Sunday, September 25, 2011

Computer Stuff

This is a knitting blog, but I've recently spent a lot of time solving problems with my desktop PC. I'm going to blog about the solutions here in case it manages to bubble to the top of some one's attention and maybe help them.

"chkdsk doesn't fix the problem"

Problem: My desktop PC has been automatically running the chkdsk routine on startup for over a year. The routine takes about 20 minutes, but fails to fix the problem. My attempts to get it to solve the error just ran the same routine and didn't change anything. It's a pain, because either I needed to start the computer 20 minutes before I needed it, or hover and stop the routine before it ran.

Solution: I tried to start the computer in "safe mode with networking". The start up paused with the message "please wait".  It didn't show that it was doing anything, but it made the same sounds as it makes when it runs chkdsk. 15 minutes later, the computer rebooted and the problem has gone away.

"After installing Norton Internet Security 2012, my PC won't read my Nikon Coolpix camera and won't read cards."

Problem: The computer won't recognize the camera. It makes a stuttering connect sound, but won't see the camera. When I removed the card from the camera and put it in the reader slot, nothing happened, though the card reader's light was lit.

Note: I actually found other people through google who had similarly lost access to their camera after a Norton install. One person said that Norton said it wasn't their fault, because if you uninstall Norton, the problem persists. But it seems suspicious that some how the install hoses the drivers.

Solution: In administrative mode, open the Control Panel and the Device Manager. My camera and card reader drivers both showed as damaged. I deleted them both. The next time I connected the camera, the computer downloaded new drivers and it worked.

"Installing Norton Internet Security 2012 made it so my Windows Vista PC couldn't connect to the internet."

Problem: Install NIS 2012, all connectivity disappears. Even NIS won't open, but just gives error messages.

Solution: There is no easy solution. I spent four hours with Norton customer service. After hours of going round in circles, I was escalated to a supervisor, who eventually requested to take control of my computer remotely. This was a terrifying thing to permit, but I went ahead and allowed it. After messing with my software and drivers, he finally fixed it.

Research carefully before upgrading to NIS 2012 on a Windows Vista computer.

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