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computer longevity?

Discussion in 'Tech Talk' started by canis latrans, Aug 26, 2004.

  1. canis latrans

    canis latrans

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    how long should a "good" computer last before files become too corrupted to function smoothly?

    is there a "easy" fix for corrupted files, etc?

    this one suffered an electrical surge, we replaced the power source...but it's soon to go away if we can't fix the SLOOOOOW performance. been running spy-ware stuff with some benefit, but frequent re-boots and pages that refuse to open are signaling the end as far as I'm concerned.

    advice appreciated.

    thanks.
     
  2. Texas T

    Texas T TX expatriate CLM

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  3. MNNICK21

    MNNICK21

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    I have computers that have been running 24/7 for 4 years. They are still good for word and internet. I am kind of a tech junkie so I get a new computer every two years or so.
     
  4. ronin_asano

    ronin_asano

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    that sounds more like a data storage issue than a 'computer' issue.

    at work i have a 2k server PC box that has been running 24/7 for 5 years. never had a corrupted file, but i did have to replace a failed harddrive once.

    i have another box with identical hw running red hat 7.2, again 24/7 for the last 5 years.

    i also have a 2k workstation box, 24/7 for about 3 years.

    another 2k webserver with raid enclosures which has been running 24/7 for 4 1/2 years, only two drives have failed in that time, neither were the OS drives.

    last i have a linux server running RH 9.0 24/7 for 3 years. never lost a drive on it.

    so to answer your question, it depends on how good your components are.
     
  5. echo99

    echo99

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    Canis, why do you suspect corrupt files from a power spike? A slow down from a surge? I would not lean toward the files, define slow, if the pc is physically disconnected from the web, and u launch programs, does it load fast? Can you save files to your hard drive at normal speed? When on the web, are you dialing up or do you have cable or dsl? Power spikes do not normally cause files to corrupt, a corruption usually happens via data transfer. I would lean more toward a hard drive failing or the memory (ram) chip failing. If you pull out the memory does it run the same speed or slow down more? Does it even detect the memory? Who built your computer? IBM, HP? Dell? their websites usually have diagnostics testers you can download to a floppy. Or if it’s a home built pc, you can do a general search on google for diagnostic tester. (pc doctor)
     
  6. nothing

    nothing Advertisement

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    defrag weekly and back up important data
     
  7. canis latrans

    canis latrans

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    appreciate the replies.

    this is a Dell Dimension. I'm very LOW-tech, so I have very little to base my assumptions on, but when I was having problems before, a computer repair guy mentioned corrupted files. he said it "just happens" over time. this machine origninally came with Me OS, then we had the tech install XP Home version. worked okay for awhile, but got progressively slower. ran spy-ware, got rid of a bunch of crap...helped some. problems really bad in the evenings (not early morning (ISP problem?). I'm on a DSL line...small company.

    I had also suspected problems from Kazaa.

    thanks again for replies.
     
  8. ronin_asano

    ronin_asano

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    while me is the worst product ms ever made, it sounds like that tech was just telling you something to tell you something.

    files can get corrupted, but it's not something that just happens. you typically need an event such as not shutting the computer down properly, or a failing hdd, to cause these issues.

    from your last post, it sounds like you did have a machine that was infected with spyware, and it could also have a virus on it, maybe one of those that has it's own smtp engine and emails other machines from yours.

    kazaa is a good way to catch spyware. there is a sticky post at the top of this forum that will help you clean and protect your machine.

    you need a router/firewall between the internet and you box, first and foremost, then you need to get a decent anti-virus program and keep it updated. also, keeping up with the ms critical updates is a good idea. you might want to hold up on sp2 for the moment, it still can break things.

    finally, when you have your machine the way you want it, at least make a back up of your critical data (system restore is *not* a backup) and consider backing up the entire drive, so you can restore easily and be back up and running if and when disaster strikes.
     
  9. lomfs24

    lomfs24

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    Well we now know who not to go back to for help. As was mentioned already, "time" does not corrupt files. There is some other problem that corrupts files. And you will usually get warnings that specific files couldn't be accessed because they were corrupted.
    If you are talking about the machine running slower I would have to agree with the diagnosis that there is a some sort of problem with RAM. Either it is going bad or there is a program that is sucking up the RAM. There are programs that suck RAM that are not caught by spywayre scanners. Do you have any programs that do neat features to your computer? Desktop helpers, datebook and addressbook helpers, or RAM boosters? I just cleaned up a computer that had a RAM booster on it that was supposed to keep the maximun amount of RAM free. But it was running slower than sin. As so as I disabled that program the computer ran normally again.

    Without sitting at your computer there could me a million different possibilities.

