yet the Internet lady Martha Lane Fox, she of Lastminute.com fame, is devoted to converting all oldies to the wonderful benefits of the computer and Internet on behalf of the Government. Orwell's Big Brother says you must have a computer! (Should be Big Sister in this case!)


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Gloria
Senior Member


3581 Posts
Posted - 09/08/2011 : 12:37
Thanks All for your replies. I will try as Ian suggested and if all else fails I shall have to visit Pluggy.
Callunna, I shall heed your advice. I tend to leave it on all day, frightening when you think of it.
Thanks again.
Gloria


I'd be dangerous with a brain!!!!!
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Gloria
Senior Member


3581 Posts
Posted - 09/08/2011 : 12:51
I did as suggested Ian and it appears to have had a new lease of life. Fingers crossed it lasts.
Thanks
Gloria


I'd be dangerous with a brain!!!!!
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panbiker
Senior Member


2300 Posts
Posted - 09/08/2011 : 13:14
Having been in IT for over 20 years I was still impressed by the application I mentioned above for tired XP systems. I have tried various "cleaners" in the past and even adopted the manual back door approach but this particular application seems to do what it says on the tin.

Cally is right with regard to you battery. Ni-cadmium and Lithium cells have a "memory" and are designed to be used on a normal charge / discharge cycle. If you always have it plugged into the mains you will find that it will not hold it's charge as long as it should if you ever wan't to run it stand-alone on battery. You can reach a point where the battery will go into self destruct although this is rare. A proper charge cycle for most systems will include a full 16 hour charge between disharges to keep otimum cycle rats on the battery.

If you always run the laptop on mains, try it without the battery pack installed. Some systems will allow this, others won't. If it will run without the battery, it would stop any chance of overcharge issues.

The best plan is to follow the proper duty cycle for the system which would be to run on battery and plug in when prompted by the system leave it plugged in for a full charge cycle of 16hours and then unplug and repeat the cycle.

Windows will tell you roughly how many hours use you have in the battery if you get it to display the battery applet in the system tray at the bottom. Go to Control panel, click on Power Options and then the Advanced Tab - put a tick in the box for Always Show on Taskbar. You will then see an icon in the Task Bar at the bottom right hand side. It will look like a power connector when on mains and a battery when you are running on battery. Pointing at the battery icon with your mouse will give an estimate of charge left in the battery in hours and minutes. Windows will also prompt you when you are near to discharge.


Ian Go to Top of Page
Gloria
Senior Member


3581 Posts
Posted - 09/08/2011 : 13:35
Thanks Ian, will do as suggested.


I'd be dangerous with a brain!!!!!
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Tizer
VIP Member


5150 Posts
Posted - 09/08/2011 : 19:47
"..Ni-cadmium and Lithium cells have a "memory"

Ian, I thought it was that one of these had the memory and the other was free of the drawback - or am I mistaking it for another battery type?


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Callunna
Revolving Grey Blob


3044 Posts
Posted - 09/08/2011 : 22:20
Here's my earlier reference to my MacBookPro's battery:

quote:
Callunna wrote:
Noticed my MacBookPro was sitting at a jaunty angle this morning and upon further inspection I discovered the battery had blown, distorting the casing.



Not a pretty sight. A replacement will leave little change from £100, although at 4 years old and in daily use I suppose it's not too bad.

I could have extended its life by doing certain things on a regular basis but you know how it is, you get lazy. The notebook is usually plugged into the mains (and therefore the battery is always 100% charged) and it is turned on 24/7, which isn't the best way to preserve battery life!

I should have let it run down regularly, charged it while the computer was switched off and let it rest for a few hours - otherwise known as calibrating (if I remember correctly).

I'm lucky it didn't set on fire - let this be a warning to myself and anyone else who leaves a computer switched on and unattended! 

If anyone has any other hints and tips on the matter, please post here. 

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panbiker
Senior Member


2300 Posts
Posted - 09/08/2011 : 22:23
No not at all Tiz, Ni-Cads have the memory a similar effect can be caused in Li-on cells by overcharging. I should have made the distinction. End result is the same though.

This Wiki explains ...

 


Ian Go to Top of Page
Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 10/08/2011 : 06:48
I once saw a battery charger that had a cycle in which it first discharfed the battery completely before recharging. I always run the battery right down on my cordless drills before recharging. They seem to be surviving well. Even the old lead acid batteries suffered if continually charged, they used to produce a sulphate which eventually knackered them.


Stanley Challenger Graham




Barlick View
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pluggy
Geek


1164 Posts
Posted - 10/08/2011 : 11:50
Didn't see this yesterday, I was busy (good sign for the self employed).

Norton AV and aging machines don't mix, its a resource hog. (In my more cynical moments, I'd say that Norton AV and computers don't mix, Its not very good).  Its popular because theres a good markup for those selling/ pushing it.  If you need to stay with Windows, the best one in my opinion is Microsoft Security Essentials.  Its free, its Microsoft's own and it doesn't slow the machine down too much. Take any existing AV off first (Good luck with Norton, its usually more difficult to get rid of than most Viruses).

If you can live without Windows, I'd recomend Linux specifically Ubuntu, it runs quickly on machines way too slow for Windows.  I did one for a lady last week, it was a 7 year old Dell with a Celeron processor (read cheap, low end, slow).  With Ubuntu it could be on the internet in under a minute from a cold start.  With the XP that was on it it was taking over 5. 


Need computer work ?
"http://www.stsr.co.uk"

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pluggy
Geek


1164 Posts
Posted - 10/08/2011 : 12:30
On the subject of Batteries, Lithium Ion batteries as used in Laptops don't suffer from Memory effect.  They are extremely tetchy about their charging,  They need a microprocessor controlled charging circuit that works correctly to stop them becoming incendary bombs.  They deteroate over time (20% per year is an oft quoted figure) and it only needs one of several cells inside to fail for the whole battery to be useless.  In addition the microcontroller must switch off the load to stop the cells voltage dropping below 3V per cell (3.7 volts per cell when charged) or they become permanently damaged. Leaving a laptop with the batteries flat for a long time is not a good idea since they will eventually drop below 3V per cell.   I have an old laptop (circa 10 years) that I run plugged in all the time because the battery doesn't work (and a new one is expensive).  I switch it off at the mains when I'm not using it.   

Nothing you do now except replacing it will help a failing/failed Lithium battery.  

The age deteriation of lithium batteries is one of the principal arguments againt the electric car. Your nice shiny new Nissan Leaf that does 100 miles on a charge now, might only do 20 miles a few years from now without a new (extremely expensive in the case of cars) battery pack.  Most of the cost of electric cars is in the batteries. 

The Nissan Leaf is 30 odd grand, a similar car with a petrol engine would be around 7 or 8 grand.


Need computer work ?
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