    If you are talking about the internet being slow but not your computer itself, and only at certain times. I would have to blame the DSL company for that one. Many DSL lines are shared lines meaning that the more people you have using it one the same line or branch that you are on the slower it will go.
     
  10. echo99

    echo99

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    Ok hang on right there, you say the problems are always worse in evening. Do you leave your computer on all day? If so this actully sounds like an overheating problem. You may want to replace the cpu fan, or cpu heatsink. If things get to hot there will be a massive slow down in processing data. (this could make you think it is a software problem) If the data were bad then it would be horrible all the time, not 1 part of the day. Does the pc get turned off at night, and restarted daytime? Like a loop?
     
  11. canis latrans

    canis latrans

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    I guess the computer is left on all day during the summer...teenager at home.

    I'll do some more checking before trashing this unit. at the MOMENT [fingers crossed!], it seems to be some better.

    I agree that the next computer I get WILL have a router for a firewall. any particular unit better than others?

    also want to get a better surge protector and/or battery backup. again...any one better than the others?

    thank you all for your replies!
     
  12. fastvfr

    fastvfr Ancient Tech

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    Hello Canis L.;

    You do not want a switching power supply.

    Those models make your PC run from line current then when the current stops the battery kicks in.

    AVOID these models!

    A good one I recommend is the Energizer 450VA; costs $40, covers one machine with all peripherals, is available at Staples or online and is of the non-switching variety.

    A true UPS has your gear running from battery constantly; the power lead simply recharges the battery.

    This allows you to never have fear of power spikes or brown-out conditions (far more damaging to electronics that a spike) since the constant flow from the battery never varies at all.

    This also insures that there are no line noise issues causing random problems.

    Install a decent UPS, run Defragment utilities on your hard drive (R. Click the drive in My Computer and open the Tools tab) and keep up with Spyware and Adware removal.

    You should be fine.

    BTW, your DSL modem ought to have a NAT or NAPT firewall built into it. I know my SpeedStream 5200 does!;)

    Best regards,

    FastVFR

    PS. You are probably right; your ISP slowdowns could indeed be caused by your fellow customers; after all, there is only so much bandwidth available to the ISP, and they may need to install extra T1/T3 lines soon to allow for client-demand growth. Ask them about it.

    PCPitstop.com or Bandwithreports.com have bandwidth tests; run it when the line is clear and do it again when the 'Net is crawling.

    Then send them the results.
     
  13. Training Junkie

    Training Junkie

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    try a linksys or netgear. you should be able to pick up one w/o wireless for $50 or less. you should get one regardless of getting the new pc. not all dsl modems have them built in, my speedstream 5360 does not.
     
  14. canis latrans

    canis latrans

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    I appreciate all the replies. (if *I* don't reply, it's because this machine finally bit the dust)

    we don't leave it on overnight, and it works best in the early morning, so I'll definately check on the overheating. my kid will be back in school, so if it works this evening (it will be off all day), that's probably it!

    for the sake of argument, what for a replacement would you recommend. we use it mainly for internet, just getting into digital photography (editing, burning photos to CD, etc.). would also like to jump "big" into digital music, but I know NOTHING about it!

    not into gaming, so would rather not spend too much on that area.

    what hardware, software do I need?

    start me off, including needed protection.

    Thanks again!
     
  15. lomfs24

    lomfs24

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    For the sake of argument, if it is overheating I wouldn't change anything just yet. I would get a $3.00 can of air, crack the case open and clean 'er out real good.

    My friend got a great laptop for free because "there was something wrong with it". It would power off all by it self after about 15 minutes. A couple of shots of canned air and it has (currently) an up time or nearly 3 months.
     
  16. ronin_asano

    ronin_asano

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    makes sense.

    however, he should run out right now and pick up a router/firewall. netgear/linksys, something.
     
  17. canis latrans

    canis latrans

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    I've already admitted to being low-tech, so please don't laugh at my next questions...

    so how do I install the router/firewall? easy or not? also, will this same router work for the next computer? (whenever that is.)

    lomfs24, that's EXACTLY why I asked these questions here! I'm not made of money...can't afford to waste it! (I CAN afford a can of compressed air, however!)

    Thanks again, folks!
     
  18. ronin_asano

    ronin_asano

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    installing the router/firewall should be pretty simple. as simple as plugging the power cord, then connecting the network cables to your modem, then connecting your machine(s) to the router.

    configuration should be pretty simple as well. any router worth a crap will have a web interface that you can log into. it will also typically have a setup wizard that you can run which detects your modem setup, and places the proper values where they need to go.

    for the more advanced config, you need to read the manual. this will tell you how to tweak dhcp, block web sites, disable ports, etc.

    it's all fairly easy.
     
  19. canis latrans

    canis latrans

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    Thanks again, everyone.